22 February 2015

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl on a large snowy branch
The F900 does its valiant best, but there's purple fringing.  (Backlight in a world of low cloud and snow.  Of course there was purple fringing.)  100% crop; owl was close but not that close.

There were five; got excellent in-flight and perched views, from a variety of angles.

So yay!, lifer, and yay! OFO walk.

(Snow buntings.  Diverse colour morphs of Rough-legged Hawk.  Mergansers. (Mergansers?) Mockingbirds.  Goldfinches, tree sparrows, kestrels, downy woodpecker, nuthatches, bluejay, crows, rusty blackbirds, red-winged blackbirds, red-tailed hawk, cowbirds, and one cold-looking starling.  Cardinals.  Other people saw tufted titmice.  One red-bellied woodpecker with a crest made out of lambent fire.)

19 February 2015

Woot! Good review Thursday!

I think James liked The March North; woohoo!

A Succession of Bad Days has been out for an unfamiliar critical read, and now another unfamiliar critical read (the people who one gets to bounce up and down and burble at about the gubbins of the world building are invaluable, but they're also not going to tell you where you've been incomprehensible quite the same way a new reader will), and ought to be winging its way to the editing processes relatively soon-like.

Doesn't look like I'm going to make a march release date, but April's not looking unlikely.

24 January 2015

HOWTO -- downloading an EPUB from Google Play Books

So a bunch of people have had trouble getting to the "Download EPUB" functionality with Google Play Books when trying to get their archive copy of The March North.

  1. If you are logged in to Google with a Google Account other than the account that bought the book, log out.  (Google gets confused about whose books to show you.)
  2. Log in to Google with the Google Account that bought the book.
  3. Navigate to  https://play.google.com/books
  4. In the left-hand vertical stack of options, click on My Books
  5. Hover the cover icon of the book you wish to download; a column of three white dots will appear in the upper right hand corner of the cover icon
  6. Click on the three dots; a menu will appear
  7. Select Download EPUB from the menu.
And there you go.  If the publisher put the book up using Adobe DRM, you're going to have a little stub with a permalink that goes to a DRM management setup.  In the case of The March North (and expected subsequent Tallwoods Books ebooks) you're going to have an DRM-free EPUB file.

23 January 2015

Next Commonweal book -- A Succession of Bad Days

So it's about that time again.

I've got all of three written[1], people have read it, they have not informed me it is dire, dreadful, or despicable, so I can contemplate to publish Commonweal book two, aka A Succession of Bad Days. [2] Which means:

  1. send it out for critique by unfamiliar eyes
  2. get an ISBN
  3. get a cover
  4. copyedit
  5. generate EPUB
  6. make available 

Currently at "it is out for critique".

[1] I'm about forty thousand words into four.  Which bodes well for three happening on the hoped-for annual schedule.

[2] this is not a Line book; it's a go-to-sorcerer-school book.  The viewpoint finds out they're qualified to go to sorcerer school abruptly in a fashion not free from trauma, and things do not obviously improve for some time thereafter.

21 January 2015

An infrequent cat

Black cat exploring fire sprinkler pipes
Aoife does not completely approve of the ceiling pipes; they're more of an obstacle course than a real pathway, and they're way high up and lack obvious endpoints.

She is, however, entirely a cat, so some exploring still occurs.

23 December 2014

It's winter

Variety of large Larus gulls on the beach seawall
There's at least one Great Black-backed Gull on the beach seawall along Sir Casimir Gzowski Park.

The adults are pretty easy; the immatures produce a certain amount of "check the feet!" as a response; when the obviously smaller gulls have the pink legs and feet of herring gulls, well.  That reduces the options for what the larger and generally pretty dark immature gull could be.

Apologies for the terrible focus; manual focus with no tripod is not my best skill.  (I thought the lens was having cold issues; it looks more like the camera body is having ring-focusing-motor drive issues.)

Intractable Swans

So when I first reported L07 and J06, the nice people who work on the trumpeter swan re-introduction emailed me back and asked if the third swan, the one with no wing tag, had a leg band.  I didn't think so, but I hadn't taken a picture, so I couldn't be sure.
L07 Trumpeter Swan Cob, asleep on the beach
Unknown trumpeter swan asleep on the beach
And I am no more sure today, after remembering to take a picture.  ("Let's go wake the swans up", aside from being less than ethical, also isn't safe.  So we don't do that.)

J06 was further down the beach, honking malignantly at a bunch of seven mute swans.  The mutes were looking baffled and uneasy; it can't be the sort of thing they're used to.  And even trumpeter swans aren't that territorial in the winter.  It might get a bit more exciting come springtime, when the trumpeter cobs spend so much time striving to remember how their distant, distant ancestors grew rending teeth.