Milky Way Galaxy

    As almost everyone has heard by now, Billionaire Richard Branson held his first test flight of his space plane this week.  The trip was a huge success with the plane taking off, separating from its flight engines, rocketing to the space/atmosphere line, and landing back in the New Mexico desert.  This flight showed them the earth from a spacial view as well let them experience weightlessness.  While it is a great accomplishment, years in the making, it only shows a small amount of the Milky Way Galaxy that we belong to.  

     What is it about space that sparks human imagination?  Going all the way back to 1609, with Galileo’s telescope, outer space has fascinated man.  We have entire organizations that study it.  For instance, the US organized National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA)  in 1958.  We know about solar systems, like ours, and galaxies, like Andromeda.  The War of the Worlds, a 1938 radio drama, sparked huge panic with the concept that aliens from another planet were invading Earth.  However, for most people our space knowledge comes from what we learn in school, which is minimal.  

Andromeda Galaxy

     TV took off on this topic.  Star Trek, the 1966-69 series, inspired fans and inventors alike.  Klingons, Vulcans, and Romulans suddenly became famous as well as many other extraterrestrials that were represented.  Even when the series ended, the ideas continued in movies, books, and other TV shows.  Reality:  The human race wants to meet aliens from other planets!  Did you know there are over 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone!  Discover magazine reported the Hubble telescope has helped to view around 100 billion galaxies in the universe.  And reports there are as many as 40 billion Earth-like planets orbiting other suns in other galaxies!  Who’s to say there aren’t other planets inhabited by other Earthlings?

     The human race takes it even further in writing, cosplays, and videos.  For example, Dr. Who has become the epitome (author’s opinion) of space and time travel.  He meets humans in different time periods, aliens on different planets, people that look and act human, but aren’t, and many other creatures (Daleks, for example) that are both aggressive and friendly.  Go to any cosplay meeting and there will be at least one person dressed as Dr. Who (pick a season).  And we, as creators, have the tendancy to put human personalities into these alien creatures.  Some of the instruments created by the writers have led into common tools we use now, like cell phones (yes, inspired by the communicators on Star Trek).  I read somewhere that the medical field is trying to reproduce Dr. Crusher’s little diagnostic tool.

     Whether or not we believe in aliens, we have to agree the concept makes for some great science fiction. Much like fantasy, space is a never-ending resource for the imagination.

     What’s your take on the space race?  Do we belong in space?  Do you believe in aliens?  Would you be willing to pay $250,000 for a trip into space on Branson’s space plane?  Or do you like to keep your feet on the ground?  As much as I love learning about our universe, I’ll keep my space exploration in between the cover of a book.


The Secret of the Realms



     The second book of The Keeper Archives is being released August 10, 2021.  I’m always looking for new reading, and this one promises to be an exciting adventure.

    The Kingdom of Rastella teeters on the brink of disaster as Ajax is desperate to rescue his friends who have been captured by a paranoid king driven by fear. With danger mounting and new enemies appearing, time is running out for Ajax and his friends. Ajax’s developing power might be the key to saving the kingdom, but can he wield it in order to save those he holds most dear, or will his own magic become his undoing?

          You can find this on Amazon, or preorder it here.

enter to win an autographed copy

Giveaway ends friday, july 18th.

Last chance to enter my Goodreads Giveaway!  Enter to win a personalized, autographed copy of Asteria: The Discovery!  All it takes is a Goodreads account and a button click!


Enter Giveaway Here

Asteria Cover

     As a writer, I’m constantly looking at settings and exploring scenes. What kind of story can I fit into this scene? Will this setting fit the storyline I’m working on?  Can I use this scene anywhere in a story?

Scene Exploration: Bridal Veil Falls




   For example: last week my sweet daughter-in-law took my mother and me to see Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. I had been there once before when the water was gushing much faster and fuller than it was this time. Utah had been going through a drought, and it showed in the water levels. Still, I thought of several scenarios with this waterfall. A ledge and a cave hidden by the falls (pretty standard). A water dragon that lives in the falls and comes out to scare away intruders. A city whose water supply comes from the falls. An evil wizard’s tower at the top, beyond view of the uppermost fall.


     I enjoyed the Rocky Mountains surrounding Salt Lake Valley a great deal. As I looked at them one night, I could see a dragon flying overhead in my mind. A quest party rising to meet the Yeti in the high cave. Priceless gems hidden beneath a rock above a ledge near the top. A hole that opens up on an unsuspecting hiker and drops him into an unknown world below the mountains. An alien city nestled in the small valley between mountains.

Scene Exploration: Provo Canyon Mountains
Scene Exploration: Secret Garden Tunnel



     Here’s another example. This is the Secret Garden tunnel at Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. What kind of adventure could this lead to? Give me a few minutes staring at this, and I could probably come up with four to six new scenes. How about you?

     This entire (hidden) exercise led me to looking at a book on fantasy mapping this morning. It’s the kind of book that shows you how to draw a map for your game, story, or quest. That got me thinking of other things. Mountains, waterfalls, valleys, plains. Our world comprises so many environments that adventure could be anywhere! I grew up on the Jersey Shore. I love the ocean. Growing up, I often thought about mermaids, whales, talking fish, and being friends with a dolphin. Our environment—mountainous, plains, oceanic, urban, whatever – is often the same one used in our writing, but it doesn’t have to be.

     Look around you. Can you come up with small scenes of adventure where you are? I would love to hear some of them.

Join my newsletter for the latest happenings with Asteria: The Discovery and the soon to be released sequel.