Taking Flight Line Art

Barn Swallow


Black-Crowned Night Heron

Common Loon

Canada Goose


Roger Hall -  Scientific Illustration

Taking Flight -   A Novel      


Jay Walsh’s parents fear he’s been abducted by the elderly man he met on a cross-country flight, but it’s the other way around. Think Tuesdays With Morrie meets On Golden Pond.


Taking Flight tells the journey of two unlikely companions who meet in midair: 13-year-old Jay Walsh, sent against his will by his career-absorbed father to spend the summer with his bipolar mother, and Harry Herndon, elderly, one-legged, and afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, who, in a rare period of clarity, escapes his island home confinement for what may be his last adventure.


They make a pact of sorts and begin their cross-country getaway, trailed by Harry’s wife, Abby, and Jay’s parents, Jackson and Rose, each of whom threatens to cut their journey short.


What follows is a race against time and circumstance, the scene shifting: a Puget Sound island, New Hampshire pond, Central Park high-rise, African village, and the American highway. The life cycle of birds is used as the journey’s metaphor, from Fledging to Migration to Establishing Territory to Mating. By the end, each of the five principal characters makes a choice and confronts the consequences.