I’ve been meaning to share this for a week but I’ve been under the weather and had a few deadlines.
I love visiting schools to share ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON with children. It’s fun to watch them respond to the story and then talk about it afterwards. I also share a slide show with a bit about me when I was a child, my inspiration for writing the book, and some of my photography. The photo above is the skylight in the space where I did a recent presentation. In the book, Aliana uses a skylight to create the surprise at the end of the story so it was a magical feeling to read the book beneath one.
I was welcomed by a display case with information about me, ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, and phases of the moon which is part of the story.
Connecting with children is the thing I miss most about teaching. I knew every day in the classroom I was changing lives and making a difference. It was both an honor and a responsibility. The feedback was immediate and also something I could see over time. They were also changing my life in the process. With writing, the impact on children is still there, but I may not even know about it except when I’m able to visit a school.
Written with gratitude for librarian Jolene Gutierrez, the teachers, and the children of Denver Academy.
An evening at Red Rocks Amphitheater is a dream for many performers and concert goers. I’ve been fortunate to see a variety of performers there since I’ve lived in Colorado.
Sunday night, with Joe Bonamassa on the stage, we were treated to a second show in the sky. The waxing gibbous moon rested between Saturn (not pictured) to the left and Jupiter to the right. The first image was taken during the show from a lower row and the second was taken afterwards from the top level behind the seats. The point of reference provided by the Amphitheater is the same and gives great perspective.
One day left (in my time zone.) Tomorrow will be a wonderful celebration! 🚀🌕🎊
I’m caught up in the excitement of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which you know if you follow this blog. The clips of the astronauts, mission control, and Walter Cronkite are all bringing the magnitude of this accomplishment into focus for me.
I was a child in 1969 and didn’t understand why this garnered the world’s attention. Now, as an adult I understand the danger and why Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were heroes. The very real chance of them not coming back didn’t occur to me until 1986, when I watched the Challenger disaster.
As the countdown reaches 2 days left to 7/20/19, this illustration created by Ariel Boroff to depict the big reveal in our book, demonstrates my own feeling watching all of the news footage from 50 years ago. I hope you are also filled with awe.
Five animal related facts about space so that I can share a picture of Charlie too, for his biggest fan Shalini 😊
1. Several monkeys were used in flight and space trials that did not end well. In 1959 – 10 years before Apollo 11 – a rhesus monkey named Abel and a Squirrel monkey named Baker became the first to successfully return to Earth after a 16 minute space flight. A total of 32 monkeys have been involved in space flights.
2. After humans successfully landed on the moon, animals were still part of the biological payload of missions even though they received less attention.
3. The record for dogs in space is held by the Russian dogs, Veterok and Ugolyok who orbited Earth for 22 days in 1966.
4. In 1973 two European garden spiders named Arabella and Anita spun webs aboard NASA’s Skylab for 59 days.
5. Additional varieties of animal life have been sent into space including cats, a tortoise, mice, frog eggs, and worms.
1. Apollo 11 landed on the moon 66 years after the Wright Brothers first flight.
2. Neil Armstrong was 15 years old when he had logged enough hours to fly but wasn’t old enough to get. Drivers license.
3. 12 astronauts have walked on the moon.
4, When Apollo 11 returned it only had 25 seconds of fuel remaining.
5. Apollo 11 was in space for 76 hours.
6. The round trip Apollo 11 was 240,000 miles.
1. “I knew I was alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before.” – Michael Collins
2. “I still say shoot for the moon; you might get there.” – Buzz Aldrin
3. “Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” – Neil Armstrong
4. “A geologist up here would just go crazy.” – Michael Collins
5. “Why don’t you hear these 3,500-pound rocket engines when you’re sitting on them, I’ll never know.” – Buzz Aldrin
6. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong
7. “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to Rest In Peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.” These are the opening lines of a speech prepared for Richard Nixon to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the Moon.