Could Life Exist in a Pyrotechnic Galaxy?

A galaxy about 23 million light-years away is the site of impressive, ongoing, fireworks. Rather than paper, powder, and fire, this galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves, and vast reservoirs of gas. … A new study of these anomalous arms made with Spitzer shows that shock waves, similar to sonic booms from supersonic planes, are heating large amounts of gas — equivalent to about 10 million suns. What is generating these shock waves? Radio data shows that the supermassive black hole…

Rho Ophiuchi Cloud

  A rich collection of colorful astronomical objects is revealed in this picturesque image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE. The Rho Ophiuchi cloud (pronounced ‘oh-fee-yoo-ki’ and named after a bright star in the region) is found rising above the plane of the Milky Way in the night sky, bordering the constellations Ophiuchus and Scorpius. It’s one of the nearest star-forming regions to Earth, allowing us to resolve much more detail than in more distant similar regions, like…

Out with the Old

The old website is gone, but I couldn’t resist keeping this image on the site. So beautiful. It was from a free template that doesn’t give attribution. Does anyone know where it comes from?

A working cover and a motto

For years I’ve resisted the obvious motto for the Spaceport stories as perhaps being just a little too campy. But who am I fooling? Most of the stories begin with an alien walking into a bar. Except book 2. That begins with a bartender falling out of the sky. But it’s okay. She survives. I’ve decided to just embrace the campiness. It’s part of my voice. Along with the motto, I’ve also been wrestling with the first cover. Covers are expensive investments, and they matter.…

Living in the World of Dreams

My daughter told me about a dream she had the other night. She ended with, “And then I woke up and that made me sad because I really liked that dream.” I told her that this was one of the joys of being a writer — that if she wanted she could capture that world on paper and then share it with others. I explained that as a writer, I get to live in the world I’m creating for days and days, talking to imaginary…

Finished NaNoWriMo 2012

I’ve managed to finish a draft of “The Spaceport” for NaNo! This was an interesting experience. I had to fight through food poisoning, holiday planning, emotional ups and downs…and yet this was one of the most fun projects I’ve ever taken on. It took me back to my early years as a writer, when I could work with complete abandon. The quality is maybe a little better than it was back then, but not much. The story still needs a lot of editing as several…

Writing by Statistical Analysis

It isn’t that I’ve never tracked my word count before, but I’ve never looked at the words on a graph like THIS. I find it interesting because in plotting you want significant stages (act 1, act 2, etc.) to fall at predictable places in the story. This graph looks useful. I can see that I’m approaching a point where I should have a major turning point. Hmmm. Why yes, I am writing this one by the seat of my pants. Fun. I haven’t done this…

Nano Day 2 — sort of

I started 4 days late and 5000 words short, but I’m hard at work. I’m delighting in finally getting the first novel in my Spaceport series on paper. I’d written a draft of it years ago — and managed to lose it. Over the years, I became convinced that was a good thing as the entire story needed to be re-worked and re-written from scratch. Finally putting fingers to keyboard feels very healing. Of course, this draft stinks, but that’s what it is supposed to.…