When talking with a friend about my newest novel Whisper of the Woods with a month ago, she suggested, “You should do something with your book for Arbor Day.” It was a great suggestion, and one I wished I’d thought of myself, only Arbor Day had already been celebrated here in Nashville a couple weeks back. Undaunted, I went online and found out that National Arbor Day (for the U.S.) is April 29th. I already knew that Earth Day was on the 22nd.
The math revealed that it was only a week between those dates, so I thought, “Hey! I’ll plan a little blog tour to celebrate both of my Juniper Sawfeather books and their environmental themes!” Planning a blog tour with less than a month to the dates isn’t easy, but I asked around and found some wonderful people to help me out. I have written posts for them, answered questions, and provided review copies. I even had one interview that had nothing to do with the tour posted online today, so I added it in as an extra. Hopefully, it will be an engaging week for those of you who follow along.
To start off I thought I’d share a little bit about what I’ve learned about Earth Day and Arbor Day. Did you know that it was an oil spill that spurred Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator, to start Earth Day in 1970? Yep, a big, nasty oil spill of the coast of Santa Barbara, CA. He was so upset by it, that he used some of the enthusiasm of the young anti-war protestors at the time to start a day where people would stage events throughout the country to teach about environmentalism. On its first year, 20 million people participated in rallies from one side of the nation to the other. Amazing. And believe it or not, the whole thing was bipartisan – republicans and democrats, headed up by a Harvard professor named David Hayes, worked together to make it happen. In 1990, Hayes helped Earth Day go global.
Arbor Day’s history reaches back almost one hundred years earlier. There weren’t many trees in Nebraska, and a man named J. Sterling Morton wanted a holiday to encourage people to go out and plant trees. It became official state holiday on April 22nd, 1874. Soon, other states adopted the holiday, and eventually it became a national holiday, officially celebrated on the last Friday of April each year. Many states hold their events earlier in the spring, though, because it’s better for planting. (Hence Tennessee doing theirs in early March.)
So, to celebrate this environmental awareness week, I’m doing something special. Instead of asking my publisher to lower the price of my books for you, I’ve decided that for every copy of Cry of the Sea or Whisper of the Woods purchased between April 22nd and April 29th I will make a donation to Arbor Day Foundation, whose mission is to plant trees and help regrow forests. This is how it will work: I will give 50 cents for every ebook purchased and $1.00 for every print copy. So I know you purchased one, I need you to post a picture of your order on Twitter or Facebook and tag me like this (@DGDriverAuthor or D. G. Driver). I’m not self-published, so I won’t know you bought one if you don’t do this.
Hopefully, at the end of the week I’ll have a little bit to give to them. Feel free to spread the word. If you’d like to skip the book buying part (because you already have my books, right?) and donate on your own go to https://www.arborday.org/
Follow me this week to seven different blogs for interviews, guest posts and new reviews! (Links will be added as they become live, and they will be orange) Come back here and check, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the updates each day.
April 21st - A lovely surprise! Author Janet Balletta included Cry of the Sea on her Earth Day blog about great ocean reads and ways to prevent ocean pollution.
April 22nd - Guest post celebrating the 1st year anniversary of author Nina Mansfield's blog Not Even Joking
April 23rd - An interview at author Lela Markham's blog Aurorawatcherak
April 24th - A review of Whisper of the Woods from Escaping Life's Craziness With Books "I'm definitely a fan of this Young Adult paranormal series and I love how the books have a unique environmental message."
April 25th - A guest post titled "Writing When I Can" about balancing writing and research with a day job and a family at FranticMommy
April 26th - A review of Cry of the Sea at Nebula Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books "The mermaids weren’t Disney princesses, they were sentient creatures of the ocean. Their plight, successfully, evoked the same empathy as that of whales or dolphins." - quote from the review.
April 27th - An interview "A Visit with Multicultural Author D. G. Driver" at Mom Squad Central
April 28th - A guest post about how to include a subject like environmentalism in a novel without being an "issue" book at Dowie's Place
April 29th - A review of Cry of the Sea from Sheila Renfro's Read. Write. Revise. Then Go Sailing. http://sheilarenfro.blogspot.com/2016/04/cry-of-sea-by-dg-driver.html?spref=fb "I truly loved the this story. It was realistic in that you feel that 'it could happen'."
Plus!!! Large excerpts from both books are being featured at Eco-Fiction, a website dedicated to finding great environmental themed fiction.
I was all set to do another post about my experiences as an author, and then I decided I didn't really feel like it. The post wasn't coming out well, and it wasn't very original. So, instead, I decided that once a month, beginning today, I'm going to try to post a flash fiction story. If you're not familiar with that term, it is a really, really short story. This is the absolute opposite of the way I usually write, so it'll be a fun challenge.
This first story isn't new. I wrote it a number of years ago after I'd been hiking. There was a very sad tree along the hiking trail, and I felt like this was the story it was begging me to write. I'm doing a blog tour called "From Earth Day to Arbor Day" starting next Thursday to celebrate my environmental themed novels Cry of the Sea and Whisper of the Woods, so I thought this story might be a good lead in for that event.
G. H. + L. F.
by D. G. Driver
Yes, I’m glad to know that you’re in love. It has been my pleasure to provide a shady place for you two to picnic or just lie for a while. Sometimes I can’t help it, but I have always tried not to let anything drop on you. A good wind can’t be stopped. When it rains, I’ve made it up to you by blocking enough of the drizzle so you could huddle close together and stay fairly dry. You always kiss unashamedly in front of me, but I’ve never told you to stop. I wouldn’t, no matter how jealous or embarrassed I got.
Yes, I’m glad to know that you’re in love. That your love life memories include me makes me proud. I’m just wondering if maybe you could have used a camera. You know, taken a photograph. Or you could have drawn on a pad. A watercolor would have done me a great justice. You might have written a poem, a sonnet, a song. A plaque set in the ground would have been a suggestion of mine if you’d asked.
Yes, I’m glad to know that you’re in love. I just think it makes more sense that the tattoos be on your body not mine. The tip of your knife slices through my outer layer and makes me want to scream. You keep digging deeper and deeper to make sure I really feel it. To make sure the scar lasts forever. I’d give anything for you to stop. Please. Take some of my fruit, some leaves for your albums. I didn’t do anything to deserve this.
Yes, I’m glad to know that you’re in love. Others will see what you wrote, though, and they won’t care. They won’t know what the initials stand for. When you come back as an old married couple to look on your handiwork, you’ll see thirty other copycat hearts and names carved into me. All of those people, all of those knives, all of those scars to remind me of how much you two love each other.
Yes, I’m glad to know that you’re in love. Still, with every fiber in my being, I pray that a lightning bolt will strike me so that I will never see another pair of lovers again.
I hope you enjoyed that. If you did, poke around my website a little bit and see if anything else I've written might appeal to you. I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment if you like the idea of me posting these short stories.
D. G. Driver
Author D. G. Driver's
Write and Rewrite Blog
“There are no bad stories, just ones that haven’t found their right words yet.”
A blog mostly about the process of revision with occasional guest posts, book reviews, and posts related to my books.