Earth Day – Incorporate “Green” in Stories

source: www.outlook.noaa.govBy Patricia Zick @PCZick

Today is the forty-third anniversary of the very first Earth Day in 1970 when environmentally minded folks came together to raise awareness after several major disasters in this country. First, in 1969 there was a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that compromised both the habitat and the wildlife within reach. Then, if that wasn’t horrific enough, a river caught fire in Ohio. I repeat: a river caught on fire because of the high amounts of combustible crap in the water.

We’re still celebrating Earth Day, and we’re still dealing with environmental disasters such as BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill three years ago.

This blog is devoted to writing and writers and today is no different despite my opening paragraphs. Today, I urge all writers to consider doing something “green” in your work. You don’t have to write environmentally themed novels as I do, but you could create a character that recycles or drives a Prius or drinks water from stainless steel containers or uses cloth napkins.

I attended a writer’s conference many years ago at the height of the AIDS Awareness campaign. In one of the sessions, an agent urged the participants to make sure the characters were having protected sex, whether it was to show a character pulling a condom out of a drawer or simply having two characters discuss the issue before partaking in sex the first time. I’m doing the same thing here. No matter what you believe about climate change, taking care of our planet just makes good sense. As writers we can lead by example.

You don’t need to make a big deal out of it, just make it a natural part of the story and maybe somewhere something will click with a reader.

In Trails in the Sand, Simon, one of the main characters, toys with the idea of pulling an old solar water heating system out of the barn. Here’s how I handled it:

“I’ve been thinking about something,” Simon said. “Remember that old solar water heater out in the barn? I’m going to pull it out this afternoon and see if we can install it for the bathroom.”

Do you think it’s salvageable?” Caroline asked.

“I’m not sure, but I know this guy on Vilano Beach who works with this type of thing. I thought I’d give him a call.”

“What brought this about?”

“I keep thinking about our dependence on fossil fuels and wondered how we could change our lives in some ways that might make a small difference. Then I read that piece you wrote.”

“So you do read what I write,” Caroline said. “Sure, see if we can do something with it. Maybe Gus wasn’t so far off the mark all those years ago.”

“Maybe not, but don’t worry, I won’t make you live off the grid totally. I’m thinking there’s a middle ground somewhere. And you know I’m your biggest fan.”

Speaking of Trails in the Sand, my virtual book tour starts today. Please check out my blog stops and enter to win a very cool giveaway: an autographed copy of both Live from the Road and Trails in the Sand, magnets, a Route 66 baseball cap, and a “green” grocery bag from What’s Green with Betsy blog.

Here’s the schedule for April 22 trailsbanner3web

Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries More blog features an excerpt from Trails in the Sand. Melissa loves books and animals. She says her blog is “a book blog with a very pet-centric twist.

Author Richard Stephenson interviews me on his blog. Richard is cool – he devotes much of his blog to promoting Indie Authors.

Bookingly Yours blog features my guest post about the anniversary of Earth Day and the connection to Trails in the Sand.
Jenai reviews books and features guest posts by authors.

Any comments left on today’s post will be entered into a separate drawing (by me) for a Kindle version of one of my three novels in eBook format. Enjoy and do something “green” today.

2 responses to “Earth Day – Incorporate “Green” in Stories”

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