Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Superheroes Unite: Greener Minds for a Greener Future

Hidden deep within the Mendocino Woodlands miles beyond the reach of Dr. Asphalt's tentacles lies a top secret facility shielded from the watchful eyes of AT&T and Verizon. It is in this secluded campsite where the great California oaks stand guard over the formation of a new league of superheroes for a new generation of challenges.

It is here that on June 17th, one hundred brave recruits began their training, gaining the skills, the support, and the inspiration to make their mark on the world. Some of these weekend warriors had been working on their "cover" for decades. They were well established consultants, engineers, and designers. Many worked for nonprofits and others for Fortune 500 companies. But they all worked for Mother Earth.

It is here that our heroes learned to be creative, to communicate through visual recording and charades, to dance like no one is watching, and to trust themselves as much as well as others. They accomplished amazing feats of cooking (and eating). They honed their skills with fire staffs and poi, practiced ninja sustainability while slacklining between trees, and tossed biodegradable organic grenades safely across remarkable distances.

It is here where the super geniuses made their mark. Master plans emerged to make environmental issues an important part of the 2012 elections. Aspiring heroes shared ideas on how to create change through better conversations and better storytelling. Brainstorms attacked poverty, education, personal well-being, propaganda, technology, leadership, sustainable business practices, health, new models of ownership, gamefication, fun, and even how to deal with an earthquakeAnd it is here that we began to see the formation of future icons. The golden jock strap twins began their dancing alliance. Unicorn woman took on multiple shapes. Oven mitt man made the rounds, and even spider man was spotted as the heroes gathered around campfires for song and dance while wielding rainbow nunchuks and devastating rhyme.

So who do you put in charge of a hundred costumed avengers? No one. Superheroes must walk their own path, find their own futures. At this Greenermind Summit, our heroes found a place to dream big, explore, learn, and find the inspiration to become the heroes they have always wanted to be. But this isn't your typical organization or conference. There's no one in charge. There's no one you runs it. Like their own futures, the destiny of this unconference was decided by the choices of the individuals. And if the results of the Greenermind Summit was any indication, the future looks bright indeed.

Click here for more information on the Greenermind Summit.

For more posts, see www.fiction4change.org

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fast Food Writing: Scaling Media Consumption




I remember first hearing the term “media consumption” long ago and thinking, “what an odd phrase.” But now, many years later, it has proven to be EXACTLY the right phrase. I don’t consider myself to be part of the generation of massively multitasking youth, the generation that, according to some Stanford studies, can only do homework while consuming some other form of media (mostly TV and IM). No, I’m old school. And yet, I also constantly turn on my phone to check email that doesn’t need checking, watch way too much TV and HUNGER for youtube videos regardless of topic or relevance. I just want to snack.

So what does this mean for writing? Like food, writing has always existed. But back in the day, literacy was rare, and the ability to publish even more rare. As such, there was a relatively high bar to get published, and really, people read the same 10 books for hundreds of years (reference: this is a blog, so no data, just a point to be made). Likewise, in the food industry, each meal was made by hand, and if not delicious, at least it wasn’t made primarily from ingredients that you couldn’t pronounce.

Then enter the food industry. As Food Inc, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and countless other books and movies will tell you, Food underwent a tremendous transformation. Essentially, we learned to SCALE food, enabling food to become ridiculously cheap. And lo and behold, we began to consume all this cheap, delicious food, not because we needed the calories, but because we hungered for that spark of stimulation. Consumption took on a whole new meaning as we consumed. And like it or not, processed foods have become the true winners in this new form of consumption because it embraced SCALE.

Some things are strikingly familiar in the writing space. No longer is the primary written word a novel that has taken a decade to write. Words are being consumed by the thousands, skimmed over as they go down our gullets by giant spoonfuls. We don’t read too carefully. Who cares about the grammer in my tweetfeed or friendfeed or facebook feed or… is it a coincidence that everything is a feed? We just open up our mouth, stick it up against the trough that is the internet and let the calories come piling in.

So, do I turn up my nose in disgust at these “empty calories?” Or do I embrace this world, realize that editing this blog post isn’t worth the time, and focus on turning myself into a writer that can withstand the changes that are rocking the medium. Faster, shorter, cheaper… Are we delivering depth or just stimulus? Or perhaps the challenge is the same that it is in any industry. I have a story to tell. Now how do I tell that story faster and cheaper.

For more posts, check out www.fiction4change.org

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fiction4Change

I have started a new website at fiction4change.org

Our mission is to promote books, novels, music, videos, movies, and games that address important social and environmental issues. We are a blog that allows people to share their thoughts and ideas about how stories and fiction can be used to change the world.

My future posts will be coming from that blog, so please subscribe to the new blog:

www.fiction4change.org

Friday, January 28, 2011

Environmental Science Fiction

www.terrenevalley.com - Environmental Science Fiction novel hits #3 spot in top-rated science fiction in the Kindle store.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fiction 4 Change

I've started a twitter account to talk about Fiction4Change, using the power of fiction to create real change in the world.

You can follow me at http://twitter.com/fiction4change

For example, I ran into this really cool article that uses fictional narrative to make a report on a court proceeding much more engaging.
http://www.slate.com/id/2281715/

If you have more examples, send them my way!