altivo: From a con badge (studious)
I'm pleased to announce that my story, "Harvest Home," appears in the new anthology Fragments of Life's Heart which is now available from Amazon, Smashwords, Weasel Press, and Rabbit Valley.

I have been writing about my two characters Argos the wolf and Fennec the fox for several years now, but mostly in longer works that have yet to see print. "Harvest Home" is set near the ends of their lives and will actually be their first appearance in a print format.

This collection of short stories by furry authors has been in the works for more than a year, and editors Laura "Munchkin" Lewis and Stefano "Mando" Zocchi have done a masterful job of pulling it all together. The book is available in both traditional print and e-book formats (Kindle/mobi or epub.)

Quite a few more illustrious writers have contributed to the anthology, and you can see the list of contents at any of the links I've supplied above. If you read furry literature, I'm sure you will enjoy this.
altivo: From a con badge (studious)
I see that I failed to post this announcement here when I added it to my writer's guild forum.

More than a month ago, I was pleased to receive notification that my story "Harvest Home" has been accepted for publication in the anthology Fragments of Life's Heart (release anticipated early in 2016 from FurPlanet.) This story features my two favorite characters, Argos Weaver (a white wolf) and Fennec Redtail (a red fox,) about whom I have written reams but none of it has ever seen formal publication. Many excerpts appear in various spots on the web, however.

I will be sure to let everyone know when it is actually available. In the meantime, I remind you that my story "Coyote's Voice" appears in ROAR, volume 6 which was released in July of this year, also from Furplanet.

I have also been invited to appear on a panel at Midwest Fur Fest in Chicago, December 4-6. The panel is titled "Making Anthropomorphism Matter" and is set for Saturday, December 5, from 08:00 to 09:00 PM in the McCarran meeting room. Two other writers will be on the same panel: Tempe O'Kun and Sparf. I haven't attended MWFF since 2008, and look forward to the much enlarged event with a bit of trepidation.

NaNoReadMo

Nov. 6th, 2015 06:14 pm
altivo: From a con badge (studious)
Two posts in one day? Yes, I'm full of words, I guess. And no, that isn't a typo in the subject line.

I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I have at least six mostly finished books already that need attention and final touches.

Earlier this year, like back in February, I signed onto the Goodreads.com "Reading Challenge." You set a quota number of books that you intend to read before the end of the year. I set my quota at 50, less than one book a week, figuring that I'd easily meet that goal. I can normally get through one title a week even when I'm working full time, and what with retirement at the midpoint of the year, I expected to have lots of time to read.

Well, it didn't work out that way. I was doing fine until June, but I accomplished very little reading during the summer, and by last month Goodreads was nagging me for being 8 or 9 books behind. I decided to devote November to catching up. There is no shortage of material, as I have a "to read" list that exceeds 200 titles. A hard push over the last two weeks just to finish books that were sitting around partly read has brought me up to even with the expected reading so far, and then past it so I am now three books ahead. I only need five more to make up the 50, and I expect to exceed that by some unknown number before the holiday madness hits.

One thing that helped was changing my own rules. I had been counting only fiction, when in fact I've been reading a fair amount of technical books and other non-fiction material. I went back and added some of those to my completed list, which raised my running total by a fair amount. I have three more partially completed books to wrap up now, which should pretty much guarantee a successful conclusion.

For the curious, my list of books read for the 2015 challenge is here. I am assuming that anyone can see the list, but if that isn't the case, let me know and I'll try to find another access point.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Once again I've taken too long a break from posting here. The winter has been made busy by several events, not the least of which is my planned retirement from full time library work. After June, I will be a greymuzzle pensioner, with more time for writing, music, gardening, and my pets. Of course that means helping to find and train my replacement. After twelve years in one job, there is a lot of stuff to organize and document and I've been kept very busy getting that done while keeping up with my regular responsibilities.

Meanwhile, my husband is getting near the end of his five year quest for the Ph.D. degree, which has also kept us pretty busy. Next week he will be presenting a paper at a conference, while I cover the animal care tasks he normally handles here at home.

Also some announcements on the writing front. First, I have two poems recently published. One gives a tortoise's view of history, and can be found at QuarterReads. The title is "Thoughts Chelonian." The second appears in a curated selection of furry poems at Adjective Species. The title is "Procyon Prowling" and the subject is a raccoon. I recommend the poems in that collection. They represent a wide variety of styles and formats, and an equally diverse viewpoints on furry subjects. Lunostophiles did a fine job of selecting them from the submitted works.

My story "Coyote's Voice" will appear in ROAR volume 6, to be released in July at Anthrocon if all goes according to plan. The publisher is Bad Dog Books, and the very competent editor for this issue is Mary E. Lowd, also known as Ryffnah.

I'm also currently engaged in writing the completing chapters of Oh, Ricky, the parody on Richard the Lion(heart) that some of you may remember from NanoWrimo 2011. I'm doing that in connection with this month's Camp NanoWrimo where I'm one of a dozen folks working together to prompt and encourage each other.

More as events develop. Thanks for reading.
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
Yeah, it's been a while since I've posted here. This is going to get longish, I suspect, so...

Recursive fandoms in a dream state )

And that's why I suddenly feel ancient, like that last passenger pigeon trapped in her octagonal cage, waiting for the return of her flock that never comes while children fling bits of gravel at her to make her move around and be less "boring."
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Some of you long time followers may recall The Clydesdale Librarian, my furry review site. It was launched on the beta Google sites, and collapsed when Google changed the code and structures so much that I couldn't keep up with the necessary revisions. Of course, it was beta after all, so what could I expect? Still, it was discouraging enough that I let the site languish for several years.

In the last couple of weeks, I've been receiving notices that Posterous, a blogging and image sharing site, is going away. I had an account with Posterous, but only used it to follow others. Nonetheless, they keep advising me that Posterous will be shut down (as of today in fact) and I should back up my content and move it elsewhere. I requested the backup file of all three of my posts, which has never arrived.

Anyway, Wordpress was suggested as one of the platforms to which Posterous material could be moved. I've meant to look into Wordpress for a while, and this gave me the needed nudge. The end result is that I spent most of Sunday manually rescuing content from the Google sites edition of Clydesdale Librarian, and translating it bodily (textually?) to a new Wordpress site. I completely deleted the old Google sites pages, which means that various links in Google are now dead. We'll see how long it takes them to catch on and update to point to a non-Google site.

The new URL is http://hossification.wordpress.com and the title is Exposterous Hossification: The Clydesdale Librarian. The first new content went up this morning, a review of Howard L. Anderson's Western-style Australian adventure novel, Albert of Adelaide.
altivo: (rocking horse)
Three years ago we presented Marni McGee's book Winston the Book Wolf with a fursuit appearance by Argos in the role of Winston. This evening we repeated that event, with a few enhancements.

Book Wolf 7
Here Argos greets a young fan after the story presentation.


Book Wolf 8
And he expresses dismay at the smaller children who were apparently afraid of him as he waits for them to make paper wolf puppets in the next room.


For a full sequence of 10 photos of the event, start here and proceed by using the "next" button at the top right corner of each photo.

Of course the weather has been pleasantly moderate all week until today, when the temperatures again climbed into the 90°F range. My fault I'm sure, for scheduling a fursuiting event.

Soooo...

Jun. 14th, 2012 09:38 pm
altivo: Geekish ham radio pony (geek)
Saturday is Gary's birthday. He's very difficult to buy gifts for. I've got him a basic e-reader (Kobo) and I think he'll like it but it will take him a while to warm to it. (He had the same reaction to MP3 audiobooks but now he's addicted to them.) I charged the battery and loaded a dozen free books that I think he will like, on top of the 100 or so that already come pre-loaded. Thanks to the Baen free library (www.baen.com/library) I could easily get free copies of several complete books. I'll show him how to check out and download library books, of course.

I've also got a locomotive for him. N scale, of course, but he wanted a Diesel switching engine and we still haven't found a good one. I got a Kato NW2 in B&O/Chessie System colors after hunting for months. Those things are pricey. (Yes, it cost more than the Kobo reader.) I'm still looking for an unpainted shell for the NW2 so I can do a custom paint job for him in any line, real or imagined, that he chooses.

And Sunday is Father's day, which means I should also get him a gift from the sheep, ducks, horses, and his dog...

I'm sore. As if I'd been gardening all day. What I actually did was uninstall a five seat multi-user Linux workstation and replace it with a newer six-seat version this morning. This entails lots of crawling around on the floor and pushing cables through small openings. Hurray, it's working. I think.

Oh, and we cleaned the fans for the horses' stalls. Or I should say Gary did while I handed him tools and such. It's getting really warm and humid, so this is a good thing.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
I promised weeks ago to post a photo of the eggs from our ducks, and here, I've finally gotten round to it:

Circle of... eggs


This is two days' production from three ducks, arranged like the circle of chords since I've been practicing again (with Neal and Gary today.) The white eggs are C major, and the blue eggs are G major or G7, the dominant, while the olive tan eggs are F major, the sub-dominant chord... No, I'm not drunk, just being silly here.

Early this morning I succeeded in getting my Literati ereader to upgrade itself to version 2.0 of the firmware system, last one available. Once studied out, the solution was simple enough. The files I first downloaded to perform the upgrade were corrupt. It turns out that with Firefox, right-click "Save link as..." was not sufficient to transfer a compressed tar file unscathed. The same approach using Internet Explorer worked without corruption, as did wget used from a command line. Given an uncorrupted package file, the system was perfectly happy to read it in and perform the upgrade. Now it accepts epub files over the USB cable, either by direct copy or by transfer using Calibre, Adobe Digital Editions, or Kobo Desktop. Quite a few features were added in the upgrade as well, with better display controls, more options for finding and viewing books, and so forth. Dropping a 2GB SD card into the expansion slot gives enough memory to hold hundreds of books, an entire library's worth. I no longer need feel that I mad a mistake in purchasing this. (It's compatible with Nook and Kobo books, as well as ebooks.com and ebookwise.com. Project Gutenberg epub files work well too, and borrowed library ebooks are compatible. In other words, very similar to a Kobo or Nook ereading device, except it has a color LCD display.)

Busy weekend ahead, but I think I'm enough on top of it to enjoy it if the weather holds up.
altivo: Geekish ham radio pony (geek)
Spent some time at work messing the the Literati, trying to get it to update its firmware, but without success. It tries all right, but comes back with the message "Update cancelled." No reason given. Also, if you try to sync it using Kobo Desktop, you get the message "Downloading update" for a minute or so, followed by "Update failed." Other possible conclusions: Somehow the available mamory in the device is locked, marked read only, or otherwise unwritable. I could offer to do this, but it seems best to leave this sort of thing to the customer.

The refurbished Kobo Wi-fi reader arrived today in the mail. Amazingly small and light weight, with supposedly very long battery life since the display is e-ink rather than LCD. The battery was already charged, so I took it with me to listen to an evening performance by Kishwaukee Rambers, one of Gary's groups. The musical performance was great as usual. The Kobo reader performed as it should, connecting by wireless, updating its own firmware, downloading titles I already own from the Kobo website, and so forth. I'm not fond of e-ink. It isn't high enough in contrast, in my opinion, and it is slow to update which gives a sort of seasick feel to each page turn. It looks as if the letters swirl around and rearrange themselves to spell out the next day's message.

But at least it works, all functions are operational. That's more than can be said for the Literati, even though both devices are obviously built on the same design and software core. I installed epub books by download from Kobobooks, by drag and drop, by using Calibre, and all of them came up just fine. At least I have an idea now what the Literati should be doing when it sits there and stares at me.

Forgetful

May. 23rd, 2012 09:41 pm
altivo: Blinking Altivo (altivo blink)
I got so distracted worrying about Gary's potential root canal (and yes, he's going to have one tomnorrow) and work that I forgot to bring Tess in from the pasture. Gary got her at 6 pm, which means she was out there for over 7 hours today. I've been holding her to no more than 3 hours a day, so this will require watching. Last time this happened, she turned up with grass founder (mild case) the next day and had us worried for a couple of weeks. Went out to look at her in her stall but that's inconclusive. I need to see her walk or run in the open to be sure she's OK.

Work was the usual crazy stuff for a Wednesday. Got a strong compliment on my story in Allasso from a non-furry coworker, which was unexpected.

Now have two ereaders in transit. The replacement Literati is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and the Kobo on Saturday. The library owns a Kindle (boo) and a Nook, so I'll be able to compare all of them.

Now to bed I think.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
Morning meeting, afternoon shopping and chores, tired as if I'd been at work all day.

Indulgence: bought myself a new e-book reader, the Sharper Image Literati. Off EBay, half price for new unopened box. My old eBookwise has served faithfully for years, but it doesn't read the new standard formats and is obviously doomed to oblivion. I don't want to be bound to Amazon and their proprietary formats. This one will do, it's a version of Kobo I believe, and reads epub, html, pdf. Has wifi and a backlit screen. I don't like e-paper. Anyway, for the price it was worth a try.

Cool and gloomy weather, threatening to rain all day but never did. Gary cut a large part of the grass that was getting rank from rain and neglect.

He's watching all of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, one disc per night. Not sure quite why, but I'm sitting through them and being reminded of how badly I think Jackson treated Tolkien. He made a fine dramatic epic but it's not the story I have read again and again. It's another tale entirely.
altivo: Plush horsey (plushie)
What an undignified way to insert a plug, by making a pun of it.

In any case, Allasso volume 2: Saudade is out in print and for the Kindle from Amazon.com and Createspace. Well worth the price of admission, it's a show that no furry reader should miss. Congratulations to Brian Lee Cook and Pink Fox Publications on a job well done.

And now... time for bed. Busy weekend ahead.
altivo: (rocking horse)
...is a day with some sunlight. Maybe. Well, there was some today, by afternoon anyway.

Gary has to finish a take home exam by noon tomorrow and then he's free from school at least until fall. It will be good to have him back.

I note with regret the fact that Maurice Sendak has passed away. While most furries probably know him for Where the Wild Things Are, I will always remember him first for In the Night Kitchen, a lovely little dreamscape that set off a fury and if I remember correctly even got onto the ALA banned book list for a while. All because he drew a dream picture of a little boy with no pants on. Humans are just amazingly silly and stupid about things at times.

Finished Patricia Briggs' Cry Wolf and I recommend it to anyone interested in a good werewolf story. Neither the horrible blood and gore stuff of years ago, nor the mush of many romance novels that just use the werewolf legend as a backdrop, it's a believable story with characters well worth noticing. It's part of a trilogy, plus a prefatory novelette, and I see I'll have to read all of them.

It's late and that's most of what happened today other than the usual work, eat, sleep routines.

Experiments

May. 7th, 2012 09:15 pm
altivo: Geekish ham radio pony (geek)
Playing with the Amazon Cloud Reader application, which lets you read Kindle books on a web-browser. It appears to be pretty slick. I have yet to test the ability to download and hold the book to allow reading it even when a network connection is unavailable. However, it does appear to work not only with books purchased from Amazon (or given away for free) but also with library e-books from Overdrive. Probably does not work with Smashwords, though, as you'd need a way to get the book into the Amazon cloud reader drive...

Went out for dinner in town to "celebrate" Gary "flunking" his statistics course. I don't know whether to take that seriously or not.

Today's amusing irritation: After I got into the car and started for work this morning, I noticed the smell of the hoof moisturizer ("Rainmaker") that we've been putting on Tess' front hooves. It's vaguely medicinal, with overtones of linseed oil and petroleum jelly. I find it quite strong smelling and, while not repulsive, not particularly attractive either. Sort of like hot tar. I finally concluded that I must have some of it on my shirt or other clothing somewhere. Much of the day I kept smelling it and trying to find to spot. Never succeeded. No one mentioned it, and Gary insists he can't smell the stuff at all, so I have no idea what to think.
altivo: (rocking horse)
*trumpet fanfare*

Allasso volume 2: Saudade has arrived on the scene from Pink Fox Publications. Available in traditional print or Kindle format from Amazon, this issue contains material from no less than eight (count them, eight) members of the Furry Writers' Guild, including myself. Prose, poetry, and some nice artwork too. Don't miss it.

End shameless plug. Seriously, editor Brian Lee Cook has done a super job of bringing these materials together. You can even skip my own story if you like, but you should read the others, OK?

No more woodpeckers today. I suspect, as usual, they have gone on to look for better nesting grounds. Whatever it takes to meet their criteria, we don't quite have.
altivo: (rocking horse)
Red-headed woodpeckers again, during breakfast this time. Almost certainly saw three different individual birds, two of them simultaneously. This is highly unusual. In a typical year we have perhaps two sightings of one bird and that's it.

Firewall box is racked and ready to drop in as a replacement for our current unit. Will have to go in on Sunday to test, though. Generation -1, a Firebox X Core, has been removed from the rack and repacked with its spare cables and paperwork. No longer supported and not usable at work, but still functional so I may take it home rather than recycle it. The problem is getting a copy of the appropriate configuration and monitoring software, Watchguard System Manager 8.3.x. I know the necessary file is on several retired backup tapes I still have, but so far I can't figure out how to recover files from a no longer cataloged backup. I really hate Symantec software, ya know? It makes things so unnecessarily difficult. If the replacement is successful, the current X750 Edge unit will remain in the rack as an emergency backup. This time I'll remember to archive the management tools to a CD instead of leaving them on a proprietary format tape.

Book arrived in the mail: Pegasus by Robin McKinley. I've already read it in ebook form, but liked it so much I decided to snatch a remaindered hardcover for future reuse. The book is remarkably well done, in my opinion (and I don't always care for McKinley.) The pegasi are particularly well thought out. Unfortunately it appears to be only volume 1 of a trilogy, the other two of which may not appear for a year or two. And it has a cliff-hanger ending. Grr.

Went after work to listen to Kishwaukee Ramblers playing at the Woodstock Mall, a converted building with really nice acoustics for a small group. They sounded particularly good. After that took Gary to dinner to celebrate payday plus income tax refund. Then we came home and watched Hop, a silly fluffy movie about E.B., a young bunny who is heir to the title of THE Easter bunny, but doesn't want to accept his destiny. Instead he wants to be a rock and roll drummer. It was silly fluff, but still fun and required no hard thinking. ;p

Loooong

Apr. 25th, 2012 09:51 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Day relieved largely by a nice opportunity to recomment furry books from mainstream literature (rather than explicit furry small press titles) on Twitter.

Tomorrow will be long too, with an in service training seminar that I'm helping to give for new catalogers (and old) in our consortium.

Old guitar strings swapped onto my classical guitar still haven't settled very well. Every time I check they are flat again. Maybe this will continue until the newly ordered ones arrive, and I can start all over again.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Red Admiral butterflies are so thick outdoors that they light on almost anything that stands still. I saw them on the horses' backs and even tails, and one landed on my shoulder. I don't know what the usual emergence time is for the species in our area, but it seems to me that typically we do not see them until May.

I've gotten caught up in a book today and in consequence got only a limited amount of other things done. The book is Robin McKinley's Pegasus, which came out last year. Definitely worth reading, in my opinion, and I'll have more to say once I've finished it.

Mostly sunny today, and warm, but tonight there is a chance of showers and tomorrow an 80% chance of thunderstorms I think. Thought I heard a rumble of thunder a few inutes ago, but the radar shows nothing nearby.

Tomorrow is the last day Gary will be here before he heads off to his hurdy gurdy conference. Back late Sunday, I guess, just as I was from FCN last weekend. Going to be odd alone here for that long. Haven't had that in several years. I'll manage, but I'm not used to it any more.

Had this drowsy, sluggish feeling all day with some congestion as from allergies. Don't see how I could have gotten con crud, though I suppose a touch of PCD is possible. Feels humid and oppressively warm at the moment, though the temperature in the house is only 68F.

Slowww

Apr. 1st, 2012 10:47 pm
altivo: Blinking Altivo (altivo blink)
Both Dreamwidth and I are running very slowly.

Spent much of the day finishing Carriger's book Soulless. It does resolve eventually, of course, and without losing the thread of silly that runs through the entire thing. We shall have to see whether I can resist reading the others.

And, since DW is being intractible, I shall to bed. Vegetarian dinner was quite a success. We had an Italian-inspired meal of spinach-lentil soup followed by baked polenta with cheese and marinara sauce. Both turned out very well.

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