Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Morning Musing on Deadline

I've got Google Alerts set up so that whenever my name or the title of one of my books pops up on the Internet, I get a little note about it. This morning brought me a newspaper article written by a reporter whose name is almost the same as mine and was misspelled in a photo credit to be exactly the same as mine, thereby tickling the strands of my Web feelers.

What struck me as odd is that this near-Brian Fies is doing nearly the same job I did when I graduated from college almost 30 years ago: writing about high school girls' sports for a small daily newspaper. His article is about volleyball while I mostly covered basketball, but close enough. In my case, I moved from part-time sports writer to full-time city-beat reporter within a few months, accumulating the writing experience and clips that served me well since. I can't help but wonder if this Bizarro-Fies is duplicating my life, just displaced a couple of decades. What if he looks like a young me? What if he just married a smart and beautiful girl named Karen? I'm tempted to warn him about the twins coming his way in a few years (run, Brian, run!).

I'm reminded of a webcomic by Scott McCloud titled "The Right Number" about a man who misdials his girlfriend's phone number by one digit and calls a woman who is almost exactly like his girlfriend in every respect, except a little better. Maybe this guy is the new, improved Brian 2.0. As long as he isn't required to hunt me down and kill me, we'll co-exist just fine.

Best of luck to you, Brian. I could tell you a few things, but you'll have more fun figuring them out for yourself.

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