Today was the Annular Eclipse

My dad, Alex, and I were planning to walk to the park around the corner for the eclipse, but that didn’t work out.

It turned out to be chilly and my dad has a very low tolerance for cold, so he backed out. Alex and I offered to stay home with him, but he waved good-bye and so we left.

We ended up deciding to go to Eisenhower Park, which is in the foothills of the Hill Country and so it has a nice view of downtown.

The parking lot was full, and I was afraid it’d be crowded, but Eisenhower is a pretty big park and not many people wanted to walk all the way to the top of the hill.

The sun at the peak-ish of the eclipse. The sky was not that dark. Alex and I took this photo through a pair of those eclipse safe glasses.

I thought about bringing Mila, but there were just too many other dogs there, as it turned out. She probably would have been beside herself, and not in a good way.

My dad got to spend the eclipse with our next-door neighbors. They came and got him and the three of them stood out in our cul-de-sac and watched the eclipse.

I guess I should have a Gratuitous Amazon Link, shouldn’t I? I guess I’m up (down?) to Mrs. March, by Virginia Feito. Mrs. March is set in a sort of weird, timeless version of New York City. It all feels very 1950s or 1960s, but there’s at least one odd reference to something more recent, as I recall. Now I’ll have to reread to see if I can find it.

Anyway, Mrs. March, who is only known by that name throughout the novel, is the wife of successful novelist George March. Her life is predictable in every way until the day that the woman working the counter at the patisserie says that Mrs. March was the inspiration for the protagonist of George’s new novel. And thus begins her psychological decline.

Writing Prompts — Technology

I need to get writing again. Again.

I looked up a site that gives random writing prompts and this one was “Write a story set in a world where people are controlled by technology.” And, well, almost everything I’ve written is set in a world where people are controlled by technology.

Because nearly everything I’ve written is set in a world with electric lights. Science is just now discovering how the never wavering 24-hour access to electric lights have changed our lives and our health.

And we aren’t just talking about, for example, the light over my right shoulder as I write this. The glow from computer screens may have health effects on humans. And that’s not even talking about light pollution.

Now, the streets are, on the whole, way safer than they used to be, and some of that is from streetlights. But drive through a rural area heading towards an urban one. The urban area actually acts like a searchlight. When I was in college, we could have selectively turned off the lights from the town where my college was and create a big Bat-Signal on the clouds overhead on overcast nights.

And that was in the late 1980s. I shudder to think what it looks like now. Has the light pollution from Chicago spread out that far?

The quality and quantity of light also has an effect on our neurotransmitters. And what has more control on us than the very chemicals that run our brains?

I know that the person who came up with that prompt probably was thinking about Cyberpunk dystopias and things, but still. We are, at least to some extent, controlled by technology even in today’s world.

I lost my place in my Gratuitous Amazon Links. I may have lost my place longer ago than I realize. I figured it out! I had my page sorted by Date Added, rather than Date Read. Let’s see if I can fix that.

I’d signed out at some point, which meant that I couldn’t reorder my rows.

Okay. Now I’ve got it figured out. My next selection is actually two books, since the first book ends on a cliffhanger. These are the first two books in Patrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek series, Skeleton Creek and Ghost in the Machine. Ryan is fascinated by Skeleton Creek’s history as a gold mining town and the Dredge, the machine that was once used to mine the gold. Ryan has broken his leg in pursuit of this fascination and he is trapped at home. His best friend, Sarah, has a video camera and she knows how to use it. She uses it to be Ryan’s legs in his obsession with the mystery. Sarah uploads her videos and gives Ryan a password to access it. Ryan shares the passwords with us. So the reader goes back and forth between reading Ryan’s writing and watching Sarah’s videos.

There are apparently now seven books in the series. I don’t know if I’ve ever read any of the others. I should check that out.