So, yesterday was a really cool day of writing from many aspects, none of them involving actually putting words on the hard drive. I finally got Orbit Xplorer to work on Hohman Transfer Orbits, which are minimum thrust orbits that allow a spaceship to transfer from one planet to another. Playing around with the velocities I was able to do a transfer from Earth to Mars in 74 days, and a return in the same. Any faster and the ship just flew off to nowhere. This involved velocities much higher than we can generate today, with greater delta Vs, but, as the book I was working these out for was to be set in 2250, or thereabouts, I would hope we could do better than today. Anyway, looking up the possible transfer dates from another website, I noted that this would make possible one transfer to Earth from Mars, followed by about a twenty day layover, then a 74 day trip to Mars from the Earth, followed by about a two hundred day layover in Mars orbit before the whole thing could be repeated. Now I had some information to develop some plot from, an example of the science actually driving part of the story. This fit in perfect with what I wanted to happen to the power (Earth) that had the space navy. They would still have torchships (fusion drive vessels that can go from A to B at one gee constant thrust) but the cargo and troop carriers depended on these set in stone schedules.
Then I went to bed, and the truly weird part occurred. I still had some problems with the storyline in one area. I was still suffering from the effects of a cold, and I went in and out of sleep last night, and worked the problem while I dreamed, coming up with characters, setting, the flow of a chapter, and how that chapter would impact on later portions of the book. I woke this morning with all of that in my memory. Now I have a good portion of the storyline worked out, without having to actually do anything. I used to joke that I could write in my sleep, and it turns out that I really can. An example of the subconscious coming to the aid of the conscious.