This nearly didn’t happen

[no photos today – thought I’d change it up a bit…and I have less time anyway]

I really considered skipping today. Just to see, in the same way that actually achieving an ‘every single day’ target would have an effect on me, how I’d feel if I deliberately chose not to write every single day. After all not only do I dislike dogma; I dislike being told what to do. And I think having to do something every single day for a challenge is exactly that. So, should I be rebellious and rage against the system…? or should I just carry on putting check marks against every single day like a good student.

Well, here I am. Check mark almost earned. I was about to stay in the studio and record another hour while still waiting for my friend to arrive from the airport, but then my voice is a little tired and having decided to go for that check mark I knew I probably couldn’t find the time to write once people started arriving and I had social obligations. And staying up after the event to get this done would be ill-advised given that a beer or two may be downed. (it was dangerous enough doing yesterday’s as I was late and it being Friday I decided I’d earned that end-of-week glass of wine… it was tough going – I wanted to flop and watch TV – but I think I got away with it).

Is it cheating to spend the time in today’s writing challenge talking about the challenge itself? Feels like chasing my tail. Let’s move on.

I finished narrating that other Russian book two days ago. I never told you the title: The Winter Station by Jody Shields. I enjoyed it despite it’s darkness (it was the one about the outbreak of plague in Harbin in China at the beginning of the 20th century). A very atmospheric book, moody, disturbing. There are books that spell out everything and tie things up in a nice tidy knot at the end. They can be very satisfying and good reads in their own way but sometimes it’s good to have to engage your brain on a deeper level to really understand a book. Both my last two narrations have been of this sort. There’s a lot of ‘unknown’ out there in the world and these books (The Unconsoled and The Winter Station) did little to dispel that. I appreciate the trust in the reader that betrays. I feel as if I can fall into those books and be embraced by them where narrating a book that spells everything out feels as if I’m just bouncing along the surface – not that that can’t be a fun ride as well, of course. This one just finished had more of a clear story, of course, as the events took place around a real historical fact (this particular outbreak of plague) so, on finishing, I didn’t feel quite as adrift as I did with The Unconsoled. As a result it was easier to come back from (‘out of? ‘down from?’).

Talking of books that keep it simple I’m into a fantasy adventure now. People not thinking too deeply just doing things and having things done to them. Nobody considering anything weightier than how to save their particular part of the world from being attacked and ravaged by creatures from another part of the world. You know, basic stuff like that – something we can all relate to. 🙂

I have a short classic to read when I’ve finished that – I’ll tell you more next week. Then before I pick up another fantasy (they have big audiences, the publishers love them) I’m going to be doing a reading at an author appearance. Back in August I recorded a book called The Wonderling by Mira Bartók. She’s on a publicity tour right now and is passing through LA next Friday (Nov 10th) – for details of her book tour click here. She generously invited me to come and read with her. I’m pleased to say she enjoyed what I did with her book, and so have audiences – it was given an AudioFile magazine Earphone award (for excellence)! It’s being made into a movie (picked up even before it was published – which is exciting for her)

Sort of petered out here. That’s about it – back here tomorrow!
– S.

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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2 Responses to This nearly didn’t happen

  1. Deborah McCorkle November 5, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Just so you know.. I consider you a man of taste. As odd as it may seem.. I never would of read any fiction if not for you. Sadly, I’ve always enjoyed bios, true stories and history. Now that I’ve found I really enjoy your acting and narration I’ve ventured to listen to a few titles of fiction. The experience is expanding my enjoyment thank you.

  2. Barbara Harris November 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Simon….I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. Going to be really bummed when the 30 days is up! Going to get The Wonderling now, to listen to while I knit. You take care!

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