For my memoir “Born Round”, I was in a studio in Manhattan devoted to audiobooks. I noticed a basket of muffins and bagels right outside the airless, soundproof booth the reader sits in. âWhat hospitality! ” I thought.
No. What a strategy. Many readers, like me, have skipped breakfast and may be considering skipping lunch for efficiency. Their stomachs are growling. Mine did. And the microphone picked it up. The solution was a piece of sound-absorbing starch.
The technicians at the studio have told me that some of the actors hired to record novels refuse those calories. So blankets are wrapped around their tiny waists, to silence the roar of hunger.
The studio I’m using this week is here in Chapel Hill, NC, just a 15 minute drive from my home. I ate a light breakfast each morning; my stomach behaved well. And so the audio should be ready for release, with hardcover and digital versions, on March 1.
The book, âThe Beauty of Twilight: On Vision Lost and Found,â discusses my approach to the perspective of blindness and how it has changed my view of setbacks, limitations, and aging. And I mention this in part to follow up on an update on my eyes, which many of you ask me nicely and regularly.
My right eye will forever be useless for reading, computer work, etc., but my left eye clings to it, intact. The nature of what happened to me, some kind of optic nerve blow, is such that if my left eye fails me, it is likely to do so in an instant. There is maybe a 20 percent chance of this happening.
So I’ll be good until I’m not. But even then I will manage. This is what I came to see. This is what the book is about: acceptance, resilience, optimism. He describes the development of these qualities. It is also their fruit.
It’s alchemy – from trepidation to determination – or at least the intention to be. And the opportunity to tell my story is a privilege, as is the invitation to play it, no matter how Sisyphus. I shed my stomach. I clear my throat. I raise my voice. I even make peace with it.