I've had a couple of authors comment on this blog after I mentioned them and their books by name. In both cases I was completely thrilled that these posts I send out into the Universe with perhaps equal parts faith and vanity found not only a reader beyond my immediate family and friends, but also another writer with whose work I had connected.
I suspect that the fine hand of Google Alerts or a similar tool is behind their readership, but that does not lessen the experience for me. I have a couple of alerts of my own out there. One is for Nancie Atwell; I believe she's a bellwether for the state of language arts instruction, and I want to know what people are saying about her theories and practice. Over the last couple of years this alert has led me to some very interesting teacher-written blogs.
The other is for the Barbara Jordan school in Detroit. Early last summer I read that this school was being taken over by a committee of teachers and I've tried to follow their progress, because another of my beliefs is that for schools to be most effective, everyone in charge should teach at least one class (including central office).
After my last close encounter with an author I decided to double my Google Alerts. In addition to those two, my new settings include my own name, first and last, which I never expect to be mentioned, and the name of this blog, Walking the Dog, from which I expect to get several unrelated hits every day. I think it will be amusing, at least for a while, and especially if today is any indication-- I've already found a theme song: Walking the Dog by Fun.