Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


in which neile is lame

and is even feeling lower-case about it.

It has just been a long and tiring week, and a long and tiring day. I just finished doing the minutes of a Clarion West meeting, one of two I attended today (so much for my quiet Sundays!!! which I NEED!!!) and I'm feeling too tired to do a proper entry.

So, this week, I lamely:

  • Missed a poetry workshop meeting
  • Worked on but didn't finish a book publication for the Living Archives of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets (very late and lame I am with this)
  • Got halfway through reorganizing my file cabinets to make better space in them
  • Went to work like a good, lame girl
  • Wasted precious time playing computer solitaire
  • Bought cat food and a new cat comb; bought food for us; bought us a Thai dinner on Friday; ordered some more new clothes from online catalogs; went on a Costco trip with Jim and Tamar (so I lamely spent some money this week)
  • Took a lamb roast over to Tamar's for us to cook at her place and watch a tape of the first series of Tales of the City
  • Wondered whether I should get my hair trimmed or cut
  • Attended the two meetings previously mentioned and took minutes for the second of them
  • Missed bb, which is irretrievably crashed
  • Thought about writing but didn't write
  • Got even further behind on my email backlog
  • But still managed to hang out doing computer stuff so much my arms hurt
  • I falter in my fight against the dragging things, the drag-ons, the dragons
  • Wondered why I'm so lame lame, so lameably lame

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


This week I obsessed with Willow's new cd sweet dark demon, a truly rich, dark, sensual, collection of songs. This is her second work with a band (she has a previous tape of 6 songs with her band and a solo cd) and it shows both the strong simplicity of her songs but also ornaments them well. It's just a lovely, heart-felt, passionate, folkie collection. She has a deep, evocative voice. Highly recommended.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Robert Holdstock's Celtika is a Merlin story of a quite different sort. It tells of a Merlin of great age but still young, who is entangled with the tale of Jason and Medea and their sons, whom Medea had only put on a show of murdering and had then hidden them in time. The novel begins as he journeys to a lake in the far north where there are tales of a man underwater screaming, and Merlin is certain that it is Jason kept alive by the old, layered magic of the ship Argo. The story is full of shamanic religion and layers of invasions, legends, heroes, warriors, love and betrayal, old myth, old gods, earth magic, and the changes that overcome them all as Merlin uses the charms in his bones and grows a little older and learns more about himself and his own past and future in the midst of affecting Jason's. A fascinating tale and an interesting turn for Holdstock after the many forest stories of the ancient mythic gods and forests, like Mythago Wood (surely a modern classic).

I also read my first James Blaylock, on the recommendation of Leslie Howle who is the other Clarion West workshop adminstrator. This was Winter Tides, a horror tale about a young surfer who rescues one teenage twin from drowning but is unable to save her sister. Years later the surviving sister turns up at the theatre he works in and her sister is there, too, helping the theatre administrator affect her revenge. I found this interesting and cleanly written but it didn't affect me strongly in any way--I didn't get particularly caught up in this. This might partly be because I'm not a big horror fan.

last week's reading § next week's reading


I thought a lot about getting some writing done but did not. I am thinking about how to tackle the next chapters of Bryony's Needle, hoping to be abel to do some more major revisions to circumvent some of the problems seen in the earlier parts I've submitted to the workshop group but I'm not sure I'll have time until the summer. We'll see.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

December 1979 - January 1980

1071. Why doesn't somebody...
December 15, 1979

...anybody allow God His holiness and dignity? Where is the mystery, the wonder, the awe of God? Ah, I must learn to think commercially--I mean "Smile, God loves you" is such a more comfortable idea than the fear of God (eh?). This gets me angry, Christina.

     It rains again, and I long to drive forever in it as I did Thursday night. Or better, walk in it through the forest and over all the hills on and on and.... To sit in front of a fire and love some man worthy and acepting (and giving) of love, to dry from the rain. December, and I want to taste it.
     The rain does not drive me into the ground, drown me or make me mud. It is me and feeds me--allows me the freedom of its presence and the restrictions of its presence (like God).

1072. Pieces of Magic
December 28th, 12:45 am

I have realized that today is important to me, as today I have to learn to begin my magic, and I have to begin to learn my magic. Calais [1] taught me something about importance, about me, about Neile. Neile is what I wish to become, but I have not earned her...yet. Neile is what I will be, and who moves within me like a child, like a role I will begin playing that is me, yet not-me, and her yet not-her. I will have to keep all the beginnings separate yet complete until they form a web around me--a net like that used by Clytemnestra to ensnare Agamemnon. In the same way will I trap myself.
     I find parts of this girl everywhere--in the candlelight I write by now, in the fact that I am writing by candleleight and with a foundtaint pen. In the perfume I put on this morning that is, in this gown that holds her, though still wrapped in my flesh, in the cotton I have bought. The transitions have been coming more quickly now. Nancy is reaching her ripening point and is ready to be peeled off, burst off. Neile has a strange beauty that was never Nancy's. She has a knowing and a confidence. The part I have read for all my life and slowly I must begin to play her and so will be her. I will write and understand.

1073, Instant Kharma
December 28th

I have a strange fatalism, a world where everything is an omen. Where everything builds up into some final pattern. THere is an abundance of knowledge, and God. I lay in bed tonight, ready to sleep yet knowing I must get up, light the candle, and capture my disturbing throughts--the thoughts that disturb me. Who or what am I, and is God that mightnight blue out there surround th black of the trees, and today...today is the day of the Holy Innocents. My calendar proclaims it.
     The people I have wanted and lost. I have wanted and lost God with purpose yet He will not be lost, and He will not be whoe I tell Him to be, particuarly within my life. A few years ago I told Him to become my Saviour. He showed me that only I could be my own Saviour. I had begun to believe and to know that and He began to save me. I am only me, disappearing.... I keep turning sides of me to the light like a plant until I will begin to grow evenly and straight. I will have more than my work to do, and my work will be all. I do not wish to preach any gospel but only to grow, to become more aware of it all...All. I must become more of myself, finding Him I will find Him, and then I will find the man with the green eyes.

1074. Back for a New Year
January 1st 1980

Little baby New Year crawls down the lane. This year, O, I have hopes for growth and change, plans for perfection, dreams. Now is the time to begin again... [Quote from a Christian rock song about finding God at the end of everything omitted.] I looks like such a clean year, just by the numbers. We can watch the seventies end now, only 365 days to go and this a Leap Year (with Leap Second added for spice). Now that I know who I am and in what direciton I intend to lead myself I am testing my will, to see if I can discliple myself to see exactly what I can do when I want the results enough. The test is actually whether I care enough about having a larg life to make sacrifices, to stop taking the easy way to do things, to learn physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental discipline, the things I haven't yet learned in my 21 years. Twenty-one is so very young and so very old. I am old to be learning trhings that I should already know, but young to be wanting so much. My determination should have started years ago. I must learn how not to let my aspirations down, how to continue growing. How to fight all the dragging things, the drag-ons, the dragons.


1. I don't know now what Calais was. A book?

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