Saturday, May 26, 2012

Funny How Life Is

Captain James A. Lovell, John Swigert, and Fred W. Haise.

OK. I'm bi-polar and I've been on the locked ward at the VA more than once--most recently last week. I had a hard time over Mother's Day and my therapist is on leave so the resident who saw me at the VA admitted me. It is so weird how good can come from bad. I had a follow-up appointment today and there was some shindig involving the Secretaries of Defense and Veteran's Affairs. The place was crawling with suits and brass--cops, Secret Service, etc. Still, I got pretty close to the Sec Def because my appointment was in the same direction in which he was going and I just walked past his entourage because they'd already made me late. But the cool thing was what happened after my appointment. For short, I refer to this facility as the VA, but that's really not what it is. It's a pilot program where they've combined the Great Lakes Navy Hospital with the North Chicago VA. It's called the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, and yes! I met Captain Lovell! I write sci-fi romance that takes place on the Moon and I met an astronaut.

Captain James A. Lovell and Me.

Admittedly, Captain Lovell flew the Apollo 13 mission. He never got to walk on the Moon. He circled it several times, though. He saw it from both sides--front and back. He was very gracious. He shook my hand and an officer took our photo on my cell phone. It's blurry, but it's there. I was walking so high in the air, I'm not sure how I managed to get into my car.

I have since watched the movie Apollo 13 again and realized I located my base inside the lunar mountain Captain Lovell "gave" to his wife.  He refers to Mt. Aragaeus as "Mt. Marilyn."  I hope Mrs. Lovell doesn't mind my using her mountain in my books.  I didn't realize it was hers at the time.

Here's a look at my Muse book, Rock Crazy:


Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications, but nothing works anymore. Everyone says she should have a microchip implanted in her brain that can regulate her mood swings. But Katie doesn’t want to be a robot. In a tough love move, her husband, Scott, takes her to the Moon—and dumps her. Katie’s stuck on that God-forsaken “rock” and thinks she’s space sick. But she’s wrong; she’s pregnant. Now the surgery’s too dangerous and she has to go off her meds until the baby’s born.

Scott’s elated that he’s going to be a father and assumes Katie will take him back. He has no clue how badly he’s hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.


“Welcome to Rockton. Please remain in your bunks until an attendant seals your helmet, and unplugs you from the ship’s systems.”

They waited for the attendants to reach them, which was surprisingly quick. A few passengers whose p-suits opened up in the front were apparently old hands returning to the Moon from Earthside visits. They unplugged themselves, sealed their own helmets, and glided toward the air-lock—even the man who had been wheeled through the terminal on a gurney. Katie was shocked to see him stand up and glide along with the other more-seasoned passengers.

When they finally cycled out and carefully made their way down the exit ramp, they clumped up, staring at the Earth hanging in the sky above them. It was at half-phase, and it was beautiful. The greens and browns of the continents, the blue of the seas, and the blinding white of the polar ice caps were breathtaking.

A voice in her helmet said, “The terminus is around Greenwich.”

Another replied, “Yup. Only another day or two of light.”

The first voice said, “It’s good to be home. I just wish those Earthers’d stop gaping and get over here, so we can cycle in.”

A more familiar attendant’s voice interrupted. “All right, people. Follow me to the airlock. We haven’t got all day.”
There was a smattering of laughter that grew as people got the joke, and they stumbled toward the airlock.

“So, the mountains really are round and not jagged,” Katie said.

“The mikes in your tourist suits are for emergencies only,” the attendant voice said. “But since you brought it up, even though there’s no air or rain up here, there is constant bombardment by space debris that wears the rock down just as thoroughly as rain and wind wore down the Appalachians.”

The lower gravity was tricky. They would all have to master that glide the Moonies used.

There were attendants at the rear to help anyone who fell over in their p-suit. Somehow, Katie managed to make it to the airlock without embarrassing herself any further.

Just think--I shook the hand of a man who saw Earth from out there. Wow.

Rock Crazy Buy Link:

1 comment:

  1. Hey you. I was wondering how you have been doing :)