If You Win the Lottery Should You Buy A Private Jet?

I featured a family with a private jet in my second novel, “Popstars, Friends and Lovers: a dreamer’s tale” and my current Vivienne series is all about the private jet industry. I use them because they represent glitz and glamour and the easy life. Who doesn’t dream of avoiding airport security lines and having as much leg room as you want? But as someone who has spent many years being associated with the industry in one way or another, I can tell you the myth is a little different than the reality.

I took the above pic myself (that’s my coffee and shades). I was flying home from Savannah on a Gulfstream, one of the major brands of private jet. (Make note, you know, in case you win…) Was it nice? Oh hell yes. I was possibly a bit hungover and able to dim the lights and stretch out and sleep. I got this ride home from my husband who works in the industry. It isn’t, however, my jet to use whenever I want.

But I do know what it’s like to have a jet and it’s not exactly like it’s usually portrayed in the movies. It’s a little more complicated than that.

First it involves a crew. Most jets have to have two pilots who will be on your payroll if you own the plane. They have to be trained to fly your specific model which will cost you around 50 grand, per pilot. And just as important is your maintenance crew. The minimum you will need is a maintenance manager who will then find locations to have work done on your plane. Depending on the size of the plane and how much you want to fly it he/she might need a few people helping with maintenance. This is not an area where you might want to skimp and save.

But if you’ve just won over a billion dollars in the lottery you can afford all that, life is good. Enter the FAA (play ominous music). For your safety and that of all others flying there are several NYC phone book size manuals of rules and regulations you will need to follow. Every so often you will need to take your plane in for inspections and scheduled maintenance. It’s a time when you get to pay for the pleasure of owning a jet without getting to actually use it (ouch). Something that often comes as a shock to the nouveau riche because plane brokers tend to gloss over those details.(See, I’ve let you in on a secret.)

So once you’ve got the plane, the crew and maintenance complete you can just pick up the phone and tell someone that you want to fly to Bora Bora right now…or not. Flight plans must be filed, the fuel truck scheduled and crew called in before you can load your flip-flop wearing self onto the plane. There are technical questions galore, how long is the runway in Bora Bora? Do you need to schedule a landing time to work with local commercial traffic? If anything goes wrong with your plane, is there anyone anywhere near Bora Bora who can fix it so you can get home?

It’s all the details that it takes to get that plane in that plane in the air and keep it there that, to me, adds to the excitement. I love having an insiders view that I can’t wait to share more of with you in the Vivienne Series, due out later this year. It’s the story of a smart, quiet, sweet young woman who lands herself at the top of the male-dominated private jet industry. It’s every woman’s struggle to find a balance between career and the rest of her life and I can’t wait to bring it to you. It will be an eight novella series that I will release all at once so you can binge read to your heart’s desire. Stay tuned for excerpts and more behind the scene info. Until then, good luck in the lottery. You’ll just have to wait and see if I get a private jet when I win. If you do, all I’m asking for is a ride.



Small joys and little adventures

When it’s summer and your work from home and set your own schedule, TGIF really shouldn’t apply, but somehow it does.  The bubble of flex time my sons and I live in during July still touches on the 9-5, M-F world.  I like to wrap things up on Friday, get ready for more time with my husband and less time with my computer.  Hopefully this will be the first of many Friday posts of small joys and little adventures from the week past.

I splurged on a Vogue runway report magazine.  The magazine is pricey as hell (like the clothes inside) but its my inexpensive way of getting a front row seat at fashion week all over the world. 

Watching the sun rise on my peaceful road trip bears repeating.

As if the road trip wasn’t enough, I came home to find these beauties.  My husband missed me when I was gone. 

I ended up cutting them shorter to make typing easier, but for a week I had 10 perfect nails (yes, those are my own).  My short fingers were feeling so elegant this past week. (photo credit: my youngest, who we will call Wee Monkey)

And I can’t close out my week without noting the biggest adventure of all, this blog.  I tell my sons often that sometimes you have to do something that just scares the pee out of you to keep moving forward.  This adventure has proven less scary and more tech frustrating, but I am doing that, moving forward. . . on to next week.  Thank you for joining me in this one. 

Last Road trip of Summer

There is something soft and quiet and peaceful about the day just before dawn.  The air is cool and heavy with humidity.  It muffles the sound of car doors and traffic.  My voice is whispery because I’m not quite awake.  The sunrise colors are soft pink, lavender and peach, muted by the heavy, wet air.  

I want to take note of all these things, I record them for you, but also for me because midlife has definitely sharpened my sense of time.  I want to capture this perfect morning for a roadtrip because I’m driving to pick my kids up from summer camp.  And being half way through your life makes you accutely aware that there are only so many summers left for family roadtrips and summer camps and a house full of noisy neighborhood kids.  Chances are I have decades of quiet mornings ahead of me, but that’s just it, they will all be quiet.  This peace and quiet is special because it is the calm before the storm.  In three hours the car will be full or camp gear and wet, smelly sneakers and two boys talking over each other to tell me about all the adventures they had during their week away from home.  

Quiet time alone is precious to me now, but only because it is rare.  I know I have maybe four or five summers left of alone time being golden, then it will be come the norm.  Then I’ll wax poetic and get excited about each time one of my son’s comes to visit on a college break.  So instead of grousing about having to get up so early I’m celebrating it.  I packed grapes and french bread and iced coffee for breakfast.  

I loaded my iphone with music and podcasts and driving directions.  And I stopped along the way to take a few pictures, note my thoughts, capture the moment of being a mom on the last road trip of summer 2013.