03 December 2009

Tenth anniversary!

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Sarah's first-ever service as an international flight attendant at United Airlines, and I did not let it go by unnoticed.

Sarah worked Flight 930, the midday nonstop from San Francisco to London Heathrow, on December 2, 1999. That also was the very flight that had started my third European journey, taking me to Amsterdam and Cologne, and that's why I made that very flight Sarah's first international stint. I have very warm memories of that flight, because it was the only chance for me to see the Northern Lights, and because it was the only good part of the most miserable international journey of my life. In particular, having one inflight audio channel play only Melissa Etheridge was priceless - I've since always referred to United Airlines as "the dyke-friendly United" even to this day.

I want Sarah to narrate her experiences on this flight in a way only a nervous transwoman, a baby dyke, a newly minted flight attendant, and an aviation fanatic ever can. Sarah will be receptive to the various sounds in the plane - and while I had her describe the drone of the Pratt & Whitney engines, I now want her to specifically identify the engines as the PW4090, the model used to power United's long-range 777s. She will also note that most of her Economy passengers are British and European rather than American. And of course, there must also be the apprehension over trying to enter the UK with a passport that correctly identifies her as Sarah, but still insists on identifying her as male.

Much of my plans for the novel slipped away due to long-term inactivity. I need to re-plot how I want to approach the novel. My intention to write this as a memoir of Sarah's flight attendant work, and womanhood, remains stronger than ever, but I need to constantly refine this approach, especially since I now have last month's European experiences to add to my cultural resources to draw from.

Hoping to resume writing sooner than later!

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