Call for submissions: Festival 42, the Once-ler edition
Host: Via Negativa
Deadline: November 29 (bribes accepted to include late entries)
Email to: bontasaurus(at)yahoo(dot)com – or use the Contact form
Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email
You remember the Once-ler, right? The bummed-out old narrator in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, who gives the boy the last remaining truffula-tree seed at the end of the book? I’ve been feeling a lot like that lately. Probably many of us do, watching the world’s forests burn or succumb en masse to new insect pests, new diseases, and stronger and more frequent storms. Will the kids “care a whole awful lot”? Will they care at all?
The next edition of the Festival of the Trees will return to my blog Via Negativa for the fourth time, and while I’m not suggesting themed submissions — all tree-related blog posts are welcome — I do expect that my gloomy, yet still desperately hopeful outlook on the future of trees and forests will color my presentation. A lot of forest activists like to cast themselves as the Lorax: “I speak for the trees!” But I’ve never presumed to do that myself. For one thing, the trees are quite capable of speaking for themselves, if we were only inclined to listen. And also, like the Once-ler, I have no illusions about my own culpability in the desperate state of the global environment.
I’m also a little gloomy because participation in the Festival of the Trees has really fallen off in recent months. Maybe blog carnivals are becoming a thing of the past, I don’t know. But the sheer size of the Nature Blog Network does suggest that interest in nature blogging is greater than ever, and nature bloggers seem eager to read and link to each other. So why not take advantage of the superior inter-linking power of nature blog carnivals? (We list many of the others in our left sidebar.)
Besides blogging about trees, we each need to take just a few extra steps each month. Participation shouldn’t stop with submitting your own links and then clicking on all the others when the new edition comes out. Please consider giving each edition some link-love, too: in your blog, and also on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, or any other online social network you happen to be active in. (You could start with the current edition.) One of the best things about the Festival of the Trees is the way it straddles the divide between the sciences and the humanities, including people who are all over the map in terms of what they blog about and the audiences they attract. That’s great for spreading nature appreciation and getting the word out about conservation, but it does mean we can’t just rely on the Nature Blog Network for promotion, much as we appreciate their support.
I’ll admit I haven’t always done as good a job of promoting the Festival as I could’ve — not compared to my co-conspirator, Pablo, at Roundrock Journal — but from now on I intend to be more consistent in plugging it and in reaching out to other tree-bloggers and encouraging them to participate. I hope you’ll join me.
We need more volunteers to host the Festival, too. There’s not a whole lot to it other than a dash of of creativity, a modicum of organization, and maybe about six hours of work — see our page on how to go about it, and give us a holler. (The New Year’s edition has just been snapped up by Jason of the wonderful blog xenogere, but as of this moment, all dates from February 1 on are still open.)
O.K., off to water my grickle-grass. Hope to hear from you soon.