The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

If You Know Me, Don't Read This

By Anne Chudobiak

There is a new bookstore in my neighbourhood. My kids and their friends are really excited about it: they like to visit the bookstore cat; they like to climb the bookstore couch; they like to talk to the bookstore guy. I used to be excited about it, too, before I came across the Funky Monkey blog.

Have you ever stumbled on the blog of someone you know, not very well, in real life? It’s awkward. You’ve never had an actual conversation, but suddenly you know their views on mass culture (to quote, it sux).

I didn’t know whose blog it was at first. There was a profile, but no picture, and no last name.

I was only there because the latest post was about a book I’d recently reviewed, Catherine Kidd's Missing the Ark. The blogger had written about it for another paper. (I’d read his review when it had come out and had wondered who the reviewer was. ) It was clear from his review that he'd enjoyed the book more than I had, although his blog seemed to indicate that he hadn't finished reading the book before the review went to print. He liked the book in part because it was about babies, a timely topic for him: “babies keep popping up in real life. They’re hanging out on the couch with their moms at the book store where I work, they’re coming in and out in strollers, they’re jumping in glee over the cat.”

That’s when I figured it out: The blogger was the reviewer was the bookstore guy. How funny to think that I might have contributed to his enjoyment of a book I hadn’t really liked. I'd have to be more careful with the kids. I didn't want them accidentally influencing literary discourse.

14 Comments:

Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I love this, Anne, love examples of serendipity (if that's the right word). It's amazing when we discover how connected we are to others.

Tue May 08, 12:05:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Thanks, Tricia.

Tue May 08, 12:10:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Really cool. I enjoyed this, Anne.

Tue May 08, 01:06:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Great post. I can relate to that sinking feeling of too-much-info about others. Maybe he'll read this post and think to add more toys at the store.

Tue May 08, 01:13:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

The store is already careful to cater to kids. That's part of the reason why the kids like it so much. It's a very accepting atmosphere.

Tue May 08, 01:26:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Great post, Anne. I read some of the funky monkey too.

Tue May 08, 03:02:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Oh my gosh, that's so weird, Anne. Makes for a great story, though.

Tue May 08, 03:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I honestly don't think anybody I know has a blog. Most of my friends are newspaper writers, so all I have to do is read their editorial.

In the blog world, it's so easy to connect with people you otherwise would never meet, even if you live near each other. This, in a society where nobody talks to their next door neighbour for a year at a time.

This sounds like a scene from "You've Got Mail".

Tue May 08, 08:14:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

A friend of mine recently made a comment about something I'd blogged. I went beat red. It's such a rude intrusion! I only want strangers reading- that way I can tell all kinds of stories about my friends, family and neighbours.

Wed May 09, 05:47:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

There's a real kid-friendly internet cafe in Haliburton. Above the fishtank in the lounge area, a large sign states: Children left unattended will be given a puppy and an espresso.

Wed May 09, 08:29:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Few of my friends know about (or, erm, bother to read if they do know, heh) my blogging ventures. It's funny, isn't it? To want to be simultaneously anonymous and public.

I want to be left unattended at that cafe.

Thu May 10, 12:23:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Heh, heh... puppies.

Thu May 10, 08:59:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger sass said...

*gasp*

be careful! people are going to link to his blog through yours (like i did) and if he has statcounter, he's going to link back to your blog and see that you've written about him, writing about you.

egad.

Fri May 11, 09:38:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

I am trying to live my life as though statcounter doesn't exist.

Mon May 14, 07:03:00 am GMT-4  

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