Continuing in my Month of Thanks, here is my letter for October 21st.
To Alex White,
We came up in the same “wave” of podcasters, but, really, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to being in the same league as you. I’ve jokingly said in the past that “when I grow up, I want to be Alex White”, but, really, that’s not far from the truth.
Your talent consistently astounds me. In everything you do, be it in audio production, graphic design, photography, music composition, even parenting, you are a model of what awesome looks like.
On more than one occasion, you’ve allowed me to pick your creative brain when it comes to my own design work, and I hope you don’t doubt for a moment that your input was helpful, insightful, and valuable. You were probably far more kind than you should have been in regards to my earliest attempts, but the encouragement you offered gave me the push to go forward in what I’d decided to do with my life.
When I needed a part filled for The Dreamer’s Thread at the last minute, you were kind enough to indulge me. It was the first of many examples of your unwavering support for my creative endeavors.
Along with Stephen’s, yours is the face I most look forward to when it comes time for Balticon and DragonCon. Over the years I’ve gotten to know you better and you’ve become a little like family to me. Like the big brother I never had, you’ve offered advice for any problems and pitfalls I’ve put forward, not pulling punches and always asking the tough questions. In fact, because of our conversation at DragonCon this year, I was able to step back and really analyze a plot point that was giving me some trouble in my superhero series. Because of your advice, I avoided what would have been a huge mistake in regards to my villains, making them two-dimensional and lifeless, as opposed to the carefully shaded, not-so-clear-cut elements they’ve now become. Looking at it, the number of words you used to frame your question were very few, but the impact they had was immeasurable.
Because I’ve gotten to know you, I know how closely you guard your creative projects and the type of control you like to keep hold of. On two occasions, you’ve let go of this, trusting my abilities with something born of your amazing brain.
The first was when you asked for my singing voice. Providing vocals for your Things Never Said and The Oak Tree were magical experiences for me. In fact, I still marvel at Things Never Said and all of the emotions that piece conjures for me. It’s undoubtedly my favorite piece of yours and that I had a hand in it has nothing to do with it. Your music has always held a depth of feeling that any musician would strive for, and that song completely speaks to that.
You once again put your creative trust in my hands when you approached me with writing a story set in the world of The Gearheart. Without a doubt, that story is your baby. The concept and world structure for Fires in the Snow were all yours. It was a pleasure to write something you enjoyed so much, but, please, the credit for what it became is undoubtedly yours. Had it won the Parsec Award, I would have been hard pressed to feel as though I deserved it. They may have been my words, but it was created from your idea, with your fingerprints on every sentence.
You are far too humble in accepting credit for the things you touch. Even in your phenomenal parenting, I am consistently awed by how involved and unyielding you are in your care for your son. It’s no surprise to me that people come out of the woodwork to help you. You’re an inspiration to everyone that knows you even a little. Your caring, giving nature provides an example that others strive for, that they wish to see in themselves, and I hope that, by my saying so, you can see a little of that in yourself.
So, Alex, I say thank you. What you’ve brought to my life is special and unique and something I could never place a value on.
With Love and Gratitude,