Friday, August 10, 2007

Have you seen the moon lately?

My friend Aleta recently posted a prompt where she cited this quotation: "The moon develops creativity as chemicals develop photographic images."--Norma Jean Harris. I started thinking about how rarely I see the moon any more. When dating, I used to see it because I was out at night. Even if I walk from car to house in the dark, I don't seem to notice the moon now. But the moon is beautiful, well worth noticing. I looked for moon images on the web and found a site at http://www.astropix.com/ with some exciting and other somnolent images of the moon. Great food for writing thoughts, almost as good as smelling fresh strawberries (recommended by Gayle Brandeis in Fruitflesh).

Moonlight lends a mysterious quality to what would be mundane transactions during the day, and can make us want to know more, dig deeper into the motivations of our characters. Sensory input by smell, a very important writing tool, becomes easier to call up and incorporate when you're imagining a moonlit scene. Lots of flowers open or release extra perfume at night (not just night-blooming Cereus, with its ethereal beauty, but stock, jasmine, and many other flowers).

I was very taken with a great collection of pictures of the moon phases I found on aa.usno.navy.mil. Their names are worth refreshing in your mind: waxing crescent, waning gibbous...do you really know how a waning gibbous moon looks? And how it's different from a waxing gibbous? Very nice pictures, and good images to write into your poems or prose.

5 comments:

Lorelei said...

Moon images are so trite. And gibbous is such a cacophonous word. Reminds me of billious or contentious or scurrilous. I like waxing and waning, though. Too bad I never know which it is.

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

Lorelei, sorry to be slow responding. I'm just back from Tennessee and feeling very relaxed. You sound pretty up tight, but I agree that waxing and waning are good words. I like gibbous too. For me, it's sound connotation reminds me of things the image clashes with, like gibbons! Well, it's still good to know what it actually means. It could be good to create unease or dissonance in a moonlit scene.
Laura

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

Okay, I must be jetlagged. I DO know that a possessive "its" has no apostrophe, in spite of the above post that looks like I don't. Apologies,
Laura

Deborah Martinson said...

I too love the moon, and write it in my consciousness each night as I take my dog Nora Charles for her last spin. Two nights ago it shone bright against a really inky sky--and the 1/3 curve made it seem vulnerable, yet beautifully strong. Last night it seemed the same shape, but the sky had more light, and it seemed more a member of a community of sky beauties.

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

Nora Charles! Is that from the Thin Man? I used to love that show. I think you've convinced me to say yes when my husband wants to walk our dog, Sabby, at night. He came with a name, I have no idea what it means, and wonder if it was once short for Sabado.
cheers,
Laura