5 Tips for a Writing Life from Pico Iyer

Occasionally, we post something at both The Huffington Post and here at Lofty Ambitions. The posts are not quite the same, and we’re usually more personal here. Please check out our shorter, broader post at HuffPo HERE and, of course, like it and share it there. Three weeks from now, our semester will be over. This summer, for the first time, Doug has a professional development … Continue reading 5 Tips for a Writing Life from Pico Iyer

Writing Process Blog Hop (Anna)

NOTE: Anna also has a recent piece at The Huffington Post about writers’ schedules. Read that by clicking HERE. We’ve participated in a blog hop before, and we were happy to be tagged for a new one—twice. Because we’ve been tagged by two different writers, we’re doing two different posts as part of My Writing Process, one today and the other, next Wednesday. While we write together a lot, … Continue reading Writing Process Blog Hop (Anna)

Palomar (and Mount Wilson) Observatory: Hale, Refraction, and Reflection (Part 7)

To start at the beginning of our series on Palomar Observatory and the man called Hale, click HERE. The supposed deathbed words of the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author of Faust, were supposedly, “More light!” In German, Mehr Licht! For many, these final words have been a cry for inspiration and a reflection of Goethe’s lifelong fascination with light (Goethe also authored a … Continue reading Palomar (and Mount Wilson) Observatory: Hale, Refraction, and Reflection (Part 7)

Palomar Observatory: Bigger Is Better (Part 6)

The tag cloud for our blog is a litany for aviation, science, and space exploration. Air Shows, Nobel Prize, Radioactivity, and Space Shuttle are among the keywords that are featured prominently. Only one abstract concept appears in the list: Serendipity. The first page of Google results will tell anyone who bothers to look that Serendipity is “a happy accident” or a “fortunate mistake.” The road … Continue reading Palomar Observatory: Bigger Is Better (Part 6)

Palomar Observatory

Serendipity: A few weeks ago, we were at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and Doug looked at Google Maps to get a sense of exactly where we were in this world. While dragging the map around on the screen of the iPad, he noticed that Dorland was located on the side of Palomar Mountain. Palomar, we soon learned, means pigeon house, though we noticed no pigeons … Continue reading Palomar Observatory

Experiments in the Principles of Space Travel

A book arrived in our mail last week. It came in a flat shipping envelope that revealed nothing of the character of its contents. However, those contents have revealed much to us. Books always do. The cover didn’t promise much: a thick, industrial-blue cover with no meaningful imagery. The spine tag revealed that this book had come from a library. The numbers and letters on … Continue reading Experiments in the Principles of Space Travel

Science Writing at AWP 2013 (Part 2)

Also see Part 1 of “Science Writing at AWP 2013.” We like to keep busy at Lofty Ambitions, but attending an AWP panel that is comprised of Pireeni Sundaralingam, Alan Lightman, C. Dale Young, and Sandra Alcosser tends to make one pause, get a little introspective, and ask, “Could I be working just a tad bit harder?” Three of the four panelists are writers who … Continue reading Science Writing at AWP 2013 (Part 2)

Science Writing at AWP 2013

We’ve written about our fondness for attending science-oriented panels at the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference on a number of occasions (see HERE and HERE and the links in these posts). This year—earlier this month—we were able to attend two science-writing panels at AWP, “Science Writing for All” and “Engaging with Science: Poetry and Fiction.” The moderator for “Science Writing for All,” … Continue reading Science Writing at AWP 2013

The Next Big Thing (blog hop)

Poet Kristin LaTour tagged us for The Next Big Thing that’s going around the blogosphere. Here, we take on the ten questions that series poses. What is your working title of your book? Generation Space. We were born into the Apollo era, and Doug’s earliest memory is of watching the Moon landing. We came of age in the shadow of the space shuttle. As we … Continue reading The Next Big Thing (blog hop)

Airplane Crashes, Airline Safety, & Risk

On this date in 1942, TWA Flight 3 crashed with twenty-two souls aboard. The aircraft was a DC-3, flying from New York to Burbank. Roughly fifteen minutes after takeoff from Las Vegas, one of several stops on the cross-country trip, the plane slammed into a cliff. The nineteen passengers and three crew were killed. The investigation posited that the pilots mistakenly used the compass heading … Continue reading Airplane Crashes, Airline Safety, & Risk