The above photo is of the Vintners Collective in downtown Napa. Formerly a brewery, then a Chinese laundry, this historic building is now one of the finest tasting rooms I've ever come upon. They source a limited selection from mostly Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries, and I've had some eye-poppingly, sublime wines here, most notably a variety of Ancien single vineyard Pinot Noirs.
This is the first in a series of blogs of my travels. I'm in Napa now, but not Napa Valley, the town of Napa. I recently returned from New Zealand where I ideated and subsequently wrote Sideways New Zealand. That book will be issued by my publisher Blackstone Publishing this coming January, 2024. In October I jet to Riga, Latvia for the opening of my play at the New Riga Theatre. Then, from there I fly to Alicante, Spain to see the Spanish version of my play which has been on a national tour of that country for the last two years.
I love writing the character of Miles (played by Paul Giamatti in Sideways), who is my alter ego. Where I go, he goes because I write him in the first person. And where I go I have to find a story. I found one in New Zealand: a book tour in a camper van with Miles and his best friend Jack. Let's just say, it does not get off to a propitious start. But, like all my work, I like to believe it goes where you least expect it. I write from the inside out, I told an interviewer recently, I don't write from the outside in. I put myself into the world and I see what I'm thinking and feeling and then fictionalize from there.
Speaking of Sideways, I'm beyond thrilled that we managed to locate a 35mm print of the film and that the historic 90-year-old Sebastiani Theatre on the Sonoma Plaza has a working 35mm projector and we'll be screening a film I haven't seen in over a decade. In fact, it may be the last time you'll get to see the film in a theater with an audience, ever. And that is not hyperbole.
Sideways has now taken me all over the world, and that journey continues. In mid-August Broadway Records will release the Cast Recording of Sideways The Musical. And one day it will see the footlights on a stage somewhere, I'm positive.
Stay tuned for more diaristic musings on my adventures. And watch for Sideways New Zealand!