This lesson is designed to help the speaker affect a convincing Southern drawl, using key vowel and consonant changes when applied to a text.
R-endings grow nasal
dear, morning, word, car, air, marsh, cursed, sure, personal
The Long I begins with a short A
sky, tried, sight, times, nightie
The following is taken from the horror novel “Pandora 2014: Blood Drive”. In this section, a tour guide writes a letter to his mother.
This morning I learned the meaning of the word ‘bleak’. The sky was a dismal gray. It had rained all night and was fixing to do so again. It was so cold that when I rushed from the house to the car, I felt the wind biting into that strip of my stomach between my jacket and my jeans.
The drive to the office was a horror show. I caught sight of an owl tearing a mouse from a roof, blood dots in the air as it took to the forest. When I crossed the bridge over the marsh, I watched an alligator close in on a duck. I had to look away.
Some inbred redneck decided to build a funeral home and crematory directly opposite Pandora Tours. Have I mentioned that our business is located only minutes from the cursed shopping center? Every so often magic spills out of the place. Can’t wait to see what happens when there’s a funeral and the Box decides to spit pixie dust.
Pandora Tours was still closed when I arrived. The doorknob needed coaxing since it’s all-new. The furniture, which has the feel of modern art, made the place colder.
I put a Lindi Ortega album on the record player. Her song “Lived and Died Alone” started bellyaching. Don’t ask me why, but I thought about Grandma.
I keep a picture of Grandma Ida on my desk (I have my own desk now. About time, huh?) In the Polaroid, she sits on the floor in a nightie, one of her boyfriends massaging her neck. Grandma is giving the camera a look. I wasn’t alive when the picture was taken, but if I had to post it with a caption, I’d write, “Don’t mess with me.”
I fixed some cocoa and read the newspaper. Times are tough. The Shooting Star reported that a thief got away with a truckload of beer. The funny part was that the guy who stole it tossed out the cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, leaving them behind in the parking lot. The truck got stuck in Bareneck Marsh, and when the thief was caught, he told authorities how even though he could sell the Pabst, his reputation was such that he wouldn’t be caught dead carrying it. He called it ‘horse piss in a can’. That’s a quote, Momma.
‘Learn a Southern Drawl’, the concise guidebook for learning to sound Southern, is available in paperback: http://goo.gl/K87OYi
And on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E81YHVK