A little while back, a good friend gave me a book as a gift called “Giving Voice to Bear.” Bears are my power animal and totems. I shape shift into a bear. My first blog was in the voice of the bear. I wrote about what my inner bear was thinking and what she would have said if she could speak in our language.
("Shapeshifting to Bear" by Stephanie Rose Bird, chalk pastel)
I have a very vocal household of animals. Two parrots, one African Grey and one Nanday Conure both vocalize all day long. If you know anything about Nanday Conure’s you know that they have a very high pitched screech that they make when they are feeling joy or are upset. It takes time to learn to read which is which. Meanwhile yours ears are assaulted. They are beautiful birds however, very smart, playful and they talk. Ours says “who is it” when anyone comes to the front door and it sounds very sweet coming from his tiny vocal chords. The conure is also a watch bird, letting us know when someone is pulling up on the driveway or if they are at the front door. He vocalizes all of that in different, subtle ways. African Greys are noted for their speaking ability. Ours has an uncanny way of saying “hello” in either my distinct voice or my husband’s outside voice, right before the telephone rings. He mimics the cat perfectly, having learned the new kitten’s way of speaking, rather than expressing our old cat, who has passed away. He cajoles the dog, by asking if he is okay by name. Birds and their vocalizations are fascinating.
Quite a few of my recent posts in one way or another are about voice. For example, “Soul Singing and Sirens,” “Finding Peace in OM,” and “Pagans and Prayer.” Singing, chanting and prayer are all important and meaningful ways we use our voice.
When a friend or loved one dies, one of the most acute senses of loss comes through the absence of that person’s voice, expressed through laughter, shared as a whisper or through a welcomed phone call. Their voices become ephemeral memories for most of us, unless they have been preserved on film or tape. Still, their voices and the things they shared through their stories reverberate in our heads.
I like writing in different voices in the same book. I wrote in too many voices in my first novel. In my current book I am writing in first person but more than one person speaks to the reader from their unique perspective. My newest novel is all about voice. You get to imagine the enchanting voices of the muses and sirens alongside the sultry soul singing of the blues man. The main character gets possessed and the villain speaks through her. This main character has to struggle to regain her true voice.
The first part of the story is told by the blues man’s daughter and the second part is in the siren’s voice. This gives me the opportunity to expand the reader’s view of various situations and the characters within the story.
Readers have said they like my voice as a writer. Voice is vital to every writer, as important as it is to a singer. I do have trouble voicing my inner most feelings. This has manifested in troubling dreams such as me reaching into my mouth with a long fork and stabbing the frog in my throat so I can speak. That dream is rich in metaphor. The art therapist I work with wants me to create a bell necklace. As it moves and makes it delicate little sound, it will remind me to vocalize my thoughts, clearly and precisely. I have not yet made the necklace but have found a new way to express my voice. That is through this blog and also through my books.
A to Z Challenge—“V” is for Voice