Crescent Moon

The Moon Over Luxor

For my current work in progress, the phases of the moon at Luxor, Egypt, in the autumn of 1962 are a moderately significant plot factor. I could have ignored facts and written the moon to suit my plot, but that didn’t feel right. For sure, once the book is published, someone will point out the inconvenient facts. So — research required. Thanks to the Internet, I found this:

Moon Phases for Luxor, Egypt in 1962

Lunation New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Third Quarter Duration
483 Jan 6 2:35 pm Jan 13 7:01 am Jan 20 8:16 pm Jan 29 1:36 am 29d 11h 35m
484 Feb 5 2:09 am Feb 11 5:42 pm Feb 19 3:17 pm Feb 27 5:49 pm 29d 10h 21m
485 Mar 6 12:30 pm Mar 13 6:38 am Mar 21 9:55 am Mar 29 6:10 am 29d 9h 14m
486 Apr 4 9:44 pm Apr 11 9:50 pm Apr 20 2:33 am Apr 27 2:58 pm 29d 8h 40m
487 May 4 7:24 am May 11 3:44 pm May 19 5:31 pm May 26 10:05 pm 29d 9h 02m
488 Jun 2 4:26 pm Jun 10 9:21 am Jun 18 5:02 am Jun 25 2:42 am 29d 10h 25m
489 Jul 2 2:52 am Jul 10 2:39 am Jul 17 2:40 pm Jul 24 7:18 am 29d 12h 31m
490 Jul 31 3:23 pm Aug 8 6:54 pm Aug 15 11:09 pm Aug 22 1:26 pm 29d 14h 45m
491 Aug 30 6:08 am Sep 7 9:44 am Sep 14 7:11 am Sep 20 10:35 pm 29d 16h 30m
492 Sep 28 10:39 pm Oct 6 9:54 pm Oct 13 2:32 pm Oct 20 10:47 am 29d 17h 25m
493 Oct 28 3:04 pm Nov 5 9:14 am Nov 12 12:03 am Nov 19 4:09 am 29d 17h 25m
494 Nov 27 8:29 am Dec 4 6:47 pm Dec 11 11:27 am Dec 19 12:42 am 29d 16h 29m
495 Dec 27 12:58 am 29d 14h 43m
* All times are local time for Cairo. Time is adjusted for DST when applicable. Dates are based on the Gregorian calendar.

Cool, eh?

Dates of moon phases for almost anywhere in any year may be found here.

Yet another example of obscure info needed by writers. How did we ever manage before the Internet? Libraries, librarians, and reference books — remember them?

Image courtesy of Pixabay.


Networked To Death

A writer who decides to network by following others’ blogs and commenting on them soon finds that he or she has little time for any original writing. It takes a lot of time and mental energy to read posts and make thoughtful comments on them. Even following only half a dozen blogs, I find that sincere efforts at comprehending and responding take the edge off my creative efforts and sap the energy I need to write fiction. And I’m not even involved in the most common “social media” — only blogging, Goodreads and LinkedIn. (And two critique groups, and the odd beta-reading gig, and endless revision of my trilogy).

So I’m left with the usual Hobson’s choice (who was Hobson, anyway?): remain isolated, viewing from my lonely tower the busy scuttle of networked folks, or get down there and join them, leaving my tales unfinished and the pages blank.

Or maybe it’s just that I have a full-time job that eats up a lot of my time and energy, leaving only two or at most three hours a day for writing-related activities. If I were in a position to divide my entire day among writing, networking, gardening and basic stuff like cooking, cleaning, bathing, socializing with the cat and talking to people face to face, it might work. But right now, when I leave the house at 7 a.m. and don’t return until 5 p.m. or later, the only things I manage to write are blog posts and comments or nothing at all. My writing style requires total mental immersion in my fictional world, leaving it only to go to work and maintain important relationships. Blogging, Goodreads and all the other connective activities need another sort of mindset altogether.

Trying to do both results in a worm-like suspicion that I’m doing only half a job of either, and inevitably it’s the creative writing that suffers. I wonder what this is doing to writing as a whole. And reading, come to that. Is there any point in writing works of fiction if no one has time to read them because they’re too busy blogging, commenting and updating their status?

And now there’s Project O, an admirable attempt at creating worldwide dialogue by an energetic blogger who calls himself Opinionated Man. He will be posting two or more contributions a day for weeks. Because I decided to participate, I read most of the contributions. If I decide to comment on anyone’s contribution, I read it at least twice, to make sure I understand what the person is saying. It’s rewarding and gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling of connectivity, but it’s yet another time sucker.

(So is this an extended excuse for not writing any new fiction? Maybe. It’s amazing how many writers end up writing about writing, rather than actually writing. Some would say that’s a Good Thing, actually).

Good things are not universally good, and some bad things are good things in disguise. The trick is to see the difference.