Turning Skies

Turning Skies brings together an Alaskan Native American and a successful teen actor who find each other on social media. Even though these two teenagers came from vastly different cultures they converged on a course they otherwise would never have realized. It's a beautiful and sometimes revealing look into their personal relationship as they grapple with danger, friendship, honor, secrets and love in a world of complexity.

This coming of age novel engages the new movement away from social norms of past generations as it confronts established cultural, sexual and global attitudes. Through open eyes and open minds they may have answered a fundamental question in life, an answer that could change the world. It's a simple idea, a neglected idea, an ancient idea, and without proclaiming it, the story simply displays it through the lives of two willing human beings.

From Turning Skies:

      Snowhawk spoke is a soft voice, "Sometimes the silence speaks in words that cannot be heard by ears. The words, like a warm breeze, pass between us through places untouchable. We know the words but we can't hear them. Still we understand them, and they pierce our hearts like a knife that can never hurt us, a knife that can heal us but only if we openly allow the speaker to push it to the hilt."


"Well, I guess we'd better start our walk around and run up," Snowhawk commanded.
      "Okay. When's the pilot getting here?"
      "He is here," Snow clipped.
      "Hmm." I turned slowly around in a complete circle trying to see where the pilot might be while Snow began walking around the aircraft sliding his hand across the wings and propellers. "So, where is this pilot person?"
      Snow ducked back around the wing and with a huge “gotcha” grin said, "You're lookin' at him!" continuing his grin.
      "Okay ... now wait ... YOU are the pilot of this thing? You're telling me that you are going to fly us to Nome?"
      Snow shrugged and turned to finish his walk around. I just stood there staring without moving, contemplating a windfall of possibilities. I watched Snow continue to check for anomalies and open a compartment to remove a stool and some gauges.
      "What are you standing there for? You gonna help me or what?"
      Once this sunk in, my astonishment turned to euphoria and a fist-flying, "Yessss! Aye Aye captain." I gave a standing salute and ran toward my leader.
      "It ain't a boat numskull and watch out for the props or this trip will be shorter than you expected."
      "Yesss sir."
      "Actors!"
      "I’m an actor!"
      "Oh, that's right. Couldn't tell." Shoulder punching was necessary.
      "This is N973WR that's November niner seven three Whiskey Romeo requesting clearance for takeoff."
      "Roger this 73WR. You are clear for taxi and takeoff on Runway Seven. You really like sayin' all those numbers, don't ya?"
      "Roger that tower. Yeah, it's kinda fun."
      "Have a good flight, Snowhawk."
      "Thanks, Kyle. See you on the flip side, good buddy."
      "You're not driving a truck, Snow.”
      "Oops, forgot Kyle. 10-4."
      “Sheesh, Snow.”
      I broke in, "Oh, this is a good sign. At least we've determined this isn't a boat or a truck. Now if it flies we'll need to know if it's a plane or a balloon." Laughing rose from the plane and the tower radio.
      "Snow, is that your movie guy friend?"
      "Yup."
      "Have a good flight, Sam. You're in great hands."
      "Thank you, Kyle." Covering my mic, "So, I guess everybody knows?"
      "Eeeeeverybody! It's a small state."
      "Uh huh."
      The plane rose from the airfield took a left departure turn and headed west. It was a cloudless day as far as could be seen up to that point with just a wisp of ice crystals in a thin blanket at 6000 feet AGL. Continuing to 11,000 feet ASL we leveled off for our cruising altitude and the 2 1/4 hour flight to the destination.
      Pinching my nose I said, "Please return your seat-backs and tray-tables to their upright and locked position." Then I pointed to the two side doors plus  forward and rear exits with both hands.
      Snow laughed, "You don't have to pinch your nose. You already sound like a duck."
      "Damn this is fun. Where did you get a pilot's license?"
      "At the airport."
      "Now, how do you get to fly this plane and how long have you been flying, legally I mean?" slapping my forehead.
      "It's my dad's plane and about three years."
      "Ooookay. You've had a pilot's license since you were FOURTEEN?"
      "Let me count and see ... Yep," he said pointing to each finger.
      "OMG, I can't even drive a car."
      "Me either!"


      The two young men mounted their motorcycle still smoldering from the last run, pulled out onto the road and headed West. With the sky darkening just a bit more, the redness of the northwest horizon reflected ahead on the ocean. A rock outcropping appeared up the coast and grew higher as we approached. Perched at the end of an ocean battered cliff, a white structure, like a great needle, pierced the blue black sky mirroring the red solar rays that stung the vastness of space. And at perfect intervals, a diamond of light flashed from its pinnacle, a flash that could not only blind my eye for a tiny moment but one that would illuminate the lives of two willing hearts.


      The road slowly swung to the right as we approached the long plateau that looked like a sinking ship whose stern had dropped into the deep but whose prow still stood high above the waves. The plateau jutted out of the ocean on one end with granite cliffs on either side and sloped downward into the grassy plain. It seemed out of place standing alone on the Alaskan prairie but geologists say it's a remnant of a former ice age. The native people called it the sacred knife that splits the ocean from the sky. Snowhawk called it home.


      "Patricia, have you noticed anything different about Sam lately?"
      "Mm, not really. He seems like the same Sam to me, although he's growing so fast it's hard to believe he's the same little boy I knew four years ago."
      "Maybe that's all it is. Never mind."
      "He told me earlier that his friend from Nome is coming to visit."
      "Yeah, that's what I heard. A production coordinator told me he was in Nome for some reason. Nome? Strange place for a kid."
      "Sam said that didn't happen because of the Los Angeles gig. You know, his friend's name is Snowhawk."
      "Snowhawk!" Toby whistled softly, "Great screen name. Maybe an Indian movie in the making?"
      "Native American, Toby. He made that clear. And he'll be here pretty soon. I'm kind of curious."
      "Oooo can't wait,” Toby said without emotion, “Do you think it's a publicity stunt?"
      "Anything can be publicity, stunt or not."
      “Do you think they're like ... mutually interested parties?"
      "Toby, who the hell cares? A good kid like that deserves a good lay. Eighteen? It would do him some good. Expand his future acting. I'm sure he's going there."
      "No doubt. Gotta go. See ya Pat."
      "Toby."
      To herself, I hope this Snowhawk kid can run static for Sam in other ways. God I hope so.