In honor of sending out my first batch of agent queries for my book today {smiles nervously}, here is an exerpt from my book!  It’s one of my favorite chapters because it captures many of the overall themes of the book. 

Not too long after I bought Orion, the glow of being a new airplane owner still fresh, I decided it was time to give him his first wash and detailing—by me, at least. Had my boy-crazy self known earlier about this formula for picking up men, I would have scrounged every penny to buy a plane much sooner!

It was a typical sunny California spring afternoon, and I had a rare work-free day off in between working my vertical stabilizer off. I stopped at Pep Boys on the way to the airport to pick up some cleaning supplies and an industrial brush on a pole so I could reach the wings.

My parking space on the airport grounds didn’t have any hoses or other equipment, so I had to taxi the plane to the designated washing area. I got out my cleaning stuff and went to work. It was a relatively busy afternoon at the airport, given the perfect flying weather. I began to notice that quite a few male pilots were really staring at me as they taxied past. I certainly wasn’t wearing anything sexy, just running shorts and a T-shirt. I wondered what the big deal was and if maybe I was doing something wrong. Nothing seemed broken, so I really couldn’t imagine what all the gaping was about. Hadn’t they seen a girl wash a plane before?

Then it started. One of the men I had seen stare at me as he taxied past walked over after he had finished tying down his plane. He introduced himself and asked me if this was my plane. When I said yes, he seemed really surprised and then chatted with me for a while and offered his phone number. Whatev. I wasn’t there to pick up guys; I was there to wash my plane. So I got back to it. Then another guy walked up and did the same thing. And then another. And another. It was getting to the point where I was a little frustrated over not being able to wash the plane for all these men coming over and talking to me! On any other day, the attention would have been welcome, but I was there on a mission and I get super focused when I have a task to complete. It finally clicked for me when one of the men told me that he’d seen some, not many, women in aviation, and way fewer women who owned an airplane — but never a woman so young who owned her own plane.

Then, just as I was finally finishing up, another guy walked up to me. Here we go again.

He said, “Hey, honey, is this your husband’s plane?”

I replied, “No, I don’t have a husband.”

Next he said, “Your boyfriend’s, then?”

I replied again, getting where he was going now.  “No, it’s not my boyfriend’s.”

He looked really confused and finally said, “Well, then whose plane is it?”

I said flatly, “It’s my plane.”

He almost swallowed his tongue and then said, laughing, “No, come on, honey, whose plane is this really?”

I said, “Well, honey, it really is MY plane, and if you were coming over here to pick up on me, you just blew your chance, so move it along.”

When I got home, I called a girlfriend and told her about the veritable parade of men coming to give me their phone numbers just because I was washing my plane. She asked when I would be washing it next and if she could help. I also ordered a T-shirt that I had seen advertised in aviation publications but that hadn’t really caught my eye before. It says, “No, this is not my boyfriend’s airplane.” I wore it to the airport from then on.