The Thrill of it All
Space, the final frontier… When we moved to Central Oregon and the opportunity came along to volunteer at an observatory with actual big huge telescopes, my pulse fluttered. Me? My knowledge of the sky was close to nil — Polaris, The Big Dipper, Orion, [which did me no good in the summer because it’s a winter constellation], and the Moon. I knew a lot of facts about Saturn and Neptune from research, but nothing else.
As the volunteers thinned out, my colleagues pushed me at a telescope, pointed out Jupiter, and taught me to aim. The gas giant and the Moon totaled my repertoire my first summer as a star guide. The last night of the season, I attempted to find Andromeda [can see it by eye] and M13 on my own. What a thrill when they appeared in the eyepiece! And I never get tired of that thrill. No matter how many times I’ve seen a star cluster, my pulse flutters when I discover it again.
Hosted by Tara and Heather. It’s not too late to join us in spilling all about your greatest thrill. On June 24th, share a big thrill to be entered into The Thrill of it All blogfest contest! Tara and Heather will judge the biggest thrills and give out some thrilling prizes. Entries may be real or fiction.
Super Moon and the Return of the Gangsta Cows
This past Friday was cold and cloudy. Just like it had been most of the week. Oh look! There’s a patch of sun! The first one we saw all day.
There was no sign of life down at the ranch, so I was quite surprised to round a bend and see my old pals, the Gangsta cows. This one wanted to kick my butt. Although, he would have gotten Gary first.
This one seemed to enjoy the attention.
Since it rained, the alpine lupines bloomed this year. Yay! They didn’t bloom last year.
The clouds were so heavy, the sunset was muted.
Although the splashes of red light on the hills was rather stunning.
For awhile, it appeared we’d see no more of the super Moon than this.
What is a super Moon? Our moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t a perfect circle. Sometimes it’s actually slightly closer to us, so it appears a little larger.
The class of astronomy fan girls, who were up for the tour, willed the clouds away. It kind of worked. Saturn popped up. Then large patches of clear sky came out. We saw a couple of very bold meteors, the ISS, ring nebula, M13, M81 and 82, and the owl cluster. Even though the cloud pollution let up, the moon pollution did not, washing out the radiance of the stars.
My best moon shots:
Ruby’s Fire by Catherine Stine
Have you read Catherine yet? You should. She’s fantastic and Ruby’s Fire is fantastic. I was fortunate to get to read an arc of this wonderful book and I looked forward to returning to it every night and was disappointed when it ended. I wanted more. Keep writing Catherine Stine! One of these days we’re going to say we knew her when…
“Seventeen year-old Ruby and her little brother Thorn, have only known a life blighted by the extremist Fireseed Cult. The night Ruby is set to be claimed by one of its cruelest and oldest leaders, she makes a bid for freedom. With Thorn in tow, she stumbles into the world beyond, and finds an opportunity for a fresh start in Skull’s Wrath under the guidance of Nevada Pilgrim, a woman who may not be all she seems. Ruby’s new life could bring her friendship, love, even fortune, but nothing comes without a price. Is Ruby’s talent for elixirs keeping the roof over their heads, or do some of her associates have a more sinister and lucrative interest in them? Life outside a strange cult isn’t without its dangers, and the experience leaves Ruby transformed and communing with the Fireseed more closely than she ever would have imagined. Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by an exciting cast of characters, and the romance is really well handled.” -YA’s The Word
Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and middle grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards. It was also granted a 2013 Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and a 2013 Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Middle grade novels include A Girl’s Best Friend.
Fireseed One sequel, Ruby’s Fire is earning advance praise from reviewers and authors:“Ruby’s Fire, returns to the sun-scorched earth of Fireseed One. In this long-awaited sequel, Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by a new and exciting cast of characters. Ruby, Armonk, Thorn and Blane are memorable, and the romance is really well handled. Favorite quote: ” It feels wrong to lean on Armonk right now with Blane staring at me, a hungry, lonely look in his eye. It’s as if he’s never been hugged, never been fed, never been loved…” ” -YAs the Word
More and more, Catherine enjoys writing speculative tales where her imagination has wild and free reign. She has taught creative writing workshops at the Philadelphia Writing Conference, Missouri University Summer Abroad, The New School and in her own ongoing NYC writing workshop. She loves her readers, and enjoys blogging.