I’ll be at World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore this weekend, November 1-4, 2018. I get to do a reading and a panel.
Time: Saturday – 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
I think I’m going to read my Reckoning 2 editorial, even though I’ve been avoiding doing so because it’s deeply personal and emotional and hard, because it’s directly relevant to the panel they put me on, because after the IPCC report and three days before the election I feel like it’s time and I’m out of excuses.
Optimism in the New Dark Age
Time: Sunday – 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: WaterTable BC
Panelists: Michael J. Deluca, Sarah Beth Durst, Matthew Kressel, James A. Moore, A.C. Wise (M)
Description: The ’00s brought us a glut of dystopian fiction, but in this new dark political era, what value or function can positive or so-called “hope-punk” fiction bring? Is optimistic fiction head-in-the-sand denialism, or is it mindfully visionary? Who are some of the writers creating this type of fiction? #HopePunk
In the interest of all of us working together to help each other mitigate the in-progress climate apocalypse, I thought I’d update my list of actions.
Maybe a lot of this will seem tiny and pedantic, it seems that way to me, but I include it because I don’t want anybody else to think anything they can do is insignificant. Some of it likely also will seem huge and daunting; believe me that it felt that way to me before I built up the momentum to make it happen.
It all matters. What you’re doing matters.
Please–and especially if you’re doing something I’m not–would you share your own version of this?
New as of this week:
- Cooking with meat only one night a week.
- Using no plastics to wash dishes.
- Using no plastics in dental hygiene.
- I might have a line on some very local eggs I can get with net zero packaging.
- More as I think of it.
What I was already doing:
- Residential rooftop solar panels, 4.2Kw.
- Electric car, 2017 Chevy Bolt, charging exclusively in my garage, from the solar panels.
- Two 80 gallon rain barrels, from which I do 85% of my watering.
- Fractional greywater reuse from dishwashing, shower and basement dehumidifier, amounting to maybe another 5% of my watering.
- Making all my own bread and yogurt saves on some packaging. Kneading my bread by hand saves some energy.
- Two apple trees, a cherry tree, an elderberry bush, strawberries, grapes, hops, sunflowers, sunchokes, garlic, raspberries, serviceberries etc, feeding my family and local wildlife as much as I can from our tiny third of an acre.
- Compost, both using redworms in the basement and a big old compost pile outside.
- No pesticides, no fertilizer.
- Homebrewed beer and cider accounts for maybe half of the alcohol consumed in my household, saving some packaging and shipping. Also the electricity for my brew kettle comes from solar, I reuse waste water for cleaning or next batch and compost or bake with spent grains. Also 100% of the apples I use for cider are wildcrafted or home-grown.
- Biking. To the grocery store, liquor store, garden store, hairdresser, health food store, hardware store, post office, to the woods and fields for foraging. And of course for exercise.
- Volunteering with my town’s environmental resources committee.
- Volunteer litter cleanup.
- Reckoning is a nonprofit annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice, which I founded in 2016 and fund 90% on my own.
- No plastics for shaving.
- Buying local as much as I can, less than I could/should, but things like fruit, veg, honey, grain for brewing, beer. I try to buy beer in cans for the reduced packaging, though I’d go back to glass if anybody in this country would reuse beer bottles.
- Living in a freshwater-locked state (Michigan), I don’t eat ocean fish unless I travel to a coast.
- Volunteering and donating to Elissa Slotkin, who is running for my local flippable House seat, MI-08.
- Foraging for herbs, mushrooms, wild fruit. I do this responsibly and small-scale, but it saves having to buy those things, saves packaging and shipping.
- I wear clothes and shoes until they fall apart. Wife constantly pointing out holes in everything.
- Human-powered lawnmower. Also human-powered snowblower (shovel), human-powered leafblower (rake), human-powered weedwhacker (sickle/shears).
- I buy few new books (I use ebooks and the library and buy used and share).
- My kid has a million toys, a lot of them are hand-me-down, but I do pretty well keeping him entertained with sticks and leaves and stuff around the house. That’s got to mean something.
- I don’t play video games. Not a judgment, but it’s got to account for some energy use.
- I carry a travel mug everywhere and use it for tea, coffee, soda, water. I don’t buy bottled water. I don’t use straws.
Areas where I’m not there yet:
- Gas heat and hot water.
- I still own one gas car and use it maybe 20% of the time.
- Electricity I use in excess of solar panel generation (electric car takes up a lot) comes from shitty Michigan power generation, which was still 60% coal last I checked.
- I take a plane occasionally, though I pack ridiculously light and rarely fly anywhere further than the East Coast. I’d use more trains if there were more.
- My mental health necessitates I live near woods, so I am farther from things than if I lived in a city.
- I have one kid. I hear they are resource hogs. Sigh. I do hope and work hard to prepare him to overcome that.
- If you see something I’ve got a blind spot about, please tell me? Thank you in advance.
Thank you for reading and caring. <3
I submitted a lot of panel topic and content suggestions for this year’s Readercon, and lo, they took some, and lo, they even put me on a couple.
Friday, July 13, 1:00 PM: Reading: Michael J. DeLuca
My solo reading, at which I’ll read “Forest Spirits”, a short story forthcoming in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Friday, July 13, 3:00 PM: Group Reading: Reckoning 2
Contributors to Reckoning 2, the second annual nonprofit journal of creative writing on environmental justice, read from their work.
Featuring contributors Marissa Lingen, Jess Barber and Justin Howe.
Sunday, July 15, 12:00 PM: Solarpunk for Everyone
Solarpunk has become established as a progressive, proactive, optimistic, climate-aware, politically aware field of speculative fiction. As solarpunk authors imagine the future, how can they make sure that future includes everyone? How can solarpunk develop and showcase remedies not only [to] the climatological errors of the present and past but the social flaws of oppression, bias, and exclusion?
This conversation will feature T.X. Watson, Marissa Lingen, Darcie Little Badger and Tom Greene. I’m moderating.
Sunday, July 15, 1:00 PM: Speculative Economics
Many theoretical economic systems have been proposed by economists, academics, and writers. Some of those cross the line—if there is a line—from theoretical economics into speculative economics. What are some of the more interesting and entertaining possible economic systems that could form the basis of speculative stories, from utopian SF to dystopias and horror? What makes a depiction of a fictional economic system feel plausible?
Featuring Sioban Krzywicki (moderator), John O’Neil, Malka Older, Michael Cisco, and me.
Here, for my own convenient reference, I post my schedule for WriteFest 18.
The Resistance Will Be Written: Writing as Activism
Panelists: Michael J. DeLuca, Kari Sutherland
Friday, May 4th, 11:30 – 12:30
Throughout history, literature has served as a method of protest and a means of change, and the current day is no different. How can writers use their literary practice to engage with and respond to social unrest? In what ways can literature help shape the arc of history towards justice?
Writing from More than One World: Bilingual and Multilingual Writers Speak Up
Panelists: Saadia Faruqi, Lorenzo Martinez
Friday, May 4th, 3:15 – 4:15
Languages all have their own distinct rhythms, storytelling traditions, and cultural contexts and subtexts. Our panel of multilingual writers discuss the experience of writing in multiple languages, the influence other languages have on their English work (and vice versa!), and more.
Submission Tools for New Writers
Panelists: CP Heiser, Michael J. DeLuca, Holly Walrath, Karen Bovenmyer
Saturday, May 5th, 8:30 – 9:30
Ready to submit your work but have no idea where to start? Join a team of editors as they guide you through the confusing and often contradictory process of getting published. Where can you find places to submit? How do you keep track of your submissions? And what happens once someone says yes?
Sunday Morning Roundtable and Q&A
Sunday, May 6th, 10:00 – 11:00
Location: Studio #6 (Breakroom)
Join your fellow Writefest attendees for a Sunday morning roundtable and discussion with remaining writers, editors, or agents! We will close out the festival with some final comments and discussion and give you a chance to ask those last lingering questions.
Behold, it is my schedule for ConFusion 2018. I’ll have print copies of Reckoning 1 and bookmarks with a code for $2 off Reckoning 2. And…something to read. And also opinions, and ideas. Plenty of those. And a glimmer of hope, if I can muster it.
See you there?
1pm Saturday Isle Royale
Reading: Stacey Filak, Andrea A. Phillips, Michael J. DeLuca
1pm Sunday Interlochen
Hopepunk in the Age Of Resistance
Author Alexandra Rowland defines hopepunk as the opposite of grimdark: “Hopepunk says that kindness and softness doesn’t equal weakness, and that in this world of brutal cynicism and nihilism, being kind is a political act. An act of rebellion. Hopepunk says that genuinely and sincerely caring about something, anything, requires bravery and strength.” What are the stories that inspire us to reject cynicism and fight for the good in this broken world?