Thursday, January 21, 2010

Creating a monster

Brad Nelson has created a monster. A couple of weeks ago he asked me if I would be willing to make a recording of myself reading Bowling Night; my flash piece that was published in the January issue of Eclectic Flash.

After I did the deer in the headlights thing for a couple of minutes I started laughing at the idea. You see, Bowling Night is a horror piece.

And well, I didn't think that my voice would quite do the piece justice.

I emailed Brad back and told him that I sound like a twelve year old doing an impression of Minnie Mouse doing a chipmunk. And I didn't think that it would work for me to read a horror piece.

Well, he LOVED the idea of such a juxtaposition and encouraged me to record the piece.

So I did, and it only took me two takes. And I was pretty tickled with the results. I sent it off to him and waited for a response.

This was his response, and I even gave him a chance this morning to edit it for exuberance:

"Oh, my God, oh, my God! It's wonderful, simply wonderful! I told you your prepubescent--er, I mean, lovely child-like voice would add something to it. Your voice reading it makes it that much more shocking, because I really thought he was cooking and getting rid of leftovers. I absolutely love it."

So I guess he liked it. I spent the next two days wandering around thinking I should record everything I write…..But then I figured that would become problematic because, as you know some things take a while to read aloud and I have that whole thing where I MUST BE FED every three hours…..I could just imagine me reading one of my novels while slurping soup. Don't think that would go over very well. 

But what did go over well was my friend Annmarie Lockhart's recording of her own pieces from the January issue. She had the same deer in the headlights reaction that I did, only hers was more of a fear of her accent overpowering her writing. I heard her recordings and they were just divine. I didn't even hear an accent. I just heard a lovely light lilting voice. After we both sent our recordings off to Brad, we were discussing Brad's awesome ideas to draw more readers to his magazine.

Annmarie said that since so many authors are enjoying reading their work for the upcoming "Voices" page at Eclectic Flash that Brad has really let the genie out of the bottle.

We both think that as the magazine grows he will come up with even bigger and better things. 

I told Annmarie that I was onboard with the whole adding a new dimension to print publishing and exposing more and different parts of an author to the reading public.

But I am going to draw the line at mud wrestling.

22 comments:

Marisa Birns said...

You should do a YouTube of you reading your work! I have a friend who did just that with a piece of poetry. She sat at her beautiful sunroom in Delaware and recited the poetry with her lovely British tones.

If you want, you can dress in a Minnie Mouse outfit. With the cute ears. And the shoes...omg, the shoes!

And child-like voices explaining leftovers ARE scarier than most things.

Annmarie said...

I'm a huge fan of the video, dress-up as Minnie Mouse component for your reading Karen!

Listen, you are too kind. My accent, as you so nicely discuss it, sounds like a lovely Girl of the Emerald Isle mixed with a little Banshee thing. Here's what it really is: a little David Sedaris (minus the humor) girling up Tony Soprano. But Brad wanted it, Brad got it. And I had such a good time doing the recording that I'm thinking about recording random e-mail exchanges and calling it art.

Our writing takes us to unseen shores, Karen! So, what time's the mud wrestling and who's shooting the video?

Laurita said...

I would love to hear this story of yours. I second Marisa - YouTube!

My reservations are the same as Annmarie's. I would never be able to pull off a reading, unless it was a pirate story or some sort of salty sea dog tale of the deep. My accent is way too strong.

I'm really wondering what Minnie Mouse doing a chipmunk sounds like.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

That's great! I love to hear authors read their work regardless of their voice.

I agree with Marisa, the child-like voices would be great for horror!

I love the idea of adding more dimension to writing, audio, visual, and other ideas. I have been thinking about that a lot and glad to see it is being tried.

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Anne,
After I did my recording I started seeing authors with recordings of their work posted everywhere. Most notably Barry J. Northern [who I have a girly voice crush on] and Alan Baxter...who I well.... he does have a wife so lets just say I enjoy Alan...

I think it adds another dimension to the work too. Unless you have a voice like the "Impressive Clergyman" in The Princess Bride....then maybe ....not so much.


:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laurita,
"unless it was a pirate story or some sort of salty sea dog tale of the deep. My accent is way too strong."

hee hee hee boy would I love to hear THAT...and it would have to be something with a lot of RRrrrrrrs....

"I'm really wondering what Minnie Mouse doing a chipmunk sounds like."

Like disney porn...

Karen from Mentor said...

Annmarie, you morphing into David Sedaris and Tony Soprano just put me into a fit of giggles...

Hey maybe we could get Tony Soprano to wrestle David Sedaris in mud....I'd pay to see that.

Karen from Mentor said...

Ah,Marisa I can always count on you to get the SUBTLETIES of my humor....giggling....oh man...you find the shoes....and I'll do a video just for you...and don't forget the big polka dot bow...gotta have the big polka dot bow....

Karen from Mentor said...

When the audio page goes live at Eclectic Flash I'll announce it.

Their next issue prints in April, so my guess is the audio page will be up before then.


I have an essay and a poem in the upcoming April issue. I've been working on getting a fiction piece in too so I'd have a hat trick.

But so far the collective editors have sent two pieces of my fiction back marked "return to sender...."

So....I might just quit while I'm ahead and be delighted? ecstatic? very happy...yes...very happy that I got in at all.....

:0)

estrella05azul said...

Hey, an impression of Minnie Mouse doing chipmunks is always good!
Can't wait to see what people think of "Voices" :)

PS: you're hilarious, I'm still giggling :)

Karen from Mentor said...

Always happy to make you grin Estrella.
:0)

Deanna Schrayer said...

Ya! Congratulations Karen! I can't wait to hear the recording. Someone would have to pay me mega bucks to get me to read a story, mine or anyone else's - imagine Paula Deen with a frog in her throat, that's me. Ew!

Cat Connor said...

Breezy loved the story, being 4 she had no clue that your sweet voice was telling a horror story - she heard a tale about a man cooking!!!

I gotta say I love your voice to, it suits you!!

My lovely publisher has prodded me on and off to record a video interview. I've cleverly avoided it. I feel time running out. LOL

jdcoughlin said...

The voice in my head when I'm writing. Not mine. I would be so bummed to hear my voice reading my book. Now I do read some passages outloud to work on them, but that's different. That's me pretending I'm me. Not me being me.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I'm with the others and would like to hear it. Do you follow Aaron Polson at 'The Other Aaron'? He's done an amazing job audio recordings of a copy of short horror stories (actually, with video too, on YouTube). The accent only adds to the atmosphere.

And I give a big thumbs up to the mud wrestling...

Karen from Mentor said...

I love Aaron's work. And I'm a big fan of 52 Stitches. As a matter of fact I will have a story appearing there in August 2010....I haven't heard his recordings yet though. I'll check it out.

So if I heard you right....you're volunteering to mud wrestle...

So that's David Sedaris, Tony Soprano and Alan Davidson...man, we may have to book a bigger venue.

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

ok jd, I now NEED a 2,000 word essay describing the voice in your head. [by Monday]

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Cat if you remember how panicked I was when you said that she'd heard it ....it was something along the lines of BUT I WARNED YOU IT WAS HORROR.....DIDN'T I?????

I think it's so funny that she liked it because I sound the way I do. I'm just glad that she didn't GET the content. [holy cow]

I think I'll have to read a little golden book aloud and send her that recording. Just to ease my conscience.

If you do the video for RebelE I think you should impersonate Ellie and wear a blond wig. I bet we could take that video viral!

:0)

Karen from Mentor said...

Ok, Deanna, I'm imagining Paula Deen with a frog in her throat...but now all I can think about is Paula Deen pulling the poor frog out and cooking it in a nice garlicky butter sauce......

[also Ewwwwwwwwwwwww]

Cat Connor said...

ohhh I should impersonate Ellie - maybe the interview should be at the shooting range? or on a stakeout?? Now that'd be fun. Actually it really would be.

But from Ellie's point of view so you never see me, just my partner! LOL

Karen from Mentor said...

That sounds GREAT....make sure I get a "creative consultant" mention in the end credits.

[grins at you]

Cat Connor said...

Already have your name on the post-it note...