Planets Project: behind the scenes

So what does this story have to do with the planet Mars?

My very first thought when thinking about a Mars-inspired piece was was to have a warrior protagonist (gee, I wonder where that came from!). But that felt lazy to me, so I dug deeper and came up with this tale of two sisters, one adored and life-giving, the other twisted, abandoned, and life-destroying.

The story grew out of my thought that Mars is sometimes seen as an ugly stepsister to Earth. There’s this sense that–even with all the enthusiasm for the red planet–it could be something so much more than what it is. In science fiction, Mars is the focus of terraforming efforts or the place where alien life exists or used to exist. So we explore the planet, hoping to find evidence of life and water. Hoping that it’s a place, or will become a place, more like the one that exists in our imaginations.

And somehow that turned into Sisters.

The Mars story is the last of the series that’ll be on the blog. I’ve completed the Jupiter one (which ended up being a lot longer than flash fiction), and am about halfway through the Saturn one. Once I’m done, the entire series will be available as a free e-book for my newsletter subscribers.

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Planets Project: behind the scenes

My Earth-inspired flashfic grew out of my intense loyalty for this blue and green, brown and white marble we live on.

I’m a homebody, and I get very attached to the places I’ve lived in. I don’t expect to stay forever at my current address (who knows where the winds of God will blow me?), but I’m confident that I won’t be leaving Planet Earth in this life. This is my one constant address.

I love shows about the universe. I love making up other worlds. I’m fascinated by alien planets. I’m awed by the power of black holes and the splendor of stars. But show me a picture (CG or real) of our water planet, and I’m sniffling and teary-eyed. Earth is home, and the best place to be for this writer. There are still so many marvels and mysteries right here on this terrestrial ball, and that’s what I hoped to convey in my story.




Planets Project: behind-the-scenes

Yesterday, I shared a flashfic inspired by the planet Venus.

What strikes me the most about Venus is the contrast between the ideal and the reality. This planet can be seen as a bright object in our sky; it is named for the goddess of love and beauty. But when we investigated the planet, we discovered a hellish place, one that could kill you in several different ways (the pressure, the temperature, and the acidity being three I can name off the top of my head).

From that contrast sprang the main character, indeed the very plot, of She Walks in Beauty.

Beauty–and the dark side of beauty–is a theme that has cropped up at other times in my work. The most prominent other example is “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World”, one of the short stories in my broken fairy tale anthology, Shattered. There’s something about the “fairest of them all” fairy tale trope that calls to me.