The Titanic and airplanes

Published 8:00 am Friday, October 14, 2022

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Dearest readers, today there will be no flashbacks. Today, we will be looking forward.

This Tuesday, my novel releases. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably knew that already. But if you don’t, then let me reiterate one of my latest posts:

The Titanic had a room dedicated to reading and writing. Back then, people prioritized those two things, and writing was an art that people noticed, loved, and appreciated. Authors, back then, were kind of famous. (Pretty cool that I work in the town where F. Scott Fitzgerald frequented, right??)

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In my opinion, the craft of writing and the joy of reading hasn’t changed. It’s been overshadowed by all the other distractions around us, like Facebook, television, and, in my case, choosing to drink coffee on the porch over almost anything else.

I’m guilty of all of those things, though, because on Facebook, I’ve been doing a 17-day countdown to the moment my book is released into the wild world, and all my column readers may enjoy something more from me (90 thousand words more, to be exact).

Lately, I’ve been up to my ears in newspaper work, scrambling to pull off a book release, and getting things done for my publisher. Do you know what I haven’t done? Written anything for pleasure. Read anything for fun. Been hiking. Been baking. Been sitting back to enjoy my release.

I understand there is very little I can do about a busy work schedule––for there are features to be written and people to be interviewed––but I want to prioritize my peaceful moments before my book release.

I went to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport the other day, just to watch airplanes coming in for a landing, but got kicked out of my pull-off by the highway because an airport cop spotted me. All was well. He was quite nice, but I had to move to yet another pull-off by the highway. Mind you, this one had no signs that said I couldn’t be there, so I kept going down the dirt road that took me behind the highway, and there I was, underneath those big red towers where the planes fly over before they hit the runway.

I stayed there for two hours and watched the planes come in. They could be spotted as little dots on the pink and orange horizon, and minutes later, they were right overhead, their engines bellowing, their wings straight and sure. It’s those moments, or similar moments doing things you enjoy, that we should prioritize.

Readers, watch the airplanes. After a long day, go sit near a runway, even when it’s cold and you’re tired and you really have to go to the bathroom.

Watch the airplanes, and instead of wondering where they came from, start wondering where they are going when they take off again.