Monthly Archives: November 2013

6 Sentences About Corvus Rising

NEWCover1. Ecofantasy rules this tale about the Earth and our place in it, while romancing the boundary between fantasy and reality—a wide zone of completely reasonable yet fantastic possibilities that unites the conscious mind with the otherworld of intuition, dreams, illusions and memory.

2. Human development threatens the mystery and reclusive wildness of an enchanted island that is home to an unusual population of blue-eyed crows, a secret legacy of botanical treasures, a Jesuit priest and the bones of his hermit predecessor.

3. The crows (Corvus brachrhynchos), and the ravens (Corvus coraxof the island converse with one another in a hybrid inter-species language known as the Patua’ —the name also given to a genetically gifted group of humans, including the Jesuit, with whom they converse, share common interests and form lifelong friendships.

5. A gifted painter dreams of crows, who finally spill into her daily life and lead her inevitably to the island, where she discovers a few secrets entirely her own.

4. The island of crows dwells in the collective psyche of the city folk dwelling across the river and inspires a continuous array of myths, legends, art, and poetry.

6. Corvus Rising hits the Kindle rack on Amazon on December 18th!

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Mother Love? Or Pavlov?

mum_baby_729-420x0Eau de Baby

Evidently baby body odor fires up the dopamine pathways in the female brain like hitting the jackpot at the slots, doing cocaine, or eating when you’re hungry. Researchers suggest that Eau de Baby evokes specific brain activity in women—the same brain centers that reward-inducing behavior activates, in order to promote mother-infant bonding (read article here…).

Not surprising, the dopamine pathways in women who had recently given birth showed increased activity than women who never had. Body odors, the researchers say, may lie at the core of ‘pyschobiological processes’—those that make us humans emotionally bond to one another for the sake of survival.

Surely this cannot be limited to the mother-infant relationship. Surely, in the economy of Nature, we would all bond to one another through our noses.

Meanwhile, a goal of much of modern chemistry is to eliminate or disguise the natural odors of the human body. What, I wonder, are the unintended consequences of that? Does blocking or disguising our natural body odors lead to inability to emotionally bond with others of our species?

Is that how someone gets so cut off from his own human family, that he could go into a crowded movie theater and in the dark, gun down 12 people he didn’t know?

 

Excerpt from Corvus Rising

 
fc5a3f4dd4439aa19a0f15b353773ddeCharlie the Blue-eyed Crow Speaks

 

“Charlotte disappeared one day when she was seventeen. I hadn’t seen her in a few months. Rika and I had our first clutch that year, and I was in Keeper training, and just couldn’t get away. But the magpies all said that men in white coats drove up in a big van and took her away.

She was crying, they said, when the white coats put her in a tiny shirt with really long sleeves that they wound all around her.

She kept screaming. All the way down the road, they could hear her screaming. The white coats took her to insane asylum. That’s what the magpies told me.

I winged it over to Rosencranz, but couldn’t get in, of course; what hospital would let a crow in, even during visiting hours? So I visited every windowsill, looking for her. I peeked and sometimes downright stared into every window, more than once. For two years, I came and pecked on her window nearly every day.”

One day there she was! Just on the other side of the glass, sitting in a wheelchair with her hands folded neatly in her lap. But she didn’t see me. I pecked on the window, but she didn’t hear me. I called out her name. ‘Charlotte! Yo! Charlotte! It’s me! Charlie!’ But she didn’t look up. She just stared at her lap, and I wondered if she had gone deaf.

I kept yelling and dancing and pecking, anything to get her attention. She didn’t hear me, didn’t see me. I didn’t give up, though. Day after day, I showed up on the windowsill at the same time, trying to get her attention. But day after day, she didn’t look up. Until she did! She finally noticed me through the glass! I nearly fell off the windowsill.

‘Charlie!’ she said, with the big smile I remembered from long ago.

Of course I couldn’t hear her; the window was closed. Then she ran across the room and pasted both hands on the glass, as if to embrace me. I flapped my wings and cried out, ‘Charlotte! Charlotte!’ Great Orb, that was a wonderful day! Then a white coat came up to Charlotte and took her hands off the window, giving each one a little slap and then escorted her back to her wheelchair.

‘Charlotte!’ I yelled as he wheeled her out of the room. I pecked on the glass. I shouted as loud as I could. Another white coat came to the window, opened it, and yelled ‘Darn crows!’ as she tried to smack me with a towel. She missed.

‘Darn humans!’ I yelled back at her.

I waited at the window, but Charlotte didn’t come back that day. Or the next. I hung around, waiting and hoping for some sign of her. Days went by. I visited all the other windowsills again and again. Just as I was about to give up, there she was! I pecked at the glass, and when she looked up, I flapped my wings at her. But she didn’t get up, didn’t smile at me or say my name.

I thought maybe she hadn’t really seen me. But when no one was looking, she smiled at me. She wouldn’t come to the window, though. Probably she was afraid they would slap her hands again. She never took her eyes off me until someone came and took her out of the room.
That was eight years ago. I see her often, but through a closed window. I can’t talk to her or hear her voice. But at least I can see her.”

Charlie ended his story; crow and human sat without speaking for several minutes. The pulsating song of crickets emanated from hidden places in the grass. Several loons wandered along the bank below, pecking for tidbits between the rocks and grass. A few gulls orbited a fishing vessel on the river….

The sky had turned the color of late afternoon. “It is time I headed home to Rika and my kreegans, Jayzu,” Charlie said. “Before it gets too dark to fly.”

Charlie left Alfredo and flew out over the river. The sun hovered above the western horizon, sending shimmering hues of yellow and orange across the river…

Alfredo drew his mouth into a tight line as he watched Charlie take off and make a wide circle over the river. Twenty-five years in an insane asylum! Why was Charlotte forsaken in such a place while I am allowed to live in this paradise? Why was I rewarded, and she was punished for being Patua’?

~~~

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Read synopsis here….

Corvus Rising is now available at the Amazon Kindle Store…click here…

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