Why I live and write in the Peruvian Amazon
A lot of people wonder why I live in the jungle. Truth be told, I had no choice but to follow a path that led me here around fourteen years ago. In the early 2000’s, I had a series of increasingly vivid and unsettling dreams and visions. I’d always been psychic, and for many years previously had worked as an astrologer and tarot card reader, but these new visions were much stronger and compelled me to research what this ongoing process might signify.
I soon discovered that these experiences were typical of what would be considered a shamanic calling, a message from the spirits and spiritual world to follow a new path as a healer. For nearly four years I resisted, until it became unbearable, and in desperation I booked a trip to Peru to work with Amazonian Shamans. Thus begin a six year apprenticeship, where I initially split my time between the U.K. and Peru, and then in late 2008, moved with my wife to actually live in the jungle more or less full time.
For the last few years we have been building a small healing and conservation center, and somehow I managed to find the time to write Startoucher whilst the final building work was being completed. Writing it would seem, is something that you feel compelled to do, irrespective of whatever else is going on in your life.
On the piece of land where we live, are small monkeys, a large variety of birds, including owls, hawks and small eagles, amazing butterflies, large jungle rodents, and a huge number of insects, some of which do like to bite! The high jungle is basically a mountain covered in green, and so dense with trees. Destiny led my wife and I to be here, and this inspiring nature is the backdrop to ideas that surface for writing.
There is no mains electricity, internet or phone signal at our center, and so the initial notes and scene by scene treatment for Startoucher was written in long hand. We have a small office in town, and later drafts of the book were written on a computer there. After the often intense process of sitting in front of a screen for many hours trying to squeeze words out, it’s always a blessing to drive back to the jungle, and to be welcomed by the trees and fresh air.
Although living as a writer in the amazon has its challenges, it’s always an adventure!
The operating room had none of the severe geometry of the world outside. An operating room there would have been a place of chrome and antiseptic white, square edges and sharpness. Even the scents would have been sharp and sterile, the smell of anesthetic and alcohol wipes.
Here, there were no straight lines, no harsh colors. Shapes and surfaces flowed into one another as if grown, and perhaps they were. A bright, pristine, and open space, light emanated softly from the walls, with a subtle tinge of orange yellow reflecting the ambiance of the nearest star. Equipment extended from the ceiling, mechanical arms and laser tools for delicate work. Glistening crystal and delicate glass, intricate metalwork and lines that seemed as much for decoration as to carry power.
It was a place of beauty, just as much as one of function. Those who created it had not seen the need for a distinction between such concepts.
Sirius stood over the recumbent body and decided it was time to begin. The alien touched one of the large crystals supporting Jake’s head, and waves of yellow light began to pulse into his brain. Sirius watched for signs of consciousness, and when the eyelids flickered open, it stepped back. For the procedure to be successful, it was necessary for the human to be conscious, but Sirius knew it would be immobile and feel no pain.