My memories of childhood and my father are most vivid around his love of the space program. Even though he worked nights, he often got up very early to watch the latest launch, sometimes with my younger brother beside him. Once I decided, for some reason, that I would stay up all night. At 5 am, before I finally went to sleep, I woke my father in time for him to see a space craft rocket into space.
Space. Aside from two astronomy courses in college, I never really gave it much thought. I’ve written before about how much the sky and stars and moon have inspired my life and my writing. But I’ve never been good at identifying constellations or ever wanted to own a telescope. And until my astronomy class, I never knew that the moon maintains an irregular orbit around the Earth.
Something changed all that. The Cosmos series and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Recalling those awe-inspiring trips to the Fort Worth planetarium when I was younger. Seeing recent vivid images of the universe produced by NASA.
In previous posts, I have written of my fascination with the moon, stars, and skies. Only in the last few years have I thought much about the science of the universe. I just finished writing and revising a novel of a girl named Gwen introduced to astronomy by a great teacher. Gwen uses that interest to create comic books and finds herself, at times, traveling to faraway place in the universe. For two years, I’ve journeyed with her and I will miss her when I move on to world of my next novel.