Monday, November 4, 2013

“You’re not writing about those transgender frogs, are you?”

Author Erin McCole Cupp

Today I have the pleasure of hosting author Erin McCole-Cupp here at Green 4 God.  Erin is not only a friend and an inspiring Catholic, she is also  the author of several books including her newest release-Don’t You Forget About Me, which I really, REALLY enjoyed.  I hope you all buy 5 copies of it and hand it out to people on street corners.  Yes.  It is that good.  Take it away Erin!

“You’re not writing about those transgender frogs, are you?”

I had to laugh out loud when I heard that coming out of my phone.  I was talking with an old youth ministry acquaintance who had, in the many intervening years, become an expert in Catholic women’s health care. 

“No,” I said when I’d recovered enough to reply.  “I’m not writing about the transgender frogs.” 
I’d called him telling him that I had a novel written and a publisher on the hook for it.  The publisher wanted me to double-check my science and report back, which I was more than happy to do.  So I rang my expert and told him that the novel was an ecological suspense thriller that dealt with issues of women’s health and included a Catholic perspective. 

That’s when he asked about the frogs.
Nobody knows for sure why so many suburban frogs are coming up with both male and female gametes.  Some say it’s because of pesticides.  Other say it’s from hormonal birth control-based estrogen compounds, erm, passing into the water table.  Still others, like my medical consultant, say that they’re frogs and not humans, and let’s not sensationalize this, mkay? 

It’s a tricky subject, our fertility, whether we think it’s a disease to be covered up, medicated, or surgically removed; or we consider it a precious gift under crazed, blind attack from within and without.  In a way, environmental stewardship is a tricky subject for exactly the same reasons.  Are we to use our human ingenuity to tame the earth to our services and to hell with the consequences?  Or are we to let it grow wild and free and leave as few footprints as we can, clutching our chests with guilt any time we bend a blade of grass the wrong way? 

And the answer is… Ha!  You thought I had one, didn’t you?  Silly, I just have a book, and a fiction one at that.  I’m not an environmental scientist.  I’m not a Bible scholar.  I’m just a novelist.  With a novel like Don’t You Forget About Me, I had the opportunity to hold a mirror up to how we are treating the environment and ourselves—and aren’t those two things one in the same anyway? 
Here’s what I do know.  There were two jobs God gave humans when He created us:  “Be fertile and multiply,” and “fill the earth and subdue it.”  He blessed us to do these jobs.  He even drew us from the earth and from each other in order to give the earth—and each other—to us as gift.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to Christians, especially Catholics, that when we hurt the earth, we hurt ourselves… and vice versa. 

Is “the Pill” hurting the frogs?  Is it hurting us?  What about those pesticides?  Do we serve either the earth or ourselves if we plug our ears when asked such questions?  While you won’t meet any transgender frogs in Don’t You Forget About Me, you will meet some characters asking themselves and each other these questions.  Are we doing the two jobs that God gave us?  What sacrifices are required of us if we desire to fulfill those two jobs in good faith?  What sacrifices will be made of us if we don’t? 

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild, and she blogs about year-round meatless Fridays at Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. She has been voted “Best Speaker” for her chastity talks at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Center. She is the founder of Warriors of Lourdes, an organization that unites people in prayer against child abuse. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, or gardening in spite of herself.
Both of Erin’s books are available on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting me, Laura! I appreciate your support and friendship, and I can't wait until Chicago 2014.