CORVIDAE BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Rhonda Parrish

This week I’d like to welcome Rhonda Parrish, the editor of the Magical Menageries series of anthologies. CORVIDAE released July 7th, 2015 and can be found in both paperback and ebook form. For more information about the anthology, you can jump straight to the bottom of the post. However, I recommend reading this anecdote from Rhonda about her attempts to capture a decent photograph of a ghost magpie:

 “Rhonda Parrish is a shapeshifter with talents to match her every incarnation- magpie tenacity for picking the shiniest submissions, nightingale notes for crafting tales, and bright, feline eyes for seeking out her photographic subjects. She balances on the knife-edge of darkness and light, a sorceress of both realms.”

– Sara Cleto

Hunting the Ghost Magpie


Ghost Magpie

My husband, Jo, rides his bike to and from work whenever weather permits and a few years ago he started mentioning an unusual magpie he would occasionally spot on his route. He knew I loved magpies so he really wanted to share this special individual with me, but every time we walked along the route he took to work it wasn’t there. I’d begun to think he was imagining things but then it happened. When I least expected we saw it — a ghost magpie.

Ghost magpies are the somewhat fanciful name for leucistic magpies. What that means is that their colouration falls somewhere between normal and albino. It makes for some very stunning birds, especially with magpies.

Edmonton, where I live, is the capital of the world for ghost magpies and I’m lucky enough to have a couple of them live in my neighbourhood–or at least visit it frequently. Alas, they never seem to come around when I have my camera in hand. It’s like they know…

That first time I saw the ghost magpie with Jo was magical. We were just walking along the path when suddenly he pulled me to a stop and pointed and there it was. A great, floofy magpie sitting on a fence post. His white feathers were white but where I expected to see black or blue they were a soft powder grey. We looked at each other, the ghostpie and I, for a very long time before he kekked and flew off. I’ve been hooked ever since, hungry to get a good photograph of a ghost magpie.

I haven’t had much success.

Oh, I’ve managed a few pictures of ghost magpies, but nothing I’m happy with. After four years of hunting them with my camera I have a slightly out of focus shot of one with a ragged tail, a shot of the same bird from a pretty terrible angle and a picture taken from half a block away–getting this one required me to run home, get my camera, run back, wait, finally re-spot the magpie and then snap the picture without time for composition or getting closer because a truck was coming toward the birds.

Weirdly enough I’m not frustrated though. Challenged, but not frustrated.

While I would very much love to get a great picture of one of these magpies I also just love seeing them. Sure, I swear a little bit when I spot one and I don’t have my camera on me–especially when they pause and pose prettily for me, taunting me–but really it’s just a privilege to see them at all so I can’t really be upset. Not really.

I sure would like to get that picture though…


Moi2Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine since 2007 (which is like 30 years in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including (most recently) Corvidae.

In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in publications such as Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium.

Her website, updated weekly, is at




A flock of shiny stories!

Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.

In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.

Featuring works by Jane Yolen, Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, M.L.D. Curelas, Tim Deal, Megan Engelhardt, Megan Fennell, Adria Laycraft, Kat Otis, Michael S. Pack, Sara Puls, Michael M. Rader, Mark Rapacz, Angela Slatter, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Leslie Van Zwol.


Praise for Corvidae

“Smart and dark like the corvids themselves, this excellent collection of stories and poems will bring you a murder of chills, a tiding of intrigue, a band of the fantastic, and—most of all—an unkindness of sleepy mornings after you’ve stayed up too late reading it!”

— Karen Dudley, author of Kraken Bake

“Corvidae evokes the majesty and mischief of corvid mythologies worldwide—and beyond our world—in a collection that is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.”

— Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger

“A creepy, crazy kaleidoscope of corvids, Corvidae is what happens when you bring together ingenious writers and sagacious subjects. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride when this anthology takes flight.”

— Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Utah State University;

More about Corvidae at World Weaver Press

Leave a Reply

On Writing…
I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?~J.R.R. Tolkien
Follow me on Twitter