Strange Beginnings

I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of a new short story collection!

Strange Beginnings is a collection of short stories that all take place in the same setting as my novel, Change. These tales all relate in some way to the theme of strange beginnings — and often strange endings. Two were written independently of the novel while my ideas for this setting were still forming. Two were written during the course of my Kickstarter campaign for the novel. One was written after the novel as a reward for some of my Kickstarter backers.

This collection will be released in ebook form on May 8, 2014. I have once again chosen to release a book on May 8 in honor of the Inland Hurricane of 2009. One of the stories, Imbalance, was inspired in part by the events of that day.

I'll be posting another update when Strange Beginnings is available for purchase. In the meantime, if you haven't already, I invite you to read, rate, and review my novel, Change. You're also welcome to visit my author page on Facebook and talk to me and my readers about anything related to my writing. I enjoy hearing your feedback and look forward to sharing this book with you in less than a month!

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My Public Comment About Fracking

Over the course of the public comment period on the IDNR's administrative rules on fracking, I've made numerous comments online, either through the IDNR comment form or through ProtectILFromFracking.org. The following is a copy of my spoken comments at the IDNR hearing on December 19, 2013 at the Student Center in Carbondale, IL. I also submitted a written copy of my comments at the hearing.

The IDNR has been given an impossible task: the task of making fracking safe. Many of us in this room are also facing what seems like an impossible task: the task of convincing the IDNR that the proposed rules are broken.

As representatives of the IDNR, you have been tasked with promoting public safety for present and future generations. Fracking poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of people I know personally right here in Southern Illinois. It also poses a threat to many of our livelihoods that are derived from agricultural and recreational uses of the natural riches and wonders of Southern Illinois. Your proposed rules are woefully inadequate to protect my friends and neighbors from poisoned wells, poisoned farms, poisoned air, and the many other environmental and social hazards associated with fracking.

 

I’ve submitted numerous comments about the details of these administrative rules. The take home message, however, is this: fracking is not safe and cannot be made safe by a haphazard set of rules with no real budget or plan for enforcement. A certain percentage of these fracking wells will fail. Once that contamination has been unleashed, there’s no taking it back. Present and future generations will suffer for it.

 

The proposed administrative rules place the people of Illinois — my  beloved friends and neighbors — in grave danger. As public servants dedicated to the stated mission of the IDNR, I urge you to take whatever actions necessary to ensure that fracking does not come to Southern Illinois. That may involve declaring that there is no current technology for safe fracking in Illinois, publicly calling for a ban, or resigning your posts in protest of the impossible task you’ve been given. Whatever it takes, I urge you to do everything in your power to stop this dangerous industry from coming to Southern Illinois.

 

Having said that, I must admit that I am also realist and know that you will probably not do any of those things. If you do not heed our comments, then it is we, the people of Illinois, who must take up the mission you have abandoned. In the end, it is we, the people, who must protect ourselves, our communities, and our land from the menace of fracking. And so, I urge my fellow Illinoisans to join me in resisting fracking in Southern Illinois. Resist with your comments, resist with your letters, resist with your voices. And if fracking does come to our region, resist with your bodies in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. If the IDNR does not do its duty to protect the public, it is up to us to do so. I hope and pray that it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, I will be there, and I ask you to join me. Thank you.

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Order is Coming

Order is coming.

My next novel, Order, will be the second installment in a trilogy that began with my first novel, Change. If you've read Change, you'll recognize that Order is the name of a powerful organization in the Change setting. My next novel will explore the setting largely from Order's perspective. I don't have a firm release date yet, but my current goal is to release Order on October 31, 2014.

For the sake of convenience, I may at times refer to Order as a sequel to Change. The term "sequel", however, is a bit misleading. The timeframe of Order largely overlaps with the timeframe of Change. Order explores a related narrative that features some characters from Change as well as some new characters and a peek behind the curtain at stronger sci-fi and fantasy elements of the Change setting.

As with Change, Order will feature a strong focus on climate change and related themes. Climate change is at the heart of both narratives and will also have a strong role to play in the third novel of the trilogy. While the series offers no simple or easy solutions to the climate crisis, it will continue to raise important questions and explore a variety of responses to climate change in the context of an urban fantasy setting.

Stay tuned for more news on Order as it develops. I'll also have more news soon about other projects I'm working on, including both writing and non-writing projects. In the meantime, sleep awaits.

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Here Comes The Tide

My novel, "Change", contains the refrain to a song about climate change. I want your help creating the full version of this song. I'm looking for YouTube videos (or other audio/video submissions) which feature a completed song that's compatible with the description of "Here Comes The Tide" in my novel. If I choose your version, it will become the official canon version. I will link to it on my website and possibly reference it (and/or you) in future creative projects that take place in the same setting as "Change". 
 
 
Here are a few details:
  • You can submit your version by posting a video reply or comment on YouTube. If you're not sure if I received your submission, or if you'd like to submit by alternate means, contact me.
  • Writing a good song about climate change is more important to me than any other aspect of this contest. Make sure that your version includes a strong message in line with the one described in the novel. If you'd like to propose a different melody or other tweaks to my vision for the song, feel free. Since the novel's already published, I'll probably pick a version that includes the exact wording for the refrain contained within the novel.
  • My goal is to share this song with as many people as possible. If you'd like to produce and sell a commercial version of the song, that's fine with me as long as we share the proceeds. My one other stipulation is that anyone who wants to perform or play the song in an activist context must be free to do so.
Thanks in advance for your submissions! If you have any further questions, you know where to find me. In the meantime, now that you're thinking about climate change, be sure to check out 350.org and see what else you can do about climate change today!
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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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