Category Archives: Travel

Cat Bags

Posted on October 7, 2013 by

I bought the bag covered in cat butts in Rome, at the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary.

Cat bags 1&2

I bought it mostly to give money to the worthy cause of kibble, veterinary care and spaying for the cats of Rome, but it turned out that bag was not only the lightest, best-organized, all-around handiest purse-like object I’ve ever owned, but it got compliments wherever it went. Seriously. Women with fashion knowledge were all, like, “OMG, that bag!”

Had I known, I’d have bought five more and spread the kibble love.

Anyway. It’s been two years, just about, since Rome and the bag is dying. I contemplated calling Rome and having a pointless conversation in my appalling Italian: Avete … um, do you still have this bag? Would you consider shipping this bag? Does any of you cat-loving women know from Paypal? And then I got over myself and went to Kelly’s new fave bag store in the PATH.

There I found one bag that had the same double strap, of the same length, and virtually the same pockets. (It’s heavier, which is not a plus, but what can you do?) And what the heck, peeps? It too is covered in cats.

Will it garner the praise of its predecessor? Hard to say.

Cities I have seen – the Pinboard

Posted on January 19, 2013 by

I am filled with love for Pinterest. I can’t help myself: sticking things up on walls so I can see them is pretty much my preferred way of remembering things. (As opposed to, you know, actually remembering them.) And though I tend to ‘do’ Pinterest with what I think of as downtime, it’s remarkably productive for downtime. All those pretty nature pictures, especially the nudibranches, really are research for the current trilogy. And the writing essays, and the book covers–it’s just handy to have this particular bunch of virtual baskets.

So one of the boards I’ve been assembling is simply a list of cities I’ve traveled to. What’s been fun about this is I keep remembering other places I’ve been. I wouldn’t say I’m very well traveled, but this makes me realize how lucky I have been.

The board is here.

Please do tell me all about your favorite pinboard!

Things both golden and lovely

Posted on January 17, 2013 by

I began this blog entry in Cafe Calabria at about 7:30 this morning, having had an amazing brainstorming session. I’ve decided I will have a draft of the new novel, the third set in Stormwrack (where “Among the Silvering Herd” takes place), by June 28th. The idea is to have it Frankensteined by the time Kelly and I go to San Francisco for, among other things, Les Contes d’Hoffmann featuring deitylike tenor Matthew Polenzani.

There was an incredible sunrise pouring over the roofs of the buildings across Commercial Drive, but I wasn’t positioned to take advantage of it, photographically. So, since I can’t share today’s dawn with you, here’s Matthew:

Down Memory Lane in Nevada

Posted on January 11, 2013 by

Kelly, Barb and I spent the holiday season in Reno, Nevada, visiting my relations and touring Kelly around some of the significant-to-me places from childhood. This, for example, is the view from my grandparents’ front window:

The Grandparents' Ranch

We went out to the ranch in Yerington on December 24th – my aunt had basically kicked us out of the house so she could make bird and ham and other holiday feast items without meddling from the rest of us.

One site on my must-see list is the now-flooded Anaconda Copper Mine. So peaceful-looking, no? So very contaminated, I’m afraid.

Anaconda Copper Mine

I also wanted to revisit a piece of playground equipment that looms large in my memory.
Rocket Slide
Though Barb doesn’t remember the rocketslide, she was nevertheless able to find it (Yerington is that small) and she took these two of me regressing to the age of six.
Rocket Slide

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?