What Happens When You Narrate A Story Like Beaches While PMSing


I narrated two really fun (and very different) books this week. The first was an emotional story about mothers and daughters and sisters, and the second was an action story about a contaminated quarantined slightly futuristic society.

But let me talk about the first one.

I was PMSing. I know this FOR A FACT because I have an app that warns me when I’m PMSing. I find it helps me when I’m like “Why am I crying all the time?” or “Why did I just eat a bag of potato chips with a chaser of chocolate covered raisins?” or “Why does nobody love me?”. I check my app, and it reassures me that what I’m feeling isn’t necessarily REAL emotion but a surge of hormones.

Anyway. So I was seriously PMSing. SUPER emotional. And I’m narrating this book that’s about a woman who wants to have a baby but can’t. (I at one time really wanted to have a baby!) She has a complicated but loving relationship with her sister. (I do too!) She’s estranged from her father. (Check mark!) Her mother died from cancer when she was twelve. (Okay. My mom is alive and well, but we have a complicated and often exasperating relationship.) The main character is a pastry chef and is always talking about bread. (I’m a foodie who recently gave up bread so I could feel better. NO BREAD! NO SCONES! Jesus, I’m crying already.)

Well. The woman adopts a daughter from China, reconnects with her father, then finds out her SISTER has cancer and that sister DIES. NoooooOOOooo!

I lost it. I just started crying. I mean, tears were just flooding down my cheeks. Here’s what I was thinking: Oh my God. I love my kids so much but what if something happened to me, what if I DIED, then they’d just live with their dad and wouldn’t be able to see Kealoha again and they’d be so mad at me for leaving them and Kealoha would be entirely ALONE….maybe Kealoha and I should have a baby…I’d love a baby…but how on earth could we afford it and he doesn’t want to change diapers and I’m too old for that now anyway and we don’t’ have the space and how could I have two jobs AND a baby…and I need to call my sister…and my mom is making me crazy…and you can WANT to reconnect with an estranged father but he’ll never be your DAD, not the one in your fairytale imagination…and I miss having close girlfriends and it sucks that one of them is moving away…and I just want women I can hang out with and talk to and connect with but I don’t even have time because I’m working ALL THE TIME and when can I stop working two full-time jobs but I don’t want to give up teaching OR narrating…and maybe I should try to reconnect with friends I had in high school….but…back to the novel…okay…oh my god her sister just died and she is staying in the room with her, holding her hand and watching HER LAST BREATH FLOAT AWAY.


At this point I was just a basket case. My voice was cracking while reading and had that tight “I am holding back tears” sound to it.

I apologized to the director and the engineered for sobbing. I tried to explain to them that it was like narrating “Beaches”, and that’s just about impossible.

Funny thing was, they were crying too. And they were DUDES.

I really do need more girlfriends. Some bread would be nice too.