The sage advice is the very last “Dear Jo:” at the end of this blog post. If you follow from the top, you’ll see how I make decisions on what I have time for, when it comes to helping people with their brands on this blog. It’s not so much the brands I enjoy, it’s their PR people.

Dear Ms. Diaz:

After reading the use/content section of your website, I’m writing to ask if you’d be interested in tasting the wines from Ernest Vineyards.


Owners Erin Brooks and her husband Todd Gottula produce elegant and nuanced wines that offer transparent expressions of clone and place. They founded Ernest Vineyards out of their love for family, art and Burgundy.  Each wine is named after the character, career and accomplishments of a beloved family member and the portrait on the front label is of Todd’s Grandfather.

The wines are charming, and Erin and Todd equally so. They’re wonderful, hard-working, humble people who are committed to elevating the profile of artisanal winemaking in the United States.

Would you mind if I sent you samples?

Sincerely, Jennifer Chin

My response:

Thanks for contacting me. Right now, between my day job and all of the wines backed up for my wine of the week program I’m really swamped.

I don’t see any lightening of my load for a while… Also packing the house for a move in the fall.

I would like to help you, but I can’t at this time. — jo

Dear Ms. Diaz:

No, thank you for getting back to me so quickly!  I appreciate your frankness and agree that moving sucks.  It’s right up there with going to the dentist and waiting at the DMV.

Would you mind if I followed up with you in the Fall?

Sincerely, Jennifer

My Response:

I don’t mind at all, if you do.

This move isn’t like that, though. We’re headed into the mountains in Geyserville, and a lap pool (salt water) awaits us.

The work load is so heavy, that’s my exhaustion. All I seem to do is write my brains out. Moving will give me at least a month off from that 😉

I’ve been writing furiously since 1993… — jo

Dear Jo:

I’ve always thought that writing is one of the most difficult of occupations.  Colette, the French novelist, had several pithy thoughts on this; one which I particularly like goes something like this…. “Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

In other words, no wonder you’re tired!!!

Jennifer Chin
Founder, Strategic Wine Solutions

My response, 10 days later…

Hi, Jennifer,

A bit of blue sky has opened up for a new opportunity.

Please send a sample of what you’d like for me to taste.

Thanks.  — jo