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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Watching NASA-TV is Research

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I am listening to the kids racing up and down the block – frolicking is evident as merry squealing and giggling appears to accompany the running. The English bulldog, half deaf and half blind as he is, barks as they dare run through his gate and disharmonize his turf.

In the kitchen, Mom is making a giant apple pancake and in the bedroom, I sit back and watch NASA-TV on my big screen. Thankfully the budget crunch has not completely eliminated the streaming of some of NASA’s programming.

I’m watching the Antares rocket launch. Of course, under normal circumstances I’d watch the opening of a soda can if NASA was involved – I am a space agency groupie and have always been!

I am watching this launch though for research, though.

I may not be writing at the moment (distracted by regular life slapping me around). I can, however, still perform other activities to support my writing… The story for Love and the Android will require a thorough understanding of commercial payloads making their way to the ISS, where our protagonist lives.


I have drafted scenes for a couple of the ongoing projects, though none have been fleshed out yet. I’m trying to get through this moment as unscathed as possible (and, if not, take notes for later). The important thing here is that writing and servicing these stories is never too far from my mind. It’s the best I can do until life straightens itself out at my end.

I wonder if this will eventually turn into a celebration of Kubrick, a sort of Eyes Wide Shut meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Whatever the case, I like the idea of the story developing in the same way I may put together a stew: I know the elements that I want in it and I am tweaking the condiments and adjusting the quantities.

The question, I suppose, is how I’ll ultimately describe images that are already embedded in people’s minds. Then it occurs to me, not everyone is a NASA Junkie – so that describing launch images can become a challenge in itself.

Non-science geeks always complain that they find the long silent bits in 2001 “boring” and my goal would be to recreate those, in writing, but make it interesting (if not downright exciting). 

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