Love What You Write & Believe in Yourself…

December 29, 2009

Characters take on life sometimes by luck, but I suspect it is when you can write more entirely out of yourself, inside the skin, heart, mind, and soul of a person who is not yourself, that a character becomes in his own right another human being on the page. -Eudora Welty



  • Interview with Author, Dee White

We’re pleased to have with us today, Dee White. She’s the author of Letters to Leonardo, a debut YA fiction best introduced by Aussie Reviews — one of at least a half-dozen wonderful reviews of her novel I’ve come across:    

Letters to Leonardo is a stunning debut novel from Victorian author Dee White. The blend of first person narrative with letters gives the reader a wonderful insight into Matt’s thought processes and emotions. Matt’s journey is full of action, emotion and twists and turns which keep the reader riveted from chapter to chapter…”    

JR     Great review, Dee. Welcome to Musetracks, but before we begin, I have to ask — is there a bit of an accent I detect? Tell us about yourself.    

DW     That could be an Australian accent, John. I was raised in regional Victoria, Australia, and that’s where I completed my high schooling. I went on to do a Diploma in Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University.  I still live in regional Victoria in a house my husband and I built (mostly). I have two boys who read everything I write, and enough pets to almost fill an ark – including dog, cats, goats and rabbits – and that’s not counting the large number of kangaroos, echidnas and wedge-tailed eagles we share our property with. My special interests are reading, writing, golf, cricket, amateur theatre, collecting stray animals and traveling. I travelled around Australia in tents for almost two years with my husband and our two boys when they were 8 months old and 2 ½. One of my favorite parts was camel riding in the outback – and I dream of adding a camel to the menagerie one day.    

JR     Interesting background. I know one of our Musetrackers, Candi Wall (a softie when it comes to stray animals), would enjoy sharing stories with you about her love for these four-footed creatures. But, Australia… So many of us hold a fascination for the mystery and romance of that land down under. How did you first discover that you might pursue writing among all these other passions?

Leonardo da Vinci

DW     I started writing poetry when I was seven and that was the year I decided I would become an author. I have always written since then, but it wasn’t until I became and advertising copywriter and journalist that writing became a career. From that, I branched out into my real passion…writing books.   

 I was inspired to write Young Adult fiction by Australian author, John Marsden. I liked the ‘realness of his books’ – the fact that he didn’t talk down to young adults – that he didn’t try to shield them from reality. As I became a more serious about my craft, I had a very inspirational writing teacher, author Sherryl Clark. She gave me many tips on how to improve my writing. 

JR     Marsden’s work must have had its effect on you. And it’s apparent, from the reviews, that you’ve also established that all-important credibility with young adults on all levels — intellectually and emotionally.  Was Letters to Leonardo your first effort in the genre?    

DW     Letters to Leonardo was my first YA novel, but my third book. My earlier works were a non fiction book( A Duel of Words) and  a novel (Hope for Hanna); both for middle grade readers. I started out writing picture books when my boys were very small. As they have grown older, my books have got longer and the target readership has aged too. My oldest son is a now a teenager and I guess that’s how I ended up writing YA fiction. It was also one of my favorite subjects at university – and I think I’ve discovered that I’m really a fifteen-year-old boy at heart – this seems to be my writing voice.    

JR     What was your inspiration for the story?     

DW     The two main pieces of inspiration came from a true story I heard about a man who received a twenty-first birthday card from the mother he had been told was deceased, and the real life experiences of a friend growing up with a mother who suffered from a bipolar disorder. I was also really affected by a comment made by comedian Sir Spike Milligan about his own bipolar. He described the ‘lows’ as “1000 grim winters growing in my head.” Added to this was a long held fascination with Leonardo Da Vinci, which grew even more obsessive as I did my research for this book.   

From the minute the pieces of this story fell into place in my head, I knew it was a story I had to write.    

JR     In this coming-of-age story of love, life, triumph and tragedy, your main character, Matt, a fifteen year old boy, grows up believing his mother had died, then he receives a card from her and his world is turned inside out. Deceived by his father and with feelings of betrayal by a woman he’d never known, he tries to unravel the reasons why a mother would abandon her child. In the novel, meanings and messages left on canvas bring the powerful presence of a legend back to life. Can you tell us about the kinship you and your character have with this artist, Leonardo da Vinci – a man who was suspected by some as suffering from the same bipolar disorder as Matt’s mother? 

Benois Madonna

DW      What fascinates me about Leonardo, apart from his overwhelming genius and artistic talent, is that he was true to himself. I bought a little statuette of Leonardo and the Mona Lisa, and it sits on my desk watching over me. Leonardo da Vinci has become my muse.   

My favorite of his works is the Benois Madonna. Apart from the wonderful colors and detail, I love the relationship depicted between the mother and child. The mother’s expression is of overwhelming love, while the baby with typical youthful curiosity is totally oblivious to his mother’s emotion and is completely fixated on the flower in her hand.   

In Letters to Leonardo, Matt, and da Vinci lived over 500 years apart, so I wanted to bring them together in a realistic and original way. Art was a powerful connection between the two. Matt was an artist, and he later discovered that this was one of the strongest things that linked him to his mother. 

Mona Lisa

I’ve used some of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings to symbolize people and events in the story. The Mona Lisa, for example, is an enigma like Matt’s mother, but she is also a watching presence. In the letters he writes to Leonardo,Matt uses da Vinci’s paintings to talk about things that are happening in his own life. It’s what connects them to each other. Here’s an example: 

 Matt: “…that’s what I love about your Drapery Study, I never thought of clothes as having a life of their own – but they do. We all wear an outer layer to hide who we really are.”    

Matt’s anguish and feelings of betrayal when he discovers that his mother is not dead are symbolized in another of Leonardo’s paintings. Here again: 

Matt: “There’s this one painting, St Jerome. I can’t stop looking at it – at the torture in the saint’s eyes as he crouches among those craggy rocks, prostrate before that open-mouthed lion. It’s like that painting expresses everything that’s going on inside me.”  

He links Leonardo’s Lady with the Ermine to his own feelings of disappointment, and trying to come to terms with who his mother really is: 

Matt: “…I’m starting to think that Mum and I are like your Lady with the Ermine. I’m Mum’s pet. Maybe that’s all I was to her when I was a kid.”   

St Jerome

JR     Love the symbology here. You can just sense Matt’s longing for the ideal in Benois Madonna as contrasted with the despondence he bares in some of Leonardo’s other masterpieces. As an aspiring writer, was there ever a time along the path to publication when you felt you might not achieve your goal? Any lessons learned you’d like to share?   

DW     In 2002 (after researching and writing for more than four years) I was awarded a mentorship to work with a well-published author on my manuscript. Mentorships are a great experience for a new writer, but it’s important to find a partnership that suits you both – and that your mentor understands and loves your story too.   

My mentor didn’t like that Letters to Leonardo was in first person, she thought that my use of art was clichéd, and she felt that young adults wouldn’t know who Leonardo da Vinci was. I think this was really the only time throughout the whole journey that I experienced self-doubt.    

I was a very inexperienced writer and thought, “She knows what she’s talking about,” so I changed my story to meet all her recommendations. Instead of Letters to Leonardo, it became Space, a book about a boy who loved astronomy and wrote letters to astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.    

A publisher I submitted Space to thought it was well written, with well developed characters etc, but that it was missing something. That’s when I realized it was not my story anymore. I spent the next two years rewriting and editing – adding layers to the story, connecting up all the pieces and making sure that the manuscript was as tight as it could be.    

Lady with the Ermine

In 2008, I decided to have my manuscript assessed at the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Conference in Sydney.  Margaret Hamilton ,who assessed it, was very positive and in fact even went so far as to introduce me to publishers at the conference. A few months later, Letters to Leonardo was accepted for publication by Walker Books Australia.    

So I guess in terms of how many publishers I submitted it to, Letters to Leonardo had a reasonably easy road – but I did spend many years writing and rewriting – trying to get it right before I submitted it.    

I wanted to share my experience with other writers because for me, the biggest lesson was learning to ‘stick with my story’.  Sometimes, as writers we have to follow our instincts – and have faith in our own work (no matter how many rejections we have received).    

This experience also taught me that talent and a good story idea aren’t enough – you have to have determination – an unshakeable passion for what you do. You have to want to be a writer above all else and you have to have a story you love – then hopefully, others will love it too. I hope this inspires others to keep going with the stories they love – to keep writing – keep rewriting – and keep believing in yourself.    

JR     You’ve expressed so well what writers fear most – falling in love with an idea, a theme, or a character to whom we’ve given life, only to have the marrow of that inspiration stripped away someplace along the rugged road to publication. When you speak of determination and unshakeable passion, how does this translate for a writer who must next become a marketing manager?   

DW     I had a job in marketing in a past working life so I understand how important it is. I did a number of actual launches for Letters to Leonardo as well as a cyber launch and blog tour. The blog tour had over 1000 hits and there were more than 250 hits at the cyber launch. There’s more information about this on my blog    

Aside from internet marketing, I have talked at conferences about my book, visited schools and done book shop signings. It’s important to get your work out there, and I must admit, I love talking to kids about books and writing.    

My sons and I made a book trailer for Letters to Leonardo on a zero budget. My eldest son was the voice of Matt Hudson and my youngest son selected and played the music. The link is    

JR     I love how your family has become a part of both the struggle and success of your effort. Hmmm… this must be one of the upsides to writing YA.    

A great pleasure, Dee. We’ve enjoyed having you as our guest. Seems the world knows no boundaries in a collegial fellowship of authors and aspiring writers whose pleasure is to motivate and inspire. Thanks for sharing the experience, and we wish you much success with your novel.    

Letters to Leonardo is currently only available in Australia, but it can be purchased on line at Boomerang Books, Fishpond, or other online sellers.    

BUT… For one lucky commenter, Dee is offering an autographed copy of her debut novel!

Interview with Author, David Rocklin

December 18, 2009
  •  Strategies for getting and keeping a qualified Agent.

  •  “Taking the Long Way Home” with foreign publication.

Hello, everyone. Let’s welcome our guest today, David Rocklin, the author of “The Luminist.” His debut novel will be published overseas in Italy (Neri Pozza) and Israel (Kinnaret). It is to be submitted for publication in the UK, and is scheduled to make its first appearance here in the United States in 2011 (Hawthorne Books). It’s an elegant novel described by Mohrbooks as: “In the spirit of ‘The Piano Tuner,’ David’s first historical, ‘The Luminist,’ is a beautifully written, page-turner about politics, war, art, and family that will linger in your memory long after you raced towards the last page.”

Q: Welcome, David. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to pursue writing; I’d felt that I couldn’t write while living where I was originally from. I felt the need to see what I’d experienced up to that point from a greater distance. I have a degree in Literature (we with degrees like to capitalize the word) and went into law. I now mediate employment cases and write – not in that order, I’m happy to say.

Q: A successful attorney with a degree in Literature (notice the capitalization). I can’t imagine balancing time between two challenging careers. How do you manage? Was professional writing always your ultimate ambition?

It’s a challenge, mostly to keep my head on what I’m doing while not writing. The writing seeps into just about every facet of me. I stay up late, a lot. We also have a toddler at home, so I’ve become a bit adept at multi-tasking mentally.

Q: On any scale, I don’t think there’s one of us who can’t appreciate those challenges you describe. Multi-tasking and time-sharing seem a way of life for writers. Tell us about “The Luminist” and what inspired the story?

The Luminist was initially inspired by an installation of Victorian-era photography at the Getty Museum in Southern California. The character of Catherine Colebrook is very loosely suggested by the life and work of  Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the first photographic pioneers. Her pictures of children were especially haunting, at once warmly immediate and bittersweet; those lives are, after all, lost to us now. After the exhibition and a bit of research, I discovered (among other things) that Ms. Cameron experienced the death of one her youngest children, as did so many in colonial Ceylon. It struck me that Ms. Cameron’s stated desire to “arrest beauty,” to select a moment from the thousands comprising her life and hold it apart from mere memory, might have arisen from that grievous loss as much as from scientific curiosity and the will of a strong woman to escape some of the limitations of Victorian life. What followed – research into colonial life in Ceylon, the traditions of Victorian photography, a plunge (inadequate, I’m certain) into the religions, cultures and customs of India – really began there, with photographic relics and writerly imaginings about the woman who made them.

Though the novel deals with matters of history (figures such as Sir John Holland, who is based very loosely on the great Victorian scientist Sir John Herschel, and of course Catherine and her husband and children, again, loosely modeled on Ms. Cameron’s family), as well as the origins of photography (including its genesis from sunprints to glass and beyond) and India herself during the period in question, I have taken broad liberties with each. My apologies for any tampering with these worlds in the interests of fiction.]

Q: I see that the Luminist will soon be hitting book stores in the United States in early 2011, with allowances for marketing and promotion. How did this novel come to be acquired first overseas?

My absolutely incomparable agents (Christy Fletcher and Melissa Chinchillo/Fletcher & Co.) took the novel to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008, where the rights sold to Italy and Israel. At that point there hadn’t been a sale here in the States, and I’m told that foreign publishers do not as a rule acquire a title before English speaking rights are sold, both for copyright and marketing reasons. So I actually felt very good about those sales, as they represented two publishing houses who thought strongly enough about the novel to take that sort of chance on it. I will always remember that Italy and Israel came through before anyone else.

Q: It’s difficult enough for most writers to navigate the complexities of business here at home, but untangling foreign rules… It seems you’re destined to become literature’s Cinderella Man. The quote by Mohrbooks impressively describes your work as written in the spirit of “The Piano Tuner,” also a powerful historical and debut novel. With how far you’ve traveled on the path to publication, was there ever a reality check? How surprised were you to see your debut novel received so warmly?

I was thrilled and extremely gratified at how the novel was received. My agent  – to whom I had submitted via recommendation of a friend and mentor who in turn had read it and thought highly of it, thankfully – read it in a day, which is about as wonderful a thing as a writer can ever hope to hear. It did take a while for the novel to find a home in the states, having gone out to the US publishers right at the economic meltdown, which has and continues to have a disastrous impact on the publishing industry. But my agents felt so confident and were so irrepressibly bullish, that I frankly sat back, started working on a new one and let the novel find its way. I am very excited to be with Hawthorne. If your readers get a chance to visit their website (, I think they’ll find a truly eclectic and praiseworthy body of literature.

I think we all have a way of tying our experiences, our hopes, our memories and emotions wanted and unwanted, to some sort of vessel in order to make sense of them – or to make them resonate even more deeply than they already do. A memory is enhanced, or even informed, by a song or a movie scene. The beginnings of a cherished relationship belong not just to us, but to the city, the apartment window, the favorite restaurant, that served as the paving stones we walked while feeling it grow.

For me, writing – my own, that of others – is and has been that vessel, that vehicle that allows me to see the world. If I can be that, for even one person, I will die happy.

Q: I think you describe, perfectly, the passion we all have for the craft. And your work is, indeed, in the company of impressive titles at Hawthorne. You describe yourself as, “Taking the long way home.” I think we understand the inference – the long journey of a dream about to become realized. Would you describe how your novel found a home with a U.S. publisher? For an author, how involved is the process of translation and editing?

It really came about because my agents simply would not give up. As a writer, you dream of finding agents and editors who feel the way you do, who also burn to get that writing out into people’s hands and hearts. The folks I’ve met thus far – Christy, Melissa, my editor/publisher at Hawthorne – are outstanding at what they do, and a joy to be able to work with. I’m lucky beyond belief.

The translation process should be interesting – right now, I’m in the editorial revision process, and we hope to have something in final form by late summer 2010, after which the process of marketing and promotion will truly begin. The final will also be sent to all foreign territories who have shown interest, and will be sent to the publishers who have acquired it. As I understand it, they will translate and will be in touch with me to go over passages, ideas or words that might not have an equivalent meaning, and we’ll work out the differences. Having spent a bit of time trying unsuccessfully to learn Mandarin, I know some things will literally be lost in translation.

The editorial process is quite involved. The more involved it is, the luckier the author – that means they have an editor who has done what the author did throughout the writing of their work. They’ve immersed themselves in the story, in the words, in the lilt of the language and the melody of the sentences as they run together. It’s a fantastic learning experience, and I know my next novel will be the better for it.

Q: We should all be as fortunate to discover an agent or editor who loves our work and brings that kind of imaginative persistence to the business. So, here’s what every aspiring writer wants to know – How did you hook your literary agent? And please share with us the details and tactics you’ve discovered for getting and keeping a qualified agent?

For “The Luminist,” I was lucky to have a friend and mentor, Susan Taylor Chehak (an extraordinary author – please do pick up one of her several novels) read the book. She was very excited about it and suggested that she let a good friend of hers read it – my agent, as it turned out.

I’ve been down both roads (recommendation, query) in terms of locating and acquiring an agent, having queried a fair number in connection with an earlier novel I’d written that was submitted and not published (probably for the best). It’s a daunting process, but one that a writer can accomplish successfully with just a few tips. First, really try to establish for the agents why it is that you’re querying them, and not the agent next door to them. Show them you know their work, their clients, and that you belong in their stable. An easy bit of research will help – most authors thank their agents on the acknowledgement page of their novel (if they don’t, they really should). Think about writers/books that you believe your own work should be placed in the company of (be realistic, and yes, you do have to pigeonhole your novel a bit). Find the agents’ names, or names that aren’t identified as someone’s wife, boyfriend or mother. Cross reference them using one of the many guides to literary agents, or search them on the web. Now you have targeted an agent, and you know something about them – who and what they represent.

Next, don’t send your book out before it’s really ready to be seen. Have it read, preferably by a good workshop peopled with writers who are passionate, well-read and deeply involved in the writing life themselves. If you don’t have access to anything like that, have it read by at least three people who aren’t your wife or mother (and therefore don’t feel like giving you critical feedback is tantamount to rejecting you). Listen and revise. My grandmother used to say, “if someone calls you an ass, they’re rude. If two people call you an ass, you’re probably an ass.” If you hear similar feedback from more than one person, you may be looking at an issue that needs to be revised no matter how strongly you feel about it, as it’s impacting the reading/reception of your work.

A perfect close. Sage advice that should be stenciled on every computer screen — Grandmothers always seem to know how to reach the core with an impressive economy of words. We should have her here as a guest.

Thanks for coming, David. It’s fascinating to watch the genesis of a talented new author and discover the inspiration behind the writer and his story. There’s something here for everyone. Your transnational experience, your steep path to publication, and your advice for finding and keeping the perfect agent offer keen insight for both the established an aspiring author. We look forward to seeing your title in the bookstores.

David’s Website is currently under construction, but until then, you can follow his progress  on Facebook

David is happy to answer all comments or questions below. And if you need legal advice from lawer, David Rocklin… well, he may have left that hat at the office.

News Flash: Sorry I missed this. David is offering a free copy of “The Luminist” to the first TWENTY-FIVE commenters. Yikes — Happy Holidays from David!


Plot like your life depends on it:

January 20, 2009


I’d like to raise a salute to the crew of USAirways Flight 1549 (Miracle on the Hudson). Here are the names of these five brave men and women: Captain Sully Sullenberger, First Officer Jeff Skiles, Flight Attendants Sheila Dail, Doreen Welsh and Donna Dent. All of them performed amazingly under the most stressful of circumstances. And of course, a salute to all those passengers on board the aircraft who selflessly put other lives before their own, and the ordinary citizens and river pilots who came to their rescue, and naturally, the quick call to duty of New York’s outstanding emergency response teams. No lives were lost that day because of the heroic actions of all these people who played their part.

But I can’t help but feel a strong personal connection to the flight crew. I’ve flown with First Officer Skiles, an outstanding aviator, and enjoyed the camaraderie and professionalism of all these flight attendants as members of my own crew at one time or another. I’d only exchanged pleasantries in passing with Captain Sullenberger. Though, like most who watched the videos of his Hudson touchdown, I have an immense respect for his exceptional skills. I can almost sense the thoughts that went through his mind as he plotted this happy ending to an impossible story. He and I have enjoyed many common experiences in aviation. We were both instructors in the military, both of us flew Phantom F-4 fighters, and both are currently employed as Captains with USAirways. But we all must wonder. What must it feel like — to plot as if your life depended on it.

You know, plotting in aviation is not unlike writing. Both use this same instrument to lay a course through a series of events leading to a successful conclusion. But, wow! Have you ever had a sixty second deadline to present a believable plot that must end happy-ever-after, and… It must be a guaranteed blockbusting bestseller.


Do you remember the Stephen King novel, “Misery?” After an accident on a remote country road, bestselling author, Paul Sheldon is nursed back to health, then held prisoner and forced to plot a story for his deranged captor, Annie Wilkes, as if his life depended on it. Let’s try an experiment. Enter a Stephen King-like nightmare with me and let’s test your piloting, err… plotting skills. What do you say we keep Misery’s Annie Wilkes and throw in a little of King’s Christine for good measure. Here we go.

You’re the driver of an automobile enroute to conference, an exciting road-trip you’ve looked forward to for months. Your four passengers are all writing partners. Together, you make an excellent team. While you’re a bestselling author, your passengers are a mixed group — some published, some not.

Good company and pleasant conversation. The day couldn’t be more perfect. But then the nightmare begins. The background music cuts out, replaced by gritty static. It won’t be silenced. Dividing your attention from the road, you dial through the radio frequencies, lower the volume, turn off the power, but it won’t go away. A shrill screech resonates through the car sending a quadraphonic chill down your spine.

What the hell? A sudden clarity of silence, then the car’s speakers reawaken with a frightening tremor. Something dark and forbidding reaches out, brushes your flesh with a glacial chill, and rakes your mind with its taloned whisper. “I will hear your story, now.”

The car crests a hill, accelerates downward. Stunned into silence, you share a nervous glance with the others, wondering if you’ve lost your mind. You see your own fear in their eyes. What’s happening to us? This can’t be real.

“You have five minutes,” the phantom shrieks its warning. “Amuse me. The plot. I’ll have it now or none among you shall survive.”

How’s this for a plot, you bastard. You grit your teeth and crush the brakes but the pedal uselessly thumps to the floor with little resistance. The car accelerates. You struggle through the first turn while your writing partners mobilize like the awesome team they are.

One whips out a cellphone, punches 911. Another tries the door locks, no avail. Windows refuse to roll down. Your partner in the right seat hammers the radio with the blunt end of her retracted, stubby umbrella, rewarded with a shower of sparks and acrid smoke that now chokes the ventless confines of the car. Brilliantly, she jabs her finger into the overhead emergency button.

“This is OnStar, how may I help you?” comes the mocking voice.

Crap! The park-brake. You slam it to the floor. Nothing. Everyone braces while you careen through the turns. You slam the gear shift into park, reverse, anything to halt the acceleration. But the car’s frozen in overdrive. Finally, grim reality clutches at your heart – you might not make it.

No, I’m not giving up. Keep your mind clear. Think, damn you. Think.

“You have angered me and for this you must be punished,” the evil entity speaks with sorrowful regret, frightening in its stark contrast to its menace. “The rules have changed. You now have sixty seconds. I’ll have your pitch. A story like none other. A bestseller. A blockbuster. Anything less and I will know. And mind you… all shall perish if you fail me.

You call upon your skills, countless years of experience, and the thousands of hours spent honing your craft. Finally, with the world streaking by in a blur, you…


Okay, enough of this. I know all of you brilliant writers have plotted a wildly successful bestseller with a profound HEA conclusion… just like Miracle on the Hudson. You plotted like your life depended on it. You remained calm, focused, ignored the voices from the radio, the stench in the air, the shuddering of the car, the speedometer edging higher, the distractions of your passengers – questioning, prodding, urging. After exploring every alternative to buy time, you’ve realized the only option is to work the threat. Dividing your time between driving and plotting you dismiss several possibilities, settle on one, complete with goal, motivation, and conflict. Then, all within sixty seconds, you’ve pitched your bestseller with a happy-ever-after ending. Piece of cake.

As it relates to a catastrophic airborne emergency, it’s tough to illustrate, in the complex jargon of pilot speak, the woven complexities of goal, motivation and conflict that must be plotted and concluded with a bestselling, happy-ever-after ending. But I thought, if anyone could comprehend the lifelong 140021endeavor of discipline, experience, and unyielding determination, it would be you. Only…try to imagine using all these tools of your trade, all your skills, all your experience, and all your knowledge to plot a bestseller in less than sixty seconds.

For the moment, I’m not allowed to discuss what I know, or even speculate about the details of the event, but I can tell you as a writer, that Captain Sully Sullenburger plotted a half dozen storylines in much less than sixty seconds before settling on this wildly successful conclusion. But writing such a story doesn’t come natural. I don’t believe any lofty achievement comes natural. What comes natural is the passion to achieve an ideal, whether it’s writing or flying. And in the end, it is the fruit of your passion that makes what you do appear so effortless and easy.

Do you believe it’s possible that some stories can only be told by one of the chosen among us? I think so. I think each of you have, within you, such a story that only you are capable of telling with your own unique voice. And here, on the Hudson, was one such example. Sully’s was the only hand on the controls when he’d chosen the course he’d plotted. And his was the hand that guided his airship to a safe images11ditching – something that had never been successfully accomplished before.

Though, I can’t help but believe… someplace high above the ghosts of those twin towers overlooking the Hudson, twenty-seven hundred angels with great spans of opaline wings, may have swept down to help hold this airship aloft, keep her course true, and cushion her safe return home.

–Just Tilting at Windmills—