T’was the Morning of Easter

I wrote this Easter poem for my kids when they were younger.

T’was a cool, still morning, the first Sunday of Spring,
Wren stirred and did yoga, her normal routine.
To her perch, she flew with a bright, clear whistle
The morning still gray like the down of a thistle.

When down in the grass there came a quiet rustle
Wren sprang from her perch to see what was the hustle
To the dogwood she flew with wind in her sail
and balanced on a branch with a flick her tail

The sun, sitting low in the dark brought first light
Glowing and warming, to the stars said “goodnight”
Then what did Wren’s curious eyes fall upon
But a sneaky little bunny with a basket on the lawn

His basket had eggs filled with treats so yummy
Wren knew it had to be the Easter Bunny
He was a jolly old hare, fur white and nose pink
And it twitched as he sniffed, then he gave a quick wink

Then off through the yard, he hid eggs here and there
He even hid one in a clump of dog hair.
More sneaky than Kitty, the eggs did he hide
And he whispered and worried over placement with pride;

He hid all the eggs: pinks, oranges, and greens
From the doormat by the door, to the bikes, and the stair
He hid them! He hid them! He hid them everywhere!

And then, in a moment, the Bunny was gone
Eggs stashed in spots across the whole lawn
In the grass, in the tree, some obvious, some hidden
He was off in a flash, hiding eggs he was bidden.

The sun, climbing higher, gave the scene a pink tint
But the yard was quiet, of that Bunny, no hint.
The cool morning air, sweet with flowers and dew
Brought thoughts of warm days, no clouds, sky blue.

A creak and click, someone whispered, someone giggled
Wren hopped and turned, the branch swayed, her tail wiggled
Two children, inside, eyes wide, bodies tense
held back and waiting, stretching far their patience

Eggs sat in plain sight and hinted at more
What goodies could be hidden, what else was in store?
The dreams of a hunt lit their faces – they looked funny
Eyes wide, minds racing at thoughts of that Bunny

They tore through the yard, tired parents in tow
and found all those eggs, their faces aglow,
and on the wind a gentle voice took wing,
“Happy Easter to all and to all a good spring!”

Exoplanet Mission Ready for Launch

It’s official! I’m working with Scott Kildall and Samantha Tan (co-founder of Eco Labs) on the first exoplanet mission fof Scott’s work titled Exotopia.

The first mission is to the TRAPPIST-1 system, which I knew nothing about when we started. There’s a lot we do know about it, though, as I discovered after I’d sketched out some of the scenes I wanted to write. With a few changes, I was back on track. We know a lot about the TRAPPIST-1 system because it is the closest system (presently) which has *known* exoplanets orbiting the star. Seven actually — all rocky and “Earth like” (meaning rocky). And they’re only 40 light years away. One of the first things the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope is going to look at is the TRAPPIST-1 system. I’m a bit intimidated about the data it will gather. Hopefully, everything they find will totally line up with my story and it’ll all work out just fine. It’d suck to be rendered obsolete before we get the event set up.

The story prompt is we recieve a directed laser signal from the TRAPPIST-1 system around our time now and spend the next ~50 years developing FTL travel to stop by for a visit.

Writing can be a lonely business, sitting in your basement, your laptop your only friend, so it’s been really fun collaborating with Scott and Sam. Other people are hell, but Scott and Sam have been great to work with. It’s really pleasant to have other people around to bounce ideas off of instead of having circular arguments in your head and wondering where the line of insanity is.

We’re using an open source application called Twine to create the branching story lines. It’s pretty cool. I might try it out on a future project to create a choose-you-own-adventure style story, though I’d probably need some art to go with it.

Under Pressure

I performed a research study of thinking about this for about a minute. The results were most of my daily communication is writing. From that data, it’s clear that everybody writes all the time. Emails for family logistics, texting your spouse for more toilet paper in the basement bathroom, trying to out-gun the pre-printed text on Shoebox birthday cards — they’re so damn clever!

This is super cool. Yay, everyone’s a writer, but things get more challenging when I say I am a writer, as in writing is my profession. People think it’s cool and all, but that declarartion, while empowering on a personal level, is also saying “I’m a great writer!” Remember all the mundane communication everybody does all the time? I’m saying I’m *awesome* at it.

The problem is being a good writer means you’re a good editor. You’re not an improv savant who drops bombs on command. As far as first drafts go, you’re probably just an okay writer. Probably a terrible writer, because you know you can’t stop filling blank pages just to go back and fix a typo. Editing during a first draft is the leading cause of premature manuscript death. You wind up with something like what you’d say if you bumped into your celebrity crush: “I… um…. we… no, I … think? … want? … like … umm …” Then you hang your head and walk away in shame — RIP unlikely romance; RIP awesome story idea.

All of that just to say it’s hard having the pressure of always having perfect grammar and witty sayings. I dread sending something out with a “their/they’re/there” error and everybody’s like, “I thought he was a writer?”