Posted in Outerspace, science fiction, Space, writing



Time is not my friend.

Every day that passes makes me that much more frustrated that I spend my life using all my energy and time in the pursuit of other people’s dreams. Time I can’t get back. I can only spend it once. Like that Daffy Duck cartoon where he keeps trying to outdo Bugs Bunny on stage, and finally blows himself up. He gets the audience’s cheers, but it’s a trick he can only do once. Like life. There’s no reset button, there’s no do-over. Every day is a mini-explosion that can’t be repeated.

The only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do in life was write. But I had to table that dream while making a living, raising children, surviving after divorce, and being everyone else’s safety net. Maybe it comes from being a middle-child; always looking after others seems to be my fate. So I take jobs that pay the bills, and always the writing comes last.

And still I continue to work on my writing in the blips of time between running the house and mowing the yard and commuting to and from work, and earning a paycheck to keep food on the table and lights and heat on. Am I ungrateful? Millions would be thrilled to have what I have. I’ve had periods of unemployment (laid off three times) and part of me rejoiced at being free, at having time suddenly. Did I write? No. The practical side of me was too stressed, too terrified of losing everything I’d worked for, afraid of losing my home, not having money to put food on the table. It’s hard to be creative when you’re not sure if you can pay bills. Those days went by in a blur of combing the want ads, registering with placement agencies, going on interview after interview for jobs that would further deaden a soul. Maybe someone reading this can relate.

Is that the curse of being human, being sentient? Always wanting more, always wanting to be more? We dream, we desire, we hope. I haven’t given up, despite moments when I despair. Too bad we can’t jump through a wormhole and gain back the years. That’d be my superpower, time travel.

Posted in Moon, morning, Outerspace, photography, Portland, Space

Eclipse 2017

From my front yard, coordinates 45.5229° N, 122.9898° W

Eclipse 2017
August 21, 2017

And I’m not sure, but did I catch a solar prominence, top right-ish? There’s a little reddish thing about about “1 o’clock”.

Eclipse 2017


It got very dim, and a few degrees cooler. Standing under the shade of the maple tree in my yard felt like night, although I was not directly in the path of totality (about 50 miles north of it). Inside my house was so dark I had to put on the lights even after totality was past and the sun started to emerge again.


Posted in clouds, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, horror, morning, Oregon, Outerspace, photography, Publishing, Revenants Abroad, self-publishing, sunrise, Vampires, writing

Revenants Abroad–Chapter 19

Chapter 19 posted on Wattpad this morning! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read about my little group of vampires and humans. It’s still kind of surreal to me that it’s out there and anybody AT ALL is reading it. Lots of questions about the sequel, which is in the works, but it’s way too early even for me to know what’s going to happen! It’s interesting to see which characters become favorites, though.

And a couple pics. I was surprised to see Venus and Mercury in the sky last evening on my way home. I stopped on the road to get pics, just wish I’d had my tripod (or better, telescope) with me. Timestamp is 5:55PM EST, looking south. I rather like this pic:

Venus and Mercury 1-13-15

And this morning:

Fiery pond 1-14-15


Lonely Mountain 1-14-15


Happy Hump Day!

Posted in books, computers, cyberpunk, dystopia, Outerspace, Planets, Quotes, random thoughts, science fiction, science fiction, Space, writing

Future Sci-Fi

More random bizarro thinking on my part.


I suddenly started wondering what science fiction of the future will be. Today most science fiction is focused on colonizing other planets, alien encounters, high-tech taking over, dystopias, the fall of civilization, robots, AI, time travel, extending human life. Ok, that’s a whole lotta stuff.

In say, a thousand years, when we’ve conquered space and how to travel millions of light years, encountered alien races and survived the fall of civilization and rebuilt, AI will be pervasive, robots old-hat – what form will science fiction take? What will future sci-fi writers write? Presumably by then the question of “are we alone in the universe” will have been answered. Possibly not, but my gut says another thousand years will see things we haven’t even dreamed yet; finding extraterrestrials will be small potatoes.

There’s been some discussion lately that science fiction no longer deals with the ‘big questions’ of what-ifs, that it’s focused on the immediate future: There’s some truth to this. Most of the sf I see lately is riffing on some current political issue, detours in tech that derail us, terraforming planets.  These topics will seem like baby steps to future generations. :::just gave myself an idea…:::

Mars terraform

I wonder what the ‘big questions’ will be a millennium from now. Or am I being too optimistic? Will we still be consumed by the things that concern us today: overpopulation, diminishing resources, pollution, corruption, greed, religious wars, politics. Will we be Borg? Will cyborgs be passé by then? DING! (another idea) John Steinbeck was right:

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

I would imagine all these topics that we spend so much time writing and thinking about today will be as normal to future humans as telephones and electricity are to us. I’ve been spending a lot of time wondering what future science fiction will consist of, and I guess I’m no visionary because at the moment I have no idea what people will be wondering about in a thousand years. If you look back at what people were doing a thousand years ago in 1013… The Norman Invasion hadn’t even happened yet. Brian Boru had not yet fought the Battle of Clontarf (that would be the following year in 1014).  The Black Death, The Crusades, Copernicus, Columbus, Magellan, Galileo, Da Vinci, Gutenberg, the Protestant Reformation, Henry VIII, Mozart, Beethoven, the bicycle, the automobile, Kitty Hawk, Apollo 11… all that and so much more in just the last thousand year.  Imagine even the same rate of advancement  taking place over the next 1000 years. And at the rate technology increases and the fact that so much more is being done in general makes it almost scary to think where we’ll be in a thousand years. Or two thousand.

But wow, would I like to see it.

Posted in movies, Outerspace, Planets, Space, writing

In Saturn’s Rings

Space geeks, ahoy! This one’s for us. This is an amazing movie put together by amateur filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren, using over a million photos culled from more than fifteen different sources, including Apollo missions 8 – 17, the Hubble telescope, Voyagers 1 & 2, and of course the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. From the web site:

The first idea for “In Saturn’s Rings” was born in the early hours of the morning, July 1st, 2004 when the Cassini-Huygens Mission arrived at Saturn.

Ignored by broadcast television networks, the arrival was only live on NASA TV’s web stream. As I saw the first raw photographs come down, I was blown away by their sublime beauty. “If only we had a film or video camera their – then people would really get excited.” was the first thought that went through my mind.

But all we have is still photographs. Thousands of incredible photographs…like the many photos from the Apollo lunar missions, the photographs are both proof of we’re we’ve been and a way to try to capture the jaw-dropping beauty of the Universe. But unlike Apollo, no astronauts took the pictures, no humans have ever been to Saturn. That’s probably why the media largely ignored this incredible mission and many of us feel little connection to robotic missions that explore these distant worlds.

Yes, these are all REAL photos, there’s no CGI involved. Full-screen it to watch, although you’ll need a really fast connection to watch in the original 4K (I watch it in the default setting of 360 and it brings tears to my eyes every time). This is the closest I will get to actual space travel. AND IT’S KILLING ME.

Even on my little laptop the clarity and depth are breathtaking. There are a few other clips at the site you can watch as well.

The filmmaker is raising funds for this, a modest budget of $225,000 (compared to the $6M usually needed for an IMAX release). As of this writing their counter looks like they’re at about $120K, so nearly halfway there. They’re targeting a 2014 release. If you want to donate you can do so here. There’s also a newsletter you can sign up for (of course I did) here. The movie is dedicated to Carl Sagan and Stanley Kubrick.

When I see something like this, knowing I will never go to the stars or make contact with an alien race, I feel like penning a letter to those other races who I feel sure are out there and say I’m sorry I never had the chance to meet you, to learn from you, to understand you, to share part of this journey of life with you. Whatever stupid things humanity may inflict on the rest of the cosmos in the coming aeons, think kindly of those of us who desperately wanted to be good cosmic citizens.

I get the same feeling when I watch “Contact.” Then I go outside, look up at the stars and wave to Vega. Y’know, just in case.