February 2013

Yep, I took a trip to outer space last week! I boarded the IMAX at the California Science Center, strapped myself into the seat, adjusted the 3-D glasses and off I went. Into space…deep into space.

We flew by the familiar planets, asteroids, and stars. As the spaceship swerved, we headed right into Orion’s Belt! We zoned in on the center of the belt. As we got closer, we saw vibrant red, orange, and light brown swirls that resembled puff pastry. These were new worlds in formation.

Near the center of the star formation, we saw a pool filled with light pink and orangey-red haze. There were tiny bright lights floating in the pool. “This is the star nursery” our narrator-guide told us. A star nursery? I’d never heard of this! But just like a human nursery, these stars are young, small, and fragile. They stay close together in an environment that helps them grow.

In a word, Wow!

I’ve been fascinated by outer space and space travel since my childhood. I’m intrigued by the colors, shapes, sizes, and layout. I’m spellbound by the vastness. I don’t want to physically travel “out there”—I’m very happy to virtually go “where no man has gone before” (Star Trek). And I’m grateful that there are those brave souls who are willing to travel in small spacecraft (thank you, John Glenn) and shuttles and to those willing to live in the Space Station.

I got a glimpse into the “life aboard a shuttle” as we toured the display about the Endeavour. HUGE and yet intricate.

Endeavour (photo credit-Sherri Henkin)

Endeavour (photo credit-Sherri Henkin)

Look at how each tile is meticulously placed.

Intricate tiles under the shuttle (photo credit-Sherri Henkin)

Intricate tiles under the shuttle (photo credit-Sherri Henkin)


Although this is not a plane, it looked vaguely similar—with the same type of wings and nose.

Photo credit-Sherri Henkin

Photo credit-Sherri Henkin





How they got this down the Los Angeles streets was an amazing feat (and we saw that in the video)! We could actually touch some of the tires! They needed major retreading!

What a great mid-week side excursion—a trip to outer space!

* * *

Sobering moment—remembering the Columbia and its flight crew.

Columbia Flight Crew (I took a photo of the wall poster)

Columbia Flight Crew (I took a photo of the wall poster)


We always hear “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I take exception to that premise. From the cover, Word Up! grabs my attention. Thank you, Marcia Riefer Johnston, for your courage in creating this entertaining and enlightening book.

Marcia begins by validating a writer’s need to write: “You may write because something within you says you can’t not write—or because your boss says you can’t not write.” I just began reading this guidebook. Already I’m hooked. Stay with me as we travel through Word Up! and learn how to write powerfully!

Marcia’s book will be released in April. To find out more, visit this page. 

word up