. . . my zoo love gave to me:

Four bonobos:

Three )
. . .my zoo love gave to me:

Three tiger cubs:

(Yeah, yeah, I know you just saw them, but they're cute enough to use again. And if you follow the link above, it goes to the San Diego Zoo blog on the tigers and there's a YouTube interview with a keeper about the cubs. It's fun.)

Two )
. . .my zoo love gave to me:

Two pastel cheetahs

(No, no, just wouldn't be right not to include my favorite critters on earth.)

And )
. . . my zoo love gave to me:

A guanaco looking at me!

(and of course these all come with the caveat that I majorly tweaked the pics because I could.)
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Dec. 10th, 2008 08:03 pm)
Since several of you went OH LOOK KITTY I LUVS KITTIES at the last set, here you go. I got my bare toe stepped on by a squirmy kindergartner in a school group to get this shot, so, you see, I will even risk injury to get a great photo for my fans.

Meet the new kitty on the block: Nindiri the jaguar. She rotates in and out of this cage with the black jaguar, Orson. This is the first time I've seen her up close, and, boy, she's pretty.

And for those of you who are dog people, here's a New Guinea singing dog. She just had puppies. There are four, and they make cute little noises too. The tour bus driver lady said they were about five weeks old.

And, much to everyone's astonishment, including the lady who provides a live, constant panda narration and gently encourages people to move along after taking a few pics, the pandas were playing! Evidently they hadn't done that in ages, or Zhen Zhen, the 16-month-old youngster would, but mom Bai Yun wouldn't. I got lucky; today was an exception.

And here's one of two rhino brothers that were brought in from the Wild Animal Park. They're something-or-other one-horned rhinos.

And in just a couple days I'll be staring the annual 12 days of zoo pics. Yaaay!
tcastleb: (Tainted)
( Dec. 8th, 2008 01:20 pm)
For those of you that have heard/will hear about the Military Jet crashing in San Diego, that was, oh, about 5-7 miles NE of where I work. I didn't even know it happened until [livejournal.com profile] chicklitter texted me.
Just posted this on [livejournal.com profile] helpvera:

For sale, one custom-made calendar, poster, mug, mousepad, whatever, with photos I've taken. I'm not a pro, but I do have a DSLR camera that gets some great shots. All my pics are up on my Flickr account and you can choose whichever pics you like.

I live in San Diego, which has lots of scenic places, like the San Diego Zoo: (links go to specific sets.)

Balboa Park:

The ocean (this is Coronado island):

and Sea World:

Products will be made using Quoop, which is associated with Flickr. Item chosen needs to be $18.99 or less (sorry, that's all I can afford right now, UPS ground shipping in addition is $8.95) which gets up to an 18"x24" poster. There's also mugs and prints and books and things; basically, you can pick what you want/need and I'll work with you to make something nifty.

Also, if there's something in San Diego you want a pic of, like, a certain animal, since I have a membership to the Zoo & Wild Animal Park, or more architecture or whatever, I'll do my best to get it for you. I don't have photoshop, so I can only do minimum tweaking to any pics chosen. Any questions, feel free to e-mail me at traci (at) orossy (dot) com. And if you get outbid but would still like something, let me know and I'd be happy to make something as long as the retail price and shipping are covered.

Bidding starts at $25 (Which is retail for the calendar plus shipping.)
So, Vera's the lovely lady behind Norilana books, which will be publishing Lace & Blade 2, which has my Orossy story in it. Vera's in a bit of a crunch, and is in imminent danger of losing her home if she can't get enough for payments in a couple of weeks; she's already dealing with the health problems of both herself and her mother while still managing to keep Norilana books going. So over at [livejournal.com profile] helpvera they're starting a fund drive and an auction based on the [livejournal.com profile] livelongnmarry format with donated goods and services and such.

So please help out a fellow author and publisher if you're able, and do spread the word.
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Dec. 3rd, 2008 07:28 pm)
Do stay tuned, because in ten days I'll be starting the annual "Twelve Days of Christmas" with zoo critters. -grin- Have a lot of pics to dig through to find the best ones to use.

Got to go to the zoo today. And, hooray, I was lucky enough to see these three cuties:

And this nifty dead leaf mantis (he really was upside down):

And this walking stick bug:

I don't remember if I've ever posted one of these before, but this is a ratel, or a honey badger. Hard to get, 'cause he kept running back and forth along the front and hardly held still.

And this poor snow goose I kept waking up:

Got this in my inbox today along with a little personalized note (and she filled out my survey, too!) and feel free to pass it along. It's for queer writers on queer themes:

Chroma is the UK's premier queer literary magazine. We pay $50 per accepted piece (guidelines on length are here: http://www.chromajournal.co.uk/#/submit/4521483856) and we can accept email submissions from overseas contributors -- but please get in touch first and let us know what you'd like to send along!

Issue 11 has the theme Utopia, and we are looking for great science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, horror writing, comics and art. Full information can be found here:


The deadline is 15 June 2009, so there's lots of time to imagine beautiful machines and fabulous planets...

And in other news, just sent off edits--found out the cicada story (still untitled, promo lady's gonna get me soon, I'm sure) will be out Jan. 27th. Woohoo!
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Nov. 7th, 2008 09:42 pm)
Okay, okay, I'm late, but here they are!

The bug house has a new exhibit; Bees! Sort of a T-shaped structure with tall windows so you can see straight through to the comb on both sides. There's a tube that leads outside so the bees can go do their thing. Hard to take pics of though because of the lighting; the side with the best lighting is the side you can't stand in front of because, well, then you block the light. Anyway. Here's the best shots.

I thought it was weird how these red-eared turtles were all at the same angle. These guys are hard to get pics of too, and I was ecstatic that they held still for a few good pics.

And this dude is a Manchurian brown bear. He's 24 years old, and his story is somewhere in the zoo blog, but if I remember right, he was at the zoo, went somewhere else (maybe Germany?) and now he's back. This is the first time I've seen him, and he had a yummy bone to chew on.

And here's a spectacled bear taking a nap.

tcastleb: (Fear no love)
( Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:40 am)
LJ needs to get the effing "Yes on 8" ad off my LJ.

tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Oct. 31st, 2008 07:13 am)
People at work are no fun. No one else has dressed up so far. Anyway . . .

(ETA: Oh, wait, Security Dude just showed up as Jason.)

First one is from wandering around Dupont Circle in DC, second two are from just outside the infamous corn maze. :>)

tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Oct. 30th, 2008 09:44 pm)
I swiped this from the EREC blog.

So if you're a writer, and you don't get it, I will have to feed you to the new leopard at the zoo.

(P.S. We actually get to dress up for work tomorrow. I'm going as a cowboy. -grin- Therefore, at the moment, I am watching John Wayne in "The Cowboys.")
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Oct. 26th, 2008 07:20 pm)
Went to the zoo. First time in, oh, at least three weeks. Wandered around a bit. Not a lot of great pics today; the sun was obnoxiously bright today. And in Balboa Park on Sundays, their International Houses (that is, houses sponsored by different countries) are open with food that's free (though they ask for donations) and entertainment. Got some Polish sausage, some awesome goat cheese on cream cheese and bread from Norway, and some yummy barn brack and pumpkin spice bread from Ireland.

Anyway. Zoo. I did get right up to the glass with these bonobos. Aren't they cute? And there was a small group of students there learning how to monitor animal interactions and write them down. They had a watch beeping every minute or so, and were saying things like, "Mikasa is in Zone 3. Tuuk followed Lolita. That wasn't play, that was close contact." etc, etc. Really quite interesting.

Darn the glare, though. Made it terribly hard to get pics.

I do like the colors in this one, though. This is a Chinese takin. They always remind me a bit of the banthas from Star Wars.

One last pic behind the cut for arachnophobes. )
tcastleb: (Cowboy)
( Oct. 16th, 2008 04:04 pm)

Moo. Meet the neighbor's cow. He's a he. Definitely a he.

Maple tree.

Trees in Oz's backyard.

Since I'm sure you're all going through withdrawal because of the lack of zoo pics (blame my new work schedule. Boo.) here's some!

So, I made it to the National Zoo right about 10am this morning, 'cause, ya know, I had my heart set on seeing one of these, my favoritest animal in the whole wide world:

These are Przewalski's horses. The Wild Animal Park has some, but they're not on the tour bus route anymore so they're very hard to see. The NZ ones obviously aren't. The WAP people said these are particularly nasty critters. Mean. They bite.

Everybody go "Awwww!" Here's a little rock cavy hanging out in the Small Mammal house.

And what could be better than a giant beetle? A giant beetle made of lots of little beetles! There was a big beetle on the wall, but this is a close-up. Nifty, huh?

In the Amazonia building, they had aquariums, which included this ginormous fish.

But, I'd have to say this nifty iguana is my pic o' the day.

So, I've been quiet until there was an official announcement, and, yaaay, it's official. An Orossy story is going to see print on Valentine's Day!!!! This is my first print sale, so I'm totally stoked. And for those of you that know anything about the book, this is a stand alone story (novelette, technically, I suppose) that takes place about a month after the book ends. And now my website and email will finally make sense, he he he.

From editor Deborah J. Ross [livejournal.com profile] deborahjross and Norilana books comes the second volume in the Lace and Blade series, which is "elegant, witty, dashing and sexy romantic fantasy" (and, having read the first volume, I agree totally.) Here's the lineup:

Rosemary Hawley Jarman, "More in Sorrow"
Mary Rosenblum, "Dragon Wind"
Diana E. Paxson, "The Crow"
Francesca Forrest, "The Biwa and the Water Koto"
Robin Wayne Bailey, "Trial by Moonlight" [livejournal.com profile] robinbailey
Daniel Fox, "The Pillow Boy of General Shu" [livejournal.com profile] moshui
Sherwood Smith, "Miss Austen's Castle Tour" [livejournal.com profile] sartorias
Traci Castleberry, "Rent Girl" [livejournal.com profile] tcastleb
Pauline Zed, "The Baroness' Ball"
Elisabeth Waters, "The Sixth String"
Tanith Lee, "Comfort and Despair"
Madeleine E. Robins, "Writ of Exception" [livejournal.com profile] madrobins

tcastleb: (Fear no love)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:34 pm)
So, I'm thinking hard on my proposal for ICFA this year and have two out of three resources I need. At the moment, the name of it is: "Stylistics of desire: Love without rules in the realm of the fantastic." (That second part can be tweaked word-wise, but that's the gist of it.) So far, I've got "Sex Without Guilt" via Sherwood Smith's INDA series, and "Love as Thou Wilt" via Jacqueline Carey's KUSHIEL series. But I need one more because things just work better in threes. So, anybody else know a fantasy book/series or short story where people can love whoever and however they want without rules/laws/religion to get in the way? Darkover is close, but it's technically SF. Lynn Flewelling's books are also close, and a possibility, but there's not as much there to use as in the other books.

Any suggestions would be welcome. And if it rhymes with the first two, bonus! Thanks, folks!