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Mar 29, 2016

A new GREEN EYES review








A new review of the Green Eyes is out, on GAY GUY READING, and it is FIVE STARS, yes, but that's not the appropriate way to label it. Here are two paragraphs:

"Wow! That was first reaction to reading this book, my second reaction was plain and simple holy shit! It is hard to find words to describe this book and make it justice because THIS BOOK IS HONESTLY LIKE NOTHING I'VE EVER READ BEFORE."

And:

"Green Eyes isn’t the light Sunday read it is the type of book you can read over and over again in time and discover new things each time. It is dark humor mixed with seriousness. IT HAS A COMPLEXITY TO IT THAT I DON'T THINK I EVER EXPERIENCED FROM AN AUTHOR OF TODAY!"

And here are a few more paragraphs:

"The language is very different, because you are right there inside John Lee’s mind every step of the way, and even though you are there quite a lot learning about John and his speculations about people, what is going on and why it is written in a way that it appears like an inner monologue and conversation. Which is quite impressive.

"In the beginning of the book you get the impression that the book is about a gay man slightly bit of a loner at the same time as he might be a tad depressed, odd ball who feels awkward around people and simply don’t get them. The longer and more you read and the more people John meet, and by the end there are quite a few people involved in this book, it more and more becomes a crime story with thriller feel. John is awkward, and I love him awkward.

"This book isn’t a book for the one who wants an easy read, this book took me quite some time to read and I had to read it in portions and read other things in between so I could ponder and think. This is a very different type of book, a book that has a lot of depth to it, touches about many different subjects---such as right and wrong in different aspect of life, what is love, depression, rape, abuse of power, sex, self-discovery and so on and so forth."


This is us, folks, us, the GREEN EYES! We are so happy!



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Mar 27, 2016

A brief note on self-publishing


"I'm not a tourist!"


The self-publishing trend is usually linked to the internet. Along various causal chains, the internet is supposed to facilitate self-publishing, while simultaneously complicating the life of traditional publishing venues.

Yes, sure.

But when you walk through the ultimate tourist trap of Mougin, that historic town north of Cannes, you discover that the self-trend is more pervasive. At least, it includes visual art as well, at least in Mougin it does, even though the internet cannot be the culprit.


Rue du Docteur Buissard, Mougin


A few years ago, Mougin, like every tourist trap---and in particular the ones in Southern France---was packed with galleries of tourist-trap art: garish colors, palette-knife work (faster), sunsets, harlequins, clowns, harlequins, sailing boats, aggressively abstract (faster), Picasso imitations, and so on. That hasn't changed, the galleries are still there, but, in the meantime, in the space of a few years, whole colonies of live artists have entered the mix, exhibiting their own work in one-man/woman shops, outnumbering the galleries 10 to 1. Ten times as many garish colors, sunsets, clowns, aggressively-abstract, Picasso-style, the vieux village of Mougin has turned into an artist colony, literally.

Food for thought. Think this through: the internet cannot have anything to do with this...


Mar 26, 2016

Come to think of it

Chang drags us to Mougin, north of Cannes, where Picasso lived (and developed a major depression), and at the entrance to the main downtown (more correctly: uphill) section of the vieux village they've installed this statue:


"I am the Trojan Horse of contemporary art,"---it says.

Fragment, fragment...we were returning from Nice, from the quartier Ariane, where we did a little research for Michael's latest short story, fragment...(and true-true, except that Michael doesn't take the guy to Grasse)...fragment:


The story starts at Le Trayas Station. I live in Le Trayas, on the French Riviera, a settlement of 200 houses perched on the foothills of the Estérel range between Cannes and St. Raphael on the Mediterranean. Each morning I go for a walk, always the same, climbing down the hill, unlocking a pedestrian gate with code C 638 A, turning right on the Rue Charles Hechter (family of the French designer, rumor has it), walking past a gazeebo-style belvedère above the tracks littered with abandoned prophylactics, one more turn, and the view unfolds onto the western Cote d’Or, the train station smack in the middle and a white villa further down, pied-dans-l’eau, once belonging to Greta Garbo, rumor has it (everything is rumor here and they are always false). If God---who doesn’t exist---we have proof now---if God would exist---and if he were to create a Train Station with a View, it would be this one.

Although it has its own web site, the station doesn’t do much. Six local trains stop by per day, each delivering one passenger. The main structure is abandoned, including the ticket booth. An auxiliary building is also abandoned, and the outdoor restroom is occupied by an Arab, Muhammed.

Muhammed and I have a difficult relationship. We were on greeting terms initially, but I snubbed his various attempts to relate---I’m not peddling excuses but I could never get over the fact that somebody is living in a restroom---so he stopped addressing me and now averts his eyes. The situation is so awkward, I’m no longer making it all the way down to the station but turn around before I reach the level crossing at the tracks, where I would be in full view of this restroom and its occupant. 



Le Trayas Station

This particular morning, a train had just arrived, and the one passenger coming up the road was a young man, perhaps eighteen years old. He was apparently lost. Batting his eye lashes he asked whether he could ask a question, and then asked how he could get to Grasse---that’s an old town to the north of Cannes, seat of the vice-prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes and self-appointed World Capital of Fragrances. He would have to take an exam there, at 10 o’clock. Where he could find a bus station, perhaps. 

I shook my head. You have fifty minutes left, I said with a look at my watch. Getting to the bus station would take fifteen minutes, the bus is once per hour, you’d have to change buses, and so on. There’s no train for the next five hours. “How did you end up here?” I asked. He replied with a sheepish grin. 

I had a better look at him. He was pretty---regular features, good profile, full lips, deep, brown eyes, thick, tousled hair, and a sleepy seductiveness that was apparently irresistible.  

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll take you to Grasse.”

“Would you do that for me?” he replied. 


It's downhill from here, since this guy, it turns our, has a terrorist brother...

Mar 25, 2016

Unthinkable without Donald Trump



Donald Trump vs. Tristan Verran

We may have an idea where Donald Trump started. But we have no idea yet where it ends, where he and his ramifications will pan out and ebb away. Here, folks, from a post of one of our regular contributors, he's confronted with this woman, this would be unthinkable without THE DONALD...we quote (Tristan Verran speaking):

I think the word 'pretentious' has come to mean, 'I don't understand this, so I am going to try and mock it'. Take last night for example, I was having dinner with a gay pal and his best girlfriend who is from England. She demonstrated all of the usual camp affectations of a typically dull 'ex-pat wife'. I observed her as she posed in her rather unimaginative 'LBD', styled on the ENDLESS derivatives of the work of Coco Chanel, and I couldn't make out why she was being so offensive to me. She belittled my work ("teaching is SoooOOOOOOOOoo pointless these days", "why would ANYONE bother writing, it's so pretentious", "who cares about literature, it's so pretentious!"), then stated that, "art is just a load of pretentious bullshit!" I asked her what she meant by the term 'pretentious' and she replied, "it means people pretending to be something they're not." I thought about this, because I don't like to be bitchy, and I pointed out that even though she wore designer clothes; she could not hide the fact she's just another clueless idiot who spent her formative years getting felt up by the boys from the local estate before bagging a wallet in the city...

Mar 9, 2016

GREEN EYES is Lambda Literary Award Finalist


It's like the Oscars, only less so. You get nominated in a specific category (ours was Gay Erotic Fiction), and there's a red-carpet award ceremony, held in New York City this year, on June 6, when the winners of each category are announced and fêted.



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Here's a bit more about this year's awards:

The 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards - or the "Lammys," as they are affectionately known - kick off another record-breaking year with today's announcement of the finalists. They were chosen from a record 933 submissions (up from 818 last year) from 321 publishers. Submissions came from major mainstream publishers and from independent presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies. Pioneer and Trustee Award honorees, the master of ceremonies, and presenters will be announced in April. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on Monday evening, June 6, 2016 in New York City.
"The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature," said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. "In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes."



The venue: Skirball Center, New York University


Now in their twenty-eighth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2015. The awards ceremony on June 6, 2016, will be held at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The red carpet and specially ticketed VIP Cocktail Reception will be held before the ceremony. The after-party, open to all with a general admission ticket, will follow at Le Poisson Rouge. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit www.lambdaliterary.org/awards.


The finalist