Finding Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with stars and planets and how the universe works. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at math and math-based physics, but fortunately I’m actually pretty good at geology and the math that goes along with it. Funny that I can deal with trig, but not algebra. Human brains are weird.

I’m currently a lowly undergrad in a US geology program (nope, not gonna tell you which one), with plans to go into the Astrogeology field eventually. Even though I’m much better with rocks, particularly the igneous kind, than I am with quantum physics I spend a lot of my free time reading everything I can about any kind of space-based science. This love is what led me to try my hand at writing science fiction romance…I love space and I mostly love love, so why not put them together? Fantastic idea!

I have so many plot ideas roaming around in my head and it’s hard to really say where they all come from. Okay, well one thing is that I have some pretty effed up dreams. Like, I have this recurring dream that I’m witnessing the end of the Earth and having to tell my children that they won’t wake up tomorrow (don’t ask why dream-me doesn’t just let them live in blissful ignorance. Dream-me isn’t rational). There’s also the one where the Devil is chasing me because I’m the secret to destroying everything and him winning the battle against God.

Yeah, I have a bit of a superiority complex. Paging Sam and Dean!

Recently, though, I haven’t had to look far for inspiration. If you haven’t heard the relatively recent news about Tabby’s Star, start here. I don’t know about you, but I love a good sciencey mystery. What killed the dinosaurs? What killed 90% of all marine life at the K/T boundary? What’s dimming Tabby’s Star? I mean, come on – 20% of a star’s input is a HUGE amount of dimming! I was once offered the chance to work with one of my professors whose project was searching for M-class brown dwarfs and then using the transit method to look for orbiting planets. Right up my alley until that whole math problem reared its ugly head. But one thing I did learn before deciding not to waste his time on me was how very little light a transiting planet obstructs from its host star. For this thing to be dimming by 20% and dimming in overall output as well is beyond strange. I already have several pages of my idea notebook full just from this one mystery. I can’t wait to see if we find out anything else about it, but until then I’m going to ride the “what if” train as far as I can. I don’t really think I can work anything into my current project, but believe me when I say I’m gonna try!

What about you, nonexistent (as of yet) readers? What inspires you in your writing or time-killing daydreams? I promise not to steal them. After all, I’ll probably come up with a new way of destroying the planet tonight when I go to sleep. I hear magnetars are the next big rage…

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