Saturday, May 31, 2008
I just came in from taking the great Pasha Zack for his late night constitutional, and I want to share the magic while it’s still fresh. While the Pasha was indulging his passion of playing tag with his harem girl, Maxie Cat, I was indulging my passion of watching stars and fireflies. It doesn’t do any good to try to watch the Pasha at night. He’s blacker than ink, so I might as well look at the skies while he and Maxie have their fun.
Tonight is beautiful and clear. It’s the sort of late spring evening when crickets sing, and children once loved to be outside, playing hide and seek, watching the stars, and catching fireflies. No matter how many fireflies we caught, we always released them before bedtime. I wonder if children do that any more. Sometimes, as it is tonight, it was a little difficult to tell where the fireflies ended and the stars began. The only difference seemed to be that the fireflies moved and we thought the stars didn’t. I still love it!
The Science Fiction Romance that I am writing was born out of the most dangerous question which a fertile imagination can conceive... What if? (More about that another time.) I played with that question until I had worked out the major concepts of my future world. But fleshing out scenes and characters required more work.
It was just such a night as this, several years ago, when I thought... How would a person react to seeing stars for the very first time? What if that person came from a world which was largely covered with clouds? What would that person think of fireflies if he or she came from a superstitious world which had no insects? They were far too good premises to let slip away. So, in the book they went, and not to be released at bedtime.
This time of the year, if you have the opportunity to go out shortly after dark, and look directly overhead, Leo is just past zenith (straight up, and a little to the west). You will see two bright objects fairly close together. One is the star, Regulus, and the other is the planet, Saturn. If you watch them carefully, over a number of nights, you will see Saturn gradually moving East in relation to Regulus. If you have access to a telescope, Saturn is still at its nearest and quite spectacular. Don’t miss it.
Since the astronomy plays a huge role in my future world, many of my future posts will have more about how stars became an obsession of mine. If you would like to learn more, the Space.com link in my Very Fun list is an excellent place to start.
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future