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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, December 9, 2016

On Flying And Writing

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Rob  Burgon

Rob Burgon, from Fighter Pilot to Airline Pilot, an all around great guy just wrote his first book! He is sharing the traditions of his military life. The holidays are a time we can all appreciate the power of tradition. But in the military, they are a way of life that must live on. As you read Rob's story, you'll learn more about his character, motivation, and his innate ability to strive for excellence between being a pilot, husband, father and now author and the importance of balancing it all. 
Rob Burgon:

When I started flying fast jets, I thought I would live out my life as a fighter pilot. I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to do in this world than fly fighter aircraft. I was young(er), and I had yet to experience many facets of life that would ultimately change my point of view. But I'll get to that.

As the new guy or gal in a fighter squadron, the only thing expectations placed upon you are to learn your aircraft, learn the tactics, and keep the snack bar stocked. You are a professional pilot—that's it. For that reason, I loved being a freshly minted wingman. My days were filled with flying, tactics, and study. When I wasn't in the squadron, I was dreaming about being there. I could be anywhere—the Walmart parking lot, for example—and, if I heard the whine of a jet engine, I would stop what I was doing and look up. The intrigue of flying seemed unrestrained. 



Twelve years later, my passion for flight remains bright. Several aspects of my life have changed (I have my own family now) and with those changes in life have come changes in perspective. Breaking the sound barrier, pulling Gs, and dispensing ordnance are no longer the top priorities in my life. The shift in paradigm was difficult to digest at first, but I have since learned to embrace the variations life seems to provide on a continual basis. 

Being a fighter pilot and having a happy family life are not mutually exclusive. Many pilots can balance their priorities and find contentment in whatever it is they are doing. As I approached the task of finding enduring contentment in my career, I had to face many harsh realities. The military had changed, and, as a leader in the squadron, so had my job.

I no longer enjoyed the privilege of being a "professional pilot." I was now an officer, a leader, and a professional cat-herder. I found that flying was beginning to take a back seat in my career. This new reality was driven by reduced Air Force budgets, decreased manning and shifting of ground duties from support airmen to the pilots themselves. My days were rapidly filling up with performance reports, operational supervising, scheduling oversight, and other non-flying duties. To stay current and up-to-speed with tactics, I had to use family and personal time.


It was with great trepidation that I made the decision to leave Active Duty and look to the airlines for a continued flying career. I knew I could make more money in the civilian sector, and (as I had heard from other pilot friends who made the leap) quality of life was higher. The more I researched being an airline pilot, the more it appealed to me . To sweeten the deal, I knew I could still fly fast jets part time by getting a job with the Air Force Reserve.

It took me almost one year to setup my departure from Active Duty. The paperwork, applications, job interviews, and the constant waiting made for a very stressful year. At the end of it, I found myself hired by the only major airline for which I cared to work. Just as amazing, I got a job with a Reserve Squadron I had wanted to be a part of since I first started flying the Raptor. Everything was coming together.

Now that I've been out of Active Duty for nearly one year, I look back and reassess my decision. I have two very fulfilling jobs, I live where I want to live (no more moving unless I want to move!), and—most importantly—I have more quality time with my family. I made the right choice. 

Darcey and Rob

The airline job has been fun. I have found that I enjoy going new places and meeting new people on a regular basis. The flying isn't quite as exciting, but in an airliner, that's a good thing. Although I'm not doing "loops to music," I still like what I do—it beats being chained to a desk (on Active Duty or otherwise.) When I get the itch to fly upside down, I go on orders with my Reserve unit and get my monthly dose of tactical flying.

The nice thing, now, is that I have a little more free time. I'm free to pursue my hobbies and interests and enjoy all that life has to offer. I'm finding that the world is an amazing place when you actually have time to enjoy it! I have used my newfound freedom to finish a book project I've been working on for the past couple of years. 



Piano Burning and Other Fighter Pilot Traditions has been an idea slowly expanding in my brain over my time on Active Duty. One of the things I miss most about those days is the constant participation in fighter pilot traditions. I miss the daily reminders of the proud heritage shared by fighter pilots. Writing a book about those experiences just seemed like the natural thing to do.

During my time on Active Duty, I saw many of our traditions fading and being forgotten. Most fighter pilot traditions are not written down, but passed on by word of mouth. I wanted to preserve the heritage that meant so much to me as a young lieutenant. I wanted to give my fellow fighter pilots something that would help them look back and remember those bright days walking the halls of the fighter squadron. I wanted to give people who are unfamiliar with our world a small window through which to view and appreciate a lifestyle defined by noble lineage. 


The book is my first publication, although one of my stories as been published in Eric Auxier's revered series There I Wuz: Adventures from 3 Decades in the Sky, Volume 3. My new friends and members of an aviation authors group have helped me become a better writer. Karlene, Eric, Leland Shanle and Mark Berry have all had a profound effect on my writing, and I'll be forever grateful to them. I'm proud to call them my friends.

I'm also proud to have finally completed the daunting task of writing a book. Even more importantly, I'm honored to have been a part of the amazing group of men and women who call themselves fighter pilots. 
Rob, Thank you for Sharing your Story!
For everyone else, 
Get your copy
Just in Time for the holidays
I would recommend you click here: 
 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Selling Honesty and Integrity

Is Just Great Business!

 A Holiday Story...
of Listening to Dad's Advice


Marvin Richard Petitt Senior built this home in 1949. My husband's childhood home. Years passed, as did Marvin in 1967. Ann, Dick's mother lived in this home for the ensuing years, and passed away in 2014. But a year before mom died, Dick's sister had a new window installed. Her son had a contractor friend who coordinated this much needed window installation, and let's just say, this was not a profitable venture for Mark at MWR Company. But he did it for his friend. 

From MWR Gallery

Fast forward to 2016. His sister moved out, we cleaned up the house and sold it to a delightful couple, last month. Their first home. Sale is complete, and this weekend I got a phone call that the large window out front had hand prints and huge smudges "between" the double pane glass. I had no idea. It was one of those things that nobody noticed... hand prints outside or inside, were only to be found buried between the panes after a thorough cleaning and attempting to find which side they were on.

I told them I would attempt to follow through, and see if I could find who installed the window, and if they could help. Dick's sister said it was three years old, and thought to be out of warranty. 

From MWR Gallery

Well, I tracked down the person who set this window installation in motion and left a message. Mark Rohrbach, at MWR Company returned my call. There were no records. But, he remembered the situation, and he spent the better part of his day tracking down the manufacturer of the windows, and the store who sold them ... also no records. Per Mark's suggestion, we found the codes on a sticker inside the window, and long story short... Mark called and said, "We got them a new window!" Mark told me that Milgard stands by the quality of work and they would replace the window after all this time. 


“You’re not just selling your craftsmanship, you are selling your honesty and integrity”

Bill Rohrbach 

So I did a little snooping and began exploring the MRW company's site and wow, not only do they have incredible craftsmanship (Check out the Gallery Photos), but they build green with energy and resource efficiency. Then I read the History of MWR Company.  The quote above came from Mark's father on how to run a business.

Mark's actions today, exemplify the care, concern, and follow through to do the right thing, not necessarily the money thing. I am absolutely sure that this man had many more profitable ways to spend his day. Yet, when you live with integrity, that always comes first. How many people do you know that would not only stand by their work, but that of others, just because they could make a difference in someone's life?

From MWR Gallery

Who wouldn't want their home built by someone with those standards? Not many people in today's world do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do. Mark Rohrbach is amazing, and one day... when I am ready to build my craftsman home, this is the person I will call. 

If you're in the need of an honest contractor,
Who does incredible work...

You cannot go wrong with 

and if you're buying windows...
Milgard is the answer! 

A Special Mention to 
Greg Carlson  
Who did the installation work!
He too, is an excellent Craftsman 
Who lives by the same code.


Good People Doing the Right Thing
and Making a Difference in 
Someone's Life! 

Thank you Mark!
You are amazingly awesome! 

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 



 Flight For Sanity coming soon....
 Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

Motivation and Children too! 


Monday, December 5, 2016

Technology Update

It's About Time!


I've finished the first draft of Flight For Sanity and working on the story edit. So get your holiday gifts purchased for yourself, or your family and friends... so you can get up to speed on the series and be prepared for the best of all! T

 All proceeds are going to our favorite pilot, 
Darby Bradshaw! 

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 



 Flight For Sanity coming soon....
 Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

Motivation and Children too! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dare to Dream

Pull your dreams into the daylight,
And give them wings to fly.
Get on that runway called life.
Then takeoff toward the sky.
The future of success is waiting.
This is “your” life, live it.

This was a post from 2012. I want to thank Nidish for commenting today, and bringing it to the foreground. Messages are all around, and we must learn to listen and take action. Today, I received the following message:

Nidish said, "So truly described. Though I am late to react on this but i felt to comment. The description given to achieve the goal with its weakness will surely motivate me to reach towards the goal. It also inspires me to dream more and then work more to achieve the same. Thank you Karlene, your write up is fixed a place in my heart for always."

 

Everyone dreams

But it’s those that pull their dreams into their waking hours, who will turn them into goals. A goal—your waking dream—is a sacred thing. It can give your life motivation, inspiration and direction, or it can be the weight that hangs around your neck as you say, “someday.”


Goals shouldn’t be feared, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly either. They are your dreams that are sitting on the runway headed toward success. And all pilots know that the only reason we taxi onto the runway is if we’re ready to takeoff. Sitting on an active runway telling the tower we’re going to depart— and never do— is a dangerous place to be.


If we all dream, then why can’t we all achieve our goals? The answer is—we can. But some people think, “I can’t possibly because....” Others say, “someday I will,” but someday never comes. And there are those who tell everyone, “I’m going to…,” but never take action towards their goal because life gets in the way.


Life will always get in the way of your dreams!

Here is the secret of the week. Life will always get in the way of your dreams. Something will always come up. Someone will always need you. Work. Family. Friends. Commitments. So what makes some people achieve success while others say they want to, and never do?


They decide, and then they take action.

Tony Robbins said, “don’t ever make a goal without taking some action toward it.” This is a powerful step, and essential if you plan on making your dreams come true. Have you scheduled your training? Signed up for school? Joined a gym? Set your alarm to wake up at 3:30 to write your novel? What do you want in your life, and what is one thing you can do toward it at this moment to move toward it?


The choice is yours. 
What are you waiting for?

If you need help bringing your dreams to life read:



Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday!

Love from the Heart... 

Little did I know that today was giving Tuesday, and what a better day to give a piece of my life. Last night I was home with my husband after his eye surgery, and saw a story on Komo News. A single mother with four kids was the victim of a crime. Someone stole her minivan and all the gifts inside. Car seats and all... gone.


The story did not begin there. I have a suburban that we bought 21 years ago. This car has many stories of her own, and all including great journeys and protecting my family. She has broken down along the way, but always delivering me to safety first. To say I have a bond with my old tank is an understatement. She even flew on a Northwest freighter to Alaska and then drove the journey home to Seattle years later.


But after all this time, my husband and I (more my husband than me) decided to buy a new car. But how could I get rid of part of my family? I warned Ken, at Good Chevrolet, that tears may be involved when we traded her in. 

Okay, so people traded in their spouses on occasion, but we never trade in our babies! They are with us for life. Yet, this was the best option to move forward ... until I heard Sharon's story. 

I searched the internet, left a few random messages and we connected. Sharon and her boys could use this car right now and our suburban could live on, serving another family. We are coordinating the meeting place today.  I'm sure that my car, we lovingly called the beast, will live on to protect another family.

If you would like to help Sharon fill up the back end of her new (old) car, with holiday joy for her family, you can support her on her go fund me

Giving Tuesday
The Day to Give Back! 

Joy throughout the Day!


Thank you Komo News 
for Sharing the story
And spreading the Joy!

NOVEL UPDATE: 

Fourth novel in the series, Flight For Sanity, is almost complete! We will have it in our hands February, 2017. While all my novels are true fiction, based on real events, this novel is no different. This novel is based on actual events occurring to one of our favorite airline pilots at this time. We know and love her as Darby. She needs our help! I was going to do this next month, but there is no better time than Giving Tuesday!

I am giving 100% of all proceeds 
(not just profits...but everything) 
of ALL books...

To Darby's namesake for her legal support. The children's book profits go to The Children's Museum of Central Oregon... but the rest of sales to Darby.

Ebooks. Paperback. Hardback. Everything goes to the real Darby. When you read what has transpired to our favorite pilot, in the fourth novel, you will be shocked. The industry will go to great lengths to stop her fight for safety, but her support of her fellow pilots and conviction of safety will never waiver.

For all orders off the blog as gifts, I will autograph, gift wrap and ship directly. Let me know. Share the series, read the series, and be ready for the shocker of what happens when you try to improve safety.

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 



 Flight For Sanity coming soon....
 Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

Motivation and Children too! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Motivation

"Health is Not Valued
Until Sickness Comes"
Thomas Fuller

So often we take our health for granted. Yet, my friend Judith has been spending her life focused on helping the rest of us maintain ours. Since my industry only encompasses 5% women flyers, that means 95% of my coworkers need to read this book! And the women? Well, this is a must read for those you love.

Aviation Safety is focused on 
proactive strategies...
Your health should be too!


Judith O'Malley-Ford's recent book: The Secret Stalker of the Prostate, is a must read, and could make a great gift this holiday.


Synopsis:  

This book has the potential to save many lives. Every question regarding anatomy, disease processes, decision making procedures for the treatment and considerations of the side effects, psycho-social effects and the impact on relationships, are concisely covered - all in layman terms.

For those men who are in the process of taking that difficult step of presenting prostate problems to their doctors, including those unfortunate enough to be facing investigation for prostate cancer, this book is for you.

Today we end the interview with the author, Dr Judith O'Malley - Ford to discover who she is and what prompted her to write this book. I was part of the promotional tour, but due to unforeseen circumstances (sickness included) I missed my date. Thus, I am going last. At the end of this interview, I have posted links to her other posts. They are fascinating and a must read, too.

1. How long have you been a doctor?

Thirty years. I decided at the age of twelve that I would become a doctor, and I am now a full-time General Practitioner. Early in my medical career, I started in Medical Administration which was more about medical politics and not much to do with hands on medicine. You have to be tough, and you have to fight like hell to do anything vaguely in the line of politics and I decided this sort of medical practice was not for me. Medicine, health services, and General Practice have changed a lot over the years. If I had my time over, I’m not at all sure that I would choose medicine again. It’s a tough gig, no matter what your role is.

2. What other books have you written?


The Australian Medical Dictionary of conditions and diseases, The Medical Dictionary of Conditions and Diseases. These were commissioned works.

Contributing author to, Below the Belt, and I have published material in the European Medical Journal. I also do guest blogging.

For one of my family, I wrote a book entitled, “The Chook Book", and illustrated it with watercolours. I also gave it as a present to selected family and friends. I said it was my own publishing company, with a limited edition.

I would love to write a “best seller”, because that’s what excellent writers do.

3. How did you become a writer?


I have been a writer and story teller from a young age. I was encouraged to write on a regular basis as far back as primary school, but have been a more serious writer since 2005.

For most of my schooling, I went to an all girls’ school which prided itself on discipline and self-motivation. For a number of years, our homework for the weekend consisted of an essay to be handed in on Monday morning. I always excelled at this task.

The book is available at all book stores. If it is not in stock yet, ask them to order it for you. It is also available from the Morris Publishing Australia's website It's also on Amazon as an eBook

Check out the other posts to learn more:

Enjoy the Journey 
and be proactive about your health!
XOX Karlene 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Travel With Mom

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Y. Theresa Bostic

Y. Theresa Bostic is a mother, flight attendant and author, too! I met her at Women in Aviation this year, and realized what an incredible woman she is. Busy mom, writing books, and sharing her love of her job with the world. We have a few things in common, too. We work for the same airline, both have daughters named Kayla, and my children have traveled to many places around the world with me too. 

Theresa knows how important it is for kids to not only dream big, but also to think big. She believes that while imagination is a beautiful thing, she wants her daughters to understand that they can start living out their ideas now.

It’s Time 2…Travel with Mom is written from Bostic’s youngest daughter’s perspective, and offers a fresh, childlike view of exploring the world. However, the adventure might just start a little closer to home than Kayla might prefer. 
While she waits to find out where her mom is scheduled to fly next, she tries to prepare for the most exciting places she can think of—France, England, Italy, Cuba, and other exotic countries. But when she hears that her mom isn’t even leaving the United States, she wonders if it’s worth going after all
 
Will Kayla skip the trip or decide that it’s possible to make an adventure out of anything?

This is a fun and heartwarming story about spending quality time with family, while discovering new places, that you and your children will enjoy seeing life through Kayla’s eyes. This is the first in a series, and the book will keep you guessing as to where Kayla and her mom might end up next.

Kayla B. is one of the luckiest girls in the world. Her mom, who travels the world, actually let her join her on one of her many adventures! This time, it’s to Washington D.C. Along with her mom, Kayla B. learns a lot about herself and her big dreams! Join Kayla as she experiences this exciting trip to our country’s capital!

Just in Time for the Holidays!
Amazon Link:
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene