Willow and Spruce Wilder have been homesteading in rural Mendocino County in Northern California for decades. They raised their two children in the home that they built with their own hands. They financed their lives with the help of a crop of marijuana that allowed them to work at home, tend their gardens, and dive into the practices of land-based connectivity. With their children grown, the Wilders live a semi-retired lifestyle on their ridge top property, looking over the idyllic countryside of Redwood Valley. Wild animals weave their way through the Wilders homestead, and a small herd of domestic animals enjoys their pastoral residence with Willow and Spruce tending to their needs. ?October 2017 comes to the small farm. We intimately relate with the Wilders for a week in their lives as they bring in their mature flowering marijuana plants: we meet the family members involved in the illicit substances business and we meet the crew that will support them in getting their product to market. All seems fairly normal, except that the Wilders come to decide that with the threat of legalization looming over them, this will be their final weed harvest. They discuss the changes in economics from within the pot industry. Looking back on a lifetime of pot cultivation, the Wilders reflect on the trade that has sustained them. Environmentally savvy, the Wilders speak to the climate change elephant in the room regularly throughout the novel. With awareness, the characters avidly debate the factors that have contributed to shifting weather patterns, erosion, and the growing threat of fire danger. We meet the Wilders as they prepare their homesite to be a more fire defensible space, in the light of recent close calls. Conscious of the fire ecology of the land, the Wilders move forward with their preparations while exploring the connection between fire management and California landscapes. We follow them through their journeys of celebrating and protecting the land that they have lived on, stewarded, and received their sustenance from throughout "Wildfire Weeds." As the week comes to a close, the Wilders encounter firsthand the wildfires that they have been fearing. Readers experience the perils of evacuation as a firestorm comes to the Wilder home. "Wildfire Weeds" is a novel of very recent historical fiction. The wildfires that are described actually happened, and the author lost her home and neighborhood in the fires described in the narrative. Captivatingly honest and heart wrenchingly provocative, "Wildfire Weeds" delivers a cli-fi thriller set amidst the rootedness of the prose of a place. Combining the hardships of economic loss and environmental collapse, Mori Natura delivers a novel that peers through the lens of Northern California's homesteaders with fierce acuity.
About the Author
I aim to create stories that reflect the magnitude of the times we're living in as modern humans. My narratives grapple with the complex juxtaposition of living in the world we have been given and creating the world where we want to live, simultaneously. My debut novel, "Wildfire Weeds," explores the themes of wildfire ecology, sustainability, and climate change within the setting of a pot farm in Northern California. Future novels will further explore cli-fi (climate fiction) themes, while delivering whimsical delights, hopeful solutions, and optimistic resolutions. I'm birthing a unique style of creative prose which tempers the intensity of current environmental upheaval by offering thoughtful, playful, and magical word-craft to uplift, enlighten, and enchant!