Shauna Bickley

Writing Exercise — Star Sign

Posted on Saturday 6th June 2020 by Shauna Bickley


Another of the short writing exercises we worked on during lockdown was to write about our star sign using three different voices. The first to be that of a scientist, the second a child and the third our own. Here is my attempt at the exercise.

Pisces is the 14th constellation in size and is one of the hardest to view in the night sky. It is a large but faint constellation containing mostly dim stars, the brightest of which is known as Kallat Nunu. Here in the Southern Hemisphere the best time to see Pisces in the evening sky is November, but it will appear upside down in comparison to how it appears in the Northern hemisphere. Pisces has been recognized as a constellation for over 3,000 years although the ancient Babylonians associated it with a swallow. In Latin Pisces means fish plural.

Mummy says I’m a Pisces fish and that must be why I can swim so well. Daddy says, ‘Fish, pish. Don’t fill the child’s head with so much nonsense.’ I think Pisces sounds like pixie, and I’d sooner be a pixie than a fish. Daddy took me to his work and showed me the Pisces stars through this huge telescope. He told me all their names, but I got bored and I can only remember one name Kylie something Nunu. When my little brother was littler he couldn’t say my name proper and used to call me Nunu. That must mean the star is named after me. I bet none of the other girls in my class have a star named after them. The stars my dad showed me didn’t look like a fish, more like a tipped over V with a lasso at the end. That night I dreamed about a cowboy trying to catch the fish with his lasso, but they just swam through it and called out, ‘Haha you can’t catch us.’

Dreamy, fluid Pisces. The two fish eternally swimming in opposite directions. Pulled this way and that by the tides of personality. Attention divided between fiction and fact, fantasy and reality. I know which I prefer.

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