Posts Tagged With: Art

excerpt (novel, no edits…)

..this 3-shot — I mean 4 shot mocha.  Simple lesson plan for today: reactions to end of JK’s book, groups, rubric discussion and disclosure and see what they’re compelled to write and why.  I will be quite surprised if there’s anyone stuck as all I’ve been throwing at them are possible directions for longert writing assignments, notably the formal paper (first of term).  Going to make some adjustments to the syllabus.. ONE, six short reactions rather than eight, and one of the longer papers will be a creative writing section.. due at the beginning of November sometime.  Want this all to be clear to them, and that’s one element of my teaching “philosophy” I find helpful to me and quite unique: full disclosure of everything ahead.. no surprised– well, there’ll be the occasional challenge in class of course, during discussion but nothing that will hinder progress or performance.

Not sure I need coffee now.  I’m typing with a severe speed.  Slept quite well last night but I still feel the 7.5 miles about my structure.  That’s healthy, but slowing.  Slow, can’t afford to move slow, not if I’m to finish this novel in time, or if I’m to get out of the wage cage that is the fucking winery.  I still think winemaking is something for me.  A writing topic more than likely.  The coworker, Gary, one with Literary loves and tendencies, pitched me several items yesterday, points of investigation: David Eggers Lit Mag and an author, Lydia Davis, whom I’ve never read but her style of shorter works and paragraphs and vignettes he said, Gary, would be something I might enjoy.  Need to spend more time with him.. he also shared a story, I guess that he read on Egger’s magazine’s website or something, that a teacher would leave comments on papers he graded– in Samuel Beckett quotes.  What an idea!  That sent me spiraling in entertainment and ways of making grading not so painful!  I found one by Oscar Wilde, a quote that I think I might use on certain papers, then another by Emerson, then by Poe, then Shakespeare– whom I’m not the biggest lover of.

An idea for a Literary Mag yesterday, after talking with Gary, one of my own: ‘whoso’.. a delightful dumpingground of thoughts, dreams, verses and stories.  I wanted to have it be formally wine themed but then decided against that, for obvious reasons.  If I write about wine, then I do.  And if not, then bloody hell with it.  And… started it, the Lit Mag.  Only letting the first issue be twelve pages, that’s it.  Run: 30 copies.. THAT’S IT!  On what?  Everything.  I want it to be fully Literary, reactionary, CRAZY..

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7:10AM. — “Apple”

Coffee, at home, finally.  And now I have to put myself into some character that’ll push the story forward with a vicious drive and skiing impulse.  Not bringing laptop with me to work, not today, only pen and paper so I can really capture with journalistic believability.  I don’t say ‘integrity’ because it’s more than that, and that word has that clinical taste I hate in words.  Jackie stretches next me, plays with his toys, asks questions, then re-examines the object, turns and asks it differently.  I don’t have enough coffee in this house to keep with his speed.

Need to finish the vignette I started the other day, about the fisherman–  I’ll target that later.  So maybe I will take the laptop with me to the estate.  No, I need to travel light, just note ideas in the little red book and make sure I transfer them later, that’s always been a challenge as you know, and I well do know such about my writing habits.  Now I see what my writing friend meant about it being a pain– I mean, I understood before but for some reason thinking about it right here in the couch with this coffee it poignantly punches and forces a cocoon of realization around me.  Letters, it was her letters that she had trouble finding time to translate or transfer onto the word doc.  She’s a flight attendant, remember, so that’s more than an empathizing call.

Lately I’ve been missing Santa Barbara; the beach of course but the views and sounds and the balmy sweetness of everything around you; you always hear the ocean, some volume and chord set of it.  Nothing like that here.  It’s always a vineyard, always the 12 traffic, and always a sign directing you somewhere– to buy something.  Sick, maddening…  I look at pictures and just imagine, imagine an overnight, writing as I did the night before my cousin’s wedding, with his army of structure-shaking friends too close by.

120-something words in the short short about the man finishing– I mean FISHING.  And I need to get money on the way to work as run after work and…  Always something to do.  How ‘bout I aim for an early early early rise tomorrow morning.  To write and nothing else– where’s the Comp Book?  I need to log what I’ve done so far this morning.  That’s 62 words put into ‘Gone Fishing Last’, the current “working” title for the piece.  Writing that in Comp Book– since it’s like baseball stats, this new list, I’ll log a I go alone, as I get hits, SB’s, RBI’s, and the occasional SO, know my current AVG.  And the lore’d HR!  This all of course motivated and compelled by the Kerouac quote that one student shared, animating Kerouac’s obsession with how much he writes and turning it, his practice, into a sort of game and performance he could track his trounces.

Cup two.  Letting it cool down a bit.  Now on the floor with Jack as he eats his waffle.  It’s clear he loves Saturdays, the respite after the long week– no rush no time no stress.  Lovely for him, love seeing him so relaxed and paced as he likes.  I envy him, I do, and I can only wish of having a day off today, and today would be the day to do it, hot as it’s promised to be.


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And before you ask, yes I remember where I was.  But where I am now, watching a Mickey Mouse show with little Kerouac.  Ms. Alice timed perfectly this morning so I could get our coffees ahead of schedule, so I’m properly caffeinated, ready for day for the most part.  And it happened again last night/early this morning: that inner narrative, about the winery and the wine industry and what my functionality is in IT.  Posted to teaching blog, and I will do nothing during today’s lunch but work.  I’ll eat what Alice packed for me before my scheduled time.  And I’ll write for the novel, bring ‘Road’ with me as well as my teaching Comp Book.  Wish I were in the library.  Wonder what it’s like in there in early morning hours opposed to my usual visits, P.M.

7:42AM.  Should leave in less than ten.  See how Jackie feels about that…  “Jackie we have to go soon,” I said.

“No, five minutes.” He threw back.

Still some coffee left.  Have to start my word count log, the newest that is.  Well as my running log (written).  Don’t want to rely on some device, and that’s not writing, I want all written, ALL.  Just remembered, though, it’s set to be hot today, brutally so, possibly with three digits.  IF that’s the case, then my writing in the park plans may be perished.

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Tired and ready for sleep.  Watching news.  They try so desperately to cling to the earthquake, anything associated with it.  Seems like so long ago.  Had one beer and nothing else when home.  About to sip a water but I’m too tired.  Tomorrow, I’m writing about everyone and everything.. thought tonight about how to incorporate the older pages into this new novel as Glenn urged.. or someone in the nucleus, can’t remember now because of this exhaustion.  But I have to figure a way, some shape for it to take.

On mind: students, wine tomorrow (harvest and what’s in tank), novel, lectures, Kerouac, my son (little Kerouac), my next run…

What was I doing a year ago today?  Two, three, four?  FIVE?

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from journal

9/6/14–  Up and I feel better than yester’ that’s for sure.  I’m moving faster as I type and I’m engaging with little Jack.  Could use more sleep but I can only wish so much.  Hoping today isn’t too crazy, I really don’t need that.    Having trouble thinking with Jackie’s cartoon on, but I smile, as he’s more content that I usually am.  The wine from yesterday, not moving me in any way and I wanted it to so badly, for the short stories or vignettes or scenes I have envisioned for Crystal’s character.  The tasting yesterday morning put me in such mood, tasting 12 wines before 10:30, although I didn’t let one touch my tongue or lips or “palate”.  Need a sip of coffee, and stay on my inked toes with observations today; group yesterday, 4, two from NC and the other from New Orleans–  NO!  One couple from GA and the other from ‘Orleans.  So nice, so eager to not so much learn as experience.  And that’s all it should be about, experience.  I guess, if I heard right, the wines we were tasting were pulled to pour for some bigshot critic or something– people were calling him ‘a writer’ to which I just laughed and how can I not if he’s only known for listing descriptors about wine and assigning some insignificantly subjective score.  Makes my head hurt so I stop with the entertainment..

Giving the park another try today, so I’ll eat before going.  I’ll walk away from the bench with one standalone, a piece of micro-fiction, something to toss into a literary magazine somewhere or maybe use for the novel, for my character who has a fascination with the short story and perhaps playing the short story circuit but only wants to be a novelist, or write books, full-length books, ones to be read and reacted to and held, he wants people to hold them and think “I can’t wait to get home and read this.” That park, just what writers use to pull themselves from some lull, or any stall.

Haven’t touched the old entries yet.  And that has to stop.  Have to charge this laptop so I have enough bite to follow through with ideas during those 30 minutes…

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7:38AM.  Watching something with Jack and counting till departure.  Still haven’t read Dav’s letter.  Will do so when I get to writing destination which I want to be Hood Mountain’s foot.  Not in the mood for people, that gardening or landscaping crew.. any traffic.  I want quiet and a view of those tall trees that tower over me like atmospheric mentors, or some scenic choir.  Feel a little tired from yesterday, seems to be the story for this semester, a lot of exhaustion.  I’ll get used to it eventually, I hope.

Today, going to Warm Springs.  Alone.  Which didn’t happen yesterday at lunch, and I have no regrets but I need collection a time and new space to write, and contribution to the novel in a way I don’t demonstrate elsewhere.  Coffee, second cup.  I think about the Roasting Company every so often, in Napa, when I worked at the box.  I’d go there for lunch to write, be away from the gossip of Lisa and Tina and find myself in a better place mentally, that is till I went back to the office.  That office, death.  Gray walls, that “professional” carpeting, and the swivel chairs, goal sheets and campaigns pinned or thumb-tacked to the wall.

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Labor Day.  And I’m laboring.  Not sure what realm of thought or realization this would be–psychology of metaphysics or Philosophy, but there seems to be a connection with everything, everything.  I realized this when Jack and I first came downstairs and the coffee was finally ready.  On The Road, being high on the notion of the Road– on possibility and promise and everything that’s ahead.. the same way that Kerouac wrote, with little deliberation, with little forethought and editing and stress of page presence, I will do the same with everything in teaching:

teaching blog post for the morning:  Please offer a couple passages from the weekend reading that we should have noted in our journals, that could be of use to us later.  And, tell us why they’re significant and why they attracted your attention/why they should be seen as valuable…

Posted.  Jack watches one of his cartoons on his day off and I’m on the floor working..  Coffee nearly done and Alice is at the JC with her workout buddy.  Can’t remember her name, but she’s a certified trainer or specialist or something.  Heard from Dav, he received my email letter but insists in responding in real writing, “old school style” he wrote in a message.  I feel failed.  I say I don’t have time to write my dear friend, that I don’t have time to stop by a post office.  I don’t need to.  I could just drop it in the mail slot by the Chinese restaurant or the 7-11.  One of them.  There’s no excuse not to write, I mean really write your friend, I say to myself.

I’m definitely headed to to Mom and Dad’s today to work.  One hour devoted to each class for grading, then write for a bit.  Want to spend time with Jackie and Ms. Alice.  She’s making some meatloaf recipe acquired from her mother– said in the 35 Laws that I’d cook more.  Another one I haven’t at all obeyed.  Crystal devoured by harvest, haven’t tried to contact Bob as I feel odd with courting his department chair at SSU, Scott’s in town but busy finishing something and has turned off all devices and means of contacting him (wish I could do that) and Glenn, I believe, is still in NY.  Why?  Is he going to stay there, move back?  But what about the nucleus?

The winery’s characters– need to make a list, like Kerouac legends I’ve found during research, who’s who if you know what I mean.  Like Carlo Marx is Ginsberg and Kerouac is Paradise and Burroughs is Old Bull Lee.  Now I’m getting antsy with everything, I should write it down if I want to fictionalize the winery appropriately, make a novel out of it or have it be a chapter or vignette or three.

Up to make more coffee.  And I’ll note everything today, everything in the museum Alice is taking us to, to the sounds from Mom and Dad’s deck, that view, the intense sun but I think I can hide under that new overhang and behind those screen pull-downs with the microscopic squares.  It’ll be relaxing and just what I need to put myself ahead of the students and their progress and the lesson progression for the semester.  Where’s the Comp Book?…  In my bag of course.

Wednesday will be Day 5.  Should start with my letter to the students, but even before that, a reading and assignment plan for the rest of the term.  Jackie leans against me, here on the floor.  We lean back against the couch and talk, he asks repeatedly, “Dada, a doing?” I smile and feel guilty for working in his presence.

Making a list of what I want done, and I mean DONE today.

No misses today.  Tomorrow at the winery I won’t wish I was at home working.  I won’t need such time as all’s being logged, graded, finished and written today…  Settled.

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Santa Rosa adjunct cell.  Had a coffee and peanut butter cookie when I arrived.  Eager for actual dinner later.  Running tomorrow through Sunday, and I can’t wait.  May need another coffee, and whatever the first one did for me quickly fades.  But I’ll just get a regular this time.  Just sent writings to SSU chair.. see what she says.  I’m eager, and I hope it clearly demonstrates to her just how eager I am.. remember, I’m a JC student, looking to transfer to a university, that’s my mindset.  Maybe I should go to the library.. yes!  True students, nor Jack Kerouac, would doom themselves to this box.  I hate boxes, remember?  That office in Napa.. I’ll never go back, to anything like that.  I still have no idea how I survived.

Over a thousand for the day.  I know just what to research in the library.. precisely what!  I’m on my own Beat and it feels stupendous.. lively!

I’m in the library, and I just injected $7 into a new copy card, just went through over 2 dollars of it printing a critical Article on Kerouac, his struggle for enlightenment (Todd Giles).  Never heard of the article’s author, but I feel like a student again.. right now I’m in one of the study rooms with a view of the floor, students studying, on computers already this semester doing research for who knows what, depends on discipline.  Breaking all my writings down and sectionalizing them.. just remembered have to email Dav his letter.  BUT ANYWAY, I’m in my old mode.. a student.  Like Kerouac, I need movement and I need knowledge, the Newness that I’m constantly talking to students about.

Just posted notes to teaching blog.  This b/log, bottledaux, WILL die at year’s end, which counting today gives it 127 days of Life/writing left.  Need to write some 500 words or so, maybe more– or maybe a letter to the students, about a thousand words, for next session, addressing the large reading assignment I today assigned, will assign the 6PM group.  So lovely, this is love, being here, in this library.. I’m never again sitting in that goddamn adjunct cell.  NEVER.  Kerouac would be here, so would Joyce, Plath.. Hem would more than likely find a bar or café, and that’s fine, but I’m here now, a student, harshly rushing for the university as I used to.  If I let the 6PM-ers go early like I did the other sections, I should come back here, to this very spot and if I can’t then find somewhere else, and print another article.  Have a feeling that I’ll cruise through that 7 dollars quite quick, so much so I’ll be dizzied, and I want to be; I want to wander this library looking for answers and questions, maybe more questions than answers.  I guess I’ll find out.  But I’m renewed, reinvented.  And no, this is not some “new era,” as that pig said one day during the morning meeting.  The era’s always been here.  It’s more than an era.  It’s ME.  And I have new breath, new vision and scope and sight and sense.  Try to stop me, devil, I dare you!

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8/25/14: 2

Between 1A’s. So far today I give myself an A-/B+. Why? I think I could have been a little more inventive with the morning sessions in how I brought them to life. The first 1A, just ended, easily my strongest performance of the day. Again, this could be my starvation talking, but I’m rather level, surprisingly, I think. I sip a mocha, two shot, small, from the … café on campus. Had to switch seats, where I was my screen was visible with passers from two entrances. Now, my back to a bookshelf. I will see an invader from this perch. And at home tonight, relax. I have to take time for me, little Jack, Ms. Alice. Would love to go for a 3 miler tomorrow morning. I could knock that out easily in less that 30, so why not.
Another criticism of my performance today is how much I’m carrying around. I need to be lighter. And, technically, I’m not supposed to be carrying this laptop from the condo (my rule, right after turning 35.. not sure I said so or wrote so in such specific words but the idea was definitely delivered). I had papers handed in today, the first wave, shorter reactions, of the semester. So that made my bag of more gravity and strain on my scribbling skeleton. I’ll grade one from each class tonight, so 4 total. and that’s it. Oh how I can’t wait to be home.. sip a little sparkling and ease into the couch.. not sure I’ll write tonight but I will get those four papers graded, just to tell Self I started. So what.. now… 5:20 on clock. I have to be more religious, if that’s the word I want to apply–don’t know but it’s what comes to mind– about transferring all the classnotes that I don’t type, from the Comp Book. Like, “What does it mean from something to be ‘composed?’, I asked the morning sessions, as the course title is something like Reading and Composition, or College Composition. Interesting, feel like ‘Composition’ is a word so loosely thrown around in college, like everyone has the same meaning and there’s no ambiguity. If that’s so, then why is there ever disparity with grading, or group grading, or rubric. Why does there need to be rubric panels, isn’t there a ‘One Way’? Again the hunger talks louder than me. Sip… Look left, down, behind me, under a desk, Computer atop, and there’s a box of books, and the box is an old Lagunitas IPA box, for I believe a 24 pack. That sounds good, too. I need time to live, not write, not teach or pour wine, just live, enjoy a day with Jack and Alice– which I believe comes this coming Monday with Labor Day. Oui oui! Just what the Mike Madigan of New needs!
6PM section next. Thus far, they’ve been very lively, easy and conversational. I feel like we’re on the same vessel; at the end of the day, tired, hungry, wanting to see family so let’s make quick use of time and avoid difficulty, have all be oceanic in rhythm.

detail: adjunct in mail room battling copy machine, seems that thing always breaks down and at the most horrible of times right before something’s due or some crucial lecture has to be given, “Shit!” I just heard her say, now she slams compartments on its surface and sides and interior, “Goddamnit…” she said, slamming something and walking away– I don’t blame her. “This is so ridiculous.” And just when she thinks she fixed the problem or the machine’s on her side it turns. Horror for her and gem for my fiction, my journal, I win.

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Okay, so .. done. Stopping. First 50 pages of novel, DONE. No additions. That’s what I’ll work with print and release. A little hungry. Wrote a poem while the Passat was filling this morning. Need coffee now, and some snack.. pastry pastry when was the last time I had one? Oh, yesterday I think– no, a blueberry waffle’s not a pastry, right? Feel jumpy and jubilant and intellectually juvenile, not to detriment, about this morning’s lectures. What I told Ms. Alice in a text– I feel alive, Mentally Alive at an altitude that my philosophy major friends would only envy and praise– “What’s gotten into you?” I can hear them saying. And the wine could never do this, it only slows. Wine and even my cherished artisanal beer acts as weights and tranquilizers to my and my ferocity.. so I move on. 1A sections next. I have to augment and adjust my plan, typed, ever so subtly. They’re 2 hour sessions where the 200s are 1hr 20min. So I can’t just recite the same script and I wouldn’t even if able. Not writers. That’s what the wine industry people do. They can’t digest other thinkings.
Not writers.
The first 50 pages.. want to print at some point but where and when.. home I guess, maybe tomorrow night, after work and dinner with Mom and Dad. Or how about ten pages at a time? that’s better. Yes. And more logical. And cost-effective, and I hate to think and talk like that but if I’m to SELF-publish and print I have to. Have to leave in 7mins, probably should get going now if I want to eat or have coffee– no don’t, there could be a line. So there you have it, I’m offering my health for the page and completing this entry. Have to get that permit, though, a new SRJC tag. Never enough Time goddamnit.

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