Here on my writing retreat in Massachusetts, I’m on the next step of the memoir process having gone through the entire draft of edits. What amazes me most is that I thought I was done a year ago. Twelve months later, I think I’m only about halfway there.

With the written edits in place, I’m now reading my memoir aloud into my iPhone voice memo so that I can listen back and hear how it flows. I thought about reading a chapter, then listening, but have opted for getting the entire book recorded and then doing the playback. This reminds me of an episode of All in the Family where Meathead confronts Archie about how he puts on his shoes and socks. Rather than sock, sock, shoe, shoe, Archie chose sock, shoe, sock, shoe. “That way, if there’s a fire or something, one foot will be completely covered and I can hop outside. Otherwise, I’d have to go out with only socks on both feet.” Not sure there’s a right answer here, but I’m opting for read, read, listen, listen.

To reward myself and also give my tired vocal cords a break, after speaking for an hour last night and another hour this morning, I went to the Eric Carle Museum located a few miles from where I’m staying. He’s the the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar classic. My Airbnb host had left a folder of area attractions and mentioned that this museum was equally interesting for adults and had a very good gift shop which is always a draw for me. It was a worthy diversion and I picked up a set of markers in the gift shop that will help me color code the timeline I plan to create as I re-listen to my work.

It’s an odd feeling to have nothing else to do besides my creative work. Putting in 6-8 hours a day here is a luxury I don’t have when I’m back in the city and doing my usual work. I committed to my goal buddy to have completed the oral recitation by Monday when we speak again.

Okay, blogging was my reward for the past hour of recitation. Now back to the microphone.

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