SSM: “The Heliocentrist” by Eric Beeny

16 May

I just came across this story from a post on facebook. For a good while now, Crispin Best has been compiling this collaborative effort called For Every Year, where writers submit works in honor of every year since 1400 AD.

Up now is a story by Eric Beeny for the year 1634:

Galileo observes small things through his telescope as the planet he lives on revolves somewhere in space.

He doesn’t think God gives a shit if humans think the Earth is where they think it is, whether or not it’s in the middle of everything.

He goes up to the roof of his villa in Florence and looks at the stars, imagines those small things falling on his head.

Galileo wishes it was his birthday, but for that he’d need a cake with candles to blow out, and since it’s not his birthday he doesn’t have that.

He doesn’t know what he’d wish for other than that it be his birthday, and that he’d once again be young enough to not have to appreciate it.

Galileo’s not sure how small the stars he’s observing are, but he knows they’re far away, and he thinks that must mean something big.

Read the full story at For Every Year.

I’ve always had a small fascination for Galileo. For the past couple years I have been cooking up an idea for a children’s book about him. It’s a good idea, a strong idea. It’s an idea I’m proud of and want it to be great when it becomes more than an idea. I have the first sentence written. It goes, “After they arrested Galileo, the great astronomer, no one dared to look at the stars.”

This story makes me want to write the second sentence, and the third. Maybe more. I write slow. I want people to look up into my words and think they mean something big.

3 Responses to “SSM: “The Heliocentrist” by Eric Beeny”

  1. Eric Beeny May 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    Nice, thanks so much, Chris! I love that last sentence: “I want people to look up into my words and think they mean something big.” You have to write that children’s book. My 7 year-old daughter would love it. She’s big into astronomy (and Galileo…)…

    • ce. May 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks, Eric. I really dug that piece. It actually reminded me that I’ve been meaning to submit something to For Every Year, too.

      And re: the children’s book, I am up to 3 sentences now!

  2. Eric Beeny May 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Yeah, you should definitely submit to For Every Year. And sweet!: You’re three sentences closer…

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