Fringe and Thoughts

So it’s Friday night and I’m going to a party, yeah? On the way, I buy a can of pop, and I’m just heading into the subway when my phone explodes.

Congratulations on getting into the Fringe!

Hey I think you just got picked!

We heard your name!!!

To which I responded eloquently: WHAT.

You see, I’d been pondering adapting my podcast audio drama Six Stories, Told at Night for the stage. So I tossed our name in the Toronto Fringe Festival lottery. The draw was Friday night. And I…well, I completely forgot about it until the announcements started rolling in. But I hopped off the subway, found cell signal, and checked the Fringe Twitter feed.

Yep. There it was. Right there. Our number.


So I called Blythe.

“Hey, Blythe.”

“Hey, what’s up?”

“So…do you want to be in a Fringe show?”

I will treasure the subsequent scream for a good long time.

Towards the end of the night I got emotional and cried a little, there on the street. It’s just been such a journey, you know? First it was the Ontario Arts Council funding, now it’s getting into the Fringe. Like—Blythe and I are heading to the Toronto Fringe this July. This is what I’ve dreamed of for years.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

And then I came home, and I had to do laundry with my cat’s not-terribly-helpful assistance.

And then I got a rejection on a story I was just starting to feel vaguely hopeful about.

And I still need novel words today, even as the Inner Voice whispers that maybe I’m not such a good writer after all.

And I realized:

This is it, guys. This is what they mean when they say, “It never goes away.” The rejections, the Imposter Syndrome, the unglamorous domestic chores—they are always there, no matter what you write, no matter what opportunities and accolades come your way. This is the artist’s life.

It keeps us humble, I guess. Hungry, too. Sitting on one’s laurels and basking in adulation never created great work.

So yeah, right now I feel surprisingly melancholic—but also absolutely stoked at the exact same time. For me, the biggest breakthrough right now is accepting that these two states can co-exist. It’s never going to be Either/Or. Self-doubt lies alongside the awesome, but it doesn’t undermine it.

I’ve talked about this kind of faith before: the resolute plodding forward, even as we don’t know where the road is going, or even if it’s going anywhere at all.

We just have to keep going. Creating art that makes our hearts sing. Taking risks. Tossing our names in lotteries because why the hell not?

Somehow, it’s enough. This is indeed what I signed up for. Knowing that helps immensely.

Early SIX STORIES musings. We shall see, indeed!

Journey well.

And oh, yes…

See you at the Fringe!!!!


What I’m Listening to this Week

Loreena McKennitt is pretty cool. Her music has that mythic-otherworldly flair to it. And I really, really like this piece: “The Old Ways.” There are some beautiful touches in the lyrics, and I have fallen head-over-heels for the refrain, especially when it starts really driving in the third minute.

Posted on December 4, 2017, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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