Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Interview: Utopian Frontiers
UTOPIAN FRONTIERS FOUNDATION is a non profit organization dedicated to developing multi-media works intended to educate and provoke meaningful discourse on global environmental concerns – including the relationship between humankind and technology.
To educate and increase the public’s understanding of the environment and its importance by offering courses, seminars, conferences and meetings and by collecting and disseminating information on that topic.
When did you begin writing?
When I became aware there was something, an aspect of the unknown inside that could/would surface in a seemingly effortless, subconscious way.
It was only later in life deadlines loomed, professional deadlines that got in the way of effortless output…
With the passing of time and experience, I consider it safe to say I’m now a competent communicator, capable of responding to the moment, even more so as time allows a delay based on time needed to cogitate.
Initially, I was in high school, grade 12, back in the late 60’s. My Creative English teacher gave us an assignment to write a short poem and I came up with a stream of conscience ditty that impressed him and the class. For the first time I realized there was something coming out of me that was foreign yet part of me, though not really connected to any real, personal life experience other than as an observer for the most part.
What is this book about?
Utopian Frontiers is a story about the relationship between humankind and technology. The message is one of hope and well being for the future. For details, please visit http://www.utopianfrontiersfoundation.com/ .
What was the inspiration to write the book?
Back in the 70’s, I was working as an Employee Relations Supervisor for a mining company located up North near the Alaskan panhandle. It was a hard rock mine operation located in the Coastal Mountain Range system of mountains. The mine site was located up in the mountains, near a huge field of glaciers. A tunnel led from the mill and habitation area, going under 3 mountains and 2 glaciers just to get to the ore body.
How does 1000 inches of snow a year sound?
Newmont Asarco (an American based transnational mining conglomerate, although the mine was actually located in the province of British Columbia, Canada) had controlling interest of the property, and they had an architect draw up a conceptual design for a dome that would cover the mill and living quarters, making the community an enclosed environment, sort of a city out in the wilderness.
Yet even though the rising price of gold and copper residuals made the running of the mine profitable in the late 60’s and early 70’s, expense related to the dome made that investment a no go. We still drank water from glacial fed springs, breathed some of the cleanest air on the planet, witnessed the Northern Lights, and viewed mountains at night that seemed surreal, so clear and stark they were, as if supported by two by fours, a card board cut out of the original we were so blessed to stand in awe of.
When I moved back down South I immediately had eye problems related to air pollution but that’s another story.
I reconnected with my soon to be writing associate, Mike Parsons, and we picked up on mutual concerns, such as social/political/economic realities of the times. We discussed my experiences in a semi isolated corporate environment, lamented the condition of existing cities and related problems, and began to play “WHAT IF”.
See the book tab on the UFF website for the blurb on “WHAT IF”…
Over time, Mike and I envisioned a research culture that promoted actualization through creative, constructive endeavors. The initial concept and entertainment vehicle (a screenplay at the time) was but a myth through which we would encourage and motivate, inspire/provoke others to consider options that would contribute to a better world. The futuristic research city we envisioned was conceived as a prototype for humane urban environments yet such lofty ideas need development...
See the film tab at the UFF website for a short version of that story.
With the passing of Mike, I inherited the task of advancing the cause, and in keeping with the myth (any and all who become involved are encouraged to be themselves and make a creative contribution).
I have worked a day job ever since and only now have the opportunity of stepping up to the plate and letting the show take life.
So, with the encouragement and suggestions of friends and associates, eventually I contracted with BurmanBooks to publish a book. Sanjay Burman helped bring on a creative writer (Drew Tapley) tasked to convert the screenplay Mike and I had written into an updated version of the story in book form, with myself as Editor of the book.
The book Utopian Frontiers will hopefully, in turn, garner interest in making the film that Mike and I thought would best represent a full, dramatic, public exposition of the project, bringing us full circle.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Elizabeth (Beth) Sharp: Mother Earth as an educator with attitude.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
It was a smooth/bumpy/long ride.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I certainly would’ve started earlier.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
It is available at a wide variety of online book retailers, including Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Utopian-Frontiers-Story-Drew-Tapley/dp/1927005124/
The digital and audio versions will be available soon.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
Getting and maintaining a corporate position for the Utopian Frontiers Foundation which allows me to afford all of these efforts as a personal investment in this project.
What is up next for you?
It’s a creative project I have had on the back burner for a few decades.
Intended as a graphic novel, it’s about a character who is born late, and is always late for everything.
Is there anything you would like to add?
The puzzle I see as the “human condition” lies scattered in pieces, in need of assembly into a cogent vision, a big picture that makes sense and holds together. Are we too late or are we just in time to save the world for future generations to come? (agree/reject/laugh/frown/whatever/here/please).
And if we are truly a responsible species, one that should know better when it comes to common sense, why are we wasting time stalling while so many suffer needlessly?
We have the human capital yet our existing systems do not allow us to “invest” wisely, so it seems, and as a consequence, so many lives needlessly go to waste.
For information about Utopian Frontiers, the book, the organization or the music, visit http://www.utopianfrontiers.com/. To learn more about the book and to get your copy, visit http://www.amazon.com/Utopian-Frontiers-Story-Drew-Tapley/dp/1927005124/.