Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Year End Wrap Up 2012:

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Okay, take it easy on me this time. I actually got bullied by email (I won't name names —Charles—but you know who you are) after that last post about games. Jokers like that make so much of what has been sweet this year even sweeter. I've read two Cormac McCarthy novels this week and not taking any you-know-what.

2012 has been quite a year. To get you up to speed on The Drifts Live we've pitched it in NYC to a slew of big and small producers, brought on a couple of new collaborators and started to get a little public funding for further development. We made a pitch reel too.

This summer, Lyon Smith, an ingenious musician & actor I've worked with before theatrically came on board. Lyon brings an actor's sensibility to the work. He'll improvise not only with smaller instruments, but also scratching on his digital turntable and/or some such.

In September, I got a pitch together including the reel. Set up by TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited) in NYC there was everyone there from big West End types to smaller alt producers. Most of the people I pitched to thought the story, etc. was great. 3 followed up. I learned a lot since the pitch had to change person to person.

In October, Maja Ardal, an Icelandic/Scottish powerhouse actor, director and writer came on board. I first saw Maja coming back and forth from L.A. to Toronto before I moved here. She knocked me out then and just adapted and directed The Prisoner of Teheran here in town. She has a wealth of experience as a solo theatre creator and performer. If you're into the Road to Avonlea, she was on that show for a good while. She's also the former AD of Young People's Theatre, where I was Dir. of Educ. & Participation (2007-09). She'll help me to tighten the script and explore different ways to theatricalize.

We've won enough to fund a week of workshopping so far. It's the first public funding the project's gotten, so I feel like the door's been inched open some. The show and the book takes on the meanings we give to bodies which could speak to a lot of people if we do it right.

As the year wraps up, I've said so long to a couple of very close people which threw me for a loop a bit. You all were very patient. A lot of teaching, a couple of critical essays and an interview are out this year; I revised Alice Mitchell (a screenplay) and am revising another SK. I've started bearing down on Mattering, a book of essays thanks to a publisher and have a good breakthrough on the opening of my second novel, I Met Death & Sex Through My Friend, Tom Meuley. Since that's currently clocking in at almost 650 pages, breakthroughs like this are key. They let me synthesize and cohere and so tighten. As we head into 2013, I've got my eye on a couple of solo fests but trust that The Drifts Live will find it's way as it's content and development attracts additional resources and opportunities.

Check out the screenwriting classes I'm doing at UT SCS this winter and the creative writing classes at Writers' Circle TO. A couple are full but there's still room in a couple of others if you're game.

Happy New Year (you too, Charles).

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Thom Vernon

Thom Vernon has worked in film, television and theatre since 1989. He has been the Actors’ Gang Youth Education Program director and has worked as an arts educator at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. The Drifts (Coach House Books) is his first novel.

Go to Thom Vernon’s Author Page