Time to Level Up – With SCIENCE!

Last Saturday was my father’s birthday, and as per our tradition, we went to the Huntsville Ham Radio festival together. 
This is a picture from the end of the Hamfest on Saturday, as everyone eagerly awaits the prize drawings. 
I studied for and received my Technician Class license in 2008, and I’ve been meaning to upgrade to a General Class License. With a General Class license you can get on the HF bands and talk to people who are much farther away. 
We went to a panel for YLs (Young Ladies), and I was the only Technician Class level person in the room. A few others were General Class, but most were the highest level – Extra Class.
This calls for action.
I’ve already printed out the questions for the General Class exam.
I’m going to level up. 
I’m in love with the aesthetics of old technology. All things Heathkit make my heart go pitter patter.
But I don’t want to just be in love with the visual, the appearance of old technology. I want to be able to work with it, get inside, know how it functions. 
At the Hamfest every year there are women selling jewelry, and every year I walk past those booths. I like jewelry. Jewelry is fun and great. But at a technology festival I don’t want to be part of the pileup to look at bracelets and earrings.
But this time I broke my promise for a moment and stopped to look at some lovely earrings made out of capacitors. (I didn’t take a picture, but they looked similar to this.)
Very cool. But the thing is, these earrings don’t DO anything. They’re made out of capacitors, but they might as well be made out of beads. More aesthetics without function. Without meaning.
My challenge to myself this year is to write more science into my science fiction. I’m gong to take classes, read books, and have a general Seeking Mind when it comes to finding out more about the technology behind the beautiful. 
I want to write a story that my second week Clarion West instructor, Nancy Kress, would consider viable. I’ll keep writing my weird-reality fantasy stories, but I’m going to regularly push myself to write science based stories as well. 
The only idea for a novel that I’ve ever been excited about has tons of technology in it. I’m going to give myself a few years with short stories to get all of the mechanics down, and I want to be ready with more techno savvy by the time I’m ready to start my novel. 

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