I’m a gregarious type. I prefer to be hand’s on. Being so physical is a mixed blessing.
One skill I’ve developed while out on the road is manifesting conversation. You’ll need to be a quick judge of character, street performers have plenty of that, and determine soon enough in the encounter what topic might be the most pleasing to share.
I much prefer sharing wine. Wine is a social lubricant. There is a distinct pleasurable experience in a wine provoked conversation. An amateur finding their own words about wine is refreshing. There is the matter of wine being capable of demonstrating structure. I know when the wine is not muddy. If a companion is tasting something I can’t detect, I find the words to explain the flavors they can identify revealing. Sometimes the exact word hits like a bullseye. I’m entertained by a friend knocking about in their head then come up with the precise word.
Field of Grapes
Zweigelt is an Austrian red wine. I’ve tasted four or five, none that didn’t please. The wine produces a floral scent once in the mouth. Zweigelt is a lighter red bringing more finesse than bombast. There is no tannic aftertaste, no yeasty engineered underscore. What you’ll find is a sense of slate, a dry wine, flinty, scantily clad, not a whopping billboard scaled red but not an uncomplicated shy glass of wine. I count three or four different impressions when I drink this Austrian red. This is civilized thoughtful modestly priced wine.
Simplicity of Fresh Food
Many of us are going to do much more wine drinking closer to home. Social distancing is an up and down affair. Now is a time to simplify. Running about with a busy calendar isn’t what the doctor has ordered. We can make the most of these new experiences by willingly giving our best over to them. Embrace the simple life, relax into the way of each simple day, this embrace is a means of being good to ourselves.
Scene from remains of the Valley Fire, Lake County, California
September 16, 2015 Napa Valley
High aloft the aerialist gripped the climbing rope. Beyond a brownish orange sun went lost in a smoke filled sky. Helicopters, Super-Huey’s thump-thump-thumped eastward to the front. In the tumult of the still out of control wildfire the aerialist startled the audience with a swift descent back to the ground. The rhinestone bejeweled woman slipped one foot then the other into her glittering silver clogs. Each knee-high-stride was accent, twirling her palms face up, she tickled the ovation with her fingertips. The incessant droning of the Grumman Air-tankers crisscrossing the sky mixed with the audience’s anxious murmurs. Within the respite of the struggle to survive a showgirl’s smile simmered across her lips. The heavy oppression of the air reeking of acrid smoke pressed a sorrowful reality down upon the fairground. Jo assumed a dancer’s first position, her concentration slipping away, mind wandering, locking eyes with the motorcycle racer for one part of one instant, then in the next breath the performing artist vanished out of the light away into the night.
Long fiction takes like what seems forever. I plotted for much of a year and began composing my fourth novel on November 1, 2015. You are looking at 171 of 72,000 words. My editor and I are nearing the end of our fixing the manuscript. Fatigue sets in during the late editing process. I have been back to the first paragraph on many days all along the last seventeen months. The opener has been through hundreds if not thousands of rewrites. We’ll see if it stands up and carries the day, the previous version measuring 123 words. I had sought to keep the paragraph compact, but the shorter opener lacked the visceral imagery to do with the fire. I like this version. If you wonder whether you have what it takes to write long fiction you might ask whether you have the constancy required to read, reread and revise your prose until they are all arranged to the best that you can stand to do.