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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Fly Girl Motivation

Monday Morning Motivation
Onto the Movies! 

Syd Blue

January 2011, I was at the San Diego State University's writer's conference where destiny had a plan all its own. This is where I met the "other" lady pilot, Syd Blue. Hundreds of writers were at this conference and we accidentally bumped into each other on the first day. Syd was working on her book Fly Girl which was destined to be on the big screen. Syd is a kind and extremely talented lady, and I was so fortunate to meet her. I happened to be there with Linda and Heather, two writer friends that I had met at the Hawaii Writer's Conference. Fun times had by all, and off Syd flew to follow her dreams. She doesn't know this yet, but I'm planning a Fly Girl party in her honor at my house. Read why and learn how you can be invited.

Syd, Linda, Heather and Karlene

The FlyGirl movie is in the works 
based on the popular tween novel 
that has inspired many to learn to fly. 

Fly Girl

Even though the target age is 6th to 8th grade, Syd has received many letters from kids of all ages saying they became motivated to become pilots after reading her book, FlyGirl. This is the only modern-day story of a teenage girl learning to fly, and in the process becomes Pilot-In-Command of her life. For some reason, most aviatrix tales center on women from bygone eras—except for superheroes, where Captain Marvel and her best friend fly planes. Somewhat ironic that female super heroes of today fly planes. I read her book and loved it.

The Truth is...
A girl doesn't have to be a super hero to fly!

“I have about 200 women pilot friends who started to learn to fly in their teens,” Syd says. “I’ve even met a couple who were lucky enough to go to prom in a plane like FlyGirl. I found this out after I wrote the book.”

Spoiler alert: 
FlyGirl one-ups the kids who go to prom in a limo.

After FlyGirl sold into the top 1% of Amazon books, Syd spoke at many schools and heard directly from readers. “Kids are naturally fascinated by flight, especially when it’s put in terms they can understand or with elements of danger to keep them engaged. I owe a huge thank you to Karlene. I’m so grateful she took me to my 1st Air Fair in Washington and encouraged me to talk to people about my book. I’m an introvert but she really helped me leave my observation personality behind to connect with others. She has a natural ease and grace with people. One gentleman I met at the Air Fair was a grandfather who was so disappointed his granddaughter wasn’t interested at all in his passion: flying. Later he wrote to me to tell me that after he gave her FlyGirl, she came running out of her room asking him when they could go flying together. What a neat connection!”

“The success of FlyGirl as a novel led to interest from Hollywood. I get so many questions about how a movie gets made, I thought I’d broadly explain the process for those who want to know. Raindance estimates there are 50,000 new scripts circulating each year. Those are just the scripts that have been lucky enough to enter the realm of readers for the studios, producers and indie filmmakers. Then the development process begins once a producer takes on a script."

Development Hell

"There are many ways to make a movie but nearly all have a phase called Development. This phase is often the longest one. It takes more time than non-filmmakers realize—often 2-10+ years. Development began in 2010 on Top Gun 2 Maverick. More than a decade for Ford v Ferrari. Harriet Tubman took 14 years. 30 years for Frozen (it was worth it). The Big Sick only took 3 years. When a project is developed for years by one producer and then developed by another producer (or studio, etc) and on and on, it’s called Development Hell. Movies like ET even changed studios before it made it out and onto the screen. Deadpool was in Development Hell for 15 years but made a whopping 783M at the box office. Clearly, patience is a virtue.”

Syd practicing patience 

“By the time you hear of a movie, it’s most likely made it past development and into pre-production. From there it only takes about 2 and a quarter years on average to find its way to the cinemas, from pre-production, production, post-production then advertising and distribution. Since it often costs more to market a theatrical release than the budget to produce the movie itself, the stakes are very high. Every time new talent is signed on to a feature, there’s gonna be changes. Some directors rewrite scripts more than others but everyone wants their finger in the pie. It’s the collaborative aspect of filmmaking that makes it so much fun. If you gather a strong team of visionaries who bring their creative ideas to their specialties, the end product can really shine.”

“Unfortunately, Hollywood has temporarily shutdown due to the shelter-in-place orders in California. So I’ve been writing more books and scripts as I wait. It’s been a challenging time since there has been no disaster relief for self-employed micro-business such as ours."

"My husband had to shutdown his business on March 16th due to orders from the California Massage Therapy Council and the state. While we wait for the world to relaunch and let us go back to work, my husband (practicing social distancing) has been cleaning up the shoreline of our beautiful lake and I’ve been imagining the world I once knew."

"I remember the years I was flying aerial surveillance protecting national security assets on long flights from California to Texas when gas prices were sky high. It’s surreal to be on the opposite end of that.

Reality is flexible! 

Meanwhile, we are so grateful to have food as we tough out this time as entrepreneurs in limbo, going negative on the spreadsheets like the oil barrels. In all the disasters I tried to preplan for, I never expected the business world to ‘pause.’ Did you?”

“Someday this pandemic will be squashed, we’ll be back at work revamping new ideas and techniques, hopefully, and we’ll have a strange story to tell our descendants. I’ll repeat FlyGirl’s motto."

"Aim high cuz if you aim low, 
that’s probably where you’ll go!"

“For learning-to-fly resources or 
to read more about Syd, 
check out

Syd's goal is to sell 100 books!
Please help if you can.

Click Here: 

How cool would it be to have a copy of 
Syd's book Fly Girl 
And then go see the movie? 

When the lockdown lifts
and the movie gets made,
We will have a Fly Girl Party at my house
and Everyone who buys a book 
is invited and Syd will autograph it for you!

Women In Aviation Conference

Share the Love of Flight
with someone you love
and I'll 
See you at the Fly Girl Party! 

Enjoy the Journey!!
XOX Karlene 


  1. What an inspiration Syd is. Way to go. I just order my copy on Amazon. :)

    1. Piper Mama, thank you!!! I know she'll be so appreciative. I am!!

    2. Thanks Piper Mama! I appreciate it. I can't wait to hear what you think. Cheers, Syd

  2. Feels great to widely share this. What a great story! Writing and flying,huge uplift during these times.

    1. Thanks StevieG! Your comments uplift me. Thanks for reading my story. Cheers, Syd

  3. I already have a signed copy, but I’ll happily buy another to get that party invitation! Can hardly wait for the movie!

    1. Kam, Thank you so much! And, you can gift it to someone. Everyone needs a little flying fun in their life! Thanks!

    2. Thanks Kam! I'm looking forward to partying with you at Karlene's. She's such a gem. Cheers, Syd

  4. No Kindle version? I've got Vellum Press so I can compile ebooks, no charge, if you're interested.

    1. Thanks John for the kind and generous offer. I used to have a Kindle version but the ebook got stolen and bootlegged so I had to remove the digital version. Sorry about that. Cheers, Syd


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