Friday, June 22, 2007


Chris (and I helping via proxy) have just spent the last several hours trying to get his new computer to work, before realizing that he needs a certain connecter to interface between the power supply and the motherboard for one of the components. Don't ask--way too complicated to explain.

I'm still going through e-mail here; for every twenty I answer, I get another ten in.

Still reading client manuscripts too, so if you're waiting to hear back from me, they're in the queue.

Stupid ear infection went away out of my left ear, but surprise, it's still in my right ear! Joy of joys! Blessed day! At least I'm not dizzy, yet...back on different antibiotics.

Zoe weighs exactly ten pounds.

I have nothing stunning or interesting to say about the literary world at the moment. I've been reading or skimming or doing both of a bunch of books while being ill the last two weeks, putting them down and picking them up and so on. Some were great; some were not. Why read books instead of manuscripts? Because when I'm feeling that crappy, you really don't want me evaluating your manuscript, even if you are my client--my brain just does not function enough for that.

I'm going to Readercon. I am going to be completely incognito and do nothing agenting-related at all. I look forward to parties and friends and visiting a hotel near Boston.

My next professional conference is the first weekend of August for the Willamette Writers. Look for me on the west coast! =)

Also, if there's anybody out there that reads this blog who happens to work at a zoo or aquarium or wildlife park, or who has access to scientific journals on zoology, please have them contact me. I am trying to track down how much a baby male polar bear weighs at each month of his first year of life. Pounds or kilograms, I don't care; I just need the info. I have scoured the interent already, so links to sites about polar bears aren't going to help me very much.

Have a good night everyone! =)


kiwi said...

Hate to muddy the waters, Jenny, but apparently it's not meaningful to give average weights because there is a "cline" in size from Spitzbergen, where the bears are smallest, to the Bering Strait where they are largest. (DeMaster & Stirling 1981, USFWS 1995, Amstrup 2004)

A cline being, "A gradual change in a physical characteristic (e.g. size) within a species across its geographical distribution."

Jenny Rappaport said...

It's not muddying the waters, kiwi. Ideally, I need the weights of a cub in captivity, anyway--I'm terribly meticulous and want things to be scientifically accurate, even though I'm writing something fictional. I could make up weights... but that wouldn't be real. =)

Keith Y said...


The Roger Williams Zoo here in RI has showcased a polar bear exhibit for a very long time. It's currently closed for renovation, but they may be a good source of info. Rhode Island Tourism is in a cube..oh 100 feet away, so I went down and asked about the zoo. They gave me the name of the PR director. Drop me a line and I can email you the details, plus the name of the RI Tourism guy so you can use it as a referral.

Also, if you're in Boston, I'd highly suggest a stop at Tokyo Kid in Cambridge (if you haven't been there before. It's a small, specialty anime store in Harvard Square with lots of figures, dvd's toys, cd's etc. Good stuff. There'll also be free concerts on the Charles River after the 4th of July. Don't know the schedule though, but I can tell you, sitting by the Charles on a summer night, listening to music is awesome!

I hope you get some down time when your up here in my neck of the woods and enjoy the con.

Jackie said...

Jenny, I used to work for the Alaska Zoo (not Alaskan Zoo). Contact Pat Lamphi, he will know about the polar bears, and grizz and any other bear, including the blue phaze bear.
I will always remember Pat, because one day he let me touch the great horned owl. I was thrilled. or

kiwi said...

Curious: Can we ask what you are writing that requires this information?

kiwi said...

Okay, this is the best I can do. The following material is from Sea World Educational Resource. (Please don't publish it on your blog, since permission was not give).

Hope it's helpful. And yes, I happen to like polar bears, okay!

C. Birth seasons.

Polar bear cubs are born November through January in a den. Mother and cubs emerge from their den in late March or April.

During their first few weeks of life, polar bear cubs nurse most of the time and stay close to their mother to keep warm.

D. Frequency of birth.

1.Most adult females give birth once every three years. In some populations, birth occurs once every two years.

2.The most frequent litter size is two, followed by litters of one. Litters of three are less common than twins or singles, and litters of four are rare.

E. Cubs at birth.

1.At birth, polar bear cubs weigh about 454 to 680 g (16-24 oz.) and are about 30 cm (12 in.) long. Males are born slightly larger than females.

2.Polar bear cubs are born small and helpless, with their eyes closed.

3.The fur is very fine at birth, making the cubs look hairless.

F. Care of young.


a. Female polar bears have four mammary glands. Mothers nurse their cubs in a sitting position, or lying down on their side or back.

b. During their first few weeks of life, polar bear cubs nurse most of the time and stay close to their mother to keep warm.

c. For the next three or four months the cubs nurse as often as six times a day. The length and number of nursings gradually decreases as the cubs grow older.

d. Mother polar bears nurse their cubs for as long as 30 months. Some cubs stop nursing as young as 18 months of age, but remain with their mothers for survival until they are 30 months old.

e. The average fat content of polar bear milk is 33%, similar to the milkfat of other marine mammals (Stirling, 1988).

2.Mother polar bears are extremely protective of their young, even risking their own lives in their cubs' defense.

G. Cub growth and development.

1. Cubs open their eyes within the first month.

2. The cubs begin walking while in the den at about two months. By this time, they also have thick, whitish fur and their teeth have erupted.

3. By the time the mother and cubs emerge from the den in late March or April, the cubs weigh 10 to 15 kg (22-33 lb.).

4. Mother and cubs remain around the den for about 12 more days, sometimes longer.

a. This enables the cubs to acclimate to the colder weather and develop their walking muscles.

b. During this time the cubs still spend about 85% of their time in the den, sleeping there at night.

5. When ready, the mother polar bear leads her cubs to sea ice. Travel is slow with frequent rest and nursing stops. A mother will sometimes carry her cubs on her back through areas of deep snow or water.

6. Cubs begin eating solid food as soon as their mother makes her first kill on the sea ice (about three to four months of age).

7. The cubs grow quickly on their mother's fat rich milk and on seal blubber. By eight months of age, they weigh over 45 kg (99 lb.).

8. Polar bear cubs learn to hunt by watching their mother. Cubs will try hunting in their first year, but don't seem to be successful until they're over one year old. Even then, they only spend about 4% of their time hunting. By the time they're two years old they spend about 7% of their time hunting and can catch a seal every five or six days (Stirling, 1978).

9. When her cubs are about 30 months old, a female polar bear is ready to breed again. At this time, an adult male may begin following her. Either the mother bear or the male chases away the cubs.

Jenny Rappaport said...

kiwi, a story involving a baby polar bear. =) His name is Charles.

Writer, Rejected said...

Are you writing the story? Or is it for a client of yours? If so, that's what I would call a full-service agent. Check out my blog about agents and others:

Jenny Rappaport said...

I'm writing the story. It may be done sometime before the next millenium.

I've been working on it, on and off, for the last year. It's 2800 words now (when I say I write slow, I do not exaggerate =).

And actually, although I haven't, at least that I can think of, done specific research for a client... I'm not adverse to it. I help my clients out with story-idea-hashing and playing games of what-if, etc, all the time, if they want to do that sort of thing. I'm not sure that I'd settle down and research the price of rice in Ming Dynasty China, for a client, but I do know a surprising amount of random stuff. =)

kiwi said...

... "a story involving a baby polar bear. =) His name is Charles."

Oh come on, Jenny, you have to tell us more than this! Particularly if you're writing it at a rate of 2800 words a year. Gods, I'll be dead before it's finished.

Love to see a synopsis posted here.

Keith Y said...

Hello Jenny. I just emailed you with a referral to the Deputy Director for Animal Programs at Roger Williams Zoo. He said he would be happy to speak with you. Good luck.

Karen Duvall said...

Hey, Jenny, I'm trying to decide between Willamette Writers Conference and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference. Decisions, decisions. I live in Bend, Oregon, so either are relatively close to me. I'm leaning more towards the PNWA Conference in Seattle because they don't charge extra for pitch appointments. I write fiction, I'm published, but I'm agentless and sans book contract at the moment. I'm interested in several agents who'll be attending both. Which conference would you recommend?

Jenny Rappaport said...

Karen Duvall, I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer to your question. I was invited to the Willamette one, so that's the one I'm attending, but I don't know very much about either conference.