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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Telescopes


Astronomy has always interested me. When I was a kid, I would take my little Golden Guide to the Stars and my flashlight to the back yard and gaze up at the constellations. Winter or summer, and winter in New England is pretty cold, on most clear nights I would go outside and look at the stars. Back then, I didn’t have a telescope, or even binoculars. When I was in college I received a small telescope as a gift. I still have it buried in the basement, but I haven't used it in years.

Maybe my childhood interest in the stars had something to do with the astronomy theme in Lady of the Stars. I'm still not sure how the idea came about. Anyway, the telescope the hero, Richard, owns is a real one. I looked up antique telescopes on the web and found this Pallant. http://www.antiquetelescopes.org/19thc.html

This telescope is ideal for my story. It's a real, 19th century English telescope, perfect for Richard to own. The telescope is also small, less than a foot long, so Richard or Caroline could easily carry it to an observation position. It figures in Caroline’s and Richard’s courtship, as well as providing a link between past and present.

I rarely look at the stars now. Too many lights and too many trees obscure my view. I still remember most of the constellations’ names, and I always stay up and watch any lunar eclipses that are visible in my area. But, as Lady of the Stars shows, I haven’t completely forgotten my childhood interest. Maybe art does imitate life.

Thank you, all,

Linda

Linda Banche

Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

Lady of the Stars--A legend spanning time, and the man and woman caught in it--Regency time travel, available from The Wild Rose Press

Pumpkinnapper--Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled, and a jealous goose. Oh my--coming September 30, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press
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12 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

I love star gazing when I can, Linda! What a fascinating post. I love the way your interest has inspired and informed your characters' interests - that makes them even more alive.

Do you have 'Starry' programmes? We have a thing called SKY AT NIGHT which comes on once a month and is hosted by Patrick Moore, an astronomer who is about 90 years old now but still full of life and enthusiasm for his subject.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, I love looking at the stars and even took an astronomy class in college, which turned out to be a blast because of the professor.

I don't really know a whole lot, but I just enjoy gazing up at the starry heavens, especially now that I live in an area that is not light polluted.

Cool, about how the telescope and stargazing figured into your story.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Lindsay, I doubt there's any television shows about astronomy, except the occasional NOVA episode on our public television. On Friday nights, the planetarium show at the Boston Museum of Science used to be the constellations as seen from Boston. I haven't gone there in years, so I don't know if they still do that show.

Savanna, I'm glad you enjoy the stars. I can't remember, but are you the one who likes Xena? As an aside, the upper right star in the constellation Orion (Orion's left shoulder) is named Bellatrix, Latin for Woman Warrior. We can rename it "Xena". **grins** here's a link: http://www.earthsky.org/skywatching/bellatrix-orions-third-brightest-means-female-warrior-2006

P.A.Brown said...

Years ago when I wrote Science Fiction I used to study astronomy and planetology for my writing. These days I write mysteries and don't think I've ever employed astronomy in anything. But I do put other interests in them. I made my protag in L.A. Heat a network engineer since that's what I did, I also love putting animals in my books. Horses are in a lot of mine, as are dogs. Why not? They're things I know about and that I feel passionate about. One less thing I have to research! LOL.

Word Actress said...

I love any form of passion so your love of looking at the stars is a wonderful inspiration for your story.
I remember bareboating in the Caribbean with my husband and some friends. It was a peaceful, balmy night and we just stared for hours at the star-burst sky. Thanks for sharing and for reminding me of a cherished life moment...Mary Kennedy Eastham, Author, 'The Shadow of a Dog I Cant Forget' and the upcoming novel, 'Night Surfing - A Story of Love & Wonder in the Waves of Malibu'

Linda Banche said...

Hey P.A., yes, it's always easier to write about something you know. Research is hard.

Mary, sounds like a wonderful night. I can only imagine how beautiful the stars would look so far from lights.

Judi Romaine said...

Love the idea of a telescope and astronomy in your book. My interest, the environment, crept into my books so far it's become a subgenre - romantic environmental suspense - my latest environmental suspense book Long Run Home comes out with The Wild Rose Press in September - lynn romaine

Mary Ricksen said...

I so get the telescope interest. I have two myself. I go every year to the mountains in NC and I can see everything from the Milky Way, to satellites as they drift swiftly by. I love it and up there you can see so well!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hey, Linda, yeah me, I adore Xena. Thanks for the info.

Did someone say bareboating in the Caribbean... ? gosh, yes, it was glorious for gazing up at the starry sky... just amazing!

Linda Banche said...

Lynn, wow, your very own subgenre. Quite an achievement.

Mary, two telescopes are even better than one. And up in the mountains, away from all the lights and pollution, you must have some beautiful views.

Savanna, Whenever I see Orion in the winter sky, I think of Xena. I like her, too.

Bekki Lynn said...

I love the sky when it's lit up with stars. I don't know what is what, just the beauty.

We have quite a few meteor showers and stuff and it's something the boys and I love watching together. At times the cloud cover prevents us from seeing the show, but not too often.

We go nuts over the moon, too. How it changes colors. How it seems to follow you some nights, or just sit there and smile at you. I love the old face in the moon. And sometimes it's so close, you can almost reach out and touch it with a kite. The other night, it was so low, so bright we didn't need the outdoor like on in the back yard. When it's like this, we do complain about three o'clock in the morning and it's lighted up our bedroom despite the closed blinds. lol

Linda Banche said...

Hi Bekki, yes, the night sky gives a great show. The moon may be familiar, but it's still great to look at. As for meteor showers, I'm jealous, I haven't seen one in years.

Nice to know I'm not the only one who likes looking up at night.