Friday, March 29, 2013
I love this quote from author Jodi Picoult, "I've always called writing successful schizophrenia. I get paid to hear those voices." So is the business of Radio! For thirty four years my on the air performance has been the physical act of turning invisible voices into objects that move wandering people. Through lecturing I'm given the incredible opportunity to meet the next level of Radio players vowing to reinvent the two speaker stage. In every gathering there's always a cast of vocal grinders that have been told, "You should do radio!" Really? Does the world think the voice in a Radio person's head is cut from a sack of gravel that sounds like its sucked down three gallons of whiskey ten minutes ago followed by three packs of cigarettes? Walking up to a Radio person using a fake Radio voice is like a New Yorker trying to pull off a Southern accent. I'm currently in the center of a two month tour featuring sixteen Radio Broadcasting lectures. The goal is to pop open the imagination of the future talker. To rid their mind and body of what they've been trained to believe. It's a trick I used while traveling the Barnes and Noble writing circuit for nearly three years. Tell me what you think it's supposed to be like. Dipping your dreams in a touch of unflavored chocolate. The real process of growth takes place when what you are livin is what you envision. Getting to know the first voice is a discovery! Radio or writing... without that voice you're just another Howard Stern copy. As an elementary/middle school writer. I needed a stage. I found it in radio. At the ripe old age of fourteen. The problem with Radio. The voice changes all the time but the on-air performance sounds just like it did ten years ago. The writing voice is given permission to sprout new leaves. What I hear today could be the layout of a new character. I hear the voice but never see the face. It's my job as the writer to give him, her or it a life to live. Jodi Picoult says, "Characters seem to pick their own paths. They have an agenda that I as the writer never know. Until the conversation or plot begins inching its way across the typed page." I'm not like most writers that demand a private layout for word dumping. My favorite place to write books is inside a Radio station studio. There's an energy present. Vibrantly available for anyone to tap into. Use it wrong. The next step is a collection of mood swings incapable of keeping your mouth shut. Writing voices want to be heard. They'll piss you off to point of knocking your head up against the wall. They'll embrace you to tears. Pick you up. Tip you over. Then spend the rest of the night laughing about it. Jodi Picoult claims to know the characters of her books better than anyone else. She's emotionally invested in them. My first wife was the same way. She'd be introduced to a new character in her writing and for weeks that person would be invited to dinner, take a Sunday bath and have popcorn and ice cream on Wednesdays. Everything we lived was based on how that character came to her in the book and each scene was in fact something we had lived. I'm just glad she didn't write murder mysteries. How do you know if you have a writing voice? Two questions: Were you born on the planet earth? Do you wonder, wish, fear, feel, fool around with or fuss at yourself when nobody is watching. You have a voice. Only you can give it a stage. What's stopping you? Oh that's right... Other people's opinions. The best way around that is an itty bitty Arroe-ism I developed a couple of decades back. In a very casual situation. In front of family or friends. In the core of a great conversation. I softly say, "If you do anything that might bring injury to my creative self. The next time this event takes place I'm gonna make so much noise that they'll be forced to invite me to go home first. That's ok because you'll be stuck having to explain."
Posted by Arroe at 11:33 AM
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Brave but stupid. Fun but still too much toward the invisible. No matter what I write. How it's presented. The end result of nearly everything punched into the well worn nubs of a computer keyboard is another person's opinion.
I'm a sucker for it. Art gallery shows in cities where I couldn't defend or better sell. Radio shows controlled by nationally known consultants and brilliant programmers spouting, "Do it this way. Now try this. I know what I said but let's twist it again then again."
Often described as constructive criticism; calling a spade a spade...the expression is still an opinion.
I've decided to change the name of my Blog from Blah Blah Radio to Scrambled Eggs. Yeah... kind of sort of after my new book of the same title. The more pages that seep from these fingertips the less radio plays in the multitudes of performances I'm required to put on. Radio is 1/1000th of who I am. It doesn't deserve to infect the flow of oil scooting through my engine. It's just an envelope connected to a hundred thousand more.
Which is why as a writer I've pushed myself toward separating the Blogs. Instead of crunching spiritual speak next to Rock Jock talk. Why not give the interviewer his own envelope? The writer acts like a teenager so it's time to give him his own room.
It's a test. A view of where readers are and how they move. I'm searching for something that may not exist but when I find it. I'll do everything within my writing power to share it.
I host five Blogs.
1. Unplugged And Totally Uncut
2. Connecting Road: The Preacher And The Poet
3. Rock Jock Talk
4. Scrambled Eggs
And one that's totally anonymous. The authors identity isn't important.
It's not ego! I'm a Broadcaster. Rarely if ever do you find Hip Hop on a Country station.
I hosted a five hour lecture this past Monday. A huge room blessed with performers claiming to have been personally called by the Radio Gods, "Love ya mean it but your energy and wild imagination is needed on the radio."
I love hearing their stories! No two Broadcasters come from the same mold. Each journey has been shaped by a passion. It could be a brilliant play on a football field to a guitar riff that refuses to cut free of your desire to be. Real people conditioned to believe they're the answer for Talk Radio. Shy peeps with no switch to crank up their vocal strength whisper, "I don't know what I want to be."
After each story. I stood there carefully trying to come up with a leverage.
Motivate. Connect. Leverage. I live it. I breathe it. To help. To fine tune. To blend, mix and shake up.
Instead of saying, "You are brilliant! You're going to be stars! I will hire you tomorrow!"
Nope.... I chose to put the writer ahead of all things, "Are any of you Blogging yet? The new age of Broadcasting is connecting. Radio and TV motivate. As a Broadcaster in a community that's chosen to support you...you've got to have leverage. You have to write every day. Find your listener. Know who is watching. Live through their experiences. Get the attention off you and figure out what the hourly change in language is."
Not even a golf clap. No dull roar. Mumble. Snicker or someone wanting to take a break.
"Millions of people have been convinced that radio and television are where they need to be. Yet top dog researchers and satellite addicted music nuts have labeled the industry dead. Those bastards can still be reached. Through your writing. It's still Broadcasting!"
I challenged them to begin a Blog. Share your story! Talk to the 999,999 other people trying to do what you've set out to become.
Not even a golf clap. No dull roar. Mumble. Snicker or someone wanting to take a break.
No matter what I write. How it's presented. The end result of nearly everything punched into the well worn nubs of a computer keyboard is another person's opinion. I'm a sucker for it.
It was once neatly placed in boxes in Montana. Until the day I had ten minutes to race to the attic of my parents house and stuff as much as I could get into a suitcase til overflowing.
I'm convinced that this is what it looks like inside a computer's memory system a wishful terabyte wide.
Posted by Arroe at 5:09 AM
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Writing daily was once my secret thing. To be free to release was like breathing underwater. Once free from writing I’d quickly run to hide what had spilled from my fingertips. Only to realize. Nobody knew what I was speaking of. I’ve often been labeled quirky. They think I’m weird so I set out to prove it. Writing is music so I made it. Writing is my daily blank canvas so I painted then quickly sold the works to raise money for nonprofit organizations. Writing helps radio and television commercials move people you’ll never meet. Writing generates huge pictures in my mind that I can never find enough words to explain. Writing connects me to the four hundred thousand voices that keep me awake at two in the morning. How could I keep this from anyone? So I stopped hiding it. Only to learn people still think I’m a freak. More so now that I’m open. My new book Scrambled Eggs. The vow is to write it in my language. To give away the accent that lives in the core of a soul that enjoys staring at me in the bathroom mirror. Chuckle, cry, hold onto, massage and have compassion for and against…I’ve never felt so much emotion while writing this. Tiny bits of paragraphs have been given to friends. Silently they sit far from a chapter of let’s pretend. Holy Mother of God they have no problem expressing, “You’re a freak! You write in ways that make me think and I don’t have time for that.” Only one has heard me share the sentences in length. One has taken the time to listen to how I separate thought from destination. One bravely sits in a room to hear the artist open his writing point of view. I shut them off this week. It’s not fair to the other readers forced to think without hearing my voice speak. I know the punctuation. I know where to breathe. I know the value of what I don’t pretend to release. Readers are stuck trying to figure out the accent of my language. To which I vowed, “I must remain for the first time true to who I am while writing.” The anger and pain grew instantly from the one that chose to listen. How dare I keep from them the story! So hurt I was that they were hurt. Then another friend said to me, “Have them read it to you. So you can hear your readers think. So the voices that come to them when your words appear have a place to escape. Listen to their take. Study how they handle your word shapes. You could very well scream, “I am such a freak!” But it doesn’t matter. This book. This is the one I vowed to keep in the accent in the way my fingertips speak.
Posted by Arroe at 4:36 AM
Friday, March 8, 2013
I recently spent some time interviewing nationally recognized comedian Jim Norton. First question out of the box, "How much longer before real writers of comedy grab hold of nightly sitcoms?" Final question, "What goes through a group of comedians minds backstage before being called out?" Face Book and Twitter have turned the art of individualized writing and expression into avenues of bitching. It's totally human to be attracted! Without having to fork out four bucks for a People Magazine...you've got something to compare your life and style too. The problem with turning your writing habits into a "product" is a serious lack of willingness to invite others to the party. Collaborating has always been the key to success. I love Michael Jordon but even he knows it took the "entire" team to make him the greatest player on earth. Bon Jovi is the collaboration of Jon and Richie Sambora. The group Boston wasn't really a group. It was the dou of Tom Sholtz and Brad Delp. Author Mary Karr wouldn't have made it to HBO without agreeing to a screenplay collaboration. Her recent teaming up with Country Music great Rodney Crowell opened her poetic soul to a newer wave of impression. My first six books were written by me. Edited by employees. My current adventure "Scrambled Eggs" is being written differently. A less ego, more available to speak about, share with, listen to your views approach. While still having the writer's courage of saying, "Hmmmm let me digest the constructive criticism and get back to you." Mary Karr's wisdom to writers is simple: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail better. As much as you want to believe it's an old fashioned date with setting yourself up for failure. I find myself agreeing with her honest, ego-less, available approach. In the world of advertising. The most difficult part of getting the message to move people isn't the use of vocal inflection but rather the construction of better sentences. The advertising world is currently controlled by clients that have no clue how to reach an invisible audience. I would never walk into a restaurant and expect to cook my own meal. Advertisers are allowed to control what is and isn't commercial copy. Commercial copy without leadership is a serious waste of money. Mary goes on to explain, "Most bad writers are very confident." That's an eye opener. Or is it? How long does it take you to drop a Radio station from its dial position? How many books have you read lately whose chapters are shorter? Come with titles that act as stopping points? Feature less depth and more Face Book comparison? This time around. Being a Daily Blogger plays a major role in how my new book Scrambled Eggs will be delivered to readers. It's a collaboration of everybody I am. The poet, producer, musician, copywriter, blogger, interviewer, on-air radio talent and guy who thinks too much in heavy amounts of horrible rush hour traffic. And believe it or not... we are all getting along. I have the courage to convey to a business owner, "Hey... how long does it take you to tune out of a Radio commercial?" Their reply changes the surface of their game plan toward advertising success. Radio sales reps don't like me because of my passion to put the writer ahead of all things created. Now back to the original paragraph of this entry: Nationally recognized comedian Jim Norton was asked, "How much longer before real writers of comedy grab hold of nightly sitcoms?" His reply, "I can't write drama." To which I responded, "I've seen you on stage. You have an incredible way of pulling people too you. That's a full understanding of how drama works." Final question, "What goes through a group of comedians minds backstage before being called out?" They pee... The photo featured is my writing hand. This collaboration with a writing instrument has put words in the eyes of readers in Russia, Korea, France, Butte, Montana and on the flatness of my Radio station computer screen. As for writing better Radio commercials? Accept the idea that 98.3% of what is being offered to clients will be a revision. What you know as a communicator is a gamble to those purchasing time. For there to be better Radio commercials the writer needs to begin the journey of building a relationship of trust with the owners of business willing to sacrifice money for sound.
Posted by Arroe at 5:11 AM
Friday, March 1, 2013
Sebastian Junger is the fingertips behind the book and movie Perfect Storm. His goal is to try and be completely disinterested in what he thinks people will like. "I like writing for myself. I want to learn about the world and writing is the way to do it." You might agree to disagree with his writing style. It works. For him. Being yourself is the key to finding success through writing. No matter how you bring words to the surface; the physical delivery makes you James Bond. Mountains are made to be broken. Climb it. Move through it. Race to the right or left to get around it. To just sit down and give up... I'll accept that. I see it every day in Radio. Hear about it all the time from friends and co-writers claiming, "I no longer feel the need to express through pen meeting paper." Sebastian Junger likes to put waves in motion. To do so... You need to figure out how waves work. In my new book Scrambled Eggs the goal has been to stay 100% away from already written autobiographies, newspaper articles and other shapes of media. The entire concept of the story is: What if? As a writer I've challenged myself to take an extremely well known person and slip them inside an envelope of: This could've happened. But it has to be shared in a way that doesn't preach or come across as a historic narrative. Character development is based on Sebastian Junger's suggestion of writing for myself. I've always been a Poet. My first six publications had to be edited for simplicity. Part of the reason why it took Halloween 78 thirty four years to publish was because in 2002 I rewrote the book through methods of Poetic delivery. The editor hated me for it. The entire book had to be rewritten and made crazy simple. My first published book One Man's 1.021 Thoughts was raw with language. The publisher shot it down. Five rewrites were put into play. Every curse word had to be ripped from the core of honesty. Scrambled Eggs is the way I want my books to read. My vision is that of a reader sitting on the toilet bawling their eyes out over something that didn't happen. But what if?
Posted by Arroe at 2:31 PM