Blog Archives

What I Read and Loved in 2018

Another year, another slew of amazing books! A ton of incredible fiction came out this year—and I read some older chestnuts as well. It was difficult to narrow the field to five particular favourites, but I have done it! (And of course, this doesn’t discount any of the other books I read).

In roughly the order I read them, here is…

What I Read and Loved in 2018

(For the sake of transparency, * denotes an author with whom I’m also friends!)

 

The Wood Wife – Terri Windling

Leaving behind her fashionable West Coast life, Maggie Black comes to the Southwestern desert to pursue her passion and her dream. Her mentor, the acclaimed poet Davis Cooper, has mysteriously died in the canyons east of Tucson, bequeathing her his estate and the mystery of his life–and death.

Maggie is astonished by the power of this harsh but beautiful land and captivated by the uncommon people who call it home–especially Fox, a man unlike any she has ever known, who understands the desert’s special power.

So…I adore Terri Windling: her fiction, her art, and her blog. I knew I’d love this novel, too.

And I did. It is everything I love: myth lurking in the shadows, art, and stunning landscapes. This contemporary-yet-ageless-myth style of fantasy reminds me a lot of Charles de Lint (no surprise, they’ve worked together) and I am entirely here for it.

 

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe – Alex White*

Firefly meets The Fast and the Furious in this science fiction adventure series that follows a crew of outcasts as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to saving the universe.

A washed-up treasure hunter, a hotshot racer, and a deadly secret society.

They’re all on a race against time to hunt down the greatest warship ever built. Some think the ship is lost forever, some think it’s been destroyed, and some think it’s only a legend, but one thing’s for certain: whoever finds it will hold the fate of the universe in their hands. And treasure that valuable can never stay hidden for long….

Queer lady space pirates treasure-hunting and racing. There is a lot going on in this book, and it’s all great. I particularly love Alex’s work with characterization and it’s wonderful to watch them coming into their own. This is a strong book with a strong voice, and it’s getting well-deserved accolades!

PLUS, the sequel drops tomorrow!! Check out A BAD DEAL FOR THE WHOLE GALAXY!

 

Trail of Lightning—Rebecca Roanhorse

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

Wow. Just…wow. I absolutely loved Roanhorse’s story “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience (TM)” in Apex last year, so I was stoked to read her debut novel. And goodness, it was worth the long library queue. Gripping plot, steely characters with achingly nuanced relationships, and rich worldbuilding—this is a gritty, bloody world. So good.

 

The Quantum Magician—Derek Künsken*

THE ULTIMATE HEIST

Belisarius is a Homo quantus, engineered with impossible insight. But his gift is also a curse—an uncontrollable, even suicidal drive to know, to understand. Genetically flawed, he leaves his people to find a different life, and ends up becoming the galaxy’s greatest con man and thief.

But the jobs are getting too easy and his extraordinary brain is chafing at the neglect. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of secret warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius jumps at it. Now he must embrace his true nature to pull off the job, alongside a crew of extraordinary men and women.

If he succeeds, he could trigger an interstellar war… or the next step in human evolution.

Some stories have their authors’ personality and passion embedded into their DNA to such an extent, it’s like seeing them in book form. That’s how I felt about THE QUANTUM MAGICIAN. It’s just so…Derek.

Which is a good thing: Derek is a shining light in SFF in general and Canadian SFF in particular. This book doesn’t shy away from hard science and tough questions—but it’s also hilarious. Like, genuinely, incredibly hilarious…even as some of this world’s darker implications made me run cold.

 

All the Birds in The Sky—Charlie Jane Anders

An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other.

As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.

In a fashion unique to Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky offers a humorous and, at times, heart-breaking exploration of growing up extraordinary in world filled with cruelty, scientific ingenuity, and magic.

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party with this one. But I’m so glad that I’m here now. This is a delightfully charming book with a confident, playful voice. I love the interplay between magic and science, talking birds and talking AIs. This feels very much like Diane Duane’s “Young Wizards” series grew up, donned hipster glasses, and catapulted into the Millennial experience.

 

BONUS: “The Only Harmless Great Thing,” Brooke Bolander

The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants.

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

The bonus round is usually for short stories, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this novelette (that’s right—novelette, NOT novella). The writing is beautiful, the voice unwavering and lyrical. In relatively few pages, Bolander sketches deep characters and a deeper mythos. Haunting, gorgeous, and quivering with anger, this story will be rattling around my head for a while.

 

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What did you read and love in 2018? Drop off your recommendations below!

-KT

 

What I’m Listening to this Week

I love writing to Arvo Pärt’s music. The mystic, minimalist feel is perfect for drafting – and since I’ve been working on a few new short stories, he’s getting consistent play lately!

 

Advent, Introspection, and Shifting “Success”

I’m writing this on the first Sunday of Advent. Among other things, Advent is a season of waiting and preparation—and a fresh page, as the start of a new liturgical year. For me, it’s also an introspective pause before the dayjob season ends and the regular New Year begins.

But I think most people turn introspective, this time of year. That’s what all the year-end wrap-up posts and summaries are about, right? They’re a chance to tie up loose ends and look back over our shoulders before turning the next corner.

“Winter Morning, Charlevoix County,” A.Y. Jackson (1933).

What did you accomplish this year? What goals do you have for next year?

Where are you, right now? Are you happy, here? What will you change, as we move forward again?

So our thoughts run, as the days get cold and the nights grow long. In this weather, there’s more space to spend time with yourself.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll get to the lists of “What I Read in 2018” and “What I Did in 2018.” But for today—I’ve realized something, in my introspecting.

Years ago, I wrote a poem entitled, “What I Want.” You can read it here, but this is the pertinent stanza:

I want you to find me,
Some Tuesday afternoon
When we aren’t doing anything.
I want you to pause,
Just for a moment,
And say,
“I read your story –
It was really good.
I liked it.
I’m so proud of you.
Well done.”

And you know what?

I think I’ve found precisely that, but it wasn’t in the place I expected. It’s like the thing where you see someone out of context and don’t recognize them. So much our perception is built on preconception, the essentials get clouded.

Sometimes, I think, our goals are closer than we believe. It’s just that we want so badly for things to look a certain way—we don’t always realize when we’ve attained them. Maybe this is why the idea of “success” is so slippery. We clutch at specific images—book deals, signings, awards, fans. But sometimes, those are stand-ins: symbols for something deeper.

What do you want, really? Have you already found it?

Something to consider, as the year passes ever more quickly away!

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

More Ešenvalds! Yes, “Long Road” is the same ethereal, dreamy choral music we’ve been hearing a lot lately. But it’s all too pertinent right now. I might be crying.

Just Do It: Nutcracker-Messiah

I’d like to tell a story.

About a year ago, I was heading to a Christmas party when I learned that Six Stories, Told at Night had gotten into the Toronto Fringe. That’s a story I’ve told before.

This is a Christmas party with lots of (choral) music-types. Fantastically nerdy conversations abounded. After a few pints, a friend and I were talking in the hallway about Toronto’s two big Christmas shows—Handel’s Messiah and the National Ballet’s The Nutcracker—and how many people tend to be a “Messiah” person or a “Nutcracker” person, and—

“Hold on,” quoth I, “what if you combined them?”

What?

“The music of Messiah,” I continued, flush with possibility and good ale, “and the story of The Nutcracker!

My friend giggled.

“But who may abide the nut of his cracking?” I sang. Then, to the tune of the Hallelujah chorus, “O Nutcracker! O Nutcracker!”

We giggled some more and eventually I went home, and that should’ve been the end of it.

I usually don’t condone liquid inspiration, but…

Except that in the morning, it was still funny. New words to “There were shepherds” dripped from my fingers easily enough. And for a few months, I poked at the idea again and occasionally threatened to put this show on.

“It wouldn’t be too hard,” quoth I (so innocent, then!). “You just need a piano and people who know Messiah.”

On and off, on and off, I wavered back and forth. And then Blythe had the brilliant idea of using it as a fundraiser for Gangway! Theatre Co., and we were off to the races. For the first time, I seriously considered what I needed:

Quartet of soloists

Chorus

Pianist

Conductor

Venue

Thanks to awesome, dedicated friends…uh, we got all those things. Yes, certain parts were harder than I anticipated. Like my poetry, my parody seems to prefer spontaneity—sitting down to a keyboard and messing with Messiah for realsies was less footloose and fancy-free than I expected. Also, as I learned with Six Stories, there are always tiny maddening logistical things that crop up like black flies.

Will it be funny? I mean, I think it’s funny. The choir thinks it’s funny. People outside a cross-section of classical music nerds?

This was an anxiety-making moment over the last week.

But.

But we’re doing it. The hilarious drunk idea has become a real show, hitting the Comedy Bar mainstage (945 Bloor St. West), November 13th at 9:30 pm. And I’m proud: I’m proud of the musicians, proud of my friends, and proud we got this sucker to the stage. We actually went for it.

Comfort ye, my people. For unto us, Nutcracker comes!

Tickets here!

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

But of course…

 

Can-Con Schedule!

From one adventure to the next!

Six Stories, Told at Night had its showcase and reception last week. Overall, we were thrilled with how it all went (I regret a few moments of clumsiness). And to celebrate, The Seventh Story was released on Friday! This is a companion story written as one of our GoFundMe rewards. You can find it here!

So what’s next?

Can-Con!

Yes, I return once again to this delightful con! Its numbers are swelling, the programming looks awesome as ever, and I’m so looking forward to seeing lots of cool people. It’ll be a busy weekend, too!

Friday, October 12

WORKSHOP: A Sound Idea – Fiction Writing for Podcasts

Ever wanted to dip a toe in the ocean of podcasting? Play with sounds and learn the difference between a read and performed narrative? Then step right up! I’ll be teaching a session on podcasting writing and production.

Can-Con has a few masterclasses running, so click here to learn more and register!

READING: 3:00 pm

It’s gonna be Anatoly Belilovsky and me kicking off the readings!

Saturday, October 13

A Seriously Folked-Up Panel on Fairy Tales — 12:00 pm

Me, Amal el-Mohtar, Kari Maaren, Rati Mehrotra, Derek Newman-Stille (m)

Sunday October 14

Beyond Romantic Entanglements— 2:00 pm

Me, James Alan Gardner, Jessica Reisman, Kelly Robson (m)

Of course, then fun doesn’t stop after Can-Con. There’s a slew of projects in the works. I’ve deviated some from my magic New Year’s Day list of goals, but I’m happy with the things in the hopper…including a new musical comedy crossover.

Things are good. Exhausting, but good.

Best,

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

I just came across César Franck’s “Le Chasseur Maudit” (The Damned/Accursed Hunter). It’s a wonderful musical take on the Wild Hunt motif. I love the hunter’s horn crying out in the beginning, and the grand, sweeping lines as he’s pursued by Hell. Perfect for this time of year!

New Worlds with Social Anxiety

The Six Stories, Told at Night showcase/party is distressingly close. Blythe and I have been racing about, organizing things and booking things…and going to other people’s events.

It has been a bad week for social anxiety, as I feel terribly out of my element. In many ways, indie theatre is a lot like the SFF world. It’s small. Most people know each other. Different theatres have their niches. There is a whole web of social connexions and unwritten social codes that I can’t see, because I’m not aware of them. Going to the Word on the Street book/magazine festival yesterday felt like heaving myself onto a life raft.

Writers! Editors! Readers! Book people! I know how to do this! I have friends here! I feel safe!

And then back to feeling generally useless.

So what does it feel like, when the anxiety starts kicking in?

Imagine, dear reader, a dimly-lit bar with lots of loud conversations and lots of people clustered in groups. But it’s not a background hum of noise. Oh, no. You’re getting ten different conversations piped directly into your ears—and your brain treats them all as equally important.

It’s a bit like having pop-ups that can’t be turned off. You’re just trying to surf the web, but you can’t get very far before something fills the screen demanding all the attention, right now. My brain’s trying to navigate a situation that it’s fairly sure might kill us, but half of it’s stuck processing incoming sound.

Sensory issues make me good at podcasting, and bad at crowds.

Anyway, they’re all having conversations. Great. So – who has two thumbs and gets intimidated by groups?

Except at cons, weirdly. But then, I know con etiquette better. Loose circle of people drift into the hallway after that panel you all saw? It’s probably okay to introduce yourself and have a brief chat. Two people in a deep conversation, by themselves, in a withdrawn corner of the bar? Keep walking.

“At Dawn,” by John Bauer (ca. 1913).

Anyway, it’s that classic social anxiety thing of being the weird kid standing along the playground fence.

And we can throw in some general competency-based anxiety, just for fun.

My chest tightens. My thoughts race. My hands shake. Really, my brain is trying to be helpful. It’s CERTAIN that danger’s lurking RIGHT HERE, and by George, it’s going to let me know.

But—I’ve been trying to remind myself that SFF has only started feeling comfortable over the last few years. And it’s only been really comfortable for…I don’t know, maybe the last two? Whenever I started going to Can-Con, I suppose.

What made the difference?

Some of it was time, of course. It takes a lot of form rejections, awkward cover letters, and nervous pitches to learn the rhythms of publishing. It also takes time to nurture relationships.

And I started going to stuff. That made the biggest difference. Take ChiZine’s reading series. I made myself go month after month. Sometimes, I had to literally force myself up the stairs. I still went. Every month. Hard rule.

And now…man, I love ChiSeries.

But the point is that it was a conscious decision to force myself over the hump. Going to new cons is a conscious decision. I can do it. I’ve proved it to myself.

I just need to trust that theatre works the same way.

Reminder that you can purchase your tickets for Six Stories, Told Again right here. And join us at Theatre Passe Muraille for the after-party! The Seventh Story will drop there, that night, and in the podcast feed the next day!

 

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

More Emilie Autumn, a take on “The Lady of Shalott” this time. I’ve been thinking about that poem a lot this year…

 

 

Updates: the Next Few Months

It’s one of those weeks where I feel like I haven’t anything insightful or interesting to say. Mostly, it’s just been a lot of hard work. But I figured that it’s probably prudent to give updates on a few things…

 

DinoKnights

Yes, it’s true! My interactive fiction novel with Choice of Games released last week. It’s a sword-and-sorcery epic…with dinosaurs! Choose your prehistoric pal, fight in duels, learn magic, and get involved in various schemes!

You can check it out here!

 

Six Stories, A Surprise at Night!

After a thrilling run at the Toronto Fringe, we have more plans for Six Stories…

Theatre Passe Muraille!

…which we’ll announce very soon!

Super Secret Seventh Story

It’s written.

It’s recorded.

I need to edit the audio. We also want to time its release to coincide with our surprise, so mark your calendars for early October! It’ll drop into the same Six Stories feed!

 

Return to Coxwood

Yes, yes, yes, it’s happening!!!

Believe me, ideas are percolating. I’ve got a general thrust of plot, along with a list of actors I’m keen to worth with. Currently, I’m looking at an early 2019 release. Again, mark those calendars!

 

Beer Magic

This novel is so entirely my heart: queer ladies making magic beer across alternate versions of Toronto. I’m well into my own edits on it, and I’ll be looking for betas around early-mid September. If you’re keen, hit me up!

…is that it for now? I feel like that might be it for now.

OH, NO, WAIT.

 

Nutcracker-Messiah

The story of The Nutcracker, told through the music of Handel’s Messiah. (Albeit with some tweaks to the libretto!) Somehow, incredibly, this appears to actually be happening on November 14th. In addition to being a hilarious mash-up of Toronto’s two favourite holiday traditions, it’s also a fundraiser for Gangway! Theatre Co!

It’s the most ambitious crossover you’ve ever seen…

We’ve got a venue and roughly half our artists booked. Again…mark those calendars, it’ll be a party!

Okay. I think that’s it for now.

*thud*

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

Lots of fugues, lots of J.S. Bach. In my endless spare time, I’m also doodling with some short story ideas…and I’m trying to figure out how to steal the fugue’s structure. I love the idea of starting simply, with one voice, and getting steadily more complex before simplifying again and resolving at the end.

But we shall see.

The Boy on the Train

I wasn’t going to make this a thing, but I’m still processing it…and writing is the way I process, so here we are.

Yesterday morning, I was on the subway heading to work. And let’s be honest: things haven’t been great for a bit. Everything is kind of A Lot right now, I’m not sleeping well, my anxiety is flaring, huge upheavals are happening. And yes, I’m getting help for those things.

But, context: I’m miserable.

“Autumn Evening,” Eilif Peterssen (1878)

So about halfway to work, a young man gets on the train and sits across from me. He’s maybe a few years younger than me. “That’s a cool jacket,” I think, and then lapse back into sadness.

A few stops later, I look up and notice that he’s crying. Silent tears course down his cheeks.

Uh-oh.

I pretend engrossment in my phone, because public emotion is awkward and I want to give him privacy. After all, I am also miserable. If I started crying right then, I’d want everyone to ignore me until I could regain control.

But then silent tears turn to that thin weeping you do when your heart’s really broken.

Shit shit shitshitshit

My heart’s hammering. We’re almost at my stop. The moment’s poised on the edge: it’s going to tip one way or the other, but which?

I look left. I look right. I take a deep breath.

And I go and sit—not beside the guy, but near him. “Hey, man. Is there anything I can do?”

He jerks upright, scrubbing his eyes. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.”

“No, no,” I say lamely. “It’s just…I wasn’t sure, if it were me, would I want a stranger to reach out or leave me alone? So I needed to ask. That’s all.”

He hesitates a moment, then blurts, “I’m going to the cemetery.”

And so we have Dead Fathers Club: Subway Edition. Blowing past my stop, we talk about death, grief, and fathers all the way to his. “It may never be okay,” I tell him. “But it does get easier.”

He nods. “That’s why I’m alone, this time.”

Then we reach his stop. We say goodbye. He goes his way and I catch a train south to get back on mine.

And for all the sadness, I’m glad I was able to be of service; I’m glad he found the kindness he needed in that moment. But I think it helped me just as much as it helped him. I needed the connection too. I needed to remember that humans are Neat and we really do Try Our Best and that even two random strangers on a train can lighten each other’s burden. I needed to crawl free from my sadness and remember that this life is all about service and love.

But it’s strange: it’s both a beautiful thing that happened, but also I don’t want to make it a big thing. I didn’t do anything special. This isn’t at all about me.

The reason I’m writing this is…I just want us to remember to be kind. I want us to remember that even in the depths of our own darkness, we can still offer light. And I want us to remember that Being Human sometimes means being very, very sad, and also lifting each other up, as we are able.

Thank you, Guy with Cool Jacket. I hope you find peace and healing.

I love this painting, but I’ve searched high and low and cannot find the artist’s name. If you know it, please send it my way so I can link properly!

Be kind. Be well.

That’s all.

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

“Soon Ah Will Be Done” is another spiritual that has a jaunty tune and a heartbreaking historical context.

Pace Yourself! Hack Yourself!

I think calmer seas might be on the horizon?

First things first: I sold a story! “The Song of the Oliphant” will appear in Lackington’s “Magics” issue later this autumn. This was one of this year’s retreat pieces, thus continuing the trend of selling at least one story from every retreat. And I’m glad. It’s a bizarre near-future fantasy piece with a narrator I love and an aching quality I’m pleased with.

In other news, this post is late because…I hit my deadline for Choice of Games! The game is pretty well done, pending copyedits and a few more nips and tucks. But the bulk of the work is off my plate—and I’m exhausted.

“Sleep,” William Powell Frith (1872).

You see, for various reasons, I landed myself in the position of needing to write 35,000-40,000 words in under two weeks. Whilst doing my dayjob and preparing for the move, and everything else. I’ll admit that when I first heard the number, I wanted to burst into tears.

We just finished Fringe…

I thought I was done…

I’m so tired…

But then I actually did the math. And talked to my editor, who brilliantly broke down a daunting task into totally manageable steps.

37,000 words in just under two weeks is about 2800 words/day. On realizing that, I calmed down. You see, I know my limits when writing. It’s taken a LOT of trial and error over the years, but I’ve built up a pretty good self-knowledge of what I can reasonably accomplish in a given time frame.

When I’m writing novels, 2000 words/day is a comfortable pace. Enough to get into the flow, but also easy to fit around other projects.

3000 words/day kicks it up a notch. Think of it like a brisk trot. Still doable, just a bit more effort.

4000-5000 words/day is my pounding pace. This is the most I can reasonably expect to write without risking burnout. And even then, I can’t do it for long—three or four weeks, tops.

Interestingly, at my annual retreat I usually write a story/day, which can be anywhere from 3000-6000 words. And while I’m tired on leaving the retreat, I’m not exhausted. I put that down to the intense creative atmosphere, but that’s another post.

And that’s a lot of numbers I just put down. So what?

So it’s like I’ve learned to hack myself. Like an athlete who knows how much weight they can safely lift, I’ve fumbled towards an understanding of what I can do. It helps with planning. It helps with scheduling. It helps me maximize the time I have—especially since I know when a pace is not sustainable long term.

But how do you figure it out? Everyone’s pace and process is so different, after all.

Practice, is all I’ve got. Trial and error. Every experience becomes a data point in a set that expands with every project. As with most things, play around enough, and you start figuring things out.

But I’m awfully glad to move past drafting. August is going to be all about editing the Beer Magic novel. I miss my ladies, and I’m excited to get back to them! (Particularly as I’ll be living quite close to the ravines, which play such a big part in the magic…)

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

A change of pace indeed…but I fell in love with this song so hard. It makes me ache and it makes me happy all at once. But then, it’s Peter Pan—of course I feel that way.

Toronto Fringe and Readercon Roundup!

Yes, this post is late. I got back from Readercon on Saturday night, and proceeded straight from the airport to Postscript, the Toronto Fringe patio/general hangout area. Then we had our final show Sunday afternoon, followed by one last night of Fringing.

Monday was mostly naps and lounging, to be honest.

But here we are! Fringe and Readercon both behind us! It’s an awful lot of emotion for any one blog post, but I do want to say this:

I am so very, very lucky in my friends and communities.

Fringe first: I couldn’t believe the support given to Six Stories, Told at Night. From the GoFundMe to the general logistical assistance, from everyone who came out to see the show (and some of you travelled a long way, I know!) and everyone who held our hands and told us that everything would be Okay—we’ve been overwhelmed with your kindness.

So thank you. Truly, sincerely, deeply—thank you.

And then I went to Readercon, where I caught up with wonderful old friends, met amazing new ones, and plunged headfirst into insightful, well-organized programming. Again, I felt swaddled with kindness and care. The writing and theatre communities share a lot of similarities ; this support is certainly one of them.

You’re all awesome. That’s my point here.

Now, more general updates: there are still some GoFundMe rewards to deliver! Specifically, the Super Secret Magic Seventh Story and Coxwood 2.0. What’s going on there?

The seventh story is mostly figured out (in my head, at least). We have a plan for recording it. I just need to write it. Because my 2018 is ridiculous, I have a major deadline on August 1st. I’m trying to write this story alongside that work, but it may need to wait just a few more weeks. But it is definitely on my radar.

Coxwood 2.0 is also on my radar, never fear! It’s going to be later in the year, though. Once the ridiculousness of summer dies down, I’ll be reaching out to actors and seeing what sort of cast we can put together. A gentle reminder that it won’t be as long as Season One…but I have some ideas percolating. It’s gonna happen. Don’t fret.

That’s it for now, I think. Blythe and I have some loose ends to tie up and some plans to bash out. No rest for the wicked, after all.

But we are really, really happy. That’s my other point. The Toronto Fringe has been the most challenging experience of my creative life—but also the most rewarding. I am so incredibly proud of our scrappy underdog play. The reviews speak for themselves!

Originally a podcast drama, this adaptation makes rollicking, enjoyable show…it’s clear that Bryski is a storyteller to watch. (NOW Magazine, NNNN review)

A love letter to broken hearts and letting go, to ambiguity and formation, this is a rich, complex play that had many an audience member discretely dabbing at tears. (Mooney on Theatre, “Rave Review”)

The folding paths through which the play presents itself are prevented from getting too murky or confusing through the anchor of the intensely realized, warts and all friendship portrayed by the leads, Blythe Haynes and Alexandra Milne. The heart of an almost delicately intricate, multi-narrative sequence remains throughout the emotional ties between two young women… (My Entertainment World)

Of course, none of that would be possible without amazing people. In addition to the love from our community, we are so grateful for the hard work, dedication, and professionalism shown by staff and volunteers at the Toronto Fringe and Theatre Passe Muraille. We literally couldn’t do it without you!

And there’s our creative team: cast, crew, and everyone who helped along the way. You gave your hearts and souls to this story, and we couldn’t be more thankful.

And of course, my creative partner-in-crime, who’s been with Six Stories from the beginning.

In my head, I see Six Stories as a scruffy little waif who runs around punching things. We can’t wait to see where the journey takes us next.

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

A little Lord of the Rings music. I’ll be moving to a hobbit hole soon, so it only seems fitting!

ReaderCon Schedule – 2018!

Whooo! Toronto Fringe Festival! We’re well underway with performances of SIX STORIES, TOLD AT NIGHT. Reactions thus far have been great—and it’s such a treat to see these characters and this Otherworld come to life onstage. And of course, there are ~150 shows all across the city to check out. The sheer amount of talent staggers me.

Seriously, there’s a lot of emotion here. We’ll have a good chat when Fringe finishes next week.

For now…

I’m ducking out of Fringe to attend ReaderCon!

I’m so excited; I really wanted to go last year, but scheduling didn’t permit. When I realized that it overlaps with Fringe, I thought, “Well, of course it does.” Then I figured I’d just find a way to make both work. Because why not?

So I’m not staying through the whole convention. The plan is to fly in Thursday, spend all of Friday, and then fly home Saturday evening, in order to close out our last show on Sunday afternoon.

No big deal.

We got this.

And I have my schedule!

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Friday (12:00 pm)—Consent Culture in Fiction

Me, Teri Clarke, Maria Dahvana Headley, Hillary Monahan, Victoria Sandbrook

Friday (6:00 pm)—Stonecoast MFA Readings

Peter Adrian Behravesh, Me, JR Dawson, Julie C. Day, Emlyn Dornemann, James Patrick Kelly, Erin Roberts

Saturday (2:00 pm)—Alternatives to Romance

Me, Elaine Isaak, Nicole Kornher-Stace, John P. Murphy, Patty Templeton

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It all sounds very exciting! And it’ll be great to dive back into writers and prose after a week of theatre. If you’re around, do come say hello. Looking forward to this con, shortened though it must be!

KT

What I’m Listening to This Week

First, I absolutely love referring to the day of resurrection as “That Great Getting’-Up Morning.” It’s also got that emotional, rhythmic style spirituals revel in. And I think it might’ve sparked a story idea.