...I come across something I made long, long ago.
I wonder why I've kept it. It was part of something bigger way back when, but now?
It doesn't have a purpose and only means something because I, well, like it.
I especially like the table's imperfect legs.
And the wavy pencil lines.
And the way its glossed surface shines in certain light, like a real glass top table.
This all seems very silly when facing a studio that needs to be cleaned, purged, and organized.
But if I've learned anything, it's to keep space for curious bits and pieces.
So the little, painted table? It stays.
Some days it's really difficult. Some days it's almost impossible. And some days I can't even fathom trying. I'm talking about one citizen making a difference in a political world that's gone mad.
I mean, I can tweetle-de-tweet and ring up my senators and reps all day long, but I'll never know for sure if my comments have landed with meaning. And there happens to be alot to stand up for in this moment. Alot of alot, actually. But in the last week or so, amidst more breaking news, three pieces of information felt personal. First, a Montana politician physically assaulted a journalist on the eve of an election and went on to win. Second, Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed to leave a presidential advisory council if Trump pulls the United States from The Paris Agreement. Third, Trump is threatening to pull the United States from The Paris Agreement, a long overdue world climate accord.
Each of these moments takes me back to when I was researching and writing my ecotopian novel wildflowers, which I self-published in 2012. Set in the near future, but after a natural disaster has elevated climate problems, I settled on Montana for the main character's school. It seemed wide open and perfect as a clean-air safe zone. But Montana frustrates the main character, Keifer. It's far from his home in Arizona and the separation brings on new worries, fears. Anger. He's working through this, trying to make good choices or ask for help when his temper flares, but he makes mistakes he must take responsibility for later.
Also, Keifer is of a generation where news reports appeal to kids because they deliver critical information and tell stories they wouldn't otherwise hear. Though the 24-7 news cycle can be stressful, the exposure is like never-ending storytelling and has Keifer considering writing as career. Beyond this, he was raised by parents committed to eco-friendly living and he understands the seriousness of his father's role on a government climate advisory board, and things other kids wouldn't find noteworthy, he values. Like the way Tesla, the electric vehicle I feature in the novel, has universalized public EV charging stations, making electricity the primary fuel source for all cars. In the end, wildflowers is about a kid unraveling a mystery around his mother's work to end pollution But it's also about changing human thinking and behavior for the betterment of earth and humankind.
So what does a minimal-recognition writer-slash-artist do when the real world begins to cross strange boundaries with a fictional world she created? What does the creative do when the real world begins to resemble a troubled world born from her imagination? Will more words matter? Maybe. Or maybe...
In our family, we donate money to and follow the news from The National Resources Defense Council, NRDC, and The Sierra Club. Because we live in a time when so many organizations need funds to push back on bad policy, our yearly donation dollars have been maxed. Still, The Paris Agreement (also called The Paris Accord, Paris Climate Deal, Paris Climate Accord) issue ruffles my feathers and it occurred to me that if I could get folks to buy wildflowers or "check it out" from the Kindle library, I could donate 100% of those funds to two groups I know will push forward with good climate policy. The truth is, money matters.
So, here's how it'll work:
For each print-on-demand paperback sold at $8.98 on Amazon, I profit around $5.00. I'm glad to split this profit 50/50 with NRDC and The Sierra Club in the form of a monthly donation, which I will post here on the storm row studio blog.
Because I optioned to include wildflowers in the Kindle library for $3.99, check-out/downloads generate only a small stipend. Though the payments are low and sporadic, if more check-out/downloads occur the amount could go up, and again, I'm happy to split those proceeds, in full, 50/50 with NRDC and The Sierra Club.
If you already own wildflowers or ecotopian mystery isn't your preferred genre, consider buying and donating the book to your local library or a Little Free Library. Also, if you'd like, you could make a direct donation to these groups. If you do, please consider making it an Honorary gift in the name of wildflowers and announce your donation on a social media, use the hashtag #WildflowersSentMe in order to spread the word. I'm not sure how this fundraising attempt will go over, but I appreciate your consideration. Peace to Earth.