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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whoa, I'm on the radio?!

Among my failed dreams, I never did get to be a rock star, but at least I get to hear myself on the radio. Sort of.  An essay of mine, "An Old Fashioned Love Song," just aired on Lit 103.3, "Fiction for the Ears." It's on Valley Free Radio out of Northampton, MA, and available as a downloadable podcast. Alan Vogel reads.

This is a poignant experience for me on several levels. I went to college out in the Pioneer Valley (Hampshire College), and so, as Alan Vogel puts it in his introduction to the piece, I am a former resident, of sorts. Also, this is a parenting essay, about a moment in my young son's life that is now passing, so it's like having a memory time capsule. I wrote it six months ago and it already feels like a fading photograph.

It's a surreal experience to hear someone else read my words, especially since this is a first-person work of creative nonfiction. This also was not an essay originally written to be read. I never dreamed of sending it to a radio show until my friend Deborah Vlock had a story read there and I realized what a great format this was. Alan Vogel handles my essay with great sensitivity, and has a golden radio voice. I'm so pleased with the result. I hope you'll check out my piece on the air, as well as Alan Vogel's fantastic show; his programming changes monthly.

It seems there are an increasing number of venues for audio fiction. Is this something that will help to keep short fiction and essays alive as the number of print journals decreases? I wonder.

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