Robots, Mermaids, & Dogs – Inspirations and Fascinations

Wow, the blogosphere and internet have been full of news and blogs that offer weird, wonderful, and soul-touching bits and pieces that captured this SF writer’s attention. I hope you are as fascinated with these robots, mermaids, & dogs as I am.

Would you move to Mars? Scientists think this might be possible in the near future.

How about if you had NASA’s R2 to help?

courtesy of NASA

Marcy Kennedy (an awesome WANA1011 classmate) also spoke of Mermaids in this touching tribute to her friend: Who is Your Unicorn?

You already know I am a marshmallow when it comes to dogs. Dogs and heroes – I’m toasted :). These two links demonstrate that our canine friends can suffer right alongside us.

He had me at Hero. 🙂 Hero, the dog.

Combat service dogs diagnosed with PTSD.

Demonstrating that writing ideas can come from anywhere is the following story about an endangered Salamander. Just the name of this creature brings to mind fantasy and horror: First Ozark Hellbender Raised in Captivity. If that isn’t a story title, I don’t know what is!

K. M. Weiland exhorts writers to mimic the masters and gives us clear guidelines on the difference between mimicry and plagiarism. Four Reasons to Mimic Masters.

Finally, I am not the only writer offering tips on revision this week (see my Re-Visioning Your Story Writing Wednesday post) Larry Fix offered tips on rewriting your nanowrimo story. Make December Your Nanowrimo Revision Month.

Generally what is here is good and useful, but I disagree on one point. Larry states that “Depending on the nature of the difference between your original idea and the one you finished with, you may or may not be able to salvage it.” I disagree. First, whether it’s fixable or not, depends upon how much work you are willing to do. You can always mine a totally failed story, figure out why it failed and use the salvageable parts to start over. You learn from revising. Most importantly, you learn about your writing process, your strengths, and your weakness when you revise your story.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’d love to hear from you. What inspirations and fascinations have you found on the web or in life this week? Did you enjoy these stories about robots, mermaids, and dogs?

Fascination Friday: A Virtual Memorial Tour

It’s Friday Fascinations and Veteran’s Day. So the links I’ve posted are a virtual memorial tour. A small tribute to the Courage, Honor, Patriotism, and Sacrifice of our men and women of who have served our country.

The Great War

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is in Kansas City, MO. It is the only American museum dedicated solely to preserving objects from The Great War which lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 (does that date sound familiar?). Visitors enter the museum by crossing a glass bridge suspended over a field of 9000 red poppies. Each poppy represents a combatant fatality. The museum’s displays, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits tell the comprehensive story of the war through the eyewitness testimony of people who experienced the war. There are letters, diaries, videos, and newspaper reports. Some of these will bring a tear to your eye. They did mine. It’s an impressive collection and far more material than you can possibly cover in a day. The museum also houses a 20,000 square foot research area that is open to the public.virtual memorial tour, Kansas City WWI museum, lynettemburrows.com

World War II

Depending upon which source you go to, somewhere between 70 – 100 million military personnel were mobilized during the second World War II. This conflict was fought from 1939 to 1945. (Isn’t conflict a nice, clean, distant word to use when talking about a war that had the distinction of the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare and the deadliest in human history with 50-70 million fatalities.) Go here for Digital history’s guided reading list about WWII. And you’ll find 10 things you may not know about World War II.

The Korean War

The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) belonged to my father’s generation. Korea had been ruled by Japan until the end of World War II when the country became part of the spoils of war. It was divided at the 38th Parallel. American Troops occupied the southern half of the peninsula and Soviet troops occupied the northern part. That set up was a formula for war. For more information about this war go to History.com. For one man who would do it again if he had to go here.

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was my generations’ war. It was the first time war was shown on the television screen. The consequences were enormous. I hope that American’s will never be so naive about war nor so disrespectful of her soldiers ever again. Please go here for more information. And if you are ever in Washington DC visit the wall, one of the most visually stunning memorials I’ve ever seen.

POWs and MIAs

only woman awarded Congressional Medal of Honor, virtual memorial tour, lynettemburrows.com

This tribute must include our prisoners of war (POWs) and our missing in action (MIAs). For biographies and information about POWs go to American Ex-POWs. A site specifically about women prisoners of war is here. And please, in your virtual memorial tour, be sure to visit Never Forgotten.

A Tribute to Heroes

This has been an emotional tour for me. My husband calls me a sap, a marshmallow. I can’t help it. My heart breaks for all of the lost, the wounded (physical and emotional), and the friends and families of all those men and women.

But my heart also busts with pride because Americans choose to fight, to serve because they believe in the ideals of this country and they hold our flag proudly. I say thank you for your service every time I meet or see a person in military uniform. Today I get the great honor of saying to all those who have served or are currently in service, to the ones I haven’t met and to their families: THANK YOU for your service to our great country. And now I close with one of my all-time favorite music videos honoring and celebrating veterans: “Here’s to the Heroes: a Military Tribute.”