A Private Possession

Questions That Have Been Asked, at Varying Levels of Frequency, of Miette and Her Podcast:

How did this get started?
It was supposed to be a joke; I published the first episode in Movable Type without knowing what I was doing, and of course before you know it pings get sent out, trackers get propagated, people start listening, and I can’t stop. Then, because I’m a little compulsive, I became somewhat addicted.

Why addicted? Do you love yourself that much?
No more so than any other woman as attractive and dazzlingly brilliant as I am. Additionally, don’t forget that stories existed before there was written language to capture them, and besides, oral storytelling is a fast dying art, one that forces you to slow down, to pay attention, to recapture forgotten languages, to pay homage to ways in which words can be delivered, and to meditate on a word, or a phrase, or a whole story. I talk a little more about this in the first episode. But mostly, yes, I love myself that much.

You’ve been going on for almost a year four years now. Are you going to stop any time soon?
Get lost! At the moment, I quite love reading these stories aloud, as in doing so I look at them more astutely than I do when I arbitrarily and quickly plough through a collection of short fiction. And since I don’t plan to stop that any time soon, I don’t know why I’d stop reading them into a microphone and sharing them with you.

Aren’t some of these stories under copyright? How are you getting away with this?
My absolute greatest hope for this podcast is that you might be introduced (or re-introduced) to a new writer or two, and, when that introduction has been made, you’ll rush out and buy that writer’s books.

I hear a dog barking on some of your podcasts. What kind is it? Why don’t you edit that out?
That’s two questions.
Oh yea. What kind of dog is that?
A girl dog. She sheds an awful lot. She doesn’t bark all that much, and I’m not quite sure why she always wants to do so while I’m recording; I think it’s her way of trying to contribute.

That question a few questions up? About copyright? Well, you didn’t really answer it at all.
Huh, funny that.

Why do the quality of some recordings sound even worse than others?
When I got started, I was recording using an iTalk straight into my iPod (the sound engineering equivalent of reading into an old cassette recorder in a football stadium), and living on a very busy street. These days, I’ve improved the recording technology (but only just a little) and live in a much quieter space. In general, I should hope that the quality continues to improve with time. But I make no promises here, and as a rule, would rather spend time reading than sound geeking. Still, I’m open to suggestion.

Are there other podcasts that involve other people reading to me?
Why yes there are; those I know of and listen to can be found on the right side of this page, under the header of the (perhaps rather obtusely titled) “Other People Who Will Read To You.” If you’re looking for more, you might also try this new site I’ve heard about. It’s called Google.

Why don’t you edit it out when your dog barks / phone rings / email beeps / postman twice rings?
Because if I were reading you a story from across the room, or in bed, or over the telephone, or on the sofa, or anywhere else in the atom-based world, and the dog barked, well, we wouldn’t edit that out, would we?

Will you read (x story) by (x author)?
Probably. I do have a few parameters that I use in deciding what to read, but I do take requests, and fulfill on most of them. Ask me and we’ll see. If I don’t own the story, you may have to send me a copy.

Can I read something for your podcast?
Possibly. The rules here are slightly more strict (you need to be a damned good reader), but again, get in touch and we’ll see. There is the occasional reading here that I didn’t make, always by damned good readers.

You keep saying “get in touch” but you never publish your email. What the hell?
That’s what I say, “What the hell?” each time the spammers catch on to a new email address. But try your luck with miette at this domain.

Where do you live? Where are you from? Is that a (Midlands / Yorkshire / Scottish / Kansas / Indonesian) accent?
That’s three questions, but I’ll take care of them all: None of your business. You should be more interested in the biographies of authors whose stories are being read here anyhow.

How do you make money off this?
About two pennies per year. Not enough to pay the bills, but enough for a doctor’s visit in Europe.

Okay. But can I pay you a truckload of money to promote my company in your podcasts?
Get. In. Touch.

Why’d you choose this particular story to be immemorialised with your Frequently and Infrequently Asked Questions?
Because my author index is filling out well, but still y-less, until now. And Steven suggested Yates (and thank you for it!) as a way to nip that problem.

God, are you going to blather away forever? Will you stop with the questions and get on with today’s reading already?
Your wish, my command:

55 thoughts on “A Private Possession”

  1. Also a thank you for sharing your hard work. It shows that you enjoy it, which I’m glad for because we enjoy it too!

  2. If it isn’t too long – and you haven’t read it already – E.B. White’s “Death of a Pig” is wonderful. It’s an essay but written as first-person narrative. Very story’ish. Would love to hear you read it.

  3. “Youth” by Isaac Asimov, is a little long, but is the only story by him in the public domain. It’s available at Project Gutenberg.
    “Rumors of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated”

  4. Holy smokes! You actually linked to my web site! I guess I should use my full name on the off-chance someone recognizes seeing it on the front on one of my books. A ton of thanks for your podcast. Great stuff. Can I read one of my stories sometime?

Leave a Comment