Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

By Miette

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Category: Literature

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A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 10, 2018


Curl up and fall asleep to the world's greatest short stories, the known treasures and the once-forgotten, purred to you as only Miette can.

Episode Date
A Little Cloud, by James Joyce
I know, I know, I'm late for Bloomsday, and at this point, I thought you'd have forgotten. My friends, why haven't you forgotten? I mean, you surely know that the world is breaking the sound barrier with how fast it seems to be going where this cozy handbasket might be taking it, wherever it is handbaskets go.
Jul 25, 2016
A Mother
Much love from my hidey-hole, where I spent the bedtime hours in recitation from the beginning of Ulysses in celebration of the hour at hand. My audience of one was sound asleep by the snotgreen sea.
Jun 17, 2015
In my many years of Bloomsday readings, I’ve neglected to tell you about my first run-in with the text. It was more years ago than I’ll ever admit, when I had recently moved to New York, and had almost immediately found myself a nice new literary teenage boyfriend. We had only been dating a few weeks when he had given...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2014/06/16/counterparts/" title="Counterparts"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 16, 2014
The Housekeeper
Hello and would you just look at the calendar and where has the time gone? I would make excuses for the lapse in months or tell you what I’ve been up to, but that would be projecting, and if you want to know these things, I’m sure you’ll just ask. In any event, the theme of tonight’s story hits awfully...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2014/01/15/the-housekeeper/" title="The Housekeeper"> Read more → </a></span>
Jan 15, 2014
A Painful Case
I’m sitting on what may be the most beautiful beach in the world, trying desperately to avoid dropping my computer into the chasms dug in the sand by last night’s hatching turtles, and trying even more desperately to explain to you why it’s been so long since I’ve flooded your Eustachians. But the beach is no place to explain these...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2013/06/16/a-painful-case/" title="A Painful Case"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 16, 2013
Water Liars
In the <a href="http://gardenandgun.com/article/barry-hannahs-long-shadow" target="_blank">Wells Tower profile of Barry Hannah</a> I reference in the spoken introduction to today's story (which you should treat yourself to), written before Hannah's 2010 death, the following is offered:
Jan 09, 2013
A few weeks ago, there was a hurricane that you might have read about (unless it blew a rock on top of you and you decided to live beneath it, in which case, my sympathies). During this hurricane, I was away on what was supposed to have been a Caribbean holiday of a few days, which turned into one of a few days plus a few days more plus a few bonus days.
Nov 16, 2012
While the Women are Sleeping
I'm sitting here desperately trying not to listen to the U.S. Presidential Debate that's streaming into my earbuds, because the entire thing seems like such hot-twisted-metal train wreckage that the hairs on my neck get singed just listening to it. And I like my neck-hairs.
Oct 04, 2012
Houses (Guest narrator: Patrick Scott)
When Patrick Scott has been known to bail me out of a slump in the past, he’s done so with his passel of Old Reliables: Raymond Carver. Flannery O’Connor. Russell Banks. The indisputably great, in other words. So when this time, he sent this recording of a piece by a speculative fiction writer I’d never heard of, my thoughts closed...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2012/09/08/houses-guest-narrator-patrick-scott/" title="Houses (Guest narrator: Patrick Scott)"> Read more → </a></span>
Sep 08, 2012
Clay, James Joyce
In some parts of the world, it’s Bloomsday already, and in yours, it may be at the end of a summery Friday work-day, so perhaps The Big Day will greet you just as you’re weeding through your feedreader with an icy drink by your side while you dip your legs in a pool full of barely-clad beauties, or something. But...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2012/06/15/clay-james-joyce/" title="Clay, James Joyce"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 15, 2012
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
It’s been a while since I’ve last read, for reasons whose details I won’t serenade you with, but which have to do with huge, overwhelming, life-changing projects that ultimately will leave me with more time to do this more often (I’ll need a little luck, if you want to drop some in the mail), but which, at the moment, have...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2012/05/25/drowning-doesnt-look-like-drowning/" title="Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning"> Read more → </a></span>
May 25, 2012
Breaking Camp (from Danvis Tales)
If, while listening to tonight’s story, you come to the dialogue and have no idea about what I am talking, you won’t be alone. I staggered across tonight’s author by way of the great Hayden Carruth, whose introduction to Rowland E. Robinson’s Danvis Tales ranks among the most incisive layer-peeling short pieces of literary commentary I’ve read. And I assure...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2012/03/12/breaking-camp-from-danvis-tales/" title="Breaking Camp (from Danvis Tales)"> Read more → </a></span>
Mar 12, 2012
The Night of the Ugly Ones
Sometimes a story catches you by title alone. I have a real soft spot, personally, for "The Night of the" stories, no matter the medium. Hunters, Iguanas, Living Dead, even Comets (to a lesser degree)... all of these things weaken my articulated joints. Tonight's story is no different in that regard, but all kinds of different if those Night stories are your precedents...
Jan 31, 2012
Illusion by Jean Rhys (Redux)
Sometimes it just kills me how many stories I've read here. A lot, that's how many. And as much as I'm endeared to those earlier lo-fi bootleggy recordings, there are some stories which just aren't served by the lack of quality, and some stories that, after this many years, should be read again anyway...
Jan 12, 2012
You'll have to excuse the fact that this sounds somewhat as if it might have been recorded in a submarine in the icy waters beneath an alien planet; I haven't been around for a while, and my audio equipment was dusty and had been playing bingo in a church basement...
Dec 15, 2011
The Young Workman’s Letter (Guest narrator: Chris King)
Usually, when I think about this humble little project, it fills me with all kinds of amourpropre. Even when I'm temporarily removed from my own devices (audiotorily speaking), I can't help but self-congratulatorily pat myself backwise (I'm flexible) at keeping the motor of this anthology running. Then sometimes...
Nov 11, 2011
I Am Awake (Guest narrator: Philip Shelley)
Tonight's guest narrator owns and operates <a href="http://www.philipshelley.com" target="_blank">The Devastationalist Manifesto</a>, a project I desperately wish would soon revive itself from its two-year hiatus, and not just because I miss the occasional chance for self-gam-gawkery...
Oct 27, 2011
The Man Who Lost the Sea (Guest narrator: Shig Vigintitres)
Sturgeon's a presence which should have been established here long ago, and I was grateful beyond expression when tonight's guest reader volunteered to represent him. That said, I was only told there was...
Oct 14, 2011
Enoch and the Gorilla (Guest Reader: Patrick Scott)
Some of you may remember the sweet sounds of Patrick Scott from earlier Miette Bailouts. When I put out the call for guest readers, he was quick to the case. But Patrick's a busy guy, now that he's a famous filmmaker, and so when you listen to his lustrous interpretation of Flannery O'Connor, you will pick up the occasional whirr of what seems a loud computer fan...
Oct 07, 2011
Frau Wilke (Guest narrator: Sam Jones)
If you know <a href="http://www.goldenrulejones.com/walser/" target="_blank">Sam Jones</a> from various internet outlets, you will be neither surprised nor disappointed that he chose to read Walser for his guest stint here. However, if you know Sam Jones from various internet outlets alone, you might not know...
Sep 20, 2011
Everything is Green (Guest narrator: George Carr)
The voice you are about to hear is not my own, though today's guest narrator insists his distinctive lilt can be attributed to "equal parts whisky, speed, and diction practice." Which means that it's probably closer to my voice than we'd think at first listen. And so, I would appreciate no murmured speculation on rhinoplastic nasal blockage or testosterone injections on my part. For the next month or two...
Sep 14, 2011
Order of Insects by William H. Gass
I know, it's been a while. I've been trying to <strong>Have A Summer</strong> over here, an effort thwarted by an adverse reaction to allergens purportedly getting caught up in butterfly currents on the other side of the world. Either that, or it's the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tuberculosis_cases#Writers_and_poets" target="_blank">Romantic Lady Writer's Disease</a>, which would be fine by me, inasmuch as any anachronistic way to go down is fine by me. But I do wish it'd forestall another decade.
Aug 03, 2011
Two Gallants by James Joyce
Bloomsday is here again, as you surely know, and as is my ritual, here’s another story from the Dubliners. This is the 7th such reading, and sometimes, the thought of keeping this up for eight more years to finish the collection is one I tend to avoid. But to keep things spicy in the meantime and extend the celebration, I...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2011/06/16/two-gallants-by-james-joyce/" title="Two Gallants by James Joyce"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 16, 2011
At the Anarchists’ Convention by John Sayles
I yanked tonight's story from The Best of American Short Stories 1980, a volume edited by the great Stanley Elkin. If you take one look at it, you'll see that 1980, while not considered a boon year for American fiction, perhaps should be. Donald Barthelme, Mavis Gallant, William H. Gass, Elizabeth Hardwick Grace Paley, Peter Taylor, and I'm thinking...
Jun 08, 2011
The Truth and All Its Ugly
Whenever an internet missive or blip crosses my screen with Kyle Minor's name attached, I open it up in awe of his apparently continual reading and writing and thinking acutely about the finer side of the bookish life. I don't know whether this relentless pursuit of the craft can be had without a truckload of drugs, but I also think the drugs necessary for his task probably haven't even been concocted yet. You could get your brain into top form fast by looking closely at the right 2/3 of his legendary reading list...
May 09, 2011
First Confession
I hadn't read Frank O'Connor's stories in a very long time-- he fell into the gutter of authors I'd studied to a point of boredom as a student, and while I've spent a good deal of my adult life sweeping those gutters and asking absolution from what I've swept up, it took a while to get to him. I'd associated it so closely, in the vast netherlands of the juvenilia of my headspace, with hackneyed Catholic guilt tropes in Comic Sans all the way through...
Apr 07, 2011
Letter from a Hunchback Girl to a Metalworker
Fernando Pessoa has been a long-standing point of not insignificant fixation in the writerly pursuits of Your Faithful (If Not Schedularly Published) Storyteller, for reasons that will be forehead-smackingly obvious to some of you. As for the rest of you, rather than stand around in the dark, I welcome you to take a guess. Should you want that guess to be educated,
Mar 15, 2011
Killer Whales, Susan Daitch
There's a quite decent independent bookstore in the town in which I'm staying this week, a bookstore that will be closing soon for all the usual reasons. I plan to spend a fair amount of time later this morning vulturing my way through this store, and walk out picking my teeth with unsold reading lights and hauling overstuffed bags full of firesale booty that can no way be described as "carrion" no matter how many ways I stretch the metaphor...
Feb 24, 2011
The Force Acting on the Displaced Body, Christopher Rowe
Are your toes frozen? I hope not. Especially if you're as big of a pansy about the weather as I am. Because the weather knows this about me and is a relentless jerk about this, my revenge is in the form of a seaside adventure story based largely on southern waters. Which is, admittedly, analogous to bringing double your milk money to school and handing one over freely to the big bully. But I don't know how to kick the weather where it deserves to be kicked, so this is the...
Jan 28, 2011
A Woman of Properties, Jack Matthews
Well, here we are having taken yet another circumnavigatory Gregorian tour together, and I hope that you've put away your party hats and crackers and are back to the grind, having disregarded all the unreasonable expectations you made of yourselves for the coming months. Because I have nothing but sympathy: it's too cold to get up and run ten miles and do the laundry and tidy the front garden and write your best auntie a letter every morning. I understand. Stay in bed. Read a good book. Listen to a good story.
Jan 06, 2011
The Balloon, Donald Barthelme
If you've been listening for a while, you may know that I have an unfortunate habit of whining, incessantly and irrepressibly, in those months when the cold has rendered my extremities indistinguishable from assorted varieties of freezer section meats. It's a problem I've known about, it's one that those around me suffer in kind on behalf of all of you, and it's one that I'd love to kick, if only I inject some lock de-icer into these knees. Maybe anti-freeze would work?
Dec 13, 2010
The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allan Poe
This story is brought to you by a very nice man named Jake, who requested it a while ago, and when I read <a href="http://www.miettecast.com/2010/11/17/roog/">Philip K Dick</a> instead last week, expressed some disappointment.
Nov 23, 2010
Roog, Philip K. Dick
I got kicked in the inspiration after that bit of <a href="http://www.miettecast.com/2010/10/27/the-vane-sisters/">Nabokov</a> (he has that effect), and was determined to give you new stories at least weekly. I'd cleared my schedule to dedicate more time to only these more self-satisfying projects, and then, disaster struck, in the name of green-biled phlegm and rancor of bronchitis.
Nov 17, 2010
The Vane Sisters, Vladimir Nabokov
It had been some years since I've read any Nabokov, which I can only blame a youthful use of mind-shrinking substances or a two-mile-long to-read list. But recently, I made a full-length audiobook of Dustin Long's <a href="http://iambik.com/books/icelander-by-dustin-long/" target="_blank">Icelander</a>, whose completion set me on a mission. I'm not going to shill Icelander too much (<em>ahem, only five bucks! And I get a piece!</em>), but there was no way for any reasonable person -- or even myself -- to finish it and not start thumbing through the old master's treasures, all of which I've loved plenty at some point or other. You'll see what I mean if you listen to Icelander (<em>ahem: <a href="http://www.iambik.com" target="_blank">Iambik Audiobooks</a>, who released it, features plenty other Miette-approved titles in its inaugural selection</em>)....
Oct 27, 2010
Here Be Dragons, Alfred Chester
The very first words of Gore Vidal's foreword to Alfred Chester's collected stories (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0876858035?ie=UTF8&tag=miettesbedtim-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0876858035" target="_blank">Head of a Sad Angel</a> Although it has been my misfortune to have at practically all the noted American writers of the last half century, I did have the great good luck never to have so much as glimpsed Alfred Chester....
Oct 12, 2010
Helpmate, Ben Greenman
Not long ago, I found myself in the unfortunate position of being deeply ensconced in a marvelous book while on a crowded public transportation system. “Nothing unfortunate about that, Miette,” you’ve said. I heard you. The unfortunate thing was that the title of the book, when viewed from across a subway car, can seem offensive. And was seen as offensive,...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2010/08/23/helpmate/" title="Helpmate, Ben Greenman"> Read more → </a></span>
Aug 23, 2010
It's that time of year, my dears, where I'm about to head off to foreign parts for what's known in various circles as "vacation," "holidays," or "days spent without LCD bathing." I can't believe it, either, actually, and am not sure I'll be able to pull off things like "relaxing" and "not having much of anything to do," which have only existed as very high level concepts in my foggy head. And there are so many things lined up when I return that I'll probably never ever take time off again, which could be good for you, if your ears are burning. I'll do the big reveal of a few of those things as soon as I return...
Jul 23, 2010
A Small Circle of Friends
I know; this is two posts in a row that make direct mention of ladies' underthings. I have three very good reasons for this:
Jul 07, 2010
After the Race
Looking at the Bloomsday readings I've done to date, it's evident that my written prefaces have become some absurd equivalent of squealing fangirlish bra-tossing. I may (OR MAY NOT) be an excellent bra-tosser with perfect aim and pitch, and we all know that Joyce wouldn't be one to have a problem with women's undergarments tossed his way. But my first exposure to Joyce was in a sleepy little black shoebox theatre, where a troupe of mild-mannered turtlenecked barnstormers read from Dubliners from a stage decorated with high stools, and where I, underexposed and underage, had too much to drink and fell asleep...
Jun 16, 2010
Sex and/or Mr. Morrison
A disclaimer for you on this happy June that will become self-evident soon enough: I love this story. I could read it a thousand times over and give you a thousand different insights. I love it in the peepish and borderline obsessive way its narratrice experiences love. Love it, in its own words, "as a mouse might love the hand that cleans the cage, and as uncomprehendingly, too, for surely I see only a part of him here." ...
Jun 02, 2010
In the Avu Observatory
A few days ago, I took a little trip to Toronto, where the jazz singers scat to sheet music, where wine is poured long before noon, and where the best booksellers refuse to serve the likes of me. While there, I spent a day in rooms full of brainy people as obsessive as I am about books and reading and great literature and using technology in the service of all these things. That's right: me, your Miette, dropped down in the middle of Booknerdville. Must I even mention that it was terrific? ...
May 18, 2010
Sono and Moso
Last week's New Yorker magazine included a series of letters written by Saul Bellow to other writers. I've often thought epistolary exchange between writers to be the most nettly of writing, both the most effusive and the most sincere, the most pretentious and the most vein-splittingly self-conscious. It's hard
Apr 29, 2010
The Butterfly
I've been wanting to read James Hanley to you for a couple of months now, ever since he was reintroduced to me a few months ago while I was yearning for a bathematic submergence in a foreign hotel.
Mar 29, 2010
The Fifth Story
I read recently about toxic bread in a sleepy French village, about mass hallucinations and the newly revealed hypothesis that the CIA was responsible for covert LSD experiments. Apparently, the same thing might have happened in the subways of New York. And suddenly, so much is explained, especially as pertains to cockroach-squashing memories. These days, when the shadows on your...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2010/03/16/the-fifth-story/" title="The Fifth Story"> Read more → </a></span>
Mar 16, 2010
Sir Henry
I have a good excuse to spare you my blathery scrawl about the show-stopping beauty in this story -- the hot cats at Electric Literature have done so in a flashier way, and before you even tap the PLAY button on your baubly mp3 players, you ought to watch this:
Feb 27, 2010
The Trojan Horse
Sometimes I think you haven't lived until you've been given the shoulder by a drunken horse in a bar. Other times I think the very stuff of life happens from <em>being</em> the drunken horse in a bar. But usually, it has to do with neither of these things, and I'm fairly certain that none of it would be worth the slightest damn if there was no Queneau to neigh by.
Feb 10, 2010
The Sorrel Colt
The other day I was walking through a blistering, blustery, blinding-white below-zero snowstorm, cursing the day I decided not to live on a Caribbean island, and doubly cursing the day I decided not to be born with antifreeze for blood. Because if I had been born with antifreeze for blood, I'd probably have other alien characteristics as well, such as the ability to launch an anvil from my hand that I could drop on the head of the person walking in the snowstorm next to me when that person proclaimed: "at last! This is what January is SUPPOSED to be like."
Feb 01, 2010
So, I know very little about the author of tonight's story. He has no Wikipedia page in any language that I can gather, one used copy of an out-of-print collection of stories available in English (that I can cursorily find, anyhow), and a slight dusting of a presence in literary anthologies, including one in which I dusted off this. In fact, the only thing I'm certain of regarding tonight's author is that I really ought to attempt to learn basic Greek pronunciation if I'm going to crack at anything like this again.
Jan 13, 2010
Oh, aren't we lucky!? A double-bluffed, double-dipped, double-headed dose of Isaac Babel. When you've had a listen here and discover that you're still running low on your recommended daily serving of Babel, you might <a href="http://www.miettecast.com/2005/04/21/the-sin-of-jesus/">head here</a> to find a new recording of an old reading of another one.
Jan 06, 2010
On Hope
I can think of nothing more apt for the rounding-out of a year than a fleeting little fable on outplaying inevitability. If you're anything like me, Inevitability is one collector you've managed to send off-course at least once this year, and that itself is cause for champagne. Happy New Decade to all, but especially to those who continue to believe relentlessly in the potential of literature.
Dec 23, 2009
Emmy Moore’s Journal
There was a time when I was little (and I was so cute, and so little!) when I wanted to be Jane Bowles. I was obsessed with the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sPdcCgYDgQ" target="_blank">puppet show,</a> unhealthily so, though thinking back now, I can't think of any self-respecting adult who'd have introduced such a cute little thing to it.
Dec 19, 2009
The Interior Castle
I'm more than a little eager to introduce this bit of Jean Stafford-- in fact, the last time I was this eager, I was about to jump out of an airplane, an activity I was undertaking using age-faked identification, which was, to the best of my memory, the only time I've ever vomited directly onto the feet of an airplane pilot (the pilot then said this <em>wasn't</em> the first time his feet had taken ablutions this way). And wait, I don't mean to conflate Jean Stafford with my own underage retching.
Dec 02, 2009
The Bound Man
My friends, a confession: I am a sucker. Little stray kittens and musty books and vegetably steamed dumplings.... these things were basically made for me. And stories like this belong on the list of things for which I'm a true sucker, and by "like this" I don't necessarily mean Austrian (though I don't mean "decidedly not Austrian" either). And I don't necessarily mean the sort of story that plucks your arteries and uses them to serenade you corrido-style. Although, again, I don't have anything against that either....
Nov 19, 2009
The Pool of the Stone God
For those of you who will not be spending the weekend dressed scandalously and behaving just as badly, or scaring young children, or throwing personal hygiene product in the trees of your enemies, ...
Oct 30, 2009
The Adventure of Prince Florizel and a Detective
It was recommended some time ago by a guy named Alex that I read the entire four-story cycle of The Rajah's Diamond, and it is a request I'll perhaps fill someday. I'm in the throes of a mini Stevenson obsession right now, so it seems the proper and selfish thing to do. But for now, I wanted to warn you that as an aperitif, what I'm offering here is, in fact, the <em>last</em> story in the cycle.
Oct 21, 2009
Trouble at Pow Crash Creek
It's probably one of the better things in life -- right up there with creative breakthroughs and lasting love and the slurp of streetside oysters -- to have one's hat tipped to new and great authors. In my case, it doesn't happen often, because I'm finicky and discriminating with my own tastes, or as others have said, snotty. Some of my closest friends, in fact, have sworn never again to share enthusiasm of their own discoveries, for fear of my response. I'm not proud of this....
Oct 07, 2009
I Stand Here Ironing
So I have this tendency, as you may have noticed, to take a sharp left at matters of personal divulgences, which is a difficult thing to pull off today, given the severity and somber-ity of a story like this one. But so, okay, here you go, three very revealing facts about my own self to accompany a story of introspect and plaintivity and other words existent and non-:
Sep 22, 2009
Space-Time for Springers
Can I tell you something about my speculative fiction habits? Of course I can-- this <em>my</em> barroom restroom wall and the red marker's in my slimy mitt. Here's the thing: I just love stories about sentient animals. I can't get enough of talking dogs or super-intelligent rats or telekinetic polar bears-- this is the stuff of unconditional love.
Aug 24, 2009
The Doctor’s Heroism
Well, I've been reading some unavoidable news <a href="http://lastbender.com/blogh/death-panel-summons/" target="_blank">about Death Panels</a> and baby killing <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KQh87_V2Q" target="_blank">nazi zombies</a> terrorizing in the Norwegian mountains and all sorts of incessant catfighty nastiness which I suppose our world can take, given that it's really all pretty hopeless, when confronted by the threat of health care. Or zombies.
Aug 14, 2009
An Unbeliever
The other day I was lying in the woods, on a hammock on a mountaintop, reading aloud to young people, and wondered, for a second, why there was no professional job market for reading aloud on hammocks to young people, why there isn’t a real market demand for just such a role and why imagined salaries for such work wouldn’t...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/08/05/an-unbeliever/" title="An Unbeliever"> Read more → </a></span>
Aug 05, 2009
Oh ladies! Oh men and oh boys and girls, <a href="http://www.miettecast.com/2007/06/29/sarah-cole/" target="_blank">the sexiest man alive</a> is BACK. Patrick has been threatening to start up Patrick's Bedtime Story Podcast, and with a voice this smooth, he might have to do it, much as I'd miss his occasional guest posts here. I'll warn you that there's an outburst of laughter in the middle of this that I didn't have the heart to cut out, and also that he does a killer bird caw, and that Olla's voice is a little on the saccharinely fey side. It's <strong>that</strong> good.
Jul 09, 2009
Breece D'J Pancake was brought to my attention only a couple of years ago, one of those writers who didn't leave a whole lot left behind for us to gluttonously swallow, and one who was willing to grab the short story by the balls of its form and steer it where he wanted. In his forward to the collection of Pancake's stories, James Alan McPherson quotes from a letter he received from Pancake:
Jul 01, 2009
An Encounter
I'm so excited about Bloomsday that I'm sharing the love a day early this year. In fact, I was so excited that I almost went ahead and read all the stories from Dubliners that I haven't yet done for you, but then it hit me that I'd have to move forward next year with my plan to do Ulysses in its entirety. And, well, I don't know if I have the pipes for that yet. And I don't know if you have the perseverance to listen to me indulge the Joyce itch.
Jun 15, 2009
The Sailor-Boy’s Tale
Twice now I've sat down to read something from Isak Dinesen's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679743340?ie=UTF8&tag=miettesbedtim-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0679743340" target="_blank">Winter's Tales</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=miettesbedtim-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0679743340" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> , and twice when pawing through for a good story, I've ended up spending hours re-reading the stories in here, to the point of distracted negligence, but to the point of great self-satisfaction nevertheless. One day I'll just relent and read them all to you, but that'd be a big project, and if you're anything like me, you're already running on the fumes of big projects. ...
May 31, 2009
The Silver Hilt
Okay, okay, you all keep asking for me to read writers you know, and I keep dipping into the well of obscurity to pick up writers you've never heard of. I know! I'll read the writers you know, maybe, but you have to tell me which ones you want to hear. And until you do, I'm just going to continue to flip over rocks and turn up amazing archeoliterary pearls like this. Do you know this story? Probably not. Should you listen anyway? Yes, if you want your socks knocked right off your feet.
May 11, 2009
A Game of Catch
It's always a little weird to me to read a sports story, with idioms like "burning one in" that are just so far removed from my patois that I can barely even get my mouth to go in that direction. And it's equally odd to try and project teenage boy-speak, because it's been quite a while since I've taken an interest in the mannerisms of teenage boys. But it's springtime, and nothing's more appropriate than boys and baseball. So here's a little bit of both, no matter how much "burning one in" seems like the last thing you want a teenage boy to do.
Apr 20, 2009
The Burning City
Boy, I sure am all kinds of flushed with the Scandinavs these days. Maybe it's my compassion for others plying their way through long cold winters, or maybe it's my assertion that gravlaks is a flawless food, or maybe it's just what they're willing to pay for a beer is a most resonant sacrifice. Or maybe they're just loaded with great writers. But if you had to lay a fresh twenty on what countries would sit atop Miette's Trove of Literary Masters (and god knows you should let me in on such a bet were you to place one) you'd win big by betting all on Nordic.
Apr 07, 2009
Madame de Luzy
Tonight’s story came from one of several boxes of books that were recently given to me by a stranger, someone apparently vying for the title of Miette’s Best Friend. And as I mention when reading tonight’s story, this alone makes today one of the best days anybody’s had, in a good long while (if not EVER). There are some real...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/03/25/madame-de-luzy/" title="Madame de Luzy"> Read more → </a></span>
Mar 25, 2009
Three Letters… and a Footnote
This is on the lighter end of Horacio Quiroga’s stories, which (of those I’ve read) tend to have more to do with death and desolation than the streetcar indiscretions we’ve got here. But it’s March, and I’m springing forward and bringing you with me, merrily because there’s no unsightly wad of money in our pockets to weigh us down, by...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/03/09/three-letters-and-a-footnote/" title="Three Letters… and a Footnote"> Read more → </a></span>
Mar 09, 2009
Various Miracles
More Canadian Short Fiction? You damned well bet– just check the calendar. On that note, I’m starting to think Carol Shields herself is somewhat of a miracle. For starters, look at this, from an interview on Canada as a landscape for writers: “We’re not big on heroes, either. The concept of heroes is alien. And I think that’s a very...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/02/24/various-miracles/" title="Various Miracles"> Read more → </a></span>
Feb 24, 2009
The Boat
Canadian Short Fiction Month continues, as promised, with a story that seems obviously designed to be delivered from the lips straight to the ears. There’s so much beauty tucked away in here of the sort you wouldn’t necessarily see on the page, unless you read to yourself with one of the voices in your head. Critically and academically, it’s the...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/02/16/the-boat/" title="The Boat"> Read more → </a></span>
Feb 16, 2009
The Orchard
If you’re reading this before listening to the podcast… and you know, I have no idea whether you read or listen first, or if you just read, or just listen, and find yourself lost on those rare occurrences where I can hold a thought long enough to prattle BOTH orally and epistolarily about it… but anyway, if you are, reading,...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/02/12/the-orchard/" title="The Orchard"> Read more → </a></span>
Feb 12, 2009
It Was
I was sitting here eating little sugary hearts with terms of endearment printed on them. They’re pretty popular with the young people, and surely you must know them: cheap things, sort of disgusting in the way that totally fructosified food product is, but sort of terrific for the same reason. And besides, they’re candied hearts, which can’t be that bad....<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/01/28/it-was/" title="It Was"> Read more → </a></span>
Jan 28, 2009
The Hyannis Port Story
I was talking to the resident genius here about false memories and the publishment thereof, when an idea emerged, an idea with such potential for industry salvation that there’s no choice but to document it here, in the interest of knowledge open-sourcing, or whatever. The idea involved all these made-up memoirs floating about these days, and what a shame it...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2009/01/12/the-hyannis-port-story/" title="The Hyannis Port Story"> Read more → </a></span>
Jan 12, 2009
Raymond’s Run
A disclaimer: the Wiki says that tonight’s story is… how to put this… Big in Middle School Circles. But don’t let that put you off (especially if you yourself run in Middle School Circles, or are Big therein). I can be as big of an arrogant elitist as the next lady when it comes to my own sometimes obscurantist needs,...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/12/11/raymonds-run/" title="Raymond’s Run"> Read more → </a></span>
Dec 11, 2008
In Dreams Begin Responsibilities
Well, pilgrims. It’s that day once again when the poisoned blankets of history are celebrated with turkey and squash. And I want to get all excited with you about Delmore Schwartz, and rave a while about how you should be able to listen to the rhythm of his narrative with an almost painful wistfulness for the days when poets were...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/11/26/in-dreams-begin-responsibilities/" title="In Dreams Begin Responsibilities"> Read more → </a></span>
Nov 27, 2008
The Specialist’s Hat
So it was decided that I needed a table, but in thinking about the sort of table I might need, for the purpose the table would serve, it was further decided that the table needed to have certain bench-like properties. A hybrid, as we say in these times. The problem is, as you may have heard, money in my country...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/11/11/the-specialists-hat/" title="The Specialist’s Hat"> Read more → </a></span>
Nov 12, 2008
The Quilt
This was going to go up during Banned Books week, but then I got a nasty visit from Uncle Rhinovire, and then there was the trip to the Akvariet and then it hit me that neither a short story nor the oral presentation of one qualify, really, as a “Banned Book,” although for reasons that will become evident, this story...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/10/21/the-quilt/" title="The Quilt"> Read more → </a></span>
Oct 21, 2008
To the Open Water
As I noted in the whole wide verbal megillah setting up tonight’s reading, I’m taking great issue with the Wikipedia entry on tonight’s author. Here, again, is the first sentence, with my call to fix it: Jesse Hill Ford (December 28, 1928 – June 1, 1996) was an American writer of Southern literature who produced one good novel (Mountains of...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/09/27/to-the-open-water/" title="To the Open Water"> Read more → </a></span>
Sep 27, 2008
The Spring
But in order to be mad scientists, first we had to learn how to be normal scientists. It’s funny, imagining John Fahey sitting in a hotel rampantly scrawling. Not because he’s so otherwise voiceless, or should relegate his expressiveness to the steel-stringed style, or other reasons fascistic or idiotic. He’s just one of those guys one imagines (if the “one”...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/09/19/the-spring/" title="The Spring"> Read more → </a></span>
Sep 20, 2008
When I Was Miss Dow
This story was brought to my attention a few months ago, making its way inbox-ward on the anniversorry of my trip down Amniotic Lane, timing not unintentional. Now, I would share with you my thoughts on why this was selected as a Birthday Story, but that would involve psychographic profiling of the sender’s right eyebrow and a frame-by-frame comparison of...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/09/07/when-i-was-miss-dow/" title="When I Was Miss Dow"> Read more → </a></span>
Sep 08, 2008
Of Angleworms and Others
So it’s summer right now, if you’re with me hemispherically. Although if you were to zoom in a little closer you’d see that in some places, we’re tying up that chapter, it’s cooling down, and that means it’s time to read you some Tove Jansson. Now, I was going to read you something from the Moomins, but it’s not quite...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/08/21/of-angleworms-and-others/" title="Of Angleworms and Others"> Read more → </a></span>
Aug 22, 2008
In the two days since first reading of tonight’s story, I’ve been deeply ensconced with this idea of show-and-tell, to the irrational (read: batshit) point of showing-and-telling the objects comprising the contents of my desk to the various beasts kicking about the place, or showing-and-telling one runty waterlogged piece of the garden to another. And then waking from that little...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/08/10/show-and-tell/" title="Show-and-Tell"> Read more → </a></span>
Aug 11, 2008
Fun With Your New Head
A couplefew nights ago, catatonic with fatigue after a couple days of travel, I found just the right pace of entertainment watching my cat chase a furry little squeaker all around the place. My conscience wouldn’t let me object– it was nature’s way and the mouse deserved whatever was coming to it, after all… but my sense of rectitude couldn’t...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/08/01/fun-with-your-new-head/" title="Fun With Your New Head"> Read more → </a></span>
Aug 01, 2008
The Self-Contained Compartment
During a trip by car I noticed a guy on the phone in a parking lot frantically trying to start his car, a kid really, a kid in trouble, just laying into the ignition while the engine was turning halfway over which indicated, to my limited capacity for automotive troubleshooting, that maybe his vehicle was flooded. Now, given that it’s...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/07/16/the-self-contained-compartment/" title="The Self-Contained Compartment"> Read more → </a></span>
Jul 16, 2008
The Pukey
“But when it thinks, I feel like vomiting.” With these words, it is clear that if Nigel Dennis were still around I’d be his groupie. I’d start the FaceBook Club and make mashups on Youtube for him and disguise myself as an editor at Rolling Stone Magazine to obtain his personal email address, which I would then use in ways...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/06/29/the-pukey/" title="The Pukey"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 30, 2008
Were I a listmaker, and perhaps I am, you would be the warm recipient of many reasons to be grateful when the internet goes for broke on Bloomsday. This list, were I to make one, would include the subcategories: FOR ME and FOR YOU. Topping the FOR YOU list, were such a thing to exist, might be an extended two-day...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/06/17/eveline/" title="Eveline"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 17, 2008
The Cask of Amontillado
So I read in the news today about the Indonesian macaque monkeys who’ve learned to successfully catch fish, and how exciting this is for biology, and how it’s a living and breathing example of the adaptation of a species to its conditions and environment, and really it was all astonishing stuff to read. But for some reason all I could...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/06/11/the-cask-of-amontillado/" title="The Cask of Amontillado"> Read more → </a></span>
Jun 11, 2008
A Rose for Emily
So, my "identity" was stolen recently. And not for the sake of sordid members-only internet sites or international travel or a weekend of Spitzering other scandalous activities that, if you're going to have your identity stolen, would constitute Theft in Style. No, my identity was used to buy clip art and stock photography and website services, which is about as exciting as cutting school to go and get a root canal, sneaking out of the house late at night to mow the lawn next door. You get the picture. So a personal note to identity thieves in training: when you're done with me, at least return me with a few heavy anecdotes and a thrilling punked-up haircut. OK?
Jun 01, 2008
A Note on the Camping Craze That is Currently Sweeping America
Fishing season began early this year for your Miette, with the streetside discovery of a freshly abandoned goldfish with wonky telescopic eyes, in its bowl and with a note reading: Free Fish! Please Give Steve Buscemi a good home. And of course I did. I found an exceptional home for him, a home where he’s given all the love and...<span class="path-read-more"><a class="more-link" href="http://www.miettecast.com/2008/05/02/a-note-on-the-camping-craze-that-is-currently-sweeping-america/" title="A Note on the Camping Craze That is Currently Sweeping America"> Read more → </a></span>
May 03, 2008
Truth or Consequences
After a week of muscle-burning manual work and long long drives, some of us settle in with a nice cold beer. For others-- maybe like me, who's to say -- it takes more that that... way more, maybe, to relax muscles as sore as these and attempt to put together nerves which have been plucked to the bone. For that reason, perhaps it's best to just shut up and read (if you're me) or grab a beer and listen (if you're you) and maybe write the Pulitzer committee about considering a Podcasting category.
Apr 19, 2008
Last Class
All week I've been wanting to read this to you, waking up more excited than the trashman on the day-after-Christmas, and running into my.... uh... recording studio (read: three paces from the bed) to see if it's quiet enough...
Apr 04, 2008
A saw a sign the other day while out on a drive, a sign that said this: <strong>Frost Heaves</strong>. And I almost had to stop and compose myself, because I was so deeply distressed by the fact that frost can't heave in private (and I'm not a histrionic sort of girl), and saddened that a frost's heave has to be announced clearly for any old asshole who happens to be driving by...
Mar 26, 2008
A Handful of Dates
The question that's been asked a few times of me now: why don't I read more African writers? Actually, it's been asked more than a few times... enough times, in fact, to warrant the sort of qualifier most accurately described as MANY.
Mar 21, 2008
In a Hole
It's confusing, the name of tonight's author, right? I mean, the better known writer sharing this name didn't bother with a middle pseudonymous initial, and there's a slight tweak to the surname, but we readers would be none the wiser, push-to-shove, and would settle back with a cup of tea and upperclass accent.
Mar 13, 2008
Lonesome Road
A mildly embarrassing problem when getting under way with tonight's story, confessed in full in these lines: when I first sat down to read it to you this evening, I got caught on a raft in a sea of lexical continental drift, and over and over I stammered out the title only to have it read "Roadsome Load." No kidding: again and again.
Feb 29, 2008
Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby
As I lay writhing on my sickbed I was catching up on my milehigh stack of unread periodicals, and made my way to an article about one of the leading competitors for an upcoming race for a high position of public office in the country in which I'm living...
Feb 20, 2008
Lawyer Kraykowski’s Dancer
A few days ago I was driving down the street behind a car which, as was warned by prominent display of rooftop sign, was being operated by a Student Driver... a sign which really wasn't necessary, given the stammering mid-intersection braking and sideview-mirror clipping taking place all the way down the road, and I had this great idea that it'd be a real public service - a true exercise of civic duty - if other drivers could collectively contribute to driving lessons, by driving like raving lunatics around students, just to get them on their toes and on the lookout.
Feb 05, 2008
From the Mouths of Buildings
A message from the author of today's story: <em>Do you ever wonder as you are reading a story, or hearing one, such as on a podcast, for example, what or whom has inspired a particular story? Picture this: imaginary "directions" or "instructions" for a story that the author creates-- after the story has been written--or told. Imagine that these "directives" led to this story--which in actuality they did not--well at least the author had no idea of any directives of any sort when the story came into being.</em>
Jan 29, 2008
Youth, Beautiful Youth
Returning soon with a much-awaited all-new MBSP. Leaving you with a mightylong one to hold you till (the longest yet in one sitting, I think). For <a href="http://www.miettecast.com/2005/11/08/on-reugen-island" target="_new">Dream</a>, remembered always, and loved even longer.
Jan 08, 2008