Monday, January 31, 2011

My Cats Think I'm A Weirdo...

...and they might not be wrong.

I've been slowly rereading all of King's books in chronological order.  This process began at some point a couple of years ago, and I'm now up to Misery.  Nothing terribly weird about that, of course ... relatively speaking.

No, here's the weird: I've decided to read the book out loud to myself.  I've had it in mind to try doing something like that for a while now, and decided it was time to pull the trigger on the idea.  Back in high school, and during my first few years in college, I despised reading out loud; dreaded it, even.  Taking a creative writing course cured me of that: finding the gumption to read my own writing out loud made it easier by far to read someone else's writing aloud, and I was quite a bit better at it than most other students.  Not so much because I was good (I wasn't), but because most of them were just that bad. 

For whatever reason, lately I've been thinking about working out my vocal chords a bit, just to see how it suited me.  The comfort of my own apartment seems like a decent enough place for it, especially since there won't be anybody around but me to listen.

I'm not just reading to myself, of course; I'm also reading to my five (yes, five) cats, who seem to be responding to this experiment mainly by trying vigorously to jump into the middle of the book.  Now, I can't prove that they are trying to block the words so that I can't continue to read them ... but I can't prove they aren't, either.  The dumb little things probably just think I'm describing, in very dramatic detail, the delicious can of food I'm going to be opening for them soon, and they want to let me know in no uncertain terms that yes, they'd be totally into that, so stop with the speechifyin' and get with the food dispensin'.

Speaking of cats, here's an amusing name somebody could give a cat if they were so inclined: Robert Cattinson.  No, seriously, it's all yours; take it, with my blessing.

In any case, reading aloud is proving to be an interesting experiment, and while I'm not even minimally gifted vocally, nor do I have a voice strong enough to hold up to any extended period of reading, I can already tell that the act is forcing me to pay closer -- and better -- attention to the words than I would have been paying otherwise.  I've got a decent attention span, so reading comes easily, but retention is maybe a bit more elusive than I'd like it to be lately. 

I doubt that I'll ever make this a permanent reading habit, but it's been enjoyable so far.

Enough of that, though.  I'm sure that in the coming days, I'll have much to say about Misery.  It's been quite a while since I read this one, and though I don't remember a lot in the way of specifics, I remember enough to know that it's one of King's best novels.

Until next time, just remember: Annie Wilkes has bad breath, and to keep that from being a problem while you are illegally detaining and medicating a gravely injured novelist, make sure you're using Listerine twice daily.  Dirty mouths are for dirty birds!


  1. I'm curious how this all turned out!

    I decided to just start at the beginning and make my way up to the present day (with this blog), so I'm sure the answer is in the blogs to come. But the image of you reading Misery to five unappreciative cats really cracks me up.

    Dawn and I will put on The Cat From Hell on Animal Planet and more than once we've caught Big Boy (our cat, SINGULAR, you five-cats-caretaking madman!) watching the screen intensely. Normally if we put something on and leave the room, he'll follow us, meowing his endless desire for more wet food/ treats, but The Cat From Hell seems to freeze him in place.

    Looking forward to getting to Misery, in my own ongoing re-read. I loved the crap out of that one, back in the day.

    1. I didn't finish reading it in that manner, sadly; another case of my ambition outstripping my ability!

      However, I read aloud for ten minute stretches or so fairly regularly, and when I get to my reread of "The Plant," I'm planning on recording a self-read audiobook of it, just so I have one to listen to. It's the only King book I don't have in some audio format, and since nobody else seems inclined to fill in that gap, I'm going to just do it myself.