Returning to Pages in a Dank Tunnel, Composing, 14/02/2018

Taking a break from philosophy today, because I came home last night after a long day at work. I want to make a legitimately short post today, to talk about some of my artistic work.

Some good news on the artistic front. I have an audio-play coming out in The Twelfth Doctor Adventures, an independently produced series in Britain. Quite a fun fan production that explores a trans companion character.

The series producer JR sent me her script for the first episode, which portrayed their companion, Toni Perkins.* It made a good guide for the character when I was writing my episode, “The Walls Are Alive.” At her best, Toni has a strength with two foundations – her empathy and knowledge of her own fragility.

Books are my home.
* JR tells me the name Antonia Perkins was not an intentional reference. I will never be capable of believing this.

As you can probably tell from the title, I took a crack at another Lovecraftian horror story of the underground spaces that defy human comprehension. I even had some input on the sound design, so JR knows how I want the creepiness of the story to flow from the setting.

Most importantly for the sound, we talked about different ways to make the normal spaces of human existence become disturbing, weird, shocking. The territory that you think is safe actually startles and destabilizes you as a listener. It’ll be a subtle aspect of the story that messes with listeners.

“The Walls Are Alive” is set in a country estate on a human colony world in the far future. Underneath the mansion is a network of tunnels curving through spaces that are typically impossible for humans to traverse.

It was a good use of the Digger aliens I developed for Under the Trees, Eaten a few years ago. I wasn't done exploring the potential of those creatures for fiction, so I was happy to get another opportunity to set a story with them.

The opportunity to contribute to the project came along at a time when I was feeling stressed in my life. My old teaching job was getting tough – I was beginning to suffer from what I realized was improper training and a workplace culture that encouraged instructors to let each other fail as small errors snowballed into serious problems.

Some of my favourite spaces in the Doctor Who fan community
are the queer ones. Not necessarily the gay ones, which have
their own unavoidable problems at the moment. But the queer.
So I was glad to get an offer – even if it was for free – to contribute to a project built in making explicit the values of liberation and queerness that so many fans saw in Capaldi-era Doctor Who.

I think it’s time I focussed more on smaller projects like this for my writing. The last couple of years, I’ve been trying to produce a film version of my play from four years ago, You Were My Friend. But I’ve frankly had a lot of trouble raising the money for it and getting a crew together before I had the money to make it.

Now that I’m working full-time as Anderson College’s Director of Education, I have more money and don’t have to hustle all the time. But I’m also no longer in a position to devote three or four weeks of my life to eight hours of shooting a film on no notice.

But I do have time to devote every week to writing another short-ish novel. Which the latest version of You Were My Friend can be. It’s the kind of work where my talents can work best. And developing connections in the Toronto art and publishing world over the next year can make for a respectable indie author career.

So I’ll be getting back to pages. It’s where I belong.

No comments:

Post a Comment