f you go HERE, you’ll see my new interest in Astronomy. I’m fascinated by the skies – always have been, ever since I looked at the moon through my dad’s clunky Naval binoculars. And now that I’ve got a x35 scope and a big telescope on order, now I’m reading all about this and getting to know how you look for stars, how you find stars, about light pollution, all that.
As part of this, my wife and I went to the local observatory (as luck would have it, it’s a mile from the house). There were several members of the astronomy club there, helping people see Venus and Jupiter and trying to wake them to the beauty of the thing (hey, I’m already sold). Chatted to them for a while, got all sorts of helpful info and recommendations, then they mentioned the local club – maybe I should come by. They meet on…
Of course they meet on Wednesdays. Same night as the train club. Same night as the writers group. Always Wednesdays.
And this becomes a decision for me – when I met Lynda Gail Alfano at the UCF bookshow a few years back (my first show – didn’t come close to covering that expensive table) she mentioned a group of writers. I was so excited – I missed my old days with The Writers Room, a group of writers that met at Rollins in the 90s. I remembered getting into book-geek mode while I talked to her, finding out there was another group out there. Yes, perhaps I could use this to fuel further writing efforts.
“…and we meet on Wednesdays.”
I’d love to join these other orgs, to expand my interests and skills further, but I can’t. In this case, it’s a measured decision. I’ve been a member of the Orlando N-Trak club for a quarter century, all my adult life. My father got me to join three months after it formed. Been there ever since, and I’ve been a vice-president there for fifteen years (or more). I’ve gone all over the country with my guys, running trains and sharing moments. I can’t just quit.
As a writer, it pains me not to be able to join the local group. But there is only so much time in the week. It’s one of the tough choices one has to make, as a writer or a model railroader or an astronomer. You’ll have to make the same ones, especially if you have children, a job, other interests, whatever. But regardless of your membership in a club, the availability of such, or your perceived shortcomings in the craft, there is one thing you must keep doing.
You know what it is, right?