Groovie Mann and What’s in the Wings

Hey there,
It has been a while.
Not because I’ve been hiding, or running about entertaining myself to death.
I’ve been working and will have announcements on that work soon.
(Two hints:
  • when the text gets prepared for uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing, the entire text must be reworked even if it’s already been published?
  • A tagline I’ve been playing with: An ordinary man lost in a world of magic. A fabled book. Legends will be forged.)
I also met one of the musicians whose band appears in A Perfect Blindness: Groovie Mann from My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (America’s most dangerous cult). At a screening of Industrial Accident, the story of Wax Trax Records, which also plays a huge part in the novel. A must see.
Here’s a photo of me autographing the novel for Groovie Mann:
Signing APB for Groovie Mann
The Smile on Groovie Mann’s face says it all.
      You can get your own autographed copy of A Perfect Blindness too, you know.
Available on Amazon right here for $14.37 (plus shipping). Just pick W. L. Hunt as the seller (me you know). (Or if you have a copy, let me know, we’ll get you one too: ldarley4@gmail.com)
As always
Soon, I’m going to be going after more reviews, that includes by you, the readers. So, if you haven’t left a review on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble, please go—it’s the most important thing after a good cover, and readers check that before they ever make it to the description.
If you happen to be any of those places, click helpful on the reviews you find helpful. It’s a quick, easy, free way to help A Perfect Blindness rise in the search results at Amazon. (You might need to click “see all 5 reviews” to get to them all.)
Thanks for reading,
W. Lance Hunt
And let me know what you think. Much obliged.
As for other tales of the way things might have been or could yet be: several pokers in the fire. Will be asking for your thoughts and input soon.

Truth to Power Interview airs 4/5 @ 9 am

An interview with me, talking about A Perfect Blindness, how and why I wrote it, Chicago back in the day, and other assorted ideas related to writing, novels, and the nature of truth will air on Radio Free Brooklyn, Thursday, April 5th.

No automatic alt text available.

Vijay Ramanathan is with W Lance Hunt at Radio Free Brooklyn.

Author of A Perfect Blindness W Lance Hunt sat down with me and the result airs April 5 @ 9am on Radio Free Brooklynrfb.nyc/ttp

 

Now, my interview on WGNtv got bumped off because of Baseball. You see, Chicago has two teams with opening weeks: the Cub and White Socks, and well, an obscure chronicler of Chicago three decades ago isn’t quite the draw. BUT, and here is I told him I was planning on making a video of the same points, he asked me to let him know when it’s up and running. So, I might sneak past the baseball bump after all.

 

Thanks for reading, and hope to hear from you. Keep your eyes peeled for more.

 

—Lance

Squinting like Blondie

“Of course,” Scott says. “Your life as performance art.”

            The night only gets worse. Sean walks out as soon as he closed up his bass’s case and picked up its stand. Marsha demands we drop of her drum kit at her house and won’t stay. Breaking down with only two of us is a real bitch—especially lugging those W-bins with Scott.

Dropping off Marsha’s drum kit, Scott’s pissed in that crazy quiet way that makes me nervous, squinting like Blondie from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. He says nothing on the way back home.

            I know I fucked up and burned bridges. Yet what really cuts into me is that Amy didn’t deserve that.

            But what were you even doing there? You said you’d be working all night on whatever the hell project it was. I needed to talk to you. Alone.

            Now that’ll never happen.

Mercurial Visions Memorabilia

When Scott and Jonathan founded Mercurial Visions with AnnMarie and Nancy, they had little more than hope and energy. Below is a collection of CD artwork, articles and the like from the four years they were together 1988-92, starting with:

the official home of Mercurial Visions, right through this link. 

Discography

From 1988, their Self-Titled EP “Mercurial Visions” (self-recorded and published)

From 1989, their breakout CD, Joie de Vivre, on Wax Trax! Records

PRESS

Their first review, from the Chicago Reader 7/20/1988

See Them Before They Vanish

A Review of Joie de Vivre Chicago Tribune 1/18/1989

Joys of Love, Loss, and Clubs

More stuff in the offing.

Know someone who might like this? Post it or Forward this email to let them in on it.

Any thoughts or comments. I’d love to hear them

To join Adventures in the Interzoneexcursions to the way things might have been or might yet be click here. 

Some of the Venues, Pt. 1

As more than one reviewer has commented that the level of description and attention to detail in A Perfect  Blindness makes it stand apart.

 

[…] Hunt successfully conjures the story’s time and a place in masterful detail.

An expansive historical novel that ably evokes its time and place.

—Kirkus Reviews

[…] packed with references to the streets of Chicago, popular and underground music, and an insider’s knowledge of the technical side of the life of a musician.

—Forward Clarion Reviews

The links below offer a sampling of scenes—all pre-smartphone and full of smoke—in which

     “[…] Hunt’s tireless, Jagermeister-fueled nightcrawlers give us a complete tour of North Side rock clubs in the ’80s—and of their own failings.”

—Blue Ink

 

Relentlessly Helping People Who Would Enjoy *A Perfect Blindness* Find It

There is a lot of advice for new authors. Books. Blogs. Newsletters. All overflowing with advice. A riot of tips, strategies, and essential to-dos. One of the most common is to blog. To be relentlessly helpful. To offer tips, strategies, and best practice to-dos for the potential audience for your book. To give it away as honey to attract the reader-bees to buy your book (or service).

Examples abound.

It makes sense.

I did it.

One thing most advice givers give is that a writer must watch the numbers: the likes, follows, people signing up for your mailing list, and ultimately, people buying your book to know what works, and what doesn’t.

I did this too.

A handful of likes, here and there, scattered followers on this or that post. Nary a book sold.

I dutifully put onto one side of a balance scale all the hours per week spent creating and distributing the content and on the other side the number of book sales (the end reason for doing this), as well as followers and likes on the other.

The scale immediately fell over to one side: it’s been a waste of time.

What gives?

After probing the nagging suspicion that most of this advice is given with non-fiction in mind, using nonfiction authors as the primary examples, with fiction as an afterthought at best, I was forced to reexamine this whole idea.

  • How can a fiction writer be relentlessly helpful?
  • What can fiction writers blog about to create content to give away, to stir up excitement for a book?
  • To get people interested in their fictional world?
  • To get people interested the author as the teller of tales?

After far many months of fruitless labor, I finally googled it.

(Don’t laugh that it took this long. Failure is a far greater motivator than success and an infinitely better teacher.)

To sum up the general thinking: unless you’re a literary star, or are a true expert in the same field as your fiction is, blogging is wasting time better spent on getting the rest of your platform in order, perfecting your sales copy, and working on outreach, especially with influencers and reviewers.

Huh, damn.

Sifting through further advice for fiction writers, I sought examples specifically for creators of things that don’t exist.

Only then did I come to realize that being helpful for a fiction writer is very different than for a non-fiction writer.

Some advice tries to twist the meaning of expertise into dealing with philosophical problems or life issues, but these contortions miss the real point.

Fiction writers don’t (typically) write to help people solve specific problems. The whole idea of being helpful needs to be flipped. [Social activist fiction is unique in this regard, and blogging about the issues in the book could help sell it, but still…]

What a fiction writer needs to do is be relentless in helping people who would in enjoy the book find it, and in helping those people who are reading it enjoy it more.

So my blog will cease being a blog in a traditional sense.

It will become a sandbox, a place for experimenting with ways to help people find the worlds I’ve build and once in that world, helping people get the most out of being there. Perhaps even enjoying it long after it’s finished.

And so that is what “One Candle in the Darkness” will shift to—a place to invite readers. Both those initiated into A Perfect Blindness’s world of the late 80s Chicago music scene, where we are all just misunderstood characters in the stories other people tell themselves, and those who haven’t yet discovered how much they would like it.

Welcome to The Interzone a space where I host jaunts to the way things could have been and offering glimpses at the way things still might be, places where people strive after dreams, fight back at disaster, struggle with demons in both themselves and others. Enjoy.

 

Know someone who might like this? Post it or Forward this email to let them in on it.

Any thoughts or comments. I’d love to hear them

To join Adventures in the Interzone: excursions to the way things might have been or might yet be click here. 

 

Wine Romp with An Ancient School Georgian Wine

Say “wine,” many people think France and that’s understandable—France has been the sort of disputed king of wine since, oh, the Roman era when the area in what is now Burgundy paid their taxes to Rome in white wine. But it’s not the birthplace of wine. Or at least not where the oldest recorded evidence of winemaking has been found. That would crown would go to two countries in the Caucuses: Georgia and Armenia.

The Georgian Qvevri way of making wine goes back to the 2nd or 3rd millennium BCE, long before Rome was even an Etruscan village and Burgundy was, well, just another spot of land in what would eventually become the Duchy of Burgundy in the Frankish Kingdom. Other discoveries suggest that wine has been made in Georgia going back to the 6th millennium BCE, when Europe was, well, less civilized than the Caucuses.

The Armenians are no slouches either. In a recently discovered cave, one holding the oldest leather shoe ever discovered anywhere on the planet also completes a picture of Armenian winemaking going back 6,100 years, to the first known winery on Earth. So your choice: 8 thousand years of known winemaking, but with spotty history versus 61 hundred years of a more complete picture, including the world’s first winery.

Having recently traveled to both countries, I’ll feature wines from both counties as they are being made today in some upcoming posts. Including some made in the ancient Georgian Qvevris, like the one sampled below, here in Brooklyn.

Label from bottle of Overstone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Overstone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Good Example of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Quite pale Goldenrod—long, firm legs. Citrusy on the nose with a touch of pith, and breadfruit—attractive and it rises from the glass. A zippy attack, with a full, mouth playing mid palate. Salivary glands tighten, them moves int a long, mellow tropical fruit (breadfruit) finish: 4 of 5🍷#WhiteWine #Marlborough #SauvingnonBlanc #newzealand 🇳🇿

Label from a bottle of Casal Garcia Rosé Vinho Verde 2015
Casal Garcia Rosé Vinho Verde 2015

An uncommon Rosé from Vinho Verde, and a good one. Pale rose hip with clean meniscus, a dash of bubbles, a few quick falling legs and some sheeting. Raspberry w/a bit of wildflower on the edges. It has an acidic attack; the medium body’s what remains a bit react midpalate when a rich rip berries kick in—like strawberry preserves balanced by the acidity and lighter body it last quite a long time, finish w/a hint of watermelon the the the very end. 3.5 of 5 🍷#Rosé #VinhoVerde #Portugal 🇵🇹

Lable from Bottle of Messias Vihno Verde N.V.
Lable from Bottle of Messias Vihno Verde N.V.

Pale parchment, a few legs—mostly sheeting—and no petulance. The nose shows stones and a hint of petrol—no fruit to speak of. Earthy with firm acidity in the attack, but no real fruit comes through even mid-palate. Moderately long finish with an odd tail—a redux of petrol. Overall a rather peculiar example of #VinohVerde 2 of 5 🍷 #whitewine #portugal 🇵🇹

Label from a bottle of Aphros Yakkos Grand Reserva Vinoh Verde 2006
Lable from a bottle of Aphros Yakkos Grand Reserva Vinoh Verde 2006

This low rating is likely owing to being 11 years old (at time of tasting), and far past its prime, and possibly corked. That said, it’s deep violet with a touch of brick on the meniscus, a few, slow, long legs after the creamy, purple head recedes. Viscous. Nose is absent until the end—a touch of dark berry jam with a whiff of caramel. The attack is mostly texture—big, acidic, effervescent and not much until the bright finish, which is topped with a hint of Concord grapes and a touch of mustiness suggesting it’s corked: 1.5 of 5 🍷#Sparkling #VinohVerde #portugal 🇵🇹

Label from bottle of Lapostalle Cuvée Axleander Las Kuras Vinyeard, Cachapoal Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Lapostalle Cuvée Axleander Las Kuras Vinyeard, Cachapoal Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013

A very good Sauvignon Blanc with a Chardonnay complex. Show off as goldenrod to sunset yellows, with a few long, slow legs. Fairly viscous for an Sauvignon Blanc. The nose is bright and custard, with a vague fruitless rather than the trilling brightness, nor the usual grapefruit of France or New Zealand. Comes on a medium body, rather tame for an Sauvignon Blanc. Hints of stone fruit and custard, with some round acidity late, almost as if it were a Chardonnay. Good, but out of character. 3.5 of 5 🍷whitewine #Chile #SauvignonBlanc 🇨🇱

Label from bottle of Gurjaani Rkatsiteli Qvevri Wine 2018
Gurjaani Rkatsiteli Qvevri Wine 2018

A wine for the more adventurous: it’s all about the clay and earth from the Qvevri it was raised in. A Qvevri is an ancient, traditional winemaking system, ancient as in dating back to the 2nd or 3rd millennium BCE. A Qvevri itself is a large, amphora-like clay vessel that is buried in the ground, frequently the cellar floors of the maker. After the must is sluiced into them, they are capped with ceramic tops and the wild yeast from the area are allowed to work their magic. Once done, the wine is scooped up and bottled. The lees are then removed and can be used as fertilizer.
The above bottle was purchased at the winery, so it could be different from the export versions.
Clear amber to dusk-orange (which is typical for the Gurjaani region says the winemaker) Slender legs, with distinct earthy notes and hints of dried apricots. It has a reserved attack, but it grows into an earthy, medium body wine, with a touch of bitterness (pleasant) and fine tannins late. Absolutely dry: 3 of 5 🍷 (This is the 2018 bottling.) #whitewine #Rkatsiteli #Georgia🇬🇪 

Label from bottle of Zeste! Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Zeste! Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Fresh is the keyword for this Sauvignon Blanc. Very pale parchment—nearly clear—medium viscosity, several evenly spaced, slow falling legs. Citrus on the nose with a touch of candied peel. Zippy attack! Hints of grapefruit plus decided pith Citrusy—grapefruit—acidic, long, drying finish.Medium-full body. 3.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #sauvignonblanc #CentralCoast 🇺🇸

Label from bottle of Voilá California Pinot Noir 2016
Voilá California Pinot Noir 2016

Garnet, leaning toward the lighter side, many fat legs around the glass, clears meniscus, moderately viscous. No a forthcoming nose—you can pick up some earthy, roast red meat, some plump fruits linger in the background. Has a mild attack, which opens up into acids, tannins, some red cherry (brambly fruit—zippy mid-palate, with lots of fine tannins move into the moderately long finish. Some notes of some roast or char late, sour cherries notes. Grows on me: 3.5 of 5 🍷.#Pintonoir #redwine #california 🇺🇸

Label from bottle of Skrimshaw Central Coast Pinot Blanc 2013
Skrimshaw Central Coast Pinot Blanc 2013

A different sort of Pinot Blanc that’s not for everyone. Pale parchment with a clear meniscus and a few slow legs late—mostly sheeting. Fresh nose, with litchi fruit and a custardy finish: round and appealing. Zippy attack—some vague fruit notes mid-palate when it coats the mouth, some burnt sugar w/tropical fruit lingering into the long, very dry finish. Clings to the mouth and ends up rather rich feeling with acidity and a hint of bitter: 4 of 5 🍷. #whitewine #centralcoast #pinotblanc 🇺🇸

Label from bottle of La Marquise Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016
La Marquise Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016

An earthy wine not everyone will like: Light goldenrod, sheets in the glass, fairly viscous, Mineral nose with som spear notes. Light attack—with notes of stone and minerals, unctuous with a firm underlining of acid, mellowing into a minerally bitterness. Speaks to the gallets of the Rhone. Unctuous to the end: almost oily. 4.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #CôtesduRhône🇫🇷

Label from bottle of La Foret Pays d'Oc Pinot Noir 2017
La Foret Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir 2017

Better than expected Pay D’Oc Pinot Noir: Lighter plumb with a touch of browning on the meniscus—a few long, branching legs, and somewhat viscous. Slightly hot nose, with a bit of forest floor w/brambly berries. A hint of barnyard. It has an acidic attack that opens up into earthy notes and dark berry fruit, moving into fine tannins and an umami yum, lasting into the long, saliva extracting finish. Medium body. As much as it has going on, it feels a tad thin—more interesting when thought about than sipped: 3 of 5 🍷 #redwine #pinotnoir #paydoc🇫🇷

Label from bottle of Tengo Yecla Monastrell 2016
Tengo Yecla Monastrell 2016

The initial impressions of sweetness giveaway to a well-balanced wine that grows on you. Medium garnet w/clear meniscus, many long, think legs, somewhat viscous. Plum and dark fruit nose with earthy spice and hints of mincemeat. Medium body with a light attack, underpinned w/firm acidity and over top is a sweet-tart like berry fruit. Its fine tannins contribute to an overall sweet-tart impression, lingering into a long, acidic finish, w/bight fruit notes. Starts off leaning sweet, but ends with very good balance: 4 of 5 🍷#RedWine #Monastrell #Spanishwine🇪🇸 

Label from bottle of Mönchhof Mosel Riesling 2016
Mönchhof Mosel Riesling 2016

Clean, sweet-tart style white. Very pale parchment, with lots of long slow legs. Fairly viscous. Nutmeg on the nose, with the merest hint of petrol and earth (see nutmeg). Bright attack—then full on impressions of sweetness, and saliva squirting acidity going into a long finish—fruit is citrus hard candy with full-on tartness: 3.5 of 5🍷#whitewine #riesling #mosel🇩🇪 

Label from bottle of Amour Fou Vin de Pays d'Oc Pinot Noir 2017
Label from bottle of Amour Fou Vin de Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir 2017

Amour Fou Vin de Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir 2017
A fair, medium-bodied Pinot Noir from Pays d’Oc. Medium-clear Bing Cherry color, with many, slow long legs, and fairly viscous, speaking to the 13% ABV. Has a dark berry scent that rises from the glass. A touch hot, with hints of warm spice late. A mild attack, with medium-body, which still coats the mouth—firm acids—fine tannins, but a bit of bitterness punches through the light fruitiness, giving it an austere finish—long, but wanting food for balance: 2.5 of 5🍷#RedWine #pinotnoir #PaysdOc 🇫🇷 

Label from bottle of Tengo Rías Baixas Albarino 2015
Tengo Rías Baixas Albarino 2015

A lean but still appealing white. Shows of as pale parchment with golden highlights, a few legs with moderate viscosity in the glass. The scent has vanilla custard with a touch of slate. Medium bodied wine with a lean attack. Firm acidity under a creamy mid-palate. Some of the custardy notes linger into the fair finish, which ends on a dry note: 3.5 of 5 🍷#whiteWine #RíasBaixas #Albariño 🇪🇸

Label from bottle of Spectroscope Rogue Valley Pinot Gris 2017
Spectroscope Rogue Valley Pinot Gris 2017

A pleasing white without being special. Shows off as a very pale wheat color, nearly clear, with many long legs around the glass. Moderate viscosity. The nose is clean, with light fruitiness with a touch of earthy spice at the edges. Lean at the start, but it turns lush and coats the mouth midway through the moderately long finish. Medium body, with honey-apple notes and solid acidity: 3 of 5 🍷🇺🇸#WhiteWine #PinotGris #RogueValley

NYC and Environs—Recent Finds in Brooklyn, Chinatown and Little Italy (Winter, 2019)

A tantalizing promise: beer is free. Tomorrow.
A false Window sign with a Cardinal Thought for Today: Free Beer Tomorrow

Free Beer Tomorrow, the eternal torture of Tantalus—or the promise you never have to keep.  #streetart #sign #Brooklyn

Sticker found on the Streets of Brooklyn: ! Warning above the stencil image of Trump's face
Trump faced Warning from the Streets of Brooklyn

Wisdom from the Streets of Brooklyn: A weathered Warning featureing a Trump-face from the Streets of Brooklyn  #streetart #stickers #brooklyn #williamsburg

A sticker from neighborland.com: "I Want Godzilla in my neighborhood." WIth a child's block letters.
A Child’s Wish: Godzilla as a Neighbor

A sticker from neighborland.com: “I Want Godzilla in my neighborhood.” What child wouldn’t? #sticker #brooklyn #streetart

Sidewalk chalk drawings: Wolf's head and full moon, blinking eye, and the artist's statement
Art by Angelina

Sidewalk chalk drawings: Wolf’s head and full moon, blinking eye, and the artist’s statement—By: Angelina #streetart #grafitti #brooklyn

Sticker on Restaurant door "CLOSED by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene"
Sticker on Restaurant door “CLOSED by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene”

“Permits? We don’t need no stinking permit!” Sticker on Mexican Restaurant’s door “CLOSED by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene” Been closed since October of 2018. Five Months now.

Shot of "You Go Borehod" Grifitto as flock of pigeons fly by
Shot of “You Go Borehod” Grifitto as flock of pigeons fly by #grafitto #NYC #streetart
Entrance to LIttle Italy on Mulberry Street, with ANIMALS graffito
Animals in Little Italy

The Mulberry Street Entrance to NYC’s Little Italy, with “ANIMALS” graffito overhead and sliver of Yellow cab. #grafitto #NYC #streetart #littleitaly

Street scene of Chinatown Pegasus flying over Pell Street
Pegasus on Pell Street

Pell Street Pegasus flying overhead in the rain, Chinatown Manhattan #sculpture #NYC #streetart #chinatown

Wall mural on Doyers Street: Chinatown Warriors Dancing with Swords
Chinatown Warriors Dancing with Swords

A bit of drama on the corner of a small street in the warren of Manhattan’s Chinatown: Wall mural on Doyers Street: Chinatown Warriors Dancing with Swords #Mural #NYC #streetart #Chinatown

First of a Pair of Pink People Peeking around imaginary corners
A stencil of a face, peeking around a coner, from the left
Second of a Pair of Pink People Peeking around imaginary corners
A stencil of a face, peeking around a corner, from the right.

A Pair of Pink People Peeking around imaginary corners in NYC’s Chinatown. #stencil #NYC #streetart #chinatown

Four story tall mural of Lady Liberty in stripes, revealing deeper symbols
Lady Liberty in Stripes
Mural of a burst of green seed shapes and red highlights at the base of a larger mural in a rare abandoned lot in Manhattan
Burst of green seeds

A pair of shots of a four story mural in two parts: Lady Liberty in stripes, revealing deeper symbols and Ms. Liberty’s foundation: a mural of a burst of green seed shapes and red highlights in a rare abandoned lot in Manhattan

Face and hands in an expression of apprehension, with roses and oversized alien eyes: mixed media, sticker, pain and coloring
Looking Left in Apprehension: the Eyes of a Connection Box

Physical Clipart on a Connection Box —Face and hands in an expression of apprehension, with oversized alien eyes looking left and roses. Mixed media: stickers, paint, and coloring

A lamp post with several layers of artwork, a painting of a woman revealing earlier work, A big eyed hoodie boy and a line drawing of a hatted man ordering you away, all over remnants of still earlier work.
Layers of art—part of a pair of ladies on a lamppost base: turquoise
A lamp post with layers of artwork, a painting of a woman over an orange background, revealing earlier work: a decayed beauty, like much of NYC
Layers of art—part of a pair of ladies on a lamppost base: orange

These two multi-layered portraits are on opposite sides of the bottom of a single lamppost. (One can match the purple and greens on the lamp post itself as well as the black car: the fender on the turquoise lady, and the front corner on the orange lady’s left. I wonder who the lady was to the artist even if only an idealization.

Another Wine Romp

Fortnightly Wine Romp Number Two

So, what’s this scale appearing here, some number of glasses 🍷out of 5. What does mean in real life? Don’t other scales use 100 points? This isn’t Robert Parker, or Wine Spectator. This Wine Romp is about real people drinking wine in actual life, specifically a husband and wife in Brooklyn, sorting out what wines to definitely get again, what wines might be okay again, and what wines to avoid. A rough and ready to the good, the bad and the indifferent, with “Wow” and “Hideous” as end pieces. So, we’ll start with the middle, number 3 🍷 and work up and then down from there. A 3 🍷 denotes a wine that simply matches what’s on the label: the varietal, the AOC, DOC—the style of wine. It does the job; might be called “Good” with out being very good nor does it have anything particularly wrong with it. Not something to go out of the way for, but neither something to turn nose up at.

So then, what’s a 3.5 🍷: it’s a better example of that style, has something a little something special or attractive. A wine to spend a another minute or two trying to find it in a shop should it pop up in mind. Might even go on a mental list of wines to keep an eye out for. Especially good for bring to a party if it will get some attention. “Solid” is a work one might use for it.

A 4🍷? Means it’s good bottle of wine. A 4🍷bottle has something special going on, something extra. Those are wines to know whence they were found, and might warrant a short detour to snag a bottle. This shows off more of what a style can really be and can be shown off—to an appreciative crowd. I.e. not people who prefer sangria. Might elicit spontaneous compliments sort of sip.

A 4.5 🍷 denotes a really special bottle. One to remember and hunt for, even if it means a longer drive/subway trip and could well mean paying a bit more to get. This excels at showing off what the style could be. A wine to show off to the right crowd. Not usually an everyday wine: likely price prohibitive—more of a special wine.

The 5🍷 means WOW. A wine that exemplifies everything to like in that style. It’s really that damned good. Probably more expensive. Probably only going to have once in a while. For special occasions, even if that is only a particularly good meal with close friends or lovers.

The other direction are disappointments in varying degrees of seriousness. The 2.5 🍷is something off for the style. Just doesn’t cut it. Nothing specifically wrong, or obvious flaws, just not right. A weak example of a style. “Feh” is the right word. A bottle to pass on in the store unless there is nothing better: that is if it’s even remembered at all.

A 2 🍷though, there’s something obviously wrong, and probably something specific: out of balance, lacking acidity or tannins, or fruit—the label does not reveal what’s really in the bottle, unless it’s one of these new clever marketing labels, which tend to indicate something styled after a cola vs a wine. A wine to remember and avoid. Or bring to a party you don’t care about: the obligation bottle to the indifferent party. Not actually gross, but not good.

The 1.5 🍷is a seriously flawed wine: the completely out of balance “boozy Kool Aide” style now so popular, many blushes and white Zins. Or it’s cooked. Oxidized. Well past it’s prime and probably beyond being acceptable for cooking. One to avoid. And remember to avoid. ††disclaimer: I dislike sweet wines EXCEPT for dessert wines, which I love—Pedro Ximenez Sherries, Tawny Ports, Cadillacs, Banyuls, a Vin Santo, bring ‘hem on. The semi-sweet or sweet wines so popular in the Soviet Union, or blush, or Kool Aide style wines—Blech. Depending on what’s wrong, might work for cooking. Or not.

A 1 🍷means Hideous: undrinkable. Plonk, junk, going down the drain—could be corked, burned, aged to the point it’s next step is vinegar. Less likely to be a style problem than a storage or age problem. Could be corked. Maybe it’s only this bottle; maybe a whole lot; maybe just whatever this store has. If it’s this bad, some stores will replace it or refund it.

So with those scores in mind, it’s off to this fortnightly’s wines. All of them drank in the normal course of living and eating in Brooklyn by me and my wife.

Label from Starborough Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Starborough Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Sharp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, as expected. Very pale parchment—nearly clear, Long distinct, slow legs, and fairly viscous. Bright citrusy nose, with some plump fruit on the backend. Classic Marlborough grapefruit notes—from the attack to the end, mostly white, with a touch of pith. Saliva inducing acidity mid-palate through the long dry finish. Zippy—wants food. 4 of 5 🍷#Whitewine#SauvignonBlanc#Marlborough#NewZealand

label on bottle of Kris Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2017
Kris Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2017

Kris Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2017 Very light, practically clear with a touch of parchment—mostly sheeting with some occasional legs, low viscosity. Light, bright nose with a bit of citrus and pinch of custard late. The attack follows bright some firm acidity, light body—fresh with floral and almond notes and a citrus-lime finish—a touch of honey late in the finish. Solid wine without being wow. Likes its food well. 3.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #pinotgrigio #dellevenezie #italianwine 🇮🇹

Label on bottle of Mussel Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Label on bottle of Mussel Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Mussel Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017: A slick, lean Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Very pale parchment—nearly Lear with a hit of parchment tan. Numerous legs around the glass. Low viscosity. Green apple and grapefruit pith on the notes. Very bright. The attack follows with grapefruit and zippy acidity, tip to tail. The fruitiness helps balance the acidity and light bitterness. The Acidity lingers into the a long finish. Refreshing quaff. 4 of 5 🍷#whitewine#sauvingnonblanc#marlborough#newzealand 🇳🇿

Bottle of Korbel California Sparkling Wine
Korbel California Sparkling Wine

Korbel California Sparkling Wine: A pleasant, lively sparkler from California. Pale, but distinct parchment in color, with a firm head and steady bead—many long, slow legs around the glass. Bright bubbles, with white fruit tart (noticeable crust notes). Round, yet prickly bubbles/effervescence with baked crust, subtle pear, green apple moving into a long, bright finish with a drizzle of honey, and a prickly sensation that lasts several minutes. 3 of 5 🥂#whitewine#sparkling#california

Flattened table from The Pinot Project's Rosé a Pinot Noir from Veneto Italy
The Pinot Project Rosé

The Pinot Project Rosé Unexpectedly pleasant wine from Italy. Very pale salmon—mostly sheeting, with a few legs, and moderate viscosity. Delicate red raspberry note, with perhaps a touch of rose scent. A mild attack, medium-full body—mouth coating—with red berries (including strawberries) over firm acidity, lasting into the long, dry finish. Reminiscent of a sweet-tart. Loves food. 3.5 of 5🍷#RoseWine #pinotnoir #Veneto #Italy🇮🇹

Label from a bottle of Loosen Brother's Mosel Riesling 2016
Label from a bottle of Loosen Brother’s Mosel Riesling 2016

Loosen Brother’s Mosel Riesling 2016: A lean Mosel Riesling. Very pale parchment, a fair number of low, long legs and moderately viscous. Nose has a bit of machine oil and minerals. A dry wine that nonetheless gives an impression of sweetness over a firm backbone of acidity with a bit of unctuousness—after a gush of fruitiness, the tartness takes over, and both balance late into the long finish. 3.5 of 5 🍷#whitewine #mosel Riesling 🇩🇪

Label from bottle of La Forêt Pay D'Oc 2016 Pinot Noir
Label from bottle of La Forêt Pay D’Oc 2016 Pinot Noir

La Forêt Pay D’Oc Pinot Noir 2016: Better than expected Pay D’Oc Pinot Noir: Lighter plumb with a touch of browning on the meniscus—a few long, branching legs, and somewhat viscous. Slightly hot nose, with a bit of forest floor w/brambly berries. A hint of barnyard. It has an acidic attack that opens up into earthy notes and dark berry fruit, moving into fine tannins and an umami yum, lasting into the long, saliva extracting finish. Medium body. As much as it has going on, it feels a tad thin—more interesting when thought about than sipped. 3 of 5🍷#RedWine#PinotNoir#PayD‘oc🇫🇷

Street Art from Rome, Williamsburg BK

This fortnightly, we have a sampling of street art from Rome, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the old city of Rome, Centro Storico, stickers, signs and posters are most of the street art. By that I mean, not Roman buildings and sculptures, nor the outdoor displays of Renaissance glory. I’m talking contemporary art, mostly by just people showing off or having a good time, with a dose of commerce and humor tossed in. Billy-burg, Brooklyn is a hipster ghetto and so lousy with folks showing off with all sorts of things, many with serious social and political commentary built right in. Today’s image is a toe-dip in that ocean, a tease.

Neon sign above shop door: Suck my disney
Suck my disney

Tucked away is a sign commanding you to do something a tad off color, if possible. Fun #sign, in #Rome#streetart

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Fortnightly Round-Up of Street Art

Presenting art found on the walls, streets, curbs, lampposts and other public spaces around the world

A number of years back, I was in London and saw a Thai restaurant sign that I had to snag: “Phat Phuc.” Then I kept seeing other signs that struck me as something I needed to collect. On that same trip, the idea that other people could enjoy these signs as well as the cool and provocative public art I kept stumbling across gelled. Especially the stuff that’s not commissioned by some government or even business, the art by people showing off. At home, I found photos moldering in my iPhoto (back then) app and have since found that every place has its own sort of street art aesthetic. New York and Tel Aviv have loads of graffiti, but it’s almost completely absent in other cities, where it tends to be replaced by stickers. The message still gets out, only in smaller format and more easily removed media.

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Fortnightly Wine Romp

First Fortnightly Wine Romp

What will be a regular feature is a fortnightly collection of wine tasting notes, including bottle porn, and other thoughts about wine and how it fits into twenty-first-century life. This first post is a mere taste, a collection of wines my wife and I have sampled recently and my thoughts are offered here for your approval, opprobrium or amusement. With luck, you can avoid a disappointing bottle or find a gem.

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Quick thoughts about *On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft* by Stephen King

Devoured this book.
Part one—CV—would be a good read for anyone, fans and the curious included. Shows of a strong sense of humor, and a real groundedness.

Part two “What Writing Is” leans towards the writer, but there is good stuff for Fans too. I don’t agree with at least one of his foundational points, but that matters less than one would imagine. Another idea I strongly resisted for a while, until what he meant became clearer, then I cottoned up to it. It’s an interesting view of writing, and there is much that one can take away from this. Plenty to leave, but that’s true of any book.

 

Another book read

Write and Grow Rich: Secrets of Successful Authors and PublishersWrite and Grow Rich: Secrets of Successful Authors and Publishers by Alinka Rutkowska
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Solid advice from a variety of authors, including fiction, which is not exceptionally common. Slightly sales pitchy at times, but that is part of the performance of the book: this book and what people do in it (selling services) is how you make money as a writer. Some of the non-fiction advice isn’t especially useful, but definitely worth the time.

View all my reviews

 

Rather a provocative title, but with some solid advice from a variety of people.

 

Been Busy Doing Things That Aren’t Especially Exciting to Talk About

Popping up here, again, to show that I haven’t died. And to excuse myself by revealing the several irons I have in the fire. And playing with fire is what’s been keeping me quiet, hypnotize by the jumping flames. (Anyone who remembers me from Boy Scouts would know I’m a bit of a pyro.)

Okay so, I have been getting some things done, simply nothing that warrants an announcement—yet.

Such as?

Such as recoding A Perfect Blindness as an HTML file, by hand, while learning how to use CSS in various formats from Guido Henkles’ excellent book The Zen of eBook Formatting and simultaneously teaching myself all the new software required to do that.

But why would you want to recode all 129,000 words of a perfectly acceptable eBook already in multiple marketplaces? I hear rattling around inside various heads.

Actually, several reasons, including a certain masochistic streak painted down the middle of my life.

Mostly though, it boils down to flexibility, control, and not wanting to shell out yet more money for every small change in the text (mostly in the end matter after the story is over) and experiment in promotions, all of which is critical for success in digital marketplaces. That and creating a more eBook friendly version of the book which includes links and invitations in the very back of the book. Ebooks are based on HTML after all, and what better place to ask people to visit my site and join the mailing list then right after they finish a book they enjoyed. (People put down books they don’t enjoy.)

With this new version, I’ll also be able to take much greater advantage of Amazon’s huge marketplace by publishing the eBook myself through KDP: Kindle Direct Publishing. (iUniverse will continue publishing the soft cover version as needed.) Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. won’t be forgotten. But Amazon is the biggest market, so there first.

Ultimately, I’m looking to relaunch it while laying the groundwork for a Fantasy series I’m also currently writing and bolstering me as a Writer. See, that was a capital-W.

(More on the specifics on these reasons later when I have the time for a broader survey of my delusion/brilliance.)

Just a couple of days ago, I wrapped up making sure all the single quotes and apostrophes go the right direction. As I said, hardly anything one announces. Currently, I’m tweaking the Table of Contents and inserting my author’s photo as well as figuring out what premium someone will get for forking over an email address through a new link in the back.

By the by, if anyone has a suggestion or three, I’m all ears.

Oh, and I’ve also written 54,000 + words of a fantasy novel, which will be the first in that series, with a working title of “The Book of Visions”.

An ordinary man lost in a world of magic. He holds the key to stopping a fabled book from engulfing two worlds in war: If he survives long enough to use it.

(I’m closing in on the end of act I now, with about 100K as the final word count.)

So, stay tuned for more, and seriously, if you have something you’d like to get from an author, specifically me, in exchange for giving up your email address, let me know.

Talk to you again in November. I’m hoping with a big announcement and perhaps more explanation about why I’m recoding a book from scratch. I’ve a few facts to look up, and I do hope they line up with my beliefs. Else, you’ll see someone change his mind in almost real time.

 

Words of Wisdom
(some found, some used, perhaps even a discarded illusion or other.)

 

“If you ever wonder why you are where you are in your life, go to a mirror. The answer is staring back at you.”

News Extras

Good News for Fans of Wax Trax! Records and their music, which does play a large role in A Perfect Blindness, being the label signing Mercurial Visions, the band the fortunes of which the books follows. It’s just been announced that the movie and soundtrack will both be available in April of next year. Read all about it:

Wax Trax! documentary ‘Industrial Accident’ due out on DVD in April — plus a soundtrack