Last week we left Frodo walking fearfully toward the dread Land of Mordor. This week we find ourselves on a perilous journey, every bit as daunting. We who have longed for a green and pleasant country of fellowship and amity suddenly face the possibility that everything we have spent our whole lives working for could be overshadowed and destroyed.
These days I spend half of my week writing eco-fiction and half on environmental activism. The Infinite Games Series alternates utopia and dystopia, the world of my self-sustaining Marshlanders against male domination fueled by economic greed. In plotting evil I look the worst possibilities of human behavior straight in the eye, but in seeking The Worlds We Long For I tell stories about how good folk fight back.
There are four volumes in the series, two of which I have self-published. In October, I received the immensely happy news from Mary Woodbury at Moon River Press that she will publish the last volume about The Battle for the Black Fen this year. In in the meantime, I am bringing out the third volume, The Road to Beaver Mill, as a Kindle Ebook.
I keep a map of on the wall of my study to trace the perilous quests my characters undertake. This autumn, I realized how amateurish it looks, so I got in touch with a marvelous cartographer, D.N. Frost, to produce a more professional-looking map for my series. Here it is!.
Are my novels escapes from the dystopian conditions of our present world? Not at all: I intend them as stories that model how we can carry our little rings of power – the will for the good which is our most precious possession – through the dangerous times in which we are called to live.
In the second half of my week I do environmental activism. What use is that now, with climate deniers come to power, threatening the fate of our beloved planet?
I work with two groups: the Green Sanctuary Ministry of my local Unitarian church and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. an organization promoting carbon fees directly returnable to American households.
Grounds for hope:
The rest of the world plans to carry out the Paris Agreements, even if the U.S. opts out.
We can work for real change at the local and state levels where progress can be maintained; cities produce 70% of emissions and many have already put stringent climate legislation into effect.
The Eye of the Dark Lord is turning in our direction.
Frodo’s ring could destroy the world, so he had to throw it over the cliffs of doom. The power of our rings is our small individual wills and our ability to combine with each other to create the world we long for.