A new day begins for the first human settlers on Proxima Centauri b, the nearest exoplanet to Earth.
I originally wrote “Indigo Skies on Proxima b” a few years ago. Proxima Centauri b, the nearest exoplanet to Earth, was discovered in 2016 and the subsequent conjecture surrounding the planet was a great source of inspiration to me. Artistic conceptions of the surface of this distant place also fired my imagination.
Of course, astronomers know little about the geography of Proxima Centauri b at present, so I took the liberty of naming some of the fictional physical features after characters from Greek mythology (Melanippe, Ocyrhoe, and Chariclo).
Although “Indigo Skies on Proxima b” examines the beginning of a new (and seemingly peaceful) day for human settlers on Proxima Centauri b, some of my other work explores the darker recesses of this exoplanet. “Deus ex Machina“, which I will be posting next month, is a good example of other writing projects that were inspired by the discovery (and potential dangers) of Proxima Centauri b.
“Indigo Skies on Proxima b”
Indigo skies swirl beyond the Melanippe Montes
Juxtaposed with a ruddy glow – twilight is appearing
A tangerine ember on the horizon haunts
Dying obsidian shadows – Proxima is dawning
Marigold beams leap over the vast Ocyrhoe Mare
Soothing the ancient basalt lee – the Sisters are dancing
Gathering warmth generates wind for all to share
Ice breaks on the Chariclo Sea – b is quickly rousing
Oily, ebony foliage responds to morning
Leaves twist and contort rapidly – human engineering
An early riser is leery of star flaring
Handles tungsten covers wisely – radiation shielding
Tedious tasks are performed in a constant gloom
Proxima wanders the heavens – the Sisters are watching
Each sibling shines a route through the dark, endless tomb
Where both light and time are woven – four years in the making
That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child.
I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns.
Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects.
I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day.
Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable.
Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home.
Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.
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