Another blog experiment – Instagram gallery

I have a cold, and not much brain, and somehow this has led me to dorking around with WordPress and the website a bit more.

This, in theory, should have a little streamer with the latest Instagram posts.

[instapress userid=”AlyxDellamonica” piccount=”8″ size=”90″ effect=”fancybox”]


Cat TV and other pleasures

I am writing this in the cafe where I do most of my novel-writing, on a damp Friday morning. Vancouver has just had a week of fog in the mornings, with chilly sun and blue skies in the afternoons after it burned off. We’re trending back to warmth and downpour now. It’s one of the things I love about winter in the Pacific Northwest. It’s usually chilly but gorgeous *or* rainy but warm. The silver lining is always very apparent.

What’s more, she bragged, we’ll have flowers soon. The snow drops are over an inch high in places, and I’ve seen crocuses breaking the ground here and there.

(Edited to add: since I drafted this post, it’s busted out sunny and warm. Bask, Vancouver, while it lasts!)

Part of the winter entertainment at our house has been feeding birds. We have two ‘window cafe’ bird feeders suction-cupped to our windows. As they are also meant to amuse the cats, we call them cat cable and I’ve named the window feeders BBC1 and BBC2 as a result. The hummingbird feeder (which hasn’t had any visitors yet as far as I know) is ITV.

The seed feeders have had starlings, chickadees, bushtits, goldfinches and one downy woodpecker. They swoop in about a meter from our dining room table to grab seeds and run for it. It’s all I can do not to spend my days slack-jawed in the kitchen, staring fixedly at the thing.
bushtits at bbc 2

My class “Writing the Fantastic” has opened its virtual doors and I am getting to know a (mostly) new group of feisty and enthusiastic new writers. This is an intermediate workshop, open to both novelists and short fiction writers. Next quarter, I’ll be teaching Novel Writing 2 again . . . I don’t know about summer courses, but they’ll let me know soon.

And speaking of novels, I shall be starting mine–the third in the trilogy I sold to TOR last year–next week. Or possibly tomorrow. I was going to keep working on the outline until after Kelly and I go to Victoria next weekend, but I think I’ve gotten as far with planning as I can, and I’m keen to get into the first scene.

The Victoria trip is for Gottacon, and as I mentioned last week, I’m especially excited about it because it’s my first Guest of Honor gig. Eeee!

I love Victoria; I went last year to go sailing as research for the trilogy, which has a lot of old fashioned sailing ships in it. Kelly hasn’t been in ages–when her parents moved to the Island, we started going to Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum–so we are very much looking forward to it. We’ll have dinner at Clive’s Classic Lounge, home of the grilled cheese sandwich cocktail.

Found raptors and Writing the Fantastic

My year is off to a good start, photographically speaking–I went out on the first of January and look what I shot!

Birds 2013

I also wanted to let you all know that my upcoming course at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, “Writing the Fantastic” (WTF, as I like to call it) has filled. There is a waiting list and you can get on it here.

Still going Wild, but not until November

First a PSA: my novelette “Wild Things,” got rescheduled for release on It will be out in early November. Sorry to have misinformed you all. In the meantime there’s still “The Cage” and “Among the Silvering Herd” to be had there.

Second, a celebration: my stepsister B has had a baby boy; he is small and adorable and photos are pouring in. I’m happy for her and her husband, and even happier that my father gets a chance to be a granddad.

Third, and not-quite-endlessly, the mini-reno: the cats continued to be aflutter and restless as the office renovation continued. They got a break for one weekend, because of VCon–there was no point heaving a lot of stuff around when there wouldn’t be time free for dismantling the bedroom. But for Canucksgiving Kelly and I put on the final push: we dismantled the two big pieces of furniture–the bed and the desk–and swapped the rooms.

Displaced stuff and a cat:
Minnow would like me to put the house back together now.

And oh! The bedroom is so pretty! We bought an old dresser and put the pitcher from the Tucker family homestead on it, and it’s so very olde fashionedee. All that work was so exhausting–I felt ill with fatigue, and also nearly beaned my face with a falling shelf–and so worth it. Take that, Martha Stewart!

Old stuff

Rumble, who does apparently believe that crap rolls downhill, dealt with his stress by trying to forbid Minnow from eating or using the litter box. You can all imagine how popular this choice of his has been with the cat parents. We now have multiple feeding stations on the go and are watching him like hawks. We’re also trying to lure her into the shiny new bedroom on occasion, by giving them both treats, but only when both of them are in there.