Monday, March 29, 2021

Easter is Coming! What's on your #TBR List?


Families keep Humanity Alive. 
Without them, we are cut-off from our species. 
... Love your Family ...
Care for your Family. 
 Encourage Reading, at all levels. 
Open Minds Expand through Exploration. 
The two titles I am offering here are novels for mature readers. 
(Women seem to prefer them more than men, but hey, that's up to you. )
The stories I share are intended to help you find your way ... 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Live-Chat About TRILLIUM

Oh dear. Must share a few more thoughts about 'video-conferencing' from an artist's perspective ... I know that it is increasingly common-place for everyone and their mother to engage in 'voice chats' over Zoom, Facetime and Skype, etc. It's so commonplace now, it's consider kind of ODD not too. 

And yet, for me, this super-controlled, literal 'in-your-face' video interaction is wholly unsatisfactory as 'human communication'. It's not just the invasion of private space - as has so readily occurred over the COVID Lockdown - it is the screen's innate inability to really engage with the person you're chatting with. There is, quite literally, two screens between you.

Sure, you can see and hear each other through the screens, but what about all the other manifold physical senses and tangential happenings that naturally erupt when actually with another person? 

As example, over the past year, I have attempted at various times to 'chat' with my dear old mum in this way. Yes, it certainly does allow us a chance to catch-up and SEE each other. But we both soon discovered a mutually understanding of the incredible VOID we were experiencing through the screen. Both of us sorely miss the spontaneity of the ever-capricious 'just-being-with-each-other-in-Time-and-Space' experience. Nothing can replace the actual synergy of REAL LIFE -- and humanity would be sorely mistaken to believe that 'screen chats' suffice - or that, "it will do". 

To be clear, it does not. It cannot. -- And it never will.

Jens Hansen, Voice Artist
For those who have no qualms about interacting through video chats with others, whether for private or public use, I do get it. It's easy, it's convenient. It gives you sense you are 'connecting'. You can 'zoom' in or out over vast distances. You can seemingly control the volume, lighting, backdrop and you can exit at Will, (unless you are a 'guest' on an interview!) 

But, to be EXTRA clear, this is not what real-life surround-sound 'conversation' between living-and-breathing human beings is like, or about. So many of the delightful nuances of engagement are lost through this pervasive and invasive technology. So much is NOT seen, heard or felt through our screens. It's really just not Half as Good as the real thing! -- Really!

... Anyway, enough about why I loathe this controlled form of engagement ... Now, the juicy stuff!! 

On Monday, I and #Dutch-#Danish-#Canadian, Jens Hansen, the talented #narrator of the #audiobook version of TRILLIUM, were interviewed on a UK-based Youtube station, 'Boomers on Books'. It was a huge opportunity to 'spread-the-word' about our combined effort on the TRILLIUM audiobook project, so, yes, I had to do it. 

During the pre-live, prep period - when we were testing connections, lights, background and extraneous visuals - the loathing I hold for this kind of 'screen communication' began to manifest ... Every fiber in my being was resisting the necessity of the 'performance art' that had to ensue. (I am also very aware that I prefer being behind the camera, not in front of it.) Fundamentally, as I writer, I 'observe' while others 'perform'. Writers epitomize spectators. We are the All-Seeing Watchers. All this was swirling around in my mind as we got ready for the one-hour 'live' #interview ...

On the day of, I thought I was going to throw-up. I was overcome by a completely irrational fear that almost prevented me from joining 'in' to Vince's channel room.  -- What would others thinks? What would I think? Who would be judging? How would I judge myself? -- This reached a crescendo just a few seconds before 'air-time' ...  

How could I cope? -- How would I cope?

....  well, watch for yourself ....

... As one long interested in the impact of screen culture on humanity, yes, I crossed the Rubicon ...

And, of course, it was 'performance art'. -- Later remarks that I looked "so natural", "at ease", and "comfortable" (while very kind and supportive) attest to that. -- Believe me folks, the whole thing was, from start to finish, 'performance art'. Some have said, "it's no big deal. You did it!" -"It's excellent & necessary promotion." "You're just selling your book!" Yes, yes, and yes, BUT ... I still loathe every single second of having to do it. And that, my dear friends, is why you will see little more of this #writer 'live', on big or little screens. 

Now, let me add this link for the real #performer, the real #actor, in our midst. It goes without saying that I chose wonderful Jens for all the #acting abilities he so easily manifests during the interview: charm, wit, timing and an all-round good sense of fun.  As mentioned in the interview, it was during the taping of his STELLAR rendition of 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' that I first saw and heard the fantastic potential he had as a #storyteller. - Jens is a natural. Jens IS gifted. - And, you really should listen to the bravo 14.5 hour #performance he gives to TRILLIUM. It is outstanding!

Settle in for a thrilling, engaging and timely tale that spans 250 years of life on the Niagara peninsula. The #Ebook, #paperback and audiobook are now available in the States & Canada via  Amazon, or iTunes.  -- Plus, here are the United Kingdom links.

#ReadAlongWithJens   :)