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Question of the Month: Voice

by Susan Henderson on June 1, 2009

Describe your voice. I’m just curious to know if you have an accent, a loud laugh, a stutter, ….

Wednesday, Attica Locke will be here to talk about her new literary thriller, BLACK WATER RISING, and the importance of finding her voice.

Last thing: My kids performed in a Southern Rock show over the weekend with THE PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK. Here’s just a few clips from the show: The Allman Brothers, Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Ram Jam. That’s Green Hand on guitar and drums; Bach Boy on keys and vocals.

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

EllenMeister June 1, 2009 at 5:41 am

How I love your talented kids! (Listening now.)

My voice is split in two. There’s my voice as it sounds in my head–deep, sultry, a little husky. Then there’s the voice I hear when it’s played back to me a recording–thin, nasal, unpleasant. Always a shock.

But I think my New York accent is pretty slight, and I’m told I enunciate well and am easily understood. I can project when I need do.

Great seeing you this weekend!

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Billy Bones June 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

My voice is soft and sometimes hard to understand. It has taken on a Minnesota patina after living here for thirty plus years. Think Garrison Keillor, pitched up, but boring.
Best,
The man who types up Billy’s stories.

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kategray June 1, 2009 at 7:58 am

I’ve never really thought I had any kind of accent – I guess I have always tried to keep it flat. Maybe I prefer to keep people guessing about my origins…but it’s especially funny around our house now, as my husband is from extreme-north MN, and still has the leftovers from that, but our 3 year old has what I like to call Boston-by-way-of-the-Bayou for his accent. He sounds like what John Fogerty would, if Fogerty was trying to do Car Talk. Frankly, I have no idea where that has come from!
My voice, I guess, has always sounded boyish…not just saying that, people used to call and address me by my brother’s name, assuming that I was, in fact, him, and not me. I’m not feminine-sounding, perhaps, but maybe I could sneak in to the Vienna Boys’ choir???

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Tom Jackson June 1, 2009 at 8:33 am

Most people can’t place me by the way I speak. Sort of a broadcaster-ese, non-descript American, although I’m sure it goes Zelig with whomever I’m around. More Great Lakes-ish in Chicago, vaguely countrified in LeRoy. Went to Toronto last week with my dad, and I’m alarmed at how his accent reverts to Canuck around family up there: His “outs” become “oats,” “sorry” becomes “soory”…

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robinslick June 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

Wow Sue, that was the most professional Paul Green School of Rock “regular” show I think I’ve ever seen…it was way more on par with the Rock School All-Stars. There were no weak links, no missed notes…that was amazing! Okay, next time they play NYC, I am there.

In answer to your question, I am always horrified when I hear a recording of my voice. I sound like Sylvester Stallone! Ha ha, well, I have lived in Philadelphia my entire life but still, that’s no excuse. Interestingly enough, I was once asked if I’d be interested in doing voice overs and at the time, I was not, but in retrospect, that was probably a good idea. They probably wanted me to hawk cheesesteaks or soft pretzels…

Great seeing you, Ellen, and Kimberly on Saturday night and I see Neil Gaiman gave us a shout out on Twitter. We so rule!

xo

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Kimberly June 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

If you’re talking ‘la voce’, I’ve been told more than once:

Him: “You have such a lovely voice.”
Me: “Why, thank you!”
Him: “It carries right over the band.”

But if we’re talking about describing your writing voice, that’s something I’m still working on. I have a feeling it might be similar to my speaking voice, though: a little sharp in tone, woefully unapologetic, either an 11 or a 2 on the volume scale: no middle ground whatsoever.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

That’s great. Who wants middle ground??

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

I saw the shout-out, and I switched my Twitter page to link to Publishers Marketplace so he wouldn’t crash LitPark!

That is too funny about the cheesesteaks. You have to put that in a story! (Great to see you this weekend!!)

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:46 am

You have an amazing voice, and everything I lack in mine: loud and clear without straining, a sense of stature, and a great one to record. I like that the Canuck influence still sneaks in there!

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:48 am

Hey, Terry Bain,

Is LitPark acting REALLY slow and temperamental today, or is it just my computer?

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:51 am

Love your description!

Isn’t it funny when your kids have a different accent than you do? My little one has this vague British accent, even though my husband (who grew up outside of London) lost his long ago.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

Love this.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 10:58 am

Yeah, what is that thing that happens to a person’s voice when it’s recorded, and you think, If I sound like this, I’m going to keep my mouth shut?!

Loved having that long ride back with you so we could talk.

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E.Payne June 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

I have a midwest drawl that sounds less country, but just slower paced than my NY contemporaries. My voice resonates and is a little on the deep side and of course it sounds better in my head than in the world, but people tell me they like it anyway.

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Aimee June 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

Susan,
Litpark is acting wonky for me too. I’ve logged into discus 4 times but I’m still commenting as a guest. Anyway, my voice is deep and manly. I guess it’s a big contrast to my petite stature because people comment on it all the time. The only girl singer that I can Karaoke to is Amy Winehouse. Otherwise Pearl Jam or male lead singers is it. Maybe if I were trained, but my natural range is where most boys sing. I’ve also been told I have a very calm and relaxing voice. My accent is Midwestern, though I know how to hide the fact and speak like a TV broadcaster. Growing up in Ann Arbor and being around people from all over the country, I know how to say pop through my nose at home and soda in public.

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Amy Sue Nathan June 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

My voice has remnants of growing in Philadelphia – an unmistakable accent I worked hard to erase. You can take the girl out of Philly but you can’t take all of Philly out of the girl. And that’s OK. I also have a bit of a Jewish mother voice – heredity at it’s finest.

And yes, LitPark is VERY slow today and wonky with the comments.

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troutbum70 June 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I have a very southern accent that I would never try to hide. I do say ain’t and I’m not giving it up. I tend to speak over people but I’m working on that. My accent has served me well.

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Lance Reynald June 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

on voice;
over the years it has been a hybrid, made up of bits and pieces from all over the place to become an accent that no one can place but people often find familiar. I suppose that started as an attempt to modulate it in order to fit in and somewhere along the way evolved into something that is distinctly my own. Having always gone for big moves and transplanted life I never seem to pic up the regional accents…there is a river here in Oregon that I flatly can’t pronounce as I’m certain that the locals are pronouncing it wrong from the start.

when tired apparently I drop a few octaves and sound a bit like a nightime DJ from the 70’s.

when angry I curse like a sailor.

lately I’ve come to realize that life demands that I relearn my voice. as a rule I tend to be softspoken… an intimate voice that can’t often be heard at the next table. private in nature. But, getting ready to head out into the world to promote my book I’m having to learn to project outward and share… I have no idea how this actually sounds, I’ve been told it works but in my head and stomach it feels shaky and ill-footed.

on the page I guess that all comes across as a style and voice distinctly my own.

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carmelovalone June 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

One day soon I’m sure we will see you’re super cool kids on MTV.

The voice…..it’s a perplexing thing. Generally people tell me I have a happy sweet calming voice-very much like the old landscape painter that was on PBS.
When I am back in my hometown-Boston…I tend to tawk like a guy who “Paark’s his caar in Haarvard Yaard.” I rarely yell and am a pretty soft spoke guy-unless I am having a conversation in which the topic I am passionate about-then I just talk like an illiterate Senator from Rhode Island.

Otherwise-I am that calm-voiced make everyone feel at easy sort of fellow.

Make sense?

I also can do some great voice impersonations ranging from: The Terminator, Borat, a few Irish and Aussie accents, to finally a super creepy dead on Yoda….my Yoda tends to annoy people after about a 1/2 hour of straight talking …I also get too horse by then.

So my answer-I tend to be more comfortable when I talk in ‘not my home voice’ if that’s says anything, but I am working on it-

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Anonymous June 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

I hate my recorded voice… it sounds so unlike ME.

The me I hear has a smile in her voice, is always cheerful and well-modulated, if a bit loud, and she’s good at changing the pitch to do characters.

The voice on tape is a bit high-pitched and thin for my tastes, loud, and often too fast. I’ve gotten used to it (I used to have to dictate a lot when I was in medical practice), but I never grew to like it.

My writing voice changes depending on the narrator I’ve chosen, but even so, there’s a commonality of sentence structure and visual imagery that’s “me.”

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billie June 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm

When I was in grade school, new kids thought I was from “somewhere else” meaning other than the south. When I was in NY they guessed I was from the south. When I was in Paris they thought I was from Wales. And when I was in Texas and California no one seemed to be able to tell WHERE in the heck I was from!

I also dislike my recorded voice. People say it’s low and calming, but I hear it as very slow and cautious.

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jessicaK June 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Hi, Susan. Great picture of that tongue!__
When people meet me for the first time, some are surprised by my deep, husky voice. I’m told it’s sexy, but the truth is, my voice got husky after I took male hormones to treat a serious illness I had in my twenties. Yeh. MALE HORMONES. I took them for 4 months and got male-like muscles in my arms (they’re gone now), but my voice never returned to its original sound. Jessica

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Wow, I got way behind in everything today – had one idea of how I was going to spend the day, and then suddenly had to fill out applications and financial aid thingies and write essays. So…. back now.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Great to see you here, Eric! What a gorgeous description of your voice. And noticing a trend with the writers here that you tend to have the voice or the accent that doesn’t quite sound like those around you.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm

My favorite characters in books and movies have qualities about them that don’t appear to match, so I love knowing that you’re small with a big, deep voice!

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Terry said we were getting a big traffic hit in the comments section, but he’s going to poke around and see if there’s anything that needs fixin.

Fun how Philly puts such a big stamp on its residents; I like that.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I thought you were originally from Oklahoma? It’s a southern accent there? I’d gone ahead and given you a Montana-ish accent.

(I do that speaking over other people, too. I’m a good listener, but I get excited about things and butt in like a four year old. I’m working on a delay mechanism.)

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm

God, we really are twins separated at birth!

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:33 pm

That landscape painter line belongs in a story.

If you know how to do an mp3 link, I want to hear you say Carmelo Valone in all those accents – especially Yoda and Borat!

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm

My husband can do a mean Carol Channing.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Lots of people have tried to talk me into getting a little recorder to break me of my bad habit of writing while I drive, but I’m so put off hearing my own voice.

Same here with a changing writing voice but a steady, identifiable rhythm and sentence structure.

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Why do I get the sense you’ve got a story brewing and what you wrote here will lead you right to it? Fun to know you dislike hearing yourself as slow and cautious – very telling!

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SusanHenderson June 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Isn’t it a great tongue?!

You have a gorgeous, movie star voice.

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Lance Reynald June 2, 2009 at 2:21 am

🙂

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Ric June 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

Like most folks, I can’t recognize my voice on tape – it doesn’t sound like that in HERE. In HERE, it sounds tenorish and rich – apparently, though, to others, it sounds higher and very distinctive – as in, I don’t have to identify myself over the phone if people have heard my voice once before.

For business, for sales, the sound of my voice in the waiting room means you are going to smile soon.

For writing, it carries the tone of easy listening – not a smart ass, know-it-all, but more of the quiet neighbor who speaks to your Dad at church and you listen because you know it will be a good story, just by the sound of his voice. At least, that’s what I strive for.

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b June 2, 2009 at 7:59 am

I didn’t think of this yesterday with my first comment, but during a revision of the novel that’s being read by agents now, the male character’s voice was too similar to the female character’s voice. There was also a third POV character who I decided was actually ME, and I was using his sections to pull a fast one and get my own POV voice into the story. 🙂

The first thing I did was cut out all those sections!

One of my writing mentor readers helped me look at the male POV sections and make some changes. Initially I was completely stuck, but she had me deconstruct the sentence structure and also read it out loud to myself – which was where I started to feel the cadence was wrong and that indeed, he wouldn’t really think or talk that way. It was one of the most fascinating revisions I’ve ever done. I felt like I was digging through my own overlaid voice to get to his, and it was all there, and really powerful.

Not sure what all this has to do with your original question, except that thinking about our own literal voice, our written voice, and the voices of our characters is a useful exercise, for fun AND for sorting out issues in the writing.

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Joe June 2, 2009 at 9:38 am

I have been told that I sound like Dick Cavett even though I use a few regionalism from growing up in New York. It’s impossible to escape them. The New York accent is just too powerful I guess.

In grade school I had to attend speech therapy to correct a stutter. The exercises at the time stressed slowing down and carefully thinking about the words I was about to use so my overall speech pattern slowed. I still pause before jumping in to a conversation or responding to a question. It gives the illusion of thoughtfulness even when I’m listening to circus music inside my head.

In the end I’m not sure what caused me more grief with other kids in school; stuttering or speaking like Dick Cavett.

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Nathalie June 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

If the recordings I did for qarrstiluni are anything to go by, my voice must sound much more high pitched than it sounds to my ears. Shame that. I would really have loved to have a deep voice.

On the other hand, my laughter shatters walls and I am pretty pleased with that. Not discreet or posh or anything uncomfortably tight. It’s mirth that is not ashamed of its name.

An accent I must have, of course, even when I speak French by now, I wouldn’t wonder. Not sure what type of an accent I have, mind. I hope not too dismally French (although I can fake it fairly well if I must). When speaking Italian, however, the locals usually can spot me fairly quickly. And when not because of my accent, because of my nose. Eeeeeh.

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Nathalie June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Hey! You are here as well!

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Gail Siegel June 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Nathalie has a very warm voice, and yes — Jessica’s is the sexiest EVER. Susan’s lilts with enthusiasm.

I, myself, have a nasal, higher-pitched-than-I’d-like, Midwestern-accented voice. My grammar, too, is pure Chicago. You can spot us because we end sentences with prepositions, i.e. “Do you want to come with?”

I am hoping that I sound better in French, now that I can finally cobble together a few sentences.

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Amy Wallen June 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I’ve been told my voice rivals Alvin and the Chipmunks. More the Chipmunks than Alvin. My writing voice is snarky and I like to imagine it as raspy and deep. I get laryngitis at least once a year, and then I get my dream voice–Annie Lennox after a long hard night of cheap bourbon and cigarettes.

Here’s a tidbit on voices–Adam Lambert’s doctor told him his larynx has a bend in it, and he calls it a “bent noodle”.

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Mercy June 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm

My voice has a midwestern accent–even though it’s everyone else that has an accent. When I was in my teen-age years, I called up radio stations to request songs and usually ended up talking to the DJ (or whatever they are called now – radio announcers?) for awhile because I had a ‘dreamy’ voice. I was nicknamed ‘dreamy’ by one in particiular…Now I’m in my late 30s, I feel my voice doesn’t portray confidence, but I need to remember that it’s not the volume, it’s what is heard by others.

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AndreaGillies June 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I was born in Yorkshire in the north of England and when I was young had an accent that I told myself was like that of the Brontes – but in fact was probably more like Sean Bean…

Then we moved to Australia and spent three years there and Yorkshire + Australia left me with something flatly and peculiarly hybrid, with northern intonation and Australian vowels. Marrying a Scotsman was almost the final straw. Going to work in London was the death knell to regionality, a knell compounded by 4 years in Somerset, in the west of England, home of farms and cider. Now my voice, which is fairly deep, is as RP as anyone’s I know, though having spent 2 years up on the north isles – on an island 9 miles by 5 miles that once was owned by Norway and about which ownership is still disputed, 700 years later, I can sometimes betray the Orcadian lilt that one of my children still carries.

When I’m excited, I can get quite Yorkshire.
When I’m angry, the Scottish comes out.
When I’m ill, I’m Yorkshire again.
When I’m drunk, hints of Somerset, that country burr.
When I’m satirical, there are hints of Australian.
And when, as often happens in the family, we are having a quote-fest and trying to outdo each other, there are mysterious flashes of something almost American. American of the Cary Grant sort. He of course was an Englishman. “Nobody talks like that” as Tony Curtis remarked …

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Ooh, I’m really glad you came back and said this because that’s really interesting about trying to put more and different character into the written voices. I was working with class differences in my novel, and I didn’t want to venture into caracature (poor grammar, etc), so I did subtle things like ending with prepositions, just little things that the ear would notice, or having a different rhythm. Really fun to think about all this!

Good luck with the agents!

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm

The quiet neighbor who speaks to your dad at church – what a brilliant description!

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm

I have always had a huge affection for stutters and crooked teeth and the like. Don’t know why, I just find it terribly endearing and sexy. Does the stutter ever come back?

I know Dick Cavett’s voice so well, that now I’ll think of you when I hear him.

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I am so impressed with people who have big laughs and sneezes because I don’t at all, and couldn’t let loose even if I tried.

Speaking of French accents, have you ever seen the Flight of the Conchord’s Foux du Fa-Fa video?

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Lilts with enthusiasm? 🙂 That’s not how I sound when I leave messages on the answering machine.

Are you taking French for the first time, or brushing up on it? Did you know Kevin Dolgin has a gorgeous house he “rents” out?

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I want an Annie Lennox voice, too!

Okay, my kids, being utter Queen junkies, are dying to know: Is Adam going to tour with them? Is he, is he?

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Wow, if I had the name Mercy and if anyone had even once called my voice dreamy, I’d be strutting around with all kinds of confidence! What a great story, and you’re right, it’s not the volume.

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SusanHenderson June 2, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Love the history here, and how your accent is dictated by emotion. That’s wonderful! Have you been doing readings for your book? So curious as to the process when your book comes out overseas!

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Kimberly June 3, 2009 at 12:43 am

Nathalie has the best. laugh. ever. Loud and bright and honest. And her eyes and nose get all wrinkled and squishy too.

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Joe June 3, 2009 at 2:15 am

Occasionally it will come back when I’m speaking before a group. It’s more of a stammer now rather than the full on Porky Pig/ Mel Tillis stutter I had as a child.

Gee, where were all the women like you hiding way back when? I have crooked teeth too!

As an aside – some famous stutterers include John Stossel, James Earl Jones, Carly Simon, Alan Rabinowitz, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, John Updike, and Lewis Carroll.

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Nathalie June 3, 2009 at 5:32 am

Err, no. My own reference for French accents is Maurice Chevalier in Gigi (a tad outdated, but there you go). I shall have to research that one.

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Nathalie June 3, 2009 at 5:32 am

It gets me the best wrinkles…

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Amy Wallen June 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I’m a Queen junkie too. Freddy Mercury is my god. Adam rivals him, so it’s pretty damn cool. But the Queen story is a bit of a rumor. What I hear is that he will do something with them someday. That he’d like to, and that they really think he’s an amazing vocalist. But Adam told me he wants to do his own thing first. He wants to be Adam Lambert, I guess. That seems to be working for him.

But tell you kids to pick up a copy of Rolling Stone this month.

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SusanHenderson June 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Freddie Mercury’s always my answer when people ask who, of anyone throughout time, would you want to hang out with. We’ll definitely check out Rolling Stone.

And speaking of voice, I hope everyone check’s out Amy’s interview over here: http://innerwritingjourney.blogspot.com/

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SusanHenderson June 3, 2009 at 7:17 pm
SusanHenderson June 3, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves these things.I just immediately warm to people’s most human qualities. Who wants to be among robots?

BTW, Did you see the new Marilyn Monroe photos that came out this week? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/02/marilyn-monroes-never-bef_n_210490.html

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Joe June 3, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I did. More Norma Jean than Marilyn showing in those photos. I don’t know whether it’s the starkness of the B&W or if it’s knowing what was to come but the pictures have a sad quality. Speaking of being human.

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Nathalie June 4, 2009 at 1:18 am

Just the type of giggly insanity I needed early in the morning. Thanks.

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AndreaGillies June 5, 2009 at 9:59 am

Hi Susan! Was just thinking about you and wondering how The Project is shaping up and how your noticeboard is looking… as fascinatingly diverse and detailed as a lovely old quilt, I’d bet. Come talk to me on twitter maybe…

Please don’t make me get up and say anything in public. Have annoyed publicist by turning down radio. Would feel unusual for at least 4 days prior and 2 days after, if had to do a reading, and can’t convince myself that any publicity benefit would be worth a week of feeling ill and the life-shortening after-effects. One of the main reasons I’m a writer by trade is that I can stay home and hide!

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SusanHenderson June 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

The Project is going amazingly well. (How nice to think of it as a quilt; I never thought of it that way.) I think I’ll have my first draft by the end of the summer.

And you are not alone with your feelings about doing publicity. I don’t know many extrovert writers. But, yeah, drop me a note on twitter or facebook cuz I’d love to hear the details!

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Aurelio June 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I’m always surprised by how high-pitched my voice sounds to me whenever I hear a recording of it. It doesn’t sound that way in my head. I don’t have any accent except maybe a “TV” accent – that is pure, television-raised and sitcom-fed American English. I don’t tend to raise my voice very often. (I’m more prone to internal seething.)

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eileen_rita June 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I have a quiet kiwi voice, with an accent I don’t notice until I’m in an international crowd, or I hear a recording of myself, which luckily doesn’t happen very often. The best way to replicate a New Zealand accent is, to instead of saying Fish and Chips…say Fush and Chups, and hey presto you’re a Kiwi 🙂
My voice tends to change a lot. I think it’s part of my overall mask which hides the real me. It started in high school, at that time when teenagers are at their meanest I resorted to humour and silly voices to deflect the jabs and i’s a hard habbit to shake to. A conversation rarely goes by when I don’t resort to an accent or silly voice.
I’m quiet more often then I’m loud, I mumble when I’m tired, and I tend to get squeeky when I have too much to drink – which is ummmm hardly ever 😉

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SusanHenderson June 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Ha! That’s funny about the TV accent!

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SusanHenderson June 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

My kids’ favorite band is from New Zealand, so we hear the accent A LOT around here. http://www.myspace.com/conchords

I’m so intrigued by your story of the mask and the silly voices and the mean girls. I hope you write a story about it.

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eileen_rita June 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm

haha yes forget Hobbits, The Conchords are our claim to fame at the moment. I do worry how the world must picture the average New Zealander?

I did spend a lot of yesterday thinking about my old school days after visiting here. It would be nice to write something fresh, and for myself. We will see where the thoughts go.

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SusanHenderson June 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

So glad you’re writing!

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5speener0 June 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

I agree, Susan. I love that description. It’s as original as apple pie.

Oh, that internal seething–bad for ya. Of course, I should know, I do it too.

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5speener0 June 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

Late, AGAIN! I just have a hard time with time.

My voice is a little strange.

–I’ve been told it sounds sexy, as if I’m reclined on a chaise, eating bon-bons, clad only in a skimpy lingerie thingy. I don’t think it sounds that way AT ALL, and, no, that bon-bon eating activity is not me. I’m more the dirt under my fingernails from working in the yard type.

–I do have a bit of an unusual accent. I was born in Greece and lived there until age 8. I lived in Australia from age 8-21, have lived in the U.S. for 30 years and I’v ebeen exposed to a bona-fide southern boy for 16+ of those years. My Australian relatives say I sound like an American, Americans aren’t at all sure about my origin and accent and a Canadian I was on the phone with recently said he loved my southern accent!

–When I hear my recorded voice, I think it sounds schizophrenic, which make sense when you know how many auditory influences have entered my brain through those ears on each side of my head. When I hear AND see myself, I can add to that description that ‘my mouth looks like a serpent trying to decide which direction to go in’!!! If I can get to it, I’ll post a link to a youtube video…then you can see if I’ve described all of this accurately.

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SusanHenderson June 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

How fun to hear about your hybrid accent! I’m a dirt-under-the-fingernails-from-working-in-the-yard type, too. 🙂

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5speener0 June 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Andrea! Your accent in more confusing than mine! 🙂

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Mary Akers June 17, 2009 at 9:59 am

Well, I’m even later, so there! I hate my own voice on things like answering machines and voice mail, although I do think I’m a good reader, and people have told me that independent of my own thoughts. I love to inhabit the voices–both of the narrator and the characters. I’ve read too many books aloud (to my kids) to count. About a year ago, my youngest (who is now 13) finally told me, “I can do it faster, Mom.” It broke my heart a little, but I know he’s right. It’s time for him to hear the voices in his books without my interpretation of them.

And Sue, did I know you were from Virginia?? How did I miss that? I’m a Virginia gal, too. I can slip back into the cadence of it in a heartbeat. The musical flow of a piece of writing is very important to me. I know it’s from my Virginia roots. (Pronounced “ruuts.”)

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SusanHenderson June 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I’m so glad you’re here, Mary!

Is that a Virginia thing? Maybe it is, because the musical flow of a piece is even more important to me than character and plot.

I still read to my kids, and plan to when they grow mustaches. My heart will break if they tell me to stop.

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