Stephen L. Thompson’s March 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to my electronic newsletter, covering March 2011.

My publication news for the past month:

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This month I wrote 4,128 words, giving me a total this year of 10,504. Again my goal is to write a total of 50,000 words this year, so I need to get busy.

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Two new things. A few weeks ago, I bought a dry erase board and wrote up a list of my stories. I soon filled it up and had to go back and rewrite everything smaller. As I said at the time, I could take a picture of the board each month for my newsletter to give you an idea of what I’m doing. So, here is my board at the end of March:

The second new idea is slightly related to the first one. I’ve run my newsletter for five years, and I’ve just added the latest on top of the page so you could scroll down to see all the older ones. Since my newsletters have been primarily text, the page still loads pretty quickly. But if I start putting photos into every one, that could slow things down. One option was to just make a new page for my newsletters, but then I thought of something possibly better: just putting my newsletter on to my Writing Blog. I’m thinking it may be easier for me to update it, and for people to follow it, even to comment on it. So for the next few months, I’m going to be putting my newsletter on my site as well as on my blog to see how it works.

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I did get around to writing a story for this month. Enjoy.


Day 366

“How did she hold up?” Station Commander Aziz Hammuda asked.

Doctor Eduardo León turned his head slightly towards Aziz, but didn’t take his eyes off the vast shipping container. “Marvelously. None of the jostle sensors were tripped, and the ride up was very smooth.”

“Did you expect otherwise?” Aziz asked with a smirk. Slapping Eduardo’s shoulder, he asked, “Do you want to break her out and go for a spin?”

“Tempting,” Eduardo replied with a chuckle. “But I have a wife and two daughters who would like me to keep my job.”

“Bah,” Aziz said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Employment is overrated.”

“Ah, so when we take an irreplaceable museum display ‘for a spin,’ I can just say it was all your idea.”

For a moment, Aziz just stood looking at the container. Then, with a smile, he asked, “How about I start unpacking, and you go deal with the reporters?”

Eduardo frowned and turned to looked behind them as if he could see the horde of reporters a few levels away. “I’d rather unpack.”


Aziz and Eduardo stepped up to the podium smiling and nodding to various reporters. Once everyone was settled, Aziz began, “Thank you all. You all know Doctor Eduardo León who is overseeing the transfer of the American Space Shuttle Discovery from the Smithsonian Institution to the Mare Tranquillitatis Science Museum. If we haven’t met, I am Aziz Hammuda, Commander of Gagarin Station here on the Mbandaka Space Elevator. Together we are pleased to announce that Discovery has safely returned to space. While the slow climb up the elevator doesn’t compare to the thunderous ride of a rocket, it’s much easier for a lady of 127.”

When the reporters finished chuckling, Aziz continued, “Tomorrow morning – once Doctor León is completely satisfied there were no problems – Discovery will continue up the elevator eventually reaching Clarke Station next week. There it will be transferred to a cargo shuttle and flown to the Collins Station. It journey down the Armstrong Elevator and transported to its new hanger at the Science Museum in time for the 100th anniversary of its last flight.”

Aziz looked down at the podium for a moment, before looking back up. “Before I turn you loose to ask Doctor León questions, I just want to add something. During its thirty-nine missions between August 1984 and March 2011, the Space Shuttle Discovery spent a total of 365 days in space, a record that would stand until the Athena missions. While I am saddened that Discovery will spend only a few hours here, I am overjoyed that Discovery’s 366th day in space – the first day of its new life – will be spent here at Gagarin Station.”


One Response to “Stephen L. Thompson’s March 2011 Newsletter”

  1. […] March of 2011, I’ve been putting a photo of my writing board in my newsletter to show you all the stories I […]

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