who I am § what I listen to § what I read
what I write § who I was: The Phonosnout
A 44-year-old part-time writer and part-time office worker (I administrate two-and-a half-academic programs, a job which requires negotiating, paperwork, and student advising) who lives in Seattle, Washington. I have a life partner, Jim, the obligatory two cats (they don't think they're particularly obligatory, in fact they seem to think I am obliged to them), a little white house (with sage green trim) and a mortgage.
I'm Canadian--grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, mostly, and still consider Canada my home, though I've lived in the U.S. many years now. I'm a Permanent Resident Alien and not a U.S. citizen, and I do hope someday to go back to Canada, but the time just hasn't been right. I do like where I'm living--after all, Seattle isn't that far from home. My parents still live in Victoria, but I don't visit them nearly often enough.
I have a double-major B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing (poetry) from the University of Victoria, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (poetry) from the University of Montana. I attended the Clarion West Writers' Workshop for writers of speculative fiction in 1996 (see my journal about my experience. I am now also a very part-time administrator for Clarion West). I've worked in a lumber and hardware store, an alcoholic treatment centre, an astrophysical observatory, and several universities, both as a teacher and as an office worker. As an adult I've lived in Victoria, B.C., Missoula, Montana, Seattle, Washington, and London, Ontario. I've travelled to many places in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. (there's a brief discussion of my love affair with Scotland in my February 21, 1999 entry) and now Turkey.
I love talking to people in person--hanging out with one other people or a small group of people is probably my favourite thing to do--but I hate talking on the phone, and I'm an irritatingly slow correspondent, even by email (I'm trying to be better but I generally have messages in my inbox that I really do want to answer that are several months old). I guess the truest description is that I'm an erratic correspondent. I'm the kind of person who does things in binges anyway.
It's like pulling teeth to get me to go to large parties, even when I really do know and want to see the people who will be there.
You can learn a lot about my writing career on my main web pages.
You can find out too much trivia about me here and here.
My main obsessions are music, books, and writing. Read on.
I like edgy music (this includes pop, rock, some folk/rock, some folk, some outright experimental) most of which have female vocals. This is likely caused by my own prejudices, but I simply find that women are doing more of the kind of music I like right now than men are. As a beginning, three of my favourite artists are Veda Hille, Happy Rhodes, and Kym Brown. The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music, a collection of comments on musical artists that I edit, is full of comments about music I like (and don't like). My "musical bio" appears there.
I like some classical music (Mozart, Vivaldi, Satie, Beethoven's Late Quartets, and more), and have a great fondness for early music and traditional ballads. A lot of the music I love is only available by mail order, though more and more online sources are helping out with that.
I also create long year-end lists of my favourite discs of the year (with comments). Here's 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, and 1995.
Poetry and fiction, mostly. Most of the poetry I read is contemporary, though I do love Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Metaphysical Poets, the moderns and others. Most of the poetry I read is Canadian and American, though there are several Irish, English, and Scottish poets I follow. I also have some favourite poets from other languages but I only read English (and French, haltingly). I don't often list the poetry I read on Les Semaines as I only rarely read a book through cover-to-cover--usually I dip into them.
The bulk of my fiction reading is novels--I'm slowly learning to appreciate short fiction, but don't list the magazines I read or mention particular stories often. That doesn't mean I'm not reading them.
Most of the novels I read these days are speculative fiction--some form of science fiction, fantasy, or a mixture of the two--though I still read quite a few mainstream novels as well.
I used to read a lot of plays, but I don't so much anymore. I do read nonfiction but mostly in patches, and only occasionally straight through.
I have a list of books I recommend (basically a favourites listing) here.
Most of my writing life I have concentrated on poetry. I have had three full-length collections published (and am currently at work on a fourth), and over 100 individual poems have been published in magazines and anthologies, and recently in online publications, though I tend to prefer to offer only reprints to online magazines. Some samples of my work are available linked to my page about my poetry books.
I have just begun, in the last few years, to write short fiction (actually, I started writing short fiction while attending Clarion West in 1996), and I have had two short stories published (in an English SF magazine) so far.
I am also working on fantasy novels, and you can frequently read my agonizing about the current project on Les Semaines. Sorry.
You can find out more about my writing here.
The Phonosnout is a journal I wrote, starting when I was 16. I was living in Victoria, B.C., and was in grade 11. During the entries I'm currently posting (as of December 2002), I'm 28 and living in Seattle for the first time. You can find out more about it here.
Les Semaines index
Email comments, questions, and complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org § Neile's main page
Updated: December 1, 2002. 8728 visitors since December 1, 2002 (earlier data lost).