Shedding Silence

So, my laptop managed to make a miraculous recovery. *killjoys make some noise~* She’s a real trooper.

Anyway, that means I finally got around to playing with sound. And, to being frustrated by it.

That said, I didn’t really feel a strong pull towards any of the not-to-do-list prompts. I did really like reading one of my works aloud in class this past week, though. So, I decided to run with that and record myself–again–reading my story. Only, this time, with some added sound effects to set the mood. Create an atmosphere.

It was not easy.

Audacity seems like a simple, user-friendly interface until you start piling on the different sounds and then it get complicated. (see, uncooperative) Adding a sound here or there moves everything else out-of-place. And, cutting something is a very, shall we say, hellish delicate process. Always, always listen a few dozen times after every little change to ensure you’ve done what you intended is all I want have to say. Always.

Without further ado, why don’t you take a little listen to the fruits of Shadow Girl’s many frustrations~

(Can you guess what I props I used to make the sound effect? Yes? No? Maybe? All will be revealed in this week’s reflection~)

This is the same story I read in class and, to be honest, it’s a favourite I’ve written so far.

In class, I talked a little about the inspiration behind a lot of my work. But, because I was kind of nervous speaking in front of everyone, I only discussed one aspect of my work–that I like writing girls who are as cruel as their world has been to them. More, I enjoy writing stories about female characters who’s motivations are not responses to a patriarchal influence. My girls are violent or disturbed/disturbing in and of themselves.

But, there is more to it than that.

For many years, when I was young, I was silent. Silenced by some unspeakable things that happened to me. It was very hard for me to speak because I didn’t feel like I had a voice of my own. More, I didn’t feel like my voice was mine. It belonged to someone else who preferred my mouth shut.

It’s taken many years and lots of intervention for me to realize my own preferences. For me to speak as I please. Still, though, I struggle to do that–speak at all. Break the silence. It’s not easy to exercise something you didn’t believe you had the right to for a long time. Often, I worry I come across as disengaged or uninterested, maybe unimpressed, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In my writing, I think my feelings obvious. On the page is where I began to rediscover my voice so I think it makes sense that it is where you can hear me clearest. But, I wish I could find my voice just as well beyond the edges of the page.

That’s another reason why I don’t like to speak aloud–I don’t sound the way I do in my writing and I so desperately want to. Hearing the difference between what I’ve written and how I voice it frustrates me. It sounds like a disservice. Sounds disappointing.

In class, though, it was an unexpected surprise to hear that people liked how I read my work. Apparently, my soft tone paired with my “brutal” words created a discordant, eerie harmony that actually worked really well. Which, is something I never really considered–that my gentle from disuse, honestly voice could add another, meaningful layer to my writing.

Forgive the long preface but that other aspect of my work I didn’t mention in class is that most of it is an exploration of trauma and how it informs one’s future interaction as well as its, overall, lasting impact/effect on one’s life. It’s a focus of both my written and metals work. Specifically, when it comes to my metalwork and jewelry-making, I like to create wings–in case you haven’t noticed.

(Really, in case you haven’t)

To me, making these symbols of freedom out of a fixed medium transforms them into a profound statement. Emblems of what could be or could have been but isn’t or wasn’t.

They become almost escapes.

It’s an inherent contradiction I hope I can continue to finesse in my art.

Getting back to the writing, though, I think that discordant harmony I was made aware of fits in appropriately with my overarching theme–something I would never have known if I hadn’t spoken up.

Silence is such a hard adversary to conquer. Especially when doing so feels like a betrayal. I mean, silence is an old friend. The oldest of mine, even. An integral part of me. And yet, it’s not. It’s a companion I didn’t choose for myself. Still, though, they’ve always been there. Like a crutch. Like a friend.

Our relationship is one of attrition.

Living with trauma is attrition–a back-and-forth tug-of-war with yourself. No matter on which side ground is lost, you feel like you are playing a losing game. It’s, like I said, contradictory a lot of the time.

It’s calm, too, sometimes. Inside. When it’s stalemate. Usually, deadlock occurs when I’m writing or in the metals studio.

Writing and creating from that silence is revenge. It is opening a mouth that was preferred shut. It is telling a story I was supposed to keep secret. It is traitorous. It is truth.

If a lot of my work seems coarse or vengeful that’s because it is. It is my vengeance. These girls I write in these vicious worlds are meant to articulate the sorrow and rage trauma sows in the heart it broke. That most of these stories end on the crux of closure or with a tinge of something at best bittersweet/disappointing is not a mistake. It is for your contemplation.

Anyway, personal introspection/rambling aside, I imagine incorporating readings of some of these short works in some digital storytelling format with my metal projects. I think telling my stories with my own intonation and in my own voice is necessary for meaningful communication. After all, it is what my body of work sounds like to me. Me. It sound like me.

Something else I’ve also discovered since reading my work aloud is how similar my vengeance sounds like confession–like honesty starving for listeners. Hungry to be heard almost as much as it is ravenous for revenge.

When it comes to confession, I know, it’s best to be all-in. To be unapologetic. To be brave. I want to be.

If nothing else is heard, I hope that is.



Speaking of listening, I’ve recently been introduced to a great podcast.

My Favorite Murder  is all about these two freakin’ awesome chicks discussing, you guessed it, murder–a decidedly morbid interest/fascination of my own. My friend @libraryguy introduced me to this delightful show as one of their entries in our own little March Madness competition. We dubbed it #marchmacabreness/#marchmorbidness and, since we’re both connoisseurs of the creepy, horrific, and otherwise disturbing, the object of it is to see who can freak out the other more each week with some deep, dark internet find/fave. Well, at least, that was the object. It’s kind of turned into us just sharing freaky sh*t with each other back and forth. 

That’s beside the point though.

Check out the podcast! It’s not so much about employing sound itself to tell story, I’ll admit, but the way the hosts structure their conversations and use tone to convey different feelings is worth appreciating. And, the content is killer. It’s to my tastes, at the very least, so take that for what you will…. 😉

***Got that featured image up! A recent, horror-esque drawing of my hand in charcoal ^.^***

Shadow Girl signing off!



  1. I think there is always a gap between our writing voice and our regular voice that we think te world hears of us, and bridging/dancing/falling into that gap between how we express myself in writing and how we express myself in talking (and, let’s add, how we express myself in thinking) can be frustrating and exhilarating, but it is always a journey. Perhaps it is that gap that protects us from ourselves, and we don’t even know it or understand it.
    This connects to the whole notion, too, of digital identity, and which of ME will I project to YOU today. Tomorrow might be completely different. Yesterday might have been a challenge.
    I have enjoyed your posts, and stories. Will now listen to your sounds. Thanks for sharing your work and yourself here in NetNarr.

    Kevin, out in the Big Wide Open of NetNarr

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know it’s something we all experience–that dissonance between who we are inside vs. who we are in outside expressions, who we sound like. Hopefully it gets easier to accept 🙂
      Also, happy to hear you enjoy my writing. It’s the highest compliment a writer can give another writer, isn’t it? That said, I enjoy your writing too and all the contributions you’ve been making to the #netnarr tag. Lots of insight.
      ~Kelli, a girl wandering through the web’s shadows~


  2. Such a powerful blog post (it made me cry). I can definitely hear you…loud and clear. I appreciate your willingness to share yourself and your talent with us. I enjoy all of your writing, but hearing you read in class was really something special. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laura! Had to return the favor, right? You broke our hearts in class with your work so I had to find some way to tap the waterworks too ^.^ Really, though, your writing is so honest and raw and unapologetic and I greatly admire all of that. It means a lot to hear you appreciate listening to me, too.


  3. Much appreciation for the persistence in the audio, for while I had read your story in an earlier post, Bone Girl has a completely new and even more powerful presence in your reading.

    I know not the way out of the trap of hearing your voice out loud and measuring it against some other level of? performance? I don’t know the way out of the self judging except doing what you have done- tried. Because I am listening and hearing your character, and it leaps out of my ear phones.

    Tough guesses on the sound effects; I respect them because they are subtle and give your story just the right amount of starkness yet not complete emptiness– and whether the soft echo was a digital effect or an echo in recording, it is extremely well mixed.

    In terms of the challenges of audio editing, I’m curious if you were using multiple tracks for editing, and the methods of splitting/time shifting audio bits. It does take a few rounds of doing it the hard way, so I hope your positive results (and I have to say this is really really good for early audio editing) act as some kind of encouragement.

    I sense some kind of connecting between your superlative writing, the tactile art of your metalwork, and maybe the audio dimension. There is much mystery and force behind it all, and I feel fortunate to get even the small sense of it. Nature provides, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alan! That audio stuff could really be confounding >.< Glad to hear it sounds vaguely like it was made by someone who knows what they're doing! I recorded it all in one go, actually, and managed not to mess up much. The echo, I'm not sure about? It certainly wasn't intentional but, I agree, I think it sounds cool here. Would've like to play around more with it but I was afraid I'd mess something else up. This sound stuff is intricate, I tell ya!
      The only part of the main audio I like cut and stitched together, also to speak, was the place where I had "peace" become "pieces" towards the end. Other than that, I positioned and repositioned the sound effects till they fell in line with the phrasing I wanted. Played around a little with those filter-like sound effects too. Those will need some more experimentation though.
      Again, thanks for all your support of my creative endeavors and musings~


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