Blogs, Communities and Meeting Friends

I'm reading Roadside Crosses, another Jeffery Deaver book, this one a spin-off of sorts from the Lincoln Rhyme novels. Our main character is Kathryn Dance, a kinesics expert who works for the California Bureau of Investigation and really, exactly what the book is about is irrelevant (except to say that when every time an emotion is mentioned, you back it up with kinesics, it’s not as fun as forensics). The Internet plays a part, specifically blogs and although Deaver tries to do his usual factual background thing, every now and again there's a not-so-subtle disdain leaking through. Aside from Dance never having heard of blogs - and what person who is even vaguely connected to the world these days hasn't? – the sense is that writing blogs is for weird people. Described – and I kid you not – as “excrementalists”. And I’m officially taking offense.


Sure, the internet has provided an astounding amount of erm… unusual people with a communication outlet that they didn’t have before the internet, but blogs have also given tons of talented people an audience they wouldn’t have before the internet. And pertinent to where I’m going with this, created communities and friendships. It may be new, it may have been unusual, but it ain't weird.


Thanks to blogs, I have friends I’ve never met. Close friends. People I care about, people I’d never have met if it hadn't been for the Internet and blogs. People who became my social life at a time when I didn't have the energy to leave my house. And every now and again, I get to meet one of them in person.


Last Thursday, I went to Toronto Women's Bookstore for Laurie’s book launch (take two) and had a very good time. On the way there, I realized that I didn't really know what Laurie looks like and worried that I wouldn't recognize her, only to instantly know her when I came into the store and saw her literally across a crowded room (the term sardines came to mind – small store, good turnout). She just emanated Laurie and it was great to meet her in person after ages of reading each other's blogs. I’ve only read bits so far (it’s a regular book and they give me trouble) - hearing her read parts of her book





was wonderful and
added another dimension to it (and may I humbly suggest to the publisher that they consider an audio book, preferably read by the author, so I can read the whole thing?).


And just before heading home, I popped around the corner to take some pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral (okay, so it's Knox Presbyterian Church, but in the dark, it looked positively Parisian).





Quasimodo, is that you?






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