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!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why Did It Take So Long To Find This Site?


It isn't as if I'd never heard of them from Dragon Page. It isn't as if I hadn't listened to all of Brave Men Run and exchanged e-mails with the author. And it isn't as if it's not 100% free.

As for my own book, I still haven't quite finished it yet. When I do end it, it will be the end of a Part, unless when I stop now, I consider it still undone and start the next Part now, and wait until that is done, then market it as One Big Book.

I don't know how Robert Jordan did/does it.

But now finding the site above mentioned, I am sorely tempted to publish it there. Read it myself. I'm only a single microphone away from podcasting, so why not?

Well I don't think any of the audiobooks have made it to the paper publishing yet? Some measure of snobbery within me wants to keep my options open for print. Publishing it too soon, in all truth because I want the instant gratification of reviews, seems like a bad decision to make.

For now, the jury (and my wallet) is still out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Wonder

Is it wrong to discover Santa Claus again, at the mall? And want to go sit on his lap and tell him some of my wishes?

Is it wrong to want to call up a hero, just to hear his voice and to make yourself smile a little?

Is it wrong to run on the treadmill like Phoebe in the Park?

Is it wrong to realize that, racially, Superman is Irish?

Is it wrong to fall in love on the average of about eight times each season--and twice that in the Summer?

A Trainer?

I had to do another training today. Nerves all night, last night, no appetite this morning. Nervous for the first maybe twenty minutes -- no make that first hour. Finally, got comfortable and sailed through the rest of it...and at the end, with all these evaluations, I find out that I was excellent.


Whatever! I hated the feeling of nervousness and having no appetite and dreading the week before the day before the night before.

It's a nice feeling to know that I'm good at it, but the performance anxiety is not worth the reward of good reviews. Now I'm worried that the good reviews are going to thrust me ahead and make my boss think I should do this more often.

Coincidentally, or not, last night I dreamt that a friend in the Feedback fan club called me up and offered me a job to come back to the Post Office for 135K a year. I woke up with the memory of the dream, and still, lying in the bed, I was thinking "I really like my job that I have now, but I'm going in today to turn in my resignation and I'm going to learn to love the Post Office again."

135K a year??? There are people out there really making that kind of money!! And I do believe I know two of them. But one of them sho' ain't me.

Monday, December 11, 2006


After I posted, and before I responded to comments, I went to the gym. Nothing does an old man good like going to work out the muscles, right? Until, of course, you get surrounded by the flexing, tanned, buff young studs jockeying for the honor of "Most Better Than You" award. So I skipped the weights to avoid the competition, and went to the treadmill/stepper, blasting my Sansa iClone.

And lo, I wound up on the treads for two hours. Freak me out.

I really felt like I was losing my mind on those treadmills. At one point I had to cover my head with my towel because ... well, whatever. I'm just glad that when endorphins are coursing through your system, it isn't that easy to cry.

So, the last most scariest 45 mins of treading was spent listening to a certain Playlist I put together the other night. I was watching "House" at the time, where Hugh Laurie plays a crotchety OLD American doctor trying to solves medical riddles while a patient is dying. If he solves it, the patient is saved. And I thought, hey! I too am the focus of a riddle. Namely it goes like this--"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?"

So I'm going to lay out some clues and see if I can figure it out before I, as my patient, dies. Let's look at my Playlist;

Sade - "Kiss of Life"
Aaliyah - "Miss You"
Roberta Flack - "My Foolish Heart"
Stephanie Mills - "I Never Knew Love Like This Before"
Roberta Flack "Oasis"
Roberta Flack "Only Heaven Can Wait"
Enya "Orinoco Flow"
Chaka Khan "Papillon (aka Hot Butterfly)"
Corinne Bailey Rae - "Put Your Records On"
Santana & Michelle Branch - "The Game of Love"
Vanessa Williams - "Save The Best For Last"
Roberta Flack - "Set The Night To Music"
Carole King "So Far Away"
DeBarge - "Stay With Me"
Carole King - "Sweet Seasons"
Stevie Wonder - "Sweetest Somebody I Know"
India.Arie "The Heart Of The Matter"

That's as far as I got before I decided to leave the gym before I melted down and embarassed myself beyond any possibilty of returning. So ... what have we got here? An eclectic mix for sure. Any common threads in this bunch?

Doctor #1: Ummm... lots of sappy love songs there.

House: Yeah. Get me a barf bag.

Doctor #2: They aren't all love songs.

Doctor #1 : What? Oh, you're right.

House: Oh, yeah. Actually I like "Heart of the Matter". That one is decidedly an anti-love song.

Doctor #3: So is "Hot Butterfly" by Chaka Khan. That one used to rock the block back in the day.

Doctor #2: Back in the day. Yeah. All but three of them were recorded at least ten years ago. Or more.

House: And I don't know who this India-Dot-Arie is, but Don Henley's song is a remake from the 80's? 90's?

Doctor #1: You know, most of them are love songs. Only a few are anti-love songs.

Doctor #2: Well okay. But why would he pepper love songs with anti-love songs?

House: Do your research! Go out there and listen to them!

*Next day*

House: Okay what have we got?

Doctor #2: *sighs* Well ... even though most of them are love songs -- they must be the most depressing sounding love songs I've ever heard.

Doctor #1: What do you mean?

Doctor #2: They were slow! And kind of ... I don't know ... did they all play in minor chords or something?

House: That's it then. He likes listening to slow songs, even when they are love songs. Because love, to him, is sad. These songs, despite the words, mean sadness to him. That's also why the anti-love is there too. Those are the ones that really represent how he feels. "Stay With Me", "Miss You" and "So FarAway" are about how lonely he is. "Only Heaven Can Wait", "Heart Of The Matter" and "Papillon" are about the kinds of love he expects to have. Probably the only kinds of love he's ever known or seen.

Doctor #3: So what about the other ones? "Kiss Of Life", "Never Knew Love Like This..", "My Foolish Heart", "Sweetest Somebody I Know"?

House: The fact that he hasn't just outright killed himself yet means that he still has hope inside there somewhere. But the way those songs play -- they still sound melancholy, almost remorseful. "Kiss of Life" to rescue him. "Never Knew Love" because he's inexperienced and scared. "Foolish Heart" -- well, that's what he's working with and he knows it. It's hard to try to get into a relationship when you can't trust your heart. "Sweetest Somebody" is probably who he's looking for. Maybe "sweet" is all he can handle.

Doctor #1: I see your point. Even "Oasis" and "Set The Night To Music", the successful love songs -- those are both isolated and lonely locations. "Orinoco Flow". A wandering location.
"Save The Best For Last" heartache, pain and confusion before love is achieved.

Doctor #2: And "Put You Records On?" What's that?

House: Whimsy. Escape. It's his way out. That's the only way he survives anything. By running away.

Doctor #3: Okay! So what can we do for him?

House: Do him a favor. Shoot the poor bastard before he learns for himself how overrated this "love" thing really is.

Could You Hear It From Where You Are?

In Tech Support, a new member joined. She beat us all out with our Feedback-worship because she wrote the actual first piece of fan fiction that Matt ever read (according to his e-mail to her), and she interviewed him for her school newspaper. I seriously liked that story of hers and so my fascination began. She's a good writer.

Recently, she joined another gathering of us fans where she had the ability to have her picture put next to her posts. And I lost my mind. She's a black girl!

So I went to digging deeply, feeling my heart coming loose in its moorings. What was I going to do? This girl wrote Feedback fan fiction. She joined a Feedback fan club. She spoke to Matt before any of us did. She is a comicbook geek. She's a writer. Do you see where this is going?

First, let's Hiro back a few days. The webmaster of the other place started a major, highly vocal flirtation/cyber"love" relationship with a fellow fan that had begun to make my teeth ache. I had gone to the fan community to get away from reality and there they were, starting to crowd out my interest with all their sillyness. I controlled myself because I figured, okay, this is humanity--people are going to flirt and DO stuff. They are a pair of extroverts and maybe a little bipolar, just like me, so why should I hate?

So just when I started to begin the healing ... I discovered this new black writer girl.

But wait.

It gets better.

I dug a little deeper and I then discovered one last detail.
wait for it
The new Tech Support member is 16 years old.

I wonder if you heard this heart of mine crack from wherever you're reading this.

I transformed from a hopeful romantic about to learn my lesson about cyberlove into a disgusting old pervert who needs to GET A FREAKING LIFE in a split second. I could be this new member's grandfather. If I were Hugh Hefner or that decrepit old bastard who married Anna Nicole Smith I could dare think about it--BUT ONLY IN ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Feast Your Eyes

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Have Entered The Building

New laptop.

With wireless internet. Tapping someone's router right now while parked on a Manhattan street, waiting for the No Parking time to end so I can guarantee no ticketation.

Wow. I had NO idea how cool this is.

I bought this thing for less than $600 at Best Buy, even after tax.

Very nice.

It'll be a tight month, but Merry Christmas to me!

Beta Blogger, Google, And Major Victory

Very strange. All three of the above items are intersecting my life.

I had to drag my friend, The Grim Jester, kicking and screaming into appreciation of Feedback's audio. I had to remind him that I wrote it and he's my friend and friendship means to support a person, as if I were some kind of friendship-expert, or had the art of friendship perfected or something. When ironically, he was the main contributor in my friendship education in the last few years. But eventually, he came around to listening and enjoying the audio, and he gave me some constructive criticism that I must, in all smugness, admit that I had already addressed in the second script.

Now recall, The Grim Jester was the one who went a little psycho on me when Feedback won the show, as opposed to Major Victory. So wait until he finds out that Chris Watters agreed to work with me on the next audio script, and voice Major Victory.

Wow. And wait until the listening audience finds out.

Oo, and then the rest of them out there.

Because many people were okay with Feedback winning the show and many people loved Major Victory.

I'm going to give those people BOTH.

Yay me!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chicopee, Massachusettes, Come On Down...!

SiteMeter says I got a hit from this town. It stands out in my mind because I went to the Kubert School with a gentleman named Rich LaPierre from Chicopee. Was that you, buddy? (Link provided by the miraculous Google! Sorry, I don't know the Jerry who made the Cartoon Brew site where I found him, but if memory serves, and that link led to a 2006 article, then Rich has been working at Hallmark for at least 20 year--s--*faints*)

Okay, and ALSO? Remember Matt and My and Darker Project's Audio Drama I raved about for a little while?

Well look what a fellow Tech Supportian did with it here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here's A Little Something Else

This would be me at work. On the drive to this site (In Edison, NJ, a good 45 mins from my last job-related appointment) I almost had a great big sob. This was me in my car, shouting, "No! No! NOOO, no no no no!" to prevent it. It worked, too, I'm actually glad to report.

The trigger to this was a dang radio commercial. It was for diamonds, no less. It's a dialogue between a father and son. Little boy talking about what dad's going to get mom for Christmas. He thought she might like a dinosaur. I forgot what else the kid wanted to get her. Each time dad was like, "No buddy, we might like that, but I think Mom might want something different." The conclusion, of course, was for Dad to get Mom some rediculously expensive jewelry to which sonny-boy said, "Mom's my favorite" and Dad goes, "She's mine too."

Say, "CHEEeeeEEESE...!"

But then there it went. The way that father called his son, "Buddy" so many times. How patient he was with the lad. How much he sounded as though he actually liked his child. Not to mention how at ease and peaceful the boy was in the company of his father. How they were together shopping for the favorite girl in their lives. How his father's manly example would mold that boy--determine how he treated women in the future--how it would just help him know how to relate to other guys in a healthy, fraternal way. THAT'S WHAT FATHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO FOR THEIR SONS. THAT'S HOW IT FRIGGIN' WORKS!!!


I'm almost ready to break down right here, and I'm at work and I can't yell at myself to stop it.



I'm good.

Anyway, that's what I missed out on and am longing for now. So instead, I'm going to nurse the relationships I have with my friends. I'm going to try to withhold less and give them a chance to know me a little better. And I'm going to try to be a little less suspicious and be a little more Feedbackian with them. Invite them to dinner because "it doesn't make sense not to". Call them up out of the blue just to say "hi" and keep strengthening the connection between us.

What is happening to me?? Is this what getting old is all about?? Growing sentimental and prone to weep at radio commericials??

Bah, I don't care. My heart needs people and I'm going to give it what it needs.

PLUS! I'm a friend of Matt Atherton's so that's ALL RIGHT THEN!

Feedback Therapy

Yesterday, my department had a corporate training on team-building. The facilitator was a woman who had worked for the organization 20 years ago, and holds the same license I do, with the same degreee I have, and is running a private practice in a nearby, VERY upperclass, town.

She came with the power to motivate. No, I mean the actual superpower.

Team-building workshops are very akin to dentistry, to me. I have to subject myself to the process, and I know it is going to be painful. Always excerizes to pry me out of my shell, make me be social to strangers, force me to interact with other peoples crap and reveal my own. Yuck yuck yuck. Especially when I want nothing better than to hide away in my new office, listen to the radio, and write my novel (with some therapy notes and monthly summaries thrown in for good measure).

But this woman had some things going for her that worked in her favor.

1) She was my age, if not a little older.

2) She had the prettiest blue eyes and the cutest Gillian Anderson overbite smile I've seen in a LONG time.

3) She loved what she was doing and she was good at it.

4) She used the word 'Feedback' on at least four occasions.

These days, I hear or read the word 'Feedback' and I smile. Feedback has been a huge part of redeeming my life this year, as steady readers will know. My thoughts of Matt are always positive and full of hope. When I consider that people like Matt exist, (as opposed to people like me, or people like that restaurant seater over the weekend) I get optimistic about the future of mankind.

So the workshop yesterday was partially group-therapy and partially corporate team-building excerises. She illustrated the power of praising people and giving people ownership in their role on a team. Then she went into the nature of people and our tendency to lay blame, and then offered solutions on how to counteract that tendency within ourselves and also demonstrated the benefits we'll receive when we opt for being positive and forgiving instead of accusatory and negative. Her manner was patient and clear, with plenty of Agent Scully smiles, and she said used the word Feedback a few times.

So I promptly fell in love with her.

I thought to myself, if I ever met a woman like her in any other setting than this, I would propose to her within an hour. I would fight Hell to keep a woman like that in my life. Because in my mind, this was a new breed of human, of which I also believe Matt Atherton is one of. These are the superheroes of our reality. These are the people that are set apart from us mere mortals by their outlooks on life, and their inner abilities to show us how much better we can be as a people. They live examples of positivity and hope. They make you feel good just by being alive on the planet.

And with an additional nod to The Universe, (whom I am more than comfortable calling by the name of 'God', and happy birthday to Your Son, BTW), anytime someone says, or has written the word 'Feedback', I now get a joyful re-awareness of these types of superheroes in our world, only this one is wrapped up in a big visual package of reflective black and metallic blue. Yesterday I was caught in a recursive loop of positive Feedback and I was.



That's why I end my posts with "I'm a friend of Matt Atherton's, so that's all right then," because it's true.

It really is all right, then.

Go get 'em Feedback!