Continuing with my previous posting about doing more in Ottawa, tonight I went to see Douglas Coupland at the National Arts Centre. He was reading Chapter 4 (of 5) from his new book Player One: What is to Become of Us?
This is the first time that I have had the original author of a story read it to me (well, to an auditorium). I’ve been to see a few other authors, and it’s usually a Q&A.
After the hour-long reading, there was a Q&A, presented by Ideas host Paul Kennedy.
Interestingly, Douglas echoed what William Gibson had said the day before about airports being a stateless location – Player One is set in an airport hotel bar. Douglas mentioned that he and William often do things together, such as trips across the border to the US.
After the Q&A, there was a long line for the book signing in the lobby. I was setting up my camera (ISO, exposure, etc) to take a picture when Douglas looked right at me and I hit the trigger as a reflex. It was a nice shot without too many distractions. But for just a microsecond, I saw a look on his face that I read as annoyance at being photographed. It has bothered me a lot. I had just broken the rule – try to connect with the subject and ask permission. So many others were also taking pictures, which spurred me into wanting to take a picture, but I could have handled actually taking portrait better. It is a valuable lesson.