Monday, January 29, 2007

Joy, Writing and Friends

Joy - a reason to wake up in the morning and rise with lightness and anticipation.

Writing - that which gives me joy.

Friends - those special people (you know who you are) who, by example and judicious encouragement, fire my imagination and motivate me to keep writing, to hold on to my joy.

Thank you!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Paradigm Shifts

Since December, I am the eldest of my family still living.

Tomorrow, when our son moves to his student apartment, I'll live in an empty nest.

I'm not happy with my level of writing this month.

My paradigm shifts can represent loss - or opportunity. I decide whether to hang on and mourn or to move on and create. I'm moving on.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Which Science Fiction Writer Are You?

Which science fiction writer are you?

I took the quiz, and it said I'm most like Isaac Asimov.

After I stopped laughing, I considered whether or not my stories are like any of the Science Fiction writers I admire.

I only wish. I include sentient dolphins in my latest story, but I'm not like David Brin or S. L. Viehl. My plots show a post-apocalyptic element, but that doesn't make me an Asimov or a Bradbury.

I nearly go into a trance remembering the characters - the worlds, created by writers such as Verner Vinge and Michael Swanwick. Who needs spaceships to explore the unknown universe, when a book by Arthur C. Clarke will take me far beyond Tau Ceti? A rousing action tale by C. J. Cherryh, or a social anthropological parable by Alan Dean Foster - either one is a ticket off this planet for the ride of my life.

Which Science Fiction author am I? Me. One more voice, singing my own thread in the great counterpoint of Science Fiction lore. If there is one place in the universe that is less well-known than outer space, it is inside of the human mind. I'm an explorer - I'm a writer.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blue Moon Alert

I'm planning a Blue Moon Party for May 31, 2007. It's the first Blue moon in three years. I'll celebrate the Blue Moon, even though sticklers for historical accuracy won't call it a Blue Moon. I'm thinking of making Blue Moon and star cookies, and a Blue Moon punch. Everyone who has ever used the expression 'once in a blue moon' is invited to my little event, which will be held here at vegetarian bear. For entertainment, we'll watch everything happen that people said would occur 'once in a blue moon', since the last blue moon (three years ago).

The Blue Moon is the patron of pandas, because bears (except pandas) are not vegetarians, and the moon is not normally blue. For those who live in the Eastern Hemisphere, the moon will not be blue until June 1, so it's not rude if you arrive late to my party.

The next time that a full moon occurs twice in the same calendar month will be December 31, 2009, (you don't suppose Blue Moon Party invitations grow on trees, do you?).

I don't plan to throw a party for the older (original) blue moon, which doesn't happen again until May 2008, and is defined and calculated by a formula explained here.

My serendipity into blue moons began with a moon phase analog at SAHW's blog.

I followed a link, and some links later, ended up downloading QuickPhase, a visual analog of moon phases past, present and future. It's an amazing tool for accuracy with time lines and descriptions, potentially useful with software like yWriter2, which allows a writer to track the virtual time elapsed in a scene or a book.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Inspired

Inspired and joyful -- (pandas love to do somersaults, and I'm doing them in my heart).

First Holly Lisle and now Jaye Patrick -- generous writers who help other writers -- have linked to Pandababy. (To be accurate, Holly linked to my first blog, FlowerChild's Garden of Musings, which links to Pandababy.)

I'm adding "blogs I read" links to my new Pandababy pages, beginning with those I've been reading regularly for nearly a year: Holly and Jaye, PBW, and zette. They have opened my eyes to the joys and frustrations of published authors at various milestones of their careers.

They are writers who have inspired me to set goals for myself far beyond anything I could have imagined. Their lack of pretense and down-to-earth acknowledgements of both their hits and misses model for me how to live (and blog).

I began reading their blogs because I enjoy their stories, and continued reading because they motivate me in a hundred ways and affirm in me elemental convictions which energize my muse. Whether or not it is stated by them in exactly so many words, here are a few of the central ideas they've shown and strengthened in me, by their fiction and their blogs:

Each step of my daily journey is enough for my purposes.

My actions must be rooted in my inner convictions, (rather than outcomes).

Significant accomplishments rise from innumerable purposeful actions.

Prolific writers have a plan, work their plan, modify their plan --
and keep working their plan.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Beyond Varallan" again and Shooting for the Stars

Reading the second book of S. L. Viehl's "Stardoc" series again today, I'm enjoying it as much or more than I did the first time I read it. The characters, the dialogue, the twisty, fast-paced plot all keep me entranced -- except for times I stop to think "if only I could write like that". Then I recall how Viehl has come to "write like that": I consider her back list. How many published books did she write before "Stardoc II"? How many that weren't published? If I really, really mean it - that I want to "write like that" - I need to get busy. One unpublished novel to add 20,000 words and revise, one to complete this year, and ??? to go. A good Paperback Writer isn't created in a day -- or even a year.

A friend sent me a card that said 'Shoot for the stars - even if you miss, you may hit the moon.' I like that idea - that my destination my be determined by my goals.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Is your calendar a square or a circle?

I've always known that my life is more of a circle than a straight line. It just took me awhile (sixty-one years) to embrace that condition instead of fighting it.

Agricultural societies invent circular calendars, emphasizing the continuity of the seasons. When did the calendar become a series of squares, a line reinventing itself every month - out with the old and in with the new?

I love the cycles of the moon and sun and stars in their courses, the tides a perfect mirror of every motion. I mourn the Saurian gloom that pollutes the sky and obliterates the Milky Way, and would even scribble out the moon.

Every season is perfect in its own way. This is the year I embrace winter, and death. Not my own death (although it approaches on cat feet), but the death of the one closest to the beginning of my life: my mother. I grieve that her light is hid from me now. I catch only glimpses through the obliteration of the grave; a photograph, a memory, a souvenir. They are no more her, than the darkness in the sky is the ancient shining path - yet she still is, and the path still shines, though not now for me.

Helga Dellinger Lange
September 2, 1923 - December 14, 2006