piper, the planets, and the letter “A”

The letter “A” comes to mind when I think of Piper, the narrator of Shake Down The Stars. Piper is an alcoholic, an atheist and an amateur astronomer, and, in an odd way, since she’s kinda, sorta dating her ex-husband while “dating” other men, an adultery.  Whew. Her life is a mess! Sadly, she can’t find comfort with her mother, who is Born Again and married to a mega preacher (Is that a term?); nor does she  get along with her self-absorbed sister, who is busy preparing her over-the-top wedding to a football star. She does find consolation, however, in stargazing, one of the few reliable sources of emotional comfort she has.I’m a lot like Piper when it comes to the feeling comfort and amazement when I stare up at the sky. I don’t own a telescope (YET), but I love seeing images of space that the Hubble sends back. I think it’s pretty mind–boggling that we’re out here floating in a galaxy, part of a vast universe.  It makes me feel infinitesimally small, but also makes me want to savor every day I’m here. As Piper notes in the novel, we live on a special…special planet. I wanted to share just a few images from the Hubble telescope. I love the idea that there’s a camera out in space bringing back amazing images–kind of like the paparazzi of the solar system. Images from the Hubble show up on Facebook feed.  I hope you like them. Remember to look up now and then.  🙂


Saturn. If you were to stretch Saturn’s rings out, the distance would reach as far as Earth to the moon

Wow! :-)

Wow! 🙂

Planetary Nebula!

Planetary Nebula!

The Horse Head Nebula. Piper references this near the end of the book.

The Horse Head Nebula. Piper references this near the end of the book.

The planet VenusLook at all that gorgeous purple

The planet Venus
Look at all that gorgeous purple

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