I was pretty excited when memoirist, Sharon Nesbit-Davis (aka Open Salon's "Mimetalker"), responded to my request for writers to interview on my Internet talk show, "Lost Coast Blues." The idea of interviewing a mime on an audio show intrigued me. This might be a real test for my fledgling host skills!
Would I need to find clever ways of filling dead air time due to long, awkward pauses? I knew within minutes after talking to Sharon during our pre-interview phone call a few weeks ago that this would not be the case. Her voice was warm and animated. She had a lot to say and said it well. I quickly learned that she is, first and foremost, a gifted story teller, whether her medium of expression is mime, writing her life story or speaking.
In this suspenseful story set mostly in a hospital emergency room, you'll hear Sharon speak with elegant simplicity. The present tense description and short sentences add to the immediacy and tension. I encourage you to listen in a quiet setting so you can hear all the nuances in her voice. At times, it rings with anger, dismay, fear, sadness, joy and surprise.
How does hearing her tell the story in her own voice affect the experience for you?
Sharon says writing is her lifeline that has helped her cope with the losses she's endured. Her writing has helped her in the healing process and has provided her with an opportunity to reflect and gain a better understanding of relationships with family members. In this essay, she discusses an "unexpected gift" she received from her mother, the value of which took her 40 years to truly understand.
Even as a child, Sharon's imagination was a force to be reckoned with. This delightful essay is populated with an out-of-body experience, a reference to a classic Twilight Zone episode, grandma's spooky mirror, and a child's preparations for the arrival of conquering space aliens.
It's not always easy for an adult to write from a child's perspective and pull it off with authenticity. What do you think, was Sharon successful? Did she transport you back to her childhood? Could you relate to the "alien" feelings she expressed?
You can listen to Sharon's full interview on ivealwayswantedto.com. She talks in detail about what motivates her to write; why art is important in her life; working with writing coach, Judy Bridges; and her newest project, a book about her interracial marriage.
If you're interested in reading and discussing your writing on an upcoming episode of "Lost Coast Blues," send me a message here on Open Salon or contact me via my site. Happy writing!