IWSG and A to Z Challenge: My Bucket List! – Past, Present, and Future: F is for Flying!

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here.

I don’t really have any new insecurities right now, so I will go to the IWSG question for this month: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Well, I’ve tried to write short stories, but they always seem to turn into novels. I write in the fantasy genre because that’s what I love most to read, and fantasy novels tend to be long and sprawling, so maybe that’s why I’ve never been good at short stories. My characters refuse to be bridled.


Now on to the A to Z Challenge!

I’m taking the long way around with A to Z this year. My plan is to post every couple of weeks, so I will have time to visit other blogs in between and still have time to write.


F is for – Flying!

One thing I had always wanted to do was learn to fly. I wanted to soar on the wind currents like the hawks circling over the meadows and forests where I grew up. I remember watching them when I was a kid and thinking how peaceful it must be up there, high above all the chaos and commotion below.

There were two small airports within a couple of hours from where I lived that gave glider rides. Gliders have no engines and are towed up into the sky and then released to ride the thermals and updrafts, with the only sound being the whoosh of the air over the wings.



Taking off with the tow plane

I’ve been on rides at both places and they were fantastic! The best part was when the pilot let me take the stick and fly the glider myself. Pure joy.



This link has some basic info about gliders and a couple of really short videos showing take-off and landing for anyone interested in learning more.


Gliders are the best, but I also wanted to try my hand at a single-engine plane. Another airport closer to me gave flying lessons in a Cessna 152. The lessons incorporated both ground school and in-the-air learning. Over the course of several months, I delved into flight guides, aeronautical charts, navigation, weather prediction, radiospeak, and the rules of the air.


Cessna 152


Controls for both the student pilot and the instructor

As a part-timer, fitting the lessons in around my job, it took me about a year to finish the course. On my first solo flight I was so nervous, but everything went fine. I took off, flew around the practice area near the airport, then landed without a hitch. After that, I got to do solo cross-country flights to regional towns and cities. Those were a lot of fun.


The scariest part of learning to fly is spin practice, otherwise known as learning how to get out of a spin if you accidentally put yourself in one. You have to intentionally put the plane into a spin — pull the stick back to lift the nose of the plane until it stalls, then floor the rudder, and over the plane goes, straight down in a corkscrew, rushing toward the ground. The first thing you do is NOT PANIC!

Image by Ciarán Ó Muirgheasa from Pixabay

Image by Ciarán Ó Muirgheasa from Pixabay

I did manage to successfully pull the plane out the dive, but I did NOT enjoy it. However, I was glad to know how to not crash the plane.

I earned my private pilot’s license in 1984. I flew locally for a while after that and gave rides to family and friends who dared to get in the plane with me. But it’s an expensive hobby. Plane rental and fuel are not cheap, so eventually I moved on to other things. I’m so glad, though, that I went for it and realized my dream of flying. Now when I see those hawks soaring on high, I smile because I’ve been up there with them. I know the peace and freedom of the open sky. I’ll never forget it.


And now for the Writing Update:

June and July were a wash as far as my WIP, Trouble Times Three, goes. Just too many things going on. But they were important things that needed to be done. Life and family take priority. Always. We’ll see what next month brings.


Anyone else have any bucket list items beginning with F?




© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2020. All rights reserved.