Shameless plug: I’m going to be reading an essay at the Starving Artist Cafe in North Little Rock next Monday.  It’s for Tales from the South, and the reading with be recorded and played on KUAR later this month.  I’m very excited and a little nervous, but I think it will be a lot of fun.  The recording starts at 5:30, so if you’re in the area feel free to stop by and say hello.


I recorded my essay tonight, and it was a really fun and slightly out-of-body experience.  Let me say this: I love books on tape.  Love them.  I love having people tell me a story.  Right now, I’m listening to Jim Dale reading one of the Harry Potter books, and he’s phenomenal.  He also does the voiceovers for Pushing Daisies, and his voice conveys the mystery and the danger in fairy tales perfectly.  But maybe my favorite book on tape experience was listening to A People’s History of the United States narrated in the dulcet tones of one Mr. Matt Damon.  The book is interesting and contains some really moving speeches.  So, I’d be driving around Florida listening to the tapes, and I kept catching myself thinking: “Man, Matt Damon is really smart.”  At which point, I would remember that he didn’t write the book.  He did read it, though, and that’s awesome.  Dulcet tones, I’m telling you.

All of that to say that there is a real art to reading in a way that sounds natural, and I’m not there yet.  I’m tempted here to lower expectations, but I won’t.  If you want to hear it for yourself, it will air in December.  I believe it’s the 4th Thursday of the month at 7pm.  I will say that the people in charge of the reading were very nice, and the audience during and after were incredibly supportive and kind.  Overall, it was a great experience, and I’d love to do it again.  But, I’m hoping if I am lucky enough to do it again, that I can get a few tips from Matt Damon first.