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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Stop Fracking In Illinois

Do you have some spare time over the holiday weekend? If you live in Illinois, I encourage you to spend that time talking to your state reps or taking a field trip to Springfield. What better way to celebrate Memorial Day than by participating in the democratic process and doing what you can to protect the people of Illinois from fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. 'fracking', is a method used to extract natural gas by injecting a slurry of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into the ground at high pressure. There's already significant research on fracking indicating the many negative environmental, health, and economic impacts. The main purpose of bringing fracking to our region would be to benefit fossil fuel companies at the expense of local workers, local families, the local economy, local waters and lands, and the global climate. Therefore, like many people of conscience, I support a moratorium on fracking and encourage you to do the same.

A 1-2 year moratorium will allow the people of Illinois more time to review the evidence. It will also allow time for scientists in related fields to complete further research that is already underway. Even if you personally are not yet convinced that fracking is as risky as the activists say it is, this will give you more time to do your own research, hear from environmental groups, hear from scientists, and consider alternatives that can bring jobs to our region without as much risk to our health or our local waters and lands.

If you've been following the issue, you may have been confused or misled by the fact that some environmental groups actually supported this regulatory bill. The Illinois Environmental Council and almost all of their member organizations initially supported the bill because they believed that fracking was inevitable and wanted to be sure that there was at least some form of regulation.

However, their support for this bill is a green light to the fracking industry. So far, this form of fracking hasn't come to Illinois because there is no clear regulation governing how it can legally be conducted. The bill currently under discussion would provide regulation which is in many ways very favorable to the fossil fuel industry, thus inviting them to begin fracking as soon as possible.

Luckily, support for the bill is eroding. Grassroots groups like Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAVE) already oppose the bill. Activists like Sandra Steingraber have presented strong arguments against the bill. I've also heard early reports from my activist friends currently in Springfield that the Sierra Club and the National Resource Defense Council have withdrawn their support for the bill, instead favoring a moratorium. Hopefully, other organizations will follow suit.

Regardless of what the "Big Green" groups do, the choice is ultimately in your hands. If you live in Illinois, your representatives in state government are there to serve your interests and respond to your concerns. If you have concerns about fracking, let your representatives know by giving them a call, sending them an email, visiting them in Springfield, or all of the above.

If they don't hear from us, or only hear from a few of us, they will assume that this isn't an important issue for the people of Illinois. But if they suddenly hear from a lot of us, they will know our concerns and may even respond to them, if only to save face.

If you live in Southern Illinois and support a moratorium, it's especially important for you to contact your representatives. Proponents of fracking claim that everyone in Southern Illinois is in favor of fracking because it will (supposedly) provide jobs. That is simply not true. There are many people in Southern Illinois who care more about the health and well-being of their families and neighbors than they do about empty promises from fossil fuel companies.

Tell the folks in Springfield that you support a moratorium. Call your state representative and senator at 217-782-2000. If you want to go the extra mile, there are also a few other people in state government you can contact:

  • Speaker Madigan 217-782-5350
  • Senate President Cullerton 217-782-2728
  • Governor Quinn 312-814-2121 or 217-782-0244
  • Attorney General Lisa Madigan 312-814-3000 or 217-782-1090

Let them know that you support a moratorium. By supporting a moratorium, you will be protecting the health and well-being of families and communities in Southern Illinois. To me, that seems like a very fitting way to spend your Memorial Day weekend.

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Change is here!

Change is here! My novel is now available to the public. If you're going to be in Carbondale tonight (May 8), you're welcome to join us at the Change Release Party at 7 pm at Gaia House Interfaith Center. There will also be a book signing at The Bookworm on May 25 at 1 pm.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible! If you want to help Change be a success, spread the word. Also, if you buy your copy online, be sure to post a review once you've read the novel. Those reviews and ratings really do make a difference in people's choice to read and buy the book. Thanks in advance for your support!

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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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