Going on the Radio

My husband asked if I was going to appear on Radio 4.   No, I’m not on Radio Bore, but in a few days time I can be heard on Sudbury Newstalk, an audio magazine for visually impaired people.  I understand that there are 83 such people listening to this service in south Suffolk, including some living in residential homes.   My piece, a short story, entitled Burnt Down, based upon a childhood experience of being spooked by a burnt-out cafe in a park, was the only piece of fiction.  Other contributions included an article on travel tour guides, a reminiscence of watching Royalty, gardening tips and a quiz ; I think that the balance was probably right. 

I got to know about this opportunity through my real writing group and, being genuinely very busy, I put off checking when their deadline was until… Well, when I did look it up one afternoon, it was that evening… soooo…. I got to work, finishing my 800 word contribution at about 12.20am.  I DON’T WRITE FAST!  Sally Quilford, she can write very fast, a novel in a month.  Me, I feel very vulnerable when I have to write fast, quite sure I’m writing rubbish, but on this occasion it was OK.  A few days later, though, I did look at what I’d written and make major changes, including a totally different ending, and the later version I submitted to the (real) writing group yesterday.   However, this morning, when I retrieved the original version – slightly tricky because I’d saved over it – I realised that the very raw first version wasn’t so bad after all.  Ho-hum.  Do I edit too much?

Doing the actual recording was daunting, even though I’m used to standing up in front of a class and speaking spontaneously.   Not only had I never been in a radio studio before, not only had I never read one of my stories aloud before, but I know I gabble when I read lessons in church.  I can never get the microphone by the lectern in the right place and people (well, my husband) always says he can’t hear me.  Dear Reader, I was sitting in a proper radio studio, with a very nice young man sitting at a mixing desk with headphones on, counting the people on before me ‘3-2-1’, a proper presenter, and a desk with two microphones on it… and everyone else had done it before.  I was quite sure I would stumble, stutter, gabble, cough, sneeze, drop my pages… But – I know it’s one of the things people always say –  but once I started reading I was able just to immerse myself in the story.  And I managed to do some of the dialogue in a Leicester accent.  I was exhausted at the end, just wanted to go home, even though I was sort of buzzing too.

So, I’ve got an idea for another story about an elderly actress who turns to radio.  Now I can write it.

The picture below is a photo of a sign in a cafe in India, quirky and funny but not really relevant to this post.

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4 thoughts on “Going on the Radio

    1. Good to see you here, Debbie. Glad you managed to see this blog at last. Were you using your phone to view it?

      Yes, there is a sort of cafe link, in that the story ‘Burnt Down’ was about a cafe. I’m not in a position to include ‘Burnt Down’ on the blog, as it would effect its published status, and I would like to try my luck at submitting it to other publications.

  1. Congratulations, Rosemary! Never been on the radio, but don’t think I have the voice for it. Can we hear your story on the link to the broadcast?

  2. I haven’t got the voice either. Yes, you will be able to hear it, eventually, although they’re experiencing a technical hitch at the moment.

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