Birds and Bees

Bee Angelus

‘Bee Angelus’ – by Veronica Knox, 2013

 Genetics aside, hybrid creatures can inspire the multifaceted characters who inhabit paranormal fiction.

Paranormal does not need to infer Gothic horror, but rather the magic of the imagination: time travel, fanciful species, dreams of living five-hundred years ago, indeed living a previous existence as a bee or a great artist.

Children’s stories sometimes have to  be told from a bee’s point of view: the fly on the wall or the bee on the flower, as did a TV animation featuring a girl bee named Maya who was a bit of a princess. Did she grow into the queen of her hive? If not, is there a new fairy tale about a restless girl titled ‘The Princess and the Bee’? The animation It’s a Bug’s Life transported us into a world which is true to scale and otherwise aligned to a metaphor that (for me) encapsulates the publishing industry. There are a million stories (read books) in the big anthill. Industrious barely describes the degree of activity involved in creating a book with a life of its own.

In reality, the insect world has far different challenges than ours, but however thinly sliced, the birds and the bees and the ants and the peacocks offer windows into the human spirit.

The peacock is a symbol of rebirth. The bee is known for its relentless dedication to the greater hive. Humans are referred to as ants on a giant spinning sphere. Then there’s the definition of animation (to have life) … Maya means illusion. These themes have to be squeezed into a ‘genre’ in order to be found.

I painted this bee bee-cause my daughter wanted a painting of a peacock. She also collects all thing ‘bee,’ and she asked for something different. What to paint? What to create for her? It was Christmas, so I was feeling kind of angelic.

In writing a novel, this different-but-the-same issue, arises.

Genres are categories meant to guide readers. Like a treasure map (the internet), one wants to avoid booby-traps (spin and spam), circumvent poetic clues (the overworked synopsis), and find the pot of gold (bestseller) at point X. But…

When is historical merely hysterical? When does a love story become a romance novel? What does one call an historical fantasy time-slip paranormal mystery adventure ghostly love story? When is a metaphor more than a literary device? How does an obscure author fly? How does a new novel create buzz?

… When is a bird a bee?

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website -
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