After Marc Farre’s terrific show in NYC last Sunday, my dear lifetime friend Joni and I were standing around the Chinatown Brasserie drinking bubbly and talking about—yes, so unusual—The Spiritkeeper. Joan, in her wonderfully frank and straightforward way, told me “Your first two books, I was excited for, but truth to tell, it wasn’t until this one that I got really excited. I was at last looking at a mature writer who had found her voice.”

Made me think. Made me acknowledge how true her words were.

Voice is that thing that lets a reader find you in the dark…the thing that sounds like you and nobody else…the thing made up of the bits and bobs and rhythms in your skull, For a lifelong writer, voice is an evolving thing. The more one’s eyes are open, the more they gather. The more one listens to the inner music, the more the song starts to sound like you.

I came to high school writing classes with years of effort already behind me. No surprise, really, when my teacher John Kruzan told me that., even at 16, I already had a distinctive voice. That voice certainly carried into the first two published books. But is that voice this voice? Is that past voice so very different than the voice of the more mature me?

The answer: Damned right, it is.

Joni observed that, in the old days, Lynn’s writing voice sounded as if I were trying to write like someone else. Not so sure that’s true. But what I’m doing now? All me. Good or bad. In its rhythm-based writing, in the fragment-y, inside-the-head, sound of thoughts. All me.

We think differently than we speak—at least, most of us do. That’s where I am as a writer, now. A combination of compelling formal prose, and the fragments that represent how we observe when the only audience in the room is ourselves. The speech of fleeting thoughts and wisps of emotion. The idea that different thoughts sound different when they come from different heads. I think the voice is evident. I think it sounds like me. I think it doesn’t sound like anybody else. Because we don’t, none of us, sound like the next guy–do we?

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