What Catches Your Attention



Here along the Gulf Coast, it doesn’t freeze very often, so when it does, we all run outside with our cameras to document the rare event. I’ve discovered that icicles make a really nice subject. The last time we had icicles, what caught my attention was the reflection of the trees inside the drops at the ends of the icicles. This time, finding the reflections didn’t interest me. What caught my attention instead was the rim of ice along the roofline.

To some extent, I think that writing is the same way. Even if two writers (or one writer at different times) started with the same story plot, characters, and theme, what catches their attention would be different, and they’d produce two different stories.

What caught your attention today?

The Moon with Jupiter

Driving home this evening, I was struck by the beautiful sight of the nearly full Moon with Jupiter.  With the dynamic range of the human eye, Jupiter looked quite bright while the Moon had some detail.  With the more limited dynamic range of the camera, I could not capture the range.  The picture of the pair below was taken with two two-stop graduated neutral density filters, and yet Jupiter (to the left) is hard to see and the Moon lacks detail. I was pleased with how my unfiltered pictures of the Moon solo turned out. Enjoy!



Clever Bubble

I am very pleased that Perihelion Science Fiction has published my story “Clever Bubble.”  You can find it here:


One of the fun bits of writing this story was designing the game that the aliens play with Will.  I wanted to have something like soccer, but with four teams and played in three dimensions.  (Actually, I had originally considered having eight teams, but it got too complicated.)  Each team has their own goal (the arrows’ mouths) at one corner of a vertical square, and each team has their own ball (Will is the ball for his team).  After each time a team scores by getting its ball into another team’s goal, the goals can be re-arranged to make it more difficult for a team to score where they need to.  In order to win, a team has to have scored on all the other teams more recently than they have scored on it.  So it’s a game of strategy as well as motion.  Will, as an intelligent soccer ball, only figures out how to score and not how to keep score.  But now you know how to do both!

I hope you enjoyed the story.

December Stats

Words/hour was way up this month; I think that was due to writing a novel instead of short stories.  I was doing a good job keeping up my writing streak until Christmas hit.  I’m ready to start a new streak with the new year!  How about you?