Fifteen Years and I’m Still Serving Time

The Great and Powerful Pearl Bailey’s hilarious song (please listen and enjoy above) is about marriage, of course, but I’ve always had kind of a bad-boyfriend relationship with my airline.  Yesterday, April 4th, marked my fifteenth anniversary of flying, and, except for the part about us having kids together (god forbid), this song is me and my job in a nutshell.

Nobody panic: this is not yet another post about how good things used to be compared to how crappy they are now.  It is a different job than the one I interviewed for, and certainly than the one I envisioned when I started fifteen years ago.  I never thought we’d still be on reserve; I certainly never thought I’d be flying straight domestic; and I actively vowed for the first several years of my career that, come what may, the one certainty in the Universe was that I would never — ever, do you hear me? — be based in Denver.  Like a budget airline, Life takes us to unexpected places. Continue reading

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Seoul: A Model Layover

seoul beautiesBefore I started flying, I knew next to nothing about Korea.  I knew there were two of them, and I kind of knew why, and everything else I knew I gleaned either from Margaret Cho’s stand up or from reruns of M*A*S*H.  I arrived in Seoul for the first time with few expectations, vowing only not to be taken in by the senior flight attendants who were trying to get me to make an ass of myself by walking into this back-alley restaurant and asking to be served something called Beep ‘n’ Bop, as if I don’t recognize a made-up food item when I hear one.  (Why don’t you order it, if it so exists?  P.S. – It does, and it’s do-it-yourself delicious, once you get the hang of flat chopsticks.)  I was immediately sold on Seoul, and it endures as one of my favorite layover cities (albeit one that I no longer see).

In A Model Romance, Bridger and Kai’s very different experiences in Korea eventually and unexpectedly bring them together in San Francisco.  To celebrate Seoul, and the upcoming release (Sunday, March 10th) of the story it helped inspire me to write, today’s Special Edition City Code Snapshot will feature five of my favorite things about Seoul. Continue reading

New Release: Kiss Me, Straight

Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney—these exciting cities are standard fare in the life of flight attendant Todd Eisenbraun, and he chases a romance with sexy-but-straight Josh through them all.

Back home in San Francisco, a new neighbor in his apartment building has a huge crush on Todd.  His friends—Katie, a flight attendant-turned-small appliance repairwoman, and Marzipan Q. Thespian, a man-dangling local philanthropist—think Todd should at least give Chris a shot.  Sure, he’s fat, but he’s also handsome, a hilarious playwright, and a great cook—what’s not to love?

Todd and Chris become quick friends, but Todd’s idea of the perfect man is skinny and straight, and Chris is decidedly neither.  Josh may have a fiancée and a teenaged son, but Todd just knows he’s “the One.”

But if Josh is straight, the road to love is not.  Todd is bombarded by his own internalized homophobia, body image issues, exotic locales, the glamorous world of sewing machine repair, and a community theater musical salute to the life of Judy Garland.  When will he realize he’s been looking way too hard for something he may have already found?

Find out in Kiss Me, Straight, my debut novel, new today!

Buy Kiss Me, Straight for your e-reader at JMS Books

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Meet Todd and his friends in an excerpt… right here! Continue reading

You Should Write a Book

One thing I like about my job (and you knew there had to be something): it’s a big hit at parties.  You tell people you’re a writer, and they look at you like, Yeah, right.  “I’ve never heard of you,” they seem to say, “and you’re obviously not a millionaire, so you must not be a very good one.  I have to… turn this way now.”  In other words, as Geena Davis said of Lori Petty in A League of Their Own, go pull someone else’s leg; mine are long enough already.  But people perk right up when they get a hold of a flight attendant in a social situation.  Some people say, “Oh, I always wanted to do that,” and others say, “Yikes, I could never do that.”  But everybody’s got an idea about what this job is like — some more realistic than others — and everybody’s got an opinion.

The first order of business (alas) is usually to hold the flight attendant personally accountable for one’s last airline-related travel debacle.  (I especially love when people carry on about the absurdity of their latest mechanical delay.  Cuz they’d presumably rather fly on an airline that doesn’t fix their airplanes when they break?)  And then come the questions: “Why are flight attendants so old?”  (Cuz they’ve been doing it a long time.)  “Why are flight attendants so cranky?”  (Probably cuz people are always asking them “Why are you so old?”.)  “What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on a flight?”  And that’s the fun one.  Partly because the answer is always refreshing itself.  Only one thing?  How do I choose?  Continue reading

“Glamour” Ain’t Nothing but a Magazine

It’s a cliché among flight attendants, but the first time I heard it, it still cracked me up: stepping into the back of a 767, I came upon a flight attendant on her hands and knees on the sticky, knobby galley floor, up to her shoulders in a cart of dirty meal trays.  By way of an offer to help her, I asked, “What are you looking for?”  She backed out of the cart long enough to look up at me, regulation up-do askew, and crack, “The Glamour.”  She did eventually find the pen or the reading glasses or whatever it was that a passenger had left on his meal tray, but these days you can ransack an airplane with glamour-sniffing dogs and still turn up empty. Continue reading