July 5, 2010
This is a picture of my grandson Joshua during his recent visit to Space Center Houston. Note the muscle shirt. Apparently, a boy can be a rabid Ohio State football fan and aspire to be an astronaut.
Or maybe not. Right after this photo was taken, my daughter reported that Joshua screamed, “Get me out of this thing!”
Perhaps he won’t follow in his family’s footsteps and work in the space program. Back in the day, my daughter was one of the first associates at the Visitor’s Center. I was a computer analyst.
Being at NASA during the height of the Shuttle program was heady. That was before the USSR imploded and wiser, more fiscally responsible heads prevailed. So the US was busily developing its own Space Station. I vividly remember pulling up floor boards and working my way through acres of jumbled wires, being the only woman on my team and hence the smallest person in the room, to insure the integrity of a Hewlett Packard mini (remember those!) that housed critical budgetary and project management data. That was kind of fun and a change of pace for me, since I usually performed my magic on the front rather than the back end of the computer.
It was huge. Gleaming white with big black letters. And it had ferried people to the moon. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and for a couple of months, at least, I felt like pinching myself whenever I drove by. I was a part of the great space adventure.
Then, time passed, and I got so used to the Saturn that I barely noticed it. Sigh…
Fast forward fifteen years. I gave up my job at NASA. Family obligations brought me back to Ohio, where I kept on programming computers and also started writing fiction. All my life I had dreamed of publishing a novel—my own fractal version of a trip to the moon, an impossible, otherworldly voyage that, through hard work and luck, finally happened.
As the months wore on and my appearances at bookstores and events multiplied, I got so used to seeing Glass Hearts on tables and shelves that I had to pinch my wrist, once again, to remind myself how far I had come.
These days, Glass Hearts is still on Amazon. About a month ago, as I was redesigning my web site, I checked the link to the book and discovered that the on-line stock had dwindled to one and that more copies were on order. That means people are still reading it after all this time, which made me very happy.