Thursday, February 28

Learning Stupidity

I am nostril deep in hydraulic fluid. If you know anything about said fluid, you know that it's stinky. Unfortunately, that's the extent of my knowledge on the matter today. Continuing education has turned me into an idiot.

The first company to employ me as a tanker pilot honored me with an invitation to recurrent training. Within a few hours of class, during preparation for a power point presentation, my intelligence dimmed right along with the overhead fluorescents. The addition of information somehow reduced that which I already knew.

The phenomena attacks more than my flying career; writing has been the same. Education does not propel me forward as I expect. Instead, miles of blackout provide one little light bulb to go off—shedding only enough light to see a towering stack of study materials. Information within reach but that cannot be read nor learned.

But to tell you the truth, I am concerned most about not snorting the fluid beneath my nose. Too bad there isn’t anything I can stand on.

Thursday, February 21

Queries . . . as Difficult as Fiction

I’ve spent the better part of the week at the dentist’s office. Well, not really. In reality, I’ve wrestled with the task of writing sales pitches to literary agents. Trust me; it feels similar to a root canal.

So far, I have braved the publishing jungles on my own—sans professional guidance. I query major publishing houses; I get rejected. The process has become predictable, if nothing else. In the beginning, I calculated that I had enough fight and stamina for one book. But I am getting tired, and new story ideas are coming out my nose. Soliciting agents seems a necessary evil. Not that agents are evil—let me make that clear to any agent reading this piece—it's just that the solicitation process is hell.

My luck within the industry thus far looks something like this: I have adorned my least crippled foot in the most outrageously expensive shoe; immediately upon unveiling such priceless combo, it is run over by an overweight semi-truck and trailer. Once a thing of beauty, now lie in an unrecognizable pool of patent leather poop.

It is because of this drab—and so far fruitless—task that I detoured from my usual genres. Adult fiction is not my thing, but amusement was necessary in order to resurrect my flat-lined heartbeat earlier this week. I thought I’d extend the hilarity of a paragraph I worked up. You can thank me later; I prefer dark chocolate—from Belgium.


There you have it. Magically, the queries don't seem all that bad now.

Friday, February 15

Finally, Links to Published Pieces

Where can I get a hold of articles you've previously had published?
Good question. Here, I will offer up a couple sites where you can find my earlier works. gets credit for the first publication of "118 Degrees, 22 Minutes, 10 Seconds," a personal narrative about flying air tankers for fire suppression. You can find it at

Aviation for Women kindly made the same story a cover piece in the Sept/Oct issue of 2007. For the first time, you can view the magazine layout online thanks to my dear friend at, go to - it's the last link listed (for now) including the phrase "fire bomber."

Are you are hungry for some culture? You'll find a restaurant review about a quaint eatery on the shores—literally—of the Pacific Ocean in Montezuma, Costa Rica. Check it out at

I've also included these websites under "A few sites I live by" column on the homepage—for future reference.

There you have it. Proceed with caution; no lifeguard on duty.

Wednesday, February 13

I Like Ocelots A Lot

What's not to like about a furry, smallish creature with large, clawed paws. They need help though. With less than a hundred American ocelots surviving in southern Texas, they've made the endangered species list. If you want to learn more about them, and how you can help, visit the ocelots here.

Wednesday, February 6

A Review of "Interview"

O.K. little bro . . . as you wish!

The movie Interview stars Steve Buscemi (Lonesome Jim, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs) opposite Sienna Miller (Factory Girl, Casanova, Alfie). Buscemi plays Pierre Peders—a journalist with fading credibility. He also directs this film. Miller holds her own as a self-absorbed, no-talent celebrity named Kayta. Replicating Theo Van Gogh’s original (same title, released in 2003) simplicity may have been unavoidable, considering Buscemi used the same Dutch production crew.

Ordinarily covering hot politics, Pierre squabbles about the “fluff” assignment of interviewing an actress known more for her fluctuating breast size than for her talent. Her tardiness to the restaurant only feeds Pierre’s disgust. Pierre’s poignant disinterest and lack of respect irritates Kayta and the interview ends promptly. We think we are fortunate to have escaped such a volatile mixture, but a minor fender bender reunites them. Feeling some responsibility for the mishap, Kayta cons Pierre to her flat—where we’ll stay for the remainder.

The characters and their chemistry propel the film. The script is good, but the performances are magnificent. As their level of intoxication increases, the volley of questions intensifies. No answer escapes judgment. With Pierre’s assignment lost, their involvement dissolves into a battle of wits, where knowing what to say is as important as knowing what not to say. Dizzying transitions between compassion and contempt leave us firmly planted on the couch.

Kayta practices her acting by exaggerating the boundaries of charm—perhaps an attempt to prove that she is not just a B rate actress. Pierre can’t decide if he wants to be her lover, guidance counselor, or father-figure. Despite their vulnerability and meandering passion, they manage to explore a level of intimacy that many couples never know.

Interview's brilliance reminds us that films can still—just—be about people and their complexities.