— Jenny Neill

Author Archive

The headline suggests I have not been writing at all. That’s not true. I have. I have also contributed to a couple outlets on a regular basis and continued working with a small number of non-journalism clients.

What I have not been able to be, since the fall of 2014, is in charge of my schedule and thus my career. Instead, I have been very involved in helping a parent through a series of health crises and a major life transition.

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Justine Ickes, to the best of my knowledge, was the first to approach me about the Writing Process Blog Tour. We met through mutual friend and writing teacher, Amanda Castleman. I had to dodge her in this earlier virtual game of writer tag because paying deadlines took priority to stopping to reflect about my process.

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I’ve not written about how I, like hundreds or maybe thousands of others, have hung on every word Eric Meyer has written about his second daughter since last August. Short of missives that say “I hear you” or “I wish I could take your anguish away,” what could I add? Eric’s always been someone who writes with confidence, clarity, and eloquence. Today, I can say something, do something.

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It’s January what already? Whoa. The end of November and December came and went in a flurry of social engagements and assignment deadlines. The first public evidence of what I’ve been up to as a journalist graced the virtual pages of Sprudge.com earlier this month. Soon, I’ll hold a copy of the latest STiR Tea and Coffee Industry International in my hands. The first issue for 2014 contains more stories I wrote based on traveling to Let’s Talk Coffee, Let’s Talk Roya, and Sintercafe.

Line of dry ground coffee in sample cups with two spoons

Coffee samples, ready to be cupped.
Photo courtesy of Mike Russell Foto. All rights reserved.

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Lit Crawl Seattle, the local offshoot of the literary pub crawl founded by Litquake in San Francisco, is taking over many boozy spaces that wordsmiths gather for a second year. Starting at 6pm on Thursday, October 24 our local literati, myself included, will be bringing stories to the streets at 19 venues mostly found in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Jenny Hayes, a longtime friend and the woman behind the Three Jennys grouping, approached me to emcee because, duh, my name is Jenny. (Plus, I think she knew I’d groove on the idea.)

Come hear

Come hear “Three Jennys Walk into a Bar” at Sam’s Tavern,
Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 6pm

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This is my last weekend working at Ray’s Boathouse as Sommelier. I’m choosing to leave this job now, near the end of summer, because it is a natural time for such departures. Already some of the younger staffers have left to go back to school in some other part of the country or have started new jobs, taking steps onto other career paths. This change, for me, at this time, is more of stepping solidly to the center of a road I never fully left.

Ray's Boathouse sign with Puget Sound and the Olympics in the background

Ray’s Boathouse sign with Puget Sound and the Olympics in the background
Photo courtesy of Mike Russell. All rights reserved.

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I left this blog-writing process behind a few months ago knowing that one day I would return to it. For a few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say. Do I tell you what’s been happening in my life while I was away? Do I explain the conclusion I’ve reached about myself when trying to answer the “Am I a blogger or am I a writer?” question.

Question Mark

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Noyes. Some rights reserved.

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Every so often life throws each of us a lot to handle all at once. The past four weeks or so have been one of those times for me. The behind-the-scenes events in my own life are nothing sensational. Or traumatic. There are, however, a number of shifts taking place that have required more attention than I’d expected to give. And so, I went quiet here for a month. Though I do not have a thrilling narrative to share, I still have a few things to say.

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Boston. Once upon a time, this was my home. I landed there mere weeks after graduating from college. I was about as fresh-faced and wet-behind-the-ears as any kid embarking on her first professional adventure could be. For two weeks, I stayed with a family in Newton. The brother of one of my father’s clients agreed to let me stay until I found an apartment. His wife made me feel right at home, as did their tween son and the big golden lab who liked to lay his head in my lap at the dinner table. I’d come for a new job in a new city. It was a hectic time as I rushed to find an apartment before the first of the next month.

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The idea for this Dunged post came from reading questions posed by another Seattle writer, Becky Selengut. The curious among you can see the original discussion in a November 2012 post in which Selengut made these inquiries: “Where did the expression bat-sh%t crazy come from? What is it about bats? Why does their excrement seem to imply some form of mental break?”

I wondered too and I asked my favorite word snooper, Lexie Kahn, to see if she could dig up the answer. I’m passing the keyboard over to her to explain what she found.

Lexie Kahn, word snooper

Photo courtesy of Lexie Kahn, also known as Judy Herman. Some rights reserved.

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