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Musings on writing

I’m going to write a book, namely a memoir about my life in the sky with my Prince. It’s starting to become somewhat daunting when I consider it from a nuts and bolts perspective. For starters, I am realizing that I am going to have to implement and apply things like structure, theme, organization etc. Things that smack of constraint and “rules” and cause my rebellious constitution to break out in hives. At present, it seems as if this blog is a lot more fun. I dash off a few unedited, free form thoughts, and my generous readers respond with nice comments and no criticism. My blog writing is natural and loose because I am free of the specter of a jaded, critical publisher who looks at my words and wonders only if they will produce money. And that’s only after I’ve convinced an equally jaded agent that I am worthy of their time. I’ve been reading books on writing and publishing, can you tell? And I have been learning a lot in spite of feeling somewhat intimidated.

These feelings and fears are familiar. I became a professional pilot in spite of the seemingly impossible. I had no money and I was afraid of math. I wasn’t alone in my efforts. Others who may not have been blown away by my raw talent in an airplane were nonetheless compelled to offer their encouragement, advice, support and connections on my behalf when they recognized my determination. And even though I am naturally adverse to structure (my sock drawer is a testament to this), I did learn to discipline myself enough to achieve my goals. And all the while, there was the Student Prince, my key to so many things. It held for me the memories of my father’s love, an escape route to the sky when life became overwhelming, my backstage pass to notoriety and pride, an introduction to so many wonderful people, a ticket to adventure, and a patient teacher of the laws of physics. My father always said, “Summer, flying is your inheritance.” and at the time, I would eye rollingly acknowledge his words as only a teenager can, thinking that Dad was so weird. But he was so right, a thousand times over he was right. And what did I inherit? Everything. My sky legacy has given me the world.

So I will persevere and learn the art (and business) of what it is to write and publish a book because I can, I know I can. And yes, even though at times I am scared spitless and it seems murkier than a mud puddle, I will prevail using techniques that have served me in the past. I will take it step by step, relying on advice from mentors and my own instincts. I will not lose my voice and my story no matter what, and I will remain confident in spite of trepidation. It’s been shown that anxiety and performance can be plotted on a bell curve. Too little and too much anxiety equals poor performance, while a bit of anxiousness is necessary for optimum performance. That’s my goal, to be scared brilliant.

And lastly, I can’t even begin to properly express my gratitude to all of you who have taken an interest in my writings. Your interest really is the reason I am taking on a book. So thank you. I will miss the immediate feedback and interaction of blogging that I get from blogging, but I am committed to producing a story that resonates with readers no matter their age or demographic. Perhaps 2012 will see me fulfilling my goal.

Best to each of you in the New Year, and wishing you the bluest of skies and gentle tailwinds.

Summer Martell


21 responses »

  1. That’s a sky heart from me to all of you!

  2. Merry Christmas Summer, Hope you have a great New Year. Hope to see you next summer somewhere.

  3. Hi Summer, Sophie’s grandmother here, Michael’s mom, and Kathie’s mother in law. Your writing speaks more to a finer meaning of life, as well as your skill as a pilot. I believe the agent you have contacted has an issue with your being so verbose. We love it, but an agent deals in the practicability of selling a book, partially for his own profit and acclaim. They will , no doubt, all be the same. lol.

    We who do not fly can feel that wind rushing up, and know how special it is. You should go ahead with that book, many will want it, me for one.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year. I, for one, am a Christmas miracle, just ask my sweet son.

    Fondly, Brenda

  4. Summer, good to see you writing. Use your hare brain to write a blog page a day on whatever topic, by summer you will have 180 pages. Which you can then organize and categorize by letting your “tortoise” brain (you should get a feeling for this in the Galapagos!!!) work on in the background for themes, organization for the next half year, while your hare mind is zipping along on the short 180 pages.

    If you need a reference see the book “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind” by Claxton.

    My Best!

    Glad to see the book started!!!


  5. Cynthia Florsheim

    I relate to everything you said. I too will reach my goals even with the “Doubting Debbie’s”
    that I know. I am in awe of your writing and photography. You are a talented lady.
    I am so curious….do you fly a charter for the rich and famous? The pictures of you in beautiful locales make me so happy to be a tiny part of the world.
    You will finish your book and so will I. It is daunting to write but it feels sooooo right for me.

  6. You go, girl! It will be a marvelous book!

    Blue skies backatcha,

  7. Summer, it has been so much fun to be a part of this chapter of your life’s incredible journey. I can’t really express what an inspiration you’ve been to my family, especially Sophia. But I can tell you the exact instant I decided I was hooked on flying and ready to take the leap with my family. In Moraine I heard you telling that exact quote from your father, and it really hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ll never be a wealthy man with the resources to leave my daughter stacks of money, but I can try to give her the same never-ending, always-fulfilling, brimming-with-opportunity, inheritance of the sky. Thanks for inspiring me to listen to my heart and join my family to this wonderful sky-family. And what a great legacy for your father, that you can continue to inspire others with the words he used to inspire you (eventually, when you were ready to accept them, I guess.)

    Oh, and thanks for giving me the final bit of advice to get my landings down so I could finally solo this fall.

    Until soon,

    • Dear Mike,

      What an honor and a privilege for me to have played a part in your whole family finding the joy of the sky and in sharing it together. It was such a great experience to spend time with you in person, and to witness a father’s love and pride for his daughter. Reminds me of my dad and I. Even though my father is gone, it would seem that he lives on through me, and now your family. He would be very pleased.

      It’s not unique only to us, the bond of those who love to fly transcends boundaries, culture and gender. But of course you fully realize that now. Now go forth and inspire others who look to the sky. And look ever more toward the end of the runway while landing, lest the ground rise up and smite thee!

      Lots of love to you and yours,


  8. One sentence at a time, bird by bird, as Anne Lamott eloquently said. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a sentence, an idea, write it down. Turn on the flashlight and jot it on those pieces of paper you keep by your bed. Otherwise, it won’t be there in the morning. Put those jottings into ” buckets” (file folders) called “why I fly” or “student prince” (why do they call it that, btw), whatever system works for you. A dictation app on your phone, whatever works, bird by bird and then, you’ll have enough feathers under your wings to fly with it. Writing first, agents and sales later. And I’ll be patient and wait until it’s done. Many books take years to write. Don’t push yourself, no get home itis please. I can wait to read it cause I know it’s gonna be great!

  9. Yes, your blog writing is natural and loose, “because I am free”, you say. It is enjoyable for you to write it, and for me to read it, because that quality inhabits your world and your words. You speak from your own experience. Your true self.

    Your story is as unique as you are, Summer, and you will certainly find your way in telling it.

    Keep on being courageous.

    (I yet have the old habit of gawking and waving up at you every time you grace the sky above me.)

    • Bless you Margaret for your beautiful words and intent. Thank you. I have still the old habit of gawking and waving down at my whole beautiful community every time I pass over. Looking good down there!

  10. But how did your biplane get that name? There’s often a whole story behind a name. And feel free to ignore all advice. It’s the support that counts. – Cheryl

  11. Thanks Cheryl,

    I have got whole chapters already dedicated to names, The airplane’s names as well as mine. One of mine very few people even know about. But they will if they read the story! Great suggestions, I appreciate your interest and support. Very much!

  12. Wow Summer, that is quite an unndertaking! If you need any help or maybe a picture or two don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
    Happy New Year!


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