Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Observing the transit of Venus: a salute to Ana Darcy!

Eclipses of the sun and moon come along every year or so, and they are always news. Millions of people enjoy watching these majestic evidences of the mechanics of the universe.

A similar, much less frequent phenomenon with a long, fascinating history will occur the fifth of this June, not to be seen again in the lifetime of anyone now on Earth, not until 2117: the transit of Venus.

During the transit of Venus, the shadow of that planet, Venus, can be seen (with special equipment) to pass across the face of the sun. See the photo above. It is not as dramatic as a lunar eclipse, but it was a crucial observation for astronomers in the 18th century, who hoped to use the principle of parallax to accurately calculate the distance from the Earth to the sun. More information may be found HERE.

Ana Darcy Méndez, who crossed 25 light years from her home planet Thomo to reach Earth, is naturally interested in celestial matters. (They are integral to her theology as well.)  There will no doubt be many gatherings and parties on June 5, 2012, to observe and commemorate this event, and we invite participants to sip a toast to the brave young woman who crossed a small corner of the universe to join her people with their home planet, Earth. Cheers to you, ma'am!

John Philip Sousa, the March King, wrote a march in honor of the last transit of Venus, in 1882. Ana was delighted to discover this! 

Ana's thoughts on early education and math education

See more music, art, and science in the index in the right column -->

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another little toot of the horn

It's always fun to receive, and to share, comments from readers. Here are some recent ones:

"Enormous fun! The very fast-paced plot is based on some interesting premises, there are many well-sketched characters (and some good character development), and the book is loaded with local color of several flavors. I'd add that there's a touch of innocence about the worldview that reminds me slightly of golden-age SF. I'm systematically reading my way through the series, and I recommend it highly. "

"What makes a book outstanding to me is that I am sad when I come to the ending and the characters stay with me for a long time after reading. This series is one of the few that is on my "Must Read" list when others ask me for book recommendations."

"esta espectacular... solo esta semana termine el Libro de Ana Darcy…. Muy bueno…… Es de esos libros que uno empieza y no quiere parar…..Mil gracias."

 "One of the interesting things about the series and the Mendez clan is that the action scenes aren't necessarily the main event. With a plotline like DC 5, most authors would spend the whole time concentrating on...Ana... . But in your case, it's only one ingredient. Clio's adventures...are equally important, etc. I think that's one of the things that makes your series distinctive, but probably also one of the things that would have a literary agent lecturing you about changing things. And yet why should stories always follow a particular formula? Obviously I'm not the only one that feels this way, since you've acquired a cult Kindle following!"

"I just finished Distant Cousin and downloaded the next book in the series. I have to tell you how much I love your writing! I have truly enjoyed Ana's adventures. It leaves me wishing I could meet her. I love how you bring seemingly unrelated things together so neatly."

"What a nice surprise "Distant Cousin" was - quite unique. It has humor, moves along at a pleasant pace, and the main characters have realistic flaws and faults that I could identify with. ...I found myself smiling the entire time I was reading it. There is a subtle wisdom and numerous life philosophies throughout this book. To sum it up: good story - thoughtful, comfortable, and fun!"


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An anniversary poem for the husband of an extraterrestrial!

Ana Darcy's husband Matt, being an English major, has an unsurprising taste for poetry. Recently, approximately a month before their anniversary, he ran across a poem that touched his heart.

We can only provide a link to a copyrighted work, but we can say that except for the ocean mentioned (there are no oceans anywhere close to southern New Mexico) there was much in it to remind him that his sweet wife had traveled trillions of miles from her home planet to get to Earth, and to their house. 

What in the poem spoke to him?

"I climbed / the stairs to the roof of the house and under a sky / strewn with stars I gazed...and I imagined you coming closer...."


 "The nearness, the momentary warmth of you...why did I believe you would come out of nowhere?"

He can never forget the last line, "Why with all / that the world offers would you come only because I was here?"

After years of marriage, Matt still can't understand why this glorious woman should have chosen him, of all the people on Earth, to love. His only guess: it was a miracle.

The poem is "Black Sea," by Mark Strand. The story of the meeting and courtship of Ana and Matt is told in Distant Cousin.

Note (2017): The link above has been closed. The very fine poem, however, can still be found using a workaround. Please see this suggestion!

See more of Ana's favorite poetry, recipes, and art in the columns to the right