When my first book was published in 2001, I set up a bunch of Google Alerts. Anyone can set up alerts for anything they want … to keep up on all the news about their favorite band, or any time someone posts a recipe that has apples in it, or to study how many times people use the word “bamboozle” online. Literally, anything you want to keep abreast of.
I have alerts set to topics I continually research, like synesthesia. I get a daily digest from Google with a snippet of the article and a link to it, so I can read and decide if it’s the information I’m after.
For my books, I have alerts set on my name, my titles, and some text from each book so I can see whenever one of them is pirated. (Before you ask, all the time, that’s when.) Mainly, though, I want to know whenever someone posts a review, or publishes an interview I did, or gives a shout-out to me or any of my books.
Seems fairly simple, eh?
And it is, until you realize how many Becky Clarks there are in the world. As you can imagine, my Becky Clark alerts are almost always a disappointment. For a while I got a ton about a very successful realtor named Becky Clark who must have retired. Although, surely I would have heard—several times— about her retirement party.
In the spring, I’m inundated with articles about Becky Clark, a very winning softball coach.
But I get so many who aren’t me, I begin to question who I really am.
Here are a few recent ones.
Akron Beacon Journal — Becky Clark, casualty assistance officer, has arranged for the scooter to be restored….
I do have a deep, abiding love for scooters, but I don’t think this is me.
White Mountain Independent — … generous by nature, has a contagious laugh and has secured $8,600 in grants and funding for SLJH students,” says SLJH Principal Becky Clark.
If I received $8,600 in grants and funding, I would absolutely invite those junior high students to watch while someone remodels my kitchen. That’s a whole lotta learning right there.
Fenton Tri County Times — The team won five Metro titles with Becky Clark (long jump) winning ….
This one is legit. Why, just yesterday I jumped all the way off a curb! And I stuck the landing.
Athens NEWS — After a successful debut at last year’s event, Becky Clark, owner of Pork and Pickles in Athens….
I wasn’t sure if they were talking about me or not, but I checked my freezer and am, alas, not an owner of pork. I am, however, the proud owner of pickles, if relish counts.
Juneau Empire — Thanks to Becky Clark for serving as video tech ….
Okay, this one just makes me laugh. Unless “video tech” means I can dial up The Netflix.
Christian Today — Becky Clark, the Church of England’s Director of Churches and Cathedrals, said, “Creating positive and lasting change for people and communities is….
Doesn’t it seem that the Church of England’s Director of Churches and Cathedrals should at least be a Rebecca? Or maybe Rebecca Pemberton-Coggin Fitz-Lloyd Clarkingham of Sussex?
Paducah Sun — Co-owned by mother-daughter duo Becky Clark and Sarah Farris, the creative space is billed as a “walk-in, mess-making, fun art studio” for folks of all ages ….
I check five out of six of these boxes: I have a daughter. I walk. I make messes. I enjoy fun. And I possess age. But my daughter’s name is Prunella Pemberton-Coggin Fitz-Lloyd Clarkingham of Sussex.
Idyllwild Town Crier — … I appreciate you, Becky Clark, for all the fantastic hard work you keep doing. I wish you great ….
Seems like me, what with all the fantastic, hard work I keep reminding people I do, but no.
Next City — Becky Clark is one of just a few hundred female butchers in the United States. “My dad hunts, so I grew up butchering deer with him,” she says.
Nope. I can’t even find any pork in the freezer.
UI The Daily Iowan — Becky Clark, 52, was charged with first-offense OWI….
I’m often offensive, but not like that.
ECM Publishers — Rush City resident Becky Clark told the council she moved to Rush City in October and wanted to know the process to have a few chickens. She said….
This is obviously not me because I know the process:
- Drive to grocery store
- Get a few chickens
- Have them
Lexington Dispatch — What’s new at the Lexington Library? “Foul Play on Words” by Becky Clark
And this one can’t be—hey, wait!
Readers, do you have a common name? Does it ever cause trouble for you? Do you use Google Alerts? Do you find it helpful? Do you think I should try to sneak in and be the Church of England’s Director of Churches and Cathedrals? Or a butcher?