So every once in a while, I host a meetup with a group I call The Heart City Story Club. It's my attempt to get local storytellers together so that we can network, bounce ideas from each other, learn from each other, and so on. I usually get a handful of folks together at Sarah's Coffee House in Hartford for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. It's a bit chaotic and disorganized on my part, but it seems to work once in a while.
At this afternoon's meetup, I somehow mentioned the fact that I may have pissed of Ira Glass with my recent blog post on how I analyzed the intros to a few recent episodes of This American Life. I posted said blog post on the Northeast Storytellers Facebook page, and I believe I used the word "formulaic" in the post. I was hoping to spark a bit of discussion on story structure. I chose not to also post on the more-popular NYC Storytelling Facebook page, as I knew at least one TAL staffer is a member there.
Two days later, TAL producer Seth Lind posts on the This American Life Facebook feed a screenshot of an email where Glass jokes about writing the same intro over and over. And so I immediately wonder -- is someone over at TAL on Northeast Storytelling, and did they point Ira to it, and did Ira get miffed or amused at it?
Over the past week or so, I've "somehow" told a few friends about this, because, hey, the idea that someone so legendary actually paid attention to something I posted is too good to not connect the imaginary dots over. So, of course I "somehow" told the gang today at the Heart City Story Club about it. How could I not?
The key here, though, is that I've no idea if this far-fetched chain of events is true. I'm sure Ira Glass has far more important writers out there to read who have come up with the same thoughts I've come up with. I direct you, dear reader, to Mark Twain's concept of mental telegraphy to see how multiple people can come up with the same thought at the same time.
And so, my friend Aaron suggested that I find out once and for all if it's true. "Why don't you ask the guy?" Now that seems reasonable, am I right? Just email Ira Glass to ask if he read my blog post. I decided later this evening that I would instead write Seth Lind a note to see, considering it was his post on the TAL Facebook page.
I only got as far as opening an email window and putting in Seth's email address before I stopped my self. "Excuse me, but I'm a nobody. Did the biggest name in radio for the last twenty years read my crappy blog post and comment on it?" I had visions of delusion circling my head. I didn't want to appear the crazy fan that I know I must be. And so, I closed the email window without sending.
That was about twenty minutes ago as I write this, and I'm regretting it already. I regret it because I do this sort of thing a lot. I'll stop myself before acting like a fool. You know, the safe route. I'm guilty of this with Random Waves. My whole reason for starting this podcast was to create this one story on this one shrine in Hartford. One man is at the center of the story, and I know how to find him. I've got his Facebook page, though he does only speak Spanish. However, I know multiple people that would be happy to translate for me. And yet, Ive hesitated for at least a month now. Why? Because I'm afraid of getting his door slammed in my face. I'm afraid of being foolish. Of having people see me being a fool. So the episode doesn't get worked on.
Those sorts of thoughts plagued me on many an adventure that never panned out. But I very much want to end that cycle! I can at least hope that writing that out loud, as it were, will be a good step in that direction.
Who knows, I may write Seth Lind after all.