Magic All Around is one of TWO things I’ve been brewing up behind the scenes – the other is the chapter reads from In Sleep You Know, which will be coming soooooon.
Here’s my teaser text for the podcast:
Magic All Around brings all the pieces of me – DJ and music lover, artist, and writer – together in a podcast. Episodes will feature discussions about where I find inspiration in music, art, crafting, and writing, and how all those aspects blend together to convey the mystery of what I call Magic Seeking. I’ll also be talking about updates and giving excerpts from what I’m writing and working on, as well as news about other writers, artists, and musicians – especially indies – all in a casual and fun style! I focus on hopepunk, classic & contemporary SFF, post-punk, fae and mythology, & more.
I’ve also got a new radio show in the works, keep a lookout for when that drops! I’ll make sure to update here, of course.
Magic All Around Episode 1: an intro
I’m Christiane Knight. I sometimes go by Xiane or Xi, and you can call me any of those. I’ve written two books – soon to be a third – in a series that focuses on Fae magic, subculture, politics, and music, set in my hometown of Baltimore MD USA. I’m an old-school punk with a deep dip into goth, and I’ve been involved on-and-off with DJing, running goth spaces, being in bands, and writing for and publishing ‘zines since the 90s.
I’m an artist, and I do two different arts for a living. One is blending highly textured fibers and making yarns from those fibers using ancient techniques turned modern, then sometimes creating finished objects from those yarns. The other is crafting fantasy stories filled with hope, [mostly] set in modern times. They’re obviously nothing alike.
Or are they?
The joke I like to tell is that I spin tunes, fibers, and tales.
Did you know that you can tell a tale through a mixtape or playlist? And making a yarn can be a way of telling a story, too, if that’s how you approach it.
A good DJ can invoke a multitude of emotions through song choices and can work the room through experiencing them in a transformative way. It’s why going to a club can feel so cathartic – your whole being gets involved in the process when it’s done correctly.
And storytelling has specific rules and skills that come together, just like the steps to creating a yarn, to build a story that works and can weave itself into your being.
These three pastimes require patience and work put in before the actual product or performance. A good DJ will often curate a list of potential songs before their gig, and they spend time practicing and reviewing new tracks. A spinner needs to procure or process their fiber, with a mind to colors and textures they want to bring together in the finished product, and how that product will come together to create another object. Writers spend a lot of time researching, plotting, developing characters, and more before they ever delve deeply into actually writing the story.
All of them create magic! They take their materials and transform them into something greater than the parts.
It gives me great joy to bring all the pieces of me – DJ and music lover, artist, and writer – together in this podcast. You’ll get to see and hear how all those aspects blend together to help me create my art and convey the mystery of what I call Magic Seeking.
What’s Magic Seeking? At the surface it’s just as advertised: looking for magic hidden in plain sight, lost in the everyday hustle and bustle. It’s a way of seeing the world by Paying Attention – not letting oneself tune out with devices or other distractions and being there in the moment, looking at all the bits of life that we often disregard.
Want an example?
My partner lives in DC, an hour away from me. I would spend a lot of time on MARC trains and the Metro because of that, and I decided that instead of focusing on my phone, I would pay attention to the world whizzing by the window.
Things I saw included:
large groups of deer, eagles, herons and cranes
several camps of unhouse folk that were well hidden unless you knew where to look
and a volunteer tomato plant growing right at the tunnel exit of the Union Station Metro like a tiny miracle
Magical moments don’t need to be grand to be profound. They just need to knock you out of your normal day-to-day and give you a sense of whimsy or joy.
There’s a magical moment that Lucee and Cullen share in Cast a Shadow of Doubt that comes directly from an experience that I had. I won’t tell it here but you’ll know if you’ve read the book, because it’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
So this intro has already covered some of the things I’ll be talking about, as well as telling you a little about me, the weirdo who does the writing and now the talking. I’ll also be talking more about the music that shapes me and is reflected in the stories I tell, including pulling out a track from different indie bands to highlight on the regular. By the way, did you know that I have an online streaming radio station at xiane.org? I’ll be doing a show there that does the same but with less chatter from me. Keep tuned for when that’ll start up.
And of course I’ll be speaking about my journey as a writer and author, and talking about In Sleep You Know, Cast a Shadow of Doubt, and the upcoming book A Third Kind of Madness. One of the things I’m most excited about is that I’ll be doing a serial chapter read from In Sleep You Know, something that’s been requested repeatedly! Those will be starting soon and I’ll have them available in video and audio form.
A quick note before I go: today’s little intro is scripted, because having a script is great for getting comfortable. And I didn’t plan much for background, etc, because I wanted to not be precious about it – getting it done is better than fussing over every detail, at least when getting started. As I go along things will get more professional. I GUESS. But expect the feel of this cast to be exactly what it is – me chatting with you from my little bedroom studio, probably with an unmade bed and definitely with a mess beyond the camera that you can’t see. We’re being REAL here, and that means you and I are just hanging out and having a chat where I’m going to be dominating the conversation.
Tune in for my first real episode in about 2 weeks, and then expect to get my first chapter read from In Sleep You Know soon after that. Until then, keep seeking magic!
You can also subscribe/listen on Spotify and take the podcast on the go – find all episodes [this one and future ‘casts] at: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/christiane-knight