It all started with a grumpy streetcar ride…
Hello out there. I’m Chris Kay Fraser, writing teacher, story lover, creator of the Kiss Map and the founder of Firefly Creative Writing, a cozy little business that runs workshops and correspondence classes to help people connect to their creative genius.
This all started one grey day last spring on the Queen Street streetcar, heading west. I was grumpy, cold and the ride was taking way too long. I wanted somewhere else to be.
Then, I glanced out the mud-splattered window and realized that we were passing a streetcorner (and no I won’t tell you which one) where I’d had a ground-shaking kiss years and years earlier. I felt my whole body soften, remembering the tenderness of that moment. God, I thought. If only I could always see the city that way.
That night when I got home, I decided to try. I opened a google map of Toronto and started to type in my favourite stories of kisses across the city. When I was done, though, it looked a little barren. It’s a big city! So, I posted it on facebook, invited friends to add some in, and went to bed.
By morning, the map had been shared over 100 times and was plastered in tiny, beautiful stories. And there it was: the switch. When I looked at the map, I saw a whole new Toronto unfolding.
Since that morning, the map has grown in dazzling and surprising ways. The Toronto Awesome Foundation gave me a grant to have a dedicated site designed created by the amazing web designer, Dara Skolnick. Media outlets started ringing my phone from everywhere from Holland to the local pop music morning show. Urban planning think tanks wrote articles about it. Views shot up over 100,000. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Because of all this love, I have decided to open this up to the whole country. After all, beautiful kisses don’t just happen in Toronto!
I created this map because I love stories, and I love my city. Thank you for being here, helping to create a new story of our town one smooch at a time. I hope it makes you smile too.
P.S. If you’re curious about the other work I do helping people to write, hop on over here and have a look. There are e-classes and mail-based classes and retreats and free audio workshops and lots more.