Writing, if you begin with no other conception, is a creative process, like that of painting and sculpting. Unlike other disciplines, however, it is not–and cannot–be the result of hard-and-fast rules, such as the “top ten steps to perfecting the written piece.” Anything which arises out of such a pattern is not a creation at all: it is a re-creation. And you, consequently, are not the master, but the student.
Depending upon genre, style, and purpose, writing instruction can provide tips and techniques, not molds, and grammar can equally facilitate its structure. In certain cases, however, it can also provide obstruction—at which point, it leads to de-structive structure. Content is king, but what you say may ultimately hinge upon how you say it.
My aviation, technical, and textbook writing, for example, has, by necessity, required the use of these confines, employing precise language and standard grammar. My comedy writing, on the other hand, has given license to relaxed rules—sometimes to the point of discarding them altogether. These stories are intended to be funny, and anything which hinders the laughter, hinders the creation of that laughter, whether it be in concrete form on paper or expressed verbally. A creation should reflect what is in the author’s heart and soul—and not what is printed in his grammar books.
Writing is a “feeling,” an expression, and a “sixth sense,” if you will. The more you “trap it” within rule-erected walls, the less will this “sixth sense” be able to escape.
Every work, whether it be a one-line saying or a set of encyclopedias, begins as a blank slate which, depending upon the writer’s creative flow, can sometimes appear daunting—as if it were an opponent or an enemy. That flow is analogous to the stream from my tap. Sometimes the water trickles out, yet at other times it cascades into the sink with such force that it splatters everywhere. Words have similar characteristics. There are occasions when they will only drip out, while at other times will pelt onto the paper with such speed and force that you cannot even catch them all. For the writer, the most important thing is that they flow at all, regardless of rate.
Inspiration, defined as “in-spirit,” is the equivalent of your internal tap. It is during these times that the soul, the creative source, is most present, and the least obstructed or tamed by ego. It is then that the writing force most freely flows. Do not walk, but run to the nearest pen during these times!
A writing idea, like a seed, equally sprouts from, and in the form of, inspiration, before taking sometimes-amorphous form on paper as a first draft; cultivation will nurture it until it reaches maturity as a polished body and is ready, like a grown child, to be released, by means of the publishing process, into the world, where it can interact with others, exerting its effects. These may be information, inspiration, or emotion. Like the parental author that you are, you gave birth to it.
Although authors, vis-à-vis their writing media, can potentially exert unlimited influences on their readers, they actually—and, perhaps, paradoxically—only perform two fundamental functions: they either make the known different or the different known. Because most subjects have been covered to the point of saturation, the former entails their presentation in a new, unique, and “different” perspective, while the latter involves the introduction, reportage, or explanation of something not generally known, such as the discovery of a new planet, in a straightforward, not overly artistic, manner.
Every piece of writing is as individual as the individual who writes it.
The author can sometimes be considered “liaison” between Heaven and earth, using the soul of the former to connect the world of the latter by means of words.
But the path to expression perfection is both long and elusive, navigated by the pen: it is not a destination, but instead an evolution paved with practice, refinement, development, and growth, until you, as parent, have produced a satisfactory offspring. The sculptor begins with a big boulder and ends up with a polished gem. The writer may use different tools, but the process can take just as long. When you control the words, as opposed to the words controlling you, you have arrived.
You can tire of anything in life. But for the true writer, the process only serves to produce the reverse effect: the more you write, the more it energizes you, because it fosters a continual, recharging connection with your creative source—that is, your soul.
How often is heard the expression, “go with the flow.” But, in order for this sentiment to be more author-applicable, a simple word should be inserted: go with your flow—no matter how slow, because the journey may prove to be just as enjoyable as the destination. See you there!
A graduate of Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus with a summa-cum-laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Languages and Journalism, I have subsequently earned the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Aerospace Technology at the State University of New York – College of Technology at Farmingdale. I have also earned the Continuing Community Education Teaching Certificate from the Nassau Association for Continuing Community Education (NACCE) at Molloy College, the Travel Career Development Certificate from the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) at Long Island University, the Art and Science of Teaching Certificate at Long Island University, and completed a Multi-Genre Writing Program at Hofstra University. At SUNY Farmingdale Aerospace I completed some 30 hours of Private Pilot Flight Training in Cessna C-152 and -172 Skyhawk aircraft.
Having amassed three decades in the airline industry with Capitol Air, Midway Airlines, Triangle Aviation Services, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and Austrian Airlines, and their Delta, Atlantic Excellence, and Star Alliances, I have accrued experience in the areas of Passenger Service, Ticket Sales-Reservations, Local Training, Passenger Service Supervision, Ramp and Baggage Room Supervision, Operations-Load Control-Aircraft Dispatch, Station Administration, Passenger Service and Operations Training, and Station Management, during which time I have had working affiliations with Icelandair, Delta Air Lines, Swissair, Sabena Belgian World Airways, Malev Hungarian Airlines, SAS, Lufthansa, and United Airlines.
During a similar period of initial and recurrent training at the respective US and European training centers of Capitol Air, Austrian Airlines, Swissair, Lufthansa-German Airlines, and United Airlines, I have earned numerous Airline Ground Operations Certificates and Licenses.
At Austrian Airlines, I managed the New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles stations.
Also at Austrian, I created the local, US, and ultimate North American Station Training Programs, updated in accordance with aircraft, system, procedure, and alliance change, comprised of the North American Station Training Program Course List; the individual Course Notices; the four integral programs of Initial Passenger Service, Ramp Supervision Certification, Load Control Licensing, and Airline Management; 27 procedural manuals, training manuals, and textbooks; three station histories; 28 curriculums; and 63 courses taught to Austrian Airlines and Austrian Airlines-handling carriers in Montreal and Toronto in Canada; Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Washington in the US; Cancun in Mexico; and Punta Cana in the Caribbean. Each course concluded with a Certificate of Completion.
An Aviation Advisor to Farmingdale State University of New York, I advised the Aviation Department about airline industry trends in a series of individual and full advisory committee meetings and suggested course and curriculum creations and re-directions based upon them; adapted airline training programs and devised original courses and lectures into university-level offerings; experimentally taught them to aviation faculty and Aviation Administration Degree students; familiarized potential enrollees with the university’s aviation degree programs; pursued a series of aerospace museum research trips; and created a university-airline industry employment bridge; all of which culminated in the Airline Management Program Blueprint.
In 2006, I created the Airline Management Certificate Program, comprised of a pre-program, four university-level courses, and an airline industry internship, and this had been accepted by and offered at the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center at Farmingdale State University in 2007. It had also been explored as a stand-alone certificate program and the core of Associates and Bachelor degree programs at Empire State College.
A writer for Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York, I researched and wrote aerodrome- and aircraft-related articles for its quarterly Rotary Ramblings newsletter and website, and explored educational programs based upon this material.
A frequent lecturer, I gave presentations at the Farmingdale State University Student Aviation Seminar, the Liberty Partnership Program/Summer of Aviation at Republic (SOAR), and the Aerospace Education Corporation Aviation Career Fair Programs. I have been invited by Cunard to lecture on its transatlantic liners: the Queen Elizabeth 2, the Queen Mary 2, and the Queen Victoria.
A freelance author, I have written some 70 books of the short story, novel, nonfiction, essay, poetry, article, log, curriculum, training manual, and textbook genre in English, German, and Spanish, having principally focused on aviation and travel, and I have been published in book, magazine, newsletter, and electronic Web site form. On the latter, I attained Marketplace Approved and Marketplace Premier Writer and Platinum Level Author statuses.
Fluent in English, German, and Spanish, with secondary knowledge of Dutch, Italian, and Latin, I have traveled globally and extensively, having completed some 350 lifetime trips by air, sea, rail, and road to Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Atlantic, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Greenland, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. This travel, which has facilitated considerable freelance aviation and travel photography, has encompassed more than 100 private vehicle and car rental road trips in 27 US states, 11 Canadian provinces, and ten countries, covering 35,000 miles; 35 sightseeing, narrow-gauge, short range, and long range rail journeys in 18 US states, eight Canadian provinces, and 12 countries, totaling more than 10,000 miles; 27 cruises and crossings, resulting in 205 days at sea and some 60,000 nautical miles sailed; and more than 1,000 air sectors exceeding 3,000 airborne hours.
I have maintained professional affiliations with the Nassau Association for Continuing Community Education, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, and the National Air and Space Society, and I am a Cradle of Aviation Museum Aerospace Honoree and a National Air and Space Museum-Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center sponsor.
I have attained some 35 academic, employment, and travel honors and awards throughout my career.
My lifetime hobbies and interests have encompassed arts and crafts, cycling, model railroading, music (instrumental and vocal), aquariums, landscaping, horseback riding, live theater, and aerospace museums.
My life goal has been to creatively interrelate my educationally-developed and subsequently-practiced talents within the six fields of aviation, education, journalism, foreign language, travel, and photography. Aviation, the field around which the other five revolve, has provided their core of connection.