Category Archives: Writing Life

Complications – Fixing Pipes and Publishing Books

publishing books—title page of book manuscript

One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon in a book store that also has a coffee shop. From thousands of titles, I pick a dozen candidates to consider. Then I order a cafe-americano accompanied by a scone and sit to choose one. Or two. Or maybe three. That simple small-table haven makes the whole book thing seem uncomplicated. Publishing books, however, is not.

Recently, I pitched my new SciFi novel, The Perelandra Paradox-Discovery (first of a three-part series) to a book publishing agent. First hope, then no joy. So, on to the next agent. Discouragement tempted me but a few days later, life reminded me that publishing books is a complex affair. read more ...

Share This:

How I Learned to Keep My Balance and Fit it All In

Smiling man loading cargo into a single engine airplane

Panchito loading a C-185, leaving just enough room for me to fly it safely.

Preparing for a month-long work trip out of the country inundated me with too many extras, too many surprises. No time left to work on my novel (The Perelandra Paradox), pitch the memoir (Sky Creature), reprint and re-market my previous book (Call For News), and, oh yeah, write this post. I was feeling overloaded and out of balance. Reminded me of flying.

Every manufacturer determines the maxim allowable takeoff weight for every aircraft they produce using four factors:

1. The engine’s power: The engine(s) must produce enough power to move the aircraft fast enough to make the wings work.
2. The wing’s lift: The wings, given airflow, must produce enough lift to raise the aircraft off the ground.
3. The airframe’s strength: The airframe must hold its own weight, plus the fuel, cargo, passengers and crew in their designated places during taxi, take off, climb, maneuvering, descent, and landing.
4. The performance margin: The gross weight of the aircraft must leave enough margin for the airplane to be controllable throughout all of its expected motions in both still and turbulent air. read more ...

Share This:

With a Renewed Focus, I’m Back On The Air

Finding new focus is like this Cessna C-185 flying over gray clouds into the sunlight

=&0=& and a half years ago I put this site up to promote my work as an “Aviation & Space Writer.” But, as you can see on this site, focus moves, changes, and grows. During the last few months, I’ve come to realize I’m more of a commentator than a reporter. The facts are important—especially crucial in aviation—but I’m more interested in what higher perspectives mean, what we see and learn from our real and virtual aerial views. So here’s a summary of my current projects:

  • Blog: This week I resume posting here every Friday. My blog will feature thoughts on current aviation and space news, projects, and discoveries. I’ll also include progress reports on my own projects.
  • Sky Creature: I’ve completed the manuscript. Depending upon the publishing gambit, this memoir of my flying in the Amazon Jungle and Andes Mountains should come out later this year.
  • The Perelandra Paradox: I’m well into my first novel—a near-future science fiction story about an airline pilot who makes an impossible discovery in his own garage. What will it do to life and vision on Earth? How will it affect his family? Can he survive the changes forced upon him? I anticipate availability early 2019.
  • Call For News: I have a nice problem. The last of the soft cover versions are gone. Now it’s time for another printing! However, I need to select a new publisher since the original publisher is no longer in business. Fortunately, the e-version is still available.
  • read more ...

    Share This:

    Why I Sharpened My Focus

    Cessna 206 prop hub points to sharp focus

    You probably noticed the change. This site sports a new masthead, revised page structure, and most importantly, a sharpened focus. I realized, for a freelance writer’s site, I was trying to be all things to all people. Sounds nice. Doesn’t work out so well in real life.

    I write because I believe, as all writers do, I have something to say worth reading. To do that, I have to connect with people. But people aren’t created in general, a nameless mass driven by blind instinct. People are created one at a time as individuals, each unique as snowflakes. And that’s where I have to connect. read more ...

    Share This: