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.

Daisy Yellow zine giveaway winners

I shook the magic random number generator, and the winners of Daisy Yellow Zine #8 are…


S. M. Hutchins and kort!

Congratulations, winners. Tammy will be contacting you shortly.

giveaway: Daisy Yellow Zine #8

I’m super-excited to announce a giveaway of Daisy Yellow Zine (Issue 8). This digital art journaling zine is full of inspiration, including blogging ideas for creatives and journal prompts. My article, Embrace Imperfection, also appears in it.

Daisy Yellow Zine #8

Tammy, the awesomely creative person behind the zine and the site, has graciously offered to give away TWO copies of Issue 8 (available only in digital format). Please leave a comment if you’d like to enter. Giveaway is open until Monday, July 29th, 10pm EST. 

If this is your first introduction to Tammy and Daisy Yellow, check out some of my favorite parts on her site, such as the Index-Card-A-Day Challenge she runs every summer. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out Tammy’s post on What Can You Do With an Index Card? She also introduced me to the delights of drawing mandalas and the fun of practicing fonts.

If you art journal–or have ever thought of doing so–Daisy Yellow is a great place to go for ideas, tips, and inspiration.