May 24, 2016

"Let's find a hotel," I should have said...

We're still in Switzerland, up on the alm, at 1,600 meters, where the air is thin---as are the pretexts needed for posting yet another post. 

 Pretext no. 1...

 ...which is bound to inspire Pretext no. 2...a fragment from our recently finished short story Le Trayas Station. The narrator, a certain Michael, has unexpectedly happened upon a pretty youth, who's stepped off at the wrong train station and is now in need of a ride to the venue of an exam he's obliged to take. So Michael takes the pretty youth, Muhammed, to the venue, knowing already that they will arrive hopelessly late:

We arrived at the school short of 11 o’clock. I stopped at the main gate in the NO-NO-traffic-zone. He shouldered his satchel and dropped off and reappeared 10 minutes later, a wistful smile on his lips.

“Your career is in shambles now,” I said---which---I shouldn’t have said. I should have said: ‘Let’s find a hotel,’ or ‘let’s find a hotel now, you must be tired’---it would have worked, there and then. Anyhow, he climbed back onto the SUV and explained that he had to wait another year, although it wasn’t the end of the world. We entered a conversation about his future and his family until I had to ask where he lived. He studied marketing, what else. The father worked in Paris, hopefully, and his brother ran the show.

He lived in Nice, in the Ariane quarter, on the rue Darius Milhaud. “The composer?” I asked. He wouldn’t know. “Ariane?” I asked. It’s the neighborhood next to the power station, he explained, exit Nice-est on the A8: you can see it from the motorway when you are coming from the other side, from Monaco—yes, I remembered now.

I had never been inside an immigrant housing project---eight-story structures this one, mostly, although they looked better from the inside than coming-from-Monaco. And the narrow kitchen balconies where the aboriginals keep goats and hang their laundry, they weren’t so narrow and there were no goats. Wouldn’t be easy to find a parking space, Muhammed said. I parsed this briefly, inhaled, and replied: “I, just, drop you off.”

You're still there? Then you may like Michael's Lambda-Literary nominated book:

Night Owl Reviews

May 19, 2016

We've arrived in Switzerland

As every year, we rent our house to holidaymakers during the season and stay in the chalet of a friend in Bürchen, Valais, Switzerland, up on the alp at 1,600 meters. This is an evening view from our place, taken by Chang two days ago.

Anything GREEN EYES have to say about Bürchen, or Switzerland, or sunsets? Strangely enough, the answer is "no." But we have a short story set in the chalet, titled Rilke's Ghost, and as yet unpublished. So here's a fragment (Context: we already had a close encounter with the ghost of Rainer Maria Rilke once, in Duino, on the Adriatic coast, where the famous poet wrote his Duineser Elegien. And coincidence has it that his mortal remains are interred nearby; enjoy:) 

Years later. We’re now summering in Bürchen, Valais, Switzerland, in the chalet of a friend, our own house is rented to holiday makers. The village of Bürchen is wonderful, 1,600 meters up on the Alp, and so much cooler than the muggy summer-Riviera (the road up to Bürchen was finished in 1934---the preceding thousand years the villagers were left to their own devices). There is only one problem: Rainer Maria is buried nearby, yes, Rilke, in Raron, a small, historic town right beneath Bürchen down in the valley, three klicks as the crow flies. We’ve given Raron a wide berth so far, but Chang is playing the social networks and has to feed the hungry Facebook beast. His Korean followers can’t get enough of snow-topped mountains and Geranium-studded chalets, and the 24 hour cycle dictates daily posting. We’ve ravaged the entire region already---natives of many cultures believe that you steal their image when you take their picture---along those lines we’ve grabbed photons until nothing seems to be left of the Valais—from the Matterhorn via the James-Bond-historic-marker up on the Furka pass to the longest glaciers and highest vineyards of Europe---save Raron. 

May 15, 2016

Find a caption

(Hat tip: Andreas Hardinger)

Do we have anything to say about this? Yes, the picture shows, irrefutably, that our GREEN EYES are about everything, including the Sydney Opera House, and here's the proof...(from the final chapter, the happy ending is approaching, John and Alex in conversation, Alex laboring under a serious amnesia)...

We’re both watching the water tower. We could be brothers.
“The water tower,” I say to Alex. 
“Yes, I know,” he replies.
“You remember?”
“Us, talking about the water tower?”
“How do you know, then?”
“I know about the water tower, and Georgia Beach in general, just get confused about directions. Directions appear to be borderline. Amnesia-wise. Forgot everything about my personal life, remember a lot about everything else.”
“You like the water tower?”
“You like it?”
“I’m like the only person in the world who doesn’t like the Sydney opera house.”
“The Sydney opera house, right. Don’t remember whether I liked it or not. Let me think. Let me get it on my mind’s eye. Looks like a clam, right, several clams, clams playing domino, right?”
“Sort of.”
“You have a picture somewhere?”

He looks around. His eyes fall on the iPad on the kitchen table, the i-thing he gave to me the night before his suicide. “Let’s have a look,” he says, grabs it, hits the touch screen a few times. The internet isn’t willing though, Safari returns an error message.
“You’ve got no Wi-Fi?” he asks. 
“Yes,” I say, “but never had a chance to use your pad, it doesn’t know the WEP code for the Wi-Fi connection.”
“This is my pad?”
“Yes, you gave it to me, the day before your, uuhh, accident.”
“Right,” he says and hands it to me.

May 14, 2016

I dreamt of the GREEN EYES and woke up happy

Here's a new glowing review of our GREEN EYES which appeared today on the pages of Queer Voices---enjoy:

By Andreas Fragoso Jr.

I’ve have never actually told someone to leave me alone until I started reading Green Eyes: an erotic novel (sort of) by Michael Ampersant. I held it in my hands and read the first chapter when someone came up to me to ask me a question. I literally held my hand to his face and told him to stop talking, and that I was reading. He didn’t talk to me for a few days. He got over it and read the book. I tried to interrupt him and he stopped me. Karma.

Michal’s protagonist, John Lee, is narrating the story. He’s so funny that I really want to meet him. His descriptions, side notes, and remarks are so powerful. I’ve never met someone so funny, entertaining, and naive in some ways. Okay. I admit I’m naiver that he is. My point is that I love the character. If I met him I would ask, “How?”

The style of the book was new for me. I don’t particularly write in this style. Now that I have I admit I wouldn’t even know how to start. Michael’s style is unique, part description, part I’m telling you what happened, and he also shows you what’s going on. And there is a lot of things going on. He has this unique talent of introducing something traumatic in a very nonchalant way that when the shocker comes out I jump.

What I like the most of the book is that it took me to worlds where I’ve never been. I have never known men could do the things they did in this book. When I’m reading I feel what John is doing and seeing. A few times I cinched because I thought I was there. I can honestly say, I have yet to read another book like this. I’m an honored man for having read Michael’s book.

I dreamt of the Green Eyes and woke up happy. The reality is that I almost called 911 and to see what happens.

The back cover of the book holds no lies. There are a lot of things going on. I don’t know how John keeps it together. I for sure would seek professional help and go through therapy for years. But, John. He takes in like a man, he handles everything very well. I honest believed that the tow truck was dropping from the heavens.

Get your copy today. And stop reading whatever you’re doing because you’re not going to regret it.

Night Owl Reviews

May 11, 2016

Cannes Film Festival opens

We went to Cannes yesterday, because we're writing a story about terrorism, and the Festival's opening would be the ideal multiplier of terrorism's effect: one Brad Pitt is worth thousands, if not millions of other innocent victims, you'll agree. We're not sure we'll have an actual blast in the story, so here's one from the Pulitzer-winning last novel of Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch:

[hang on; under development]

The opening has always been on a Tuesday, because the festival has always lasted for 12 days, the festival competition always featured 22 films, two per day, with the last day, a Sunday, dedicated to the awards ceremony.

So it's Tuesday, May 10, and we leave the house at 15:30  to arrive at the red carpet event at 17:00. 

May 4, 2016

Reality beats fiction... usual.

And here's just one line from Politico:

Cruz woke up on the morning of the Indiana primary to rain and the news that Trump was touting a National Enquirer story that claimed, without evidence, that his father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

May 2, 2016

This morning

Chang took this picture yesterday; we learned from our neighbor Dirk, who's a retired airline pilot, how this works: pilots call this phenomenon a "drop,"---a drop, if you will, of cold air that descends from the mountains and then drops through warmer air onto the warmer sea where it can trigger a middling thunderstorm, which this one did.

May 1, 2016

May 1

Alessio Slonimsky

At last (Glenn)

This is beautifully scripted, especially the final scene:

And our fragment? From the last chapter of the GREEN EYES, of course, we're a few hundred words short of the ending. Hint: John, the narrator, is in love with Alex.

We’re still walking down the beach. The alpha-dog picks up a pebble, sends it off with a flip of his hand across the water, where it obliges, naturally, re-bouncing, travel-ing along the ocean surface till it reaches the end of the world.

“So, John, let’s reset. You wouldn’t want me to love you because Alice told me to do so?”
“And you wouldn’t want me to love you because it would hurt you too much if I don’t?”
“Let’s simplify. Would you love somebody because he loves you?”
“Possibly not.”
“Would you love somebody because he brought you back from the dead?”
“Amy-Lou brought you back from the dead.”
“She said you did.”
“She did. She performed the CPR.”
“She said it was your kiss. You kissed me back to life.”
“I didn’t kiss you back to life. I planted a kiss on your forehead to say goodbye. You were dead then.”
“So, I’m right then.”
“You didn’t kiss me back to life, Amy-Lou didn’t bring me back from the dead. Q-E-D. I’m in heaven. Everything is heaven. Even you are heaven, not cheating on me de-spite the challenging circumstances of an out-call.”
“And so are Amy-Lou, and Alice. According to your logic.” 
“Who didn’t cheat on me either.” 
“You know what I mean. Why should you love me?”
“Because, John, you are unique among us angels. You are the only angel who needs my love. Who wants it. Why shouldn’t I love you back? We’re in heaven together. Wishes are fulfilled in here.” 
“I didn’t know.”
“Now you do,” he says and rolls his head again. 

He halts his steps. No, he stops. It’s in between. We’ve arrived at the gay beach.  He turns sideways, we're facing each other. He touches my cheeks, plays with my tousled hair. He squeezes my nose. He touches my absent love handles, just to make sure (I guess). He slips a finger down my tummy, almost reaching an erogenous zone. He looks at me, from top to bottom. His eyes drift out to the sea, return. He stares at me with his new, unbalanced eyes. He embraces my cheeks again, squeezes his lips onto my lips for a kiss. "I love you," he says. He embraces me fully now, his arms around my body, his tongue traveling deep into gay territory, he kisses, touches, embraces my mouth, my selfishness, my cynicism, my innocence, my stupidity, my soul...

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