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, June 05, 2007

Why ... Back In MY Day ...

... we didn't have no "podcasts!"

I say this because of the age-old radio program I'm currently listening to, and how it intersects with my current creative life.

I may have started listening to Hour Of The Wolf, on WBAI-FM, 99.5 in New York City, back in the 80's. When I listened to it then, it was companioned with the Golden Age of Radio, and both of them presented action/adventure/science fiction stories to me in audio form. These two shows both sustained my mind and kept my creative fires lit. And in hindsight, it gave me another address tucked away in my brain that I was able to tap to HUGE advantage when I met My Hero and wanted to expand on his mythos.

And speaking of hindsight, and present effect, back in the eighties I now recall that "meeting my hero" did not begin with My Hero. It was this very show, Hour/Wolf where I first met a hero. WBAI held/holds fundraiser a few times a year to stay on the air. They are madly subversive leftist radio who hates all things establishment, and so broadcasts publicly due to donor moneys and not corporate sponsorship. At every fundraiser, they call for volunteers to come to the station to answer the phones. So one mad morning, I volunteered to answer phones during Jim Freund's hour--the host of Hour/Wolf. I met him then. Afterwards, I would call into the show everyong once in a while. Then one specific broadcast, he mentioned comicbooks and the X-Men, and I dropped into his ear how cool it would be if he could interview Chris Claremont, who was writing the stories of the X-Men at the time. I gushed enough about Claremont that Jim was convinced, and he was ready to make the invite. But he did something REALLY unusual. He invited me to come along to the studio when he did the interview.


And yes, I most certainly did go. The host of Golden Age of Radio ran the nighttime elevator and let me up into the building, and then Jim let me into the studio, and there was Chris Claremont. I was too backward and shy to actually say anything on the air, which is probably why he invited me to help him, but I wimped out. But this was a budding new relationship back then. I had visited the studio perhaps once or twice after that. During one of those, I acted as runner for author Jack Womack, (around the time that this book was published)--I went to get him at a diner and brought him to the studio because it was his first time being interviewed there, and he needed the escort.

My relationship with Jim was cut short when my mother grew ill and I went out to Missouri in a whirlwind of 'religious epiphany.' I did give my goodbyes to him, but I stopped communication completely.

Well, Jim has continued to go strong since then. And now, I've come back into the creative fold as a creator, and not just a fan. And I'm realizing that I am actually bringing stuff to the table when I meet my heroes. They find something about me that makes them want to keep me around.

And I'm really grateful and humbled by that realization. It seems obvious to my therapist (in today's session) but I hadn't got it. I owe that to my beatdown self-esteem.

Anyway, listening to the May 5 broadcast of Hour/Wolf, I heard several writers give their bios as members of a writers' group. One of them had Escape Pod buy one of their stories and broadcast it. That made the big juicy intersection for me.

The show I've been listening to for twenty years, is trafficking with the internet medium that I've been listening to for only the last few years. That means Jim, like myself, is absorbing and using the new medium of the art.

Which makes me want to reconnect with Jim. Of course, I have things my work that I want to introduce to him because he runs a live radio show about science fiction and I could get some precious airtime, but I actually want Jim to know me again. I want to show him my journey. Whatever he saw in me back then, I want to find out if he could appreciate what I've become now.

So, that's what I'm going to endeavor to do.

You heard it here first.


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