Super, Black and Blue, Full and New

No, I’m not bruised. I’m referring to the moon. There hasn’t been one visible in recent night skies. I would have called it a New Moon, except I read that “the third new moon in an astronomical season with four, is called a ‘Black’ moon”, and Wednesday, February 18th was a ‘Black’ one.

I’ve taken photos of Super moons, Blue moons, and just plain full moons, but a Black one defies my abilities, thus my photo of a near-full one instead. (I know, that makes no sense at all. Cut me some slack! It’s all I could come up with.)

Moon_2

Wednesday also marked the beginning of Lent, the period prior to Easter when “we journey through Jesus’ adult life as he reveals to us who God is and how much God loves us.”* Somehow it seems fitting that we should begin Lent in darkness. There will be full moons between now and Easter, of course, but consider this: on April 4th there will be a full moon accompanied by a total lunar eclipse — that’s on the eve of Easter Sunday, which falls on the 5th.

I expect it will bring home the reality of the Easter scriptures.

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When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

[Psalm 8:3-4, NIV]

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 * Pastor Gerard Booy,
Haney Presbyterian Church

Is it perspective or point of view?

Driving into town one day last summer I saw the pale moon hanging low on the horizon. I had to check the calendar later to learn it was a “waxing half moon”.

MoonSet

Then, after midnight on Christmas Eve, while returning home from a late candlelight service at our church I saw the half moon again. This time, however, it was a bright “waning half moon”.

XmasEveMoon

I’ve never studied astronomy… never thought much about waxing or waning. But I was curious enough to Google for lunar information. I learned that what I saw from my location in the northern hemisphere is not the same as a person viewing it from the southern hemisphere, but the opposite…

“Assuming that the viewer is in the northern hemisphere, the right portion of the Moon is the part that is always growing (i.e., if the right side is dark, the Moon is growing darker; if the right side is lit, the Moon is growing lighter). In the southern hemisphere the Moon is observed from a perspective inverted to that of the northern hemisphere, so the opposite sides appear to grow (wax) and shrink (wane).” [Wikipedia]

A friend’s recent Facebook post bemoaned the lack of doors in her home where previous occupants had knocked out walls to create an open floor plan. (Yes, this really does have something to do with the previous paragraphs.) She likes smaller rooms and likes being able to close off certain rooms. In the comments someone else said, “Love our open floor plan! It’s great for family gatherings and entertaining.”

It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it?

For a time when I first began writing fiction, I thought perspective and point of view were the same thing. Eventually I learned that perspective depends on which character will tell the story, while point of view depends on how it will be told. That’s where First Person, Second Person, Third Person (Limited) and Third Person (Omniscient) points of view come into play. There are advantages and disadvantages to each but since this isn’t meant to be an in-depth lesson on POV, I won’t go into them.

On New Year’s Day I finally finished the rewrite/revision of my current work in progress. Although I’ve changed many things during my revision, point of view (POV) wasn’t one of them. A previous novel went through three POV changes before I was satisfied. What a headache that was! It taught me to make the choice before starting future manuscripts.

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Writers, when and how do you decide what POV you’ll use? And readers, does the choice of POV affect your enjoyment of a story?

Super Moon

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Finding words to express the inexpressible

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Anton Chekhov

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Were you moon watching last night, or the night before? Judging by Twitter and Facebook comments, many people were checking the full moon’s size, having heard it would be the closest and largest full moon of 2013 — a super moon.

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Astronomers (or would that be astrologers?) have said the moon won’t be this close to earth again until August 2014.

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Full moon rising, June 22, 2013

I took photos of the super moon when it occurred in May 2012. This year’s photos don’t look much different, and yet just like other times, I was drawn to stand in the late night darkness and try to capture something of the wonder of the sight.

Astronauts marvel at the view of earth from their exceptional space perspective, and I suspect something akin to their awe is what I feel every time I consider a full moon. Another separate planet, distant, and yet not beyond reach.

Super Moon, June 22, 2013

Super Moon, June 22, 2013

I watch, fascinated, as the globe rises, hovers in velvet blackness over the horizon. The shutter clicks several times as I try for the clearest possible shot. But the results are always a disappointment. The images never produce the sense of wonder that I experience while watching the real thing.
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The same thing happens while fingers hover on the keyboard, waiting for my mind to produce exactly the right words of description. They don’t come.
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Fantasy isn’t my genre of choice to write, but I admire the author’s ability to manufacture strange new worlds and convey them with words that allow me to visualize them. How frustrating that I cannot describe something clearly seen, while they do such a magnificent job of describing something that doesn’t exist! Is it because I lack imagination or vocabulary?
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What draws you to your genre of choice? Do you write in that genre because it’s what you prefer to read, or possibly because the tools needed — the words — are plumbed from a familiar depth?
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“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Psalm 19:1

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“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?”

Psalm 8:3-4

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The Effect of Self-censoring

“What you think about me is none of my business.” This was number ten on a list of revelations written in a blog post by a recovering alcoholic, but it leapt out at me as a truism applicable in many areas of my own life.

In the church, I think I sometimes spend too much time examining how I and my ideas are received by others, and not enough on searching out what God expects of me.

Waiting for the ‘Super Moon’ to clear the clouds. (May 5, 2012)

The writing application? It’s too easy to wonder how my words will be perceived by potential readers – agents, publishers, the buying public, my friends and relatives. When I weigh the possible reception of my writing I begin self-censoring, and some of my best work never makes it onto the page.

My photo taking abilities are modest at best, but many times it’s easier for me to take and post photographs than it is to put my writing out for public scrutiny. Maybe that’s because my writing doesn’t have the camera’s lens to act as a filter or the ‘auto’ settings to depend on. When I choose a subject, I decide to click the shutter based on my personal reaction. How the photo ends up looking will depend on many factors. I don’t worry about what someone else may think of it because it has appealed to me enough to try capturing it for myself. If I don’t like the result, I can always trash it.

If only I could write with the same attitude – for myself – and believe, “What you think about me is none of my business,” perhaps then what ends up on the page would be a more authentic reflection of the true writer within.

Do you sometimes self-censor what you say, write, read, watch, et cetera, because of what others might think of you? How does this affect your work?

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“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

[Colossians 3:17 – NLT]


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September’s Eve


In some time zones September has already arrived, but here there are still a few hours of August left.  The ‘blue moon’ is just beginning to peep over the crest of the hill, barely visible through the trees that whisper ebony sounds in the night.

I haven’t encountered one yet (thankfully!!!), but spiders are already about their pre-autumn business these days. They dangle from intricate webs across yellowing garden spaces and creep out (menacingly, I swear) from obscure hideaways in the house.

Our vacation weather has been superb, but there’s no denying the hint of fall in it now… with wisps of morning fog and a shivery edge to nighttime breezes.

On a recent afternoon at Moyie Lake this doe wandered into sight, nibbling and sipping her way along the creek while keeping an eye on her older fawn who obediently stayed in the bushes out of sight. (Others saw it; my camera and I didn’t.)

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

[Psalm 42:1, NIV]

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Life will change subtly when the calendar page turns over. We’ll experience the pull of old routines and new ventures, and begin feeling nostalgic about the impending loss of summer’s freedoms. What keeps us going when we’re not sure we’re ready to face a renewal of ‘the daily grind’? How do you feel about the arrival of September?

The doe reminded me that all I need is provided by the Creator of all.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

[Martin J. Nystrom]

[Click on composer’s name to hear song.]

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