Recording a Story

This morning I recorded Welcome Home, one of my stories for adults, at the studios of Valley Public Radio, a branch of National Public Radio.

Every year, writers from Central California (yes, it is a huge chunk of our big state) are invited to submit a fiction story to the program Valley Writers Read. My story will air in 2013.

Although I already recorded twice with Valley Public Radio in the past, each time, as it with every story, is new.

For anyone who is not a native speaker, reading aloud can be a nervous experience. But the producer is patient and kind. We’ve worked now three times together and he knows I will make mistakes. So he gives me a bottle of water, gets his pen and goes on the other side of the window that separates us. I read, alone, in front of a big mike – one of my dreams when I was a kid was either to be a writer or a radio host.

For the time of a recording I am both!

When I finish my reading, the producer gives me a list of corrections. I mispronounced a word on page 2, another on page 5, 8, 9 and so on. So I record the word, part of a sentence, a whole sentence or even a small paragraph again and again, until perfection. Perfection being impossible for a non-native speaker, we settle for understandable. The producer then cuts and pastes, in the same way we do on our computers. Later he will even add music.

Isn’t it cool to be able to do that so easily? I hoped it would be as seamless with writing. Can you imagine? Just writing it again and again and here it is.

Well, it’s called a draft and it reminds me of my task for this month: get one by the end of November.

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