Ah, hello, my dear lovelies, my dear strangelings,
Far, far too many moons have come and gone since I wrote last, but rest assured, I’ve held you in mind…
Wherein (my mind) there is always a voice - amongst many others - a character I’ve written as Comfort A. Sloyd, Marguerite Hastie, etc - I can hear her now, rasping throatily: “never explain, never apologize, never say goodbye…”
Yet it’s so delicious to know the workings of other lives, and so for you I shall part the veil:
My day job (augh!) is seasonally very heavy, and the current cycle is proving to be an unusually long & wild tide. Since we spoke last, I’ve been, well - drowning. Like so many of us in this complex new era. But I’m fighting up out of it now, high waters or no, clutching a new beast in my teeth for you, as you (so kindly) continue to wait for Season 2.
As some of you know, each episode of Evenings Kingdom takes me around 20 hours to record and edit. With writing/editing time to compose the material, the ingredients for each hour of the show run to more like 50 - 60 hours. I love every second of this, but they are hard-won.
So I have an idea. While I write additional seasons of the story (hopefully for years to come) - I’m also now recording ‘Evening’s Kingdom: the Conversations’: wide-ranging conversations with artists and thinkers on their work, their life; their adventures, processes and routines. Kind of an ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ meets ‘The Tim Ferriss Show.’
I have a few gorgeous minds on tap, and am beyond elated to share their worlds with you.
The audio and (eventually) transcripts for each will be available on EveningsKingdom.com here, on the Journal/Interviews page. Once I’ve recorded and released all of Season 2/Book 2 of Evening’s Kingdom via Apple Music, Spotify etc, I’ll release a solid season of EveningsKingdom: the Conversations via these platforms as well, putting them out in scheduled batches while I work up Season 3/Book 3. In the meantime, please do enjoy the Conversations in advance via EveningsKingdom.com!
These Conversations will, no doubt, wend their ways into my stories. In years that come, you may well recognize characters and ideas first discussed here. For example, in my first episode, a conversation with Pat Gault, we consider the many different kinds of possible cognizance - that of trees, rivers, mountains, even rocks; the worldviews of traditional cultures like the Alaskan Dena’ina, who recognize many dimensions of consciousness, all of which thoughts and the wind could traverse…
I hope it will be a delicious window into process - for myself included.
For I am fascinated by worlds. This is what drives me - swimming down into other worlds of mind … the ways we each script and sculpt our own realities … weaving our secret selves out into this waking dream which is our shared world.
Of each guest, I’ll ask: transport me. What is it like… to be you? Tell me a story. What are the skills, routines and philosophies that have most helped you towards your dreams? How do you think about and approach a project when it first invites you; how does that change throughout your process … Regrets, dreams and ambitions …
I love listening to and learning from artists, and to all those with unusual bends of mind. And I suspect, my dear listeners, you do, too.
So. I hope what follows will impact and enchant you, as much as, perchance, it will the endeavor which is Evening’s Kingdom …
Ah yes, and that update - ! Evenings Kingdom…
Book 2is long-completed. I just need to start recording/editing her in increments to create Season 2 for you. The lovely Baker Manning suggests I begin with a recap - wise-! - and so I will. I’ve saved up and just recently purchased some proper equipment (Audio-Technica ATR2100x, an audio interface, a cheap boom arm for the mike, etc) and am thrilled to (learn how to use them &) put them to use for you. Tools! All my life, my instrument has been a pen, a laptop; it’s both delicious and overwhelming to dip the page of myself into this saturating new world of audio delights …
Book 3 … I’m about 300 pages in and am now in the editing phase, although I’m continuing to flesh it out. I’m utilizing the notecard method Ryan Holiday, Robert Greene, Donna Tart & Vladimir Nabokov have all so vaunted, and so in addition to my manuscript, I have a shoebox crammed with tabbed, handwritten notes on characters, themes, words, etc. Exploring working in a more analog style on this project. Although I’ve not been able to write nearly as much as I long to do, writing this way is deeply satisfying. And here’s a little teaser - when I do start releasing Season 3, I’ll also be sharing pictures of character moodboards, notecards, etc :) Not yet, my dears, because, spoilers, but… a little further down the road.
In the early mornings, precious stolen time before the world devours the day away, you can find me wrapped in a scarf, pen in hand, a cup of gorgeous black espresso making train clouds of steam across the window panes.
And yet this is an illusion. For I am not there at all…
I’ve vanished into the world you know so well, of Singing Sands, the Wye River and the shimmering Mystery. Evening’s Kingdom Book 3 takes place four hundred years after the delicious ending of Book 3 (egads, I can’t wait to read that to you!) and is a sweep across generations… well more on that later. For now, let us keep to the instrumental details, for any of you who take as much pleasure in the details of daily routines as I do:
I’m completely obsessed with pens. All sorts, but for years and years I’ve been a (retractable) Pilot V5 girl. And then, drumroll please… this past winter, I made the joyous discovery of Pilot’s Fountain pens.¡Me encanta! My future self is working up to the responsibility of a proper fountain pen - these little fellows are just training wheels. But god, I ove them; the sensuous glide of wet, blackest ink -! The scritching nib -! For all those oppressed by our racing digital world, I cannot recommend the pleasures of pen & ink rituals to you enough. Even - especially - for to-do lists at work - with pen & ink you seize back your own priorities in a way digital to-do lists invariably disallow. I also highly recommend them for journaling, if you are, like me, occasionally so inclined.
Right. I have wandered from the path. But the moon is full, and in writing you, so too is all of me.
This is Paula Schmidt, and thank you for your alliance, for listening, my lovelies. I miss all of you. More from me soon.