C's bookshelf: read

The Peculiar
Maggot Moon
The City and the City
The Road
A Certain Slant of Light
The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Brown Girl in the Ring
Well Wished
The Innkeeper's Song
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
American Indian Myths and Legends
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Return of the King
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers

C S Peterson's favorite books »

Friday, March 18, 2011

Message in a Bottle Loose on the Digital Sea

I have discovered something!  There is a “stats” button on the blog dashboard.  It tells me something almost incomprehensible.  One hundred sixty people have read something I have written in the last eighteen days.  Amazing!  

Here I am, just overjoyed that I have been able to clear the space to write everyday, amazed and blessed to be part of this little community who read each other’s slices and then leave encouraging and thoughtful comments.  Here I am, just toodling along, writing bits of this or that daily snippet that strikes me as funny, interesting or beautiful. And I find I have visitors – from all over the United States! From China! From Mexico, Estonia and South Korea!  From the United Arab Emirates!  Is this possible?  

I thought I was passing notes to friends in class, but no.  I have been rolling up small notepapers and tapping them into bottles, sealing them with a dab of wax from my late night candle and setting them lose to float along in the great digital sea, where other sailors have picked them up and…read them?  Glanced at them?  Worked out the random English grammar?  Or heard a familiar voice with the sound of home?  Perhaps some are just machines looking for an unprotected site to spam, but I am so hopeful.  

Can it really be possible to reach across oceans and continents and converse about ordinary human moments as we hurtle through space together?

Bonjour!  你好!  Hola!  أها!  Tere!  안녕하세요!


  1. I love the whimsy of this post. Ididn't know about the stats button, interesting.

  2. Will that change your writing, I wonder? It shows how audience plays into our views as writers, doesn't it?
    Great post

  3. "I have been rolling up small notepapers and tapping them into bottles, sealing them with a dab of wax from my late night candle and setting them lose to float along in the great digital sea"

    I love this part. What a picture you paint! I have been sharing some of the comments with my classroom kids teaching them how to encourage fellow writers.

  4. Tere.
    Such a thoughtful author, looking up how to say hello in your reader's mother tongue. Respect.

  5. I absolutely love your metaphor of the message in a bottle. Beautiful and clever! I have felt the same way this month-- surprised and pleased that someone is actually taking the time to read what I've written. The comments are such gifts. I had no idea about the stats button. I'm going to check it out right now! :)

  6. Great word picture! I love it.

  7. I am probably the visitor from S. Korea! Thanks for writing the hello in Korean as well! Yes, it is amazing how the Internet can bring people from all over the world altogether! This is a great community of writers we have through the Slice of Life challenge!

  8. This is a wonderful piece. I too love the whimsy you can hear in your writer's voice. I love the aspect of "digital sea". Clever words bring life to the story.

  9. I didn't know about the button, either. Amazing! Your description of what you've done is wonderful. I love your idea of the 'great digital sea', & hope that we can get more students to set sail! Happy weekend, Katie!

  10. What a fabulous description. I'm constantly amazed at all the people who are in this community. I never throught of it as a message in a bottle, but that is exactly what it is. Messages and tiny moments, shared with strangers who may become friends. Happy writing!

  11. Wonderful reminder of how far our little voices can be heard in this new format. Love your description!
    I try not to think about the audience too much. Could it change what I say? Hope not. But it's a reminder as my mother used to tell me, never write down something you wouldn't want published in the newspaper!

  12. Your imagery is so powerful in this slice. You really get at the big ideas of how we communicate digitally. When we write on the web, we write for the world.

  13. Stats?! Music for the quantitative soul.

  14. هتاف للترحيب

    آخر جيد جدا :)