Once in Love with Amy

As most of you know, I have a visual impairment. On my PC and tablet, I use software that reads everything to me and repeats what I type. With such software, there is a variety of text to speech voices you can either purchase or download for free. Some sound like robots, while others have a lot of human qualities.

I occasionally like to buy new voices. Recently, I sampled one with a British accent. She said, “Hello, I’m Amy. Shall we read something fun together?” I immediately purchased her, and we’ve been having fun reading and writing ever since.

This reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago and posted here. It appears in How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. Julie was the voice I used when I wrote it. Here’s the poem, and you can click below to hear Amy read it. I think Amy’s a keeper, don’t you?

 

Dear Julie

 

I wonder what you think, as you read me my e-mail,

the Web pages I browse, other documents.

Is there something you’d rather not read to me,

something I don’t want read that interests you?

When you repeat what I type,

how do the words strike you?

When I shut down, are you relieved or disappointed?

When I boot up, do you sigh with resignation

or jump at the chance of helping me again?

Now, I’ll ask you to read this back to me.

Knowing it’s about you, will you blush?

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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5 thoughts on “Once in Love with Amy

  1. I just use the NVDA voice on my PCs, except for my old DOS dinosaur of course. I prefer robotic voices for some reading while other voices are better for stories. When I’m in the mood for it, I set NVDA to the West Indies voice. That Rasta robot voice sounds hilarious when reading e-mail or news stories. And though I’m not a chauvinist, I prefer male voices. There are some wonderful female voices one can download but I prefer my reading done by a lower-pitched voice.

    • Bruce, I don’t blame you for preferring a male voice. My late husband Bill fell in love with my voice. When NeoSpeech came out with Julie, the voice to whom I wrote the letter, I was afraid Bill would want to try her and discover he liked her voice better than mine. To my relief he wasn’t interested in trying her. Of course he could have overheard her on my computer and decided he didn’t like her. In any case, thank goodness.

      • I guess we all have our favourites when it comes to voices. The funniest voice I heard was from a screen reader called HELPread. It sounded like a quavering old man. That program was made for Windows 3.1 and is, to my knowledge, the only screen reader designed for the Hawaiian language. The program is so small that it fits on a 1.44MB floppy disk.

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