How am I just telling you? My work was featured on the Astronomical Wonders blog over the summer! I’m flattered and humbled (flambled maybe?) to appear on Tumblr’s most popular astronomy blog. It has over 150,000 followers, more than the population of Waco.
How did this happen?
In June I headed to Space Center Houston for an afternoon. Just me, my books, and a mess of flyers for my Writers Camp. You know, the class that didn’t quite make the necessary enrollment this summer. (Oh, but next summer it is on!) I set up shop beside the robotic ice cream machine. Nothing stops traffic like an ice cream-wielding robot.
|…the stuff of dreams and nightmares.
Anyhow, most of my “recruits” for the camp unfortunately lived in other places. Not San Antonio, but places like Dubai, Detroit, or Lufkin. Probably not flying in for space writer’s camp, no matter how much they’d like. So, instead of recruiting, I ended up talking to a few families about space and my books. Not my goal, but not a bad afternoon.
Toward the end of the day a family approached me – two adults in their twenties with their parents. We talked space and I found out the young man had landed an internship at NASA. Nice! He shared my passion for space and literacy, as did the rest of the family. Nicer! So I ended up selling them two of my books. After the recruitment fail, our chat encouraged me. It’s always great to find the like-minded.
A few weeks passed. I thought nothing of it until the young man emailed and told me he was enjoying my books. Then he asked if he could feature them on his Tumblr blog, Astronomical Wonders. I said sure and decided to look up the blog. When I typed “Astronomical Wonders” into google, it began to finish my words for me. That’s usually a sign of high traffic. That’s cool, I thought, the blog has good web presence. Then I clicked on the blog.
First of all, Astronomical Wonders
is gorgeous. The universe was built to be presented on Tumblr. Every image, from montages of the Carina Nebula to gifs of spinning galaxies, flowed across my iPhone screen like mercury. Post after post rolled under my thumb. It was good. See for yourself.
I’m always humbled that people want to read the Tully books, when librarians tell me “they’re still checking them out.” I put a lot of time and creativity into this story. I believe in its meaning, motivations, and characters. They remind me of who I want to be. I need to be like Tully and: follow my dreams; think of three things I’m grateful for before I go to sleep; be honest with my friends when it counts; admire qualities in the people around me; takes changes; go on adventures. And I need to follow the Sacred’s advice: “Go, and do not delay.” “Fight, but do not hate.” There’s lots of going that’s need to be done. Lots of fighting for what is good and just. I need to look up from this computer screen at the ever-living stars. I need to live out my dreams with courage and joy. And so do you.
These books have taken a few years of my life to develop, and though they imperfectly what’s inside my head, I’m doing the best I can with the tools at hand – pen I keep moving, keys I keep clicking.
I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t matter who you think is watching, whether your face lands on someone’s Tumblr feed today or you’re stuck at a desk doing 9-5. If there is a good God in heaven, he sees and appreciates your efforts. He gave you breath in your lungs, ideas in your head, and work for your hands. Make the most of these things. And supplement them with stargazing and Dippin’ Dot-wielding robots as opportunity allows.