Against the Grain


The Next Steps

The current novel I am drafting is set in Napa County. Climate change, inequality and the health of of both the people and environment is under stress. Studying groundwater levels, fish extinction events, the alarming increase of childhood cancer rates (the highest in any county in California) has been painful to acknowledge. There has been a loss of innocence in my life. County officials in lockstep with the biggest agricultural corporations in the valley dictate what does and doesn’t happen here. The climate is changing, the available water has all been claimed. It is a jewel of a county and California’s smallest. It has grown into a world class international tourist destination. Both businesses and visitors clamor to come here and get a piece of the action. A wide array of community organizations are struggling to slow the rapid rate of growth. We’ll need more soul searching to bridle the billion dollar corporations that find sustainability issues irrelevant to their business plans. The struggle to thwart the rich and powerful from reining down ruin upon this world class destination falls upon the ordinary citizens who live here. Tough stuff… now with the changes in Washington DC the mood of the country seems to have turned against any further supervision or regulation of this great treasure the gods have handed to us. So, yes, I am the loyal opposition. Good ideas I’ll cooperate with and bad ideas I’ll resist. This is where we find out if we can save the world…

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

As a Napa resident I’m looking forward to the novel! I’ve been here 3 years and the tensions that you mention between growth, agriculture, tourism, etc. are all definitely in play. The next 10 years will be very telling.

We have a wine country blog you might enjoy: I’ll look up your published novels as well.

Dana Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  topochinesvino

A little slow on the back at you. In vigorous final edit mode with my editors for this novel about Napa Valley. We are about a third through with more weeks ahead. Where do you live? What do you do in Napa County? Are you involved in any organizations? Best Dana Smith

6 years ago
Reply to  Dana Smith

No worries – good luck with the book! We live in Browns Valley area of the town of Napa. We are importing wine from Europe (not enough wine here already!). 😏