Writing Prompt: Voice and Music

Have you ever thought about how everyone’s voice is unique, like a signature? Each voice also has a different effect on each person that hears it. What some people find attractive, others might find grating.

There are some people’s voices that are warm and familiar to me. Family generally feels soothing. My mother’s voice stirs a mixture of feelings in me. Sometimes it’s homesickness, other times it’s frustration. I love her accent, sweet and thick with the sounds of her native country. Strange to some, but to me, her voice sounds like home. I’m filled with the frustration that comes from wanting to hear it in person. I only hear it over the phone every couple of weeks. Sometimes I don’t call, not because I don’t want to catch up, but because it’s painful to be so far away. When she gives me news of home, of things that trouble her, I get angry that I can be there with her and I feel like she’s on the other side of a thick glass wall I can never penetrate.

I have a friend who can calm me down when I’m upset just by telling me it’s ok. His voice has a soothing effect on me and whenever I need to gain a bit of perspective, honesty and equilibrium, I’m straight on the phone. Works every time.

I’ve never been a fan of my own voice. It’s high, American accented, Californian with a touch of English and Scottish expression thrown in. There’s no trace of my Hispanic roots, not even when I speak Spanish. I’m teased for my accent by my family when I try to speak it.

There’s another friend of mine whose voice I love, but can never remember it. When I concentrate, I can’t hear anything in my head, I can see him in my thoughts, but there’s no sound until I see him and he speaks. Odd…

Finally, there are some people who make me feel like someone has stabbed me with an ice pick in the heart when they speak. They don’t even need to be speaking to me before I want to run for cover.  Do you think the measure of a person’s heart can be heard in their voice?

 Try this, think about someone’s voice. Try to remember its tone, expression, does it fill your heart with joy or panic? Now, describe it. Tone, accent, manner of speaking, give the characteristics as much life as possible. Draw comparisons to other sounds so that the reader can almost hear it through your words.

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