Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

dtucker's blog

Reading Between the Links

Today, time is the greatest luxury, the one thing that even money can’t buy much of. Our lives are consumed checking email, texting, blogging, tweeting, friending, Skype-ing, posting, uploading, down-loading: myriad tasks we never used to do. It seems that with the introduction of each new time-saving digital mod con, we end up with less time, not more. Too often, reading becomes one of the casualties, like healthy eating and going to the gym. I know I should read more, but excuse me while I respond to that email.

Musical Notes

Whenever I sit down to write fiction, I take inspiration from music. Jazz, classical, pop, avant-garde, alternative, club, country; it can be any kind of music, even music that I seldom listen to or particularly like. When writing, I play music to find inspiration and establish mood. I try to select music that my main character might listen or relate to, something that reflects her/his values, personality, lifestyle and tastes. Then, once my character and I have bonded over a narrative “theme” song, I gradually let him or her take over at the keyboard, encouraging discovery of their own lyrics.

Story worlds

Story worlds: those non-linear, interactive storytelling experiences are the next narrative wave. According to a growing chorus of new media seers, soothsayers and salespersons, transmedia is poised to split the storytelling atom.

YouTube Brute?

Over the past decade, teachers, lecturers and other sages of the stage have morphed into transmedia performance artists, spending much of their time scouring online archives in search of visual content for their presentations. I begin my graphic odysseys on YouTube, that great mausoleum of media. Within this online vault resides the mother lode of past collective consciousness, a vast treasure trove of the world’s neglected narratives crowding virtual discount bins. Each clip is a discarded time capsule, representing a once shiny aesthetic, dulled by the passage of time.

Look on the Dark Side of Life

Deserved or otherwise, one persistent stereotype of the (usually male) writer is the image of the hard-drinking, chain-smoking, misanthrope, holed up in some dingy apartment hunched over a grimy Underwood. Like engineers with pocket pens and bankers in three-piece suits, the image of the rumpled scribbler dies hard: the perpetual loner, recluse or outsider, suspicious and cynical about the world—the writer as eternal pessimist, the jaundiced observer of life.

Picture This

As the ubiquitous smartphone/digital camera transforms how we document our lives, we have become a society visually obsessed, constantly recording our lives in minutiae, rather than just on special occasions and holidays like we once did barely a decade ago.

I must be something of an anomaly, since I rarely take a picture of anything. Maybe it is because I have no family to take pictures of and hence no legacy to be concerned about. Yet, I too am obsessed with the visual, perhaps the result of working in television for many years. Besides, even as a writer, I don’t see fonts, syntax, punctuation, synonyms or alliteration. I see shapes, colours and forms. Pictures are my nouns, verbs and objects, edited and linked to actions.

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