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The Long, Elliptical Ride to the Whorehouse

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Mom, this isn't blasphemy—the Virgin is part of the story, honest

I recently read a good, helpful essay on finding and developing your writer’s voice, courtesy of Writer’s Digest (and another fine one, on the same topic from Jane Friedman). An important point in both essays is that the expression of self in writing, be it in diction, passion, slant or tone, can be a variant thing—the hummingbird’s flight is always expressive of the bird, but its dartings and hoverings aren’t always approached from the same direction or desire.

But thinking of a writer’s voice made me think of literal voices, and I remembered a radio piece I did some years ago for a local Santa Cruz station, KUSP. The aural collage was called the Foreign Stories Project, an effort by a producer named Howard Scherr to induce local folks to recount interesting tales of their adventures in foreign lands. I don’t quite sustain the right cadence in this piece, but it’s a fun challenge to try to tell a story aloud, and to see how it’s rendered with sound effects and professional editing. And any story which has a 1,000-mile bus ride to a surprise whorehouse has to have some intrigue.

Take a listen (but do wear protection):

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5 thoughts on “The Long, Elliptical Ride to the Whorehouse

  1. What fun, hearing you telling the story. I’m never sure when your stories are gospel, and when apocryphal, and I suspect they’re usually toned down so the rest of us can believe them.

    Still dreaming of a road trip with you some day. We’d probably end up stumbling into a monastery, which might lead to better alcohol, and more meaningful conversation–even in Spanish.

  2. Coming back to read this comment, I learned two things:

    1. I want to read more L. L. Barkat, especially when she’s writing about tea; and
    2. The other article was written by Dinty Moore, and I just have a hard time taking anything seriously when it was written by tinned beef stew.

    And what have you learned today, Tom?

  3. Joel, the story as described is all true (well, I HAD been drinking) though there were a couple of more sordid/peculiar elements that I didn’t describe. But I was just the goggle-eyed witness to them, not the perpetrator. And I think we’d better get to the monastery soon, because I need a whole lotta praying to make up for the last 40 years.

    As for what I’ve learned today, I realized that I can get impatient and prickly about the damndest things, and my getting that way doesn’t do a durn thing to help. So maybe I’ll drink tea.

  4. L.L., I really should drink more tea, because like tequila, tea has really come into its own, from subtle, delicate flavors to big brass drums of headiness. And the hangovers are much better than those from tequila.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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