…why I need coffee in the morning, why it helps the writing and wine doesn’t, why Mom bought me this journal while in Burgundy (obviously I know, she loves me, thought of me on her trip), why I am where I am, doing what I’m doing…. How I came to teach, came to be in wine’s industry.

MY substance, knowledge.  Thinking of all the talks Dad and I have had, over all these years, and where I’m going with them, what they’ve taught me.  More and more, I see myself as an autonomous force, in tireless exploration and appreciation of the setting, immediately where I am and what I’ll do with the day.

Thinking of my graduate school classes, all the theory, thought, discussions I had with the professors and colleagues… more notes in that journal Mom bought.  “Fly, smile.” I wrote… 

img_7127After passing 3000 words for day, I only want more.  I want to finish my goddamn book.  Get to my beach house, write more.. more… MORE.  Publish everything independently and …. Stopping.  See what I’m doing, with my wishlisting—

Jackie in 1st Grade now, and me just getting older and wishing.  Starting new assignment, new story and creative direction in 9 days.  Don’t sleep, I self-instruct and decree.  Be more mad with your writings, more passion-purposed and wandering.  That’s the only way to discover gems.  I’ve told my students this for years, and have never followed the speaker’s specs.

I keep writing, thinking only of the book..books, everything I’ve ever written, what I wrote 5 years ago on blog—  I look, and addresses of money tightness, needing coffee, no-wine nights…. I think to myself, “Has nothing fucking changed?” I’m changing it, by leaving the bloody industry and its all-too gawked-at poisons.  Then I read about flash fiction, short fiction, something Mom has essentially demanded I do, for YEARS.  So I still have more writing to do, do note.  A short fiction piece, probably on Kelly, later.

For now… Do something.  Keep moving.  Quiet in house.  Advantage in such, a tranquil intangible shape and voice coats my senses, all.

Starting the day

waiting on some appointment. While here, I figure write. Why not. Haven’t hit 3000 words in a while and I know that I have to write every chance I get if I’m to make that kind of progress, but that mark. Tired of thinking, tired of promissory statements to self and to readers of this blog. So I just act, start seriously on the Kelly novel. While getting ready this morning I thought about her, her last day in the ad office in the Marina, her drive back up to her new apartment in Santa Rosa, what she must be thinking, before her first day in the wine industry. She doesn’t know what to anticipate, if she should be nervous or not…

Tired of writing the same thing, and that’s what I feel I’ve been doing. I write where I am, what I’m doing, but that often is much of a repeat. So what do I do but go outside myself. To someone else. Another character. Writing has always just been something I’ve done with not much anxiety or holdup. But lately I’ve been held up. Why. Bored. I guess, no? Bored with the same workday, the same drive, the same sameness of everything around me. Thank the Craft for this new job, new office, new best, new people. Even this office is something to write … me merely here for some physical or something for my new role, but others here for something more pressing, serious or even threatening. Reminds me of how delicate this all is. How fragile I am, my life is. Someone’s name called, but not mine. Goddamnit– Wait though, what am I worried about? My last day in the wine industry is in 9 day’s. NINE. If they fired me, lovely. That’d be something to write.. something new.

Pinot last night, Failla. Didn’t do much to me, really. Surely didn’t inspire me to write about it. It was just another wine. Now I’m certain, more than I was before, that the wine industry and world, possibly even wine itself to some extent, and I need break. I think of my babies and how they see me, how I want them to see me. Last time they visited me in that bloody tasting room I cringed, felt momentous lay embarrassed and queer, them seeing me pour and having to ask that new twigg-twit if I could spend a little time with them. Well that’s fine. And I’m DONE. And never going back. This new “job” will be my last ever. Same feeling as going into your senior year of high school.

Ugh…. when will they call my name? Hate waiting. In a waiting room. Not where I want to be. But I’m here. May as well make use of the writer’s time and write. Right? Another name called. Guy two seats down from me. Will surely be late to winery. Oh well. Relieved I can afford that feeling. And I can. Last step in this whole pre-first day around-tower circle.


NO! Mike!


Kids watching a cartoon, on my Sunday.

Photo on 5-27-18 at 8.52 AMTen days left employed by the wine industry, its supposed business and in that infernal tasting room.  Just back from getting wife and I coffees.  I tell the kids to be good and watch their cartoon, “Ben 10”, little Kerouac responding ‘we will’, and me back to typing.  May drive to Healdsburg with Kerouac, to drop off some paperwork for a tasting room I partnered with on an event, and maybe get lunch even though that’s not exactly in my budget at the moment but right now I’m saying to myself, “Who cares.” Really, I don’t care.  My aim for today is to enjoy time with Jack and the day, relax and observe this as a day off of sorts.  Again, of sorts.

Classes start in one week.  Haven’t touched either syllabus.  Typical of me, I know.  But I’m going to make the syllabus for each section minimal at most.  The rest of the writing on paper will be MY words and thoughts which I am convinced and always have been will help them in their college composition and general endeavors.

Yesterday at prescription pickup for wife, sitting and thinking how that time can’t be wasted, or just let to scroll through some feed on my phone.  And, how I have to read more, read the rest of the short fiction book Mom bought me, revisit Road, and Bell Jar…. No more wishing, or saying, promissory jot-types in these entries on the blog, just actuating. 

Kids, quiet.  Enjoying their morning, and me mine.  Keep typing, seeing my travels, to New York and speaking at colleges and meeting students, me remembering when I was there, their age and at that point.  Being young, just wanting to go, take off, gather experiences and learn from the world, and my Self in that world, others’ worlds.


Just typing, typing to type

Photo on 8-11-18 at 8.30 AM #2while looking around at all the people I usually see in this Windsor Starbucks.  Not taking time to look up any synonyms, or obscure anythings.  Not this morning.  Day at winery ahead of me, one of my final days, Saturdays, at the estate.  Definitely writing my wine industry piece, soon.  Citing everything I’ve observed, what I wish would have happened and what actually transpired.  Looking for more, which we all do.  More from who I already am and what I do for a living as a teacher and writer, parent.  Iced coffee this morning, wasn’t in much timing for mocha, or hot medium roast.  With the mocha it’s always the wait that bothers and disrupts my mood.  But here, I mere sip, and the cool temp calms my character and delivers more soundness and eagerness for day.

I wanted in to the wine industry, in 2006, just to supplement teaching income and have some fun, get some writing material, exposure to characters and what they say about wine, and I did.  Somehow in getting disenchanted with the adjunct teaching life I was pulled into full-time wine life.  Which has never procured exactly what I hoped it would.  In fact it never has.  So now, at 39, I re-invent not so much as decide to reshape my business and writing life.  You could say I’m ‘getting into tech’ as a couple have, but I don’t see it that way.  I’m just taking a new Road, driving the same vehicle.

What we do and why we do it MUST be understood if we’re to acquire and expand from a significant sight of Personhood.  Now, I’m seeing more in work, why we work and how all of us have the option to do something we love—  Not just the option, that reality is right there.  What many of us often forget is that we have to work to find it, at times.  And sometimes, it’s a intersection of chance and effort.  With me, a but of both, but then I’d say effort with how I “sold myself”, much I hate saying that.

New ventures, adventures, opportunities.  Take all of them.  Try everything, I say.  Guy here asked me what I write about and I had to answer, as I always do…. First I said wine, but then “What people do and why they do it… understanding why…” or something of such shape.  I’m here at this Windsor Starbucks as a result of choice and exertion.  I’m going to sell my writings, soon, and if I have nothing to write I have nothing to vend.  So listening to music and watching the characters around me enjoy their Saturday morning the life voice stomps in my recognitions, perceptions.  We’re not here long, and even the brevity isn’t assured.  It could be shorter.  None of us have any map for time, the time we have and what we’re to do, when.  So I endorse just acting, doing, actuating.

Just remembered I still need to write my resignation letter to the winery, the larger company.  I have learned a respectable qualification of lesson, what to do and what NOT to do in business.  Not stopping in my writings on wine, ever.  Just leaving the industry.  OR, not.  Just not in the tasting room, the TR.  And that was a goal, a singular aim and sight, and I accomplished it.  Guess you could say I’m proud, or happy, but there’s so much more work to do for this writer.  For all of us.  There’s poetry in what we do.  What we do is ours, all of it, all scenic ingredients and motions, people and beats.  Just typing, typing to keep my morning in the momentum and deconstructive dash I adore.  What we do, why we do it….  Why have I been in the wine industry so long? Much I think is, was, from a certain self-doubt that I couldn’t get a post like the one I recently won.  Till I tried.  Till I took a risk, till I convinced myself that I was good enough for something other than the bloody tasting room.  So here I am, about to open a new book, write a new log of discoveries and musings, angular considerations and revolutions, tasks and work and creative— more than what the time clock, any time clock, or punch clock that punches you back in the dignity-face could say.  Newness, new seats and notes, chords and songs, new jazz to a single day.

The struggles I’ve had with writing, lately, I directly associate with the tasting room and the clock, the time clock.  I’m freeing myself from all of that.  This new business flight, changing me, already, and I haven’t even had my first day.  I’m in a rarely elevated echo, this morning.  Not only fearing nothing but going into the day daring it to do something, to try me, return my pugilistic blips, if it dare.  I’m writing to write, for my life and understanding of all this— why I am here, why I’ve let the wine industry have so much of ME. My life, time away from family, the days and the people that want to be poured for, served, looking at me like I’m microscopic in significance.  Oh… this day.  This new ME.  Finally.. bloody rising from the patterns and suppression of wine’s industry.  Not qualms with the industry as much as some people in it.  And again, I’m not leaving wine. Never would, as wine’s a literary presence, self-personifying cosmos and composition of thought and ambition, vision, dreams.  The industry is what loses me.  All its inconsistencies and ridiculous logic and connections in business and employee treatment.  I will write that wine industry book, soon, at some point, soon.

First thousand— not word counting.  Hate that I do that with students, sometimes.  And how the department has such so stressed in their course outlines.  That is hurtful in student development, writing.  Me, this morning… I’m just writing, typing, more freedom and intoxication in this freed and freeing liberty.


New.  Today.  More than a new day, but a new….

Photo on 1-22-18 at 12.36 PMDon’t want to say journey, but certainly a new Story.  A new device, a new creative license licensed especially for me.  The world gifting me more ideas and sights, conversations useful.  No more overthinking, I tell myself in this cubicle.  No music, like when I run.  Just the sounds of the tractors out in that field clearing and preparing a field for a new vineyard.  Listening to everything, studying everything.

Out of the wine industry, finally.  Not that I’m bitter, or over-eager to get out, it’s just time.  Very much time.  And for my writing and travels, how I’m developing as a writer, this is what needs to happen.  A new field, not so much a new job but something NEW, an exploration and new flight.  A bridging of what I do here in the wine world, but with more dimension and facet, more intricacy and creativity-beg.

Older I get, I find work so funny.  At times frankly hilarious, if you must know.  Why… well, just what w put into it.  How we see it.  How so many of us want to get out of where we are, our job/jobs, but do nothing but grieve.  We let the work, the JOB, have control over our senses and actions.  With my new assignment and story, I’ve made quite clear I refuse angrily to allow such.

This day… like yesterday… strong.  With no fear.  Nothing getting to me.  Have a meeting in 19 minutes downstairs but I’m going to utilize and weaponize every drop of this time to self.  The cubicle I’m in, have to laugh.  Not only does it make me think of Napa, ‘the box’ as I called it (office where I made calls for wineries for tailored sales campaigns), but how so many work in these things.  I couldn’t.  I just couldn’t.  And I won’t.  Not only is that a choice, you could say, but a conviction.  A functionality in my character.

Saw a picture this morning, one of those Facebook reminders, of me 8 years ago talking to a then-reality TV Show chef/contestant.  Eight years ago, I said to myself just after brushing.  EIGHT.  Time as wife cited this morning passes without caring how it harms or saddens us.  Today, NEW.  NEWness.  Enjoy…. And I will.

Hear those tractors.  Wonder what they’re doing.  My friend Chris downstairs not the crush pad frustrated with barrels and how many there are, how the barrel company crew is over 30 mins late.  Again, work.  What it does to us, shapes our moods and voices, conversations, how we walk and what ripples through the day.  I sit and smile in this cubicle.  New adventure, new words, only accepting elevation and happiness.  Life, its lessons, not waiting for me.  And they don’t have to.  I’m here, already learning and noting, present, recording, writing.  I, not failing.  Time won’t let me.  WORK, won’t let me.  The new ME, definitely not allowing any back-steps.