Sunday, January 21, 2007

We are inching closer to completion... This is the latest incarnation of the front cover. An indexer and a proofreader are now working on the rest of the book and then I'll get to see the final, corrected layout one last time before everything is sent off to be printed. Soon, soon, the new baby will be here!

Hmmm... I've posted the image twice and, on my computer, the colour looks rather wacky unless I click on it and open the full-size picture. Is anyone else having this problem? Or does it look ok to you?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Star Light, Star Bright, originally uploaded by nikki_tate.

It's all in the details, they say. The past days have seen me chained to the computer, methodically working my way back and forth through the Behind-the-Scenes at the Racetrack mock-up. Photos have been added, replaced, modified - emails are flying back and forth between me, the designer, the editors... Each photo then needed to be double-checked against my permissions file and a permissions page created. Then, after the latest version of the layout arrived this morning, the text and captions all had to be double-checked. It never ceases to amaze me how many errors we find at each of these late stages.

My last list of corrections is now with the editor. She will go through them, add her own notes, and send the whole lot off to a proofreader. No doubt more fixing will happen at that point before the final changes are added and we get one, final look at the book before it heads off to China for printing. I must say that the book is starting to look pretty cool now that I'm seeing the final, full colour pdfs. Very, very neat to see a book coming together after so many months of labour! No matter how often I go through this process, it's always exciting to get to this point and realize that tedious though these final revisions may seem, the final product is nearly here!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Canadian Mounties

rcmp terbin.jpg, originally uploaded by World of TVH.

I love this photograph by Tim Van Horn.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A bit of a fractured day today... We are pushing to get the final details taken care of on BTSAT Racetrack so Fortunato (the designer in Toronto) and I have been emailing and talking on the phone, making last minute decisions on the final few photos. Computers are wonderful tools, but mysterious in the myriad ways they manage to mess things up. Pressing deadlines just make everything worse. How does one explain jpegs leaving my place looking perfect and arriving at Fortunato's computer looking like negatives! Then there was the matter of finding a photo of Tony the day we brought him home - this to go in the section on neglected horses who have seen better days at the track. I needed a horse image to use where some horse owner wasn't going to come after me with lawsuits in mind... Anyway, much hunting, sorting, swearing, and - finally - scanning and emailing before THAT was taken care of. And... here he is -

You can see why we called him "Bony Tony"! Poor guy. He looks a lot better these days, though he has never made it to anything close to rotund status.

Then, phase two of my day began with a photo shoot to come up with a couple of shots to go along with a forthcoming article in Horsepower Magazine ( The article is for young writers who like to write horse stories. Not such an easy article topic to illustrate, particularly since the weather has been stinky since October! Here's one of Valentina and Theo, gracious models both!
Saw things in Saanich today that I associate with places like Winnipeg... or Lac La Biche!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snow Cat

Snow Cat, originally uploaded by nikki_tate.

Charlie, strange cat that he is, loves the snow. He followed me all over the place this morning as I took photos of the latest evil snowfall. At one point, he started rolling around as if he were trying to make cat-shaped snow angels! Click on the photo to see more snow pix over on Flickr.

What is happening here? Temperatures are dipping down to -11 C - there is snow everywhere - AGAIN!! (and still snowing...) Cars off the roads... blah, blah, blah - I live on Vancouver Island precisely because we don't really get a winter here. What gives? The biggest pain of all (and there are so many when this happens, it's hard to choose just one that is particularly annoying) is that the water supply to the barn freezes. Each horse drinks many gallons of water each day, which means I will be hauling containers of hot water down the hill until this latest freeze goes away. The second most annoying thing is that the horse manure freezes to the ground making it impossible to keep up with the daily mucking. This, in turn, means a rapid accumulation of horse apples which must eventually be removed, usually after said apples have been turned to applesauce when rain replaces the snow. I just want to go back to bed until...oh, May. Either that, or flee back to Hawaii.

Monday, January 08, 2007


DSC_0222.JPG, originally uploaded by pwtokyo.

Dani smiling patiently for the Japanese paparazzi!

Dani and New Friends

DSC_0132.JPG, originally uploaded by pwtokyo.

Dani and a few of the other soon-to-be twenty year-olds on Coming of Age Day.

Well, THAT was a little stressful! I have been avoiding moving to the new blogger interface as I was more than a little concerned about all my previous posts disappearing when I clicked that 'save' button! However, the old template wouldn't allow comments or mail or the addition of the nav bar, so I finally bit the virtual bullet and made the big change! I have lost my various html gadety bits (the link to My Library, for example...) but presumably I can rebuild the missing bits when I have a few minutes to spare.

Meanwhile, must head out into the rain and mud to unhitch the horse trailer, drive down the road to the hay barn for another load of hay, and then do a bit of work on the Vet book.

Dani in her Kimono

Dani in her Kimono
Originally uploaded by pwtokyo.

Talk about cool experiences! Dani took part in Japan's national Coming of Age Day - a celebration for all those turning 20 in the forthcoming year. Visit her blog at to see all that she had to go through in order to be presentable on this special day! For a great slide show with lots of photographs of the whole process, click on the photo and then view the set of photos as a slide show. Pretty neat! Congratulations, Dani - with many thanks to Pete and Hitomi who helped make it all possible!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Fire Twirler on Oahu
Originally uploaded by pwtokyo.

That has to hurt! Pete has posted some great shots of the show we saw at the Polynesian Cultural Center - click on the photo and you'll be taken to Pete's Flickr page (where, if you want to spend a little time, you can browse through quite a selection of Hawaii photos!)

Gymnastics at Chinaman's Hat

Gymnastics at Chinaman's Hat, Hawaii
Originally uploaded by nikki_tate.

Somewhere deep in Dani's bones lives a gymnast! Here, said gymnast has taken over Dani's body and set her hopping, spinning, hand-standing, etcetering all over the wide expanse of grass at the Kualoa Park close to the island known as Chinaman's Hat. Now that we are back in the rain, wind, and chilliness of home, I am spending waaaaay too much time reliving the holiday by browsing through several thousand photos we managed to take in Hawaii.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Trail horses at the Kualoa Ranch on Oahu

Horses at the Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Originally uploaded by nikki_tate.

We made it home (sorry about the very minimal blogging - a certain roomie of mine hi-jacked my laptop!) and I've just realized that I can post blog entries directly from Flickr. And, since I've decided to actually use my Flickr account so other family members can view my holiday snaps, this particular entry is also a test entry to see if this all works the way it's supposed to!

Happy New Year!