By P. C. Zick
I wrote the novel Trails in the Sand as a way to remind us of how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go to protect those things most precious to us. I’m glad I did because many readers have told me after reading the novel that they’d forgotten all about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that plays a role in the novel’s plot. I also wrote the book as a way to pay tribute to Rachel Carson and all she did to bring awareness to the widespread use of DDT in this country.
Imagine a world where the birds no longer sing from the treetops; imagine a world where the trees no longer tower above our heads; imagine a world where life is death. Rachel Carson imagined that very world as she delved into the research for Silent Spring. In the first chapter “A Fable for Tomorrow,” Ms. Carson paints a bleak canvas for what happens in a town where the stillness in the air and sky and ground is caused by man’s attempt to unsuccessfully control nature.
“No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves,” she wrote.
Rachel Carson and Silent Spring are credited with creating the modern environmental movement that resulted in the Environmental Protection Agency and brought awareness to pollution. The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, came in part as a public response to the gargantuan oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969.
Ironically, on the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day in 2010, news of another oil spill began trickling into the media. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig caught on fire on April 20, but no one paid much attention until the rig collapsed and massive amounts of oil began gushing out of the Gulf of Mexico. By the time the oil well was capped, four months later, BP’s disaster became the biggest offshore oil spill in our country’s history.
From Trails in the Sand – News reports on the oil spill
Ten days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, oil continued to gush into Gulf waters at 5,000 barrels per day with no solution in sight for capping the powerful well. The slick spread to one hundred miles in length and forty-eight miles wide.
Bird conservationists began shouting for action as the oil made its way to sensitive nesting areas for seabirds, shorebirds, and migratory birds. The timing coincided with the birds’ breeding and nesting season as the oil pushed its way toward their prime habitat off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
Many of the birds in those areas were already on the Endangered Species list. Some folks worried about the brown pelican, recently removed from the list because of its increasing numbers, but now getting ready to nest on beaches dangerously close to the moving oil slick .
Louisiana declared a state of emergency on April 29 as the oil slick neared the state’s fragile coastal areas, threatening its natural resources.
As the oil continued pushing out of the earth unabated, wildlife officials worried about the sea turtles. These ancient creatures from the sea would soon surface and come ashore to lay eggs in nests all along the Gulf beaches.
Let’s vow on this Earth Day to remember what we’re celebrating so we never face a Silent Spring.
Trails in the Sand Blurb:
When environmental writer Caroline Carlisle sets off to report on endangered sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the last thing she expects is to uncover secrets - secrets that threaten to destroy her family, unless she can heal the hurts from a lifetime of lies. To make matters worse, Caroline's love for her late sister's husband, Simon, creates an uproar in a southern family already set on a collision course with its past.
Using real-life events as the backdrop, Trails in the Sand explores the fight to restore balance and peace, in nature and in a family, as both spiral toward disaster. Through it all, the ancient sea turtle serves a reminder that life moves forward despite the best efforts to destroy it.
About P.C. Zick:
P.C.'s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She's won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. She describes herself as a "storyteller" no matter the genre.
She's published four works of fiction and one nonfiction book. Prior to 2010, she wrote under the name Patricia C. Behnke.
She was born in Michigan and moved to Florida in 1980. She now resides in Pennsylvania with her husband Robert.
Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion.
"This is one of the most exciting times to be an author," Ms. Zick says. "I'm honored to be a part of the revolution in writing and publishing."
Where to purchase Trails in the Sand
Amazon - Kindle / Amazon - Paperback / Goodreads
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