Tag Archives: pilot

Indie Publishing – Another Guy’s Book

Okay, so if you’ve visited my blog in the past and peeked into the Writer’s Desk Logbook, you probably have read all you care to know about my struggles in the Query Wars and the recent departure from the front lines to independently publish my novel Pilot Error. If that’s the case, you can relax and continue reading. Please glance at the title again if that statement is confusing. A good friend and fellow writer (I’ll refer to him as Another Guy, or AG) is also an illustrator, which is where the fellowship stops. On second thought, that didn’t come out quite … Continue reading

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Tragedy In Reno – Who Should Pay?

Credit for source photo used in the header: AP Photo/Ward Howes. (If you are looking at the Home Page fighter pilot header, click on the post title.) (Photo credit: posted to Flickr by jeggernot here) As you might imagine, the aviation community is tightly focused on this crash, and the aftermath will reverberate through the news in one form or another for some time to come. You don’t, of course, have to be an aviator to grieve for the dead, the injured, and their families. And as we might expect, like vultures to road kill, “ambulance chasers” will circle the … Continue reading

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Tragedy in Reno

Credit for source photo used in the header: AP Photo/Ward Howes. (If you are looking at the Home Page fighter pilot header, click on the post title.) The annual air races in Reno, NV, can be thought of as NASCAR on steroids. The typical race plane is a heavily modified WWII-era fighter whose sole purpose is to charge around an oval racetrack about 50 feet above the desert at 450-500 mph, complete the required number of laps, and cross the finish line before any of the other contestants. In case you didn’t know, on Friday, September 16, 2011, a P-51 … Continue reading

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Proofing the Proof

I’ve read that proofreading a manuscript is best done with a printed copy rather than on a computer screen. The reason has to do with the way in which the eye-brain connection handles the task of processing the words, and that it’s easier to catch errors when they are on paper. Over the years of toil with my novel, I’ve generally not bought into that theory, primarily because in practical terms my experience didn’t validate it. A far more relevant factor in determining the effectiveness of a self-edit seemed to be familiarity. I’ve read every sentence in one version or … Continue reading

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Institutionalized Reduction in Force – The Big RIF

During my 20-year USAF career, the threat of a “RIF” ebbed and flowed with America’s need to use its military power as an instrument of national policy and influence events within the international arena. It might come as no surprise that the ebbing and flowing seldom occurred in sync with requirements. The pendulum was simply too ponderous to react quickly enough to match supply with demand. As an aviator, I never felt seriously threatened by talk of a RIF because even though the leading edge of the sword may become dull in peacetime, the ability to sharpen it in a … Continue reading

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Indie News – A Special Kind of Thrill

So you’re a writer, and you’ve had this dream of being published. Maybe it began years ago and took a while to gain enough traction for you to sit down and begin putting the words to electronic paper. But you finally do, and quickly discover that you had no clue how hard it was going to be. And then one day all the false starts, multiple revisions, doubt, and frustration fade into history as you gaze at the last page of a story that works. And it feels really, really good. Now it’s nothing more than a matter of finding … Continue reading

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A Very Close Call

We had a saying in the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada. “There are two kinds of pilots you don’t meet very often: those who have hit the ground unintentionally, or those who have collided with another airplane in flight.” Hard reality supports the statement, and we used it as an attention-getter to begin both the low-altitude and air-to-air combat training portions of the syllabus. With the exception of airshow formation flying, civilian airplanes generally stay away from each other. And when they don’t, it’s usually a tragic event. What follows is an example of how bad it could … Continue reading

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The Day of the Ace – by Wayne Blickenstaff – and The Long Ride Home

I’ve never met Wayne Blickenstaff. I know of him through my good friend and fellow writer John Jones, who told me about Wayne’s background as a WWII fighter pilot. John lent me a copy of a book written by Marvin Bledsoe, one of Wayne’s squadron members, titled Thunderbolt: Memoirs of a World War II Fighter Pilot. Wayne figures prominently in Bledsoe’s account, and I became personally interested in the story of his combat experience as well. John told me that Wayne had also written a book but never published it, and I knew that it contained enough tales to fill … Continue reading

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Visitor Stories Logbook – A New Addition

My original intention for the Visitor Stories Logbook was for it to serve as a kind of “guest blogger” destination where thousands of my avid fans would queue up for the opportunity to share aviation-related interests and experiences. That hasn’t happened, of course, although three writer friends responded to my pleas for content very soon after I launched the site, and their stories exceeded my expectations. In the wake of that initial activity and without receiving any additional input from others, I soon decided to expand the purpose of the logbook by publishing aviation stories of interest to me that … Continue reading

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Indie War Dispatch – Wraparound Background

The short-version backstory on this continuing series of posts is very simple: with more time than spare change lying around, I decided to personally accomplish each of the tasks required to publish my novel as an ebook for all the popular ereading devices and make it available on as many distribution outlets as possible, along with offering a paperback edition through print-on-demand. At this point in my account of the war, I had been actively seeking help on two forums, one for Photoshop Elements (PSE) and the other for InDesign (ID). Etiquette as well as practical considerations prevent crossing the … Continue reading

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