As a gas giant with no known solid surface, it would be impossible to stand on Jupiter and watch a moonrise. But that is only a footnote to this story.
I started thinking about writing a blog eight or nine years ago. At the time, I was working as a phone book editor and a co-worker suggested that it would be a good way to get my name out there as a writer. (I just wish I hadn’t taken so long to take his advice.) While driving to work one morning, I saw a sign behind a business. I read: “Bones for Sale.” I wondered what that could possibly mean. I had visions of the gravediggers from Hamlet. There was a dog training business nearby, so I thought maybe they were selling chew toys.
Every morning I looked at this sign and wondered. It was weeks before I realized I was reading the sign wrong. It read: “Boxes for Sale.” Much less morbid. But the phrase “bones for sale” still intrigued me and I thought it was an interesting name for a blog.
For years I played with the idea, but when it was finally time to actually start my blog, the name just didn’t seem right anymore. The romance of sadness had worn off and I wanted something happier and more hopeful.
My two-year-old son, Wolfie, loves anything having to do with outer space. His favorite show on PBS is Ready Jet Go! He constantly searches the sky for the moon and he uses empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls as imaginary telescopes. My husband and I have encouraged curiosity and interests in a variety of things since he was a baby, but this is the one he has thrown himself into the most—or at least it’s equal to robots. Because of this passion, he can name many of the planets, tell us that Saturn’s rings are made of ice, and explain what causes a solar eclipse.
His interest has allowed me to learn new things about space, too. One fact I’ve learned is that Jupiter has sixty-nine moons. This ignites my own curiosity. How do scientists count so many moving objects without losing track? How do all of these moons dance around Jupiter without bumping into each other? What is each moon’s unique personality?
And the most intriguing question: If I could stand on Jupiter, what would a moonrise look like? Somehow, this question sparks my imagination with wonder, amazement, and a desire to create stories.
The title Moonrise on Jupiter is about more than just satellites orbiting a planet. It represents everything I love about writing. It is putting myself into a new and unexplored place, asking questions, and discovering the answers. It is embracing what makes me who I am. Most importantly, it is finding a balance between my various responsibilities as I dance through the day and move forward in my life.
Originally Published November 2017