Category Archives: Photography

Images from my Flickr photostream.

Chickitty chickadee crow crow

Posted on May 31, 2012 by

Kelly and I have installed a little plastic bird feeder to one of our fabulous new windows, and chickadees have been visiting. They’re still getting comfortable with our dinner table being nearby, but the desire for good sunflower seeds is winning them over.

I want to get a picture, but that would mean stopping everything, setting up the tripod and camping the front window… and I have heaps and gobs of things to do.

The feeder is held on by suction cups and is designed for small birds, but that hasn’t stopped the occasional crow from latching on with its talons, flapping wildly, and scooping as much seed as it can get. I’ll get a shot of that too, in time. It is a little startling to catch a glimpse of great black wings scooping air when you aren’t expecting it, but I’m fond of our local murder and all its members; if they can get the food out without knocking the whole affair over, I’m for ’em!

As for the pigeons… not so much. I’ve never really warmed up to pigeons, despite how gorgeous they are.

Coming back to the daily routine after two weeks on the road has been a bracing experience. The grand total on my six to-do lists on Monday was 72 items. A good dozen of those amounted to self-care and not all of them had to be done first thing, but still… daunting. Especially since this didn’t include the tasks back-logging in the Inbox. These first few backs have been chilly, rainy, and have felt quite long. I also caught a cold in Alberta–after Onoway, thankfully–and I’m not quite up to full strength yet.

I have two more travel-type gigs set for June and then I figure to be home continuously for three or so months. The first trip is an overnight to Victoria so I can participate in a short sail on a tall ship called the Pacific Grace, with an organization called S.A.L.T.S. This is research for my new trilogy, which will enable me to confidently talk about reefing sails and the like. The other, of course, is the reading in San Francisco on Pride Weekend.

I am looking forward to both trips, but I am also looking forward to just being home. Norwescon and Portland and Alberta plus two more jaunts, all since Easter, feels like a bit too much Disruption to Routine.

Speaking of routine, I’m seriously considering doing the Clarion West Write-A-Thon again this year. Who else is playing?

Back at work!

Posted on May 28, 2012 by

As you were probably all able to deduce from the photos, Kelly and I spent the past couple of weeks visiting family all over Alberta before swinging west through the Crowsnest Pass so we could explore Nelson. We wrapped up our time off by spending two glorious nights at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and a few low-key days at home.

 

I’ve restricted my work activities over this stretch of time to teaching and answering a few of the most urgent e-mails, so the pile on my desk is rather mighty this morning. But I will start mowing through it today. If you have been waiting on me for anything, it should be headed your way quite soon.

 

Voicemail from the Parade of Death

Posted on May 10, 2012 by

An old friend of my family’s died the night before last. He and my mother were extremely close–she’s pretty shattered–and my father was rocked, I think, when I wrote him in China to tell him what had happened. Rick was in one of Bear’s earliest crop of drama students. My first memories of him are as a giant-sized guy who built sets in the theater where I spent a lot of my early childhood. He tolerated having a four-year-old underfoot pretty well; he came from a big family, with lots of sibs.

Because he and his partner were tight with Barb, I’ve seen a bit of him over the years since. I knew he’d had leukemia quite a few years ago, and got a bone marrow transplant that sent it into remission. Miraculous, that, but the cancer came back recently and he didn’t survive the second round of treatment.

So I’m a little sad, and a little thoughtful, and this is also why I haven’t managed to blog about the Powell’s reading or all the fabulous things I did in Portland with M.K. Hobson and Rebecca Stefoff and others. Where, I’ll have you know, I took 350 pictures. Let’s see if I can post one from my current location:

And there may be a little more radio silence. I have an enormous paperwork monster to slay this afternoon, and a bunch of little things to wrap up today and tomorrow. Once that’s done, K and I are off on a big sweep through Alberta to see our loved ones and collect even more pictures.

 

In Portland!

Posted on May 5, 2012 by

My dreamed-of WiFi workathon with view got a bit of a trim this morning: I was going to hop aboard an Amtrack train at the crack of dawn and write about seven billion things by the time I got to Portland. However, the train gods decreed that something was wrong with the track. Amtrak told us mudslides in Everett. CBC says protesters in White Rock. Anyway, they herded us onto buses and cleverly filtered us as we went: the peeps going on from Seattle got an express bus, while the folks going to a zillion points between Vancouver and King Station got a slow boat.

The best part of this development was that I got to Seattle an hour earlier than expected, with plenty of time to go to Zeitgeist Coffee. Kelly and I had been here in 2009 when we went on the Tucker Family Cruise-o-rama and we love love loved it. They have boiled eggs and fruit along with caffeine and bready things and Intrawebs.

 

The bus was completely full and though the guy next to me was nice enough, and also mostly comatose, he was taking up his entire seat, which meant I didn’t have the extra elbow room I’d have needed to break out the keyboard even if there’d been somewhere to put it. So I spent the first half of trip making myself just a leetle bit carsick by reading a book. It was a good book, and enjoyable enough to justify the nausea.

Oh! And I got a very jolly border guard.

 

After the coffee I got on the train, had no seatmate, and yay, the WiFi was working. Prose ensued. I got to pause thoughtfully and admire the view several times, and took many questionable pictures of same. I fancy this one is quite arty. I’m probably wrong.

The train got in and I walked to my hotel, which is all of three blocks from Powell’s downtown. After nine continuous hours of sitting, I desperately needed a real walk, so I hoofed off in the direction of the bookstore. What I didn’t know was that the Powell’s is right next to a Doc Marten’s outlet.

Some of you know I’d generally rather have arrows shoved through my cheeks than go into a shoe store, but I’ve been thinking about summer footwear lately. Thinking lots. There’s stuff about my heels, and stuff about my toes, and the general Shoe Law of Me states that all shoes must be good for at least a five kilometer walk, at the end of which they must look presentable enough to pass for girly grownup work shoes. Being shoe picky is fine if you like shopping for the things, but in my case it’s rather ridiculous.

But, having now gotten myself a pair of Docs that’ll do a 10K day and a pair of Fluvogs that’ll go that far, too, I’ve decided I prefer the Docs. So in I went, and what did I find but these?

 

Pretty, huh? They have the not-open back that my heel needs, and the holes in front that mean stretch–I wanted this so my toes can spread out, ducklike, in the front. And they’re pink! Pink pink Barbie camper pink!

I had other adventures, and much fun just walking around downtown Portland, a city I’m so very fond of visiting, and a pretty decent supper, but I think I’ll shelve those for now. Tomorrow I will have more adventures, with wonderful lovely people, and there will be even more pictures. Some will almost certainly be of Xerxes. How lucky am I?