Monthly Wrap: Sore Throat

by Susan Henderson on June 5, 2009

I have the kind of voice that’s meant to whisper. Good for libraries and pillow talk. When I answer the phone, the first thing people tend to say is, Did I wake you up? They didn’t; I don’t even like to sleep. I just have one of those voices. It’s my father’s voice. The sound of someone who needs to clear his throat. The sound of someone who can’t raise his voice though he certainly has the temperament for it.

When I try to speak up – even enough to talk to someone across the table from me, my voice quickly gives out. I speak from that place you shouldn’t – the place Brian Johnson of AC/DC uses to sing. If I have a long conversation one day, I’ve got a sore throat the next.

Do I have an accent?

I never thought of myself as having one until I went to college, where I was teased for my southern twang. I worked hard to lose it by reading out loud to my Boston-bred roommate and letting her correct me. Now I’m not sure why I tried so hard to lose it. But my Virginia roots show when I’m tired – I get lazy with the vowels.

I was glad to hear your stories of stutters and loud laughs and nasal tape-recordings. For those of you I haven’t met in real life, it’s a nice way to sharpen the picture of you.


What I read this month: Joe Hill, HEART-SHAPED BOX (not my usual genre, but, wow, it’s a good ghost story, and I’ve been recommending it to everyone). I’ve also been knee-deep in a whole mess of research books for my new novel, but I’m not telling what the books are about.

Thanks to my guest, Attica Locke, for her courageous story of finding her voice, and to all of you who played here this month. Also, big thanks to those who linked to LitPark: The Thrill Begins, In Her Own Write, Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Amazon Blog, Upstate Girl, Side Dish, Terry Bain’s Amazon Blog, Rumbly in my Tumbly,, Kimberly Wetherell, Red Room BlogsRachel Kramer Bussel, EI Johnson, Tayari Jones, Tanya Egan Gibson (thank you for the book!), Neil Gaiman, Brad Listi, Alexander Chee, Robin Slick, kmwss2c, Urban Haiku, Trish Tha Dish, Tayari, Rachelle Gagne, Nick Belardes, Bella Vida Letty, th3maw, Spaced Lawyer, and to the mentions in Wikipedia pages for Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Maria Dahvana Headley, Daisuke Tsutsumi, Scott Snyder, Denis Johnson, Greg Downs, and Bruce Benderson. I appreciate those links!


One announcement before I go…

The Nervous Breakdown: Off The Blog!
A New Monthly Reading Series
Beginning June 9, 2009

The Nervous Breakdown is a creative non-fiction literary blog, written by published and emerging authors from around the world.

Come hear the writers of this award-winning collective as they read hilarious, journalistic, poignant and often salacious tales, as told on the pages of this engaging and highly interactive literary website.

The series kick-off includes readings from:

Jessica Anya Blau (The Summer of Naked Swim Parties)
Autumn Kindlespire (Random House Books)
Greg Olear (Totally Killer, coming Sept ’09)
Kimberly M. Wetherell (Filmmaker: Menage a trois, Why We Wax)
Todd Zuniga (Opium Magazine, Literary Death Match)

Tuesday, June 9
101 E 15th St, NYC
(downstairs from the Daryl Roth Theatre, Union Square)
$10.00 Cover

After party at Bar 119, 119 E. 15th St.


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.