julia andrews,

me at parties

*everyone chatting amongst themselves*

me: ahem.

everyone:

me:

me: soME of yOU may REcALL the stRAnge AFfair of the PHANTom of the OPERa…

everyone: not this shit again-

me: a mySTerY, never fULLy expliAned.

I’ve been getting into retro style movie posters and I wanted some practice. What better way to practice than one of my favorite YouTube channels, Drawfee. I love their show, Drawga, so much. @drawfee

One Year

Originally posted by tommyandgaby

Exactly one year ago today, on October 27th, 2015, the first episode of @thebrightsessions​ was released onto the internet. We didn’t formally launch (aka post on social media, tell people, etc.) until November 1st, but in order to make sure Episode 1 was processed by iTunes in time, I posted it on October 27th. 

There’s so much I want to say: people I want to thank, gratitude to express, awe to be felt at the fact that this thing that existed in my head is now consumed by so many people. But no one wants to read a 7k word essay by me about this thing, so I’m going to break it down by numbers instead.

The Basics:

  • Years in existence: 1
  • Episodes: 25
  • Mini episodes: 6 
  • Minutes of content released: 472
  • Pages written: 474
  • Evernote notebooks created: 11
  • Website pages created: 26
  • Social media accounts managed: 12
  • Playlists made: 15

Who’s Heard It:

  • Downloads: 1.6 million (!!!)
  • Countries reached: 186 (so close to world domination)
  • American states reached: 54 (Armed Forces stationed internationally count apparently??)

What Our Listeners Have Done: 

  • iTunes Reviews: 538
  • Super nice messages received: over 100
  • People who said they started therapy after listening: 5 (this number means more to me than I can ever say) 
  • Fanart/edits made: over 200 probably? I lost count
  • Fics on Ao3: 19 (no, I haven’t read any - I just like seeing that people are writing - keep going!) 
  • Patrons pledged on Patreon: 294
  • Months in which they’ve made my life better: 12

And of course, the thing (other than our amazing listeners) that I’m most grateful for- 

The People Who Have Made It: 
(in the order in which they joined the project)
(but still by the numbers- I’m dedicated to this format now)

  • Episodes in which Julia Morizawa has performed: 23
    • Secret notebook pages made: 50
    • Times she’s made me cry while recording: approx. 7
    • First takes of utter perfection: like…17 at least
    • Days she’s inspired me: all of them
  • Episodes in which Briggon Snow has performed: 10
    • Instagram posts: 61
    • Days it took him to understand Caleb perfectly: 1
    • Level of infectious enthusiasm on a 1-10 scale: 14
    • Times we’ve happy cried on the phone together: 3
  • Episodes in which Anna Lore has performed: 9
    • Graphics made: 32
    • Characters she’s inspired: 1 (Chloe)
    • Character friendships she’s inspired: 1 (Chloe and Sam are basically Anna and me) 
    • People in the cast she’s kept sane: at least 1 (me. It’s me. I don’t what I would do without her)
  • Episodes in which Charlie Ian has performed: 6
    • Emails I’ve received about his voice: too many
    • Times he’s whispered into the mic and it’s creeped me out: also too many
    • Great ideas he’s thrown out that I’ve used: most of the season two finale actually and a lot others
  • Episodes in which Ian McQuown has performed: 5
    • Times he’s said “tight, tight, tight” on recordings: infinite (this is just a thing Ian says) 
    • Pages I wrote for him last night because he’s so good that I want Agent Green to be in the podcast more: 23
  • Episodes in which Alex Gallner has performed: 5
    • Goofiness levels achieved: the actual perfect amount for Adam
    • Hearts broken with his performance in Episode 23: all of them
      • Like, honestly, I’m still a little mad about it and yes, I know that I wrote it but it wasn’t that bad on the page and then Alex came in and read it and I wanted to crawl underneath my bed and never come out and honestly I’m surprised we got through multiple takes of it. 
  • Episodes that Mischa Stanton produced: 11
    • Crazy crossovers written: 1
    • Quickest turnaround on an episode: 2 days (they are so fast!)
    • Incomprehensible sound notes from me perfectly interpreted and turned into actually good sound things: all of them
    • Other amazing podcasts made: 1…for now
  • Episodes in which Andrew Nowak has performed: 1
    • Times I grinned during recording out of sheer joy from finding someone so perfect for Mark: 12
    • A bunch of other stuff that I can’t talk about because you guys haven’t heard it yet. 
  • Episodes in which Alex Marshall-Brown has performed: 1
    • Episodes in which Alex Marshall-Brown has come in and completely owned the character from the first take: 1
  • Compositions written by Evan Cunningham: 4
    • Weeks spent composing: 2 (he’s crazy good, guys)

And the people you may not hear about…

My Family: 

  • Scripts read by my sister, Elizabeth Laird: all of them
    • Psychological notes given: again, all of them
    • Creative notes given: again, all of them
    • Characters played: 1
  • Texts from my father about Sam’s cat: 4
    • Phone calls with my father asking about what was going to happen with Caleb and Adam: 2
    • People my father has told about his daughter’s podcast: infinite, which really means a lot to me. 
  • Phone calls with my mother in which she helps me break a story arc: at least 100
    • Email reactions I’ve received from my mother after she’s listened to an episode: approx. 20
    • Comfort given: infinite
  • Days they’ve inspired, encouraged, and supported me: 9,327

And on a personal note…

  • Hours worked: approx. 300
  • Hours procrastinating: approx. 600
  • Times I’ve cried at fanart or a message: roughly 7,000
  • New friendships formed: 20+
  • Podcast meet-ups attended:
  • Longest distance traveled for a meet-up: 5,437 miles
  • Podcasting heroes met: pretty much all of them??? which is crazy???
  • Months spent writing the podcast before I finally started going to therapy myself: 6

Okay, well, that sort of ended up being a bunch of words anyway, and probably less digestible than if I had just written everything out. But it’s late, and this made sense at the time. I started writing this on October 27th and it is no longer October 27th, so it’s on to a new year. 

I wish I had words - eloquent words, not just a bullet point list - to express how grateful I am for everyone who has helped me make this thing and everyone who has listened to this thing. 

2015 was…not a stellar year for me. By the middle of it, I was fed up with things and desperate to shake myself out of what felt like a period when my life was completely stalled. I initially started this podcast as a way to make something all by myself, with no one else’s help. This would have been a foolish mistake. Bringing Julia, Briggon, and Anna on for that first season changed everything. They’ve been with me every step of the way and I really mean it when I say I don’t know what this podcast would be - what I would be - without them. 

And then there’s you guys. Those of you who have listened, who have cared about these characters and this story - who have blogged about it, tweeted about it, taken it and transformed it into art or other writing. You all give me more inspiration and comfort than you can ever know. You’ve given this thing meaning beyond itself, and that is unbelievably humbling and wonderful. 

So Happy Birthday @thebrightsessions​. Let’s see what the next year has in store. 

And for the rest of you, please: always stay strange. 

How is it possible that The Foxhole Court consists of so many awesome characters? Like someone asks me who is my favourite and I’m like ????? Neil? Andrew? Kevin? Renee? All of the Foxes?!? Wymack? Jean? Jeremy? I can’t decide?!! I’m just soo in love with like 20 people from these books and it’s crazy and amazing and everyone should read them cause they’re brilliant!

Fall Playlist

i’m so excited about it being fall that i put together songs to celebrate the best season of the year. music for when the leaves change color and the weather gets cooler. 🍁🍂✨

1. canyon moon - andrew mcmahon in the wilderness
2. yellow - coldplay
3. old pine - ben howard
4. all too well - taylor swift
5. haunting - halsey
6. grizzly bear - angus & julia stone
7. 40 day dream - edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes
8. autumn leaves - ed sheeran
9. bonfire heart - james blunt
10. follation wood - ben howard
11. safe and sound (feat. the civil wars) - taylor swift
12. into the wild - lewis watson
13. sigh no more - mumford & sons
14. who says - john mayer
15. atlas - coldplay
16. king and lionheart - of monsters and men
17. cherry wine - hozier
18. conrad - ben howard
19. the apple tree - nina nesbitt
20. meet me in the woods - lord huron
21. sweater weather - the neighbourhood
22. set the fire to the third bar (feat. martha wainwright) - snow patrol
23. sad beautiful tragic - taylor swift
24. golden leaves - passenger
25. the funeral (band of horses cover) - nina nesbitt
26. re: stacks - bon iver 
27. from afar - vance joy
28. sedona - houndmouth
29. down in the valley - the head and the heart
30. let it go - james bay
31. pray - kodaline
32. roman holiday - halsey
33. stubborn love - the lumineers

10

These were weirdly hard to make.