Watch, Contribute, and Create a Story About Vancouver

I get to participate in some pretty darn interesting things. I’ve blogged about the opening night of an opera. I’ve live tweeted operas. I’ve covered events of all kinds, but nothing like what I’m doing tonight. Tonight I’ll be watching, tweeting, and contributing to an original story about Vancouver being written live and on stage.


And it’s all for a great cause—the Vancouver Public Library.

Tonight I’ll be a part of TOUCH which is a fundraiser for the VPL to remodel the third floor of the main library into a whole, new digital media center called The Inspiration Lab. Let’s just say this is certainly something I can get behind. So how is this going to work? Okay, it goes like this…

2013-10-03 20.24.32Steve Burgess and Jen Sookfong Lee will be working on the story. Starting at 8 PM they will begin working in the Author’s Lounge (good thing I’m an author too!) on an original story based here in Vancouver. I’ve seen the outline and it’s cool, dark, and very Vancouver. Now what are words without pictures? So while Steve and Jen are writing away—and using the collaborative writing tool Quip the audience will be able to follow along—Nick Conbere will be creating illustrations to compliment the written word. Oh and you’ll be able to watch Nick as well…there is a camera situated over his workspace that will be projected on screen too!

Where do I come in?

Documenting and connecting with the audience and the twitterverse throughout the three hour event.

For my part, here’s how it’s going to work. Follow me on Twitter tonight. Over the course of the evening I’ll be commenting on the story, asking for potential plot twists, and posting pictures of Nick’s work in progress. I’ll try to share as much of the story as I can, but since the final product is being published later, don’t worry if you miss part. The whole idea and process is pretty amazing actually. It’s a great blend of the traditional and innovative in creating works to read and see. I’m excited to be a part of it.

We had the technical run through last night which had just enough glitches to make me confident that things are going to be awesome tonight (if everything went smoothly I would be really worried that Murphy would come and bite us on the ass tonight).

2013-10-03 20.24.48I want to thank the Library Foundation and Malcolm Levy and Sarah Cole-Burnett of Hybridity  and Kristina Fiedrich for inviting me along in this adventure. It’s…it’s just going to be great. Oh and I get to wear my suit too.

As a teaser (and I hope Steve and Jen don’t kill me), here is the Introduction to the story to set the scene for you…

When civil war finally came to Vancouver people thought it would be about bike lanes, or backyard chicken coops, or fancy restaurants on the Downtown East Side. Few expected the battle that erupted: The Food Truck War.

City officials had been so focused on preparing for the Big One they were unready for the threat that did appear: a 50-foot-tall genetically-mutated monster made of comfortable, stretchy seaweed-based material, the result of a Lululemon product test gone horribly wrong. In the chaotic aftermath food trucks, mobile and flexible, became more and more important, gaining market share from bricks-and-mortar restaurants and supermarkets. Turf wars break out, the trucks gradually acquiring armour and weaponry to fend off competition. With the food wagons embroiled in these intramural battles, another group sees its chance.

The guerrilla band known as the 100-Milers are fanatically opposed to imported food of any kind. One terrible day they strike. First the remaining supermarkets and restaurants are overrun. Then the 100-Milers turn on the food trucks. After a fierce running battle the food trucks and their clientele are driven back into a last stronghold—a walled compound bounded by Smithe, Dunsmuir, Seymour, and Beatty Streets, with the former library at its heart.

2013-10-03 20.24.41Very Vancouver. Very tongue-in-check. And all the makings of something fun to read.

Which everyone will be able to do when the work is done because the final product will be published in the Vancouver Sun.

Wonder if any of my Tweets will make it into the story…

Until tonight.

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