Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why Are You Reading This?

For all I know, you could be a bot— what I imagine as a computer generated gnat on a mission. I recently heard that advertisers on the web are concerned their ads may be seen by bots and not humans. The bots work for someone who sets ad rates, and the whole thing is a new kind of internet fraud. Well I might have got that a little wrong, but it sounds scary.

What started me thinking, however, is What is a blog and why are you reading? First of all— thank you. Without you I'm nothing. Without you, the very thought of you, I'm just a diary.

I've personally always loved diaries— from the very real "Diary of Anne Frank", a rite of passage, to the delightful novel "I Capture the Castle", the diary is an intimate form of communication. We learn so much about the writer— we may see it before they ever do— and in turn can't help but look within ourselves.

Anne Frank and her real diary

But who am I? Why should you read my blog? I'm nobody. I may have the literary equivalent of a big mouth, but from what authority do I speak? None at all.

My first trip to Europe at age 23 was solo. I read a lot. After finishing "The Leopard" somewhere around Rapallo, I was out of books and desperate. The only bookshop in town had but a few secondhand books in English, no doubt picked up or dropped off by tourists. The one that caught my eye was "Diary of a Nobody", an odd piece of fiction from 1892. It was so arcane and tongue-in-cheek it took a good fifty pages to realize it wasn't a real diary.

The Nobody from "Diary of a Nobody"

I've tried keeping a diary at least half a dozen times (trip diaries excluded). I think I write pretty good letters, and friends like my emails, so I'm a performer at heart. I need an audience. YOU give me the reason to write.

One the occasion of attracting 100,000 reads, I'm taking a bow (as would any good performer). I'm blowing kisses from the footlights. You've encouraged me so, yes indeed, I'll be back for an encore.

Diaries I've loved and maybe you will too:
The Diary of Anne Frank
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
Diary of a Nobody by Weedon Grossmith and George Grossmith
The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
A Fine Romance by Susan Branch
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Few Eggs No Oranges by Vera Hodgson
Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham


  1. I enjoy your blog posts, Michelle - they're always interesting. Even I don't always comment, I do always read.

    1. Thank you, Sheila. Here's to another 100,000 (what ever will I write about??????).