Buy Unleashing Colter's Hell, Lost Cause, and Need To Know three of Amazon's top selling national park thrillers today!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Border Smorder?

The United States Congress is considering legislation that would exempt the US Border Patrol from complying with environmental laws while conducting law enforcement operations within 100 miles of the Canadian and Mexican border. Proponents of the law state it is needed because environmental law such as the wilderness act prevent the Border Patrol from conducting operations along the borders. Opponents of the law, including the Border Patrol have stated its unnecessary as agreements with agencies such as the National Park Service on operations have been worked out.
Others argue, the law is unnecessary and may be little more than an attempt to gut American authority to manage federal lands for purposes other than extractive uses. A curious exemption would prevent the Border Patrol from exercising its new powers on lands used for mining, timber harvest, and grazing. If Congress' motivation for the legislation is their concern that current law and land use stands in the way of the Border Patrol's getting the "bad guys" why the exemption for lands used for extractive uses? Moreover, Constitutional protections such as the fifth amendment also stand in the way of the Border Patrol. House republicans might better serve their supposed cause by offering an amendment to repeal select bill of rights protections.
Your thoughts?
Look for my new novel, Unleashing Colter's Hell to be out on Amazon soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wilderness: An idea that needs no defense, only defenders.

The United States is coming up on the golden anniversary of one of its best ideas. In 2014, the Wilderness Act will turn 50 years old. Today some take the idea of setting aside lands so that natural forces could take the course for granted. But in 1964 setting aside land to remain untrammeled where humans were merely visitors was a radical idea.

The wilderness system has grown from roughly 9 million acres in 1964, to nearly 110 million acres today. While that number seems impressive its only about 5 percent of the entire United States landmass. Further, the system includes large acres of snow and ice wilderness and is lacking in low elevation forests and grasslands.

Some bemoan the idea of wilderness, arguing that the land is "locked up" for no benefit. This is not the case. Protecting ecosystems and their natural processes provide numerous benefits including environmental, economic, social health, and scientific discoveries.

The national park service recently released a beautiful video on the wilderness act and the ideal it protects. Check it out here.

The wilderness act was a far sighted promise to future generation that some areas would be protected. Some areas would be left untrammeled so that future citizens could enjoy the benefits of clean air and water, solitude, natural soundscapes, healthily lifestyles, robust wildlife populations, sound economies, and scientific discoveries.

What are your thoughts on wilderness? Was it a good idea to set aside some lands for permanent protection?

Look for my new novel, Unleashing Colter's Hell to be out soon.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A tough but rewarding slog

As many of you know, the creative process behind my writing my new novel "Unleashing Colter's Hell" has been a tough slog. But as I near the end of the process and get ready to publish, I'm able to look back and also see how rewarding the entire journey has been as well.

In thinking back about the writing of the book an obvious linear path is apparent. I got an idea, started to outline the plot, fleshed out the characters, wrote a first draft, gave to test readers, rewrote the story, resent to readers, found an editor, talked to agents, sought advice of other writers, designed a book cover, developed a marketing plan, and on and on and on. However, this linear pattern is only now visible as I look back on the process. Two years ago, as I stood at the beginning of my journey, I had no idea how I was to get from idea to finished book. But I've learned that's okay. As David so wonderfully writes in his Truly Powerful people blog, the writing process was a one step at a time process. Setting out on the journey, taking the first step was more important than knowing where I'd end up or even how I'd get there.

One of the best things I did however, was to hire David Robinson, a life coach to help me through the creative process. We met regularly to go over my successes and challenges, identify next steps, and check off completed tasks. His write up of the process can be found here. I'd recommend David to anyone considering a book or other creative endeavor!

Thanks David for your help! Your guidance and encouragement kept me going!

Look for the book shortly!