7 Quick Takes about man-voice, last-minute travel, and recording your own audiobook in a bad accent
Wait! Before you say that I didn’t do a Thursday post (because I know that nobody has anything better to do than to police my blog carnival participation), I want to note for the record that I published this at 11:59 PM on Thursday — so 7 Quick Takes Friday is my Thursday post.
I’ll do another one today for my Friday update, so I need an easy post idea. Maybe I’ll just publish the admin password to my blog, so that next time I announce that I’m going to do seven posts in seven days, one of you can kindly log in and write an update telling the internet that I’m being delusional again and everyone needs to ignore me.
I still can’t believe I leave for Chicago Sunday night. Last-minute cross-country travel is not something I do a whole lot of these days — and if you read my post from Wednesday you understand why — so it’s exciting, a little daunting, and very surreal that I just found out about this trip only a week before it’s going to happen.
I’ve known for a while that I would be recording the audiobook for the book next week. Ignatius is partnering with the wonderful folks at Lighthouse, the same company that produced my conversion story talk, and the plan was that they would send an engineer down to set up a makeshift recording studio here in Austin. But then the guys at Lighthouse had the last-minute idea that we could also get it done by having me fly out to their studio in Chicago, and I could give another talk while I’m there.
I didn’t think I could do it, since weekday travel is normally impossible for me (especially during tax season), but the stars aligned for us to make it work. Or, to be more accurate, the stars aligned in such a way that it seems like it will work. There’s always the possibility that I’ll return home to see Joe, my mom, and mother-in-law chasing half-naked children around the yard behind a smoldering crater where our house once was.
It’s exciting but mildly daunting to imagine reading my entire book aloud. What if I come across passages and don’t like the way they’re written? I guess it wouldn’t be very professional to add asides like, “Ignore everything I just said — I think there was a child sitting on my head while I wrote that.”
Also, I need an accent. Lisa-Jo is doing an audiobook for Surprised by Motherhood, and I can’t even describe how fantastic this thing is going to be. Her book is a beautifully-written memoir that is steeped in the exotic culture of her home in South Africa, and she has this lyrical accent that sounds like a more clear and refined British accent, so her audiobook is going to take the manuscript to a whole new level.
Meanwhile, all I have is flat American diction and man-voice. This definitely calls for an accent. A gentle, Dan-Rather-esque hint of Texas twang would do, but I feel like full-blown Downton Abbey English would add class to the reading. I’ve never tried to speak like that before, but now is probably a good time to start. I’m sure everyone at Ignatius and Lighthouse would think it was fine if I sat down to read my book and suddenly sounded like Lady Mary Crawley’s drunk half-American cousin.
Okay, maybe I don’t completely have man-voice. I got paranoid about that a few years ago when we were watching some old videos of my son’s first birthday party. As I listened to the audio I thought, “What was James Earl Jones doing there and why was he being so bossy?!” Turns out, the voice was mine. I would later find out that the recording was messed up, but not before I tried to put my supposed man-voice to good use.
Shortly after the video incident, I had to make a call about a bank account that was in Joe’s name. I realized while I was on hold that I had not been added to the account. Remembering what I’d heard on the birthday party footage, I thought I’d give it a shot and say I was Joe Fulwiler. The account manager answered the phone, and I lowered my voice as deeply as possible and intoned, “HI. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? I AM CALLING ABOUT MY ACCOUNT.” Immediately I knew it was ridiculous. It didn’t work at all. I didn’t sound like a man, just an extremely weird woman.
When the manager asked whom she was speaking to, the right choice would have been to hang up and never do business with that bank again to save face. Unfortunately, I panicked. I gave man-voice one more shot as I said, “THIS IS…” but then I abandoned the whole thing in mid-sentence and switched back to my normal voice to say, “This is Jennifer.” There was a long pause, and the conversation that ensued was possibly the most awkward customer service call that has ever taken place in the history of time.
Thanks again to all the folks who commented on the post where I asked non-Catholics to introduce themselves — and if you didn’t see the responses, check them out when you have a second. I didn’t realize that many people of other backgrounds were readers, but I’m delighted to have you all here. Welcome!
A friend of Joe’s got one of these pre-fab studios to use as an external home office, and says he loves it. They’re not cheap…but they’re cheaper than getting a bigger house or adding an addition. Something like that wouldn’t be in the budget right now, but we’re considering as a future home improvement option.
I know that a lot of us have lots of people crammed into small living quarters, so I thought I’d see if anyone has any experience with getting one of these — or any other tips for adding space when you can’t afford a bigger house. Any thoughts?
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking read to start your weekend, check out Allison Vesterfelt’s post where she suggests that having drama in our lives is a good thing. She points out that we were made for drama — we’re sons and daughters of the ultimate Storyteller, after all — and that when we don’t have positive drama going on in our lives, we tend to create negative drama. It’s one of those posts that’s stuck with me for days after reading it.
Happy weekend, everyone!