Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's A Novel!

I've been working on a novel. Naturally enough, it revolves around the wine business to some exent. I'm posting the introduction here for your dining and dancing pleasure. If you like it, let me know and I'll send you a couple of chapters for your comments.


I’m growing older but not up - Jimmy Buffett

My name is Jack Warner – like Jack Warner from the Warner Brothers movie studio of old.  My parents had, in their own twisted way, given me a conversation piece for a name.  They thought it was cute, but growing up the San Fernando Valley in the sixties had not been a real blast with that moniker and, from the time I was old enough to form cogent thoughts about it, I envisioned getting out. Actually, I couldn’t wait to do it.  Of course, I had no idea I’d end up in Portland, Oregon but here I am.

I’d once been an attorney.  I’d had a ‘real’ job - one with a boss - for a little over four years when I’d worked in two different prosecutor’s offices, but for most of my life I’ve been pretty carefree.  I was self-employed from 1983 until I chucked the law biz a couple of years ago and I did okay for myself financially.  Better than okay, truth be told.

After the ‘real’ job, I defended criminals for a while until I started taking on personal injury cases.  I was an ambulance chaser - though of the fairly high-end variety.  I certainly wasn’t in the same league with The King of Torts, Melvin Belli, or even John Edwards, but I was an ambulance chaser all the same. Proponents of tort reform despise people like me, which is okay.  My clients, who have collected millions of dollars because of preventable mistakes and negligence despise them right back.

I’d been married briefly to a woman I still love deeply in those moments when I allow myself to think about it.  We got divorced after a little more than three years.  Joanne was trying to get me to jump in the ocean of life and set a course for our lives’ destination while I did the hokey-pokey at the water’s edge and tried to simply let life come to me.  She wanted me to grow up as I got older and, though I did to some extent, it wasn’t fast enough for her and I’m not so sure I’ve fully grown up yet.

I have a best friend who is a retired cop.  He introduced me to Oregon wine, and his parents in New Jersey gave him the truly unfortunate name of Guido Anthony Pastorelli.  When he was still hanging out with the wannabe wise guys, eating meatball subs and cannolis on the sidewalk and grabbing their crotches while making kissy-kissy noises at the girls who walked by, he got the nickname of Smooch, which is what everyone calls him.  Most people don’t even know he has another name.  I don’t want to know how he got this one, but I can guess.

When nothing else moves him, which is most of the time, and the weather cooperates, which is some of the time, Smooch plays golf.  Sometimes he plays six days a week.  Some of those days he plays 36 holes.  Most of those days I’m right there playing alongside him.

I have a blonde Jewish girlfriend with a killer ass and piercing blue eyes named Katy Lewis.  She’s from Dallas and recites the Haggadah in an exaggerated, unnatural heavy drawl at the Passover Seder.  She almost always serves ham after the matzoh and parsley as a sort of cruel joke aimed at her ancestors and her parents - Orthodox Jews and nice folks who maintain a kosher household and would faint if they knew. 

I own a vineyard and a winery, which means I get to drive around on a cute little Kubota tractor and pretend I’m a farmer which, after a fashion, I am.  Once a year I play with squished fruit and perform a month-long, large-scale version of a high school science project that involves turning sugar into alcohol. Believe it or not, once I’m done people actually buy the stuff I’ve made so I can afford to do it all over again. 

How grown up could I possibly be? 


  1. I like it---would like to read more.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Looking forward to more of this novel. Had my attention immediately. Hopefully, it will be published and a best seller.

  4. GG, you need to click on my profile and send me your email address so I know where to send the chapters.