It's a Weird Universe

Greetings all

Happy New Year/2012!

Writing News:

I think I finished book 2 of the science fiction series I've been working on for the last couple of years.  The funny thing is that when I last put words down a few weeks ago I didn't think I was finished.  When I went back to it with the intent of digitally penning the last chapter I found myself really struggling to end the work.  It was curious, since I had outlined the "last chapter" weeks ago and thought by doing so I wouldn't have the problems finishing that I was.  Finally, after days of struggling, I reviewed the work again and realized the probable cause of my difficulty was that the chapter I had designated as the next-to-last was, in fact, a great place to just plain end the book.  So I went ahead and declared book 2, draft 1 finished!  Woot!

It's my intent now to get book 1 "out there" in the public field.  The more I talk and read, the more I think that the real way to go with publication is going to be digital self-publishing on and perhaps other ebook websites after that.  I am in the process of doing a bit more research, but it seems that digital self-publishing is a way to both maintain more control, and to retain more of the proceeds than one would with a traditional agent-publisher model.  Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I read and had confirmed from a third party that $50k a month from selling your book in this way is not unusual.  The only catch, of course, is that you have to do all of your own promoting.  So it's time to learn marketing!

I have a mild concern over plagiarism with this route.  I just read an article about how many authors who have posted stories on free websites have seen their work copy-pasted and sold on Amazon by parties unknown.  The article also mentioned one such story that was stolen from a digital copy of Brahm Stoker's Dracula, if you can believe it.  By digitally self-publishing I'd lose that army of lawyers (snicker) that a publishing house has to defend against this kind of crap, but I weight that out against the odds of it happening and against the many benefits of going the do it yourself route.

Ultimately, either by self-publishing or by sending the work out to agents, 2012 is going to be my release year!

Space News:

NASA posted on its website a new article about extra-solar planets.  Watching this emerging field develop is like seeing confirmation of everything I've believed in concerning the cosmos from childhood.  We've already found several Earth-like planets, and some that are not so Earth-like but that exist in the "Habitable Zone" of their stars.  I feel like every new discovery brings us closer to that star filled future I wish I was already living in.

The article I read today is not about one of those habitable planets.  It's about a planet that was discovered in 2004 called 55 Cancri e.  Although we've known about this planet for the last eight or so years, the space telescope Spitzer is shedding new light on what this planet is likely to be like.  55 Cancri e is twice the volume and over seven times the mass of our stellar home, Earth.  It is classified as a "super-Earth" type planet, but its dimensions are where the similarity ends.  The planet orbits so close to its star that it has an 18 hour year (no, that's not a typo, it really has an 18 hour year).

The surface temperature of the planet is so high that scientists believed the planet would be a barren, gas-filled wasteland.  Spitzer has now shown that 55 Cancri e is not what we thought it might be.  New data suggests there is liquid water on the planet, but not in the form of rivers and oceans.  The pressure and heat of 55 Cancri e forces the water into a "supercritical state", a strange state of matter that for water is only seen inside steam turbines here on Earth.  In a supercritical state, water exists in a form somewhere between steam and fluid.  Astronomers believe that on 55 Cancri e, water is oozing out of the rocks!

If one could stand the 3200 degrees F, I'm sure that'd be quite a sight to see!  It just goes to show what a strange universe we live in.

If you want to know more, read the article for yourself or watch the NASA video below:

That's all folks!  Be well!


Popular Posts