I am uploading holiday pictures of a fjord, glacier and various icefloes today, which is tempting me to make puns about to-do lists as long as Tracy’s Arm Fjord, or the tip of the To Do iceberg. What’s true is that while I’m physically back at the desk, my brain seems to be coming online in very small pieces. This makes the pile seem bigger than it is. (I am really hoping this is true.)
One of the more interesting items on the list has to do with the fact that the mass market paperback edition of Indigo Springs will be coming out in November. This is another first for me. It reminds me of all the times, as a reader, that I had to weigh the agony of waiting for a paperback against the cost of shelling out for the hardcover. It’s a strangely romantic feeling, believe it or not.
In any case, Tor has asked me to write an article for their e-mail newsletter, to tie into the release. This would be a sort of behind-the-scenes DVD extra type of thing: what kind of research went into the book, for example, or something about the experiences was I drawing on. Given that it’s been all of a day since this came up, I haven’t narrowed the topic down, and I thought that before I did commit to something, I’d see if there was anything all of you might like to know about the book.
Is there? Any brilliant ideas that don’t get scooped up for the article (or questions that aren’t quite related, because you can ask me anything) will be answered here in a later post.
Some of you have no doubt seen the interior of a cruise ship before, but Carnival Spirit was my first. The artist friend who saw the pictures described them as ‘fin-de-siecle hell-in-a-fancy-handbasket tone to it!’ Kelly, meanwhile, called it a floating mall. And it did remind me of West Edmonton Mall, a bit. What do you think? (Click the pic for the whole set).
This spot is in the lounge we staked out as our reading area; within a couple days, all the loved ones knew they could look for us here. As you look, try to add in a very short CD on continuous loop; we heard “Dee Doo Doo Doo” by The Police so many times I’ve carried it home as a permanent earworm (slightly less fun than tinittis). The other five songs were unknown to me but sounded far worse.
Comfy chairs, though, and a view of sea and sometimes whales, won out.
This flicker is ill-lit, but has that fluffy, shinynew look to his chest feathers that makes me suspect he’s newly fledged.
I found him or her in this weird little no-humans-land on Woodland and 2nd Avenue. There’s a plot of land there, owned but little-used by the gas company. It borders the gardens of a couple of apartment towers and is fringed by tallish pine trees, some living and some half or fully dead–I assume, from their slo-mo death throes, because of Mountain Pine Beetles. The mix–live tree, dead tree, in-between tree–makes a perfect combo habitat for Stellar’s Jay, eight billion types of sparrow, bushtits, starlings and the occasional flicker. The jays come in the spring, disappear, and then come back in late summer and fall. We assume they’re nesting somewhere in the meantime… maybe Central Park? Anyway, they have been gone since about May but they’re back; I have been hearing them since the same morning that this flicker turned up.
Just a quick post, for virtually no reason except to prove that I do occasionally look at something other than birds.
My usual Wednesday walk takes me east along the Yaletown side of False Creek, past a casino at the Plaza of Nations, and along the seawall to the Telus World of Science. From there I either make my way uphill along First to Commercial or sometimes take the Skytrain one stop to get back to my neighborhood.
Starlings and crows are ubiquitous here, but the crows are oddly camera-shy unless you have peanuts. You can make a crow fly away just by holding up your hands as if you had a camera in them. I have gotten a few keepworthy shots, though, of a young crow out with its parent, begging for food on the seawall. And here we have a just-fledged starling, not yet iridescent, with the flashier adults.
Madonna and Child:
This is Vancouver in the high summer: newly grown birds everywhere, haranguing their parents.