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Monday 5.23.05: What's interesting is...

I am back to noodling ideas for another radio essay. Over on Transom.Org, Alex Blumberg provides his manifesto for radio stories:

...don’t choose a story just because it sounds like a story you’ve heard before. In fact, just the opposite. Choose a story because it’s surprising... I’ve developed a mathematical test to tell whether you’re on the right track. It’s called the “and what’s interesting” test. You simply tell someone about the story you’re doing, adhering to a very strict formula: “I’m doing a story about X. And what’s interesting about it is Y.”

So I started a list:

Story on ebay selling: What's interesting is how it became less about making an easy profit and more of a meditation on the spirit in things.

Story on learning to fish: What's interesting is how it became less about gear and adventure and more about fish invading my dreams and becoming a symbol for your heart's desire -- what's uncontrollable, just beyond your reach. Foul hooking - this passage from one of my essays sticks with me:

I drove away thinking about that and about those moments when the fish becomes a symbol for your heart’s desire… so close… There in the unsupervised backwaters of your deepest passions, your frustration demands a short-cut. You look down at the indifferent trout and it becomes the lover who won’t call, the spouse who turns away, the best-friend who hangs out with someone new. You obsess over it – the loss of control is intolerable – you’ll show that beast who’s boss! You jerk the line. Gotcha! I may be new to fishing but I recognize that moment. It’s the teary-eyed guilt trip, the handy short-cut when your lover, your spouse, your friend is indifferent to the color of your bait, the spin of your lure, the deftness of your presentation. Turn on the tears. Foul hook.

Story about early retirement: What's interesting is the emergence of the "expatriate" theme. And the question about whether it's possible to make new friends after the age of 50.

Story on collecting beads: What's surprising is... what - how they take my mind traveling?

Okay, enough cogitating for now...







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