I’m pleased to share that my short story Restitution will appear in the pending Fall/Winter issue of the Tahoma Literary Review. I believe printed and digital copies will both be available for purchase next week, and meanwhile an audible version of the issue has been uploaded on the TLR Soundcloud page that is freely available.
This was my first foray into making a voice recording of my writing, and I must confess a challenge. I owe a debt of gratitude to my old friend Hariod, who told me with all the British eloquence he could muster that my first version simply wouldn’t do. Suffice to say he encouraged me to keep at it, and this was invaluable. (He also read early drafts of this piece and several of his proposed edits are in the final version.)
I’m not really set up for this sort of thing, so finding a quiet spot in the house in which to work was the first challenge. One night the pitter-patter of a soft rain on the windows put me out of commission. Another evening I shut-off the breaker to the heating system. The town fire alarm went off in the middle of one section, and I realized we have more dogs in the neighborhood than I thought. Eventually I realized the room I had selected for this work possessed the harmonic subtleties of a trash can. By then I could hardly stand to look at the piece anymore.
That was the easy part, though.
Actually keeping sufficient concentration to add inflection and range to the work was all but impossible for me to do for long stretches. And for me, a long stretch was anything over about 3-4 minutes. I had no idea what inflections to even add until I’d been reduced to mumbles at least four or five times per passage. Then something would start to make sense. It was a bit like writing in that regard–only instead of words, it was pitch and inflection that I fumbled in the dark to grasp. I realized the voice in my head, though meaningful to me, is not profoundly theatrical. The process was like learning to dribble a basketball—the timing of my voice and the syllables slapped against one another, and often missed entirely. My hat’s off to professional narrators and seasoned readers.
Each of the contributors was asked to give a little background on the origins of their work, and I thought I’d share that with you here:
This piece began as a reflection on the idea that our woundedness—the unhealed places within us that drive us apart—may ultimately be redeemed. In particular, I was interested in the idea that the process of redemption transcends the individual. The process of making whole not only elides our conscious direction, it touches each of us simultaneously. We are all made whole at once, in essence. This piece was part of a series that I wrote to explore the movement of grace in our lives—to examine those moments when we lose ourselves, only to find ourselves.
Working with TLR was a great experience for me. The team there was professional, courteous and insightful, and I hope that, if you can, you’ll consider supporting their work.
Hope you enjoy!