Blog Archives

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.

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!

#

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

#

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.

 

 

Six Stories, Opening on Thursday!

SIX STORIES, TOLD AT NIGHT opens this Thursday. That doesn’t seem entirely real.

But the show’s in great shape.  Right now, it sits at a comfortable eight minutes below the time cut-off. The costumes look amazing. The set’s built. We’ve found all the props. We’ve run the sound/lighting cues at Theatre Passe Muraille – and the venue managers have greenlighted all of our fight scenes and intimacy choreography.

The playwright and set, outside Theatre Passe Muraille!

And ohhhhh, my friends. That moment. That moment, when the theatre was still in blackout, and everything was still—that moment when the first notes of the Six Stories theme played over TPM’s sound system—

Isaiah Kolundzic, our Trickster.

It was freaking awesome.

So what I’m saying is, we’re ready. We’re so ready.

Alexandra Milne plays Joëlle.

Why am I nervous?

Because it feels like stepping off a cliff, I guess. It’s here, it’s really happening, people are really coming to see our show. This one story made of many stories that grew from scratches in a notebook to…all of this.

Our trio of actors, left to right: Isaiah Kolundzic, Alexandra Milne, and Blythe Haynes.

But anyway. There’s a podcast coming on Wednesday, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much. For now…

Here’s the link for tickets. And also, our schedule:

Thanks, everyone. Your support means the world to us.

KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

The Ralph Vaughan Williams streak continues, this time with “Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus.’” I love the richly bowing strings, the way it sometimes feels nearly like Elgar…

 

 

No Post This Week!

Sorry pals, everything is ridiculous right now. Sturm und drang! Sound and fury! Madness and chaos!

Okay, that’s perhaps a little dramatic. But over the next three days, I am…

Finishing a major writing project!

I’m aiming to complete the first draft of my interactive fiction novel for Choice of Games either today or tomorrow. It’s running about 115k in total. You can become a knight…riding a dinosaur!

One of many reference diagrams. There are a LOT of dinosaurs. (Image by PaleoGuy on DeviantArt)

Good fun, but I shall be relieved to have it off my plate for now, because…

 

A CANTICLE OF LIGHT opens on May 30th!

Dress rehearsal tonight, opening the day after tomorrow! The cast and crew have worked extremely hard, and I’m so incredibly proud of them. I can’t wait to see this Canadian Gothic piece live onstage!

Still need your tickets? Buy them here!

 

“Six Stories: Road to the Fringe” drops on May 30th!

Because we’re really good at planning! Just kidding, just kidding, I pulled out my calendar and worked out a whole release schedule for the SIX STORIES companion podcast. Turns out this was the best day. It’s almost poetic, the way these two plays have stayed in lockstep…

Anyway, interviews, behind-the-scenes chatter, and more faerie tale goodness coming your way soon. It’s dropping right into the preexisting “Six Stories, Told at Night” feed. Subscribe here (if you haven’t already)!

 

Wait. Was this a post?

Maybe?

Possibly?

Ah, let’s say it was. To dinosaurs!

KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

When you need something high energy and emotional, and also a reminder that it’ll be okay in the end…

A Precious Thing

I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with a mentor a while back. Over a convention breakfast, I mentioned I wanted to move back into stage writing.

“Good,” he said. “Everyone wants to do screenplays…but you can always produce a play somehow.”

(I mean, mostly I write plays because film is a strange and frightening land to me. Theatre is my home country, where I cut my teeth. But he’s right, regardless. There’s some pretty incredible indie theatre in this city.)

Fast forward to last Tuesday, when I dropped in on a rehearsal for A Canticle of Light. At this point, I’ve met 3/5 of that cast. Then we had our first Six Stories, Told at Night rehearsal on Friday. We had a read-through a few weeks ago so I could tweak the script one last time; this was our first chance to get the actors on their feet.

Six Stories, Told at Night

 

Watching these plays come to life is magical. I’ve said it before: seeing my characters onstage is the greatest high I’ve had as a writer. And yes, hearing them in audio drama comes pretty close…but it’s not quite the same. Live theatre is such a different animal; it’s intimate in other ways. It’s a multifaceted beast that relies on many people, and it is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

I sit there in rehearsals and think – wait, really? You’re creating sets and lighting designs out of my words? You’re living in my characters’ skins? These people, my guys, who have only existed in my head?

We’re making them real?

It’s mind-boggling.

I mean, think of the way these stories start. For me, bits of mental lint stick together, growing larger until they’ve accumulated enough critical mass for me to start doodling notes. I write letters to myself.

And the ghost sister shows up sometimes, watching Rose.

It’s going to be dark and weird, I think. So far for characters we have five people: 2 M, 3 F.

This is the story of two girls…

Often the whiteboards come out:

“A Canticle of Light,” in its very early days…

 

It’s a very private, intimate, precious thing, this early dialogue between you and the story. And I’ve just realized: this is why I don’t like talking about new pieces until they’ve settled, until this part of the process is done. The early part is so fragile; it breaks like gossamer web, like dew in the dawning, like a faerie’s spell.

Whiteboards, notecards, random doodlings and crossings-out. Through all of that, the stories fatten with words. And eventually, they outgrow you. Even with prose fiction, other people get involved: beta readers, editors, illustrators, social media people, podcasters, readers. Plays go through a director’s interpretation, which filters through to actors, designers, publicists…

That’s the life cycle. All good.

Yet I get a prickle of nervousness when I realize that those midnight musings have somehow come this far. It’s almost like vertigo; I’m sure it’s partly imposter syndrome…

The best cure for vertigo?

Don’t look down.

Simple as that. Don’t look down. Just trust in the process and the people climbing with you.

Before I close out, I would like to introduce you to our casts. Missed Metaphor has the Canticle crew listed here. For those in Toronto, there will also be a fundraising event this Friday, May 11th. Pay what you can, doors open at 7:00. Live music, good food, general merriment – it’s sure to be a blast! Come say hi – details here!

And whilst we work on the Gangway! Theatre Co., website, you can have an early intro to the Six Stories cast here. We are very pleased to welcome Alexandra Milne as our Joëlle, and Isaiah Kolundzic as…well, all of the male characters, but mostly Coyote!

Until next time, my friends, be well.

KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

More Ralph Vaughan Williams! ALL the Ralph Vaughan Williams! This “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” is a beautiful journey that riffs on Tallis’ “Third Tune.” It’s a haunting melody that stays and stays…

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!):

 

Updates

Sorry, friends. I’ve got very little wit or wisdom to offer this week. Between the horrific van attack in Toronto, returning to the dayjob, and a swamp of work, it’s been a bit of a blur.

I did get out to the McMichael Gallery of Canadian Art, which is a wonderful place I visit far too infrequently. It was an absolutely lovely day—the kind that keeps you going through the slog.

“Double-Sided Shaman,” Karoo Ashevak (Collection of Christopher Bredt and Jamie Cameron).

 

“Iceberg,” F.H. Varley (ca. 1938).

 

Since we’re here, I’ll take this opportunity to remind the Internet that the “Six Stories, Told at Night” GoFundMe continues until Wednesday—and it’s been an incredibly humbling experience. We have well surpassed our initial goal and we both want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Let’s see how far we can get by Wednesday night. (Our Faerie Queen needs her crown, after all!)

And with that, I’m off to the ravines for some much-needed time with my trees.

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week:

I found this totally by accident, but it makes me think SO MUCH of A Canticle of Light. More importantly, it pulls me back into that family. I’m not sure that I’m completely done with those characters yet…

 

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. 😉

 

 

 

Play Updates and Crowdfunding Campaign

Today I thought I would give you all some updates on my two plays!

 

Six Stories, Told at Night

The gang is assembled! We have our full cast and production team. They are all delightful, talented people, and we can’t wait to work with them.

We have a venue! The show’s going up at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. We couldn’t be happier!

We have a fundraiser! Starting on Wednesday, we’ll be running a crowdfunding campaign. The demands of stage theatre are very different than audio drama. We want to bring you the best production possible, so we’ll be reaching out for help.

Plus, Blythe and I have cooked up some awesome rewards to unlock along the way. If you can’t make it to Toronto for the Fringe Festival, this is a great way to stay involved with the show. We can’t wait—if we make our goal, we’ll be firing up the mics once again for a companion podcast. We’re definitely itching to get back on pod!

The Toronto Fringe Festival runs July 4th-15th, 2018. We should be getting the specific schedule for SIX STORIES later this month. We’ll announce it as soon as we can!

 

A Canticle of Light

Switching gears, this play is being produced by Missed Metaphor Productions. They are also delightfully talented people, and I can’t wait to see how they bring this Southern Ontario Gothic drama to life.

CANTICLE also has its cast! You can learn more about them here!

This play’s going up at the Box Theatre, May 30th-June 2nd. If you’re in Toronto, there is a fundraising event planned for May—more details forthcoming soon!

 

And so…

Life is very, very busy, but I’m also very happy. Both these plays have special places in my heart. As hectic as things are, I’m thrilled they can take their journeys together.

Anon!

KT

 

What I’m Listening To This Week

As a composer, Dan Forrest has such a lovely flow. He’s got some stylistic similarities to Ola Gjeilo; probably no surprise I like them both. In this piece, I love the swooping, circling theme that repeats the plea, “Entreat me not to leave you.”