Re: RARA-AVIS: Vicki Hendricks Month drawing to an end

Date: 23 Apr 2005

Hi, Bill, You shouldn't get me started on skydiving--and I've never heard anyone say skydove, but I'm sure nobody cares. Skydiving isn't a grammar-intensive sport. Mainly we yell ya-hoo a lot when we make it back down alive. It doesn't attract many readers, by the way, either. I sure picked a popular subject for that one! And the people who do read ask me for a free book and pass it around. I don't care though, I love skydivers, and I know the book costs the same as a skydive! However, I had a review of Sky Blues in a Skydiver magazine and the guy sounded like he never read fiction before. His main complaint was that the book was so short it didn't deserve a hard cover and also that I'd made skydivers look like scumbags. Of course, I only created one skydiver scumbag! Anyway, I have taken my rig along on trips, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and many places in the US. It's really cheap to stay, eat, and drink on drop zones because a lot of skydivers just live there in trailers, and you can set everything up online ahead, and when you get there, no matter what country, you always have instant friends who want to jump with you. It's a wild subculture that I really didn't have time to touch on in the book. I haven't taken my rig along much since 9-11 because the security people don't know how to deal with the parachute or computerized automatic opener, and I've heard stories of how they have pulled reserves or done damage, and that can be really expensive. It's also risky sending the rig through with the baggage because you can't get it insured for the cost ($4,000-5,000) and if it would get lost or stolen, you're out of luck. However, jumping in Spain was really beautiful because you got out over the beach and flew over the town of Ampuria Brava parallel with the Pyrenees. They had a swimming pool, bar and restaurant, and coed bunk rooms for $5 per night. I happened to be in a room with two other women. I think. The one woman Kari Ann--from Norway, an aircraft and oil rig mechanic--and I stayed out until about 5 am every night, with most of the skydivers, and the 3rd woman was always asleep, so in the pitch dark we could only hear her snoring. Then she was up and out before we opened our eyes in the morning. She was a 70-year-old style flyer, we heard, which means she does gymnastic type movements in the air with a video flyer filming her and competes. There are so many interesting things about skydiving that I still need to write another book. I think I have a skydiving/craziness article that was in the British Observer a couple of years ago still on (site of Sparkle Hayter, Lauren Henderson, Stella Duffy, and other women in the anthology Tart Noir) in their travel section. Lauren visited me in FL once and did a tandem skydive and loved it. One thing I have to tell everyone is that the skydiving movies are always far from the truth in many ways. For one thing, you can't hear anybody talking when you're falling 125 mph, but most words people say are obscenities, so you can usually read lips! Vicki

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Apr 2005 EDT