Story notes

Mike gets to tasting room, early.

Counter still stained from reds, from previous day.

Opens register quick…

Music in.

Nothing calendar.

Mike reuses to be busy just to be busy.

Opens each wine in the flight, notes on each. He does this most mornings, but this morning he’s more than trenchant with and intent in each wine.

His focus should always be the wine, speaking it, connecting people with wines they love and that speak to them. Not going done a to-do checklist. What’s more important, he always says to himself, getting in character to speak wine, sell like they want you to, or arrange the kitchen area when it doesn’t need to be, do it ’cause it’s on a goddamn checklist?


Clocked in, writing and working.  Feel workout from earlier.  Did some writing between reps, haven’t yet posted.  Sipping sparkling water now, will grab coffee for Road.  Planning on eating lunch at a Starbucks off that first Brentwood exit.

Shorter writing bursts, today.

Not much to do before heading out—OH WAIT, yes there is.  Need to get tablet.  Run across floor then back to desk.  But in a minute.  Settle in.  Sip water.  Happy with self for not going back into sleep.  Doing ab and upper-body workout.  Tomorrow need to be up at the God hour.  4am.  4am IS God.  I need be up then, or a bit before.

Little hungry.  Over 2 hours left in fast.  Which I think was for 12 hours, if I remember right.

Took an allergy pill last night.  Hope it begins its service throughout the day so I’m shielded and not overtaken by symptoms like yesterday.  Disrupting everything from sight to walk, to communication, to everything else.

More removed consideration of what I’m doing.  3rd person but for more of coure than just writing in 3rd pers’.  The idea coming from notes written by me on the performance of others, and then the Leads noting certain habits and instructional moments in their day, with their Reps….


Mike notices his desk becoming a mess, again.  He needs to remove the stack of papers from the JPR project weeks.  Take to shredding tub, or bin, at the floor’s other side.  Do that right away, he says to himself.

Mike also commits himself to write a piece of fiction from the tasting room.  That is his project for Brentwood lunch, to be take at the Starbucks off that first Brentwood exit.

Mike disposes of the papers stack, finishes sparkling water.  14 minutes till team arrives in building.

Writes a post-it note to self–  Go into the day acknowledging only elevating, enriching, and encouraging beams.

Thinks of what next to do before heading to meeting room…. Check–  Can’t say.

Get coffee.  COFFEE.  Journal and backpack.  Mike says to himself that the short story will be about a slow day in the tasting room.  How you can only wipe down a counter and windows so many times.  Busy work versus actual work.  Maybe.

This morning…

This block, though… not going away.  Thought yesterday while on the corner of Lake and Funston, then started walking on Lake toward 12th, that I write a set of writing rules for self, not really anyone else of for some limp purpose of composing a ‘hot-to’ of writing’, but just for me and something I reference when feeling, well, like this.  This morning.

First, write where you are and what you’re doing.  Focus on singularity.  One thing, or person, word or scenic ingredient.

Then, write freely.  The only type of writing is freewriting.  Some might assert that all writing needs structure, and I simply respond with two motions—1, what is “structure”?  And 2, “What if it doesn’t, then what?”

I’m seeing more and more the more I attempt to have my writing be a certain way or present itself with certain attributes on page, the less it’s me.  Them ore insincere it is.  Not that I only want to relay what’s happening—the who, what, why, where, when, how and whatever else like a journalist or tech writer—but be fully present.  Like now, in the office.  I notice the mood shedding as I’m moving, doing what I want to be doing in my office, working, sharing observations and self-instruction that I’m convinced will, or could, help someone else.

One from other department walking into building, saying with congealed, slow-moving emphasis good morning, and then not saying anything.  Not many calls coming in, for that department.  Not much heard other than my typing.  Honestly the loudest thing on the floor at present.



Sales team here in about ten.  Been nonstop since day started, noting and thinking trapping thoughts about everything from wine to writing, teaching and education to sales and selling something.  De-emphasizing book idea for a minute, more so fixating on not letting any thought go, not letting and notion or possibility (hate the word, notion), story and narrative, last night’s class still in my behavior I can see and I’m in learner’s stride as well as professor’s.  What do I want to sell…. Nothing, honestly.  But then, everything.  All these approaches to writing, reading, reading the scene you’re in, the wine you sip, the work you do.  Everything I do in the classroom as an educator of English, Reading and Writing, is here.  At this desk.  Like when I used to list writing projects on a piece of binder paper in Math class, freshman year of high school… music projects, script ideas, novels, visions of poetry collections.  Almost too many dreams or sights, but is there such a thing?  I see now at my older age, yes.  We shouldn’t contain ourselves excessively, though.


Wine and what it’s done to my story, teaching me not only about sales, but about organization, what to read and how to read it, how NOT to write about wine.  Everything, truly…. Wine it’s fair to say has taught me more than most worlds and stories, characters and scenes.


Today, observe more.  Talk less.  WRITE.  Collect.  Learn.  Read, WRITE, be taught.  At this older age, 11 days and 1 month from 40, I’m moving faster in my project and prose pace.

from another ‘nother journal …


Writing in too many spots.

No more on this laptop.  Noting everything, this morning.  Have a schedule for self.  Desired time for “cruising altitude” as Dad would say…..

Lost in a thought, not sure how to write.  Running at lunch, what to write from there.  Need a break.  Need to toss backpack, or just use for running gear.  Yes, the latter.

Organized desk a bit, plugged in laptop wife gave me.  Time for break, some journal jots, or walk to car to get running gear.  Or both.  How to optimize day… how.  Grade papers when on campus, then home for quick dinner, bed.  And goddamnit, wake…. No, won’t promise.  Will only do.

All the loose paper pieces and swarms around me, distracting, dividing my concentration and enslaving each parcel.

10:07.  Break.  Just for a bit.  Sparkling water.  And what else… running stuff.  Do I want to run at lunch, or take self to lunch.  Here I go overthinking, again..

Running.  I’ve decided, finally.  Need a snack, hydrate, get gear.  I can just see someone reading this years after I’m gone and noting something in the margin like, “Goddamn, just do something already!!!” I agree, just so you know.  Huh, there’s an idea for a book, note to future reader.  And another from yesterday, the ‘argument for me’ idea.  Like a very much stretched out cover letter and CV.

Different route today, for run.  Out 3.5, back 3.5.


10:30 – Done with a 90 minute challenge to self for morning.  Schedule done.  Or a draft at least.  My first, composed.  Team arrives in about 20.  Should go to car, get running facets.  Where am I running?  Just get out there and run, Mike…..  note for Reps, time sheet-related.  Old journal taken from backpack, should go through those pages, what I wrote when first hired, all this information about the internet I NEVER knew.

Seeing now why I stress the habit and practice and maintained habit and practice of journal writing so much.  To know you, your NOW, the Nows that approach.  What you want, why you want it.  Today is different, as all todays are, but I note that there’s something more paralleling about today with my aims.  The office, travel, running all over the world and writing about it.  The journal is a beacon of YOU, a place that’s more than a place, but a stage and bibliotheque or understanding and exploration.  The desk messy, and I don’t mind.  It’s honest, it’s NOW, it’s ME.  Why am I capitalizing so much.  No need to analyze or even lightly understand.

The journal teaches not so much ‘me about me’ but to see more clearly and honestly.  Fearlessly.  To not fear, to not question, to just madly LIVE.

Working on attitude, perspective, how I contextualize matters and then react to them.  If someone says something, and I find it getting under my skin or into my thoughts, echoing in me in any way, then pause.  Find sense on the page.  Make sense of it, of everything, on page.  In this “journal”.  And, honestly, if I can accomplish something of that magnitude and altitude on a page, is it really just a one-dimension and as-it-appears tablet, or “journal”?

Waiting for haircut

time. No time to waste and no time to wait. All minutes are instructional, all times in your story narrate something to you, teach, they demand your direction and response. Gems compile right in front of you. Eyes should be ever present nets. Catch everything.