Well here is a special treat for everyone! I was able to get Syd Blue to do a guest post. I hope you enjoy reading what she has to say. Syd is one really cool girl!
Flying a plane feels very different from being a passenger. In fact, many people who are afraid of flying enjoy it when they are at the controls. It’s amazing to be the master of the sky, to wrestle the wind and lift off, leaving the bounds of mere mortals. Defying gravity is a rush but once you are up in the limitless sky, where the wide horizon seems to go on forever, you feel like you are truly above it all and the possibilities of life are as endless as the vista. The view is amazing. But see for yourself. You can get a demo flight at any local flight school!
I had my first flight lesson on my 14th birthday. It was a treat to get the control column, the yoke, away from my three older brothers, all of whom are now pilots. When my parents took trips to grandma’s house, we all piled in the single-engine plane, but they had more children than seats, so I was stuffed into the baggage compartment. There was nothing to do back there – no windows – so I wrote. I started my first book at age nine. Writing became a lifelong passion.
As an editor at national magazines, book publishers, websites, and production companies, my love for words only grew. Eventually I expanded into production since filmmaking is the natural progression of storytelling. It’s so much fun to see words come to life. But it was when I was working as an editor of a techie magazine that I found out that Earth has gotten brighter since we have paved over the land. Pavement reflects more light than dirt, so we could have just shown up in other people’s telescopes. People on other worlds. It was then that I started writing Circle as letters from a penpal, Mandy, on another planet, Circle. From Mandy’s letters to her earthly friend grew a novel about her mission to Earth to retrieve one thing her people need to survive.
Circle is a middle grade novel that 7th and 8th graders are now reading in class because it has fun discussion starters in science. With STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) becoming so important to our educational system, Circle combines literacy with science while the characters are on the run from attack helicopters, drones and fighter jets. All of which are aircraft I see every week when I fly through military bases. Although I’ve seen plenty of X-planes (the “X” stands for experimental) being tested at Edwards Air Force Base, Circle does have an imaginary twist on what I think could be the direction of development.
I’m excited to be able to blend flying and writing. The kids who tell me what they liked about Circle often cite the flying or the characters. You can see some reactions here. And viewers on YouTube often write me to ask how they can become pilots, saying they are dying to fly. I’m grateful to be able to share my love of flying in this way. When I speak at events or schools, I meet kids of all ages enthusiastic about aviation and I tell them there’s no age restriction on flying. You can start as young as you want but you must be 16 to fly solo and 17 (in this country) to get your pilot’s license. YoungEagles.org gives free rides to kids just to share the magic of flight. I know it was a great start for me to have a flying lesson so young and I hope others take advantage of all the programs and opportunities to do the same. (There’s info on my website SydBlue.com.) Flying a plane is really life changing and super empowering.
That’s why I wrote FlyGirl – to encourage girls, especially, to step up and take on the challenge to become Pilot-In-Command. It’s a very rewarding experience for our self-esteems as well as our perspectives. Mandy in Circle doesn’t fly the plane but she has other attributes I admire, like the way she approaches the people she meets with her heart wide open. No matter how much I crash and burn in life, I hope to take on Mandy’s fearless attitude, reserving conclusions, and see the world as new. I guess that’s what flying does for me. Each time I take off into the wild blue, I never know what awaits up there and it’s always different.
The Circle Trailer:
Flygirl e-book on sale:
Circle e-book on sale:
Thanks Syd for writing something for my blog!