Friday, April 06, 2007

Deidre Knight GuestBlog: Oh, Defibrillate My Heart!

Contest!!! Deidre’s giving 3 LCBs each a ‘graphed copy of her new release, “Parallel Seduction” and a way cool Midnight Warrior luggage tag!

To the woman, the authors I've met who are repped by Deidre Knight find her fab. And I respect greatly the way she nurtures new authors while ushering along writers who've established a reader base. You wouldn't think she'd have time to write books, but she does and they're great. "Parallel Seduction" is out now, the follow-up to "Parallel Heat." An RBtheBlog vet, please offer Deidre a TGIF buongiorno...

Do you remember when you were little and flying was a truly big deal? Maybe you even dressed up because this was air travel. After spending forty-five minutes in security this past weekend while traveling to Boston (breaking out in a truly voluminous sweat, I might add, but hey, I was leaving ATL headed for much colder terrain), I want to analyze modern air travel.

What’s up with the defibrillators located all over the nation’s airports? Okay, I get it: The post-modern travel stress is obviously inducing record-level heart attacks. Heck, I was on the verge of one this past Friday, blotting at my forehead, waving my boarding pass at my face. Still, do any of you want some medically uninitiated traveler applying paddles to your chest if you pass out? Just for kicks, I studied the glass cases this weekend. You know what? There’s not even a bit of direction or warning. It’s just, “Hey! Go world, you can use these things.” Maybe it’s all a big disguise for re-energizing the wearied traveler!

My sister and I were heading to New York recently, and a loud, urgent message stopped us dead in our tracks. “By immediate order of Homeland Security…” it began, and our eyes widened. It was like, “Form a human chain! Locate the nearest secret bunker…” That’s how deadly serious the tone truly was. And then, “… you are no longer allowed to meet your relatives or friends in the gate area.” Well, it wasn’t that bad, but it was basically letting us know not to stow diet cokes in our carry-on bags. Um, I think I heard that on CNN. You don’t have to give me a heart attack—unless you really want to have someone use one of these flyer-friendly defibrillators.

As I walk the two miles from long-term parking to the gate, I tend to categorize my fellow travelers. There are the weavers—the ones who walk super-slow, zig-zagging in front of you, blocking any possibility of passing. This one is especially fun if you’re (undoubtedly) leaving from the farthest gate at the terminal. There are also the draggers: The travelers with rolling bags who trail them far behind at a nearly horizontal angle so you trip repeatedly.

Another favorite: The “brain surgeons.” I’m a Blackberry chick, so I definitely empathize with that twitchy need to connect. But that doesn’t ease my impatience with the business travelers (usually male) who snap open their cell phones the minute the plane hits the tarmac, talking loudly. “Bill, still got those brains on ice? I’ll be in surgery in thirty!” I mean, it ought to be that life and death based on the apparent urgency.

What does this have to do with my Midnight Warrior series? Absolutely nothing, except this: I know my Refarians travel in style. Good coffee, lots of leg room, and plenty of perks. How do I know that? Because I’m writing my own fantasies. Hot men, cushy travel, and no “weavers.” Oh, the humanity! Maybe aliens really are more human than we are after all.

"What's your best, worst, funniest air travel story?"

Visit Deidre's neat-o site, and connect with the Refarians, at DeidreKnight.com

36 comments:

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Deidre! Hullo, Bellas! Deidre's blog totally cracked me, cause I do remember getting dressed up to fly. I'm not sure whether everbody did, but my parents made us. Even now, I force my kids to put on decent jeans and shoes and stuff. Could this be similar to the Mothers' Maxim of "Wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident?"

And, Deidre, the "Brain Surgeon" guys? Awful! People who talk on cells in public, elevators, etc., as if they're in their homes or offices drive me nutty.

All in all, though, I like traveling, cause it means I'm getting a break. Until I have to travel back home. But even then I still have a little time to myself. You know what I mean.

Anywayz, welcome! Congrats on "Paralles Seduction," "Parallel Heat" being great and the book that forced me to learn how to spell "parallel." Thanks for that, D.

BTW, we're serving up cyber-Bellinis today in honor of Deidre's visit, and her home state, the great state of GA! Mmmm, loves me some peaches and champagne.

MaryKate said...

Hi Deidre! Welcome back!

Well, I travel ALOT for my job, so, I'm one of those professional travelers. Before I get to the airport, I put my license and credit card in my back pocket so I don't have to screw around with opening my bag to get it out when I check in. I bought my computer bag specifically for it's easy accessibility to my laptop while waiting in the security line. I always wear shoes that slip on and off. I wear layers because it's cold on the plane. I always have multiple quart sized ziplock bags. I always wait until I get to the gate area before I buy my requisite bottle of water and Diet Coke. I always wear my glasses because the air in airplanes dries out my contacts. I always have at least two books in my bag. I always have trashy magazines. LOL!

I have lots of air travel stories, but most of them are just sad, rather than funny. But mostly, my travel is pretty incident-free, which is just how I like it!

Louisa Edwards said...

Hi D!
For a while right after 9/11, it seemed like I was on some kind of list, because every time I travelled I was "randomly selected" to have my bag gone through. But I could never believe it was going to happen to me AGAIN, so every single time, there was some item in my bag just waiting to embarrass both me and the poor security guy rifling through it. Sexy undies, birth control, tampons...it was awful. Although, it had the side benefit of hardening me, so now none of that stuff makes me blush. So I wear thongs! Get over it! Thanks, TSA.

PS--Can I just say, how hot is that PARALLEL SEDUCTION cover? Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

Kelly F. said...

I only have one air travel story and after reading it you will know exactly why there is only one.
I was 18 and had NEVER flown before. I was working for a company who won a contract to build parts for the Patriot Missles during the Gulf War. In order to win that contract one of the people in Quality Control had to become certified by the military in soldering...Lucky Me. My boss didn't want to do it. So here I was all excited and in awe that I was going to leave home and fly for the first time ever. The flight there was uneventful, I quite enjoyed it. I almost forgot this was all happinging in the 80's obviously. LOL!!
The flight home was another story all together. It was stormy out when I arrived at the airport, thunderstorms were lighting up the night sky. Once we took off I glanced alongside me and saw a nice Japanese girel about the same age as me who was on her way to Boston from Japan and had been travelling for many hours and was tired. She started to doze off, and I tried to calm down. The turbulence was really getting bad, I glance over and she is now in a sound sleep. An anouncement is made that everyone has to remain seated and fasten your seatbelts. Now I am beginning to panic, so much that my throat is drying and I need a drink of anything. I politely ask the stewardess if I can have a sip of something and the answer is "no" as she scurries to the back of the plane. Just the a little girl starts crying that she needs to use the potty. I mean she is really upset. Her mother tries to coax her into relaxing but the crying is getting louder and louder. And who can blame the poor little thing. I was upset myself, but because I couldn't understand how my friend seated next to me was STILL ASLEEP through all this. Now to make matters worse the plane gets hit with a bolt of lightning and the plane goes completely dark, the air stops flowing from overhead and for aproximately three seconds everyone is stunned into complete silence. Even the little girl who needs to use the potty! Then sheer panic sets in and I start crying. The plane starts to head downward like we just started down a rollercoaster drop and surprise here comes the damn juice cart by itself down the isle! With the stewardess chasing after it while it slams from side to side hitting all the chairs on its way to the front of the plane. It was like watching that movie "Airplane" which I know is a comedy and this was by no means funny at the time.
Suffice it to say the rest of the flight until we landed was pretty much the same. When we landed in Boston, my parents and brothers/sisters were waiting at the gate for me. I started bawling when I saw them because I really thought I was going to die that day. My parents God bless them hugged me and said "Oh we missed you too. That was the longest two weeks." It wasn't until later when I told them the whole story. And I haven't been on a plane since that trip. I have driven to Florida for vacation over 10 times now and taken the Amtrak once. But I don't know if I will ever have the courage to get on another plane.

Shannon said...

Hi Deidre! Welcome!

My one and only time on an airplane was when I was 9 years old (I am 26 now) and I was flying from California to North Carolin with my dad. I hadn't seen him in 3 years, due to no fault of his own, and I was extremely nervous. When we took off I was pushed back into the seat by the force and my dad told me years later that he would never forget how big my eyes got at that moment. I remember that the movie playing on the plane was "Men at Work" and I laughed like crazy and tried not to think of my fear of heights. I will never forget that day.

Love the cover of your books!

Monica Burns said...

Morning Bellas, Michelle

{{{{Deidre}}}} My most fan-tab-ulous friend, mentor and all around wunderbar person!!

I can't wait to read Scott and Hope's story!! I'm betting it's as wonderful as the first two books were.

Airline story? I've got plenty, but none of them really funny. Although I wonder how many bellas here have ever flown in a C-plane (Army issue cargo plane) where your back is to the pilot and you're staring at those BIG rear doors of the plane. Not to mention all the cargo that's just sitting there for you to look at during the whole NOISY trip. There are all kinds of boxes and equipment covered with cargo netting that could easily fly loose in the event of a wild thunderstorm. Then there was that Jeep that no mooring would be able to restrain the moment the plane took a sudden dive.

When I returned stateside from Germany when leaving active duty, I rode in the above described C-plane for eight hours. If the cabin was pressurized, it was minimal as we were given gum to chew and ear plugs to reduce the noise volume. It was louder than the Supertramp concert I'd attended in Frankfurt!

The whole time I'm sitting there, I'm thinking, well at least I don't have to worry about dying upon impact. I'll be dead from that damn Jeep rolling over me before we even hit the water! Now THAT would be a GREAT headline.

Servicewoman Killed by Jeep in Airline Crash.

Monica

krissyinva said...

Hi Deidre!!

My story isn't actually mine it's my mom's. My parents were flying from Vegas to Norfolk on a non-stop plane. A middle aged man had a major heart attack, flight attendants had no clue what to do, chickens with there heads cut off effect. Well my mom is a Cardic ICU nurse, so she took control of the situation, CPR, monitoring vitals, and basically telling the attendants to shut everyone up and sit down. They ended up landing in the mid-west somewhere, so an ambulance could take the man to the hospital. Then the flight continued home. The airline sent my mom a letter thanking her for her help and give her 2 free tickets anywhere in the U.S., they didn't however mention anything about getting the "chickens" some kind of training!!

Playground Monitor said...

Welcome neighbor! I live in north Alabama. And welcome to RBTB.

I definitely remember getting dressed up to fly. And bless my mother, she still wears her best business casual sort of clothes. Me? I'm all for comfort (and warmth -- I wear those layers too).

My best and worst are actually from the same flight. The DH and I had spent 8 days on a three-continents cruise going to the Greek islands, Egypt and Israel. We got back to Athens and went to the airport to wait for our return flight to Germany. That airport was filled with types who today would have Homeland Security wetting their pants. It was the first time I'd seen a woman in a burqa.

Anyways we board our Lufthansa Airbus to take us back to Frankfurt and I'm sitting just behind the right wing. On take-off I hear a boom and look out the window and see flames shooting from the right engine. All cabin power is shut off, the plane takes a steep dip to the left, people are screaming and I'm seeing my life flash before my eyes. The cabin personnel quickly make sure everyone's still buckled in and upright and by this time the screaming has stopped and there's only the sound of the plane's remaining engine. The pilot leveled that baby off, circled around over the Aegean and landed as smoothly as I've ever landed before.

The engine had exploded and the plane was fully loaded with passengers and cargo and I'm lucky to be alive. So Lufthansa offloads us and we get to wait again in the Athens airport with the burqa gals and heaven only knows who else. To their credit, Lufthansa kept us updated by the hour on the situation and fed us well during the 8 hour wait. Finally they sent a 747 down to fly us (and the engine) back to Frankfurt. We were treated like first class passengers on that flight, fed again, given hot towels to wash up with afterward and apologized to again and again.

My funniest story was flying to Ft. Lauderdale to visit my husband's brother and his family when #2 son was about 14 months old. As the plane descended and decompressed, he had a MASSIVE blow-out in in diaper. Oh, the humanity! Even I was grossed out. The people all around us were staring. #1 son was yelling "His poop stinks Mom!" And what was I supposed to do? Balance him on my lap during landing and change that stinky mess? Hey... babies poop.

Marilyn

Minna said...

I haven't flown all that much yet and I don't really have any funny or scary stories to tell. All I can really come up with is this one time when I was going to U.S.A. and on my left side was sitting this old man from Scotland. Talking with him really put my English skills to the test (as it's not even my mother tongue). I could understand only about half of what he was saying.

MaryKate said...

Marilyn - ROFLMAO!

That gives new meaning to the phrase "Sh*t Happens."

Kalen Hughes said...

I fly a lot of business and have lots of horror stories (like the 27 hour door-to-door slog from Casablanca to San Francisco), but my favorite story is from my first flight home my freshman year of college . . . it's a red eye, and the plane is half empty. There a simply GEORGOUS boy one seat over, and no one in-between us. About an hour into the 5+ hour flight he looks over at me trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in and drawls in the most adorable Southern accent, “Honey, why don’t you just come here and cuddle up.” LOL! We spent the rest of the flight cuddled up and sleeping, then swapped #s and had a fabulous Christmas break running around together. Ah, young lust. And the stewardess totally eyed us askance. You KNOW she was wondering what we were up to under that thin airline blanket. *grin*

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back, Deidre!!

I have never been on a plane. I have a panic attack when any of my family gets on a plane. They all know to call me the second the plane lands so I know they made it OK. I'm pathetic. I know.

I'm glad you all are better balanced, because I'm loving the stories. :o)

LizeeS said...

Good morning Bellas and welcome Deirdre - so nice to meet you! Gotta say your life sounds like "wonder woman" to me - as Michelle asked in her intro, "How DO you do it??"

I've been so fortunate to have flown to many cool destinations in my life. Thankfully, I have few horror stories and most of those revolve around security (okay, so they're more annoying than horrifying but still ... when they confiscate Apple Jelly I have to wonder just how bad the state of the world is).

To me the best part of air travel is meeting people. The life stories of people in coach are amazing. But the most interesting person I've met was on a flight last July to Barrow, Alaska. My DH and I were seperated in our three-seat row by a short, unassuming-looking, native Alaskan man in his 60s who didn't speak much at first but ended up being a treasure trove of information about northern Alaska. Turned out he was the Mayor of the North Slope Borough. In other words, he was the man in charge of all the native negotiations over ANWR drilling and oil company liasons. not to mention subsistance hunting controversies and education of native children. I wish I'd known who he was earlier - he was incredibly interesting. No hunky movie star or famous athlete but he was very, very charming. And I still have a pen with his name on it: Edward Itta. Oooooh.

Good luck with the new book, Deirdre! Thanks for joining us.

Jen in WA said...

I haven't done much traveling by plane. My one "not normal" trip happened about 12 years ago. My parents gave me a trip to London for my college graduation (I majored in history and minored in art history). I was supposed to have a short layover in Chicago, but our flight in was delayed. I had to have the stewardess call my connecting flight and see if they could wait on me and then run across O'Hare. Thank goodness for the moving sidewalks!

My biggest complaint about airplanes are the seat size. My last flight (about 2.5 years ago), I did a red-eye across the US. The person next to me was a sprawler and fell asleep almost immediately. I can't sleep on planes and was cramped between the window and the other passenger. Ugh!

Vivi Anna said...

Welcome Deidre!! Your Parallel books are great.

I love to travel. but the only interesting story I have was when I was coming back from Germany with my parents, we were in the Toronto airport and our plane was late getting in and we only had 20 minutes to make our plane to Calgary...I so wanted to get home I paniced and started running, literally knocking people over with my bag over my shoulder as I ran. My parents just followed the carnage I left behind.

Monica Burns said...

Ummm Vivi....so was this moment the inspiration for the original Hell Kat cover??? LOL

Monica

rachd said...

!@#@$ Blogger ate my comment!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr

Okay, as I had written much better before (it's always better, isn't it?) I still find myself dressing up for travel because it is so ingrained--thanks mom. And, I make my girls do it, poor things.

I'm not much of an air traveler (once ever two-three years) so I don't have many stories. My one complaint though is landing at one gate and needing to be at a gate five miles away in only two minutes for your connecting flight. Images of Vivi's trek flashing through my head...:o/

Deidre Knight said...

Wow!! These are some great stories!! My BEST flying story--as opposed to general commentary on the state of Homeland Security air travel would be this...

When I was in college, I was flying to DC. I wound up on a flight with James Brown and his full band. Sat with both his drummers, one of whom became... shall we say smitten? With me? He proceeded to phone me from all over the world for the next three months, usually after 1 am, which sat so very well with my mother!! LOL!

I'm loving all these stories, gang. Monica, the part about the jeep and the C plane made me laugh--and made my ears hurt!

Yikes, can't imagine being on a plane where there's an explosion or a nose dive. I'm just not going there mentally... LOL! :)

Thanks for all the warm support and welcomes!
hugs! Deidre

kerri1973 said...

Well, it was a dark and stormy night and we had a lot of air turbulence and I looked at the guy next to me and he was glowing green...not like he was sick green but like alien green! LOL Deidre! Love you to pieces. Had to write that little intro to my fellow Roswellian. How are you? You probably don't remember me but I met you at a writer's workshop in small town Wetumpka, Alabama last year. Really enjoyed meeting you and learning from you. Had to stop by and say "hello!" In all seriousness, my worst travel story was the time my airplane got struck by lightening. No joke! I was about 7 months pregnant and I literally clawed up the arm of the poor guy next to me. I was terrified. We made it safely down and it caused minimal plane damage but talk about freaking out! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I've been sick all week so this is the first time I've been blogging this week. I've missed the bellas! Hope everyone is well and I'm looking forward to more from Deidre. Can you pass the Tabasco? (wink, wink)

Monica Burns said...

Kerri....what a VIVID pic...a 7-month pregnant woman clawing her way up a guy next to her!! LOL

LOVE it! But please noooooo Tabasco sauce. Heartburn will put me back in the ER again! Although that dreamy Doc Hogan might actually be worth it.

Monica

Kristen Painter said...

My fabulous hubby proposed to me while in flight. He got them to move us up to first class, and then in front of everyone, he kneeled down in the aisle and asked me to marry him. The flight attendants were as teary-eyed as I was! They gave us a bottle of champagne and everyone applauded.

Very memorable!

pearl said...

My first ever international flight was super. I loved it from start to finish. This was it for me. Travel was my desire from then on. I loved the interesting and fascinating people next to me whose stories could fill a journal forever. When we landed they gave me their number. I called when I arrived near their hometown and they put me up, took me around the entire country and served me the best meals that i had ever had. Nothing could top this. We are best friends now and I hope to go back to Italy again soon.

Cherie said...

The few flights I have been on have been wonderful. I have no complaints. My favorite was my honeymoon trip because it was the first time since I was a child that I had been on a plane. The service was great and it was just wonderful sharing that time with my hubby.Thanks for being here Deidre.

Cherie Japp

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I can't tell you how frustrating "weavers" are! I like to move like a bullet through the airport! lol But, other than that, most of my travel has been trouble free, except for the one time, I insulted this couple with their adorable baby. I was travelling by myself and I ended up in a row with a baby! I looked around the packed plane for a row without a baby! Normally I like babies, but for some reason that day, I did not want to sit near one, no matter how cute. Carolanne

Sue A. said...

I've only flown a handful of times, so I'm still learning something new each time I fly. The one lesson I learned is not to wear dress shoes onto a plane. I have a habit of taking my shoes off to get comfortable on a flight and for some reason my feet got swollen so bad that I must have increased two shoe sizes, because there was no way to get back into my shoes. I did the best I could getting through the airport hobbling with my toes at least wedged in the shoes. Well from that time on I've worn comfy shoes onto a plain.

Another tip for flying is always take IMODIUM-D with you, but that's another story...

Cathy said...

Hi Deidre, I am a newbie to the series and just received my copy of Parallel Attraction this week. As far as air travel stories, my worst was traveling with 5 year old twins by myself to New York. They went thru all my goody bags and snacks the first hour, and we spent the next four walking the ailes and talking to sweet old grandmas, (I think there were about 6 on the plane), bless their hearts. They never took the nap I was dying for and they wore me down to a nub.

Playground Monitor said...

Gee! Someone else knows where Wetumpka, Alabama is. *g*

We flew back from Germany with #1 son when he was two. Actually it was his second birthday. The flight attendants gave him a cake and the whole plane sang to him. I'd hoped he'd sleep during the flight but he didn't. And he's one of those kids that get hyped up on Benadryl instead of it making them sleepy. Somewhere over the Atlantic I was contemplating spiking his apple juice. Of course, we get to Atlanta and customs is backup out the door. It was the last day before they opened the new Hartsfield terminal back in 1980 so it was a zoo. We get through customs, race to our connecting flight to Charlotte and they tell us they don't have 3 seats together. Okay. Cool. We just need 2 together. They tell us they don't have 2 together so the DH asks them what they expect us to do with a cranky two-year-old. He finally told them that unless they could get us two seats the stewardess would have to look after him and then he spouted all sorts of FAA regulations to them. Nowadays they'd probably call an air marshall and arrest him. LOL! But they found us 2 seats together and once we got to Charlotte and my mom picked us up, #1 son fell fast asleep in her car. Figures.

Marilyn

catslady said...

Back in '70 I was flying to Hawaii to meet up with my husband of 1 year for R&R from Vietnam. His father who I had never met was stationed there and I was to meet him the night before. I had only flown once and it was from PA so a long flight. The man next to me asked me which island I was to meet everyone and I was scared to death that I had the wrong place. I thought there was only one airport to fly into lol. The trip went well but coming back was horrible. My husband left like 4 Am and my flight was late that night. I went to the beach by myself and got the worst sunburn of my life. To make things worse we hit thunder storms and I remember they served these mushroom omelets and all I could think of was barfing all over the priest that they sat me next too. At least I figured he could pray for us all if we crashed!!

Lis said...

I haven't flown but this happened to a friend of the family. Back in the 80s he was on a red eye flight in the states and looked around thinking wow, these were all big guys around him. He asked a flight attendant who told him they were WWF wrestlers and a few seats ahead of him was Andre The Giant.

joelle said...

On a flight coming back home from my mother's and aunt's funeral I was a total mess. Could barely function and I hoped that the connecting flight would be on time. Much to my dismay When I go to the gate the plane was just leaving. I was devastated especially so after what I had had to live through the previous week.

tetewa said...

This happened a couple of years back when me my mom and sister took a flight from Detroit to New mexico for my brother's wedding. My sister is deathly afraid of flying so the only thing that helps her is to drink to calm her nerves. We had to visit the bar before we left and then at a layover we had. Not to mention she drank the whole time on the flight. So by the time we arrived in New Mexico and my brother picked us up and hadn't seen any of us in about 5 years my sister was totally drunk. Good luck on your release and looking forward to the book.

Kate Pearce said...

Hi Deidre!

A few years ago I was bringing my kids to the USA for their first visit before we moved here and my then youngest son was playing with a beanie baby type toy crab.
We're waiting in the line by the gate and suddenly thousands of tiny plastic pellets explode out of the toy which my son is by then swinging around his head, showering the entire line. I swear half of the line ducked, screamed or tried to throw themselves to the floor.
I caught hold of youngest son and quickly relieved him of the tattered remains of his toy while smiling brightly at everyone and muttering 'sorry,sorry!'
Of course, then we all slipped and slid on the dratted things as we made our way onto the plane!

robynl said...

Coming back from Vancouver we were told we had at least a few hours wait because the plane we were taking home was a 'first time' flight and they were having technical difficulties; yikes!!! And we are supposed to fly on that plane after they fix it.

Joyce said...

A few years ago a relative of mine was flying to see us. She had her husband and small children with her and mid flight had to use the rest room. As she was coming back, one of her children stood up and said "mommy went pee-pee".

Julie in Ohio said...

I just wanted to wish everyone a very nice holiday weekend. :o)

{{{BIG HUGS}}}

Stacy~ said...

Late again...sigh.

My most interesting trip was finding out I was sitting next to Blaze author Jill Monroe last July on my way to RWA. I pulled out a Linda Howard and she asked me if I liked romance and then she introduced herself. Her best friend, author Gena Showalter, was also on the plane. My little brush with fame LOL

Happy Easter everyone!

4/8/07