Monday, August 19, 2013
D.C. Troicuk talks about "Out of the Deep"
Q: Where did you get the idea for your Grey Area story?
D.C. Troicuk: Writing for the theme ‘unearthed’ it was a no-brainer where my story would be based. My Dad was a coal miner.
I remembered a day when a mechanical breakdown prevented the usual exit of the shift up into the mine yard and the men walked out via an airshaft near our house. For some reason, this always intrigued me. How did they get up to the surface? Was it a vertical shaft or did it angle downward? Was it an actual emergency exit? I have no answers. I went over to see the shaft entrance (or exit?) which remained, sealed, after the mine was closed. I did not expect answers. I just wanted to see what it looked like now, whatever remained. I would have used that description. But there is no sign of it now.
Also fresh on my mind were the thirty-three Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for ten weeks that summer. Who didn’t wonder – especially those of us living in coal mining communities – how it must have been for them during those long weeks?
I learned that it takes as much effort to avoid details as to get them right. My in-house consultant – my Dad – is no longer with us. The best I could do was to google a few technical questions to give some sense that I knew what I was talking about. Like: how long will a cap lamp retain battery power? But overall I purposely – but not simply – avoided being too technical. The rest is pure speculation.