Instant escape


Sometimes, when things are overwhelming here on Earth, which, these days, they frequently are, I like to imagine other planets way, way out in the reaches of space. I imagine what they look like, from a distance, blends of colors, nothing more than distant marbles.

And then I try to envision their surfaces, or what it’s like to be in a planet that’s only a ball of differently-colored gasses. The color of the sky. If they have rainbows, how they change depending on the atmosphere. What a storm is like.

But those aren’t my favorites.

My favorites are the ones where I imagine life, teeming life, different than ours but still alive. What sentience might look like there; what vegetation might look like there.

It gives me comfort to know that out there in the universe, life exists. It must exist, because the numbers of stars and their halos of planets is just too too vast for there not to be life.

Way out there, in that part of the universe we’ll likely never see, we are no more than a shadow passing in front of a star, our conflicts and problems concealed by endless space.

I’m sure those faraway planets have their own issues, but the ones I flicker into existence in my mind don’t. They’re calm, serene places where everything happening now here is nothing more than the imagining of a curious alien being.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.


Our Incredible Cosmos


Last night, the reboot of “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odesy” with new host, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson premiered, and it was stunning, conceptually and visually.

It is nearly impossible for us to imagine our tiny, minuscule, microscopic place in the universe. Here we are, on our little planet out in the boonies of our solar system, and in every conceivable direction, there are stars. And with those stars, there are planets, planets as plentiful and scattered as sand.

Imagine that.

The idea that we are the lone planet of life seems ludicrous when you see the sheer volume of possibility out there in the darkness. There must be life elsewhere, but it’s unlikely we will ever cross paths. There’s a kind of tragedy in that.

Or maybe it would be worse if we met, humans being humans and they being whoever they are. Maybe violence is inevitable in such a meeting, as Stephen Hawking suggests. Or maybe the thought of finding living, breathing beings where there might only have been nothing is bigger.

It probably depends on the human. And it probably depends on the them.

But there is some comfort in the vastness of space. There is some comfort in the thought that we are all, as Tyson puts it, “Made of star-stuff.”

It puts things in perspective.

Go Period France and Go Spine-Tingly with Madame


Todd Cooks’s Madame made the “Books” list because of its delightfully odd mash-up of concepts. 18th century and a description that starts with “France’s version of Area 51?” Sold.

Madame by Todd Cook. $3.99 from
For centuries, a preserve known as “The Royal Lands” was France’s version of “Area 51.” Soldiers guarded the perimeter, and only they and specially authorized royalty were allowed inside, but what was being kept there? Speculation ranged from military armaments to monsters. In 1718, young Jean du Vivier accepts a post inside The Royal Lands.