Blog Archives

Six Stories: Crowdfunding Conclusion

Whoa! Here we are, back on the blog! It’s not Monday—what gives?

Our GoFundMe campaign for Six Stories, Told at Night wrapped at midnight, and a Facebook post wasn’t going to cut it!

When last we saw our plucky co-producers, they had tweaked the campaign after blowing past the initial goal on the first day.

“Well, we were going to offer a vlog,” quoth I. “And I can write a seventh story; I’ve got some ideas. And…oh man, okay. What about…Coxwood Season Two?”

“Are you sure?”

“We’ll set a ridiculous target,” I said, all confidence. “We’ll never make it.”

And so the campaign trucked along. It was wonderful! Blythe and I spent a very pleasant week feeling warm fuzzies, writing limericks, and recording messages for donors (if anyone out there is Fringing It Up, drop me a line when you’ve decided what you’d like Blythe to record for you!).

We closed Monday at $730. “Cool, cool,” I said, “we’ll see how far we can get by Wednesday night.”

Tuesday passed. We had enough to cover the admin/festival expenses, plus a chunk of production.

“What if you make it to $1500?” a friend asked.

“We won’t,” I replied.

Wednesday arrived.

“I think we’ll hit $1000,” I said, coming home on the subway. “I’ve got a good feeling.”.

On arriving home, I made our final “ZOMG last few hours!!!” post. Then I sat back, ready to relax into a job well done. The box office would probably still take a hit, but not a huge one. If we were careful, we could probably manage pretty good shares when it came time to divvy up the takings…

And then—

Incredibly, you guys carried us to our ultimate goal.

We got very excited:

And then the lurking migraine I’d been fighting burst forth, I threw up, and we called it a night.

But now it is morning! So—we made our ultimate stretch goal. What does this mean?

For SIX STORIES:

We can have a kickass show. There are festival/administrative expenses associated with the Fringe. Those are covered. Set, design elements, costumes, signage, programs, handbills/buttons…all that just got so much easier. We’re entering Fringe from a strong position. A lot more is within our grasp!

And of course, compensating our cast and crew is a massive priority. This is why this campaign has meant so much to us—we wanted to give as much box office to them as possible. From the entire “Six Stories” team, THANK YOU.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

For rewards:

You’ve unlocked everything, you wonderful people!

ROAD TO THE FRINGE PODCAST!

Once this blog posts, I’m pulling out the calendar to figure out a release schedule. Get ready for interviews, chatter, shenanigans, and rehearsal snippets!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES VLOG!

Can’t make it to Toronto? We’ve got you covered! Meet our fab cast and crew, see bits of rehearsals and design elements, and make the leap with us from pure audio to live theatre!

SEVENTH STORY!

I’ve been noodling some ideas. I definitely know the direction I want to go in. And oh…oh, I think it’ll be so cool. For this, I’ve got to consult with the team a little. I’ll keep you all posted.

COXWOOD SEASON TWO!

I’m gonna admit, I didn’t expect to make it to the ultimate goal. But we did! So—back to Coxwood for a second mini-season! I’m not entirely sure how many episodes it will be, but I’ll be taking a look at this after Fringe finishes in mid-July.

If we can release it by the end of 2018, amazing! As always, I’ll keep you posted.

And so…

Thank you, everyone. Seriously, from both of us—thank you, thank you, thank you. We are stunned that you believe in our show like this. We’ve spent the last fortnight feeling incredibly humbled and loved.

And now the work and fun begins! Our first production meeting and rehearsal is Friday. We can’t wait to get started!

Many hugs!

KT and Blythe

What I’m Listening To Today

There’s really only one option. Pulling up the Six Stories theme song, written by the amazing Alex White (whose Alien novel THE COLD FORGE has been getting awesome reviews, by the way!):

 

Six Stories: Photo Shoots and Crowdfunding

When it rains, it pours! More SIX STORIES updates for all of you!

First, we needed to take promotional photos for the play. These are the images we send to the Toronto Fringe for use in the programme and website.

Y’all remember the podcast image?

We thought it would be cool to recreate it as much as possible…in real life! And so I spent a very pleasant evening tromping through Toronto’s least-sketchy ravine, looking for a suitable tree.

Although I heard my own podcast running through my head, over and over:

At the ravine’s edge, I hesitated. There could be druggies in there. Gangs. Guys like Peter.

Witches, fairies, wolves.

Six Stories, Told at Night: “Le Chien d’Or”

Hence choosing the least-sketchy ravine. I found a very nice tree. Though it’s hard to tell without leaves, I’m fairly sure it was an oak cultivar. This is what it looked like on my scouting expedition:

 

And this is what the ravine looked like, post-April ice storm:

Snow by itself wouldn’t have been awful. This is Canadian theatre, after all; some snow is probably appropriate. The problem is that we’d already decided that Blythe would be shooting in a sundress—though the season is never specified in the play itself, the Toronto Fringe is in July.

She was a trouper. Armed with a portable light from our awesome pals at Missed Metaphor Productions, our intrepid photographer, and a thermos of tea, we set to work.

 

Table-reads aside, it’s the first chance I’ve had to see Sam come to life. And pals—it’s so flipping cool. This is my favourite part of playwriting: this moment when someone who’s only lived in your head is suddenly standing before you. While I mainly write prose, theatre gives me too great a high to shake completely.

Also—like, we were in the woods, at night, in a distinctly faerie-esque atmosphere as the April snows drifted down.  “This is what Sam did,” I thought. “This is the story.” The fabric between our world and SIX STORIES’ felt a tiny bit thin at that moment.

We got the shots we needed, we went out for drinks, and there was much rejoicing.

“Village Tavern,” by John Lewis Krimmel (ca. 1814).

THEN we launched a GoFundMe for the show. We’re on a shoestring budget for this show: Fringe works on a profit-share basis. Expenses come out of the box office, and the remainder gets split amongst the company.

“We don’t need much,” Blythe and I told each other. “Just to offset some props and stuff.”

We blew past our goal within 12 hours.

Which, hey, lesson learned. We didn’t think big enough the first time around. So back to the drawing board we went.

“I mean…well, we’re gonna need to get programmes printed.”

“Handbills, too.”

“Yeah. And it’d be nice if we could…you know…not worry so much about the set, props, and costumes.”

“Don’t forget the administrative fees…”

Cattermole, George; The Scribe; The Cooper Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-scribe-68808

Currently, we’ve got a number of stretch goals and reward tiers (yes, yes, if we make the Ultimate Uber Stretch Goal, I’ll write another season of Coxwood History Fun Park). And we’re completely humbled by the response thus far. Seriously, our most sincere thank you to everyone who’s shared, liked, commented, supported…we literally couldn’t do this without you.

We want to make you proud. We want to produce the best show possible. We’re so very thankful for your belief in us.

The GoFundMe will close on May 2nd. Then…well, I guess we’ll see if we return to Coxwood.  We seem to be well on our way! You can find the campaign (and donate, if you’re so inclined) here!

It’s been a lot of emotions and long nights, pals. But we are so very happy.

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

Ahh, Ēriks Ešenvalds, you awesome contemporary choral composer. “Only In Sleep” is neat because it kinda sounds like a traditional folk song, but it’s got choral chords and harmonies up the wazoo.

Also, super poignant lyrics. But from Sara Teasdale, I expect nothing less. 😉

 

 

 

Some Perspective 

Heavy weekend, my friends. Between the astonishing images from the March For Our Lives, the shattering speech from Emma Gonzalez (if you haven’t seen it, please do), and loss striking several friends, words are a little hard to find right now.

But it’s been a weekend for perspective.

I’ve been so worried. Deadlines and submissions, work and striving. But in the end—well, those things seem small compared to everything else. If nothing else, this is a good reminder to come up for air and actually look around at life—to remember who we are, what we cherish, and what kind of life we want for ourselves.

This isn’t to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” mind you. Sometimes, the small stuff is the most important. Having a picnic brunch on the choir room floor is small stuff, but honestly, the fellowship and love fed my soul more than anything else this weekend.

It’s the unimportant stuff that gets in the way. The chatter, the noise, the pettiness that creeps like invasive vines through our lives. And it’s hard, because those things often feel very important. The trick is to find the signal in all the static, and lock onto it with everything you’ve got.

When the chips are down, when the clock’s running out—what matters most to you?

Go that way. We’ll walk together.

KT

What I’ve Been Listening To This Week

A story title got Gibbons’ “O Clap Your Hands” stuck in my head. It’s like clockwork: wind it up and watch it spring forth to its natural end:

 

On Retreat: Stealing a Moment

Yesterday marked the end of my annual writing retreat. I’m not actually home yet—that happens tomorrow. And whilst playing “Where in the World is KT Now?” is fun, I am looking forward to seeing my furry little weirdo.

But retreating went very well, thank you. Over the course of five writing days, I wrote five complete short stories. I also used the midweek “break day” to make a sizeable dent in my interactive fiction novel.

On the whole, I’m very pleased with my output. January/February were so consumed with long-form projects between the Beer Magic Novel and Six Stories – the 3D Adventure, it felt good to sink back into short fiction.

I’ve written before about what this retreat means to me: the camaraderie, the fellowship, the love. It’s also one of the most productive weeks in my year. Most of the short fiction I’ve sold has originated here. So that’s all great.

But I’d like to tell you about a particular moment I had. It was on the retreat’s final day. I finished up my story in the late afternoon, with plenty of time before our evening readings. So as per my wont, I hopped in the hot tub.

It was nearing the golden hour, sunlight spilling over the mountains. The sky was endless, cloudless blue; the woods rang with the singing of birds and frogs. I settled into the hot tub with a book. My beer rested beside me.

And sitting there—sated with finished stories, dear friends typing inside, spring unfolding across the mountains—I could think only:

Enjoy this now. It won’t always be like this.

You see, we hit the ground running hard once I get back. Then the deadlines return, and the worries, and the scrabbling. And it doesn’t ever really stop, that scratching and hunger.

But in that moment, there was only contentment. For the first time in a long time, it felt like I could take a breath—stealing a little moment amidst everything else going on.

They’re important, those pockets of peace. They give us a chance to rest and prepare for the next section of road ahead. I leave this retreat feeling so grateful.

Now the race begins again. But I’m ready, I’m rested. I hope you’ve got your peaceful waystations as well!

KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

Another ballad! An encounter between troll-maiden and knight! I love seeing how some of the lyrics mesh with Old English cognates (“innan solen upprann” comes to mind). This was pretty much my main jam for one of my stories, alongside the “Rolandskvadet” of a few weeks previous!

In the Swamp

I’m beat.

Alas, I think this is a state of being that’s likely to continue until at least the end of February. My secret is that I’m actually TERRIBLE at multitasking. However, I am excellent at pulling ridiculously long hours to get something done in three days, so that I can move along to the next task.

It’s not really cramming, because every project gets a very carefully appointed spot on the calendar. More like strategic slogging, I suppose. This month has mostly been eaten by the interactive fiction game, another Ontario Arts Council grant application, and the Six Stories, Told at Night stage adaptation (with some Apex Magazine podcastery thrown in there). Amidst all this, I keep poking at the novel because the constantly-breaking momentum is wrong-footing me.

This isn’t how I like to write novels. I like to write them over intense bursts that last four-to-eight weeks. Back in December, I was hoping to finish Beer Magic by the end of January, but it looks like I may finish it during my February writers’ retreat.

Such is the writing game, sometimes. As they say, “You can’t always get what you want.”

So what do you do, in these cases?

Honestly, I think there’s only one thing to do. You take a straw, and you suck it up. As I’ve always said, paying work and contracted work gets done first, work with hard deadlines comes next, and then you figure out the rest.

(Excuse me whilst I balefully poke at the novel a little more.)

“Jo Seated on the Old Sofa,” by Norman Rockwell (1938).
I feel an immense kinship with this painting…

But paradoxically, sometimes when I’m overwhelmed the best thing I can do for myself is…not write sometimes. Otherwise, I can drive myself into a tizzy. So…reading. Baking. Drinking adult-type beverages with friends. Going to choir and post-choir hangouts. (Honestly, I think choir is the thing that keeps me the most grounded.)

That sounds like a contradiction. Suck it up—but also don’t worry, go have fun!

Okay. Sometimes, yes, you have to be a writer first.  Strap on your Grown-Up Boots and stomp through the swamp of unwritten words. But we’re also humans, and if we neglect that side of ourselves, what will we be good for writing, anyway?

I firmly believe it all comes down to scheduling. Everybody has twenty-four hours in the day. It’s up to you to decide how those hours get filled.

The swamp is good, in the end. It means there’s a lot of really cool stuff on one’s plate. And besides, it’s excellent practice. Writing is hard, after all. Theatre is also hard. Doing both?

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Anyway. I hope you have an excellent week. Carry on!

KT

What I’m Listening to This Week

I’ve been listening to this piece, but I’m not sure how I feel about it. Byron’s “She walks in beauty” is one of my favourite poems, and this choir is lovely, but I feel like I wanted more melody to match the metre, less preoccupation with moving chords.

Still listening while I figure my opinion out.

 

The Parsecs and Me

The news has filtered through the internet by now: SIX STORIES, TOLD AT NIGHT has won the Parsec Award for Best Small Cast Story (Novella). It’s an incredible honour, I’m very pleased, and I want to show you a picture:

This is the 2012 Parsec Awards at Dragon*Con. It’s blurry because my hands were shaking, even worse than usual.

I was very young. Sitting alone, at the fringes. I was awkward and incredibly nervous. And also overwhelmed by the fact I’d made it to Dragon*Con. Guys, for 2012 KT, this was like attending the Oscars. My favourite podcast celebrities were all there. I’d been hanging out with some of them through the weekend. This was mind-blowing.

I remember feeling so uncomfortable, though.

Uncomfortable and hungry. God, I was so hungry (metaphorically speaking). After the awards, Pip Ballantine nodded to the big screen, saying, “Maybe one day, it’ll be your name up there.” And oh, I wanted that so much. Even then, I was gingerly feeling around the dream’s edges. Podcasting means a lot to me—I’ve always believed in the art form. I always wanted to create something beautiful with it.

In 2014, my short story “Under Oak Island” made the finalist round. So yes, my name was up there. It didn’t win, but it was a huge honour nonetheless.

Coxwood History Fun Park didn’t make the finalist round. Honestly, that was Okay.

And then I wrote SIX STORIES, TOLD AT NIGHT.

I’ve said before: SIX STORIES is the first time I’ve sat back after production and said, “Yes. Yes, I have produced the podcast that justifies me.”  It is not a perfect podcast, but it contains all of my heart and all of my ability, and it is exactly the way I wanted to go out.

From the start, I knew it was my last kick at the Parsec can.

One last story. One last shot.

And we did it.

And it feels—okay, well, honestly, it feels incredible. This is a dream I’ve had since I was eighteen years old. It was a long, long road—eight years!—which makes it all the more poignant. I have learned so much whilst podcasting, I’ve made so many friends, and I’ve grown so much.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m LOVING my tenure producing the Apex Magazine Podcast. But in terms of producing my own fiction, writing my own intensive audio dramas…

I’m good. Parsec or no, SIX STORIES said precisely what I want to say. With this story, I’ve done what I set out to do.

The Parsec is a wonderful symbol of that. I can scarcely describe how it feels to have a story that means so much to me, recognized with an award that holds such weight for me.

But I stand on the shoulders of giants. My utmost thanks to the many talented podcasters who came before me, inspired me, mentored me, and laid the foundation of the audio fiction canon we see today. My thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for providing the funding that made SIX STORIES possible. My thanks to Alex White, Starla Huchton, and Ellen McAteer for their contributions to this podcast. And of course, my thanks to Blythe Haynes for a beautiful performance.

It’s been an incredible ride, and I could not be happier.

But it’s not over. Not yet, not with SIX STORIES hitting the Toronto Fringe in July.

So thank you, all, for believing in this little podcast that could. I’m truly touched.

All best,

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

I had a bunch of choral pieces, but I cycled back to Kevin MacLeod’s “Long Road Ahead.” This was the piece that concluded Hapax, and it feels especially apt for this week…particularly the final movement at 1:40.

 

What I Did in 2017

I didn’t really want to write this post. This is supposed to be the cumulative, “What I Did in 2017” post. You know, where we check in with that black-Sharpie list I made on New Year’s Day. But see—the thing is—

“Mother Among the Thorns,” Kay Nielsen (1924).

I feel like I didn’t do much.

But that’s putting it mildly. Coming off the insane ride that was 2016—the year everything seemed to go right—this year has left me feeling fairly ineffective. A failure.

However—

However, I do want to remain honest, always. And I think this year, while deeply unpleasant, was necessary.

So let’s get the main event over.

What I Did in 2017

“Her Hands Like Ice” came out in Bracken Magazine.

“Search History” sold to/came out in Daily Science Fiction.

Gave my “Fantasy Author’s Guide to Beer” talk at Boskone, the Nebulas, and Can-Con.

“La Corriveau” was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award.

“Six Stories, Told at Night” is currently a Parsec finalist (idk when the awards are being given—does anyone?)

Wrote and submitted a lot of stories. Some of them got very nice rejection letters.

Wrote a final draft of the Creepy Play, provisionally titled, A Canticle of Stars. It’s being produced in the spring.

“Six Stories, Told at Night—LIVE ON STAGE” got into the Toronto Fringe Festival. I probably will not add “LIVE ON STAGE” to the final title, but no promises.

Started writing the Beer Magic Novel. It’s currently about 25k. It needs a good solid whack with a stick before I can continue, but I’m having fun thus far.

Contracted with Choice of Games to write another interactive fiction game. It occurs to me that I never mentioned this publicly. But I’m totally doing that. It has dinosaurs in it.

Researched/began plotting a new play with Blythe.

Schemed quite heavily on other theatre things with Blythe. I can talk about them more in the New Year. The secret is slipping out, but I must be coy a while longer.

Took over as the Apex Magazine podcast producer. Which—whooo! I didn’t realize how much I missed podcasting until I was back in the saddle. This is the best arrangement, and I’ve loved working with the Apex team.

I also made a lot of new friends (waves at Twitter), wonderful thing happened to my friends, and I read a LOT of good things.

Which…okay. I look at all that, and I have to concede that perhaps I am not a total failure. I’m just not living up to my own expectation. It’s silly, and I know that writing doesn’t work this way, but I fell into the trap of assuming that last year’s streak would just…continue.

Except it doesn’t always.

Except that writing—like anything—happens in cycles.

Except that you have to keep going, even when it feels like you are the Absolute Worst.

“At Dawn,” by John Bauer (ca. 1913).

This year—yeah, this year, I failed. Not totally. But I did. And if one is going to survive writing, one has to learn how to survive that. 2017 shook me to the roots—and while I cracked a little, I’m still standing.

Terri Windling has interesting thoughts about this, actually. Quoting Jane Champagne, she says, “…sometimes the old artist has to die before the new artist is born. And the “death” part takes as long as it takes. It doesn’t care about schedules and deadlines.”

This is comforting, because it addresses another difficult aspect of this year:

It’s been hard to write. I feel clumsy. I feel inarticulate. I feel like I have laryngitis: the same frustration in expressing myself; notes once so easy, now out of reach.

After this long, I know: throwing myself into a long-term project always helps rekindle the fire, so I’m very glad for Beer Magic. Even if it needs a good whack. (It’s a weird one, my friends. Fun, but weird.)

“Village Tavern,” by John Lewis Krimmel (ca. 1814).

So the important thing for 2018 is to keep moving onwards. Write more, write better. And more importantly, write with more joy. I realize now that was often missing from my 2017 writing. That may have been part of the problem, actually.

Well. Hmm. That’s something to chew on. I’m glad we had this chat, friends.

Onwards!

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

Aptly, a piece I literally just discovered, Daniel Schreiner’s “Fear Not.” There are some incredibly beautiful dissonances here—and those droning, held tenor/soprano notes give me goosebumps.

What Beer Taught Me

It was late 2011, and I was at a Thai restaurant with Blythe and my old roommate Gavin, discussing how we’d produce Hapax-the-Podcast. At some point, conversation turned towards the museum, and their nighttime Christmas celebrations.

It got too busy down in the brewery, according to Blythe. It was really a two-person job, those nights. But no one else was Smart-Served, so.*

*SmartServe = certification you need if you want to sell/serve alcohol in Ontario.

So I was twenty—and I wanted to look cool—so I said, “I’ve got my SmartServe.”

It was meant to be a one-off. One night, help out, thanks and see you. But from the moment I stepped into the brewery, I fell utterly and completely in love with it.

 

#

When I was a kid, I did what my parents called “deep dives.” For months—years, sometimes—I’d delve into various pet passions, but way more intensely than you’d expect.

Wolves, man. I knew absolutely everything about wolves.

Dinosaurs.

Ancient Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty.

Space.

The Phantom of the Opera.

Diving deep, ca 1998.

I was that seven-year-old walking around the ROM’s Egypt collection taking notes on a clipboard. And you know what? I think I’d almost forgotten how happy I was just learning. Drinking in knowledge as quickly and deeply as I could, for no other reason than—it caught my interest.

Looking over the past few years—I think beer was the last thing I dove into just because.

#

Oh, I’ve had other interests. Remember last winter, when I was all into the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood? That was awesome, but I wouldn’t characterize it as a “deep dive.” I read some books and watched some documentaries, but I don’t know nearly everything.

And I know an awful lot about the nineteenth century, particularly 1800s Toronto. But there’s a slightly mercantile edge to that. I really enjoy learning about them, but half my mind is always storing away tidbits for later use in day-jobbery or writing.

It’s less spontaneous. Less innocent, somehow.

Learning about beer served no obvious purpose. I just liked it. Learning about it made me happy.

#

After that first night in the brewery, I did what I always do: I wandered off and buried myself in books. For eighteen months, more or less, I learned everything I could. When a regular spot opened in the brewery, I was waiting.

This is an old photo. I have more beer books now.

I wrote a blog. I sampled a lot of beers and developed my palate.

Beer became my thing.

#

But I didn’t just learn the difference between ales and lagers, IBUs and SRM, Vienna malt and Fuggles hops. In the brewery, you had to lead tours and guide tastings. Gregariousness was the order of the day. You had to set strangers at ease; keep conversation going; think on your feet.

But something else happened, too. Have you guys noticed, beer is a hot topic right now? For the first time in my life, I knew about a COOL THING.  I had this vast storehouse of information that people actually wanted. And I was becoming confident enough to share it effectively.

Then beer crossed over into my writing life.

#

I often think that the skills I’ve learned at the museum and at conventions reinforced each other. Panels are like stationary tours; tours are like a moving panel. And I figured out something very cool:

Beer is an excellent party trick.

I’ve given this talk three times this year alone. (Hit me up if you want it at your con: I love doing it!)

 

Many people like beer. Many people have favourite beers. Many people know enough about beer to hold a conversation. For me—still shy, under it all—it’s a brilliant ice-breaker. Like Concerned Children’s Advertisers said in the early nineties, “Everybody’s got a thing!”*

*Canadian Nineties Kids got these PSAs on TV. If you have not heard the jingle for “Don’t You Put it in Your Mouth,” you have not truly lived.

#

I keep coming back to the joy I felt, all those hours I ploughed through histories of brewing and beer style guides. Back then, beer wasn’t anything professional. It wasn’t a party trick. It wasn’t even my thing. Not yet. It was neat, and that was it.

We all need passions like that, I think. Loving something for no obvious reason, pursuing our own interests down rabbit holes. It adds depth and richness to our lives, the way love always does. I think sometimes we’re reluctant to pick things up just because – we can’t justify the time, we don’t see how it’s useful, we’re afraid how it might reflect on us.

But we never know where it will all lead. After six (!) years of studying beer, I know my life would have been much poorer without it.

 

Balticon 2014

Everybody needs their thing. What’s yours? 😀

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

There’s quite a lot happening in “The Gallant Weaver.” I could go on about the soprano lines echoing each other, or the beautiful solid chords in the lower voices, but I’m also exhausted, so have a listen for yourselves!

 

 

 

2017 Can-Con Schedule!

It is that time again! This weekend, I will be in Ottawa for Can-Con: the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature. This is one of my very favourite cons, and I’m excited for stellar programming, good friends, and lively conversations.

What’s my schedule for the weekend? I’m glad you asked!

 

Friday:

8:00 pm: Alternate History Live Challenge (Charlotte Ashley, Anatoly Belilovsky, Me, Mike Rimar, and Matthew Johnson)

9:00 pm: The Fantasy Author’s Guide to Beer (Me)

Did you miss this talk in Baltimore, Boston, or Pittsburgh? Ottawa could be your chance!

 

Saturday:

3:00 pm: Writing Games: It’s Big Literature Now (Geoff Gander, Kate Heartfield, M. Elizabeth Marshall, Me Moderating)

7:00 pm: Readings (Me, David Nickle, Kate Story)

8:00 pm: Asexual Identities (Andrew Barton, S.M. Carriere, Dianna Gunn, Kelsi Morris, Me Moderating)

 

Sunday:

IDK, we should probably get the organizers some coffee and pastries.

*

In Ottawa that weekend? Come say hi, and hang out with cool people! Also, today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for all of you!

Until then,

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

This piece kind of reminds me of high school. But also, it fits the feel/mood/emotion of the novel. I have always loved how the solo voice comes in with the main motif around 2:45—and promptly catches at 3:05.

Weddings, Writers, and Friendships

My dear friends Erik and Katrina got married this weekend! It was a gorgeous ceremony, an awesome party after, and of course, wonderful people in attendance. As a bonus, there were friends I usually only see at cons: not nearly often enough.

Back around the Nebulas, I thought about what a funny thing convention culture is. Conventions are like pocket universes—full of people you love, but strangely separate from everyday life. They’re business and social life rolled into one, and when we land in Ottawa, Baltimore, Boston, wherever—we simply pick up where we left off in whichever city hosted us last.

Looking at my friends at this wedding, I met half at World Fantasy, and half at Ad Astra. (Fittingly, that includes the couple: I met Erik at one, Katrina at the other.) And I’m a little misty-eyed to think—from these conversations in carpeted hallways, these moments stolen from conference rooms and hotel bars—we become part of others’ lives in such a meaningful way.

One of the beautiful things about cons is how they act as a nexus point. My friends range across Canada and the United States: from the Deep South to New England to Ontario, and over to the West Coast. I never would have met them if we weren’t drawn to these cities like moths to a flame.

The band’s back together!

During the dancing on Saturday, I had a little shiver of joy. Seriously, it was really cool. We’d gone from panels to dance floors, readings to toasts, hugs of goodbye to hugs of congratulations. It’s been a lot of experiences in many different contexts.

Writing can be terribly lonely. It’s easy to feel isolated. This weekend was a beautiful reminder of the friendship that brings joy to the road.

Erik and Katrina: you looked beautiful, your joy was palpable, and I wish you many happy years together.

With love,

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

You all know that I’m unflinchingly honest in this section. Last week, we had 14th century sacred music. This week, we have Taylor Swift. Yes, I have a few of her songs in my library. And this week, this one got firmly lodged in my ears: