Kunming Lake at the Summer Palace in Beijing's northwest.

“Nothing in the world is softer or weaker than water
Yet nothing is better at overcoming the hard and strong
This is because nothing can replace it.”
Laozi, Daodejing, chapter 78

Morning Moon

Morning Moon

A “Good Morning” to everyone! This seems to become one of those wonderful autumn days with clear, sunny blue skies. Even the Moon stayed up a little longer. In fact moonset today is at 11:21 am. With just a couple of days after full moon the Moon is still at almost 90%… a little pale though, probably from last night…

‘Sun and Moon’ E-Book Available for Preorder

Both e-book-versions of Sun and Moon / Sonne und Mond are now available for preorder on Amazon and iBooks/iTunes respectively. You can also download a sample of the e-book on iBooks. Unfortunately, Amazon allows neither a preview nor the downloading of a sample during preorder. If you would like to take a look at some sample pages from the print version instead, you can do that here.

A Welcome to Autumn

The Sun brings a lustre into the sky.

“The day becomes more solemn and serene
When noon is past: there is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which thro’ the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, 1816/7

About three weeks after the meteorological start of fall, today sees the astronomical beginning as well. While last year it felt like we plunged straight from August into November, this year the change is more gradual. There were a few colder days but also days that were still nice and warm.

We owe the seasons to Earth’s axial tilt. As Earth does not orbit the Sun in an upright but in a slightly tilted position, one of Earth’s poles is sometimes tilted more toward the Sun during the orbit and sometimes tilted away. When a pole is tilted toward the Sun, this part of Earth gets more sunlight so that daylight hours are longer and average temperatures higher. In short: it is summer. When a pole is tilted away from the Sun, this part of Earth accordingly gets less sunlight, so that there are fewer hours of daylight and average temperatures are lower; it is winter.

Twice a year there is a time when day and night have the same length as the Sun equally illuminates both the northern and the southern hemisphere. The spring or vernal equinox occurs in March, the fall or autumnal equinox in September. Equi means “equal” in Latin and nox “night”. This year’s autumnal equinox takes place on Sunday, September 23 at 01:54 UTC. Because of time zone differences this is some time today (Saturday, September 22) in the Americas, depending on where you are.

byGG and ‘Skies/Himmel’ on Wattpad

@byGabrieleGolissa on Wattpad“Kids these days, eh? Always wandering around with their noses in their iPhones, up to no good. Well, maybe not. Because lots of them are using an app called Wattpad which might just be the biggest revolution in reading you’ve never heard of.”
—David Gaughran, What’s Up With Wattpad, 2012

Any Wattys here? I have to admit I had been one of the people who had never heard of Wattpad until a little while ago. When I took a closer look though, I sort of liked the idea. A platform not only for reading but also for writing and sharing. And while there certainly is a lot of teen and fan fiction on Wattpad, they also provide access to thousands of Project Gutenberg’s eBooks.

I am not really sure yet if Wattpad makes sense for the kind of books I publish: not so text-heavy but with a lot of photographs. And most Wattys read on their cell phones while I think cell phone screens way too small to really enjoy my photographs. Also, when I publish eBooks, they have a fixed layout and are not reflowable. But as Wattpad lets you insert photos, I decided to give it a try anyway. And to find out what Wattys think about my stories and if they will follow me on my journeys through the skies…

I have started with uploading chapters from Skies/Himmel and more will follow. If you’d like to take a look, you can check it out here: