Quite a few news stories caught my attention this week and I shared my favourites on Twitter (@JennerMichaud).
First off, scientists are apparently finding vast amounts of water all over the place, including deep under the Earth’s crust some 7,000 below our feet where a water reservoir containing three times the volume of the Earth’s oceans has been found. Confirmation of its existence comes from a sample of mineral ringwoodite, composed of 1.5 per cent water, found within a gem. (See clipping) A bit farther away, analysis of the cracks on Pluto’s giant moon could reveal it “had a subsurface ocean in its past, driven by high eccentricity” showing that underneath its icy exterior, there may have been a “warm, life-hosting interior”. (See more here)
It wouldn’t take much imagination for writers to take advantage of all those new possibly habitable locations and, with some creative variation or two, populate them with new settlements.
When you enjoy weaving horror stories, images like the one accompanying “Millions Of Spiders Fleeing Floods Embellish Land With Spectacular Webs” are hard to ignore. In the photo, a thick carpet of silk enrobes all vegetation surrounding a large body of water and thousands of black spots – spiders – dot the white veil. How can that not end up as a story setting some day?
Rather than focus only on sight and sound in my stories, I always try to remember to take advantage of all the senses to add texture so when I saw the following headline, I couldn’t help but investigate the opportunities: “The Center Of Our Galaxy Smells Like Raspberries And Tastes Like Rum”. And the Center of the Galaxy smell-o-scope study was only the beginning. Not to be outdone, Titan is positioning itself to win the evil-smelling prize as it was announced to emit odours in the realm of gasoline and farts. (One can’t help but wonder if it’s because it has more unusually Earth-like qualities than previously thought.)
All in all, plenty of stories made it to my story idea collection this week and will inspire my writing for years to come. The only disappointing part is that I will never be able to make use of them all.
Stories: Posted Fossil Lake for critique online; reworking a sort of fan fiction/horror flash piece on the Wimbledon Championship circa 2047;
Critiques: Two short stories. Providing feedback online can be a somewhat impersonal process so I always appreciate getting responses to any critique I provide, which I did get this week in a very nice email from David Erickson who said “I really appreciate the depth of your comments. Like the detailing one would expect from a professional editor.” Not only is it quite flattering feedback but it’s always rewarding to know all the time spent on someone else’s work is appreciated and can be of use in the revision process.
Writer events: I attended a write-in session as well as a social mixer with a group of local writers. Many writer gatherings are designed around work, such as workshops, critique groups, write-ins, etc. so it’s nice to get out of my twisted head on occasion to meet other writers over a pint and chat about anything and everything, even if writing inevitably comes up at some point.