That means 94 more. Thinking like I always do about what I want from my professional life, and I mean complete idealism is what I’m entertaining on this couch. No wine tonight, I need the thoughts clearer than they’ve been. French.. I need to get back to my French studies, and completely immerse myself in the language. That’s one thing. Another, I want to have another writing session in that second floor of Palooza tomorrow. And talk to Jeff, see what he has planned in the way of events. How do you build a business like that without hitting a wall? Have to write it out, think, and talk to him. Tired. And more grading to do tomorrow. This, note, will be the last time in my life I’m in this position. And the cold or whatever’s about me, remaining; sore throat, slight sniffle, and tired. But tomorrow I’ll be renewed. And writing. And upstairs I’m walking ready for new day but also needing rest. Conflicted not so much as I’m eager, eager for Newness and for a new book, and for December, days of no class and more runs, running during daylight and not on a treadmill as I now HAVE to do.
Posts Tagged With: Creative Writing
Not yet started on the three pages but I will be editing the novel today, quite a bit of it. It’s just sitting there and I hate that, HATE IT. Coffee ready but not one sip. Surprised I have this much fire pre-cup. Alice called me upstairs a bit ago, since Jack booted me from bed at around 4-something, to see a sunset and the pink-bent orange that it threw to each of the sky’s provinces. Today, I’m bound for material and for fruition; the novel, the papers I have to grade. Everything. [sigh] If only I could stay home, imagine how much progress I’d make. Have to do on the clock. I’m outside in that lounge area today. Foot left still smarts from last night’s treadmill run. If I do that marathon in Santa Cruz, which I’m quite convinced I will, it’s 182 days at the front, so I have time to ready.
Jackie showing off how much more energy he has than papa. Fine, he wins, and he knows it.
Distracted at the moment, coffee and Jack and what I have to grade and the rest of the semester and the goddamn drive tomorrow– Be back. Not sure when. Need exploration. Need Newness. Life. Art. quiet.
organize before leaving for winery
one poem havent written one in a while
i hate punctuation and capitals
more music in prose
where the papers and pages from novel
And I’m hardly surprised in this case as my sister was the maker of this wine. Quick notes, as more specifics are to be later typed: dark, heavier body than most Zin pursuers will be used to; dark notes, chocolate, maple, cedar– balanced, playful, and antagonistic. I won’t lie, I’m a fan of my sister’s wines. While at St. Francis, I tasted the only Chard they were pouring, the SoCo, and three Zins. This is the one I brought home. Was proud of myself for only getting one bottle, as I’m such a wine bagger. Paired this bottle with carne asada tacos. Now I want to research winemaking more, get myself to a knowledge level where I have the choice of starting my own “label” and knowing it’d be successful, profitable in the first year. But then I choose to write about it. Why spend all that money when I could just find one of my legal sheet blocks?
Another sip… a little hot. Think the alc is 15.5 or 15.8. A little higher than I’d like, but I can’t think that way as a consumer; winemakers won’t make wines for you. There’s a balance of expressiveness and artistic integrity, and then vintage/varietal representation and its marketability. She has a tough job, my little sister, one demanding and changing and unexpected, and around-the-clock. I used to be obsessed with Zinfandel, the only wine type I’d pull from shelves, but then I found bottles that were too fruity and too everest in alc, unbalanced and barbaric. But not this RR fruit; there’s a poise to its personality that would overshadow the alc even if it were in the 16’s. It’s hard for me to calculate and solve, but then maybe it’s not meant to.
I look at what’s left int he glass. And I don’t want to sip it– wait, am I writing my review right now? No. I don’t write reviews. I react. And this wine is vocal and elementally enigmatic about its accentedness. And it’s a Zin. Russian River’s known mostly for Pinot and Chardonnay, I guess. So with that little capsule of sagacity I can only be somewhat stunned with a Zin from their AVA. I keep staring. The color. How’d she get it to such fuliginous, and with oak-woven notes that can only a palate provoke– Ugh, I sound like a wine blogger now. This is the kind of wine I’d write to, that I’d finish a novel to. That’s I’d have in my hotel room, writing, watching unfamiliar streets from a high floor as I did in Paris, with my wife asleep behind me.
I’m just playing with the vampiric cloud in the glass, turning it clockwise, then counter, seeing how its shape changes and varied intentions become even more postmodern. Now, more smoke; then chocolate covered cherry. I used to write about a character who sipped this very form of red. What would she say? She sip slower than me. I’m a writer, a Beat– undisciplined and rattling– an incensed mamba. “Understand the voice,” she’d urge, then go back to painting.
Classes over and I’m going through old writings. About to send McSweeney’s what I wrote yesterday as well as an old friend, Andrea, who also writes great narrative pieces as she has more life experience than most her age. Most my age. Both sessions this morning went well, probably from my nearly excess preparation. And Hemingway has always done that for me; motivate, antagonize and teach. Watching the David Sedaris interviews and reading he did at ‘The Village Voice’ showed me possibly new routes for my writing. I’m always learning and I’ve never denied that– in fact that’s one of the character traits of Mike Madigan that I most admire, really. Starting to get a bit hungry, Alice ordered me to pack snackage for Self, and I obeyed. Glad I did. The Special K with strawberry bits appeals at the moment, but I have to see if any students show. Bet I can answer that for myself.
Had a talk at the end of the 11AM section with ‘I’, I’ll call him. He wanted to toss around some ideas for the thousand word Hem response and I offered my insight, what I could and how I felt about certain topics. I then asked him where he was transferring, he told me he was 19 and that he didn’t do well his first semester here at Mendo. He also told me that his major had been changed from Econ to Comms (Communications), and that he might transfer to Long Beach or.. what was it.. I think UC Irvine, maybe. Either way he told me that he wanted a job like mine, that he could tell how passionate I was about teaching and about literature and my students and he wanted exactly the same thing. I felt ashamed and unworthy as I haven’t really felt so about my campuses of late, especially Mendocino. But I was gracious and nodded and thanked him. ‘I’ is a strong student, always vocal and eager to share ideas, which is acutely why it didn’t shock me when he said he wanted to get into, possibly, sports recruiting or sports journalism or broadcasting. I envy that he’s in the age arena where no decision need be hastily made. I’m losing what I have left of any whimming, at 35.
About to send Andrea my piece. Hope she likes it. And I think I’ll send it to McS’ right after. Tomorrow, more grading. Have to get more done than I did yesterday. Scanning other priorities in this writer’s wheelhouse– hate that term. So what do I have? Nothing now. I’m simplifying everything. Even my money handling, and my coffee buying habits. This morning, only a grande medium roast. I think the final tag was like $2.10 if I remember right. But whatever, I’m stable as a writer, and further centered after yesterday, especially yesterday’s 10-miler. So only joy and furtherance.
2:36, and in the conference room here in Emeritus. About to have one of those cold Starbucks coffee drinks you can get in that cafeteria café here. And then, my interest leaves me, for the day. I don’t know why, but I’m robbed of propellant, the inner. C’mon, I tell myself, just two more classes. Then I settle down. I think it’s the election results bringing me down, the Republicans taking everything but the napkins, and the pens at the voting booths, and the crumbs from lobby cookies. But that’s democracy. I did what I could, I voted.
Going to send yesterday’s thousand-worder to a magazine called Anobium. See how that turns out– but I was thinking coming down here from Ukiah, that I should only submit to mags that pay, wine or literature, or contemporary, whatever.. so that starts after this submission…
Have to review notes for class, see if there’s any Hemingway quotes I forgot to include in prep.. Took a hug swig of this coffee thing and I already experience shock. Love. Love it! Tomorrow more than likely just a wee run. Nothing major, and then the rest of that Zin, 2012, I opened last night. More focus on WINE! Maybe open a second bottle, just something to taste. Like what. Don’t know. Get further into wine.. that is your BEAT.. politics is your drug, guilty pleasure. And right now the politics drive me to sip more wine, more and more, more WINE!
4:54. Eating a blueberry muffin, having a coffee, a hot Sumatra blend from the library’s café. Stressing over marketing my writing. Sent yesterday’s piece to Anobium or whatever it’s called, but I need to see money from this practice of mine– this all-consuming passion of mine, this religion of mine. I have to, now! I won’t give up, that’s not what I’m saying, but I need the blog, the writings in and on this log to get me out of the winery, out of the working world where I’m dependent on a ‘Them’ for a paycheck. No.. that’s not living.. that’s just the purest most expected of deaths. So I’ll target publications– first on such a list of hits: The New Yorker, which I’ve already sent a couple pieces, and the NYT.. but I’m sure they get TONS of submissions, and I mean several tons of letters and stories and whatever–
My muffin, nearly dead. One more class to go, and there I go.. now I’m thinking about whoso, but I can’t spend the money and that goes against my centralizing philosophy, it does so I have to re-adjust. And in such.. I’ll post the contributing writers’ works on bottledaux, my blog.. and more images.. that’s okay.. if it pays I don’t give a shit. So yes there’s a concession. And this isn’t a wine blog! It’s a writer’s blog, and yes he likes wine. A lot.
Every so often I’ll think of Grandma, and remember what she said: “It’s YOUR life…you have YOUR choice.” And in everything being mine and up to me, such onus and ownership, I decide to go a different route. Again seeking safety in this journal and being lethally selective with where I send my pages… And I don’t know where I was going with that, just that I’m changing, and I might even say maturing but let’s see how much of this new scope I actually enact and practice and roll with.
Muffin gone, now only coffee, and it’s much more pleasant now that it doesn’t carry hell’s temperature. Why does coffee always have to be that hot? Is that enjoyable to some? Who, crazy people? Anyway, I look at the time, 5:04PM, right next to the battery indicator, which has me at 26%. Have to throw away this frail little white bag the muffin came in. Wasn’t bad, but I didn’t see a single goddamn blueberry! After all I’ve done for the students of this college, this is the thanks I get?
Thinking of wine, more wine, but no wine tonight.. rest of Zin and a surprise bottle, a surprise bottle for ME, tomorrow night.
Something I have to follow, but what? Find something to follow, today, something, and not yourself as a story, you’ve been doing that too long. Jeff, the Palooza owner, certainly a candidate, but consider something else.. like what? UGH. Maybe.. a winemaker. Yes. My sister. But could I be impartial? Sure I could. We’ve always had a bit of a rivalry. Friendly, yes, but it’s there. Some don’t want to talk about it, but it’s in the pool, in the air, on all columns of any building we’re concurrently in. That’s what makes Katie, my sister, such an Artist. Not just the brilliant wine she produces, but her undervoiced competitive voraciousness. As far as I gather, she’s untouched and unreachable in a flurry of regards. She, my little baby sister, a candidate.
I have to be interested in someone to follow them, and I mean much more than interested like I find something, a story, interesting, or some coincidence slightly capturing. I need to be short of enamored, or taken. I’ll be looking today, looking everywhere. And for lunch…?
IDEA: stop at St. Francis, buy some of Katie’s bottles, but it’s hard to tell which are truly hers.. I’ll do some investigation or ask gentle questions, they’ll never know what I’m doing. They’ll just think, “oh how cute, Mike’s here tasting, asking questions about his sister..” Or just, “Oh it’s Mike Madigan.” I prefer latter.
6:46AM, what a morning. This HST interview is fascinating, and motivating. I love his statement: “This was my ticket to ride, my ticket to get out of that damn place.” How I feel with the winery and adjuncting. And I will get out. I’ll show that mammering horn-beast full-timer at Mendocino what’s in my pen. Again I’ll say, what a morning. So awake that I’m alarmed, really. I’ve pleasantly alerted myself and no I’m not just rambling at the moment even though it may seem like that’s what I’m doing okay maybe a little bit– the day, not even open, book unread. No sign of sun. Fall, confusing everyone, everything. No birds yet. Alice’s alarm goes, time for her early run as she said. Good for her. She deserves her sprints around Bennett Valley, whatever time she chooses. She’s a hard worker, educator, obsessed nearly. She needs her time, my wife, a break indeed.
…maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental or presupposing. Maybe he owns his own business, contracts this work and does quite well. I don’t have for– that’s at the peak, the highest and most atmospheric of my wish list. So cheers to this man carrying that plastic can. If that is in fact the story with him.
8:57, and I agree with my pace this morning. About to head to the small postoffice and mail Dav’s materials, finally. Idea for short: teacher that thinks of retiring after hearing back from an education journal, asking him to speak at a school near its office. He accepts the invitation, speaks, then is asked to consult at that school and others nearby. He doesn’t but wishes he would have. Writes several lectures and talks to be given to his high school teaching colleagues. First, at a meeting. Average reception.. second, typed and printed and put into mailboxes.. then… not sure where it goes from there. Just something I’m thinking of. Staying in journal for now.
Burrito done. Weedblower right behind my car. Annoying. But I shouldn’t be writing here, truth told. Time to mail Dav’s papers. Where are they?… Somewhere in that workbag of mine. And that’s another part of teaching–or adjuncting–that I deplore, carrying that goddamn bag around. No wonder my lower back hurts from time to time. It’s not the running. Now quiet. No groundsmen around me. Strangely I feel alone, ignored, left to my word warpings and idea slab.
9:21PM. Just went outside to laundry room to see if clothes were ready, and no– boring, I know. But rain is coming, and the run for tomorrow morning, around 4 or 4:15 is still on. No wine tonight. And no ice cream. About to have 7UP as night’s cap. Tomorrow night I’ll open a Lancaster, probably an SB. More than likely will be raining while I run in the dark. Never done so and only have one such early morning run under belt, so I have no idea what to expect maybe some odd sounds or other early runners, hope I see one or two, no way I’ll see three. I’ll be charging phone tonight and ready for this run– nearly feel like I do the night before a race. Honestly. And when back in home, I’ll write, hopefully a couple hundred words in journal, maybe start a standalone from the notes I took today at Palooza. Only had one beer, wrote at counter instead of my upstairs safehouse or office. Need to bring Jeff a bottle of wine sometime, show him how much I appreciate his pervasive and steadfast hospitality. Thought of starting a series of standalones rooted in that beer room, something like ‘The Palooza Pages’, or ‘Pub Sketches’, or.. ‘beer writes’. Again, just playing with ideas at the moment. whoso due tomorrow, basically, but I won’t make deadline. Goddamnit! I’ll finish editing on the night of Nov 1st, my writing retreat night, and bring to printer the next morning. That’s what must be done for me to move on and out of wine industry grips.
7UP open. Only taking a couple sips then I quit. Don’t want to be in constant visit to the bathroom, so like I said, only a couple extractions. My anterior caprice…