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.
Years in existence: 1
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 hasperformed: 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 hasperformed: 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…
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: 4
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.
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!
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
omfg ive made my uncle go vegan lmfao apparently i asked him something about him being vegetarian instead of vegan (legit dont even remember what i said) and then he looked up veganism and yeah hes vegan now. fun story.