Taking a flyer

My father is among many people who use the idiom “take a flyer” to mean “take a risk”. (I know that millions of other people use the expression also, but I always hear it in my father’s voice: “Go ahead, take a flyer. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” etc, etc). Well, I certainly took a flyer when I got laid off from the proverbial day job sixteen years ago and decided to move to Martha’s Vineyard & try to make a living as a freelance technical writer. And I took a flyer when I then took a few years to write a novel in between stints as truck driver, construction laborer, etc. And I took a flyer when I decided to self-publish. But today I’m going to talk about when I took a flyer & crafted a cheesy hand-drawn flyer as a marketing tool for my books, making me look perhaps even more of a crackpot than I actually am, if that’s possible. In some ways it was the most successful of all of these flyers.

Continue reading

Be the Geekoid Novelist's Guest on Martha's Vineyard

Over on on Kickstarter, I’m seeking backers for my new project, a biotech thriller called Creation Science.

I’ve just added a new “reward”: You and a friend can be my guest for a weekend next spring or summer at my house on Martha’s Vineyard. Join me and my wife for three days and two nights at our tiny but friendly house in Vineyard Haven. You’ll stay in our guest room & we’ll provide breakfast; we’ll give you a guided tour of the island, lend you one of our cars for up to five hours, let you borrow our bikes, and you’ll be the guest of honor at a dinner party for which Dear Wife Betty will prepare a meal of at least 5 courses.

See the Creation Science page on Kickstarter for details.

Further Adventures of a literary nobody

Latest installment of a continuing series. In this issue: I get snubbed by the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival.

So the other day I sent a note to the organizers of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival inquiring about setting up a booth there from which to do my Billy Mays thang. (I remembered having been turned down two years ago, the last time the MV Book Festival was held, when I made a similar request. But I couldn’t remember the rationale given. Had I missed a deadline? Had they run out of room?) Anyway, their response this time was <Wayne Campbell voice> DENIED! </Wayne Campbell voice>.

I thought their DENIED notice was a little bit snotty, so I replied with a note of my own that was also a little bit snotty.(But not too snotty, I hope. On a snottiness scale of one to ten, I would put our exchange at about a “2”. Read on and you can judge the level of snottinessosity for yourself.)

Below the fold: The prissy exchange, plus! what’s the difference between being a “Vineyard Writer” and “A writer who trades on the Vineyard”?

Continue reading

Jet Blue and me

I live on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, which is served by Cape Air. Cape Air owns planes that seat nine passengers.

I fly to San Francisco airport (“SFO”) on business about eight times a year. I’m making this post from a lonely hotel room 7 miles from SFO right now, as a matter of fact.

Often I fly to Boston on Cape Air, & then catch a flight from Boston to SFO (although sometimes I take the boat & then drive or take the bus to Boston). I’ve taken about 8 round trips between Boston and California on Jet Blue in the last 2 years.

Recently Jet Blue did two things that greatly increased their attractiveness to me when booking my round-trip flights Boston/SFO: they partnered up with Cape Air to make it easier to book flights and check baggage, and they initiated direct service from Boston to SFO (until recently I had to fly into San Jose or Oakland if I wanted to take Jet Blue).

Their prices are good, their airplanes are clean and comfortable, they offer a lot of legroom (which is very important to me, as I’m 6’3″), and they have nifty in-flight TV. So while I have never been a crazy JetBlue fanboy, I have certainly been willing to give them my business.

Alas, no more.

As Google can tell anybody who’s interested, JetBlue has decided to cast its lot with Bill O’Reilly and the radical right.

Good for them. Let them spend their dollars as they see fit. As will I.

Unless and until Jet Blue changes its policy, I’ve taken my last flight with them. It should be interesting to see how their kowtowing to the radical right plays out. Who knows, it may be a money-making decision for them. That would surprise and sadden me, but stranger things have happened. I would suspect that demand for seats on their Boston-SFO routes will go down, but maybe not enough so they’ll notice. In any event, they’ve pissed on me and mine, so they can kiss my travel dollars goodbye.

So it goes.