Good Fences Do Make Good Neighbors #poem #poetry

Today’s poem hit me all at once, demanding to be posted. So, even though it’s not sciency, here it is:

Dog in tree

In my garden, his cat
Would make deposits
That I’d rather not discover.

Chasing mice, my dog
Would destroy
His firewood pile’s cover.

Instead we wave and smile
And do each other favors,
Because it’s true, that saying old,
Good fences make good neighbors.

Inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, which is about walls, even though his neighbor gives me the quote, “good fences make good neighbors.” Maybe Frost didn’t know what his neighbor was thinking after all.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.

Cult Doing Any Better on Saturn’s Moon Titan? #scifi #sciencefiction #Saturn #NewRelease

This December, return with me to Titan. Subscribe now and I’ll let you know when the book is released.

Science fiction book cover Titan Insurgents by Kate RaunerOn Saturn’s deadly moon, kin should be your greatest ally, not your greatest threat.

The only colony on Titan shatters into factions, and Fynn becomes a reluctant rebel leader. His sister seized control of the cult that brought them to the frozen moon, but her tyrannical rule drives them farther apart.

Only Fynn and his friends see the frozen moon’s dangers and wonders. Only they can keep the dome’s erratic life support running. Enduring the cult’s oppression may be the only way to survive. Can Fynn save them when they’re pushed too far?

I’m scrubbing out the last typos and grammos. At least, I hope they’re the last. A few always sneak in from an alternate reality. But I plan to release the new story the first weekend of December 2019, so subscribe to receive an email alert or watch this blog.

How did Fynn get into this mess? Catch up now. Titan Book 1 is, of course, available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. If you have KU, you already paid for this story, so why not read it now?

Your Next Favorite Author May Live Next Door #amreading #localguides #authors

Here’s a fun site. Find books by authors near you. Dozens of large and mid-sized cities (which cover surrounding small towns) to choose from. If you eat local or shop local, you should read local.

Maybe you’ll get to meet your favorite authors. Or bump into them at the grocery store or coffee shop.

My closest city is Albuquerque. What’s yours?

Click now on

The Industrial Age Ended Between 1970 and 2000 #economy #economics #environment

Mr Spock action figure

I bet he’s made of plastic. Thanks to JD Hancock

Humans will consume more and more until we destroy the planet – common wisdom that is all wrong. This fascinating article documents a turning point in the United States and United Kingdom. There is:

Substantial evidence not only that Americans were consuming fewer resources per capita but also that they were consuming less in total of some of the most important building blocks of an economy: things such as steel, copper, fertilizer, timber, and paper. Total annual U.S. consumption of all of these had been increasing rapidly prior to 1970. But since then, consumption had reached a peak and then declined.
Of 72 resources tracked by the USGS, from aluminum and antimony through vermiculite and zinc, only six are not yet post-peak.

Graph - USA use of metals and GDP, 1900-2015America has reduced its consumption in absolute terms, not just per capita, and not just in the aftermath of the Great Recession. “Dematerialization” doesn’t mean some kind of scifi technology. It’s our future.

Steel, copper, aluminum, timber, paper, fertilizer, water, cropland – America’s use of these and more has peaked and now trends downward. Growth in the use of plastics is tapering off – won’t it be great if plastics follow the same trend?

Just as we’re learning to produce renewable energy more economically, our total energy use is leveling off.

All this while GDP continues to grow.

A great reversal of our Industrial Age habits is taking place.
Eurostat data show that countries including Germany, France, and Italy have generally seen flat or declining total consumption of metals, chemicals, and fertilizer in recent years.
India and China are probably not yet dematerializing. But I predict that they will start getting more from less of at least some resources in the not-too-distant future.

Add  birth-rate declines in the wealthiest and most industrialized countries, and our stewardship of the Earth seems poised to change for the better.

Throughout my life, it seemed that humanity was on an irresistible path to destruction. Self-interest is built into our DNA, so sacrifices for the public good seemed impossible. Perhaps the answer isn’t to go backward, but to go forward. A brighter day is dawning.

This doesn’t mean we don’t need to protect the environment, our fellow species, and our fellow humans. There are ecosystems in danger that require action. Doing the right thing is still, well, the right thing to do. But if you ever felt despair sapping your determination, now you can take heart. The future may be more like Star Trek and less like the Walking Dead. Tomorrow is coming.

Read the whole article. It’s worth your time.


Walk an Autumn Trail #haiku #poem #poetry #nature #autumn

Nose runs, ears are numb,
Fingers curl to hide in sleeves
As mist claims the trees

trail through misty pinesI’m visiting my brother in southern New York. Autumn is a wonderful season and there are many trails over State land in the area. My poetry shifts to nature.

Australian Competition for the Whole World – Year of the Periodic Table – Vote for Your Favorite Science-Poem #poetrycommunity #chemistry #poem #poetry

Classical Japanese Poet

Poet of a classical Japanese style

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night and feel them. Why do poets not speak of science? paraphrased from Richard Feynman

These poets do! Science isn’t the realm of robots, but of vibrant human beings, and therefore, of poets.

Celebrate The International Year of the Periodic Table with a poem about all 118 chemical elements (entitled ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’). It got an honorable mention from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s (RACI’s) Stories from the Periodic Table Competition. Today it’s part of an audience poll to determine the people’s favorite elemental story.

Read ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ by my friend-in-poetry, Michael Leach, and find more science poetry at (The links are in the survey.)

Be sure to vote for your favorite.

Electron shell blocks on Periodic Table

Shape of electron shells as designated on the Periodic Table

Why is the periodic table worth a celebration? Because it’s laid out to show you how atoms are structured, how the shape of electrons’ probabilities lets you predict how chemistry will happen! When I realized this chemistry-stuff wasn’t just rules some grumpy, old teacher insisted I memorize – it was the shape and structure of reality – that’s the moment I groked chemistry. I hope you do, too.

UPDATE: the votes are in and ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ won first runner-up. View the results with links to the winners here.

Titan Book 1 Finalist in Regional Book Contest – Read It Now and be Ready for Book 2 #scifi #sciencefiction #readinglist #award

Yee ha! It’s a thrill for Titan, Book 1, to be a contest finalist.

Fynn is shanghaied to  Titan to join his father’s cult in colonizing Saturn’s moon. Can they create a paradise? Not likely!

New Mexico Book Co-op promotes the literary diversity of New Mexico Book Publishers & Authors. It is New Mexico’s largest cooperative organization, a partnership of over 950 publishers and authors interested in showcasing and selling books by authors in New Mexico and the American Southwest.

It’s hard to wait for the winners to be announced, but I’m happy to be a finalist. Read Book 1 today and be ready for Book 2, coming soon.

Don’t miss Book 2! Insurgents! Coming soon. Subscribe to Kate’s Readers’ Club and you won’t miss the release date.