Writing, Hamming, and Dreaming

Writing, Hamming and Dreaming

It’s June. The last week of June, to be exact. Hump day of that week, actually.

On the writing front, I’ve made progress in my WIP. Each week sees Ghost Ship grow, and I believe I’m heading into the final third of the story. I think this one is going to be as large as Restaok was, with D1 being close to 18K words.

To make this story work I had to terraform the continent a little bit and add in that extra town. Once again I’m reminded how vital this map is. Without it, I would have sailed right through the Unknown Islands thinking I had a ways further to go. This map and its scale are extremely valuable for keeping things consistent, never mind honest. I would hate to have put out Ghost Ship and a couple more Pa’adhe tales only to find out later that I’m all over the place with my sailing times. Even if the few readers I have didn’t catch it, I would and I would have been mortified.

Last weekend was Field Day for radio amateurs. I was able to help my local club set up and lend them my radio for a digital station, but I was unable to operate. Family trumps hobby, you know? I was able to get there about an hour or so before the end of Field Day but didn’t operate. PSK was dead by then on both 40m and 20m where we set up. Phone seemed to still have some openings, so one of our GOTA (Get On The Air) station had a teenager on it for most of that time. That was fun to watch, even though I couldn’t understand the QSOs (communication over the air) that were happening. The fun part was watching him go from tentatively operating with a ham’s assistance to fierce concentration on what he was hearing in the headphones and confidently operating the mic. Since his dad is a ham as well, I think this kid’s going to become one eventually, moreso after this exposure.

The weather has been weird, reasonably cool but below normal, and with storms rolling through so often that I’m not getting much done outside that I had planned on. It’s not just the weather, though, I know that. By now I would have had some astrophotography done but all I’ve done is go fly fishing once, and that only because I was re-teaching someone.

This weekend we’re supposed to hit the 100s, temperature wise.  I’m hoping that at least there will be few clouds in the sky in the evening so I can get some astrophotography in. Saturn, for example, is sweetly positioned for photography. I want to try a particular setup on my Celestron NexStar 102 GT.

picture of the Celestron 102GT telescope in my living room.

Celestron 102GT telescope

I’d like to see if I can run the webcam software while using Stellarium to control the telescope. One thing I want to discover is whether the ‘scope will automatically track Saturn, and by implication anything I track in Stellarium, or if that needs to be set in the telescope’s GoTo menu. I’m supposed to go to a shindig Saturday and I plan to take the telescope. Or maybe I’ll just play it safe and go find a nearby site with a good view Friday night instead. I’ve still got the box it came in along with all the padding, so it’ll work for an interim telescope transport until I can clean out the garage and build a proper case.

Hopefully, the skies will reward me this weekend.

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