A Few Spoken Words From Elizabeth Harper

Have you ever wondered what some of the bloggers you read regularly actually sound like? Do you hear a particular voice in your head when you read my posts?

Not long ago two things happened that made me think I might like to share my voice with you and I’m hoping that you might feel inclined to do the same. Mariellen Romer and I exchanged a couple of emails where the topic of tea came up, sweet tea in particular, and cold, the way southerners where I’m from in Georgia tend to like to drink it.

She said this reminded her that I was a Georgia native by birth and as such, my spoken voice might sound a bit different from the one she heard in her head when reading my blog. Additionally, there was a post by Jennifer Trinkle written for a contest on NPR called Three-Minute Fiction that asked for submissions which could be read in three minutes and prompted me to want to give the three-minute thing a try for fun.

The piece you can hear below is not fiction and is something I wrote a few years ago based on an actual event. It’s also a tiny bit longer than three minutes clocking in at 3:03.

Have a listen below and tell me … does my voice fit the one you hear in your head?

The Secret In Her Smile



19 thoughts on “A Few Spoken Words From Elizabeth Harper

  1. I think of you as having a very neutral accent. I am a complete Irish type, but I might very well have an Indian inflection or two by now. I actually contacted our friend Judy Harper on Google chat one time, and she was typing to me and I was speaking to her. She said I sounded different than she imagined.

    Actually, I’d love to speak to you sometime.

    My computer is reading that file. I think I’d guessed your accent right. How lovely!

  2. Hi Elizabeth.. I have no idea about areas and accents of America.. .. but you are as I thought, a soft accent 🙂

  3. You are a bit more soft-spoken than I think of someone who was in the Army. But your accent is very much like where I went to college in east Tennessee — at least the long O sound is close.

    Nice story, and the picture of your daughter is sweet.

  4. You are a perfect match!!!
    I was reluctant to press play in case the reality of who you were did not fit with the voice I heard as I read your blog. I took the risk, pressed the button and now am smiling!

  5. Yes you sound just as I imagined. I am from Georgia myself. I must admit, there is nothing better than a cool glass of sweet tea on a hot muggy GA day. The picture of your daughter is beautiful. I dabble in photography a bit also. Strange how some of the most memorable shots are often mistakes.
    I stumbled across your wonderful piece while searching for a Thomas Sowell archive. I noticed your name immediately as one from my past. Well,, close. Her middle name was Jan. She was my first true love in fact. So I was understandably curious. As I listened to your piece, I remembered how we would talk on the phone for hours. Not wanting to hang up or not being able to discourage the overwhelming urge to say “I love you” just once more.
    I have wanted, for over twenty years now, to tell her how sorry I was for being nineteen when we last saw each other. A man does and says some pretty idiotic things at that stage of intellectual immaturity. And yes, I am sorry. For what I did to others and for the richness I lost in my life. I know this may seem odd to you. Me baring my soul to someone I have never met. I can’t explain it myself. It was something my hands just did on the keyboard without me really thinking about it. I do that from time to time. I call it ranting. My wife calls it being an obnoxious blowhard. Se le vie.
    I did enjoy your piece, the picture of your lovely muse and your time. Thank you.

  6. I’m not sure what I expected you to sound like, but I am so happy to hear your voice — it fills in a picture. I know that when I hear my own recorded voice, I tend to cringe because I sound so nasal, but yours has a musical quality (and I didn’t detect much of an accent, outside of the American one).

    And aside from the voice, I loved this “post,” too. Those transitional moments in our lives are so interesting to me and I think it’s lovely that you captured that moment with your daughter. I think about this all the time with my son, how much he changes, how everything is in motion.

    Thank you for the link love, too!

  7. Well, yes, you sound just like I thought. And honestly, I must not be good at accents because i didn’t think you sounded southern. Like stated above, you sounded neutral with such a calm mellow tone. Thank you for sharing the 3 minute snippet…what a lovely story and it must be a dear picture too.

  8. You do sound the same as you did in my head. I like the slight softness from Georgia that creeps in around the edges. That element was a surprise, but the warm, straightforward voice sounds ‘right’.

    The harder direction for me is going from a voice I know and love on the radio to seeing what the person looks like. That way never seems to match.

  9. Elizabeth, you have a beautiful name and a beautiful voice and yes that comes across in your blog. I’m one of your classmates, it is nice to stop in for a visit with you, especially when tea is mentioned : )

  10. I have to admit that I’d given you the voice of a long departed female friend from grade school. Central Midwest United States (the much talked about “no accent” voice), but I pick up small ‘bits’ in your voice that make me think of an American that has spent a lot of time in England/Europe, so it seems more natural.

    I think the story is fantastic. And you’re braver than I am. I hate listening to my own voice – I know the technical reasons for why recordings of my voice don’t sound like me to me, but it still throws me off.

  11. I wanted to thank you all for your lovely comments and say that I am so glad that my voice fit somewhat closely with what most of you had in mind.

    I know what it’s like when you follow a blogger for a while and then hear them speak and they have a totally different voice than the one you’d imagined.

    I can see why Gina hesitated before listening. I should admit that sometimes I can sound much more southern, John always teases me about how southern I sound when I get off the phone after a conversation with my step-mom Cullene who was born and raised in Alabama.

    Mrs Dof thinks I’m a bit soft spoken for someone with army experience, but she hasn’t heard me shout from another room.

    The funniest difference in the voice you heard and one you might hear if you spent more time with me is the one I like to call my “drive through window” voice. Some of you may know what I’m talking about when I say that when ordering food through my car window in the drive through line at a fast food restaurant, my voice quite mysteriously manages to go up about two octaves. It’s always a surprise to me when it happens as if it’s the first time.

    Thanks too for your kind words about the little story with my daughter at the Louve. It was a special trip we took to Paris for the millennium New Year in 2000 so you can see it was a tad dated. I didn’t write it until 2005 or 2006 and it was nice to use it for my first podcast.

    Thanks for listening.

  12. Great piece, nicely written and read. Yes, I would have recognized your voice and yes, I recognized the artist you spoke of. I hope he’s happy. I know you are. The photo is an interesting one too. It’s so clear who is the center of the photograph. Probably why people are drawn to it.

  13. You have a lovely voice, but even thought I know you are an American, because you remind me a little of the actress Emma Thompson…that is how I heard you.

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