Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stormy Night...

Today I've spent a bit of time marvelling at the astonishing photographers in my general area of the world. They had a field day depicting the meteorlogical wonders we coastal British Columbians were privy to last night.

We had a doozy of a storm -- the sky began to cloud, and the sun dropped behind as if going to set -- and then all hell broke loose.

At least, I always picture hell as having an orange sky. Am I wrong?

As soon as the she sky took on the weird tinge I ran for my camera. [None of these pictures are retouched in any way...]

You can see there is still a tinge of blue showing through the clouds in this shot.

The last time I had seen a sky that colour was driving up Highway 2 towards Red Deer in Alberta last summer. I was on a book tour with author James McCann. He was driving and I was riding shotgun, and taking pictures of the weird sky. We were going at a good clip (In his misspent youth, James was one of the street racing founders in Winnipeg, after all...) but we couldn't get over how all the big rigs were roaring past us, at speeds of 150 km/h and faster. Wasn't until we got to Red Deer that we found out we'd passed under a tornado, just before it formed a funnel.

That's what you get for listening to loud music instead of the radio...

Anyway, back to last night. The sky rapidly changed from under-ripe tangerine to full-on fire orange. The wind swirled and rain torrented.

It started to hail. This one looked just like a wintergreen lifesaver -- hollow in the centre.

Then suddenly the rain and weird hail stopped. The wind stopped.

I ran out under the umbrella to get this odd shot of a rainbow in an orange sky.

The lightning began. It had been rumbling and flashing in the distance, but it started in earnest. I didn't have a tripod and my camera battery began to fail, but you can see how the sky turned electric blue after each strike. We were getting lightning strikes around us every 2-5 seconds for well over an hour.

The sky stayed this colour until night fell. A strange and beautiful sight. And for two hours after dark, the lightning continued to dance.

When I looked up the radar screen for the weather on-line, it looked to me like Vancouver had missed the worst of the storm. I was thankful for this, because I knew how many people were looking forward to both the Illuminata lantern festival and the fireworks display.

But as you'll see below, I was wrong. The storm did hit Vancouver. But did it spoil the fireworks?
A timelapse view from above the Burrard bridge...

[a tip of the hat to Darren Barefoot and others for the link]


Edited to add: HERE is the link to my flickr page with a larger selection of images

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Star gazing...

Just been up on my roof with my boy, staring at the stars and trying to spot the International Space Station (with shuttle attached) as it raced by. I'd heard it would pass over Vancouver tonight at 11:01 pm, but no luck spotting it. I think we may have been too late -- perhaps it overshot Lions Bay a bit earlier ...

Anyone else seen it yet?

Apparently it's as big as a football field, and Vewwy Vewwy shiny.

By the way, there was no moon tonight -- at least not yet. I just posted this pic because it's my favourite of all the moon-shots I've taken. Got this one on the self-same roof o'mine, last May.

I promise a more prosaic post tomorrow. I plan to spend the day picking up social media marketing secrets from the experts at Capulet Communications!

Now, back to stargazing...


Monday, July 20, 2009

Prose Positive = Cool


My friend, writer Deb Anderson, has put up a very cool post on her site. You can find it HERE.

She celebrates her hundred and first post with 101 electronic-free things your kids can do this summer.

I'd take issue with her about number 101, which would involve electricity, at least, if not electronics; but this is a mere quibble, because it's the good kind of wired, man!

Speaking of wired, this week I'm heading off to Social Media Boot Camp with Darren Barefoot of Capulet Communications. But before I do, I'm going to put up a blog post interview with Darren at the SiWC blog. Check it out tonight!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Catching Up -- Link-fest

Tried to post last night but the gremlins of the ether failed me. I have a big post due up at the SiWC blog site, so you may want to check over there to see if you are, indeed, a winner of ecstatic proportion. Or not.

Starting to work on sorting out the travel for SiWC 2009 presenters, and dealing with the minutiae that crops up when dealing with same. It's an exciting, nerve-wracking time as a conference comes together, and I am trying to enjoy this one as much as possible, as it will be my last [for the forseeable future, anyway] as conference coordinator.

Horrendous experience today (as you may have noticed if you follow me on twitter -- @kcdyer) with the only remaining MS software on my Mac. It's enough to drive a writer to take pictures of self, when she is trying to document the greenery of a lush summer day. This shot was taken as I contemplated tossing the whole machine off the cliff. Luckily, calm returned again after a few bites of blue raspberry fruit crisp. Hard to hate anything when you have fruit crisp at hand...
(Crisp? Crumble? Cobbler? What do YOU call it?)

I will hie over to the other site now to announce contest results, and in the meantime, here are a few links, the posting of which will enable me to close a few tabs around this joint.

  • HERE is where you can find The Times' view of the net's 10 top book websites.
  • A Most Awesome though-love letter from a librarian to publishers of kids books everywhere is HERE. (Printed on the School Library Journal site in the US, it speaks to a few universal truths applicable in Canada, too.)
  • One of my favourite on-line gathering places for nerdy women is The Park Bench, and in this post, they hilariously recount the necessities that should be on every nerd's apocalypse survival-kit list. How could life be worth living without a DVD of Sean of the Dead?
  • And to finish your day on a peaceful note, (in the key of bflat, to be exact) I give you this remarkable site -- I found it impossible not to play endlessly with the combinations of sounds. Simple and lovely.

Here's to the soft, sweet sounds of a summer night....


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!

In honour of Bastille Day....enjoy!

[A tip of the hat to @Wired for the timely reminder of French taunting...]


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Penticton Wrap-Up

BC Youth Write Camp has come to a close for 2009.

I cannot emphasize enough what a wonderful experience this was for the young writers who came to Penticton from across the province. Run by the dynamic Yasmine John-Thorpe under the auspices of Raise-A-Reader and Penticton Writers.

The kids who said good-bye yesterday headed home inspired and fired up by the experience.

Teachers -- if you teach in BC and have students who like to write -- direct them HERE next year -- they will be given a chance to take part in an experience they will never forget!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Pet Cemetery

Note to Stephen King fans...there is no 's' in this cemetery.

Yesterday, author James McCann and I took a little trip.

To the local pet cemetary.

The experience was not really creepy ...just a little sad. Sad to see all the loved animals gone.

But also sad to see how derelict a relatively new endeavour is. From what we could see, the place was inaugurated in 1987. But the day we went, it was overgrown in weeds, with path markers kicked down or destroyed.

I do have to admit that seeing this headstone gave us both pause...

If you'd like to see more of my shots of the pet cemetary, check out my flickr page HERE.

And a final blog post will soon emerge, regarding the Most Wonderful BC Youth Write Camp 2009, which has just finished its run. Brilliant fun.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Penticton Wednesday

It's 11:09 pm and my camera is in the car, so no new pix for tonight. (I am in a deep, dark house in a deep, dark world and unfamiliar with the lights to take me to my car and said camera, she sez, verbosely explanitorially...).

Will check -- maybe I have a picture from yesterday to serve...

In the meantime, HERE is a link to a story in the Penticton Herald about our Youth Write endeavour here. I think we've made the paper every day while here, which is Very Nice. In other funny, nice news, Lee discovered a tribute video made for me and put up on YouTube by one of his ex-students. Very sweet.

What else? I have a whole blog post planned to illustrate with pictures of the pet cemetery (note spelling -- no 's' in cemetery!!!) we visited today. It was not creepy, but sad and desolate and wonderful. Tomorrow is technically the last day of YouthWrite, followed by a big signing event at the Coles in Cherry Lane Mall (please come, we'll have jelly beans!). On Friday, we have a book sale and signing at Okanagan College, where we've been holding the Youth Write event.

So, a whole lotta awesome for the rest of the week!

And, I did find a pic....

This is Shadow, and he is as big as a mountain. He belongs to Ed and Peggy Fodey, who have been our hosts this week. Shadow is Very are his owners.

Lots more tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Penticton Tuesday

Another incredible class, loads of time travel rules and interestingly...more poetry to read.

I love poetry -- especially written by teens.

A great group of writers here, lots of stories to tell, lots of fun to be had.

First the work....

Then the play....

Yes, we seriously played minigolf this afternoon.

I won.

And finally, a shot of Lee's brother's dog Junior B, so anxious for me to throw the frisbee that he appeared willing to assist me off this bridge with whatever means necessary.

Of course, I threw it for him.

Another great day.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Penticton Monday

Rocking day today in Penticton at BC Youth Write Camp -- astonishing group of young writers discussing time-travel issues, poetry, story structure. I read a poem at the end of the class written by a young writer named Sean -- totally blew me away, man. These kids are good.

Here's Lt. Governor Stephen L. Point addressing the troops yesterday.

This is the whole whack of kids joining together to celebrate the on-set of some serious wordsmithing.

And here's all the proud parents (and a few organizers) wrassling the kids into the collection above, suitable for photographing.

The lady all in black is Yasmin John-Thorpe, the brains and the energy behind the whole Youth Write BC event.

Thanks, Yasmin -- it's been a blast already!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Penticton Day One

Here in gorgeous Penticton with my friends authors James McCann and Lee Edward Fodi, and editor Kallie George. We're all here to participate in the Raise-A-Reader-sponsored Youth Write camp.

Organized by writer Yasmin John-Thorpe, festivities began today with registration, and a wonderful introductory speech by BC's Lt. Governor Stephen L. Point.

At the moment, dusk is falling and I am sitting out on the deck with Lee's parents, Junior B, Shadow and Percy the cat peering through the screen door at us.

We are all geeking out on wifi and eating cherries.



Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

It's my boy's birthday today, so in honour of his 17th and Canada's 142nd, here's a dog blog I found of once confused cyber-puppy...

Notice how she watches her cat on the screen, and then goes to check her out in the fur, just to make sure she's still there!