This book began in the summer of 2017 when I realized I was sharing memes about climate change without knowing exactly what was being forecasted for the future, and not nearly enough about what to do about it.
It was an epiphany that packed a punch.
I knew then, in my bones, the world isn’t in danger simply because of the Deniers among us, but instead, because the majority of us are Avoiders. It was a hard truth, because I was guilty. I’d avoided in-depth books, articles and documentaries on the subject because it’s difficult to look at, even painful.
After my little ‘Awakening’, I faced the mirror and asked myself as a mother, “What harm is coming towards my family, what danger am I not adequately preparing for, just because I’m choosing to be willfully uninformed?”
Well, okay, those probably weren’t my exact words, but it conveys the feeling. The answer to this question was that my ignorance could prove catastrophic. I decided to learn everything I could about climate change and how to survive it, vowing to use this information to protect my children.
There is no nice way to say this, so I’ll be brutally honest, most of what I learned made me want to curl up into the fetal position and hide under the covers. One out of four days that summer I succumbed, rolling into a ball with despair in my stomach.
In a nutshell, I learned that the scientific community is screaming in their matter-of-fact, Vulcan-like, data-driven way, that it’s going to take ALL of us to fix the problem, and there’s little time to act.
The ‘window of opportunity’ is rapidly closing.
Fighting my instincts to move onto more pleasant topics, I dug deeper, reading projections of how things could shake out in the coming decades. Let me tell you, there are many, many shitty ways this can all go in the crapper, but only a few positive, ethical, logical and challenging ways to get it right.
I’ll be honest, I worked the knowledge I found as hard as I could, like a dog with a bone, looking for loopholes, searching for ways I could get around the predictions. My urge to run and hide that year was a ten alarm fire inside me, but I could not find a place on the planet which would survive without damage.
Here’s something to know about me: I don’t do victimhood. During this time, a fierce desire to fight played alongside my fears. (Let’s pray the world never nears true anarchy because the things I’m capable of and the rage I sometimes feel could unleash a monster. My soul, however, doesn’t want to go that route.)
So, running was out and turning mercenary/angry-goddess/warrior-queen, fighting in do-or-die situations in a dystopian future, was a Big Nope on my life’s wishlist for me and my kids.
Epiphany numero dos was realizing my family’s safety was integrally tied up with how well others, my fellow earthbound neighbors, did in the world. (If you struggle, it increases the chances my family will struggle, and vice versa.) It therefore stood to reason that to solve the problem effectively for myself and my own children, I also had to figure out how to help the world. Gulp!
Luckily, my inner Mama Bear told me to “toughen the hell up”, “to put on my Big Girl Panties”, and to “look this Beast dead on in the eyes.” I actually said that last one to myself, and I was kind of mean about it, but sort of impressive like my best mom voice and some gladiator had combined; picture Clint Eastwood and Zena the Warrior Princess. I believe I even answered myself, “Yes, ma’am.”
I imagine many of you will feel some degree of insanity and despair as you learn more about our environmental crisis. Please be strong. Remarkably, I uncovered a deeper truth which is that humans are remarkable and resilient creatures. There’s irrefutable evidence we’ve overcome insurmountable odds, over and over again, by reinventing ourselves and adapting our culture. We fixed what was broken. Learning this truth of history’s tendency to repeat gave me hope.
What we’ve done before, we can do again.
I wrote the intention for this book before I ever wrote a sentence. It stated that I wanted to write a popular love story that would wake up the masses to the coming changes and help us engage in the discussions we needed to be having. This novel is meant as a conversation starter, as an inspiration for others to look closely at what scares them and to rise up to the circumstances.
This love story contains a certain degree of sexual content; consider it a morality tale with fellatio and cunnilingus. You can think of it as a Scooby Snack reward for doing the hard work of thinking about tomorrow. I also just love sex, and since I wanted to write a life-affirming book, I decided it should have some good and healthy, but kind-of-naughty, intimate moments.
(NOTE- wearing condoms is an important protection against disease and unwanted pregnancies; they are invaluable in real life, but I dispensed with them in fiction. This book has enough tough subjects, so I decided to run with a virginal, multi-orgasmic male character and an experienced, Vixen-esque, infertile female, who engage in latex-free lovemaking. Please be smart with your own body and with others, always practice compassionate safe sex, and have fun allowing your mind and imagination to run wild!)
I also love music; it’s unifying and helps us transcend our differences. Embedded in this story are many songs and musical artists whom inspired my writing. My deep gratitude to the artists who agreed for their lyrics to be included. I had oodles more initially, but ran out of time to get permission. (Next time, Jack Johnson and Neil Young…next time.)
I have purposefully avoided talk of politics and government, which was not an easy feat. In our current culture, the topic is beyond divisive. Instead, I wanted to focus on what unites us since I believe all humans are worthy of dignity and respect, regardless of whether they are moderate, conservative, progressive or balanced somewhere between. We cannot save the planet without all of our talents, insights, perspectives and wisdom.
Lastly, there’s a fair degree of religious and spiritual messages in ‘Eat the Moon’. In my musings, I simply could not see a solution which didn’t include improving our conversations about God and the Universe. There are literally thousands of belief systems and religious denominations today, and many, many more in the past eons. I encourage people to be more accepting of differences and to embrace faith of one kind or another, even if it’s a humanist belief in the goodness of our fellow men and women.
Currently, we are in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 has rocked our world. This book was almost finished before I ever heard the word, coronavirus. I’ve spent the past few months thinking long and hard about weaving it into the story, but ultimately decided to let this timeline exist as I had foreseen, a different version of the world before we ever got stuck in lockdown and witnessed so much death.
Like many of you, I’m grappling with the repercussions this disease will have on society, but I’m hopeful it may speed along the shift we need to create. As the character, Zia LeMay, states, “The world is going to shift and change no matter what happens, and some of those changes are going to be positive, even in a shitstorm. Focus on that. Always on the good.”
This is my first novel, a three and a half year adventure from start to finish, from ‘epiphany’ to publication. During which time, not only did I radically change, but concurrently, the world did too.
In some ways, I am horrified by how crazy life has become these days, however, I’m more heartened now than when I started this project; people are growing gardens, playing music and being creative; the media is talking more about climate change, and elected officials are finally speaking up; where I live in San Juan County, New Mexico there are more positive signs of making the transition from an oil and gas economy to a renewable energy one; even some 1%er’s are waking up.
It’s a new day, but global warming is still a threat; not an existential one, but an honest-to-God, as-I-live-and-breathe crisis.
There’s lots of work yet to be done, ladies and gentlemen. The changes in our systems and in our thinking which need to occur will be hampered by the natural law of inertia. None of us can accomplish this on our own. Personally, I believe we can move mountains…if we work together. Let’s create a future we want to live in.
#ClimateChange #Motherfixer #Brinker #zerotohero