All content copyright 2014 Woodpecker Tales LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Blue Memory

For a while, I lived life as if nothing inside me had ever changed. I went about my daily life. I wrote stories and blogs, started new books, worked often and ate dinner with friends. Eventually the visual memories began to fade. I no longer saw those blue eyes every time I closed my own, staring at me, smiling, only a pillow away.

But then he showed up in my life again. It was only for a brief moment - but those memories came to life once more. It was as though all that time had not passed. Everything was renewed. It wasn't the same, and yet it was.

Now I have a new vision when I close my eyes - but it's always been of his blue eyes.

Not a Redhead?!

Blonde. I hate it.

(Not that there's anything wrong with blondes. It's just not me. Last time I was blonde it was for a Halloween costume.)

In random conversation with the Captain and First Officer today, we were talking about mechanical delays. We had a few so far on this trip, and our days were stretched long while our nights stretched thin and sleep stretched to near nothing. Another warning came up before we began to taxi and we had to stop yet again.

"What is it with you two," the Captain asked of us both. "You're cursed or something."

"It's not me," I complained. "Redheads are touched with luck!" I quoted what others had told me of Game of Thrones.

"Redhead?" the first officer chimed in. "You're a redhead?"

"Well, yeah!"

"Oh," he said, perplexed. "I thought you were a blonde with your highlights."

I'm never getting highlights again.

Ode to the Passenger with Earphones

Something to drink?
Apple juice.
It's empty.
Apple Juice.
It's empty.
Yes, apple juice.
It's still empty.
Apple juice.
The can is crushed.
He points at the can.
He nods. Apple juice.
Now it's upside down.
Oh.
I'll take orange juice.
No ice.

Thank you.

Inspired

When I write, it's because I'm inspired. But writing itself inspires me. Writers block never comes. There's always a story to tell, a snippet to share, a laugh to be chortled and a tear to be shed. There's always something to be written.

I sat alone amid tall palm trees lit up by rope strands of twinkling white lights this morning before the sun even came up. It was my time - time to relax, NOT to check all of my social media outlets for messages and notifications, but to listen to my music, to reflect on the day gone by and the one yet to come. It's my time to think, to listen, to notice - to be.

Not everyone has those moments. Not everyone knows how to function in long moments of solitude and silence. At one time, I was one of those people myself. But now I thrive in that environment. I crave it. On fact, I require it. If I don't get it, I can get quite cranky and frustrated with daily activities. I think more people would too if they discovered the beauty in the silence and the calm within the still. Things take a different shape.

The long fingers of the Palm frond stretch out into the sky, seeming to reach their black tentacles toward the stars, hoping to ensnare one and nestle it among the lights still twinkling at it's base. It's greedy, that Palm. There aren't yet enough lights - it needs and wants more. Just as I need and want more stories, more words, more thoughts - MORE.

I don't crave riches or jewels. I don't crave food or drink. I don't crave the stars like the Palm, neither do I crave the moon like lovers do. I crave only life and all it has to offer. That may seem like too much to some, but life is what I write about. If I don't live, I don't write. If I don't venture out, I have nothing new. I'm left with the lights twinkling at my base. I must keep reaching for those stars like the Palm does, reaching out to take just one more until there is no reach left to me.

Life is like that. If you find something you want, you MUST reach for it. Reach for it and never give up until you've gotten what you seek. There are so few things in this world worth reaching so hard for. Life. Inspiration. The stars. Reach for them all. Eventually, they reach back.

Confused Accents



People on airplanes always ask where my accent is from. I admit, it's an unusual one. It's a wide combination at this point of a variety of places I've lived, but when I'm at work the most prominent one is Scotland. It's not 100% natural when I do a thick accent on the plane but it's certainly convincing enough for Glaswegians to ask what part of Scotland I'm from. If I can fool the natives, I can fool anyone into thinking I'm originally from there. But that's not why I do it. In fact, it's not even what I answer when people ask where I'm from. I tell them the truth. My accent is so confused, even it doesn't know where it's from. It's a combination of Scotland, Arkansas and New York, paying tribute to my parents and the mixed heritage they passed down to me, as well as to my own adventures abroad. I hated the life I was secretly living in Scotland, but I loved the people, the accent and the culture. I even loved the food and I've been craving a good sausage supper from a chip shop for almost three years now. But most of all I loved that accent. I loved listening to it. 

I do the accent because people listen. 

That's right. When I make my announcements on the plane, I do it all with a Scottish accent. Most people guess me to be from Ireland, which is an entirely different accent all together; soft and lilted. But I've only ever spent four days in Dublin and I didn't get to do all I wanted to then. Someday I'll get back there. But someday will come AFTER I get back to Scotland on my own and see what I never got to see - Stirling Castle, a distillery or two, Loch Ness, several of the better known Highland castles and the Isles. 

When I say my announcements, I always do them by the book, word for word. But people have heard those a million times. They don't listen anymore. On the Bro, it's important that they listen in order to know oxygen masks are in the center aisle, not above their heads. There's only one exit up front. There's one also in the back. Two over the wings. But how do you make people want to listen to something they think they've heard a million times? With an accent. 

Every single flight someone asks "where are you from?" I always smile and I always say the same. 

"Everywhere." 

And THAT is the truth. 



PSP

The views between Palm Springs and San Francisco are incredible. Rolling hills. Towering mountains, clear blue lakes spotting the scenes. Tiny houses and squares cut out of the surrounding deserts. I love Deadheads.

Deadheads are flights crew members are on as passengers in order to relocate the passenger for a work assignment, not to be confused with commuting. Commuters (also referred to as non-rev) are people who fly from all over the place to their city of assignment in order to START work. Deadheads are paid assignments to relocate a crew because they are needed in a different city.

Before people start getting bent out of shape that crew members are paid to deadhead - keep out pay scale in mind. We are trained extensively to keep many people safe every day. We know basic first aid, CPR, how to use the AED (heart attack machines) and have already held exit doors in our hands. We know how to open every door on the plane. We know evacuation procedures and commands. We are treated like nothing more than a glorified waitress who doesn't earn tips though, even with that amount of training - and we get paid even less. That's right. We get paid less than a waitress. We don't do the job to get rich. We do the job because we love it. When doing my taxes last month, I discovered that I made about 12k, and that's BEFORE taxes. That's no typo. There's a lesson to be learned here somewhere. If you figure it out let me know.

I've thought once or twice about hanging up the towel. I can't survive on this job alone. I need to do something to pay the bills. I knew someone who wanted to help me because I needed help, but when people start getting too wrapped up in something or someone, if the other person doesn't keep up, the plugs are pulled, projects are washed away and dreams are crushed. That happened to me just recently.

I'm a writer. It's what I've always been. It's been a large piece of my identity since I was a young kid. I've never published anything because I never thought I was good enough. When my book was pretty much shoved into a toilet, forced I to the pipes with the handle of a plunger and flushed away like a dead spider or goldfish (figuratively speaking, of course) I almost gave up. For a split second, I crumbled. For a fraction of a moment, I thought that I would never be published. I would fail and flounder the way I had at basically everything in my entire life up to that point. I wept.

I failed in my life with Pete.
I failed in my attempt to move to Scotland.
I failed in my attempt at college.
I failed at so many things.

But I was also a success. A survivor. A fighter!!

I survived being kidnapped.
I resurrected a relationship I thought had long ago died.
I learned so much about the real world on my own. More than books could teach me.
I've travelled the world!
And I've survived a year on a 12k income in Los Angeles.


I've done so much. How could I see myself as a failure? I picked myself up from the foot of the bed, smiled, wiped my tears and set fire to the past. I watched it go up in smoke. Cinders. Soot. Ash. Bright red licking flames of a brand new fire. And that fire came from within. A tornado swept across the emotional expressions of my face. A hurricane bubbled beneath the surface. A typhoon washed away the mystery and self pity in one great wave. And earthquake shook within my hands as they clenched in an outrage that someone I trusted had betrayed me. And a new book was born.

Thirty Synchronized Woodpeckers (all rights reserved, Woodpecker Tales LLC) will still be published, and it mentions the title of my next book - The SLO Game. That book? Yeah. It's gonna be a good one. It's a story about betrayal of someone trusted. Someone a young woman depended on. Someone who tried to crush a persons soul, never realizing that, to some people, words are only words and nothing more. It's a story about a young woman who fought the odds all her life and somehow always came out ahead. And it's TRUE. Well. Mostly true. I'm not even changing the names. I'm just not using last names.

I hope they (the powers that be) make The SLO Game into a film. I hope everyone involved goes to see it. I hope people realize that they were long ago forgiven for everything they did and didn't do, for the promises they broke, for the anger they felt and for the hatred they threw like paper airplanes, trying desperately to jab an innocent girl in the eye with a pointed tip.

And remember - always be careful, or you might end up in my novels.






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