Join me at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22nd at the Longview Public Library for a reading from my new novel, Deep Fire Rise. From 3:30-5 p.m. the same day, I will be conducting a writing workshop open to the public at Lower Columbia College.
COUGAR — For every one hundred authors who rack their brains and snap their pencils as they make doomed attempts to plot the perfect setting for their fledgling stories, there is one Jon Gosch.
Gosch, who was raised in Longview, needed only to peer eastward out the window of his childhood home in order to recognize the prospects of southwest Washington’s definitive motif that has a sneaky habit of hiding in plain sight — Mount St. Helens.
Gosch’s most recent literary creation is a novel titled “Deep Fire Rise.” Gosch’s second published book, is set in the morning shadow of Mount St. Helens back in 1980 during the months that bookended the mountain’s most famous eruption. As such, the book’s official publication date has been set for Friday, in order to coincide with the 38th anniversary of that momentous blowout.
As an investigative journalist who has written extensively about environmental toxins, I was honored to help edit Dr. Gurian’s latest book, The Minds of Girls. Every parent can surely benefit from Dr. Gurian’s chapters about protecting children from the hazards of neurotoxins and excessive screen time/social media, two topics which are especially salient to our ailing modern society.
Dr. Gurian points out that while we must continue to combat harmful gender stereotypes and discrimination, we must also be willing to burst our media bubbles and examine other sources for the alarming increases in depression, anxiety, addiction, and developmental disorders among modern girls. Dr. Gurian demonstrates that one of the chief causes of these maladies are environmental neurotoxins which attack healthy gene expression and can even be passed along epigenetically for multiple generations.
Sadly, these environmental neurotoxins are ubiquitous in our modern environment. They usually originate from pesticides, plastics, heavy metals, and other under-regulated chemicals — often winding up in common foods, drinks, lotions, bottles, toys, etc. While it’s not easy, these chemicals can be avoided with vigilance, and Dr. Gurian provides many tips for helping keep your children as strong and vivacious as nature intended.
The Minds of Girls abounds with wisdom, scientific insight, and old-fashioned common sense. It will arm you with practical and philosophical tools to defend your children. I encourage you to join Dr. Gurian in this courageous conversation.
Some may protest my use of the word toxic, but what else should one call a chemical which has been proven to drastically weaken immune systems, alter an amphibian’s gender, mutate rats’ genes for generations, and which was banned by the European Union due to “ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination?”
The toxic herbicide whose destructive capabilities I’ve just described is known as atrazine, and it is widely sprayed by our state’s timber industry.
We also shouldn’t hesitate calling glyphosate or 2,4-D toxic herbicides. Glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) is known to pollute waterways, strip soils of vital nutrients, and is in the process of being banned by California and the EU. It was also declared “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization in 2015.
Then there’s 2,4-D, best known as half of the infamous Agent Orange defoliant used during the Vietnam War as part of our country’s herbicidal warfare program. 2,4-D is commonly sprayed in forestry and food production settings, and has been linked to endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, birth defects and cancer.