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by Mefeedia


11 January 2006

Before I write this journal entry each day, I make sure to check Mary's journal to see what I can steal, 'cause she reads different journals than I do and she finds better stuff to steal than I do, as a general rule.

So I was just tickled today to learn that...

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The point of "national de-lurking week," which seems, if my track-back is working, to have originated on a site called Paper Napkin is to encourage readers, who have never signed your guest book and who are unknown to you, to speak up and say hi.

(The thing I found amusing in reading over Mary's guestbook was that of the 12 people who had signed her guestbook at the time I signed it, only 2 of them were true "lurkers"!)

I love stuff like this because invariably it sends me on some interesting voyage of discovery (and we all know that just what I need is some other reason to go surfing the fingers are already moldy from all that surfing!)

What I do in a case like this is to start with checking Mary's guestbook to see who has signed it.  What do I find.   The old stalwarts who also read this journal occasionally....there's Jim of Jim's Journal and everybody's best friend, Denver Doug of The Wondering Jew, the erudite John Baily (the Old Grey Poet), Stephanie and Stefani.

But then you start clicking on links.  Sheryl's Paper Napkin link brought me not only to this delightful journal, but to her links as well.  She apparently has a "mystery blog of the day," which I checked out and it took me to the marvelous Blog Cabin, written by Meg, who today is spouting off on Oprah and on the new controversy surrounding "A Million Little Pieces," the book by James Frey, supposedly the story of his recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, now coming under fire as being largely a work of fiction loosely based on his own recovery.

It's hard to explain how I feel when I come across a writer like this.  I am at once inspired and humbled.  I throw these entries up each morning without much thought or much craft involved.  But when I read someone who obviously knows what she's doing when she writes, I want to read more and more.  Blog Cabin went onto my list of journals to read each day.  I have marked it for going back and reading earlier entries in an attempt to get up to speed, to find out who this woman is and to perhaps pick up some tips for future entries myself (she seems to have started her blog in March of 2005, so it's not a daunting thought to go back to when it all began).

When you start following links, it's tough to remember whose link led you where, but I also found a site which I thought was called "Archaeologist," because that was what was on the URL.  It was only when I went to  write this paragraph that I realized it was really "Blackberry Summer," which I believe I had read before at some point in the distant past.  Kate has the advantage (as far as appeal to me) of (a) being about my age (born in 1944), (b) living within 50 miles of here, though the chance of our ever meeting is probably nonexistent--still we are familiar with the same sorts of local topics, and (c) she writes well.  (She also seems to prefer Comic Sans as a typeface, which I do as well.)

You could spend forever (and I often do!) bouncing around from site to site, finding some stinkers, but mostly finding really well-written, interesting things.  Some appeal to me because the writer's life or viewpoint or both strike a cord with me.  Most blogs written by young mothers struggling with the day to day trials and tribulations of raising small children don't really make it onto my list of daily reads just because I've been there and done that and no matter how well they are written (such as Dooce, for example), sooner or later I move on to something different.  I only have so many hours to waste and I want to waste them wisely.

So here I am offering you this wonderful opportunity to come out of lurk, sign my guestbook and say hi, and if you have a blog or journal (I still distinguish between the two!), perhaps set in motion a flood of people coming to check out your web site.

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Do it for Sheila.

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Photo by Claire Amy Atkins


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