Day 4: Higher and Higher

NaNo, Day 4!!!

Note: I am posting this video as part of my NaNoWriMo Video Songfest, continuing through the end of November.  You don’t have to be participating in NaNo to take part, and if you don’t want to post a video on your blog, I do take requests–just like a real life DJ!

Wouldn’t you like to see your song up there on the Master Songlist?  πŸ˜€


So I’m trucking on the NaNo wordcount, and happy with the product, though I’ll have quite a bit of revising to do.  I tend to write really messy first drafts–but since I enjoy the editing process, it all works out in the end.

Today, I’m sharing a really cool video with you:Van Halen’s “Dreams”, featuring some awesome footage from the Blue Angels.  I hope you find it as inspirational as I do.  Even after having been a Navy pilot for 20 years, I am in awe of these guys.

But there’s another reason why this video is appropriate.  Way back in the dark ages, when I first joined the Navy as an enlisted man, I had dreams of one day becoming a Naval Aviator. 

Because of my father’s background in the U.S. Air Force, I grew up attending scads of airshows, and I have always loved aviation.  But there’s a time in particular where The Blues–as the Blue Angels are affectionately referred to in Navy circles–came to the base where I was stationed in Maine.  I watched their incredible performance, never taking my eyes from the pointy nose aircraft performing impossible maneuvers, rocketing by in close formation–less than two feet between aircraft during some maneuvers!–and impressing the crowd.

As a guy who finished middle of my class in high school, and a college drop-out to boot, watching those blue fighter jets tear up the sky made me feel like my chances of ever becoming a pilot were slim to none, and slim had already left town, as they say.  I might as well have been dreaming about walking on the Moon.

Yet, fast forward two years and I found myself in Flight School.  I had worked my tail off, submitted my package, got picked up (much to my surprise).  But even though I was successful in getting myself into the pipeline to become an Aviator, I still found the whole idea daunting.  I didn’t “get” it.  I felt like much of what I was expected to know was beyond my understanding, and I struggled.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday: we launched on a training hop late in the afternoon.  The event was called a BI (Basic Instruments) flight, where the student (me) spends about 90% of his time under a big hood, flying a series of maneuvers completely on instruments, with no outside visual reference. 

One of the manuevers, called an unusual attitude recovery, was considered extremely difficult to pull off well–but that day, I knocked it out of the park.  The instructor even went so far as to ask if I was ‘cheating’ by looking outside.  Of course I hadn’t, and I told him so. 

When we finished the event and turned the aircraft toward home, I pulled back the hood to discovery the whole world bathed in the orange glow of the Corpus Christi setting sun.

There was only one thought in my head: I can do this.

I have recently reached a similar place in my writing.  Even before NaNo I was beginning to feel it, but now that I’ve been plugging words like they’re going out of style, that sentiment is strengthening in my mind with every keystroke.

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you were witness to my stumble earlier this year, where things went quiet here at ~WSMG~.  I stopped blogging, but I also stopped writing fiction at home.  I was dogged by self doubt, uncertain of my abilities.  I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, and that apprehension kept me from staying engaged.  But that skepticism has been replaced by a confidence that I am working hard to cultivate.  And thus far, it’s working. 

So, to what do I attribute this personal growth, this change of heart?  Work, and lots of it.  As Joel Arthur Barker said: 

β€œVision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world.”

The novel of a hundred-thousand words begins with the first keystroke.  And the next.  And the next.  Keep at it, and before you know it, you’ll be flying too!  πŸ˜€

Hope you have a great writing day!  Stay groovy!