My Writing Process: on Heart of Borneo

This is a blog hop on the writing process of which I’ve been tagged by the multi-talented artist and author Uvi Poznansky.

First, let me introduce Uvi to those who haven’t met her, and then please visit her blog and have a look around.

rise-to-power-uvi-poznanskyUvi earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel, and practiced with an innovative Architectural firm. She received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There, she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

 

During the years she spent in advancing her career—first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices)—she wrote and painted constantly. Her versatile body of work can be seen online at http://uviart.com. It includes poetry, short stories, bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.

 

Uvi has published a poetry book, Home, and two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am PaperApart From Love, her novel, was published to great acclaim, as were her recent novels A Favorite Son and Rise to Power.

I will now answer the questions Uvi has asked me.

What am I working on?

I’m writing “Heart of Borneo”, a forest crime.

Much like Sydney’s Song, this Work In Progress is a real-life socio fiction, except, instead of portraying a vibrant metropolitan as massive as Sydney, I’m visititheme around a love story, “Heart of Borneo” focuses on conservation works, particularly environmental economy.

whereintheworld

Heart of Borneo itself is a conservation initiative to slow down the rapid deforestation of one of the world’s few remaining natural rainforests. Covering an area of 220 million hectares, two-third of which is in three Indonesian Kalimantan provinces, this program identifies and develops sustainable ways to empower the local residence and to protect the area’s threatened rich biodiversity.

PrintA lawless no man’s land which is 2004’s ultimate illegal logging heaven awaits Lance Knox, an environmental economy fresh graduate assigned by WWF to promote community livelihood in Kapuas Hulu Regency of West Borneo. To prevent further deforestation, Lance must show the indigenous people how to develop alternatives and more sustainable income sources. However, Kapuas Hulu is wilder than his dreams.

How can a conservation program work, when the boss of Malaysian logging mafia sleeps in the house of TNI’s Regional Military Cests have brought in obscene wealth to their personal pockets? It doesn’t help at all when the central government insists on developing an oil-palm plantation along Malaysia-Indonesia border, which necessitates demolishing virgin forests in three huge national parks.

 

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have read some excellent works by Indonesian and European anthropologists, economists, journalists, and travelers on Kapuas Hulu (Upper Kapuas), but each of them describes only a portion of a complex land with massive issues. They are like vivid portraits of esent, hopefully, the complete picture. I’ve been lucky to receive guidance from my personal contacts, insiders who are highly dedicated professional conservationists, including one of the world’s most respected environmental experts, as well as indigenous scientists.  Let’s hope I can do them justice.

 

Why do I write what I do?

I have many reasons, among others:

  • I have deep respect for those who work hard to get things done in conserving the environment. The conservationists I’m writing about are noble people who have striven to preserve wildlife and safeguard human dignity. This is their story.
  • I’m passionate about forest conservation (although, I will also write about marine conservation in my next book). I wish very much that the forest criminals stop for a moment and think about the helpless animals that are losing their homes with nowhere to go. Of course, decimating the forest itself of protected trees can only bring natural hazard to the local as well to the international communities. Hopefully, more hearts will come to care through my writing.
  • The most valuable asset of Kapuas Hulu is its people, and I would like to introduce the Borneans to more people, because, hey, guess what, the world owes them. They are unique communities who are blessed with a rich land. They live in pristineeart of Borneo zone will slow down global warming.  The whole world depends on their forests, and on them to save our planet from harmful climate change that can only lead to grave natural disasters. Climate change is dangerous for people’s health and economy. By not cutting their trees — like all other people of the world have done — the indigenous people of Borneo are rendering a most noble sacrifice for the good of mankind. 

 

How does my writing process work?

borneo wwfindonesiaIdeas normally come to me when I do my walks, but I need to be passionate about what I write. This WIP was triggered by the environmentally depressing state in my birth country; a state that had been at the back of my mind and brought hich was a 50-km road trip. But Sumatra today is no different from Java. How would you feel, if the tall canopy of your jungle disappeared and replaced by potato fields? And it is so much more than the loss of the magnificent beauty. How would you feel when you think of the protected animals that must face extinction because they are endemic to their forest condition?

A few months back my dear friend Allan Howerton reminded me of my (now gone) forests, and that opened the pandora box.

There is so much to write and so little time available. And then there’s so much to learn from my conservationist mentors, from books and from the internet. I’ve been busy studying and interviewing. In the process of my research I frequently stumble upon ut facts that I had learned during my life journey — facts that assist me to understand pieces of a few puzzles. In other words,  more information turns up from nowhere and everywhere prompting me to write and rewrite. I will also travel to the locations, as I’ve only been to a few oil fields in Borneo, to make sure I don’t make mistakes.

And of course, that’s before throwing my manuscript to the wolves for critic! I have been known to heed my opinionated assessors, as many of them as I can get, the sharper their claws the better.

The author I tag for next week’s blog hop on The Writing Process

307159_100137780102626_873656523_nJ Lenni Dorner began publishing poetry at age eight, and won several awards before turning eighteen. Education includes the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Excellence in Creative Writing semi finals and Penn State University’s Honors and Scholars program. Tragedies and personal traumas took the writer away from the modern world for a while. While embracing the ancient tribal traditions, J Lenni Dorner discovered a story worthy of the ancestors- one that no other could tell. J is happily married and living in Pennsylvania (USA) on the original lands of the Lenni Lenape people. When not reading or writing, J enjoys video games (such as The Sims and Civilization V), amateur photography, and watching movies.

Come visit J’s websiteFacebook, and follow J on TwitterPinterest, and his interesting blog.

 

I would like to end this post by calling all readers to make donations towards wildlife conservation. Click the following logo to donate. Thank you.

button-warrior-wwf

Top 10 Countries with Most Threatened Species

 

Have you done your part to be environmentally responsible?

10 countries with most threatened species on our earth:

Top 10 countries with Threatened Species

Signs pointing to the fact that a global climate change is happening increase every day. Shall I tell you how massively furious I am about the sad, sad deforestation of my birthplace, Sumatra? Massive jungles used to cover the land everywhere, lush and green and soaring high, but when I showed my husband the land where cars used to stop to allow tigers and the cubs to pass in my childhood, the trees were no more. We traveled from the south to the north of the island, and the only forests left seemed to be the ones deep down inside the canyons where bulldozers couldn’t go.

Indonesia and neighbours. Indonesia consists of several large islands and thousands of isles. Sumatra is world's 6th largest island. Borneo (aka Kalimantan and shared with Malaysia and Brunei) is world's 3rd largest island. And Papua is world's second largest island   (after Greenland). You will notice that Bali is very small, and so is  West Timor, compared to the other parts of Indonesia. This is where very, very good people live, but the greedy ones have turned the country to be environmentally depressing.

Indonesia and neighbours. Indonesia consists of several large islands and thousands of isles. Sumatra is world’s 6th largest island. Borneo (aka Kalimantan and shared with Malaysia and Brunei) is world’s 3rd largest island. And Papua is world’s second largest island (after Greenland).
You will notice that Bali is very small, and so is West Timor, compared to the other parts of Indonesia.
This is where very, very good people live, but the greedy ones have turned the country to be environmentally depressing.

This is a heads up about my work-in-progress, Heart of Borneo,  as I’m very passionate about environmental issues and would love to contribute in raising environmental awareness.

I hope to release Heart of Borneo in 2014. For now, let me just say that I’m deeply saddened that my home Australia, one of the world’s developed countries, made the above list. Mr Prime Minister of Australia, please, please, please stop that plan to build a new coal port in Queensland. You will be dumping over 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil on corals and reef water of The Great Barrier Reef, our world heritage. Your descendants will not forgive you, just like I will never forgive the people who have bulldozed my forests in Sumatra.

And readers, may I call you to please do your part in saving the environment. Thank you.