Trip to Rome & the Amalfi Coast
I haven’t been posting since before a plane deposited three other ladies and me in Italy this May. Thank God for cameras because words cannot adequately express what we saw while roaming through Rome, Naples and along the Amalfi Coast. I’ll let these YouTube videos–okay, and the Italian music–speak more eloquently of the beauty of the art and countryside and of the calamitous ruins of the Coliseum and the city of Pompeii.
Travel through Space & Time
I had also abandoned my work on my second novel until just recently. Now I’m back, or maybe I should say I’m off to outer space. I’d love to have you join me to explore what a tiny, but unified team of rebels with divine connections will encounter as they resist a global corporate empire, owners of a working space elevator, who have their own otherworldly partners. Here’s the beginning:
Space Elevator Malfunction
The two in the climber unit had no warning. One minute they were looking down at the blue marble as the elevator lifted them and their cargo of grain into deep space, the next they were space junk.
Looking skyward, the small group on duty at the anchor station couldn’t spot the tether. At less than eight inches wide—a tiny silver ribbon in a wide open sky—it wasn’t the easiest thing to make out, even with binoculars, as it climbed upward from the space station to the counterweight 62,000 miles up. But it had hung there for fifteen months now, never swinging in the breeze, as taut as a bow string.
One end of the cable remained anchored to the floating platform on which they stood. That connection was easy enough to see. When Torin, the chief mechanic, finally spotted an airborne section in low-Earth orbit, he understood why they hadn’t immediately detected it. It was not straight up. Rather it had drifted to the left of the anchored section and appeared to be curving just where visibility with the naked eye became a struggle.
“Omygod,” he yelled. “When did the last climber unit start up the space elevator, Callie?”
“Two days ago,” the team’s girl Friday—a title no one would call her to her face—yelled back. “According to the log, loading was completed at 6 a.m. Tuesday with the lifters aloft thirty minutes later.”
“That means the elevator car should be 10,200 feet up by now. Please take a look ’cause I’m not seein’ it. And please tell me I’m only imagining a curvature in the cable!”
Callie looked over Torin’s shoulder while he zoomed the attached camera into the right height. An empty computer screen stared back. As she turned toward Torin, an inscrutable look passed between them.
He turned back to the screen before he said, “They would’ve made contact if they were in trouble.”
“Maybe they encountered some space debris and had to slow down. The Maintenance Climber is still not as fast as we’d like. Try a different height.”
“No, that’s not it,” he replied instantly. “The orbital debris tracking system would’ve alerted us. I’ve already initiated a comprehensive search. We’ll know in thirteen minutes if the climber cars are up there.”
Nothing. The three moving cars–a vertical railroad–that had been crawling up the screen an hour before, were now invisible. Panic made Callie’s slim body shake so that she could barely get the words out: “You’d better.. make the call.. to Dad’s office.”
If you will give me your reaction to these paragraphs, I might save you a seat on the space elevator…