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Creative Problem-Solving (and extended absence greeting)

November 24, 2010

problem.jpegA few days ago I exchanged email with a friend who works in the arts media landscape. I asked him how he was doing. "Can't complain. My life is a process of creative problem-solving," he responded.

I realized that what he said pretty much describes my life. (Then again, when it comes down to it, the sentiment could be applied to just about anyone in any field trying to make his or her way in the world.)

It's been a couple of days of intense creative problem solving for me, anyway. It all began on Monday afternoon, when I heard from the guest who was supposed to come into the radio station with me this week to record a VoiceBox episode about hula chanting: He had come down with the flu and wouldn't be able to do the show the following day as planned. Within the space of 24 hours, I'd managed to organize, write, produce and host an entirely new program.

And the creative problem-solving didn't stop there. Because the newly-dreamed-up VoiceBox theme -- about an obscure a cappella choral mass by Milton Babbitt -- required input from two in-studio guests and a third calling into the radio station on the phone (something I'd never attempted before), the studio engineer at KALW (whom I'd never collaborated before) worked miracles on the spot to make it all happen.

Looking back at the last 40 hours or so, I'm amazed that it all came together.

Thank goodness there's a public holiday coming up tomorrow. It's much needed. Which brings me to my extended absence greeting: I'll be back on the blogosphere on Monday. The most creative problem-solving I plan to between now and then is figuring out how to make fake cream cheese frosting for my homemade carrot cake given that the people I will be celebrating with are hemp-chewing vegans. Happy holidays.

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