A little bit of context:
I have always been a restless person who loves music and books. My dreams of becoming a great trumpet player were shattered into a hundred plastic pieces on the gravel parking lot of my public school one morning when a friend had grown weary of a particularly atonal serenade, ripped the toy instrument from my hand, and flung it to the ground with enough force to render the thing useless forever. Goodbye, Juilliard.
Books proved to be more impervious to destruction. I could throw them on the ground and they still more or less maintained their shape and functionality. So, I stuck with them.
I started working at independent bookstores straight out of high school, have dabbled in indie publishing, and have haunted the stacks of second hand shops for my whole life. Books are what I know.
In 2009, after losing my job, I started a show called Books on the Radio on CJSF 90.1FM, Simon Fraser University’s public station, and everything in my life changed.
In February 2010, during the Winter Olympics that was happening in our city, I organized the Real Vancouver Writers’ Series at the W2 Culture and Media House on 100 block West Hastings Street. RVWS was met with so much enthusiasm and support that it eventually became a registered non-profit society and now produces 4 events a year at locations around the city.
BOTR and RVWS became hubs for a lot of collaborative projects that brought creative writing, digital technology, and the local community together in interesting ways.
We collaborated with the ScotiaBank Giller Prize to host the very first Giller Light Bash in Vancouver and we collaborated with the good people at the Griffin Poetry Prize to host the first ever livestreamed broadcast of the awards ceremony in Vancouver. In 2012 we worked with London UK’s Ministry of Stories on the International 24-Hour Book Project. The 24HBP was a visionary thing that brought writers from four cities – London, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, and Vancouver – together to create a novel in one day. All of this was coordinated using social media, Skype, Google docs, and the calendar. The book, called LEAP, was written across those four cities on February 29th of that year.
There was also the Advent Book Blog, a collaborative, community-generated book recommendation engine that lurched into action every December from 2010 to 2012. Sadly, the dedicated domain that housed the second and third iterations of the project is gone, having been ravaged and destroyed by hackers from Kazakhstan. The spirit lives on and that’s what’s important.
The most recent thing that I’m working on, besides Real Vancouver which is ongoing, is the Buster Frequency Project. It’s a generative fiction project that’s tangled up with the internet and dreams to one day retire itself to the peace and tranquility of the printed page.
Thanks for reading.