The night before Beverly’s Celebrating the Arts salon, my son suggested that my husband read the male voices in the chapter. So Tim was the voice of Earl Grey, Baudillio, the owner of the Guatemala City Ford garage, and the Transcendental Meditation teacher. My friend Deborah volunteered to be the voice of Bruce, a full-blooded Choctaw in a pink Chanel jacket. It worked very well It was definitely more dramatic than had I read the chapter by myself.
I truly enjoyed being in front of an audience which appeared to be listening with interest as the chapter unfolded. When I read a word or a phrase that didn’t ring true to the story, I felt it in my bones. Also, reading the chapter helped me uncover a section which needed obviously needed more exposition, as some people in the audience just didn’t get the depth of despair which led my main character to start to bawl out loud, in the middle of a dusty market full of Guatemalan shoppers. There are some sentences which I excised from that passage quite awhile ago, which might just do the trick in establishing a greater degree of audience empathy, and I am going to dig them out and see if they might work — or else I’ll just write some new sentences.
So now I am a big fan of reading aloud. Who else wants to hear a chapter?
The art is from the program cover, designed by Beverly’s friend Twisha.