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MikeDavis1953

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Reply with quote  #31 
I also recall a parrot in Michael Crichton's novel, Next, that had a key part in that story. There are a lot of Internet tales about folks sliding into and out of parallel universes and I note a claim that there is now some evidence for the multi-verse theory based on a very empty cold part of our universe. Note, Helen thinks it wrong to speak of multiple universe because the word universe means everything. M-string theory is a constant source of humor in "The Big Bang Theory" TV show.

I also note that one of Eisenhower's daughters claims she has been to our base on Mars where she first meant President Obama at the Martian base. I am sure you can tie that into your work in progress somehow.
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #32 
O-o-o-o! Another Ursula K. Le Guin fan! And yes, I use her LATHE OF HEAVEN in several of my university classes. As an author, I teethed on Le Guin, and, when I had the chance to publish a work with Borgo (where many of the now "classic" science fiction/fantasy/horror writers began their professional career), I couldn't pass it up. They published TOTAL MELTDOWN (Borgo/Wildside 2010) by myself under my pseudonym, Raymond Gaynor, and the incomparable William Maltese of FLICKER (Savant 2010) fame. I also enjoyed the opportunity of co-authoring QUANTUM DEATH with multi-award-winning Savant author, A. G. Hayes under the same pseudonym. I'm thinking "Shadow," "The Edge of Madness" and "The Third Encounter" when finished might also go under my Raymond Gaynor pseudonym.  
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #33 

THE TURTLE DANCES by Daniel S. Janik- Excerpt #2 (Family Rated) 

[image]  

"Chapter 3 - Home

Isla was a natural surfer, having not just one, but two permanent surfboards—one above and another below her body. The top board was a shiny green and brown that, from above, made her look like an ocean rock, hiding her from the preying eyes of ravenous seabirds and killer whales. Her lower board, viewed from below, was a creamy sunshine white. Against a bright ocean sky, it made her near-invisible to any sharks or killer whales swimming below... Suddenly she felt the water surge beneath her, and settled inside the crest of the wave, steadying herself using her four flippers and tail for balance and position. Riding the wave, she lifted her head out of the water and smiled with pride. "

——————————————

What are the reviewer’s and book festivals saying? 

ANIMALS, ANIMALS, ANIMALS BOOK FESTIVAL AWARD

 ——————————————

Mulit-award-winning author and USA Dancesport Competitor Daniel S. Janik is a former resident of Alaska currently residing in Honolulu, Hawaii, with his wife and competition dance partner, Setsuko Tsuchiya. Together they welcome the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles to Hawaii throughout the year.

"I've long been fascinated by children's reactions to sea turtles—they seem to instinctively identify with them, viewing them without fear, even wading in and swimming bravely alongside them...This book came to me imagining what a sea turtle might think of the fearless, curious, shell-less, upright land-dwellers wading among them. Mightn't a particularly observant and fanciful turtle take things a step further if she clambered onto a beach and happened to see two humans dancing?" says Dan. "Naturalists at heart, the illustrator and I endeavored to keep the appearance and life history of our heroine, Isla, and her turtle-friend, Surf, reasonably true to life."

THE TURTLE DANCES by Daniel S. Janik
80 pp.  8.25" x 6" Softcover Tradebook
28 B&W "Color-Me-Please" Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9886640-1-2

Daniel S. Janik
Multi-Award Winning Author of
     THE TURTLE DANCES (Savant 2013) - Available from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988664011 in softcover, Kindle and Audible Audiobook format
    A WHALE'S TALE (Savant 2009) - Available from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1442105062 in softcover and Kindle format

drjanik

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Reply with quote  #34 
Hey, we're already more than halfway through our three hours, so if anyone has a second excerpt, now would be the time to post it.
jdcurrie

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Reply with quote  #35 
The one thing I should add is that elephants play a key role in the story.  The narrator of the story is the India-born son of a mahout (an elephant caretaker).  He is an investigative report who starts to reveal his own story about elephants and what he learned as a young man from his father about these blessed creatures.  It's tinged with wonder and grief.  A terrible secret is involved.

I should probably cop to ulterior motives in writing this story (or channeling it).  I've long been involved in elephant and critter protection.  I tried my best to be very fact-based in what I said about elephant behavior and elephant consciousness. Some of the rigor, comes from being a professional ecologist over most of my professional life.

I would like to give Dan credit for recognizing the power of this story and the importance of the subtext about elephant and planetary protection. I'm also very thankful to members of the "elephant protection community"--they include Carol Buckley (Tarra and Bella fame) as well as Katherine Connor, founder of Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary.  These are wonderful people who care deeply about elephants.  Animal lovers should much appreciate Saddam's Parrot.
MikeDavis1953

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Reply with quote  #36 
The other interesting and also disturbing topic on the Internet is something called "The Mandela Effect" where all sorts of folks claim that the past has been altered because they remember history different from what the internet says it is. These videos are usually quite amusing as no one ever seems to consider 2 other reasons for the supposed discrepancy,

A. The information on the web is wrong,
B. Their memory about something is wrong.

No it is much better to blame the experiments at CERN, or the Haarp antenna array in Alaska.

However, since I am now the DPM I am working on ways to use the "Mandela Effect" to market our books. I imagine a brief introduction at some secret government base, say the one you have Ike meet the aliens, as a place where the government or the Illumenati play around with timelines to enrich themselves.
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #37 
I, too, am fascinated by M-Superstring Theory and the resultant multiverse. I often mention to my students at university that despite our species having populating this planet for hundreds of thousands of years, we have only discovered three ways of "proving" anything: authority, the scientific method, and statistics, none of which are singularly unifying. I have the suspicion that M-Superstring/Multiverse Theory will eventually be a fourth, and perhaps the singularly unifying proof we've always sought. 
jdcurrie

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Reply with quote  #38 


Although Saddam's Parrot is both dramatic and full of humor, I would also like to think that it is also lyrical.  This passage conveys the deep bond between the protagonist and his mother in India. 

Story of the Hamsa Swans

        So I, the dutiful son, would tell it back to her, doing my best to impart the mystique she had  conveyed to Arundhati {my sister} and me so many times before.   

            “According to the pandit, Kalhan's Rajatarangini, the Valley of Kashmir used to be an expansive lake called Satisar. The great sage Kashyapa prayed for a long time to Maheshwara to provide him dry land out of this lake. His prayer was accepted, and Lord Vishnu taking the form of a unicorn pierced the mountain range at a place called Varehmula, and a lush land and garden formed that would forever be sacred and represent awakening, peace of spirit, and higher knowledge.”

            Then I would reach for the lacey words of scholars and poets to describe the virginal waters that since antiquity had flowed to the valley out of the Himalayan glaciers.  “They would start their journey in the fringes of the sun-blistered snow fields and pass to the beckoning streams, each drop adding to a gathering life-force, whimsically dancing as much as flowing;  underground as above. 

            “A gathering would occur at Dal Lake, blossoming the pink lotuses of rebirth, followed by an outfall to the Jehlum River, whose own marshy aprons would be perfumed by wildflowers.” 

             “Tell me about the swans,” she would beg like a young girl holding fast to a belief in winged sorcery and soluble spirits passing over the Hindu Kush and the rooftop of the world.

            And so I would continue on, following obligation and devotion to this eternal child, who in giving me life had taught me to travel into the gray realms of greater dream and fantasy.  

            But there was more of her own enchanted brushwork here than my own, a texture and tint from night study of birds that flocked on the far side of the moon and then constellated in the heavens.

            “In the marshlands of Dal Lake, the pure waters would find the Hamsa Swans awaiting their gift. These were swans from Lake Manasarovar on the Tibetan Plateau, that carried Brahman and Sarasvati.  They were only visible to those who had achieved The Third Awakening as described in the Shiva Sutras.

             “Touched by the spirit of Brahman, they had escaped the cycle of life and death. They were free from samsara, flew effortlessly and hovered weightlessly on the calm serene waters of the lake. Though they lived on water, their feathers were never wetted, nor were they soiled by the maya of the physical world.

             “Over time the great sages came to understand that the swans represented the oneness of human and the divine, and the name of the swans themselves, the inhalation and exhalation of oneness: the in-breath, ham; the out-breath, sa, and thus the breath of life.”

            And my mother with blissful sighs would shutter her barely open eyes, giving herself up to sleep and the downy embrace of the Hamsa Swans at Srinagar.

drjanik

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Reply with quote  #39 
When I mentioned the importance of a Director of Publicity and Marketing, I had no idea where you might take us, Dr. Mike. I say, "Go for it!" as long as it's truthful and ethical; however, I find the idea of marketing to governmental agencies involved in "secret" work and the Illuminati most intriguing. Who knows what potential patrons lurk in their midst? 
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #40 
Thanks, Jim. I've always been a strong, if sometimes too silent supporter of your work. Our planet is in desperate need of healing, and, hey, what's to say that the the dolphins and elephants don't already have the answers to some or all of our questions present and future? Go ahead and laugh, but in a way, I'm serious. We are a species of unimaginable hubris, assuming as we do that we have or will eventually provide all the answers not only on our own behalf but of that of the very animals we are eating up. If that isn't hubris, I don't know what is. Go elephants! Go Jim Currie!
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #41 
What a truly beautiful (and lyrical) passage from SADDAM'S PASSAGE! I could see the protagonist's mother in my mind's eye as clearly as if I'd been standing there beside then, entranced by the story. Go Hamsa Swans! Go Alex! Go Jim Currie!
drjanik

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Reply with quote  #42 
I curious, Jim, what's next after SADDAM'S PARROT (Aignos, in preparation)? 
MikeDavis1953

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Reply with quote  #43 
As a biochemist I have watched the field of epigenetics develop exponentially and I have tried to get evolutionists I know to consider it as alternative explanation as a mechanism for adaptation but they seem to want to stick to the mutation explanation. The most original take on how evolution might actually be explained is in a an interesting but difficult book by Nassim Taleb entitled 'Antifragile" where he covers how deleterious effects can have positive outcomes. An example he gives is that while combat is bad for 95 or more % of soldiers, a few end up becoming much better due to it. I confess I had a hard time following his math for this, but it involved statistics.

I agree about the 3 sources of info. The problem with all of them is that they involve people. I still remember my first post-doc paper where my boss told me to "find a statistical test to prove there was a difference in 2 populations". I did, but I always recall this experience when folks are trying to sell me something that is not obvious from the data.


drjanik

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Reply with quote  #44 
I'm wondering, Dr. Mike, how you see publishing in the future. We've talked briefly at staff meetings about the movement of readers today away from long novels to comics and manga, and what this means to publishing, as well as P&M. Should we move with the times, or carve out our own path, hoping to influence today and tomorrow's readers and revive literary literacy? 
jdcurrie

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Reply with quote  #45 
Dan asked: "As for Alex, what escaped spoil of war wouldn't eventually gravitate to the San Francisco Bay area?"

They join the "overground" instead of the "underground".
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