To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Friday, January 10, 2014


Last night I saw the documentary "Blackfish", about captive orcas in places such as Sea World.  I was horrified and deeply saddened, yet again, at the way we treat wild creatures in this world (as well as domestic ones).  One of the hardest parts to watch was the separation of orca juveniles from their mothers (the male orcas live all their lives with their mothers in a pod that has its own language, a shared genetics, and a complex social structure).  One of the orca mothers literally spent days "screaming" for her baby when it was taken away from her by the people at Sea World and sent to another place.  100 percent of male orcas in captivity have what is called "dorsal collapse" where the dorsal fins curl sideways; this is a sign of depression and dehydration.  I don't know why we do this, turn animals into performers for our entertainment: do we not, as human beings, know better than this?

I for one will NEVER take Thistle to Sea World.  I do take her to the Seymour Marine Center, but they do conservation there and the fish are in large tanks and seem okay.  There are dolphins at the back which are used for research, but they are returned to the wild eventually.  I would rather take Thistle on whale-watching trips to see orcas and dolphins, though.  I even have problems taking her to a zoo like the one in San Francisco which has sensitive habitats for the animals (the gorillas have a gorgeous place to hang out, for example, full of grass and places for them to interact and play and preserve the all-important social structures).  I don't want her to think this is the right way for animals to live, though I could stress that zoos have done a great deal towards conservation of species.  I hope that as much as I can, I want to help Thistle understand that we are really not the masters of the planet, that the true natural order of things is to live side-by-side with the other denizens of our world and not destroy them.

As silly as this sounds, I don't think intelligent life in the universe will ever reveal itself to us until we start really learning to take care of our own planet.  If I were of that ilk, I would be wary of contacting a bunch of people who had such lack of care for their own environment; there would be the danger of ruining another planet with our greed and propensity for destruction.  Not to center everything around my book, but that is the reason the two "worlds" in my book are separate and the "aliens" (who are actually humans) don't actually travel to Earth; they try to help and are stewards of our earth, but are also wary of letting Earth-humans into their world, which is carefully constructed to coexist with their environment (and it took thousands of years to get it that way),

Anyhow, the moon is ripe for observing; right now and I have a shot at looking for the Sea of Tranquility.  I would like to close with a link to a site that gives me great happiness and teaches me a lot as well:

Google Moon