What Are You Doing to Help Mother Earth?

23 04 2012

I thought I’d devote some time this week to promoting a fellow author I admire not only for her writing, but also for her commitment to the environment. Her latest book, Stakeout, was a finalist for the Green Earth Award this year.

Bonnie J. Doerr not only writes green, she lives green. Her home is a log cabin set in a patch of woods in North Carolina. Bonnie J. Doerr's cabin in North CarolinaBonnie has carved out a space for herself to garden. You can see some of her lovely landscaping in this picture, but to truly appreciate what she’s done, you need to look at the before and after pictures of her garden space (see below). It’s difficult to believe that these pictures are of the same place. Bonnie’s hard work and green thumb are evident. In the first picture, she’s hard at work planting her garden.Picture of Bonnie J. Doerr plantingThen in the next picture, here’s how her garden grows. Amazing! Bonnie brings the same dedication and passion to her writing and to her environmental activism. So I asked her to write a blog post in honor of Earth Day.

By Bonnie J. Doerr

During Earth Week I’m reminded more than ever about why my writing took off in the direction it did. A deep appreciation of nature and the need to be immersed in the outdoors on a regular basis has defined my mental health for as long as I remember. I’ve been astounded to learn how many people are missing the gene that connects them to nature. In recent years my astonishment has turned into alarm. This dissociation from nature, I believe, is in many ways at the core of our environmental crisis.

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods (Algonquin, 2005), defines this as Nature Deficit Disorder. As a result of a lifetime indoors, children have limited respect for their immediate natural surroundings. According to Louv, “An increasing pace in the last three decades, approximately, of a rapid disengagement between children and direct experiences in nature… has profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the Earth itself.”

Watch the wonder and delight on a young child’s face when first observing a nest of eggs hatching, a tadpole growing into a frog, or a bean sprouting and reaching for the sky, and you know how much joy children naturally find in nature. We are wired to appreciate nature’s gifts. To nurture that appreciation, before it is lost to modern day society, can be soul saving.

Without first having experienced something, how can we come to care for it? So it seems tragically understandable that a lack of association with the natural environment leads to ecological abuse, or at the very least, taking our natural environment for granted.

I began to write poetry first, then short stories. But by the time I drafted my first novel, the die was cast. Each piece of writing had brought me closer and closer to natural settings, to crimes against the environment, and finally to where I am now—writing ecological mystery/adventures. I realize not every child can visit a wilderness, or explore a National Refuge, but every child can feel like they have when immersed in my novels. Teens can learn how much fun it is to be outdoors, how sensitive the environment is, and how they can set a good example for the adults in their world. They can virtually join other teens as they work to improve the Earth and save its creatures. It’s one small thing I can do to inspire environmental stewardship.

This month the Girl Scouts of USA are featuring Bonnie at their site. You can learn more about Bonnie and her novels on her website and by reading a recent interview. You can also see more about Bonnie’s work on her videos, which are posted at the Leap Books blog. And even better, Bonnie’s books are on sale the rest of this month for 40% off the paperbacks: Stakeout is only $7.79 and Island Sting is only $7.19.

Here’s one video of Bonnie’s work to whet your appetite:

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Cow Mania?

8 05 2010

Watercolor by Laurie J. Edwards

I like cows. I really do. I even painted this picture of one looking at me with soulful eyes.

We live in a fairly rural area where we have a few cows across the street along with herds of goats, flocks of guinea fowl, and some donkeys. Yes, donkeys whose brays sound like an tortured child’s screeches. So the quiet cows, who chew their cuds, and the adorable calves with big eyes tug at my heartstrings. It’s hard to believe anyone can actually eat these animals.

But after reading some frightening statistics recently, I discovered that cows are one of the greatest sources of global warming and air pollution. How could such sweet, gentle animals be responsible for this awful deed? It seems their gas is filled with methane. Supposedly cows are a greater hazard to the environment than all the trucks and cars in this country put together. Yikes!

And the biggest contributors to that pollution are the massive farm factories that serve the meat market. Guess I should have painted this instead:

Stop air-pollution! Stop eating beef!

Watercolor/Photoshop image by Laurie J. Edwards

But wait a minute. If we eat the beef, won’t that decrease air-pollution?





An Author’s Dream Come True

3 02 2010

Author Bonnie J. Doerr’s made no secret of the fact that she’s a Carl Hiaasen fan. So how cool is it to walk into a bookstore and see her book face out, next to the likes of Hoot, Flush, and Scat. Talk about a thrill!

Even better, Bonnie isn’t just writing books about saving the environment, she’s doing something about it, too. Today she helped the wildlife center release pelicans. She’s on tour in Key West right now, so if you’re in the area, stop by to pick up a copy of her book, Island Sting. Visit the Key West Wildlife Center on Sunday, February 7, 2010 from 1-4 pm. You can not only meet Bonnie and get an autographed book, but proceeds from the books will be donated to the center.

Here’s Bonnie’s schedule if you’re lucky enough to get away to the Keys or if you live in the area:

February 4: US 1 Radio 104.1 FM Morning Magazine with Bill Becker 7:50 am
February 4: KONK AM 1680 AM “ECOcentricView” with Erika Biddle 2-3 pm
February 5: Walk on Winn Dixie, Big Pine Key 7 – 9 pm, National Key Deer Visitor Center
February 7: Family Fun Day Fund Raiser, Key West Wildlife Center 1-4 pm
February 9: Florida Keys Community College Library 5:30 pm, “Manuscript Makeover/What Not to Dare”
February 11: Café con Libros, Key West Public Library 9:30 –11:00 am, “Evolution of a Novel/Survival of the Determined”
March 2: Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave. Coral Gables, FL 7 pm

Oh, and if you want to find out more about that Pelican Release, check out the Leap Books blog.





Masked Man…or Not?

27 10 2009

Well, sort of… Not sure what you call it when a plastic figure dresses up for Halloween, but I thought this post from Bonnie Blogs Green was humorous. Bonnie, a Leap Books author whose eco-mystery Island Sting is coming out in January, surrounds herself with Green Teens. And two of them combined their artistic talents to make an environmentally friendly costume for a plastic figure Bonnie rescued after a storm.

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Mr. Pumpkin Head

You’ll have to look closely to see who’s hidden under that Pumpkin Head, but I guarantee it’ll be a familiar face.Want to know if you guessed correctly?? Stop by Bonnie Blogs Green, where she unmasks this mysterious stranger.

And while you’re there, check out her other eco-friendly posts.