Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Sci Fi Channel is now called Syfy

A couple days ago, the Sci Fi Channel announced it was changing his name to Syfy. No kidding!

Here’s what Tim brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network, said about it: “The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular.”

"Mr. Brooks said that when people who say they don’t like science fiction enjoy a film like Star Wars, they don’t think it’s science fiction; they think it’s a good movie.”

“We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.” Read the entier article here.

Well, I hope they don’t end up distancing themselves from their loyal, “geeky” fans, like me, with that silly move. :-/

Monday, March 16, 2009

Agency new website

My agent, Jenny Rappaport, has launched a snazzy new website. It’s great! Take a look, browse around, and check things out. Who knows, you might have a story that she would like to see?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Russian Troika

This is the second post in The King’s Daughters theme series. And as indicated by the title, this one is about troikas: the Russian carriage, or sleigh in winter, drawn by a team of three horses abreast. (By the way, the meaning of the Russian word troika is threesome.)

The traditional cold weather transportation, the troika is, in my opinion, the quintessential Russian symbol. As such, it is widely employed in folkloric scenes, in paintings, movies (Doctor Zhivago), literature etcetera. But regardless of the medium used, it always spells romance to me—it’s probably why I absolutely wanted to have troikas in the book.

The troikas are always depicted as heavily decorated sleighs, and the horses as powerful and spirited animals

Once a national pastime, troika racing almost disappeared after the communism collapsed in 1990. But thanks to a few diehard enthusiasts led by Alla Polzunova, the greatest female troika racer of the Soviet era, the sport is now making a small comeback…and may have a future. Some speculated that it is mainly because Vladimir Putin has demonstrated some interest in the sport.

A notoriously difficult sport, experts in the field estimate that it takes five years of daily practice to acquire the skills to control a troika — an art that revolves around keeping the middle horse trotting, acting as a locomotive against its better instincts, while its flanking companions maintain a brisk gallop.

The Orlov Trotter, a breed developed in Russia, is considered the supreme troika horse because of its sturdy conformation, long stride and speedy trot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

SF Creatives

Lynda Williams and I will be doing SF Creatives again on Wednesday, March 11, at Books and Company in Prince George, B.C. Readers and writers drop in to share their favourite books each other. Each person gets a turn and takes part in discussion about other people's choices. Informal, friendly and positive! With a focus on SF: science fiction and fantasy. We start at 7 pm. Done about 8:30 pm.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Movie Mania

I love movies. And I must say that this year’s crop looks promising. Already, there are several movies coming out which I’m itching to go see. The first on my list is Watchmen, first because--I’m seeing it this weekend. But if I was to list the three movies I’m most looking forward to see this year, it would read this way: Sherlock Holmes, Watchmen, and Akira.

Sherlock Holmes is my number one choice for many reasons. First, he’s my favourite fictional character. Second, Robert Downey, Jr. plays Holmes and Jude Law Dr. Watson.

And lastly, the nephew of a dear friend of mine has a part in it. His name is Robert Maillet. His name may not ring a bell to you, but I'm sure you remember him from the role he played in the movie 300. He was the chained giant. Yeah, this fearsome-looking dude. Robert has spoken lines in Sherlock Holmes…in 300 he only grunted and roared.

The other movies I also would like to see are: Star Trek, Harry Potter 6, Terminator 4, Wolfman, 2012, and Monsters vs. Aliens…hey, that one looks fun.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Albino dolphin

It's so pink!

Round two

I’ve just finished the second round of revisions for my urban fantasy novel. Deep breath. Although it’s looking better, much better, it’s far from being where I want it to be. The plot still needs a lot of tweaking and tightening. A few characters need more development as well. In short, I’m looking at another round of revisions. *g* This has to be the most difficult story I’ve written so far.

Monday, March 2, 2009


With The King’s Daughters coming out shortly, I’ve decided to write a short series of posts about some of the themes explored in the book. I’ve chosen the bear as my first subject because, well, there’s one on the cover. So I thought it was as good a place as any to start.

I’m not surprised that bears found their way into one of my stories. I started writing when I lived in the city of Kitimat, B.C., and anyone who spends a bit of time there always ends up meeting a bear at some point. I had my first meeting with one those mighty creatures only eight days after I had moved to that town. A black bear popped up out of the ditch beside me while I was taking a walk. We looked at each other for a few seconds, and then we both went our separate ways—thank goodness. During the four years I lived in Kitimat, I saw dozens of bears, grizzlies and blacks alike. We even had a black bear sleeping under our deck for a little while.

In any case, the animal in my story belongs to the brown bear species (ursus arctos), a well know Russian symbol. And as the story has a Russian-inspired backdrop, it’s only fitting that bears play a role in it—after all the Nordic folklore is filled with tales involving bears.
There is the Russian fairy tale "Morozko", “The Old Man and the Bear” and the "The Brown Bear of Norway" to name a few. Alright that last one is Scottish, but you get the idea. I won’t tell you what role the bear on the cover plays in my story, though, because that would spoil the surprise. ;)