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Thursday, November 15, 2012

CHRISTMAS 2012 NEWSLETTER FROM HOMER AND LINDA HICKAM


CHRISTMAS 2012 NEWSLETTER FROM HOMER AND LINDA HICKAM

Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:

We can feel the quickening pace that the crisp air of Autumn brings us here on our Alabama mountain.  It is a sure sign the Holiday Season is approaching.  This will be the first Christmas for Wyatt and Curly Bill, our two kittens, now ten months old.  They will love the boxes and wrapping paper, but now we are not sure we will put up a tree this year - they are trouble!  Linda and I love this time of year and hope you do, too.  Let us join together and recall our past Christmas (and Hanukah) Holiday seasons, enjoy the present one, and anticipate all in the future!

THE WRITING LIFE:

I recently completed my next book titled Crescent, the second in the Helium-3 series that began with Crater.  The action really gets ramped up in Crescent and it isn't necessary to read the first one to enjoy the second.  Here is the book cover, presented for the first time! It will not be out until early June, though. Still, if you haven't read Crater, now's the time to do it!  Here's the exciting Book Trailer for Crater

China holds down our table and a corner of Crater!





Our dear Paco
Wyatt peruses the new book about his famous predecessor












After so many asked for it, I have also published in paperback the very popular Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space!  Just 70 pages, Paco is a short but fun read, a memoir of my early years at NASA and our special cat who saved a shuttle mission. It is available, autographed and personalized, from Linda’s bookstore for just $7, $2 shipping.  It is also available in its original best-selling Kindle Single version for just $1.99 on Amazon.  

While we're on the subject, Linda's bookstore is running a great sale of personalized, autographed Hickam books to take care of all those difficult-to-buy for people on your holiday gift list!  She has a Holiday Special with a FREE Paco with any order of Rocket Boys and other great prices on my books, Rocket Boy caps, autographed October Sky DVDs, and more.  Warning:  Rocket Boys is so popular, sometimes she runs out of books and as you know, the mail is a mess this time of year.  Get your order in soon!  More information can be found in Linda's section below. 

JOURNEYS:
Homer talks to the Rocket Boys
 audience before the musical


Whoa!  Did we have a busy late summer and fall!  In early August, Linda and I had so much fun going to West Virginia to attend Theatre West Virginia's second presentation of Rocket Boys the Musical!  We're pleased to announce that Rocket Boys will be returning to Theatre West Virginia next summer, too!
Valentine, Sonny, Roy Lee, Quentin and O'Dell sing a number
Mine accident scene in the musical


























While we were there, we were also privileged to speak at the Lewisburg Literary Festival along with West Virginia University and Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend Jerry West and Crum author Lee Maynard.  We had a marvelous time with the wonderful people of Lewisburg and we thank them for hosting us.

Homer holds up a T.rex
metatarsal

 After that, I came home and had a little hernia surgery.  Ouch.  While out dinosaur hunting in July, I noticed the problem while humping up and down mountains carrying a heavy pack.  A sock and an ace bandage solved the problem while I was there (hey, I'm serious about dino-hunting!) but then knew I had to get it solved, which I did.  The surgery was a complete success, I'm happy to say.
Searching the glorious badlands

Frog that lives behind this decoration

In September, Linda and I headed down to our home in St. John, USVI, Skyridge, to finish preparing the house for hurricane season.  NASA Al English went with us and we had a great time.  Al's a handy guy and did lots of work around the house.  We left with our storm shutters up but, happily, no hurricane came after us this year.

 
Beautifully patterned green turtle
On September 15, I was pleased to go to a local grass-strip airport named Moontown to speak to an assembly gathered for a fly-in.  I had a great time and enjoyed meeting George "Bud" Myers, the owner of Moontown and a fellow West Virginian.  Tragically, Bud was killed in a crash of his experimental aircraft the very next day along with Christian Schmitt, a remarkable young man by all accounts.  Linda and I attended the memorial service the next week.  Bud was saluted by everyone who was lucky to know him.  Christian received a memorial service at his school, too.  Our hearts go out to both families.

October is always a busy time for us, but this year, it was absolutely crazy.  First up was a return to West Virginia for the 14th Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival at, this year in Beckley, October 5-7.  What fun it all was!  The people in Beckley went all out with the celebration.  I visited several schools to talk about the story of the Rocket Boys and to encourage the students to study hard and aim high in life.  The film October Sky was also shown a number of times at the Tamarack which is West Virginia's showcase of handcrafts, fine art and regional cuisine.  Three other Rocket Boys (Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy O'Dell Carroll, and Billy Rose) were also there to help me and Beckley celebrate.  The location of the actual celebration - the Beckley Exhibition Coal mine - was perfect.  Not only is there a coal mine to visit but there's also a new planetarium.  Linda sold books and I signed them all day long.  As usual, the folks who came up to me were gracious and beautiful.  Thanks to them for making our day wonderful. One of the exceptional things they did was to hold a contest to paint their fire hydrants in coal mining or rocket themes, all to raise funds for charity, have a look. A huge "Thank you!" to Scott Hill and all the volunteers in Beckley who worked so hard to make the festival a success.

Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Goff


We were off to Atlanta the following weekend for the grand wedding of our niece Kristin (daughter of Linda's sister Elaine and Randy Hewatt) and her husband Mitchell.  Nearly the entire Terry clan, about 20 of us, turned out to show our love of Kristin and support of "her day."  She was the most beautiful bride ever. Linda and I enjoyed the wedding and the reception.  They did it up right!
Linda's parents "table dancing" at the wedding reception
Our next journey was to New York City.  We went there to talk to our agent about Rocket Boys The Musical and also visit with the creators of the show, writer and actor Carl Tramon, and lyricists/composers Diana Belkowski and Dan Tramon.


The Rocket Boys Musical creative team
Producer Ann Tramon and Linda











Homer on Times Square

























Linda and I stayed at the Staybridge Hotel near Times Square and enjoyed walking around the city.  Carl gave us one of his special tours, including a visit to the Actor's Equity headquarters.  We enjoyed peeking into the audition rooms where so many of Broadway's chorus line have nervously auditioned.  It was seeing and smelling real drama history!  Our visit with agent Ron Gwiazda at Abrams went very well.  We were impressed with his enthusiasm and plans for our show.  We anticipate that the musical will be performed at Theatre West Virginia for the third year.  We also hope that other performing groups will be interested.  We are especially interested in developmental theaters.  Please contact Ron (ron.gwiazda@abramsartny.com) if you are interested!  Sadly, a week later, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and the surrounding area.  Our hearts go out to all the people who remain devastated by this horrendous storm.

Homer at Ripley High School in
Jackson County, WV
I had been looking forward to a speech for the Jackson County, West Virginia, Community Foundation's Annual Community Celebration Benefit and community read of Rocket Boys and I was right to do so!  On October 26, I was feted all over this beautiful county alongside the Ohio River, met some wonderful new friends, and can't wait to go back!


The following Saturday, I headed over to the Space and Rocket Center here in Huntsville to help celebrate the winners of the "Reach for the Stars" National Rocket Contest sponsored by our friends Jack and Kathy Colpas.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the young folks who won the contest, their parents, and sponsors.

At the end of the month of October, Linda and I headed back to St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands, to settle in for a couple of wonderful weeks at our Skyridge home.  We have such lovely friends in St. John.  We always enjoy our time there, even though we work very hard on upkeep of our house.  This time, we got to attend the Halloween party at Skinny Legs, a local beach bar in Coral Bay.  Here's Linda and me at the party - I'm a Roman citizen, she's a green fairy!  Here are also some other photos of the wild and crazy citizens of our little island. 
Homer and the Joker? A Zombie??
A Roman and his fairy princess
A clever cowboy
A jellyfish costume


Homer talks to the vets about the movie October Sky
and answers questions
The St. John group of courageous vets and volunteers
We were also  honored to have October Sky shown and be asked to speak to the wounded warriors, veterans participating in a Team River Runner program in St. John that includes kayaking, snorkeling and diving. What a fine group of men, women and volunteers.
And what a wonderful organization Team River Runner is.








If you'd like to rent Skyridge for yourself and your family, get in touch with Windspree, our property manager and have an amazing vacation! 25% off if you go NOW until December 21 and it is still low season rates! Mention you heard it from us!

Now, we're home with our Huntsville friends and our cats.  We're looking forward to the Holidays and hope you are, too!!!

Your writer and friend,

Homer Hickam



FROM LINDA:

It's THAT time of year, gift giving – so make it easy on yourself, give Homer’s personalized, autographed books to those hard-to-think-of-a gift-for people on your list!  GET WITH IT NOW, limited supplies!
Rocket Boys is still the favorite, autographed and personalized by Homer, with special authenticity embossed seal (we have seen forged signatures) is $30, with $11 priority shipping, so a total of $41. Be sure to add the information about who the inscription is for.  

 Rocket Boy caps  $14 alone, $5 priority shipping box, or can fit in any book box if you are ordering books.  

October Sky DVD, autographed, $16, $2 shipping if alone, or free shipping if ordering books, same box.

As Homer pointed out, his short memoir Paco is now in paperback, just $7 plus $2 shipping, or free shipping if any other book is ordered.  It is not a children’s book, but I would say it is appropriate for as young as 7th grade.   

 


Crater, a young adult (rated 5th grade to infinity) is $18 plus $6 shipping and perfect for youngsters and Science Fiction lovers of all ages on your list.


Paco/Rocket Boys Holiday Special:   Rocket Boys, hardcover version, with a FREE copy of Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space, BOTH autographed and personalized, is available for $40 with priority shipping included. Normally these books together would be $50, so a savings of $10!  This is a special for November/December only and only this combination of books.  But wait, there's more!  If you order now, other Homer Hickam books can be included in the same mailing box with no extra cost, up to six book. Full list of Homer's books is below.

 

Suggested for the men on your list, I have The Ambassadors SonThe Far Reaches, and The Dinosaur Hunter.  They are on special for $20 each and 1st editions! $11 shipping for one or all three and are autographed and can be inscribed to anyone you name.


Other Homer Hickam Books I have available other than the above mentioned: 
 
The Coalwood Trilogy Set (Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone)  SPECIAL, $65 (all but Rocket Boys are first editions.  The hardcovers of The Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone are no longer in print, so very rare and collectible)!

SPECIAL The Coalwood Way, first edition hardcover (only the paperback is still in print so this is very rare) $20

Sky of Stone first edition hardcover (only the paperback is still in print so this is very rare) $20
My Dream of Stars (co-written with Anousheh Ansari, hardback, rare) $30
Red Helmet (hardback 1st, rare only a few, ask) $30
Torpedo Junction (oversize paperback WWII non-fiction) $25 Hardcover is collectible, not available
We Are Not Afraid (paperback, inspirational) $15
Back To The Moon (hardcover collectible, extremely rare, may be available, ask)

Shipping and Handling, $11 for one or up to 6. All shipments are USPS Priority.



So how to order?  It's simple, but don't wait!  Just write your check or money order to Linda Hickam and mail it here (sorry no credit cards on specials)
Linda Hickam
2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr
Suite #100  #210
Huntsville, AL 35802
(I am sorry, I will not be able to do out of USA orders from now until after Christmas)
Confused? Please Email Lterry@hiwaay.net

MORE FROM LINDA:

Curly Bill is fluffy trouble, but a love







Wyatt is always helpful

Love our kitties, they are great company and all are doing fine, you saw some of them helping me already and here are some more photos.
China camps out on one of our suitcases

Summer is never any trouble
April is happier, getting to go outside




I'm staying busy with the Rocket City Glass Girls fused glass art with Christmas sales and shows.  We ship! Ask to join us on Facebook, RocketCityGlassGirls, to see our work, or get a piece of your own.  

My home glass studio, main is elsewhere.

Angelina glass sculpture and one of our booth setups


Some new pendants, they are $20


Happy Holidays, indeed!   Linda