I’m not sure I mentioned this before, but I finally caught onto “Google Alerts.” Set one up for yourself, and any time you’re mentioned online, you know about it. (Why do I have the suspicion that everyone in Redroom already uses the Alerts, and has been for years, and is smirking?)
So now I’m notified when I pop up, not only in newspapers and online magazines and miscellaneous Web sites, but also in blogs.
There’s one person, named Chris, who writes out, in diary style, everything he does, every day. On Sundays, his routine now includes tuning into my show on KFRC, so I get a bit of assurance, thanks to Google, that someone out there is listening.
Then, just today (Father’s Day), I was alerted to another blog. I clicked on it and found myself reading the jottings of a woman who identifies herself as “Aninnymous,” calls her blog “Shouting into the Wind,” and refers to her children as KidOne, KidTwo, KidThree and KidFour.
She writes about cleaning her kitchen, about doing some babysitting, and the joy of reading to one of the two kids. She mentions some problems one of her own children, who lives in another town, is having, and says it’s been “a three-cups-of-coffee morning” because she didn’t sleep much.
“I got home before midnight but then stayed up to finish Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father,” she blogs. “What a marvelous book. I've already read his The Audacity of Hope. He is so very able to articulate what for most people are the totally inchoate emotions of who one is, and what one's place is, and how one can and cannot make a difference in the world. I am so joyously anticipating an Obama presidency.”
She continues: “I've just started Ben Fong-Torres' The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American--From Number Two Son to Rock 'n Roll. He is another marvelous writer with the ability to make clear all the machinations that go on in his mind and self. What marvelous talent these two men have.”
That’s her entry for June 13th. The next day, she is at the computer, she says, after finishing four loads of laundry. Before heading off to the Senior Center “for my day with the old folks,” she’s doing a little blogging.
“Last night I finished Ben Fong-Torres' book. It was terrific. So many of the places he writes about are familiar to me, as my family is from the same area. Now I want to read a lot more autobiographies or memoirs but unfortunately can't, as the library wants me to pay a fine before we will be friends again and I don't have the money. Same song, different verse.”
When my book came out, back in 1994, I got some nice notices in some major newspapers. But these blogs, coming along 14 years later, mean just as much to me. The writer is, as she says, “Aninnymous.” She took the book out of a library. Reading it was part of the flow of her everyday life. She didn’t write about it on assignment. It was just one of the things, along with family and financial trials and triumphs, that inspired her to go shouting into the wind. My book is right in there, with the laundry, with the numbered kids, with Barack Obama, and with her plans to, as she signs off, “get off to the Senior Center for my lovely, lovely day with the old folks.”
Thanks, Aninnymous. And thanks, Google Alerts.
Causes Ben Fong-Torres Supports
Susan G. Komen For The Cure Rocket Dog Rescue