Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stars DON'T Twinkle!

WriteOnCon was fantastic. I got so much information that needs to be gone through and organized that my head is still spinning. There were some really fantastic posts, though. My favourites were the creative ways you can develop your character. One was by making your character a "scrapbook page" of what they look like, what kind of clothes they'd wear, what kind of house they'd live in, and all that good stuff. The other one was a list of questions to ask yourself, what your character would do in a given circumstance. They were very neat. I want to shake my characters so I know they're REAL and not stereotypes.

But actually, I wanted to write about the meteor shower I saw last night.

Three of my sisters and I stayed up until about 11:45 pm, because the peak of the shower was going to occur at around midnight. We made coffee and poured it into a thermos, grabbed some coffee cups and drove down to a lake called Regan Beach, where there were no lights shining and we had a grand vista. We pressed our faces against the windshield and stared up into the night.

This is when I really discovered it. Stars do NOT twinkle. Whoever said they did used a very weak verb to describe what stars actually do.

They flash, they glint, they shoot out sparks of fire when the wind moves them. Really, they do.

I stared up into the sky. The night was a cloth of black silk stretched taut in the sky, pulled so smoothly that there was no wrinkle. In the cloth the stars had been cast, some of them like diamond seeds, others looking like fine mica dust scattered across the silk. Some of the stars were faintly yellow, like golden diamonds. Others were fine chips of crystal, as refractile and perfect as faceted gems. And they danced with refracted light. Once in a while, one of the stars would shoot out a flash, as though it had caught the beam of some hidden light source, and the rest of the stars would quiver in awe.

In between the beauty of the static stars came the meteors, streaking the night with their brief white tails. From out of the darkness they shot past, drawing magic in the sky. One particularly fine meteor fell long and thickly, painting a white, brilliant line in the black and fired sky. It was amazing.

Then, I discovered stars dance. As I was straining my eyes, looking out for shooting stars, one particularly playful star caught my gaze and fixated me. As I watched, the little thing slipped from its place, began a sideways crawl back up, and then did a little skipparoo to the right then back to the left. All the other stars faded from my viion, leaving only this one performing star. You may try this yourself, if you doubt me. You might want to stay up until about one in the morning, because then your eyes are tired and ready for this exercise. But it was fascinating. I watched that little star for a couple minutes as it gamboled about the sky.

We stayed for about an hour, watching the stars perform. By the time we left we were pretty tired, and full of coffee, but jazzed at the spectacle.

I just wanted to share that moment with you--and to tell you, really, stars don't twinkle. Go check them out. Tell me what word you would describe. Myself, I would say stars ripple light.

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