This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Flirting With It


I do know this.

I just have to learn where I'm supposed to host the sizeable .mp3's and how to use the nifty new player interfaces to imbed into my podcast site, and I'm going to do it.

I wonder if I'll even writeblog anymore once I start it.

We'll see.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Prestige

Evidently this movie was a first a book. Like so many others, I missed it. But tonight I saw the movie and I left the theatre changed. Again. (How many changes can one person go through, and consider every last one legitimate?)

Let me start off by saying the movie is good. Very good. It was one of those flicks that removes itself from the pack and makes you consider the craft. The plotting was good, and was the acting. The characterizations were complex. Just all good.

Okay. That said, when I saw Hugh Jackman's interview about the movie, and he said "You'll never guess the ending" I went into the theater with the gaunlet in my hand that he had thrown down. I had sat in "The Six Sense" and had guessed the ending. I would do it again, by gum!

And yes, I did it.

Now there are others, critics in particular when slamming the product, who say they guess the endings of movies because the writing is poor. Those types of movies I probably haven't even watched. I'm not that big of a movie person to begin with. But I think this one was well written. You have to be on your toes, because there are many flashbacks and concurrent storylines to consider. But that just means, to me, that there was some real work to do to figure this out.

And I did it.

I have, in the last few days, risen to a new level of respect for actors, which had nothing to do with seeing this movie. It had to do with receiving Matt and his wife Sarah's part of my audio play. I had to listen to it because I needed to do some editing (all self-taught, mind you), and I had begun to freak out. Freaked because this was Matt, my hero, saying my words. And not just saying them, but acting them. On my best days, I think I can act too. But I was freaking, not because I was so impressed, but because I was so scared of hearing Matt do and say the things I had wrote for him to do and say. My script demanded him to be scared, hurt, angry, and funny. I put him through the wringer. I was imposing emotions on him that I, myself, would not want to go through. Especially not for others to gawk at. And on cue, Matt and his wife did them.

("Feedback is an actor??!" We've been through this before. Let's move on)

So I was freaking out because Matt got vulnerable for me, and so did his wife. They didn't do it for actual circumstances, they did it for my audioplay. They opened themselves up for me first, then for everyone else who will be listening to the completed project. It was like eavesdropping on their bedroom conversations. I was freaking out.

Then I got serious and handled my business, as a friend who I called in panic advised. Then I was able to listen to the thing and be amazed. Yes, Feedback is an actor. And he's a software engineer. And a husband. And my friend. And a superhero.

What's more, he and his wife are GOOD actors. When I link to the finished production you'll see. Actually, they may be good in the roles because they are playing themselves. And Matthew is actually a superhero, so it came naturally to him.

So yeah, my respect for acting is turned up a few notches.

And after tonight, so is my respect for myself and my talent for writing. I figured out what was going on in the movie. It was as though I took over for the writer midway through the movie and began to figure out where I had to place what clues in order to make the revelation be sensible. Just as every line was spoken, it was as though I had written them, and was reading them back to myself to make sure they supported the clues.

There may be a big credit that has to go to Matt for his enthusiasm when he received my script and moved ahead on the effort to complete his lines and get it back to me. He followed up on it and is fully on board to continue the series. That boosted my confidence for sure. But I've already established that Matt is a decent, supportive, wonderful superheroic kind of guy (See; Hero, mine). He wouldn't have written me back and said, "Uh Alan, really sorry but--don't quit your day job."

But he also wouldn't have rented out a studio and completed the dialogue within a week, and committed to any more of this project admist pblic appearences and earning a living to support himself and wife. Not if it were bad material.

So why am I stroking my ego all out where you can see?

Because, if you haven't gathered over the past 4 years of my blogging, I have a bit of a self-image problem. I had just about crippled myself with doubt and condemnation of my adult living skills. And just as things are getting better--just when I am getting my finances together, just when I am losing a good deal of weight, and just when I am making real plans for my future that I actually am happy with again, I discover that I'm also a good writer. Just as I've always hoped I would be. Just as I always wanted to be.

PLUS, I'm a friend of Matt Atherton's! So that's all right then!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Woke up several times last night. I've thwarted the upstairs cat's machinations to escape the house, so to one has taken to destroying stuff. Makes me want to punt the little crapper out where she wants to go, but she's just so cute. And at the same time, she such a fierce, devilsome little killing machine. Did I ever mention the morning she drug a full-grown rabbit into the house and killed it in the living room? I heard the rabbit screaming. Father and son had to clean up the fur and meat. I wouldn't go anywhere near it.

Also, something bacterial and painful had a field day in my throat overnight. Each time it woke me up, it felt worse, then towards my final awakening, started feeling better. I fixed some hot Green Ginger Tazo tea to soothe my inside.

The office plan is workingalright. When I was finished with a psych appointment with a client, I went back to the office, which is something I've never done before. Even if I had no specific work to do, going back to company property felt better than going home. There's nothing quite like having a clear conscience.

I did see a kink in my Return-To-NYC plans, however. The traffic back to the George Washington Bridge at go-home time is monstrous on Rt 4, and my office is a walk away from Rt. 4. I had been thinking that when I move back to the city, commuting to my new office was going to be easy, breezy cover-girl fresh. I learned yesterday, not so much. I was going to park my car at the job and take public trans in and out of NYC. Now, not so much.

A solution to this is get an apartment in Hackensack (and just weather the storm of power-mad evil geniuses along with Miss Tessmacher's mother). It's close enough to NYC to do what I do now, only I'll be on my own and have only one cat to worry about. I won't have to pay two states' taxes either.

Look at me already planning and plotting.

You better believe and trust.

Trouble don't last always.

*A.I.A.F.O.M.A's, S.T.A.R.T.

*you know what it means.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Well, Back To Work ....

I'm up and at 'em. I'm curious to find out what all's a-doin' since I've been gone. However, there are some things I'm not looking forward to. Remember the adventure I had with my car down near Philadelphia? The training I had to go to? Well, my job's cashing in that investment. I'll have to do 8-hour trainings on Crisis Management for new employees. I'll be paired with others who have done it before, but eventually I'll have to be the front man. Performance anxiety.

Another thing I'm not rushing to is a particular client who is perpetually miserable, angry, and intermittently violent. That's all I'll say about that client for now. Confidentiality and all that.

But I have a new office where I can hole up and listen to the radio and not have to worry about sharing it with anyone. I plan to go there everyday at 9:00 and do whatever else (and leave to all my other sites) from that point. That'll help me be more conscientious about my timekeeping, which was really slipping. Before the vacation, it was nearly impossible for me to keep an 8-hour day. I'd go in late, I'd leave early, I'd have a 2-hour lunch. I got my work done, make no mistake -- but not every single thing. My boss is lax that way. As long as I was on the other end of my phone, and attended all my appointments, visited my sites, interacted with my clients, and handed in the important paperwork, I was good. In fact, his thanks was chronic and earnest.

I developed the feeling (and I think I'm probably right) that a lot of people on salary do not work complete 8-hour days, without a single hiccup of conscience. Well, I'm on-call 24/7 so I guess it's supposed to be okay to do long lunches and early leaves, but I'm not called all that much so I think I ought to be around most of the day since that's what they're paying me for. Me, the Boy Scout. Blame my religion. :)

Well, here goes my new routine--6:30 wakies, off to the gym, to the office by 9:00, work, off at 5:00, come home, write for Feedback, write for myself (NaNoWriMo), play CoH, relax, sleep, wash, rinse, repeat.

And I'm Matthew Atherton's friend, so that's all right then.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Here's My News

Darker Projects is going to produce a new series called (tentatively) "FEEDBACK: The Next Great Superhero". If you'll note to the left, I've had them linked for quite a while now. I have written the first installment based on Matt's poem and will be adapting my first story into the next episode. Then I will be turning the fiction produced by "Tech Support" into the next stories in the series.

This happened because I arranged it. I queried Darker Projects and the Exec Producer said he'd only do it if Matt Atherton played the part of Feedback. The exec producer must not have read this blog.

But here's where it gets good. I asked Matt if he would do it. He was interested. He wanted his wife Sarah to do it with him. He wanted to do something that wasn't too long. He wanted an adaptation of his poem (scroll down).

So I copied his poem, I sat down, and I wrote my heart out. I sent him the script.

He loved it. LOVED. His enthusiasm shot through the roof after reading it. He snatched it up and started making arrangements to record his and his wife's parts. It was as if I had suddenly hit a sleepy man with a bucket of cold water.

Okay, now I'm going to get metaphysical, and maybe skirt the edges of blasphemy, but I believe God knows what I really mean.

You know in the song "Little Drummer Boy" when it goes,

"I played my gift for Him, pa-rum pum pum pum"

and then it goes,

"And then He smiled at me, pa-rum pum pum pum"

THAT'S what it was like.

I've stated before that I would do almost anything for this dude. Whatever. But when you're willing to do almost anything, and the thing you do is actually admired, actually praised, and it so highly and joyfully uplifts the person to whom you are dedicated ...

Just an incredible feeling.

Just incredible.

It's even bigger to me than getting the production actually finished by Darker Projects. It's bigger than doing anything else afterwards.

However, it will continue. I'm halfway done with the next, longer script, and all those who have written other stories at Tech Support are eager to have me turn them into scripts too. Matt's time is limited (because, you know, he's Feedback and everything), but the work is going to take time between productions so it shouldn't be too overwhelming for him and Sarah. Plus, he won't be carrying the whole story so inherently--the cast includes Tech Support--so it will be doable.

Happy Birthday to me, huh? What a year this has turned out to be. So many deep-down lows and so many sky-high heights. Perfectly bipolar. Trust and believe, I will add the links to the projects when they finish.

And I'm Matthew Atherton's friend and writer, so that's all right then!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just A Fine Ol' Time

Nice hotel. Nice weather. I STROLLED. More than that, I jogged half a circuit in Central Park on Tuesday. So. NICE.

I met a new friend through my D&D obsession who lives on Riverside Drive, overlooking more trees than I realized existed on the drive and the Hudson and the Palisades. He bought the apartment from his family's estate. It is my dream location and dream apartment. I was so happy about getting to be in that apartment like I belonged, I couldn't even be jealous.

It did make me reflect again about the inherent injustice of the world though. Through what miracle or accident was it determined that I would be born to a pair of people who could not nutrue me into a successful young adulthood, whereas this new friend was born to a pair who enabled him to be a lawyer, and had enough wealth in their lineage to own a tony apartment on Riverside Drive (as apparently thousands also do), and then enabled him to not inherit the apartment illegally (whereupon I would not be as enamored, but would be reporting this much more venomously), but have enough money in his twenties to BUY the thing.

Work it my new friend. WORK.

I am waiting for one. more. e-mail. and then I will be able to tell you about my new project. It's exciting and it's even possible to go into my dream profession through it. That would be WRITING.

Well duh? This IS a journal of many, many, many words? Why not get paid for it? My Other Hero has set out a template for writing success which I would definitely need if I were a full-time writer. Because I've gotten addicted to the gym, and I definitely need to reinforce a writing schedule. I want to try NaNoWriMo again too.

What am I leaving out?

Oh! The plane crash yesterday in NYC! Very sad. Glad it wasn't a terrorist. Sad it was a NY Yankee. Whether I'm a Yankee fan or not isn't germane to the topic. I was nowhere near the area the day before so I've no 'oh my God' moment to share.

Still on vacation and glad about it. Ran out of money yesterday but I put the gym food on my account and it's reportedly healthy, and then I get paid tomorrow. And I know how much my next gym charge will be on the 15th, and I know what my balance is now. It's under control. It's all good.

And I'm still a friend of Matthew Atherton's, so that's all right then.