Who Wants to Play “Simon Says” at Occupy the Hamptons? Pas Moi!

October 19th, 2011

I know the disdain Wall Street has for the small investor. I know how financial advisers and brokers ridicule their clients and scoff at them behind their backs.  So when I heard there would be a sympathetic Occupy the Hamptons rally on Saturday at Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, I fueled up on the free coffee and pastries given out compliments of the Democratic Party at Springs General Store (thank you!), and then ransacked the house for my peace-sign pendant and headband.  (Where did I see them last?)

I felt the need to stand up and protest, personally, against Wall Street executives, highly respected by their peers, who bring in enormous amounts of filthy lucre and could care less about the negative repercussions on you or me.  And, honestly, there had been so much bad publicity and ridicule of the protesters who were on Wall Street, including some belligerent comments I overheard from guests at a get together for Republican Cornelius Kelly in Montauk the night before, that I just wanted to see for myself.

Although it had been decades, really, since I had joined any sort of protest rally, thanks to George Demos, the Conservative Republican Candidate for US Congress in New York’s First District, and his press release admonishing protesters not to defecate on police cars, litter, sell drugs, or smash windows, I knew how to comport myself. (As a precaution, of course, I used the bathroom at home.)

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No Coal in YOUR Stocking! A Big Thank You from Lynne W. Scanlon

December 5th, 2010

Happy Holiday and a big thank you to everyone who bought my book The Cure for Jet Lag over the past year and helped put Back2Press Books on the map. I think it is about time to back-burner my shameless self-promotion efforts for the holidays and call it party time. So this is just a quick note of thanks to the travelers who have bought, read, commented and/or reviewed The Cure for Jet Lag in response to that shameless self-promotion. Extra thanks to

  • Joe Sharkey of The New York Times
  • Erik McLaughlin, MD, MPH, AdventureDoc.org, Expedition/Travel Medicine/Global Health
  • Arash Kardan, Featurestravelblog.com
  • Lola Akinmade, Matadorgoods.com & Matadortravel.com
  • Alan Goldsmith, Bikester.com.

And special thanks to the nice folks who have taken the time to write glowing reviews on Amazon.com and over at my website The Cure for Jet Lag.

The original book, Overcoming Jet Lag, was a blockbuster before it was allowed to fizzle and go out of print by Berkley Travel Books. (Dont get me started!) It took me a solid year to overhaul the original edition and bring it up to date. A daunting task, really, because my co-author Dr. Ehret passed away. So it is very rewarding to know that travelers think I did a good job revising, updating, and redesigning The Cure for Jet Lag. (Lets hear it for larger typeface!)

I hope my coauthor, Dr. Charles F. Ehret, world famous chronobiologist and the worlds leading authority on how to prevent jet lag, would be proud, too. He was the best co-author with whom I ever worked. It wasnt easy nosing through 30 years of Dr. Ehrets scientific papers and translating arcane material into the page-turning, bodice ripper that is now The Cure for Jet Lag. But with Dr. Ehrets guidance, I got the job done.

And since Im sending out an all-encompassing thank you, I want to thank Mark, my brother, for the enormous amount of help this very smart and generous guy provided by line-editing the book when I was beyond bleary-eyed. And how about my terrific graphic designer, Kris Warrenburg of Cyan Design in East Hampton, NY? If you are putting together a print on demand book and self-publishing, shes the go-to designer. Kris made working with the POD printer look easy, and it was not, believe me. The specifications required by the printer baffled me and put me into a near mental breakdown with frustration, and I know a lot about book production from my years as a publisher at AdWeek.

As the holiday approaches, I hope you will keep my book in mind as a gift for friends, family, and colleagues. It’s available, as you know, on Amazon.com or at my website The Cure for Jet Lag.

Happy holiday and happy travels!

All the best,


PS While I’m thanking people, thank you to all the people who routinely visit this blog and have racked up over 700,000 page hits this year. A special thanks to those who have left comments after my postings. OK, that’s it, I’m all thanked out.


Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF): It Takes a Tough Tailbone

October 15th, 2010

I know the 18th Hamptons International Film Festival ran for five days, but if you saw my recent tweet, you know I got shanghaied into jury duty and spent two days in the East Hampton Justice Court listening to a NYC attorney trying to weasel out of his 6 AM DWI arrest. The breathalyzer was faulty; the cops were out to get me. Right.

9 Feature-Length Movies, 4 Shorts in 3 Days

Nonetheless, I managed to make it to a first-day reception by sponsor RoC Skincare at The Hedges Inn in East Hampton, where, on the porch, I breathed the same rarified air as Alec Baldwin, Marcia Gay Harden and Isabella Rosellini; indulged myself at the open bar; and snared a big, quilted, gold-colored tote bag containing RoC Skincare Deep Wrinkle Night Cream and Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, all before plunging into the darkness of the local United Artist Cinema in East Hampton Village.

    Hedges Inn

    Huey, Dewey & Louie it Aint Film Shorts Force-Fed

  • Striking a Chord: About 20 years ago an article in The New York Times reported on the power of music to lift clinical depression. When I mentioned this article to my father, a psychiatrist and neurologist who always kept his jumper cables close at hand on the off-chance that he might be asked to apply some electro shock therapy, he remarked that if it were true that music had such therapeutic properties, that could be the most important discovery in psychiatric medicine in his lifetime. Striking a Chord, a 38 minute film short about US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, tears your heart out, even while youre tapping your toes to Nell Bryden and her band as they entertain the troops. Through the healing power of music, the band transports the troops out of the danger zone and back to the safety of United States and home, if only for the duration of the concert. [Director Susan Cohn Rockefeller]
  • Mary Last Seen: Thirteen minutes of me silently screaming at the teenage girl in the film: GET AWAY FROM THIS GUY. DO NOT TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF AND GO SWIMMING WITH HIM. DO NOT WALK IN THE WOODS WITH HIM. [Director Sean Durkin]
  • Loop Planes: I have no idea what that title means. Eleven minutes of a Columbia University graduate thesis film with an awesome twist as per 16 year old Ryan Cassata who scored the film and helped introduce this oh-so politically correct film about Nick, er, Nicole. [Director Robin Wilby]

ART in The Hamptons — The Great, The Near-Great & The Great Pretenders

April 14th, 2010

Im not sure who was going to take the first swing at whom at Wolffer Estate during Candlelight Friday, last week, but David Buda, the tasting room manager, who watched my friends and me finish off our Cabernet Franc, quietly defused the situation by offering the three of us a little taste of Wolffers new 2009 Ros table wine. We had been leaning in toward each other across the table, our voices raised. One of us had been wagging an annoying finger in the faces of the other two.
Vineyard Rose

One friend, a local artist (no names, please!) and author of several books that actually sell; the other friend, Maralyn Rittenour, the former director of the EH Historical Society and a woman who spent two years at Christies in New York City; and I, who had a roommate who slept with at least ten well-known LA artists, were arguing: Does all art in The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art deserve to be there? Do local museums and galleries around the country, such as The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton and Guild Hall of East Hampton, offer really great art — when billed as such — or are they just touting good art or, heaven forefend, actually displaying bad art promoted by fawning, opportunistic, inbred art buyers, critics and curators to attract wide-eyed, thumb sucking, parvenu clients and donors.

Whew. Quite a verbal slugfest.

Still smarting from the hissing and spitting the night before, on Saturday evening I headed for The Parrish Art Museums exhibit of Fairfield Porter: Raw The Creative Process of an American Master to see great art. The plan was to hear a spirited exchange between philosopher, writer and independent curator Klaus Ottman and American painter and sculptor Eric Fischl, to have a little wine and cheese, hobnob, and to get to view not only Porters paintings, but his sketches, and drawings as well. After The Parrish, Id slip over to Joe Strands solo exhibit and reception at 4 North Main Street Gallery, also in Southampton.

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Jane Austen’s New BFs? Cornel West and Fran Lebowitz? I Think Not!

January 15th, 2010

Jane Austen co-starring in a documentary with Cornel R. West and Fran Lebowitz? What in the world was The Morgan Library thinking?

Ok, lets admit it. Jane Austen has not been allowed to rest in peace. Quite the contrary! That poor woman has had Janeites pouring over her personal letters, peeking into her dresser drawers, and analyzing every word she ever wrote until her death in 1817. When it comes to knowing everything knowable about Jane Austen, as Mick Jagger said about his excesses: Too much is never enough.


I Felt So Guilty Reading Jane Austen’s Personal Mail

But somehow I got over that. What a treasure trove on display at the Morgan Library exhibit “A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy.” And what a crazy quilt of sentences filling every inch of the page. First left to right and top to bottom. Then the paper turned upside down and sentences written in between the first sentences. Then the paper turned sideways and more sentences written cross-wise across all the other sentences. Yet, this “cross-hatching” technique is completely readable. Amazing! When I think of the paper we waste today. Jane (may I call her that? Everyone else seems to) puts us to shame.

Yell: FIRE! Pull the Alarm and Run Screaming from the Theatre. It’s Cornel R. West and Fran Lebowitz Opining About Jane!

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POD Lets Authors Resolve The Catch-22 of Publishing

December 10th, 2009

Many thanks to Joe Shaw, Executive Editor, for allowing me to excerpt the following article from The East Hampton Press and The Southampton Press. The article was written by Tom Clavin and published on December 8, 2009.

The Cure For Jet Lag by Lynne W. Scanlon and Charles F. Ehret, Ph.D., was published more than a quarter-century ago. Yet it could well represent the future of book publishing.

A Springs trio teamed up this year to issue an updated version of the book using the print on demandor PODprocess. Indeed, with a growing number of writers making use of the POD method, Publishers Row may be moving from Manhattan to the East End, which for many years has already seen its share of writers, editors, and agents.

This area is a hothouse of creative types, from writers to artists who can benefit from print on demand books, stated Lynne Scanlon, the co-author of The Cure For Jet Lag.

These folks will gravitate to POD not only because it is the most expedient way to produce a book, but because literary agents and editors could care less about un-established writers these days.

But dont the authors of books published in non-traditional ways risk acquiring a sort of stigma as not really being professional writers, thus giving agents a reason to steer clear? Good luck finding an agent if you dont already have one, Ms. Scanlon said. Thats the Catch-22 of publishing.

Her career in publishing has included being a marketing executive with Barnes & Noble and a book publishing consultant in addition to an author. In 1983, she collaborated with Charles F. Ehret, Ph. D., who had been conducting research underwritten by the U.S. government to reduce the problems associated with long-distance air travel. The original goal was to make the U.S. Armys rapid deployment forces more effective.

Dr. Ehret himself served in the Armys 87th Infantry Division and won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge. With Ms. Scanlon doing the writing for lay readers of the results of Dr. Ehrets research, Overcoming Jet Lag (the original title) was published.

It was a success when issued by the Berkley Publishing Group, selling more than 200,000 copies worldwide and remaining in print for more than 20 years. Sales eventually faded, but problems with jet lag did not. Last year, Ms. Scanlon wanted to release an updated edition of the book, but did not want to wait the 18 months or more it would take a traditional publisher to have new books on shelves. There was also a financial incentive: After publishers and agents and book wholesalers get their slices of the pie from a $20 book, the authors slice may be as thin as $3.00.

Ms. Scanlon worked out an arrangement with with Dr. Ehrets estate and founded Back2Press Books, which specializes in republishing titles that have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. Naturally, The Cure for Jet Lag would be the companys first effort. There would be no long editing and production process nor any danger of printing thousands of copies that might not sell. The new edition would be printed on demand and be readily available on the internet (www.thecureforjetlag.com) as well as at the major chain bookstores and selected shops.

What is POD, other than the dreaded form of the infestation in Invasion of the Body Snatchers?” The plain language answer is that it is a digital printing technology that allows a complete book to be printed and bound in minutes. This makes it easy and cost-effective to produce books in small lots rather than in large print runs. What has long bedeviled traditional book publishers is the practice of guestimating how much a title will sell: if the prediction is wrong, a publisher has to warehouse or even destroy tens of thousands of already-printed books.

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Message to Chairman of New York Times Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr: Don’t Jump!

May 3rd, 2009

How dare Vanity Fair print such a cruel and heartless article about Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the publisher and chairman of The New York Times? How can a man possibly summon the energy and enthusiasm to get out of bed, get dressed and face the problems the Times is facing with a nasty journalist like Mark Bowden gleefully and gratuitously tearing chunks off him?

Note how Sulzberger is characterized in attributed and unattributed descriptions in Bowdens article called The Inheritance in the May issue of Vanity Fair:

His buck teeth give the impression of puerility. He listens impatiently and impulsively interrupts. He makes stabs at humor. He is long winded, affected, fussily articulate, eager to impress, insubstantial and slightly glib. He exaggerates. He has hit-and-miss witticism. Hes arrogant, not especially intellectual and a Star Trek Fan. His mind wanders. Hes a prince-in-waiting. He has the personality of a 24-year old geek. Hes provincial, sarcastic, uses poor judgment and lacks conviction. Hes condemned to stand apart from others. His career has progressed in prodigious and unearned ways. Hes timid. His efforts are half-hearted. Hes a light-weight. Hes out of his depth, fails to impress and elicits pity. He doesnt always wear shoes in the office. He promotes people based on how fun they are. As a reporter, he was competent if unspectacular. He hides behind barbs. No weight seems to adhere to him. He has no radiance (power). Hes not deeply respected. Hes a lightweight cheerleader. He has a high-pitched and zany laugh. Hes overmatched. He looks dismayingly small. Hes shrinking. Hes childish. Hes goofy. Hes steered his inheritance into the ditch. Hes squandered billions. Hes the wrong person at the helm. Hes an unappealing and stereotypical figure. Hes weak and pampered. Hes a diluted strain of the hardy founding stock. Hes a man who sees himself as both journalist and business manager, but who, in fact, is fully neither.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Backstabs AND frontstabs.

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Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the Elms” a Turn Off at the St. James Theatre

April 26th, 2009

Ive got a thing for the actor Brian Dennehy. No, not like the thing I have for Alec Baldwin. This is different. Alex Baldwin makes me laugh, too, but Dennehy brings out the Irish in me, just like the sound of The Chieftains and a penny whistle do. So when I heard he was starring in Eugene ONeills Desire Under the Elms at the St. James Theatre on Broadway, off I went.

Unfortunately, I did not have a good time. Not at all. My problems started when the audience was packed in like sardines into too narrow seats and too tight rows. I felt straight-jacketed. I couldn’t move an inch. I fell into an even uglier mood about twenty-minutes into the play when a woman seated a few seats to the right of me in the row in front of me actually pulled out her cell phone, opened it up, and began to whisper-chat — until the man sitting directly behind her rapped her on the shoulder and told her to HANG UP. (More about that later because it got ugly as the audience stood up at the end of the play.) So maybe this play just got off to a bad start with me . . . or maybe not.

Lose the Maine Accent, PLEASE!

Desire Under the Elms takes place somewhere in New England. I vote Maine because I couldnt understand half of what the actors were saying due to their heavy Down Easter accent. Charming in the Pine Tree State, no doubt, but not good on the New York stage. Could the director, Robert Falls, please fix that?

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White-Collar Playwright Denigrates Blue-Collar Workers in Reasons to be Pretty; Union Workers Should Storm Lyceum Theatre,

April 18th, 2009

Im on a theater binge: God of Carnage last week and Reasons to be Pretty and Mary Stuart this week. Two out of three were terrific, but Reasons to be Pretty was such a slam against blue-collar workers that this white-collar girl, sitting in the midst of an audience of white-collar workers, was embarrassed. The play was billed as an examination of America’s obsession with physical beauty and a funny/dark coming-of-age tale. You could have fooled me.

Wow, Id love to see that play. Too bad I didnt.

Thats why I was so disappointed in Neil Labutes play in spite of its original theme about how Steph (a hairdresser) would handle being blindsided by the knowledge that her boyfriend (a frozen foods employee) really doesnt find her particularly good looking.

Its Not OK for White Collar Playwrights to Dis Blue-Collar Workers

Some of the best, most dependable guys I know are blue-collar, hands-on workers. Who ya gonna count on when your car is buried in a snow bank at two in the morning and you need somebody to haul your sorry you-know-what out of there? Who ya gonna count on when the toilet tank breaks and water is pouring through the ceiling? Who ya gonna count on when you need someone who can MITER? (Oh, yes, I know, YOU can miter!) Well, you get the idea.

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eBooks Nudge Print Books Closer to Shelf Edge. Digital Book Publishing Wave Gathering Momentum!

February 13th, 2009

Thank goodness I was given a Kindle for Christmas two years ago. I say that because the three-day OReilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference (TOC2009) in NYC this week was all about digital publishing and I could smugly raise my hand when a keynote speaker polled the audience about eReaders. Even though the back of the Amazon Kindle keeps falling off, the battery dies too quickly and I have to carry around a bent paperclip to have handy for the reset button, there were a lot of Kindle devotees in the audience, matched, by the way, by the number of attendees who owned a Sony Digital Book. Doesnt this tell you something?

Its All About Me! Yet Again!

This year I was doubly interested in the topic of digital publishing because of the enormous amount of time, energy, and money I spent developing a commercial online publishing presence in 2008 for Back2Press Books and publishing my first print and soon-to-be eBook, The Cure for Jet Lag. As excruciatingly boring, painful or vague as most of the titles of the individual seminars were:

  • Copyright in Todays Digital Age
  • XML in Practice: Formats, Tools, and Techniques
  • Whats Your Mobile Strategy?
  • Optimizing Distribution + Maximizing Control + Channel Transformation = The Perfect Trifecta for Publishers
  • CEO Roundtable: The Changing Role of Publishers
  • Making an Impact with Travel Content
  • Smart Women Read e-Books
  • Extending the Publishing Ecosystem, Sharing Greater Wealth
  • Authoring Challenges in a Multiplatform World

I was breathless with excitement to cram in as many seminars as I could.

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