On Writing: John Steinbeck, the Grapes of Wrath, and my Dad’s Stories.

My Dad was born in 1921, and as a young kid, knowing that he grew up during the Great Depression had always fascinated me. During the Great Depression, times were tough for Dad’s family, I’m sure, but I would learn in Social Studies class that other families had it much worse during that time, particularly farmers, and especially in the United States. That is the setting of Steinbeck’s major novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”. . . . → Read More: On Writing: John Steinbeck, the Grapes of Wrath, and my Dad’s Stories.

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On Design: Visual Literacy in Interface Design

During my art education at Emily Carr College in the 80s, I took a unique opportunity to study visual literacy under the college’s Dean of Education, Tom Hudson. This research and study involved developing computer-based imagery research for Tom’s telecourse, “Mark and Image”.

In practical terms, it was like having a world-class personal tutor. We . . . → Read More: On Design: Visual Literacy in Interface Design

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On Narrative: A Story runs through it…

It’s amazing how pervasive the concept of “narrative” actually is. Now, wherever I look, I see a story being told, or something in front of my eyes that is trying to communicate with me. But Non-fiction has an inherent narrative of its own too… What About text in Interactive Environments? Does it contribute a narrative as well? Perhaps we’re back to Marshall McLuhan again… . . . → Read More: On Narrative: A Story runs through it…

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Reflections on a multimedia career…

All through my post-secondary education (which was four frantic, sleep-deprived, incredible years at art college), I never knew exactly what I wanted to do in art and design. Now, 21 years after graduating from the ECCAD four year program and receiving my diploma in fine arts, I look at the preponderance of digital media and information systems in the world around me, and I’m amazed at how much that culture and technology have converged, and have even seemed to become practically inseparable. . . . → Read More: Reflections on a multimedia career…

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On Research and Digging Deep: Setting the Tone for Believability

The raw material of a story or any creative work probably comes from at least two kinds of sources: the Subjective, and the Objective. Somewhere between these two seemingly opposite categories sits the Artist, who must decide how and when to engage either approach, and whether to use an unbalanced or balanced approach. . . . → Read More: On Research and Digging Deep: Setting the Tone for Believability

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Research: Photos and Feelings of Riverview Hospital

My second novel, tentatively named “The Two Sisters”, deals with some aspects of mental illness and alcoholism, through the lives of two sisters, Connie and Rose. Rose has a history of mental illness, as well as substance abuse issues, and when my main character, Jack (her nephew) encounters her for the first time, Rose is fairly heavily medicated and tied into a wheelchair so she doesn’t fall out. Rose is a long-term resident at Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, a slightly fictionalized version of the real hospital, which is located in Coquitlam, BC. . . . → Read More: Research: Photos and Feelings of Riverview Hospital

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Meditating on Now, the Past, and Raw Material…

Sometimes, a good moment in the present helps you to reflect better on the past, or plan for the future. In my case, a yearly summer vacation to a lovely ocean-side spot near Parksville, BC provided a welcome chance to unwind and reflect.

I also started reading Craig Ferguson’s biography, “American on Purpose”, and even . . . → Read More: Meditating on Now, the Past, and Raw Material…

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A Lovely Home, on the Sea…

Along with my dream of writing for a living (and being able to work from home on my own terms), I’ve recently adopted the dream of living on the sea. No, not near the sea, or next to the sea, or with a view of the sea – ON the sea… . . . → Read More: A Lovely Home, on the Sea…

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Repost: It’s Still About Story Telling: Writing in the ePublishing Age

I enjoyed this article by Nilofar Ansher. It deals with the way new media and technology play a role in moving the control of opinion away from from critics and specialists and into the hands of consumers. In fact, consumers are ever-more becoming producers. I think this is the real shift: the audience is not only listening, they’re talking back. . . . → Read More: Repost: It’s Still About Story Telling: Writing in the ePublishing Age

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What Independent Author Stacey Cochran learned from self-publishing

I found this article to be a very useful, first-hand account of the challenges and advantages of self-publishing.

I think that opinion tends to be divided between those who feel that eBooks are opening new opportunities for readers and writers, and those who feel that the eReader medium is still too immature and under-refined compared . . . → Read More: What Independent Author Stacey Cochran learned from self-publishing

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