Day 78: Muggy

Day 78:

I don’t talk about the weather here much because it doesn’t change often. If I remember correctly, Serendipity is one of those planets that spins perfectly on its axis and has no seasons the way that Earth does. The drop point was planned to be a bit above the equator, so not quite tropical weather, but certainly warm and muggy by most people’s standards. The trees are deciduous style leaves though I doubt they fall since they don’t get a “fall”.

Without naming temperatures, since I lack a thermometer and my “hot” may not be anyone else’s “hot”, most days are warm enough to walk around in light clothing, and it’s easy to break a sweat if working out side. Most nights are on the cool side unless it’s cloudy – not cold enough to frost or anything like that but certainly not my ideal sleeping temperature. The fire’s always burning in my cave house, just to keep the dampness and cold at a minimum.

Since I spend most days underground where the temperature’s relatively cool (except near that strange hot wall I’m not willing to dig through) I’m more often cold than hot.

It rains a couple days a week, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night.

All this to say that I spent a good part of today standing in the lakebed dredging sand to make glass, so my feet are freezing and my arms are sunburnt. It reminds me a bit of going to the beach with my family when I was a kid, back before we moved off Earth.

Black and white sketch. The star (the planet's sun) fills all of the right side of the page. On the left side a planet with a totally vertical axis and an arrow indicating the planet spins. Lines mark off the polar regions (near the poles), and temperate zones (next to the polar regions) and the center of the planet is just labeled "too hot".
This is what I’m picturing, anyway

Day 77: Reeds

Day 77:

I’m still exhausted from the mining I’ve been doing, and my body’s sending me signals that maybe I should slow down. (Those signals are things like bruises, and aching shoulders, and a smashed toe. Little things.)

I slept half the morning, then got up, checked on the animals, and took a walk.

I found some cane reeds down a ways, in the direction of the mountain. Not a lot of them, but enough that I took some to transplant closer to where I live. With the speed everything grows here, I should know in a couple of days whether the plans will live or die.

The cane smells sweet, so it might be sugar cane. Or it might be ok for making paper from.

I wonder how hard it would be to design a grinding wheel.

line sketch of five bamboo or sugar-cane like plants, with thick segmented stems and a mess of floppy leaves at the top.
They’re tall!

Starred Kirkus Review for the 2018 Young Explorers Adventure Guide

The 2018 Young Explorers Adventure Guide is out on December 1, and it includes a story I wrote called “The Smell of Home”. The book is aimed at middle-grade readers and higher (essentially 12+ ears of age) and has a lot of fantastic stories about setting off on adventure.

The book was given a starred reviewby, which is an Exciting Thing as they only star roughly 10% of their reviews.

I’d be lying if I said I thought my story was the reason we got the star, but I’m damned honored to have my work included in the anthology with so many fantastic stories.

I’ll make sure to post links when I get them!

Day 76: Hauling

Day 76:

We’ll call it Day 76 anyway. To be honest, the days here are so short I still haven’t adjusted to them, and since I spend a lot of time underground I can’t be sure that it’s been only one day since the last time I wrote.

I’ve mined alot of ore and quality stone since the last time I wrote. I’m hungry. I’m covered in dirt. I’m listening to zombies growl above my head and spiders whistle in various places. I’m reallyreally happy. This much granite in this condition could get me a ship of my own! Even just my cut could get me a ship of my own!

I’m not sure what I’d do with all this wealth, to be honest. I’m considering how to secure it above and beyond what I’ve been doing so far. I mean, sure, keeping the zombies out of my supplies is important, but I hadn’t really considered what would happen if someone other than The Company showed up to mine here. We’re not exactly the only company that mines deep space. If someone else decides to land here, I’ve made it whole lot easier for them to take my stuff without payment.

Ugh! I just want off this rock securely! And I’m working with literally iron-age supplies: no engines, no gunpowder…

Wait. I might be able to make bombs out of the explosive powder the giraffe corgis leave behind when they die.

Too many things to think about. Empty stomach. I should go eat something and sleep.

Watercolor of a wooden bowl filled with carrot soup and a piece of roasted white fish.
Breakfast, or dinner, or whatever you want to call it. It’s food!

Day 75: Harvest

Day 75:

I have hit a motherlode of stone – up near the surface, where I didn’t expect it. Granite, andesite, diorite, even iron ore and coal! It’ll probably take me a few days to get it all out of its location and hauled back to my storage area.

It’s been two months (a little more I guess) since I arrived, and I haven’t seen a single sign of The Company coming back for me, but I still get excited at the idea of what all this stone is worth. Absolutely pristine slabs of granite, bigger than a billiards table, and twice as thick!

I’m designing a hauling harness for Stupid and Dumb (the other horse) so that I can use them to drag these goods back to the storage area. I don’t want to break the granite up any more than possible, but it’s way too much for me to haul on my own.

Line drawing of a horse, with a harness that fastened across the chest, and across the small of the back, which would then hook to something on the ground to drag it like a sled. Labeled "Horse harness?"
This might work, or it might break their backs. I have no idea.