My road blocks and break throughs to becoming a happy reader.

You’re not alone if you wish to get into reading. I don’t know how long it will take you, but it took me about a year and a half. At first, it was halting. Then, I blazed my way out of mental and emotional barriers (using techniques I’ll tell you about in a second).

I hear the desire to read more in random conversation. I see it while scrolling through fellow #bookstagram followers’ posts. I and others have nostalgia for books. I think we hold an idealized version of our younger selves as voracious readers, too, which is fun.



A Cop Pulled Over My Captain & other adventures in small town Kansas

I was co-piloting a Cessna Caravan to its new owner, and had to lay over in a small Kansas town.

Maybe a country is like a person. It can get a new style, grow up, go through things, and come under layers of influences, but there are still original parts inside both a country and a younger person. You can get to know these parts.

I’m reminded of something sweet in this Kansas town I think I saw in American Christmas movies as a child. Something about how this country is, or was, or wishes to be.

The captain and I (the co-pilot) landed here in Coffey County, Kansas, just before midnight. We came in a Cessna Caravan. …

About the Author

The pilot behind dark fantasy fiction & bright nonfiction here on Medium

Image by Erik Ballew

Ms. Uland lives in Denver, Colorado, but boomerangs around several continents as a pilot. Her travels in this world inspire and inform her stories, but her work is also inspired by roots in pure fantasy. She grew up like so many halfway inside The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and many other wonder-worlds.

Sometime after studying Creative Writing at the University of Denver; working with coaches, photographers and make-up artists in art modeling; four years of business writing for a financial firm; two motorcycles; and a year as a flight attendant, she has come back to her roots at last…

Tired of the wine-drinking-reader stereotype? Try my creamy, divine, hot tea cocktail made with Courvoisier and Bailey’s.

Photo by Loverna Journey on Unsplash

Without Further Ado

On an international flight in first class from London to Chicago, a world-class attendant noticed my drink and suggested an improvement.

Here is his core recipe. It is a creamy, surprising, yet classic-feeling reader’s delight of a beverage.

FAQs (like what is Courvoisier?) and more on how I came upon this drink may be found lower down in the story.

The Reader’s Hot Tea Cocktail


  • 1 cup of hot, black tea
  • 1/2 shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/2 shot of Courvoisier


  1. Prepare a cup of hot tea. This works best with black tea, specifically Earl Gray. …

3 big character-based takeaways from H.G. Wells’ book. *Warning: plot spoilers

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The place is Earth. The year is 2010. Pious men use technology to terrorize and destroy their global neighbors. Scientific evolutionists declare war on God — then, in turn, people of faith condemn scientific teachings. Such is the setting of H.G. Wells’ world-changing science fiction horror novel, The War of the Worlds.

The book is a poignant reflection of modern readers’ real life and gives readers today a relevant message. Its characters are:

  • the atheistic artilleryman
  • the clerical curate
  • and the protagonist, an anonymous well-educated layman

Through them, the novel displays a parallel conflict to our real one between science…

How Charles Perrault, J.M. Barrie, & P.L. Travers’ iconic women inspire a new generation of people without children, beyond the page

Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

“Mary Poppins,” he cried, “you’ll never leave us, will you?”

― P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins

It Begins

I sipped half a glass of red wine at one o’clock today. Then, I started vacuuming the fabulous apartment where I live alone. A tune popped into my head; the singing began.

“A spooooooonful of sug-ahh…!”

My solo rolled into an enthusiastic rendition of all the words I remember to “Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious.” I even jumped onto the wooden landing dock past the carpet at my door on the right “docious,” too.

Mary Poppins’ iconic outfits flashed before my eyes. …

Author’s reflection on her first Amazon self-published fantasy, ‘The Monster in her Garden’

Illustration from “The Monster in Her Garden” by Savanna Rain Uland. Image: Sara Heisley

Hello, there. I am the self-published author of “The Monster in Her Garden.” It’s a mighty weird experience figuring out the themes of your own book once it’s out there.

In the story, a pesky suitor intrudes on a woman’s life in the country. Mayhem erupts because of her illegal pet dragon. It culminates in a choice of who shall live and who shall die.

Readers call the setting highly dystopian — yet it is based on colorful, beautiful Renaissance Italy.

It’s a short, fully illustrated, professionally edited, German-art-covered fantasy. It’s a thirty-minute read (self-published on Amazon). Self-publishing on Amazon…

Pilots’ perspectives on rumbles — serious and silly

Image by Author

“In the midst of turbulence, we hang onto hope.” — Laily Gifty Akita

Two white-shirts — me and my copilot — sit side by side behind a parabola of glass. We are 38,000 feet above the ground. All is serene. Good time to admire some clouds, I figure.

Down and to the right floats a layer of clouds. It looks like sheep’s wool. Lumpy and fluffy. Beneath that, lakes dot the land like spots on a Dalmatian.

But below is not the only place clouds lurk. We gaze forward and see this.

A novel’s synopsis — dark fantasy, sword & sorcery, magic and religion

Image by Sergey Yakovlev / Alamy Stock Photo

“The Immigrant God”

By Savanna Rain Uland


So there’s a guy who believes in establishing belltowers and giving traditional sermons and generally serving weird pagan forest communities; he’s a Franciscan like that in this fantasy world.

And there’s this girl with a love of designing buildings who gets drawn to a settlement because it offers way more chance to design buildings that actually get built. Also, she really, really wants a family. She has serious abandonment issues, and has a sweetness that is so core to who she is. One problem, she is reckless and rebellious and self-destructive.

The bellfounder and the girl…

“What the heck are they packing?” — One reader/writer’s inspiring, handy answers.

Madrid Public Transit with a stuffed backpack. Image by Author.

“… Have you pen and ink, Master Doctor?” “A scholar is never without them, your Majesty,” answered Doctor Cornelius. — The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

This story is about the mystery of people who travel public transit with giant backpacks stuffed to the brim. But it’s really to inspire people who read and write to be prepared to read and write. It’s got some advice in it, too, for getting ideas, and mentions a forgotten type of writing that will make people in your life happy.

Reading and writing can turn you into The Backpack Person on public…

Savanna Rain Uland

Author. Pilot. Video maker.

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