Friday, October 02, 2015

Science of the Week--10/2/15

Welcome to October! Are you ready for Christmas yet, let alone Halloween?

Here are some of the most interesting science news articles I read this week:

NASA confirms evidence that liquid water flows on today's Mars
(of course I had to lead with this one, but there's a caveat below)

We've found liquid water flowing on Mars, but we're not allowed to investigate it
We emit clouds of microbes wherever we go

The 3D printer so big it can make houses

Engineered viruses could combat human disease, improve food safety

I've got your back--fishes really do look after their mates!

New theory of stealth dark matter may explain universe's missing mass

New precise particle measurement improves subatomic tool for probing mysteries of universe

Wearable electronic health patches may now be cheaper and easier to make

Hopes of improved brain implants

A natural light switch: the protein behind a light-sensing mechanism

Turning off the infanticide instinct

Scientists unravel root cause of plant twists and turns

Making batteries with portabello mushrooms

Manmade aerosols can alter rainfall in the world's most populous region

Cryogenic system freezes up to 99% of CO2 emissions from coal power plant so carbon can be stored, potentially repurposed
(I like the idea of being able to reuse the carbon later--trapping it forever in an inaccessible will lead to other problems down the road. Of course, we have to live long enough to reach that point.)

Plastic-eating worms may offer solution to mounting waste
(perhaps sometime in the future we'll have a plastic-based ecosystem)

Asteroids found to be the moon's main water supply

Have a good weekend, everyone, and see you Monday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September/October Goals

I had four writing goals for the month of September:

1. Get to 30,000 words in Fifth Season.
2. Outline the current draft of Chaos Season (it may seem strange outlining after the first draft, but I need to get an overview of the book so I can plan the developmental edit.)
3. Edit the first 3-4 chapter of Chaos Season.
4. Finish the rough drafts of the short stories for my Young Seasons collection.

I did manage to finish items 1 and 2, and started 3 and 4. However, I didn't get very far with them. My productivity has been dragging this month. It's probably a case of trying to do too much on too little sleep. (OK, a new Facebook game didn't help either.) So for October, I'm going to focus on just Chaos Season and Fifith Season. I'm over 32,000 words for Fifth Season, so I'm going to shoot for at least 45,000 words in that while I edit 3-4 chapters of Chaos Season.

In addition to the books, I have several other goals for October. My family and I plan on several appearances with the 501st on the weekends. We plan to see our friends in Madison for our annual get-together. I have to help Alex with a book report on top of his homework, plus take him to taekwando and archery classes. (Eugene and I will be part of the archery class as well.) And on top of all this I have to figure out how to make Alex's Halloween costume (he wants something very specific based on a documentary he's seen.) Who knows how much of this I'll manage to accomplish? For now, my first goal is to go to bed early and try to shake my sore throat before it gets worse.

How often do you meet your own goals? Do you ever feel you plan too much?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)

Pat Dilloway has a new book coming out tomorrow, and I wanted to share the book information with you. I like the blue tone of the cover!

Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)

Robin Howe was a normal teenager until her police captain father is killed by henchmen of the evil Madame Crimson. When the justice system won't take any action to avenge her father, Robin takes it upon herself. Except her first attempt leaves her nearly dead and with Madame Crimson's people on her tail.

To protect Robin, her father’s former partner gives her a new identity that sends her to St. Martha’s Academy for Young Ladies in rural New Hampshire. There she tries to keep a low profile, which isn’t easy when Madame Crimson’s spoiled daughter Tonya takes a special interest in making Robin’s life there a living hell. Yet when a rival gangster tries to kidnap Tonya, Robin has to embrace her heroic destiny.

Buy the ebook for $3.99 here ( or the paperback for $12.99 from Createspace (

Author bio:
Patrick "P.T." Dilloway has been a writer for most of his life. He completed his first story in third grade and received an 'A' for the assignment. Around that time, he was also placed in a local writing contest for a television station, receiving an action figure in lieu of a trophy, thus securing his love with the written word. Since then, he's continued to spend most of his free time writing and editing. In the last twenty years, he's completed nearly forty novels of various genres. When not writing, P.T. enjoys reading and photographing Michigan's many lighthouses. In order to pay the bills, he earned an accounting degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and for twelve years worked as a payroll accountant in Detroit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Dark Side and the Write Side

I mentioned back in May that my family was interested in joining the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming organization that makes appearances for charity. (Their motto is "bad guys doing good.") Last week, my husband and I were officially accepted into the Legion. (Alex can't join until he's 18, so for now he has to enroll in the Galactic Academy--if he ever agrees to let me submit pictures.) Here I am as a Jawa:

And here I am with Alex. My husband is an Imperial Gunner.

I made the Jawa robes and hoods myself; I even bought a simple sewing machine and taught myself how to use it. I also prepared the mask and glowing eyes. BB-8 is not officially approved as an accessory for Jawas, but I hope to take him trooping someday.

Of course, the last thing I need is another activity to take away from my limited writing time. It will be a family activity, though, and depending on where we troop, I may be able to write en route.

As an indie, I'm not worried about whether trooping will conflict with a "professional author" image. It may give me a chance to meet more SF fans, but while I will talk about my books if asked, I don't think it's right to use the 501st to promote my own work. It might be interesting, however, if we decide to attend C2E2 next year with the 501st. Do I troop the entire time, or do I set aside some author time? Even if I can't bring balance to the Force, I hope I can do that with my multiple identities as writer and fan.

Have you ever done costuming, or would you like to? What character(s) would you play?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Free This Week: SF Women A-Z

Today through Friday, my SF Women A-Z: A Reader's Guide is free on Amazon. As regular readers of this blog know, this book started as my A-Z Blogging Challenge this April, when I listed many women authors of science fiction and fantasy in alphabetical order. This guide is expanded from the blog posts and includes information on over eighty authors. I'm making this free not just to promote my work, but other women authors in my genre. So pick up a copy for yourself--or gift it to someone else--and find some new authors to read! Enjoy!

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