Thursday, May 17, 2018

That Moment When You Finally Get To Visit The Place You've Been Writing About: Part 2

A Post By Jonathan

I did it! I finally did it! I got to visit Space Camp! The place I've been writing about... and it was awesome!

Thanks to my wife's somewhat shotty photography work, you can barely see me standing under the entry gate in the picture above, but I'm there. Compare it to the previous stock picture I used for "Part 1" of my blog post and you can see there is no bald dude in a red shirt standing there. Really, it's  me...

Here’s a close up for more proof:

Anyway, bigfoot-like photo evidence aside, I can attest that I visited Huntsville, Alabama, the home of Space Camp, the early-chapters setting that my fictional Middle Grade characters have been frequenting for like thirteen years now... that's book years... which are exactly the same as real-life years if anyone's wondering. The visit was totally insane. We got there with only an hour and a half of time to explore before close. We obviously didn’t plan very well,  and ran into a lot of traffic along the way, but it was always going to be just a side trip. Turns out that's all I needed...

After "gladly" paying full price admission, me, my wife and our three year old went on a mad dash to see all that we could see before they shut the cargo bay doors on us. In hindsight, I probably should've dropped the wife and kid off at the hotel and done the recon on my own, but that would’ve been cruel. It wasn’t all book research. We ended up having a lot of fun along the way. But it sure was surreal walking around this place I had been imagining for so long. There's nothing like the real thing. It was truly a dream come true.

Rather than explaining (telling) everything to you I figured I’d post (show) some pictures for you instead. See the captions for specifics:

Here I am in my space suit, ready to blast off!

Here's Hunter and me in front of the Saturn V Rocket's huge boosters

Here is the mess hall where some serious stuff goes down in my book

Here are some actual real life Space Camp Trainees getting ready for their M(anned)M(aneuvering)U(nit) simulation

My son running to the Pathfinder Space Shuttle Replica, where my main character hides from the meteor strike! Better run, here it comes!

The actual robot who was on the International Space Station, where my main character was born!

The grand daddy of them all, the Saturn V Rocket

The trip was great. But you know what the greatest thing is? It worked! What I was hoping I would get from this “site visit” was some motivation to finally start working on my novel again. And boy did I ever. This seemed like a total pipe dream before, but since I went to Space Camp, I’ve been getting up nearly every morning at 5:00am to edit my manuscript and do what I can to get it into shape before heading off to work. It feels so great to be back in the world of the writer. I guess I knew I was always the type of person who needed to see a place before I was totally confident writing about it. But now that I have that confidence nothing is going to stop me.

To prove it, I leave you with a video of me literally lifting off into the stars on the Space Shot simulator (I'm the one on the right side, far left seat)!

Thanks for reading. Now get back to writing! I know I am.


Carrie Beckort said...

Yay! Very cool, Jonathan! And I can't wait to read your book :)

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Congrats on living the dream!

Stephen Kozeniewski said...


Brenda St John Brown said...

Wow! How cool is that? I can't wait to see this in your book!

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Looking forward to the book Johathan! Great stuff!

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