from a journal


Jimtown Store, Alexander Valley

Two days.  Not even sure why I do the countdown anymore.  Who cares… don’t want to dwell or fixate, fix or focus on that.  Writing at the JT Store.  First such sitting in ….. how long.  How long, ever, I wonder, with time flying by me as it does.  Wife upset she didn’t wake early to workout and me not happy with my continuing late wakes.  Going into this new year of my story… 1, no fear, of anything or anyone.  2, less editing and less thought, just fucking release all writings.  All writings can be sold.  3, 4am is GOD, and you WILL NOT be unfaithful to her.

I wake this morning getting into shower hearing my babies be silly as they often are in the morning call to me and play basketball with one of those hoops you hang from your door, Jackie’s that he received as a gift last xmas I think,

This latte… costing 8 dollars as the young chap behind the counter was nice and accommodating and I know that if I were him I’d appreciate a nice cash shove. So there you go an $8 latte.

Call intruding on writing but I don’t let it.  The morning, the latte, Jimtown, Alexander Valley and all the vines enjoying sun which reminds me I brought my camera and am committing self to taking some pictures, somewhere either close to the store, that vineyard across the street or near Lancaster, down valley.

2 days.  More writing, 4am or death, books over books, over more finished manuscripts.  Thought of the plan to just give all my writing away, but then no… I need to sell works just as my studies masters did.  Why am I afraid to sell my work.  WHY?  Why are any of us as Artists afraid to live from sentences?  Isn’t that what we want?


9:11.  Getting ready in a bit to leave and launch into vineyards and take pictures of the vines that call out to me, that want my attention.  Which ones do.  I have one block in mind, close to Hannah’s property, across the street.  I’m even more compelled to cruise through vineyard blocks and just note what I see even more than capture it with some fucking lens and button.  What do I mean ‘even more’?  I’m a writer.  Not a photog.  This room, this back area where I imagine people eating breakfast or brunch, or just stopping for a midday beer or glass of wine, from far away like the people I met yesterday from Southern California and those from the other week from MN.  Everyone comes here and it blows me away.  Travel, the vines and this room tell me, travel… get out of here.  Go write about other rooms, other varietal blocks.  Photograph everything, write about it.  40 is now alarmingly close, and if something in my practice doesn’t alter, then I circle.

Yesterday tasting that 2-barrel Malbec, remembering why I keep coming back to wine, writing these essays if you could call them that, these entries, keep returning to the tasting room much I criticize it and its industry.  There’s a mystery and then the obvious, a helix heavenly and promising me to write this book and finish it then begin the next one before this one ends.  This book on thought, how so many of my thoughts precipitate from wine and barrels and my days at wineries, how now after all the industry battles and downright wars I’ve fought against the machine, I’m immediately free in the tasting room, at the winery, in the vineyard to do as I need to, as the books demand… more stemming from MY personal legend, or narrative, nor notes.

Today hosting a Napa winemaker, from one of my favorite Napa wineries that I can right now think of.  Know my approach, and know what I’ll talk about.. the wine, maybe, but life, why we’re both there, at that moment, in the philosophy of the Now, the narration constant and present.  I’m not planning or preparing for this tasting, I’m eager to talk wine with someone who writes in wine as I write in and from, more toward my own voice closing in on 40.

from a journal

First time writing since the hotel, since the night before the run.  Still have whatever bug has commanded my functioning since… can’t remember.  Picking up student papers today, then that’s it.  Not sure when the next time I’ll be conventionally teaching.  9 days till 40.  So much I want to write, from so many singular notes…. Sleeping from 8-something till a bit after 1 today, both from exhaustion from the run and the bug, the run itself in that hurricane or midwest-like storm.  Then I write about the drive back from Santa Cruz and about Santa Cruz itself, thinking about short stories the entire time.  Stories my mother tells me to write, about wine and being in a tasting room, playing baseball when younger, running now.  Music, jazz, going to Oregon, living on the Peninsula, anything.


Still feeling a bit drained and not of full blare, but I keep moving.  Keep pressing self.  Thought this morning on writing in third person.  Mom tells me she prefers her reading experience to be 1st-pers’ narr’.  And I agree, with wild heart’s velocity.  BUT, as an exercise and demand of me to me for me, I’m thinking of 3rd.  As we do at Sonic when we record observations and communicate something we saw, or something we said, all is done in 3rd person.  I’ve never seen that before, at a place of business.  Certainly the wine industry wouldn’t think to the point of discovering anything in that light, trying something new and breaking template.

Brought coffee over here, closer to me.  Cold, or getting colder.  Have to get some Rosé for wife, three bottles of the Balletto which she had the other night, when I was on the Road for running.  She took the babies out for a date dinner, a fancy dinner as Jack described it.  To KIN Windsor, her’s and my favorite spot locally, it could be argued.  She told me she had two spaced out, distanced, glasses.  She’d never done that before, had more than one.  So, I said to her I know the owner and quite enjoy their portfolio as well so I’ll get a couple bottles.  Wont be tasting when there, I’m sure.  But it’ll get me out of the house, moving, away from the image of me resting, trying to recover.  Hate being like this.

Deep nearly angry sip of the coffee. I get a text but don’t look to see who it is. I don’t care.  Have to keep moving.  Read it quick then back to page.  Feel sneeze approaching… /Done. Not going to disrupt or distance me from me wanting to do something with the day.  When in the hotel, in Capitola, I thought about where I was and why, for running.  How I need to have more of the Road, more writings in random rooms. More Newness, more education, more notes, more exploration and less pattern, less boundaries, ceilings and walls.  Okay, I shake self, time to drive.  Time to move more, get out of this house, tell the sick that you’re sick of it.



Capitola, CA.

Parking lot above the police station, suggested by a police officer just a second ago when I pulled up beside him, barely able to speak from the effects of the cold or whatever I have.

More than awake and ready to dominate and control this race. Will get coffee somewhere in Santa Cruz not Capitola when fine.

Will start walking down street and toward start in a bit. Right at 6….

Good thing I double checked. Was in wrong spot. I thought it started in Santa Cruz not Capitola. So here I am. Saw coffee spot driving in. Boardwalk in front of me, some rides, lights, those pointed rooftops you’d see at an amusement park.

5:59. Leaving car. Get bib, then walk around. Hope they have somewhere for my keys. Hope. Should have bought one of those belts, precisely for keeping your car key. Mom’s right as always, as she said the other day– I need be better prepped.

Just saw two women runner walk by.

Leaving car.