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Thank the Trees

It's late November and the leaves are still falling.

Although I have lived through sixty-plus autumns, this natural process always saddens me because I know the falling leaves are a metaphor for death. Truth is, I'm not ready to write my bucket list but there is one dream I've had for years, a project that is taking shape as I write this. And it gives back to the trees.

On New Year's Day, I will introduce FIRST WRITE™, a 24-hour writing marathon for writers. The purpose of this worldwide challenge is twofold: to create new works and to raise donations for tree planting organizations.

As a writer, it would be impossible to calculate all the paper I have used over the years. I'm not just talking about the paper that goes into the printer, but also the packaging for pens, printer's ink, and mailing supplies. Oh, and let's not forget all the equipment manuals, notepads, and cartons of my printed books, too. Writers need trees, that's obvious.

In my book, Inn Lak'ech: A Journey to the Realm of Oneness, teenager Elm Sunday has a special relationship with a wise pine tree named Miss Vi. The girl even gets to transform into a tree, marveling at her new roots shooting deep into the soil and the butterflies tickling her arm-like branches.