This zoom video sequence starts with the spectacular view of the central parts of the Milky Way. As we close in on the constellation of Scorpius, one of the richest parts of the sky, many clusters and nebula appear. The final sequence closes in on an apparently unremarkable star, IRAS 17163-3907, which has been found by recent VLT observations to be a rare yellow hypergiant star, surrounded by two shells.

#Scifi #writing inspiration. This animation reminds me of the old Buck Rogers TV show, except the stars aren’t bouncing off the camera.


Check out #fantasy #writer Tony Elliot (@Tonyelliott777) on today’s #WW Author Snapshot!

Author Profile: Tony Elliott
Twitter: @Tonyelliott777
Author site:
Any other site you’d like to highlight (like Facebook): Discord of Lupinda
Work in Progress genre: Fantasy – but far removed from elves, trolls, dragons and wizards
Title and description: Discord of Lupinda; Vol.1 – The Awakened; Vol.2 – Incursion; Vol.3 – Purge

Discord of Lupinda is a fantasy trilogy, social study.  The story folds itself around a land where history is a complete fabrication and the many wonders and horrors of the past have been lost within the lies.  When events lead to part of those past horrors returning, the obscuring of the true history of Lupinda leaves people defenseless.

Discord of Lupinda explores the motivations of mankind, with greed for resources, for power and for idealized regimes sitting at the core of a discord that will not be contained in the land from where it started.  It attempts to reveal that the driving force behind a “better way” must want more for the world than he wants for himself and he must be willing to pay any price to provide it, or else become part of the problem rather than the solution.  As Jung once said “if better is to come, good must step aside.”

When do you plan on finishing this work? I have been working on the three volumes for seven years now and released vol.1 – The Awakened, as a Kindle only edition in July 2011.  I expect to have Vol.2 ready for release in December 2011 and Vol.3 in July 2012.

Tony’s blog is an engaging display of the thoughts and motivations of a Fantasy writer. His work (as he notes above) is not traditional Fantasy, and his posts reflect this as well. Please visit his site and support Tony by following him on Twitter and dropping off a note on his blog or author page!

You can view this profile and other Author Snapshots at the New Authors link on the left of the Sojourner Mountain page. If you’d like to be featured with an Author Snapshot, just send me a message through the Submit button. I’d love to feature you!

I’m re-running a few of my favorite Visual #Writing Prompts while I transition my life into a new house.  This was the first ever VWP (posted 16 Jan 2011), and incidentally it has inspired a scene in a novella I’m currently writing. It’s a close up of a scene in a painting in the Louvre.  No, I have no idea what painting…I wish I did.

Original VWP:

Visual writing prompt 1: This dark and somber scene would make some interesting flash fiction.  Give it a shot.

I know I put a lot of #scifi #writing inspiration photos on here, but its hard to resist when APOD puts such amazing images on their site.  But you can think of it as dragon fire if you’re looking for a #fantasy image. This is one of the “sharper views of the Sun ever taken” according to APOD, and I have to say its pretty amazing.  

A Sharp View of the Sun 
Credit: (From NASA APOD) SSTRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences


Twelve Views – One World, 3rd edition: Photoset 18 of 18
Topic: “Pristine/Impure”

Martyn James

Molly Lorraine Jensen

The Writer’s Bane: Staying Motivated…Hanging in There When Life Has Other Plans

Life is a demanding thing, isn’t it? Thanks to my recent move to Ohio, I’ve found that my writing is now weeks behind schedule, and whenever I do get some time I’m so exhausted that the lure of the bed is so powerful that I opt to catch some rest instead of trying to do some catch up. Add to that the ever present demanding day job, and sometimes the notion of writing regularly seems to be incredibly elusive. 

Luckily I have a supportive wife, who has gone to great lengths to help me carve out some writing time.  I still think that I can publish my novella, THE PRINCE OF GRAVES, by late October, early November, and my novel SHADOWS AND BONES, by February.  Still, the call of sleep sometimes wins over the call to creativity, so I’ve tried – with some success – to keep in mind the things that inspire me. I decided it might be helpful to others struggling with keeping on track, writing wise, to categorize these areas of inspiration and to share them here.

1. Remember why you do what you’re doing.  I’m not writing just to put words on paper. I love creating, and I love telling stories.  I’ve never had occasion, as some writers have claimed, to hate or resent my characters or to despise my own writing.  I love it, and I need to get my work out in front of others – otherwise, what’s the point?  When the day is finally winding down, and I start vegging out on some game on my Xoom, I’ll suddenly remember that I could be creating, writing, and more and more I’m putting down the games and picking up the virtual pen.

Article continued on The Weathered Journal.


“If I were to offer any advice to young writers, it would be this: be discriminating and be discerning about the work you set for yourself. That done, be the untutored traveler, the eager reader, the enthusiastic listener. Put what you learn together carefully, and then write thoughtfully, with respect both for the reader and your sources.”
—Barry Lopez