Two Challenges Today:
Writer's Challenge - I've been listening to an audio tape of Michael Ondaatje's Diviserado while in the car. It's nearly finished and like all good audio tapes of good books (note both must be good!) I have the cadence of his writing in my heart right now. His elegaic, sad and sexy voice. Listening to a book is so so different than reading one. I've listened to a number of books that I am very familiar with - books by Anne Tyler, Haruki Murikami, Annie Proulx, and what comes out beyond the plot, beyond the characters, beyond the story, is voice. Your challenge for the next week is to find a writer you like and read a page or two of their prose or poetry before beginning work on your own writing. Out loud. Let it get right into you. It doesn't have to be anything like your writing - in fact it might be good if it isn't but you are not to worry that you will lose your voice and pick up this other one. It isn't so. I know that. Just give it a try and see what happens and I will too. I'm going to read poetry I think, or Huck Finn.
Other Challenge for non-writers or those who want something less directive - find someone - a sick person, a child, your partner, your cat, and ask them if you may read out loud to them. Find something both of you like. I highly recommend Earthly Paradise - an informal autobiography of Colette. Heaven!
This is tricky I know but really, give it a try. Do you know that hearing is the first and last of our sense perceptions? Reading is a very healing thing to do for both the listener and the reader...