Posts Tagged With: Book


Sitting, 8:14AM. Alice out for a walk with another of the young mothers, her little daughter, Lily [love that name]. Yesterday, as I predicted, madness in the tasting room. Luckily, most of my day was consumed by a VIP vineyard tour– four people from Baton Rouge, LA. Nice group, great humor, and we all seemed to have a proclivity for the same movies from the 80’s. And when they left, I lunched, upstairs in that putrid break room, reading some poorly-composed wine publication. Didn’t have a chance to be the journalist I set to be, but I will again bring those pages, and be more evasive with people, not pour as much, move around more, hide.. and WRITE!

This second cup, telling me that I need to keep with coffee all day.. write in smaller sentences, single words even.. just record whatever and whenever you can. Tomorrow’s lectures, both will be written out– going to surprise the students with my fire. And as I tell them to keep writing, I will do the same this morning.. keeping with my logging of items, objects.. the tangible.. made into the elemental, metaphysical. Ms. Plath’s collection, ‘Johnny Panic’, to right. She writes of neighbors, people, everything she optically ingests.

CHARACTER: My friend Melissa’s husband, Troy; painter, tattoo Artist; selling painting for $400.. I so very much praise and admire him; needing not a publisher or even gallery, but only his own abilities, pushes internal, and what sales savvy he holds.. which is obviously enough to vend his pieces. Vow to mimic Troy’s practice.. starting today. Not saying I’m going to sell a piece by day’s end.. but… By week’s close, I’ll sell one copy of the poem collection.. which I plan to re-title.

Two classes, a novel.. the novel being my class, for my Self.. I’m both instructor and student– independent study. And the ultimate goal.. be in MY office, away from pattern, unneeded voices, ‘weights’. One character, the looney wedding planner from years ago, for whom I did some blogging work, owning her own practice. How? She’s bloody mad! She told me, though, one time, over a glass of wine at Monti’s, “You need to let go of what you don’t want and focus on what you really want to focus on.” Wine, no longer a ‘focus’, as she specified, but ingredient, sometimes.. if all these people around me can land these new promising opportunities, then… Well, you know where I’m going with this thinking…..

No coffee yesterday– well, none from the SBUX on my block. Did that impede my character? Slightly. Had to settle for that vile coffee type on the 3rd floor. This morning, I WILL depart enough early so that if there is another line like 4/12 then I’ll have enough ticks and tocks on the devilish clock to get what I want.. what I need for my journalism assignment for day.

When this is past, it’ll all be a book. Sold.

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Saturday. Mike knew it’d be frenzy, from early till after 5, when people started prolonging their tastings, probably afraid to get in the car and drive, he always thought. But he made time to write, finishing the short story he started yesterday in the lot of the Kenwood Market. He read it again.. noticing a certain appropriate candor to the gruesomeness of the character. He’d never followed-through with a short of this literary shape; exploring tones of vengeance, revenge, justice.. or karma which he didn’t believe in.

Today, a run scheduled. Up Lawndale, and maybe a bit past the winery once he was back on the valley floor. Everything today had to be recorded. The piece he wrote yesterday, which he intended to send to The New Yorker, still on the little pieces of scratch paper. He hated how those so quickly collected, piled on his desk, or on the kitchen table, in that Literary nook of his. He needed an office offsite, and he wanted to be somehow pushed to it– He didn’t know where he was going with that thought stream. And he didn’t need to right away– Or maybe he did, he knew, turning 35 in 1 month, 17 days.

He’d target the New Yorker piece tonight after work, after his run. And he’d cap himself at 500 words; on the truths of the wine industry, the misperceptions, the horror of the fantasy that they sell– OR, he could write it in fiction, have two characters behind the bar, on a slow day, talking, sipping, going against the custody. Yes, commit to fiction, he thought. “The New Yorker,” he wrote, “I just have to write that one piece, that one piece.. everything will change. I will use them as my voice propeller. Journalism.. voice.. perspective… TRUTH. Nothing will be able to hurt me. I’ll show everyone…”

8:30AM. The second cup, done. He was tempted to fly to the kitchen for another, but that’s what the mocha was meant to do, keep his inner catalytics luminous. He brandished the little black notebook from his teaching bag. “No stapled scratch paper sheets today.. this is what journalists, REAL journalists use,” he wrote. His new writer friend from yesterday.. he couldn’t remember her name.. saying how she “only wrote in a diary,” and how Mike assured her that such writings had value from their unfined truths, that she should develop them, send him a page or two if she were comfortable, wanting ever a reader. After she left, he wrote ten lines in his makeshift tablet, in the back room next to the kitchen, where he wouldn’t be bothered. But today, he’d write while in the trenches, while the people were right in front of him, asking their colorful questions, that always, nearly every time, either made his eyes roll or core untie a giggle.

He took a second to think, gather what fragments of poise he could assemble before his leave, before going there to clock in. He went to the New Yorker’s website, started reading, whatever he could. Then, to the History Channel’s site.. see what happened this day in history, just to see if there was something there to push him. Civil War begins.. okay… FDR dies, first man in space– “AH!” Mike said, “Galileo guilty of heresy… Beautiful!”


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3.22.14.  And I wake to allergy onslaught.


3.23.14.  Same.  As if the once-deflective sphere surrounding me had left.  The allergies and I are certainly engaged in an angry tussle, this season.  Just made a cup of coffee.  Tried to get some more sleep, but my thoughts demand immediacy.  Yesterday was maniacal at the winery, only incensing me, pushing me deeper into writer thought.  I WILL lock myself in library tomorrow, between classes…  And there, 3 pages will be written.  All fiction.. pushing characters towards final chapters.  And I have to ask myself, as I urged my students ask themselves:  What do I want, at this book’s close?  What is the intrinsic intention behind this semester?

Another goal for library:  Push more poems, any you can find, into chapbook.  It’s time  my label finally launches.  The waiter last night asked me what my label was, after disclosing I’ve made wine in the past.  I politely, but firmly, stopped him, told him I only make wine for fun.  That I’m a writer.  But, I also thought, putting foils on my friends bottles the other day, as he has his own “label”.. My brand needs a shove.  And it starts with tomorrow, tomorrow’s library session, the writing.. and anything else I can bring into momentary standalone.

Time to get ready for work.  But I need to finish this coffee.  I need energy.  And I need today to be much less cyclonic than yesterday.  And I also need to hold myself to the standard of writing more at work, then transferring those notes into the fiction.


The morning was gaining, he had to rise.  But the scene demanded defiance.  He couldn’t, he thought.  Mary would be there today, Sunday, her Monday, and he wanted to help.. But he knew he needed to help himself, more.  If he was to ever get out.

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9:41PM.  Sipping some of my cuvée.  Momentously more savory than my last visit.  Was inclined to post to teaching blog, but I’d rather enjoy the freedom of type such as this.  Rain outside.  I hear it on the concrete just past the front door, and galloping down the gutter.  Tomorrow, in that other mode– that industry pose.  Order, orders.  But you know, there’s no fear about me.  Not that there ever was, but now there’s a certain cementing of certainly about my ability, my unique acuity.  I know what I am, and I won’t be stringed; puppeteering isn’t an option for anyone around me.  I walk with the eagle’s ease.

I started thinking this the other day, how so many are afraid of losing their job, and what would happen if they did.  This must be one of my successes in Life, as I don’t feel that.  Not even a muffled glimmer of such.

Computer moving slow.  Frustrating me to the point of wanting to toss it out into the rain.  but that would be a compliment, allowing it to enjoy these drops.. an undeserved reward.

This week, 8 of 18, for the semester.  Next week, I start printing what I’ve written in this term’s novel..  Hard to say how the story ends, precisely.  And that’s because the story itself hasn’t yet told me.  I, nothing more than a character.. I need direction from this story.  I know how I’d like it to end, but I have to see if we, the story and I, agree.  I has a similar discussion this morning with the ‘5’ class, concerning Ms. Plath, The Bell Jar, and how she ended her Life; one of the students said that it was the only logical ending to her story.. or the necessary ending, which I thought was fascinating, of course, as I’m writing this novel, hoping my own story, this semester’s novel, will end as I wish.

Need another sip from the ’12 NDC [New Dad Cuvée, case you forgot].

The rain seems to be more vocal at the moment.  Need to run tomorrow, after work.  didn’t today, as my lower back, and knee, bother the writer a bit, still.

But I need to keep writing, keep running.  Finish this bloody novel.  And my character, the other character, C——, still developing, but with foundation, direction.  She, wanting change.  And me, just as well.  I’m listening to this rain, and just wondering, becoming emboldened, more fearless than I’ve ever been.  Poe mode, again, like last semester.  (3/5/14)

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Tonight’s types– Chardonnay, Cabernet.  Not in a novel mood. Tonight’s one of those evenings where I just want to write freely, truly enjoy my truest of styles.  The chocolate accent’s more present tonight than 24 hours past.  Keep forgetting tomorrow’s my “day off.” Wish it truly were.  Teaching in eve.  Have papers to grade.  Behind, just like times old.  Keep stressing about writing this Kelly book.  Why?  How will that get it finished any quicker?  She wouldn’t want that, I know.  Compelled to take another sip, but resisting, holding in my types.  Looking at one of the pictures I took today, of the leaves, clusters.  Love this time, during vintage.  But they have to be picked.  Why is that tearing at sensors under shell?  Hard to tell.  Need music, but don’t want to wake little Kerouac.  Just the reason I need my own office, why I strive to one day one be obligated, EXPECTED, to write 8 hours a day.. not subscribe to clock spots, another’s druthers.  Now I’ll sip, celebratory, knowing certain curtains don’t dictate what’s the version certain.

A photograph I posted to the winery’s site received quite the response, today.  Photography, something I surely need pursue.  Like Kaz.  Speaking of my brother, sacrificed my lunch to pay his base a visit.  May not be making that SB with him.  May be a Cab, or Petite Sirah.  Not sure I want to produce a PS.  I’m not passionate about the varietal.  At all.  Has to be Cab.  And I’ll do the Chardonnay with Professor Kate, I hope.  Have to make wine where I can.  Maybe I can get a handful of leftover clusters from the winery, write a barrel or 2.  Has to be Syrah, that’s what I’d want from that estate.  Have touched my books in some time, only been tasting, toughening my palate, if you will.  Still don’t feel like it’s my Friday.  This Friday, in home by Self.  Not meeting coworkers anywhere.  Staying in castle, opening an SB, Chard, Syrah, Cab.. a mock-whoso tasting Room flight.  Can’t wait.  And food?  May simply have apps.. some cheese, crackers, veggies.. but I have to get writing done.  SIGNIFICANT progress.  I want some substantial cemented in 1 sitting.  Like all the artists I admire.. Poe, Pac, Plath.  Feeling reflective by this empty glass, wondering if I should add 1 more varietal to my lineup.  But is there another I enjoy to such a point?  What about a blend.. of Cab, Syrah?  I’ll do whatever I want, I’m thinking.  I know, I should be working on a book project, my novel.  But I needed a freewrite.  My former students would understand, especially those from that Fall ’09 1A section [peace, love].

Then, the night ends.  If I wake early tomorrow, like 5AM-something, I could have that session I did months ago.  The Barleycorn effort.  All for the novel.  That Self-published paragon manuscript.  Glad I’m done with glass, and that I filled that filtered water carafe in fridge.  Done typing, again.  Not natural.  Long 4 pen, ink.  What Plath grabbed.. what Pac stocked.

(9/16/12, Sunday)

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With, Out

9:55a.  Early Clock-in.  Off to novel…

1432 words, 3 pages.  Logged.  Productive morning.  Time, now, 11am.  One hours left in sitting, just like the Lit Lunches in Napa.  Wined instrumentals playing, but they’re tainted a bit by the coffee shop’s speakers.  That acoustic whinny nonsense they deem musical.  Sorry.  Just hate when my moments are disrupted, are less than perfect.  [Who’s whinny?]  Didn’t taste any wine yesterday as I’d hoped.  But that’s fine.  Probably will tomorrow night with Mom and Dad.  Oh, I mean tonight.  What the rest of the day holds, have no idea.  Think the air conditioning’s breathing on me again.  Mocha almost gone.  My sitting’s deteriorating.  Not sure what to convey to page, now.  Still feel last night’s run.  Tired.  Coupled with my early rise this AM, I may need some siesta later, of some length.

Standalone’s, for performing, collecting in my new Comp Book.  Plan on reading within the next couple weeks, once I solidify and have practices a spoken word set.  Always with poetry.  With-with…  Thinking four pieces.  Or 3, as I haven’t performed in some time.  Again, I want it to be musical. Of the instantaneous nature.  Written & edited in short spans.  Those are the pages I want to orate.  Moment-to-moment writing.  The bursts, blurbs.  Have to use the restroom, and don’t want to surrender my seat.  Again.  Have to push through it, no matter how painful.  With focus on the moment, as Mom urges.  This freedom, this Artistic Autonomy.  Me, this seat.  The music through the earphones.  How I’m not in a box anymore.  No more wine labor camp…  How I’m not intimidated.  How I wasn’t ever, when there.  How I’m Mentally Alive, more assured and Defiant than I’ve ever stood.

The shop is crowding, quick.  Maybe I should leave, return home.  Or write in my car for a bit, by that lake.  Watch the ducks in their leisured struts.  More in the mood for verse now, anyway.  Done with the mocha.  Surprised how quick I’ve been this AM, considering…  Clocking out.  Another sip.  One more.  Bye, mocha, mocha manuscripts.  Where are my keys?  Oh…

5:13p.  Home.  Writing till dinner.  Have till 6.  Well, giving Self till then.  Was just having one of those what-should-I-write moments.  Can’t afford it, I realize.  Hate it when I read something from Capote, or King, Updike, Shakur, Plath, Poe, whomever, and think “I should do something like that.  Or, worse, “I should write like that.” Can’t second guess mySelf, like Katie said.  Just going to write my moments.  And I know not all will want to read.  Fine with me.  Don’t really care if anyone does.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I do have to eat, at some point, no?  I just engage in sessions like this, with this tone especially, to let other writers know it’s okay to write just to write, or to stay in the habit of writing by keeping WITH the typing, staying in the chair.  While sipping Cab, Merlot or whatever wine touches my palate tonight, there need be scribbles.  Just the mood I’m in.  My inner-Hemingway’s out.

2/10/12, Friday … NewMike [NObox]

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12:58p.  Left office at 12:47.  Just now sitting to write, as I was confronted with stalls.  But here I am.  Read through the first three pages of my book at my desk.  Not as bad as I was expecting.  In fact, the prose’s consistency and thematic progression is surprisingly engaging.  My mocha, in a pint glass.  Hot, like it wants to be heard, seen, like it’s angry that it deserves more attention.

Quite a few cubeNOTES scribbled.  My thoughts this morning, till now, tidal waves of sight.  Like my visions multiply, promising proximal tangibility.  At the back table.  Think this may be my new favorite writing spot in the café.  A young woman sits, sips in my usual seat.  She types on her laptop, but not at a pace which indicates anything Creative, reflectively Literary.  More like the composition of an email.  I could be wrong, though, as I often am.

The Cabernet, still on concentration’s operating table.  Know just how I would market it, if I was to sell.  Not this first vintage.  Shame, as it tasted sovereignly sculpted to my palate, the particular palates of Mom and Dad.  Tonight, printing three more pages.  Have a drop-dead due date for my ms: 3/19/12, exactly two months from today.  Will keep this promise, as I did the countdown at the end of mikeslognoblog, and as I fantasize about receive acceptance from a publisher.  Yes, I boast as a Self-publishing writer.  And I am.  But, this first book I want to disseminate and market traditionally.  Going to prove to my Self that my writing’s at such a level.  Going to show everyone the same.  Want to see it on shelves, do signings, TRAVEL.  Write while I travel.

That winemaker I met on Tuesday, his words, following me, my scribbles, following me to this small wooden chair, here by the bean bar.  He went ahead and did all his way.  Took tremendous risks that paid, brought what he envisioned.  Fruitful fruition.  Now, he travels with his bottled projects.  His stories.  I’m not far behind.  I’ve written too much, far too much to be stationary, for all my pages to just be stored on some “doc,” or shoved into that plastic container in the closet, under far reaches of work shirts.

1:12p.  35 minutes.  Is that right?  Typing fast, so math’s a bit strenuous.  It’s difficult when I’m relaxed, still.  Haven’t touched the spoken word yet, today.  For when I’m back at the desk, between tasks.  May have found a couple readings, casual open mics of interest, here in Napa.  But, my exhaustive ridiculous commute, how it squeezes my time like morning oranges, has me wondering if that’d be optimal time use.  Of course it would, it’s Literary.  Time, just passing, but these entries, shorter works (yes, that includes my novel, as it won’t be some trashy Twilight book-length effort, an aircraft carrier or tanker’s anchor of paper).  Brevity, where wit sits.  Is at my table, or that girl’s, over there?  Now I’m certain she’s not a writer, as she’s mousing around some site, with her left index finger skating around.  Am I a writer?  How do I know?  I don’t have a book out.

But I will.

[1/19/12 - Th]

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