Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Mars, Music, The Staff, Writing

Songs and Places

I’m going for a two-fer today: write about a place and a song. That’s going to be a challenge, not because I don’t know what to say, but I don’t really know where to start. That’s what happens with too many choices.

I’m not in the mood for straight fiction tonight, although I do want to talk about the story. I have an image in my head and it’s this one:

My fantasy with the two travelers, named Daniel and Mira, includes a new home, away from the devastation – kind of. The travelers and their eventual companions are traveling east, to a place called the Deep Lands that may or may not exist. There are stories about them and they’re pretty frightening. In one version, the Gods cursed the land for some infraction or another and killed off its ability to support any kind of plant life. In another version, the air itself has been removed. It’s a place no one in their right mind would want to go. Mira’s hard nosed and skeptical. No air, indeed. It’s just a story to scare kids into behaving, or so she explains to Daniel.

So, what is this a picture of? Mars, actually. Probably taken from one of the rovers happily wheeling around out there. I’m fascinated with the place, although not enough to actually want to go there. I tried to think of the most desolate, loneliest place anywhere. That’s what came to mind.

So, as of my last writing the group of travelers (yes, there are a bunch of them by now and they’ve already had some adventures) have arrived at the beginning of the Eastern lands. They’re currently camped in the remains of an ancient, ancient city and they’re getting a serious case of the creeps. Something feels wrong, although they haven’t found out what yet. They’ve just met (at spear-point) a group of area residents and are about to hear a story. That’s when I had to stop.

So, the music? Eerie, ominous. I grabbed a soundtrack and made a video out of it. Maybe I’ll show it to you later. For now, here’s the music:

Posted in Travel With Margy!

Where No Lady Has Gone Before

I’ve been following the adventures of two robots, rolling around Mars. They’re called Spirit (a guy) and Opportunity (a gal). I’m amazed at these two rolling rovers. They’ve been going strong for almost 10 years (seven years, I think!) and they’re still driving, testing and photographing to the joy of the NASA community.

This latest picture was from Ms. Opportunity, also known as “Oppy.” Corny names, yes, but the pictures are a lot of fun:

Mars Rover Opportunity En Route to Endeavor Crater
Mars Rover Opportunity En Route to Endeavor Crater

Ms. Oppy is on her way to Endavor Crator on Mars and she don’t need no stinkin’ roads.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Fantasy, Fiction, Life, The Staff, Writing

‘Postcards From Mars’: 15 Amazing Pictures Of The Red Planet From New Book (PHOTOS)

Jim Bell: ‘Postcards From Mars’: 15 Amazing Pictures Of The Red Planet From New Book (PHOTOS).

The Red Planet, Not So Angry

I love the Mars missions. There’s something downright ethereal about it. The pictures are mesmerizing, at least for me. There’s a human-powered space craft on Mars, guys, on Mars!

Maybe it’s the science fiction buff in me. I remember all those tacky 1950s “alien invader” flicks like The Angry Red Planet. No space monsters, no canals, just a lot of red dirt and some very arid, very beautiful, landscapes. It’s amazing to see an environment where there’s absolutely nothing coming out of the soil. You don’t see that on earth, except for desert areas and those don’t really look like Mars.

In fact, Mars was my inspiration for the deserted and feared lands that the protagonists visit in my fantasy story, The Staff. I call them The Deep Lands because of all the cracks and craters in the ground. There’s nothing living there. In fact, legend has it that the gods punished the former occupants of the Deep Lands by sterilizing the soil and then taking away the air. My dystopian fantasy characters are going to have to cope with that.

So, enjoy the pictures. Mars is an amazing place. Wish I could visit!