Category: On nature


The Necessary Evolution of Environmental Writing

By Midge Raymond,

For those readers not familiar (yet) with EcoLit Books, check it out here. It’s a great resource, thanks to our wonderful contributors, for both readers and writers: Subscribe to get book reviews, calls for submissions, and other news in the world of environmental literature.

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And don’t miss this essay, The Necessary Evolution of Environmental Writing by John Yunker, which does a great job of summarizing what we’re all about here at Ashland Creek Press:

I believe that we—readers and writers alike—must redefine environmental writing to give it a wider scope in focus and in form, and a more pressing mandate. In other words, we need environmental writing that is less concerned with how one describes the landscape than with how one protects that landscape.

This essay takes a look at environmental writing past and present and how it needs to keep evolving…and we hope to be a part of this journey.

Q&A with Lithia Trilogy author Blair Richmond

By Midge Raymond,

A Q&A with Lithia Trilogy author Blair Richmond
How does it feel to be done with the Lithia Trilogy?
Relieved and bittersweet. You spend three years plus living with these characters and one day you have to say goodbye to them. But I’m eager to begin new projects and make some new friends (or characters).
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What was the most fun aspect of writing these novels? The most challenging?
I most enjoyed beginning a novel not entirely sure of where it was headed, yet also in having faith that it was headed somewhere important. I also really enjoyed writing about this magical region of the world. Most challenging was writing about environmental issues, in large part because these issues are all too real. But that’s one of my major reasons for writing these books — to pose solutions, and there are solutions for the problems at hand.
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Do you think you’ll return to Kat and/or Lithia again as a writer?
I won’t say never again because I’ve been known to change my mind.
What do you hope that readers enjoyed most about these books?
I hope readers come away inspired by these stories and characters. I have long been dispirited by the current spate of dystopian/depressing novels. The Lithia Trilogy doesn’t shy away from dark themes but poses a more optimistic future — and one that will be possible if our younger generation embraces it.
Do you plan to reveal your identity now that the trilogy is complete?
Not yet. But I think there will come a time when I step out of this self-imposed darkness.
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Halloween in Ashland

By Midge Raymond,

Halloween is my favorite time of year…I adore the chill in the air, the autumn leaves, and the lights and pumpkins that begin to adorn the homes around Ashland.

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Especially exciting this year is the release of the final book in The Lithia Trilogy, The Last Mile, which is hot off the presses. As many of you know, the fictional “Lithia” bears quite a strong resemblance to Ashland … and in this final installment of the series, our heroine is tasked with saving the town from all but certain destruction.

Kirkus Reviews writes that “Lithia hasn’t lost a bit of its quirky, high-altitude allure,” and Vickie Aldous of the Ashland Daily Tidings writes, “Readers familiar with Ashland will have fun identifying local landmarks.”

Read more about The Last Mile here … and visit Bloomsbury Books or Tree House Books to get your copy!

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Among other exciting upcoming Ashland Halloween events are…

Happy Halloween from our General Manager

Happy Halloween from our General Manager

About Ashland Creek…

By Midge Raymond,

…the actual creek, that is.

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This is the creek that inspired the name of our press back in 2011. Since then, the sign over the bridge going through town has gotten a makeover:

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Part of the Rogue River watershed, Ashland Creek begins on the north slope of Mt. Ashland and meanders 7,000 feet down to the valley floor, through several vegetation zones.

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Ashland Creek provides the city of Ashland with the majority of its drinking water, which makes it so much more than just a lovely part of the landscape.

Despite the record snow that fell in last December, it was a very dry winter and Ashlanders spent the summer rationing water. We’re all hoping for a bit more precipitation this coming season … though not as much as the winter of 1997, which was when the last major flood occurred. (You can see photos of it here.)

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How green are you? This new app will show you…

By Midge Raymond,

With all the negativity surrounding climate change (for good reason, of course — but it just gets so depressing), I loved discovering Handprinter.org, an app that focuses not only on one’s individual carbon footprint but on the handprint: i.e., all the good a person can do for the planet, while offsetting his or her own impact.

Handprinter has the following goals, as outlined on its website:

“First, it lets you calculate your environmental footprint. You enter in some simple data about things like what you eat, how often you travel, and what kind of products you buy, and Handprinter shows you your environmental impact.

Second, it offers suggestions for simple actions you can take to lower your impact on the planet – things like installing a low-flow showerhead, or carpooling to work or school. You can choose actions from our database, or come up with your own actions and add them to the collection.

And best of all, Handprinter lets you spread your ideas and actions around the world, see their progress, and measure them. When you refer your friends to Handprinter, and when their friends sign on, their handprints become part of yours. Inspire enough people, and your handprint eventually outweighs your footprint.

And with enough handprints, we can heal the planet.”

You can watch a short video about Handprinter here — and also give the app a try.

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It was fun to try it out, and I’d encourage everyone to check it out, at the very least for awareness of your consumption as well as the very simple and effective things you can do for the planet.

Evidently I have a carbon footprint of 21.2 tons (the app asks for very few details, such as square footage of living space and number of flights you take per year — but I imagine this list will grow). Next I calculated my handprint, which is 32.8 tons, apparently indicating that I live greenly enough to offset my carbon footprint (the site tells me: “When your handprint outweighs your footprint, you go from having a negative impact on the planet to a net-positive one”).

The handprint section is much more detailed than the footprint, including items such as home insulation, light bulbs, type of car, as well as whether you bike to work, buy local, eat few animal products, and more. There are still a few items (clothing, services) that don’t offer any actions, but because the app is still in beta, these may be still to come.

What may be best about Handprinter is its positivity in a time of gloom; its focus on what we can all do, and how it can all add up for the greater good, is vital in an era when every little action counts. So check out Handprinter.org and share it as widely as you can — it’s fun, and it gets us all thinking how we need to if we’re going to heal the planet.

  Category: On animals, On nature
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