Having Our Say: Radio Essays

janwoods

I don’t have many long-term readers still around these days, but perhaps a few will remember back to 2002, the year that the daily writing became a necessary habit. That first year of writing was very much about finding my stories and getting them down “on paper”–as a way of grounding myself in an uncertain present, and for my kids. My grandmother had just died, and I realized I didn’t know her stories.

The first radio essay I recorded at WVTF, Roanoke’s NPR station (in the studio you see on the web site at the link below)  was a true family tale I titled “Like a Dog” (that featured my grandmother). It is now in Slow Road Home. With a history of blogging and writing for the 3 minute essay, my writer’s rhythm of short topical pieces has pretty much been established. While I’ve recorded close to 30 essays, I haven’t done one recently since the  station discontinued the regular, predictable Friday time slot for them.

But one will air today. Monday, I understand, has become the new, semi-regular time slot–at 35 after the hour of 5, 6, 7, or 8–twice during the morning at two of those times. I’m sure I’ll miss it, and others will hear it by chance.

But you can hear the essay from the new book (without intro or byline) available on the web site. This one is about my recent acquiescence to gravity and the woodlot physics of our later years–with a take-home message for our changing relationship with the planet and each other. I was puzzled with how they used the sound clips I sent (of chain saw and creek)–which I anticipated being background during the intro, but production wasn’t my call.

Also recommended: scroll down the page and find my friend Jenny Chapman’s celebration of grand-parenthood. You’ll like it.

Okay. Enough blogging. I’m closing the iron door behind me, back in the cell. I think my sentence is about to be over, but there will be a year of enjoyable community service to follow–with Friends of Libraries, civic orgs, book fairs under big tents on various main streets and parks, that sort of thing. But today, I’m bustin’ up rocks with the sledge hammer, stuck in the Big House doing my time.

5 thoughts on “Having Our Say: Radio Essays”

  1. HEY FRED:

    YES, I DID MISS THE THE RADIO ESSAY THIS AM…I ASSUME YOU MEANT AM FOR ALL TIMES.

    I WILL LISTEN TO THE FILE WHEN I GET HOME THIS PM. CAN’T GET TO IT FROM WORK BECAUSE OF FW.

    WHEN EXACTLY WILL YOU BE IN DOWNTOWN FLOYD, UNDER A TENT?
    IS THAT IN SEPTEMBER?

    KEEP BUSTING UP THOSE ROCKS, BECAUSE WE REALLY ENJOY THE CHUNKS OF STORIES, PHOTOS, ETC, THAT YOU FLING OUT TO US…..

    MARK

  2. Careful with that sledge…If you break up to many of those rocks the creek will lose it’s voice.

    Nice essay…now added to my Virginia Radio Essay Collection of mp3s.

  3. You wrote, “I don’t have many long-term readers still around these days…” and I wonder how you can tell. I’ve not commented but once or twice over the years. But I read you every day. I’m still here, and still loving it.

  4. Good point, Earthworm. I sense there may be invisible readers out there, and even that helps, but not like once upon a time when I didn’t have to divine the presence of readers several steps removed by rss readers and the like. Thanks for de-lurking, and for staying close to Fragments.

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