Sunday, May 2, 2010

Storytelling: Eco Barons

Imminent environmental catastrophe frightens me. And so I avoid reading about it. The books about global warming are too black, and leave me feeling helpless and hopeless. On the other hand, Eco Barons by Edward Humes filled me with hope and also pride. Some people are taking a stand. There are small triumphs. There are ways that I can contribute by following in their footsteps.

Eco Barons is the story of Doug Tompkins who “abandoned his fashion empire, found a rugged cabin . . . and started saving and restoring paradise, one plot, one fence, and one tree at a time.” It’s the story of “two owl hooters [who] lived like monks and found a way to use the law to save forests, species, and clean air.” It’s the story of a cosmetics queen who “is spending her fortune to save the last great forest of our forefathers”, of a media mogul who “lies awake at his ranch and listens for the return of the wolves,” and of a ‘turtle lady’ who “walks along a beach each spring and waits, her heart in her throat, for that homely, beautiful, beaked face to appear out of the waves and for the mother turtle to lay her precious eggs in the wet, warm sand.”

Eco Barons is storytelling at its best, carrying the reader forward with heroes and villains, action and drama. Humes vividly describes each person, using passion and emotions to move his readers.

These are tools that we can all employ, no matter what we are writing about. Share your passion for expanding the range of seniors’ programming in your community or for developing a pedestrian-friendly downtown core. Involve your readers in your story by establishing a hero with a quest. Lay out the events as a series of dramatic battles with victories and losses. Don’t be afraid to show some emotion. Your readers will thank you.

Photo: Beaver Creek Conservation Area lies 13 kilometres south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

No comments: