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Radio Activity: Transcending tales told

It is often said that to become a writer one must become an avid reader. Logic might also suggest that to become a great storyteller one must learn to listen. Erika Adams, host of the Tale Collector on Two Harbors Community Radio, naturally embodies both of these traits. As someone born with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) she has had to develop a laser-like focus as the 'disorder' makes it difficult to screen out background noise. She is also a budding author in her own right.

Erika's book entitled 'Allie's Adventure on the Wonder' is loosely based on Lewis Carrol's "Alice in Wonderland." It tells the tale of a young woman with APD and her adventures. It was through promoting her book that Erika first met KTWH volunteer Michelle Miller at the Two Harbors Public Library. Adams was there to donate a copy of her book when she struck up a conversation with Michelle that led to the suggestion that Erika should host a show.

Tale Collector is a monthly 15 minute review of tales told via book, music, movie or video game. Adams on-air delivery has overtones of Levar Burton's Reading Rainbow in that there is nothing either infantile or pompous in her tone. Her voice has the measured cadence of someone who has spent years reading aloud for all ages. As Erika discusses the deeper meaning of the symbols used in a narrative, one gets strong hints of Joseph Campbell and his ability to zero in on the story's central message.

Adams' growing catalog of shows includes a review of the 2010 video game Limbo. The player guides an unnamed boy through a 2D side-scrolling environment as he searches for his sister and tries to avoid danger. It uses minimalist black and white imagery to create a film noir effect that is reminiscent of Indonesian shadow puppetry.

"I liked this game," she says, "because of the minimalist aspects in both the artwork and the storytelling. Like a great book or a 1940's era radio drama, it leaves enough blank space for the player to fill in the back story and missing pieces from their own imagination."

Tale Collector airs bi-weekly on Fridays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. KTWH-LP, 99.5 FM, is a volunteer-driven non-profit serving the town of Two Harbors and surrounding area with a broadcast range of 10 miles. It streams online at ktwh.org.

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