Archive for February, 2017

A Whole Lot Of Real Estate

Posted: February 24, 2017 in Space
Tags: ,

NASA has this week announced the discovery of a star system, TRAPPIST-1 which has not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN earth sized planets in it.  That is the most discovered so far around a single star.

Of those, three are located in the habitable zone, where it is possible that water could exist.  That isn’t to say that it does.  Venus and Mars occupy the habitable zone in our solar system but aren’t what you would call habitable.  There is the possibility though, which is what makes this find exciting.

And at just 40 light years away, Trappist-1 is a stones throw away on a galactic scale.  That still makes them 235 trillion miles away so there is no chance of getting there any time soon.

What is really interesting about this system is that it a red dwarf, a star much smaller and cooler than our sun.  It means that all of the planets are close in to their son, giving them ‘years’ that are just days in length.  And given that they are so close, you could see all of the other ones with your naked eye if standing on the surface of them.

NASA’s Trappist-1 page is full of information, videos and of course artists impressions, about the system, as well as one of their glorious retro posters.

Google were quick off the mark with one of their animated gifs to celebrate the announcement.


As a writer this is really interesting.  A system with seven planets would make a fun place to tell a story in, especially if you could colonise or terraform more than one of them.



It is possibly a little on the late side to be doing a post on writing plans for the year ahead but here it is.

At the start of the year I set out some goals that I’d like to accomplish this year, the first and foremost being to make something of my scribblings – to actually make a go at being a writer rather than just dreaming of it.

First up is to write ever day., and to aim for around 50,000 words a month.  In effect doing a nanowrimo ever month. That would bring the yearly total to around 600,000 words, which is around 6-8 standard novels in length or slightly longer than War & Peace.

Secondly, actually do something with all those words.  By that I mean get them out there for people to read.

As part of that is to actually put up a number of short fiction pieces I’ve been sitting on for some time.  I’ve got two collections of 8 stories apiece, totalling around the 70K word mark in total for both collections that have been around for ages gathering dust.  Call it crippling shyness, terminal self doubt or whatever but I haven’t taken the risk with them I should.

Once they are done I’ll take a plunge on some of the other stuff I have been working on, fixing them up and getting ready to release them.

So how did January go?

Better than I had expected, especially starting off cold.  I manage to write everyday and put out 57,300 words of rough drafts (plus 2762 words or rewrites), which is above the monthly target and gives me a nice little buffer going ahead.

All those words were scattered over a number of projects as I worked on figuring out just what I was going to focus on.  I did finish off the rough draft of one short story and one novella, both of which had been started prior to the beginning of the year.

In addition I made a great start to two new projects.  One is an epic fantasy story,which I did 10K on.  I’m still considering if it would be a standalone story or maybe a trilogy – I guess I’ll see as the story progresses.

The second was starting on a space opera short fiction serial, which clocked in at around 7,800 words done by the end of January, all of them in the last 5 days.  In fact prior to that the idea of the story hadn’t existed.  I just sat down and started writing.

More updates int the coming months, and hopefully even further updates on others matters as well.