Silence Means Writing… Or Chapter 1, Draft 1 is Finished

Hey all,

We’ve been quiet for a bit, and that’s for a good reason. Typically, when we’re quiet here, it means we’re writing on JET Book 1.

The good news is we’re finished with Draft 1 of Chapter 1 of Book 1. What is it they say about the journey of a thousand miles? Well, it’s good to know our first steps are behind us.

We’ll be back soon of course, but when the words are flowing, it’s best not to deflect the flow.

See you soon…

Visiting Places That Don’t Exist

With the news of George Lucas’ retirement from big canvas filmmaking, today finds us a little bittersweet. Despite the significant damage he’s done to his legacy in the last 15 years (that’s a topic for another time) it’s churlish beyond endurance to not think of what he’s given nerd culture and not say thanks.

Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art for the Darth Vader/Obi Wan Kenobi fight from A New Hope.

In fact, Lucas was already in mind with us as we prepared this blog entry. Back in the early 1970s he feared he’d have an uphill climb convincing the studios, lost in the midst of that grim decade, to pony up for his very retro Flash Gordon-style movie. He could see how different it would be, but all his images were in his head. He knew he’d need to get something in front of them they could see.

That’s when he tapped Ralph McQuarrie to knock out a few pieces of concept art to give the money men an idea of what he was attempting.

Ever since then, we’ve been inspired by great pieces of concept art. In fact, we’ve been hanging around Reddit’s SpecArt quite a bit, looking at all the fantastic imaginings of people with a talent for images and unknown worlds. As much as we love McQuarrie, we’re almost more drawn to pieces of speculative art which have nothing to do with producing a show, movie or comic… pieces that do nothing but let us see inside the worlds that only exist in daydreams. Yes, we’re aware of how hoity-toity that sounded, and we’re fine with it.

So, from time to time, we’re going to post things here that we like, that inspire us, and when we see some, we’ll point out ones that evoke something of the world of Jet Jergens. Enjoy this first batch.

This one you'll recognize from the masthead. It's a pretty cool cruiser setting a course above a massive nebulae.

First off is Tiger Fortress… Perhaps it was Chris’ early exposure to STAR BLAZERS in the late 1970s, but for some reason we’re always attracted to ships that look like battleships.

The first piece we loved you’ll recognize from our masthead. It’s from a pretty cool artist named Shimmering Sword, and it’s over in a collection of similar word at Deviant Art. There’s something about they way Shimmering uses light that we just love, and seems very, well, McQuarriesque.

The weirdest neighborhood watch meeting ever.

The next one embodies what we REALLY love about concept art. The fact we have no idea who anyone is, or what’s going on. It’s called THE MEETING, and it’s by Donmalo, also over at Deviant Art. We’ve got no idea who’s meeting who, why, what’s going to happen, what’s already happened, and we prefer it that way.

The last one for today is another battleship, maybe in space, maybe not. It’s by Anjulnked, and is another flying battleship that evokes not the look or the tech or anything of the developing Jet Jergens world. What does it evoke? Something like the feel of Jet. Could we be more vague? Probably.

This is why we love flying battleships.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed these images. From time to time, between musings on nerd culture, the in and outs, ups and down of writing our project, we’ll be posting images we think are worth admiring. Thanks for reading…

Delusions of Grandeur

Greetings people of the Internet.

We are Christopher Allan Smith and Harrison Smith, a father and son nerd team setting out on a project of ridiculous ambition. To create an entertaining, thrilling, emotional, action packed and memorable novel.

Yes yes fine, you may say. People write novels every day. Big deal.

To this we say: What’s with the attitude? We just met. Come on. Nobody wants a fight here friend.

To this we also say: You’re 100-percent right. But here, before we even put a word to paper, we’re outlining our goal: To create a story with characters so real and meaningful, with a plot so grabbing and relatable, with a conclusion so emotional and satisfying that our story will rank up there with the classics of nerddom. We want to create something people will love forever, and will last long after we’re gone.

When we’re finished, we want our story to rest proudly along side STAR WARS, SHERLOCK HOLMES, ROBIN HOOD, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, HARRY POTTER,and…, well, that’s probably shooting high enough.

They say write what you know. Well, we’re two pretty big nerds. Proud and out nerds. What we know is geek culture, nerd lore and the pleasure of sitting down to a book, movie, TV show or graphic novel that send waves of coolness right to our nerdy cores.

With this blog we’re going to report on our journey and hopefully garner some readers for our mad task. We’ll post chapter snippets, inspirations, opinions and fears. We’ll be asking questions, taking feedback, talking about geeky things totally unrelated to the project. And hopefully lighting a fire under a few people who need a little push to attempt something insanely great.

When Stage 1 is finished, we’ll have the whole book here. When the entire plan has run it’s course, we’ll have an entire series from beginning to end, and our victory will be complete. Except probably the ‘It’s a classic of the ages’ part, but we can dream.

Here’s where we start from: Chris is a 40-year-old geek from way back. He can remember seeing STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE at a drive in movie theater. And a theater in the mall. And a big dome. He saw that damned movie a lot. He’s got a degree in journalism (so he can write a bit). His day job is as a video producer/director. He’ll be doing most of the prose at the start.

Harrison is an 11-year old nerdling who has already become a talented writer himself. His course was set when his father showed him a STAR WARS movie at too tender an age. He never had a chance. Now he’s our resident expert on coming of age stories, HARRY POTTER being a significant favorite. It’s usually playing on audiobook in the background while Harrison designs space ships out of Legos. (Yes we know the official plural is Lego. We will ignore emails on this subject). We’ll be uploading pictures of his designs, and basing eventual concept art on his creations. He’s a major HUNGER GAMES fan as well.

So that’s about it.

Oh, one last thing you’ve probably already guessed. Right now, the story is called “The Adventures of Jet Jergens.”