Creating A New Reality

6 Aug

Let me take you back to Tacoma, Washington, 1960.  I was twelve years old when I received a new transistor radio for Christmas.  For those of you who are far too young to know what I’m talking about, a transistor radio was about the size of a cell phone, a little bulkier, and it ran on batteries.  It was a big thing back in 1960. It meant I could listen to music while riding my bike and, in my case, I could take it to bed with me and listen to my favorite baseball team, the Tacoma Giants, play games long after my bedtime without my parents knowing it.  Sneaky little bugger I was.

The play-by-play announcer for the Giants was a man by the name of Don Hill, and I loved listening to his broadcasts.  Like any good sports announcer, he made the game come alive, giving the listener a great experience without having to actually attend the game.

Neither the Giants nor the radio station, KTAC, could afford to send a radio announcer to “away” games, places like Portland or Hawaii or Sacramento, so Don and his wife would “call” the game from the KTAC radio studio.  Gail would be on the phone with some person at the Hawaii game, that person would tell her every pitch and all the action, and Gail would relay that information, on notes, to her husband, who would then call the game as if he was seeing it.  He would clap two pieces of wood together to imitate the sound of the bat hitting the ball.  He had “canned” crowd noises so it sounded like the crowd was really into the game.  You could hear vendors yelling out “Peanuts, popcorn, cold drinks,” and I swear, even though we knew Don was not in Hawaii, it was as if he was.

Great memories!

Which got me thinking, the other day while out walking the dogs, that Don Hill’s call of the game was similar to what we do as fiction writers.  We create a reality out of practically nothing and, if we do a really good job of it, people will feel like they are actually experiencing the action with the characters.

Just something to think about on this lazy summer day.

Be well, be safe, and do all things with love.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

38 Responses to “Creating A New Reality”

  1. Janine Huldie August 6, 2020 at 2:17 pm #

    Just stopping in very quickly before I get to work here. We are on day 3 of no power here after Tropical Storm Isaias hot the other day. But just wanted to let you know we are safe and at my in-laws using their power and WiFi during the day at least. Hoping you are doing well this week and wishing you a wonderful rest of your week now, Bill.

    • Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 3:19 pm #

      I was thinking about you last night, Janine, while watching the news, hoping you and your family were okay. I figured the power and internet were down. So happy you are okay. Thanks for letting your old friend know. Great news!

  2. dogs4everr August 6, 2020 at 3:50 pm #

    What a wonderful memory!

    • Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 4:08 pm #

      Thank you! You get to be my age, memories are a great comfort.

  3. Susan Zutautas August 6, 2020 at 4:09 pm #

    I remember my first transistor radio … I loved it.
    I used to listen to baseball and hockey games on the radio with my grandfather at the kitchen table. Thanks so much, Bill for bringing that memory back to me today.

    • Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm #

      Susan, that radio was one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. I carried it with me constantly for three or four years. I’m glad you enjoyed this memory. Thanks for being here. Stay safe, my friend.

  4. marlenebertrand August 6, 2020 at 6:44 pm #

    I think the reason I enjoy reading is because a good writer, such as you, can transport me to anywhere but where I am sitting. I get to travel to far away places for just the price of a book. It is a great way to travel.

    • Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 10:30 pm #

      And it’s a lot less expensive, Marlene! lol Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend.

  5. Lori Colbo August 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm #

    You’re taking me down memory lane. I remember my first little radio. Putting it under my pillow at night or just sitting alone Somewhere listening to it. I kind of wish we still had them.

    • Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 10:29 pm #

      I guess our smart phones are kind of like it, Lori, but in my mind not even close.

  6. 1authorcygnetbrown August 6, 2020 at 9:24 pm #

    I was thinking about something similar the other day when I realized that when I saw one of my fiction scenes, I saw it completely and then I would go through the scene and write down how I was seeing it. I would then throw in the characters’ sensory and emotional responses. I do this not only for the POV characters, but for the other characters in the scene as well. Then I would see the scene including how other characters reacted through the eyes of the POV character.

  7. Billybuc August 6, 2020 at 10:28 pm #

    Great approach, Donna! Thanks for sharing that with all of us. I love it!

  8. nightlake August 7, 2020 at 1:44 am #

    True, a good writer can take us anywhere. There are books we don’t want to put down at all whereas we force ourselves to read some books, wishing the ordeal would come to an end soon:)

    • Billybuc August 7, 2020 at 1:28 pm #

      Nightlake, spoken like a true reader. I’ve actually purchased books I couldn’t finish because the process was just too painful. 🙂 Wishing you a happy weekend!

  9. divalounger August 7, 2020 at 3:18 pm #

    Yup-writing is wonderful in the way that you just pull it out of the air–and on the other end, the reader recreates their version –it is an amazing relationship–cheers to you this Friday Bill!

    • Billybuc August 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm #

      And cheers to you, Audrey, on this Friday morning. I know this for sure: your imagination and vision of the world is amazing!

  10. Manatita Hutchinson August 7, 2020 at 3:29 pm #

    Yes, strange how thoughts can come to us out of the blue. The weather can inspire them indeed!

    Well, it’s pretty hot here as well. Apparently the hottest day so far. What am I thinking about? I’m awaiting a poetry slam!

    I did a piece on John Lewis and yesterday’s theme was Technology. So I wove it into Information Systems and the current Covid-19 fanfare, adding some good old-fashioned Bill Holland humour and the aesthetic flair of the Lantern Carrier. Powerful combination, eh? Stay Blessed!

    • Billybuc August 7, 2020 at 3:33 pm #

      Powerful indeed, Manatita. I am fascinated by how the mind works, how we draw inspiration out of the most “mundane” things in life. It’s pretty remarkable, is it not?

      Thank you always, my friend. Stay cool and stay safe!

  11. manatita Hutchinson The August 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm #

    Remarkable, yes.

    In all good faith, you came straight to my mind today. Two hours or so ago, I was having a Costa’s coffee and reading a book by the mystic Rumi. Straight away, I noticed the beauty of the writing style and thought of you. I immediately looked at the cover and the name of the Author is James Cowan.

    Probably an Englishman, as the book is published by Watkins, but they also have a branch in the U.S. Peace.

    • Billybuc August 7, 2020 at 4:47 pm #

      Thank you my friend! I am honored and humbled. I will look that gentleman up and see what he’s all about.

      Again, peace and blessings!

  12. My Very Own Writing Coach August 7, 2020 at 3:46 pm #

    What a lovely trip down memory Lane, Bill. A few of us can still remember. Here in the east, we had Bob Prince, every colorful announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. That was back in the day when they didn’t lose 70% of their games. Those days are gone. World Series? What’s that?

    • Billybuc August 8, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

      William, at least your team has been to the World Series. I’m a Mariners fan. Sigh! Enough said about baseball. lol Thank you sir!

  13. Lawrence Hebb August 7, 2020 at 9:28 pm #

    This post brought back a few memories for me. Sitting in my bedroom listening to the radio broadcasting the Soccer matches!
    My local team was actually the biggest name in the sport (Manchester United) and most of the home games I would be there, in the stands cheering them on, but the away games was a different story.
    The BBC used to broadcast the second half of matches on Saturday afternoons and it was just as if you were there.

    • Billybuc August 8, 2020 at 2:25 pm #

      Lawrence, evidently there were a lot of us listening to those tiny noise boxes back then. Great memories for all of us, and I find that very cool. Thanks for your memory.

  14. Andrea Stephenson August 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm #

    I was just thinking yesterday about how easy it now is to listen to any song you want to on the internet, remembering days when I used to tape the pop charts every Sunday on a cassette from the radio….

    • Billybuc August 10, 2020 at 1:47 pm #

      Exactly, Andrea! I actually loved the process of capturing music back in the day. Today it seems too easy, and that means less appreciation for the process, if that makes sense.

  15. Subrata Mukherjee August 11, 2020 at 8:04 am #

    A realistic application 👍

  16. Damyanti Biswas August 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm #

    Nostalgia! Mix Tapes!

    • Billybuc August 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm #

      Yes, Damyanti, hours spent mixing just the right combination of music. Time well-spent!

  17. Sarah Potter Writes August 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm #

    I like that — about fiction writers “creating a reality out of practically nothing” 🙂 I had my first transistor radio in the latter part of the 1960s, as well as a small portable record player on which I played my 45 rpm vinyl records until they wore out. I still love the look of all those gadgets that were so hip then, but have become vintage collectables now. Thanks for taking me on an excursion down memory lane, dear Bill. Sending you hugs from across the Pond.

    • Billybuc August 27, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

      Thank you for the memories, Sarah! I was the only one on our floor at college who had a record player. Our room in the dormitory was the hub of action for the first couple months. Great memories!

      I hope this finds you well. Come visit soon and we’ll have a cuppa and visit as friends do.

      • Sarah Potter Writes August 28, 2020 at 11:16 am #

        Likewise at my boarding school — I was the only girl with a record player on my floor! Also, I was the one who drew pencil portraits of everyone’s favourite pop and film stars, as well as filling exercise books with popstar romances and science fiction romances instead of doing much work. Such things kept me out of trouble with my fellow pupils (and even the prefects), but not out of trouble with some of the teachers. I’m sure the pair of us have many, many stories to regale each other with, over a cuppa 🙂 Let’s see if we can arrange something for sometime next week.

      • Billybuc August 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm #

        I will check my schedule, Sarah, and get back to you about it. lol

  18. Sue Dreamwalker September 2, 2020 at 8:37 pm #

    Wonderful memories, and I remember going to buy my first transistor radio too… I was 16 I had been working for a year ( we left school aged 15 back then.. 🙂 lol…. And I would tune into Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg… to hear all the latest pop records.. 🙂 I remember I would have to hang the radio high up at the top of our bedroom window I shared with three sisters.. 🙂 to get a good reception.. Some Happy Memories you brought back Bill thank you 🙂

    • Billybuc September 2, 2020 at 9:30 pm #

      Reception was definitely a problem with those early transistor radios. I had to have mine as close to the window as possible so as not to miss anything. 🙂 Great memories for sure. Thank you for sharing yours. I hope you are well!

      • Sue Dreamwalker September 2, 2020 at 9:34 pm #

        Thank you Bill we are both well thank you, and yes mine had a leather outer case did yours?? I was so proud of that little transistor and it lasted for years.. 🙂 And I am sure the batteries lasted longer back in those days too .. 🙂

      • Billybuc September 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm #

        I don’t remember the case, Sue! I do remember it rarely left my coat pocket during the day. I was never far from my rock n roll.

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