Winter Solstice Analemma

analemmaDefinition of ANALEMMA

:  a plot or graph of the position of the sun in the sky at a certain time of day (as noon) at one locale measured throughout the year that has the shape of a figure 8; also :  a scale (as on a globe or sundial) based on such a plot that shows the sun’s position for each day of the year or that allows local mean time to be determined
an·a·lem·mat·ic adjective – Webster’s Dictionary
Beautiful photo, huh? The definition doesn’t do it justice.
The winter solstice makes me wonder…does the lowest dot on the analemma represent the shortest day of the year? (That would be just left of the center of the fluffy cloud, by the way.) As a non-scientist, the idea of photographing the position of the sun intrigues me for reasons I can’t fathom. Perhaps it’s the daily routine, the high-tech camera equipment required, or perhaps the end result…a gorgeous figure eight framing the graceful twist of infinity. My fascination with the analemma reminds me of the ancients’ creation of Stonehenge and the Anasazi’s pilgrimages to local formations which captured the sun as it rose, flooding the Earth with information and omens. The movements of the sun are still important to us because, like the Anasazi, we still seek signs from the sky, knowledge from the sun, anything to guide us through the universe.
This time of year, with its many religious and secular celebrations, I always feel a bit like these ancient folks. I’m confounded by the events of our world and in need of explanation of the mysteries of life. But, as a realist, I know these annual events are just that: beautiful, predictable, undeniable.
All the same, deep in there somewhere, mystery and hope overrides rationality. Maybe people long ago tapped the conduit to the heavens; maybe they were closer to the truth than we can ever be.
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Wonderful Solstice and Happy Holidays greetings, blogging friends:)
What mystical feelings do you ponder?
Analemma – NASA

Writer’s Laryngitis

It’s rare my surly muse visits, and my writing has suffered in his absence. But, since I’ve reminded myself sucess is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, I’ve resisted the impulse to press the M key. Until now.

Alive or dead, Juan Reyes really is one of the most extraordinary characters I created. In case you don’t know, he was a videographer in my first novel. I killed him off so, in tribute to his stunning journalistic talent, good looks, irrepressible humor and selfishness, I resurrected him as my muse.

Tonight, in a gesture to the holidays, he wears new clothes, a black leather duster and broad-brimmed hat instead of his usual blood-stained fatigues. The overall effect is a bizarre combination of  western bad-guy and 1970s pimp. While I don’t comment on his clothes, I know he wouldn’t mind the comparison.Black leather jacket

Concern flickers in his eyes but, never given to sentimentality, a flirtatious grin immediately replaces worry.

“Been a long time since you summoned me,” he says, flashing his lighter and inhaling rapturously. Smoke wreaths my keyboard and while I can’t smell it, I remember the feeling.

I glance at him. He’s standing closer than usual tonight, almost within reach. Although he can’t enter the corporeal world, I have the strong feeling he wants to hug me.

“Laryngitis,” I say, turning to face him. “You know, my voice is gone.”

“Your voice sounds fine to me, but if it’s really a problem, try gargling with Jack Daniels twice a day.” In spite of his irreverent comment, he looks down at me, his dark face serious.

“Juan, I didn’t call you because…it took a while to figure out what was wrong with my book. My writer’s voice is gone, lost.”

dreadlocks 2He shakes his head, black dreads swirling over his shoulders. “I knew it was serious. I thought it was just my equipment when your words stopped coming. You put your WIP away, didn’t you?”

I nod.

“Don’t worry, girl,” Juan says, moving closer. I almost feel a rush of air as he brushes his hand over my keyboard and a single sentence appears on the monitor:

AN HONEST WRITER KNOWS WHEN TO MOVE ON.

“There’s no shame in quitting,” he whispers.  “Keep in mind the world you created will serve you well in the next novel. You have a character who’s so powerful, wise and relentless, I’m almost jealous. You’ll use him again. You have lyricism you’ll repeat while you fold it in with new inspiration.”

He crosses his arms. “When you blog about me, that’s your voice. That’s the way your world is. Remember: the definition of writer’s voice is the intangible power you use to make the reader wish he could live in your book or make him damned glad he doesn’t. It’s a sensibility; it’s like me. Always there in the background, adding all three dimensions, running like illegal software in the reader’s mind. He’s not even aware what’s happening, but you’re seducing him while he reads.”

We’re silent for a moment, and then he says, “I think we should watch a Christmas movie, don’t you?”

“Anything for you, muse. Which one did you have in mind?” I ask, my cursor hesitating over Netflix.

DIEHARD! Love all that 20th century American cursing,” he laughs.

“One of my personal favorites,” I agree and, as a young Bruce Willis fills the screen, my muse fades into the starlight of my office window.window stars

Have you ever misplaced your writer’s voice, if so, what did you do to regain it?

 

Photos: Foter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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