I could claim that I took a week off after NaNoWriMo to recharge my batteries, step back, and take stock of where I am and where I want to be. I could also just admit to being lazy.
I came across a factoid recently about a meteor strike in 2008. It was the first time that an asteroid had been detected in space and tracked all the way to its impact on Earth. People later found its debris in a desert because someone knew how to calculate its trajectory. It amazed me to learn that this kind of basic science still has new milestones to achieve. (I could write about the discoveries which I still hope to see in my lifetime, but that just makes me feel old.)
On the same day that I had come across that blast from the recent past, the subject of the old Asteroids video game came up in conversation. It seemed like a fun coincidence, so I jotted down a few thoughts with the intention of blogging about it. Here I am, several weeks later, and I just found my notes, which amount to less inspiration than I imagined they would be at the time. (I could write about arcade games, but I never spent very much time or money on them myself.)
Asteroids have shown up on my television a lot lately, as I watch a lot of programs about the coming apocalypse. As disasters go, an asteroid hitting Earth makes for some dramatic simulations. I’m catching old science fiction movies and shows like Star Trek, in which asteroids are gloriously animated. (I could make a list, but that would be tedious.)
If you haven’t read it, I recommend “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell. It is a science fiction novel which is mostly about first contact with another world, but it makes a plausible case for the use of an asteroid for transportation. (I could go on a tangent about how this was her first book, or how the screenplay adaptation is in limbo, or the progressive rock album devoted to its story, but I’ll be lazy and let you read the links instead.)
Will we travel to an asteroid within my lifetime? Will we mine it for resources? Will we nudge it out of its path or destroy it before it destroys us? Will I live to see another milestone in astronomical research? Or will I find something else to write about before then?