Have you ever wished that you could teach your child to talk like a hillbilly? Then GOOD NEWS.
I just spent all day Tuesday recording the audio version of Sparkly Green Earrings and I bet if you let your kids listen to it a couple of times a week there’s a good chance that they can achieve the American dream of speaking with a very prominent Texas accent. It’ll be just like that time Madonna lived in London for two years and turned British.
Several weeks ago, they called to tell me they would like to have an audio version of the book and could either hire an actor or I could do it myself. And I decided I should do it myself because, first of all, it would be weird to have someone reading a memoir of my life that isn’t me and, secondly, I didn’t feel like I could subject some poor actor who once had dreams of being a regular on General Hospital to spending hours of their life pretending to be me.
So on Tuesday morning I went to a recording studio here in town. Fortunately it was a different studio than the one I went to when I recorded the video trailer for the book. That experience turned out to be perfectly lovely, but when I pulled up to someone’s house and was asked to go around back to the garage, it all felt a little bit like a scene from Silence of the Lambs.
But the studio on Tuesday was in a real shopping center right next to an Asian restaurant called Wok This Way. So I immediately knew it was legitimate. Then when I went inside I saw that there were signed pictures of Willie Nelson and the owner hanging on the wall and one of my life philosophies has always been that if it’s good enough for Willie then it’s good enough for me.
The studio owner couldn’t have been nicer and he was so patient considering I really had no idea what I was doing. I just kind of pretended like I was reading Harry Potter out loud to Caroline and that it wasn’t being recorded because then I would have totally over-thought the whole thing and sounded like Mary Katherine Gallagher reading a monologue from a Lifetime movie.
For the next seven hours I read my book. And then my throat burst into flames and I died.
Not really though because then how could I be writing this right now?
The thing is that as I read the book, Bill the studio owner had to follow right along with me to make sure I didn’t miss a word or mess up anything. And I’ve never been more aware that I really wrote the book for women. Poor Bill learned more about my birth story and mechanical breast pumps than he could have possibly ever wanted to know.
But he was sweet and when it was all over he said, “Well now I enjoyed that story.” God bless him. Because you know it was a far cry from Willie Nelson.
I left the studio and felt like I’d run a marathon. But I made a quick stop at HEB to buy some Ricola cough drops in attempt to salvage my voice. Then I bought some pork chops because I had big plans to cook dinner.
Fortunately, when I walked through the door, P recognized that I could barely speak and suggested we order pizza. This is how I know he knows me. Because, technically, I don’t need my voice to cook but he knew pizza would be my love language.
As we ate dinner, I listened to them talk about their days because I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but OH MY THROAT. Caroline had taken the first part of the STARR exam that day. (STARR is the name of the worthless and expensive standardized tests that are issued in Texas schools.)
She had taken the writing portion of the test and I asked her what it entailed. Caroline said, “We had to write about our favorite season. So I wrote about deer season.”
We’ve raised her right.
And then I drank some hot tea, popped a few more Ricolas and went to bed.
The good news is I woke up on Wednesday with a voice, but then went to work out at Smart Barre. So now I can speak but I might not be able to use my arms until some time Friday afternoon.