Steely Eyed Missile Man – Gene Kranz

There is a man who was extraordinarily important to the development of NASA and the logistical construction of mission control. He is probably the coolest man ever. Eugene F. “Gene” Kranz.

If there was ever a living person I would want to meet and converse with it is Gene. I’m pretty sure I have a space geek crush on him. If you haven’t read his book Failure Is Not An Option you are missing a immensely great work. The experience of following his path with the space program is interesting, exciting, in some places hilarious, and profound.

The personal insights into astronauts, engineers, directors and most importantly the families hit all the human buttons.

Gene and his early group of engineers and technicians wrote the book, literally, on missions: his perspectives on the division of duties are applicable today, his commitment and loyalty is one to admire and aim for, and the play it by the book and by the seat of your pants gives the reader a vision of what excellence looks like.

He is truly a national treasure we need to hear more about before he is gone.

Gene Kranz, you truly are a “steely eyed missile man”.

You are welcome space geeks.

Cheers!

-N

What I Get from Story Research

Because I try to infuse authenticity into my writing I end up spending plenty of time on research. I am creating a fictional town in Coastal Maine so I needed to know a few things other than what I personally experienced and observed when I spent time in Ogunquit and Perkins Cove.

  • Does my town have a police department or is it manned by a sheriff substation?
  • What does it take to transfer out of state junior college credits to University of Southern Maine?
  • What does the job look like for my local part-time harbor master?

The research can tease out local vernacular, slang, and regional expressions. Something else I discover in this research process is friendliness, open and forthcoming are the residents of my fictional town.

The story has a wide age and gender demographic that takes some social media and You Tube research to get the feel for preteen, high school or college student conversations.

My story also features transplanted people, a mother, daughter, and son. They are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. That one I’ve got lots of experience with since I have dozens of relatives and friends in east Texas “ya’ll”.

Maine, well that one I am developing, “ya see”.

Making a sharp right – anyone else have family or friends who are putting up Christmas decorations? I just can’t do it yet. A decorated house starts to feel extremely cluttered after about three weeks. I’ve contemplated not putting up as many decorations as I usually do, for this reason. My decoration theme is Santa and Nativity: I cover the Christian and the secular. I have a big pre-lit tree (don’t judge me real tree purists) and haven’t added to my collection of decorations other than a new tree ornament.

One of my most treasured Christmas items are my Byer’s Choice Carolers. If you haven’t seen the I suggest you check them out. https://www.byerschoice.com They are beautiful, collectable, and hand made top market items. My collection is “A Christmas Carol” because this is my absolute favorite Christmas story. They are so precious to me I have identified who gets them in my will. So I don’t want to tire of them.

Another right turn – this Saturday, 14 November, NASA is launching the first manned Space-X crew on a mission. The crew of four, Crew-1, will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft. The crew arrived to the Astronaut Crew Quarters at Kennedy Space Center Monday. As a space geek I dig this stuff.

So back to work. I hope the rest of your week is spectacular.

Cheers!

-N