Remember story time? Those moments in our younger years when a teacher, librarian, or a parent sat us down and read a story. Lately I have been thinking about how having a story read to me is different than reading a story on my own. I miss those days stretched out on the carpet or in my bed listening to another voice read the words out of a book. How my imagination runs differently hearing the story fall from another’s mouth. No one reads to adults unless they purchase an audio book or get to sit in on story time for a little human. This is a sad fact. I am sure if I asked one of my friends to read me a story I would get a strange look and would probably be asked if I had been drinking.
Lucky for me I discovered a brilliant podcast called Snap Judgment on NPR. The show is described as “stories with a beat” and the host is Glynn Washington. He has a wonderful story telling voice, the kind of voice you can listen to all day. Each story has a soundtrack and sound effects. Washington usually leads off the podcast with a story he personally tells followed by a couple other stories from other people that fit into the theme of that podcast. They are a mix of some fiction and some memoir. It is important as a writer to hear stories being told. It allows you to think about your audience. Listening to the stories on Snap Judgment force me to step outside of myself for a moment and consider my own writing. The stories are short; not long stories that have to be committed to for a long period of time. The topic range is so broad that I may listen to a story I may have otherwise skipped over.
Hearing a story read out loud rather than reading it is a simple pleasure, one that reminds me of childhood. And what better way to enjoy a warm evening than lying on the couch listening to a story. Take a moment to change things up and have a story read to you.
Oh…and if you are a writer, you can submit stories to be read and performed on the podcast.
Check out the website: www.snapjudgment.org