A compilation of mostly fictional short stories encouraging humans to “clean up after themselves” because “God won’t” was released by a local author last month.
“It was just more or less my observations about mankind, about the way in which we were interfering and interacting with nature,” said Jerry Eskes, regarding The Creator Doesn’t Do Maintenance, his first self-published book.
He said the book crosses genres, fitting somewhere between psychology, history and ecology. The qathet region resident hopes his stories offer a different approach to the climate change problem, with humour peppered throughout.
“This is just a simple collection of stories and simple observations of how it was and how it could have been, all of it just a bit tongue in cheek,” said Eskes.
For example, God and Mother Nature are on a date in the first story. There’s a picnic basket, a turkey sandwich and God popping a bottle of wine for his companion.
Mid-sandwich, Mother Nature starts to cough and choke, heaving up a grey blob. It turns out, humanity’s drive to plunder for comfort and excess was making her sick, but with the pesky humans dislodged, she was on the mend and back to her date.
The story is a lighthearted tale of eradicating human life for the sake of our planet’s health, according to Eskes.
He said he hopes readers will enjoy the book while considering how serious the climate crisis is, especially for the next generation.
“Young people are going to look at the future and be discouraged,” he added. “I have grandchildren who have to face it.”
Eskes was born in Saskatchewan and lived on Vancouver Island for about 30 years. He was an avid backpacker, hiking vast tracts of land across Strathcona Provincial Park. He described the scene as beautifully intact and untouched by humans.
This, along with daily walks with his fluffy red-and-white dog, Scamp, where they would traverse the Duck Lake trails and around Powell River Recreation Complex, were the inspiration for his stories. Those stories continued to build until one day he realized he had enough to put together a book.
“I would sit down, and just write stuff,” he said. “And then I sort of thought, well, I’ll throw that together, and I’ll write a little more.”
Before he knew it, there were a couple hundred pages.
He said he spent a year writing the book and longer publishing it.
Eskes noted that the days of mailing off a transcript to a handful of publishing houses and awaiting acceptance or rejection letters are a thing of the past.
Being self-published required the author to wear many hats, unworn before. He worked with two Vancouver-based editors, then moved on to prepping and formatting his book for publishing. Then, he had to think about marketing the book and creating a website.
Although it was a learning curve, he said the effort was well worth it.
“This whole thing is keeping me happy and busy and rolling along,” he added.
Eskes plans to release a second book next fall, which he said should be a lot easier to publish, now that he knows the ropes.
The Creator Doesn’t Do Maintenance is available at amazon.ca and will be on the shelves in Kingfisher Used Books and Ecossentials soon.
For more information about Eskes, go to jerryeskesauthor.com.