Somewhere around the age of 9 I became aware of my very first "what I want to be one I grow up" dream. It was Christa McAuliffe, whom I am sure you all remember as the first teacher in space. For about one minute she made me want to be a school teacher too, so I could go into space, and then I saw "Space Camp" and realized I didn't want to be a teacher, I wanted to be an astronaut. Or at the very least, a kid with a pet robot who could "accidentally" shoot me into space.
My tenth birthday, 1985, was spent with my family in Orlando, where we had big plans to go see the Challenger shuttle launch. But like most launches it got delayed a few days, and we missed it. (or at least this is how my childhood memory remembers the experience) So just like every other school kid in America, I watched the Challenger Disaster live in a classroom.
When I lived in both Houston and Florida I took advantage of every opportunity to see various launches, visit the Space Centers, etc. To further assure you of my love for all things NASA, let me also explain that I begged my parents every single year until I graduated from high school to send me to Space Camp (and not just b/c I thought I could rig a way to get a space shuttle to accidentally launch). I used to own my own box set of VHS tapes of the "Right Stuff," "Top Gun," "Space Camp," and "Apollo 13," as well as several other videos about NASA that most non-nerds have never heard of.
What's my point? Well, I just haven't talked about the space shuttle to anyone lately! No one ever seems to care about the Space Race, going to the moon, when we are going to send civilians into space, and when Max is going to allow Jinx to be sold on the commercial market. I want my own Jinx, dang it! But seriously, I love all things NASA. I even went with my sister to a planetarium on vacation! Come on! What else do I have to say to convince you? That my first movie star crush was on Tate Donovan? And that I have every word to "Apollo 13" memorized? And that I read the book? And my favorite river is the Patuxent? And the only way I'll ever live in Maryland, is if I can live near the Pax? (a litmus test for true nerds right there) Or that I consider naming my first born son Yeager?
I have officially decided I want to go into space. And since NASA just isn't building the ISS fast enough for me (not that I would want to go to that flying heap of junk anyway), I've decided I'm going to have to follow Lance Bass' example, and go with the Russians. I've always wanted to go to Russia, and this just might be my chance. I am now opening my paypal account to your donations for "Erin's Trip to the Moon." I plan to pay for the trip with your kind donations as well as the profits from my next novel (which I am sure once I write it will be a best seller), which should clear a few million in royalties. I plan to be the first "Romance Writer in Space." And if I can't do that, I am just going to have to marry an astronaut or one of the Blue Angels. Is that so much to ask for? I think not.
Anyway, all that was just so I could post my current two favorite pictures. And to encourage you all to contribute to the "Erin's Trip to the Moon" fund.
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