On This Date: Five Notable Events

On October 30, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a secret document mandating that the United States maintain and develop its nuclear weapons arsenal. Just four years later, on this same date, the Soviet Union detonated the largest explosive device ever, Tsar Bomba. The estimated yield was 50 megatons, which is almost one-and-a-half times the power of the combined yield of the two bombs detonated … Continue reading On This Date: Five Notable Events

Neil Gaiman on Being a Writer

Last night, we sat in the audience at a super-secret appearance by Neil Gaiman, the author of American Gods, Coraline, The Sandman, and much more. He’s in Southern California for the World Fantasy Convention, so he agreed to appear at a fundraiser for Orange County High School for the Arts on the condition that he be rewarded by dining with fellow writers Tim Powers and … Continue reading Neil Gaiman on Being a Writer

The Luck & Obligation of Writing

Are we lucky? Or are we obligated? We’ve been thinking a lot lately about this these questions as writers together, writers separately, and in terms of our larger professional and personal lives. Last month on her Work-in-Progress blog, novelist Leslie Pietrzyk wrote about whether writing is fun: “‘Fun’—it seemed such a curious word for the constant, endless, soul-sucking struggles with the muse, with the marketplace, … Continue reading The Luck & Obligation of Writing

Interview: Kathryn Thornton

Today, we continue our video interview series with four-time space shuttle astronaut Kathy Thornton. Thornton became an astronaut in 1985, a pretty good time to get into the lineup. Her first mission was STS-33 in 1989 on Discovery. She flew on Endeavour twice, on STS-49 in 1992 and STS-61 in 1993. Her last flight was on Columbia, for STS-73 in 1995. She was inducted into the Astronaut … Continue reading Interview: Kathryn Thornton

Writing Apart, Writing Together

Recently, we wrote about the relationship between our collaborative writing projects (writing together) and our individual writing projects (writing apart) as well as what happens when we have written together while being physically apart. You can read “Writing Together, Writing Apart” HERE. We’re learning some lessons as we make our way into our second year of blogging, lessons that apply to the other big projects we … Continue reading Writing Apart, Writing Together

Guest Blog: Kelly McMasters

We’ve written about various things nuclear at Lofty Ambitions. (Click HERE for a post on “Radioactivity and Risk” that includes additional links at the end.) In fact, we’re in the midst of a series called “In the Footsteps” (Part 9 HERE) and will talk about that work next month in the Past Tense series at the Huntington Library. Our last guest blogger who wrote about … Continue reading Guest Blog: Kelly McMasters

I Remember California: I Remember Mike Moses

This week has had us taking some account of history while looking forward to the transitions afoot. In fact, we just ran into Barb Epstien, one of our blog subscribers and a fellow Knox College alum. Earlier this week, on the day that we were at the California Science Center watching the title transfer from NASA to that museum for space shuttle Endeavour, Virgin Galactic announced … Continue reading I Remember California: I Remember Mike Moses

I Remember California: Title for Title

Yesterday, we rose early and braved the traffic, driving almost two hours to the California Science Center because that museum will be the new, permanent home of space shuttle Endeavour. Earlier this year, we saw Endeavour on the launch pad. We were at Kennedy Space Center for its last not-launch and its last launch, which was the first shuttle launch we witnessed in person (all … Continue reading I Remember California: Title for Title

Interview: Jeffrey Rudolph

Bright and early tomorrow morning, we’ll face L.A.-area traffic to make our way to the California Science Center, the future home of space shuttle Endeavour. At a ceremony on October 11, 2011, the title for the orbiter will be turned over to the science museum. Only four orbiters exist, and only three of those flew actual missions in space. On April 12, 2011, NASA Administrator … Continue reading Interview: Jeffrey Rudolph

MCAS Miramar Air Show (Part 2)

Last week, we wrote about “Writing Together, Writing Apart.” We’ve been thinking about those issues a lot lately, and we’re in the midst of drafting a couple more posts about how we write as a couple and as individuals and how we work together on a writing project and separately on different projects. This past weekend, our visit to the MCAS Miramar Air Show reminded … Continue reading MCAS Miramar Air Show (Part 2)