May 29, 2011
Wine tasting in Santa Ynez. Went to Melville, Babcock and Foley. We love Foley wines; and my sister-in-law bought a case there. Melville is a beautiful winery; that place looks like an Italian villa. Poppies growing throughout the wine fields, and the grapevines grow as far as you can see. Babcock is small and has fabulous wines.
This whole wine region is a far cry from the rest of California which is completely dependent on California’s major industries which include: Oil, film and aerospace, all far away from these vineyards.
If I were not working in writing, publishing and education, I ask myself if I would want to work in any of those industries.
Well, oil is out of the question. There’s a lot of money to be made in the oil industry, but you have to be willing to pollute the planet to make that money.
Aerospace/the defense industry is also right out. I don’t want to work for a company that is supplying parts for the U.S.military or for any other military for that matter. I don’t know how I would get to sleep at night.
I’m sure some who work on making bombs and other weapons are thinking of that famous quote from Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men,
“”We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I choose to provide it.”
Then there’s film. I would be happy to work in film, I love films and the film industry and I have a very wrong idea that people who work in film are interesting, creative and like good stories. This probably is not true, but it’s a great fantasy.
Many jobs have a fantasy version and then the real version. For example, I thought that being a writer would involve sitting alone writing and words would just pour out of my long fingers and able hands into the keys like rain drops. This in fact failed to happen, I often struggle to come up with words and then find that even coming up with time to write at all isn’t easy.
Publishing is also not what I expected. I thought as editor I would spend all my time reading manuscripts and editing them. In fact, I spend a lot of my time in meetings, raising money, working on email, more meetings. And way too much of the publishing process is about wanting to make sure that the book can sell to at least somebody. If you don’t know who any of the readers of a book would be, that’s not a good sign, but even the fact that you have to figure out the readership of books shows that publishing attempts to take a non-market activity like writing and turn it into a market activity like book selling.
Well, more wine tasting today. Then back to books and writing.