Posts Tagged With: Creative Writing

10/22/14

Quiet in this bottom floor hall.  Prep’d for rough draft workshop but the stomach ache I had last night/early morning, that nearly made me sick still shimmies a bit.  If after the second Mendo section I feel like this, I’ll leave straight for home, rest, and the run from last night also influences my standing today.  Hate feeling like this when I have to work with students– when I’m fiery and lively, I’m me, the sturdiest of me’s.  But now, I’m only half-character and I hate it.

whoso issue due in ten days.  So I need to edit.  Wanted a picture or some kind of image on the cover but it’s just “not in the budget” as they say.

Feel not me, and I hate it.  But I have to gather Self for students..  8:52, so I have a little time to meditate.  Not in the mood to write, either–  I should just go home now, rest, re-collect, maybe even take tomorrow.  If I leave here, Mendo, I won’t get paid as there’s no sick time accrued.  But there is at SRJC and the winery, so something to think about.  Again, if this feeling remains.  Hemingway would power through it.. I know I know.  But I’m not him.  I’m a different Literary shape, and speaking of.. what sources can I offer on Hem?  Didn’t have time to look last night with the Giant’s game and the Syrah I chose to sip.

12:56PM.  Out of classes, just finished meeting with student.  Now to SRJC.–  And a student stops by to see me.  Tired, even though I feel much better than I did this morning.  Definitely need coffee.  Not going to this oncampus café.  Too crowded and I don’t want all those voices around me.  Okay, I’m telling myself… two more draft workshops then I can rest, be home, sleep.. and I yawn as I type this, ready for some home, some motionlessness, just actual REST.

1:08.  How did time pass that fast?  Don’t want to write anymore.. leaving… thinking of Hemingway and him saying all around him was his.  At this point in my life I can only think as he does, my own lit mag started and a self-published novel right behind the inaugural issue.  Collecting the 500-word pieces for a possible other book (didn’t write one yesterday unfortunately but I will later, or try depending on how I feel or if I wake up or not..).  I can’t “fail” as a writer.  I just won’t allow it.  This is how I will make my tender eventually and the only way.  That crazy wedding planner that I blogged for years ago told me: “You need to focus on what it is you want to really do.” Or something like that.  Either way it stuck, loony as she was.  But I am Hemingway, Hemingway-ian, or -esque, and I will impose my writing presence wherever I am, and now on page and not just a bloody blog.

5PM.  Library, third floor, in corner with most beneficial view I’ve ever had in a sitting here.  Hear female students laughing somewhere to right, in the stacks.  The novel is done, I have written the last “new word” in it, just a couple minutes ago.  So if I add anything else it’ll be an older writing and the character will have it as something he stumbled across, upon, ran into or whatever.  Still need to do a 500-word piece for today, but I’m tiring.  I’ll write one tomorrow morning, early like Hemingway.  In fact, I’ll only write in 500-word standalone bursts tomorrow.  I should easily have three.  Right now I just need to meditate in this seat with the view across the street, at the Emeritus quad.  Ran into a student from Spring ’14, he was in the café where I bought this Dr. Pepper and he was reading War and Peace, which surprised me as he wasn’t the strongest student in that class, always sitting in the back and rarely volunteering a thought.

Can’t wait for the next class to be done.  I’m tired.  Feeling much better, yes, but tired.  I may go right–

Had to move.  Students of course chose to sit right behind me.  Now I’m on the third floor.  No view.  Only of books.  Which is fine.  The books I can see are on paintings, the Vatican, Art theory.. let’s see….. the “power of art”.. this can’t be coincidence.  In one of the sources I found on Hemingway, it stated he viewed his art, writing, as more of a job than anything.  And I now, only now at 35, am seeing the dire nature to what I want to do for a living.  So I need to write a 500-word piece now, now– NOW!

Now in Emeritus.  Somehow, some twinge of misluck, a former employee of the winery, Alec, stumbled into my safe quiet zone.  I won’t hide my annoyance on this page.  I was already forced to move now I’m made to be here in the conference room, but I suppose this is only a boon, as no students will be scouring these halls, and if they are it won’t be for me.

With the novel done, I’ll wait to start another.  I need to edit, I know, and I’ll start tonight, one page at a time and minimally!  I don’t want this to be antichaos I want it to be BEAT, and Cubist, and JAZZ.  Musical if you have my intention understood.  The exhaustion compiled in this day is now becoming visible, I can see it.  This last class, the 6PM, has to be casual, conversational.  The 3PM took a lot from me even though I was sipping the Sumatra blend– hot in its nightish movement and casings.  I’m starting to taste whatever I’ll eat when home and feel the comfort of those sheets, and imagine the next day as I fall asleep.

Just looked at the first page of the novel.  Not bad.  Definitely me, rushed and frantic and obsessed with coffee, but how can I write otherwise, you know?

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Blueish

2,395 words so far today written.  Wrote Dav, wrote my daily 500-word standalone.. feeling like a professional writer, whatever that means– well, one that can actually live from their craft.  Hungry, will eat the PBJ I made for myself this morning.  And when at SRJC, another black coffee– no mocha.. save for publishing and Jackie’s college and vacation with Alice and our next dinner date.

Two more quick meetings when in SR.  Want the students to arrive next meeting with strong drafts for this Wolff paper.  I’m hoping they surprise themselves and me as well.  I’m trying to hold onto faith in the American Scholar, but it’s been hard this semester.

1:10, time to go.  Can’t wait for my Road snacks, and the jazz, and the additional writing I’ll have done on campus, at my base campus, the mainland!  Joy!  Missing my little boy, though.. trying to work and write and drive through it.

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10/20/14–

typing in mendo class.  First section done, met them briefly and sent them to write their second papers.  Student in the 11AM section, with her short story– more literary might than I’ve exhibited in some of my recent bouts but I’m back into my usual rampant marathon prose, with this nov 1st deadline for whoso and the novel’s draft being done by the end of today.  But then I have to print.  Where do I find the time to do that?  On my November break: 3, 6 & 7.  I guess that’s when.  Quiet in this room.  Handing back the papers for the 11AM section and meeting with the authorial student and hopefully some of the others so I can better position them for submission.  Less than 20 meetings for the term left.  How did that happen?

Want to get home early, spend time with Jackie, Ms. Alice.  Driving up this morning, sipping my coffee– black, no mocha– I watched rain, that extending arm of fog into that valley, to my left, north on 101 just past Hopland.  Wish I could have stopped, to write or take a picture or breathe some of that air, but I couldn’t– times, deadlines, constriction– that old position.

Need more coffee, but the cafeteria on this campus stresses me, that little shop far too crowded and loud for a write that’s for sure.  Love when this classroom’s quiet.  Should back up my work on this goddamn thing, this laptop.  One of 35 Laws was to use it much less, to actually WRITE more.. so much for that.  Dav before he left was going to give me his typewriter, but that never happened and I don’t blame him, and the story behind how he acquired that is amazing– on the photo mission in that abandoned SF building just off of Fell street I think.  Still need to read his letter, write him back.  I’ll do the same, print the letter and send some 500-word pieces.  Started my new streak: 500 words standalone a day, see how long that lasts.  Uncomfortable in this chair, at this desk at class’ head.. feel my shoulders rising while I type and my posture adjusting unwantingly.. ugh!

Coffee, coffee.. more more more.  Glad the rain’s come back.  Need it for the writing and my temperament lately.  It calms and evens this writer, unlike this commute lately, and the winery.

I want to track my stats again, this time be incredibly “on top of it”.  So I’ll start with yesterday– two standalones (500 word piece and the poem into whoso), and some journaling.  Think that’s it.  And today so far, just this, this sitting in the Performing Arts classroom.  Look left, map on wall of world so much I haven’t seen and I don’t want to travel too much as I don’t want to be away from Kerouac too much, my wife.. so what to do, no idea have to work it out but how.  Add that to the November days off list I guess.

And the first 11AM-er cometh in– time to change character.  MY character that is.

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Seen Likely

10:52PM.  Mom and Dad’s house, Jackie asleep, me done from day, delayed and decayed, energy-wise, and I enjoy my cap, an AV Cab.  But I look forward to sleep, deep rest to recollect– the day only annoyed me, all the questions and looks and remarks and overanalysis of wine.  It’s only bloody wine, I wanted to yell at them, gawking at the vinaceous puddles, why do they do that, have they never had red wine before?  What’s their deal I ask myself just watching them sip then looking back down at the menu, just dizzying in their spins and things, revamped in my core– poems now, like the three I wrote today on their dime– first sip of this AV Cab that Dad was sipping, me earlier enjoying the cuvée I made in ’12…  Typical AV bordeaux; leather chocolate cigar box espresso, just what I need after a day like this.  Was tipped $100 on a barrel tasting tour, which made me happy, that not happening often, if ever.

I’m reaching a point where I’m hesitant to tell people I write, which scares me, I never used to be like that– am I ashamed or afraid?  Why is this age, 35, contaminating my cognition as it does?  Kerouac didn’t let that roar so.  So…  What am I doing?  Publish anything, and everything, as my character Glenn recommended, as he did with his drawings on napkins– you’ll read when the novel comes out.

I’m dreaming of my coffee in the morning, already, and when home my mom will watch the little Artist and I’ll shower and dress and then write for I hope about an hour, I hope.. with more coffee than I should probably have.. just keep writing till another book’s finished, and another and another.. and Self-publish everything.  Had a conversation with someone recently about what publishers do to the writer’s work, and it’s devilish.  Ball for one begun, and it’s all me, completely with this release sequentiality.

And then, I feel relaxed, just in the moment, a Zen, an Equalized ride piling in my personhood.  Love, shores, views, celebratory scream in me.

I see me as a professor as leadership or I’m leading something and I don’t want to anymore.  I want to be completely sovereign, Autonomous, I only want to lead mySelf, no one other, river in tow with my flame and I go.  And the Cabernet’s gone, a fellno, and me alone, with thoughts and worries and what-I’m-gonna-do’s for Monday.  I’ve seen nothing, I haven’t shaken faults, and not anything chopping..I need to be more Beat, BEATEN.  I could go in tomorrow and quit, just leave, but I wouldn’t do that to Mary or Dwight– I can’t do that to characters I value– well I value them all, but there are few, FEW, I spare my fury.

Lunch today, Palooza, a beer and that chicken sandwich– and I had a whole half-day ahead.  Why have I done this to me my character my story my waves and standing or sitting.  They’re snakes, all of them!

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I should just

start an adjunct log, for other adjuncts– start a real movement, maybe I’ll then get “picked up”.  Yeah?  Or just detail my details of my barely detailed day.  Right now, I’m in the cell, the shared office they let us adjuncts use.  How generous.  And yes, I wonder what it’s like to have one of those rooms, those offices to myself.  But I’ll just keep thinking.  Had to take a break from a stack of papers ’cause the writing hurt me so horribly– ears eyes mind and stomach.  But I can’t blame the students for the ill-prescriptions of high school.  And I won’t let this cage, this cell, this shared office I’m in drive me any madder.  We adjuncts forage, but only from letting them, letting them do this to us, and letting US do this to us.  What if I said ‘no more’, that I would only write about the adjunct life, that I don’t want to do it anymore and that I want to write about it to be a voice for us, the ones who aren’t complacent and distant and self-anointed in our cozy little corners, decorated to expose our biases and agendas and be a selfish advertisement; and so many of them are like that– when you’re full-time you sigh, you exhale and you lay down, relax, and if students don’t like your ways and methods and ideas (if they offer any innovative ones, anymore in their career, or even teach, speak with sincerity and connection), then who cares.  You’re full-time.  And if you’re tenured, then fuck the world!  What can it do?  You could light the quad on fire and they can barely engage you in discussion or ask why you did it.  I have too much shape and color for such a fluff cloud.  I’ll stay an adjunct FOR the adjuncts.  For my students.  And if I’m ever full-time, then I’ll still work for them; offer to be voice for them, for us, even if I’m one, technically, of THEM.

(10/13/14)

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10/11/14–

Just woke.  Short bathroom break and now writing.  Again, I feel safer writing here than in the magazine, or starting some new book– not yet, not time.. yet.  Going in late for club event, home a little late then half marathon tomorrow.  Landed fall classes for SRJC: English 1A in morning, early (7AM), than a 1B in Petaluma, I think 12-1:30.  Then done.  No Mendo.  I mean, I could take classes there, but they haven’t offered me anything official yet, or what I deem official– only ones tentative with the observation contingency, which we haven’t debriefed yet.  They’re moving too slow in Ukiah, and even if they were more motivated, motioned, I wouldn’t take them.  I want more time to write and more time with little Kerouac, who was again coughing last night, my poor little Artist.  Tired from yesterday in the reserf room, and tonight’s event better not even be the least bit demanding, not stressing or straining me even a little.

Tempted to get a little more sleep, but I needed to write.. something.  Jackie’s up, going up to get him…

7:16AM.  First sip of coffee, poems I wrote yesterday, may blend them together, but not in the same order they were scribbled or typed on phone.  I’m not in any way about “order” these days.. just writing and releasing, the moment and the Newness, the knowledge that Emerson said I need to find, for myself, and the Equilibrium that Dad said one day I’d find.  And I think I have, or at least I can see it and I think about that watching little Jack play with his toys, with two batteries in and out of the airplane piggybank, he removed the front portion with the propeller, puts the batteries (AA) in, jiggles them then removes.  He has a system, a pattern, methodology to everything he does and I just sit here with candied envy.. and I’m not an agelast, I do giggle a bit but I also analyze, see how I can have some of what he exercises.

I’m basorexic with words this morning, language, spinning it however I want like a turtle in the pacific riding some unexpected or known current for amusement or transportation or both.  I’m just holding words then returning them to the world in a more libation-like layer.  Tomorrow’s run, visible.  I just have to start slow.  I can still feel the 7.2 run from Thursday.

$4200 in account, putting $150 on couch, then it’s paid.  That leaves $4050.  Put $200 on cc, 3850.  And there I’ll stop for now.  Want to put around $500 toward the house fund and maybe $250 or $275, maybe $280 to my publishing stash at Schwab.  And no new camera!  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a new device for pictures.  Eventually, maybe, just not yet.  I’d rather write and at this point anything that intercedes with the pages is punishable obstruction as I see it.–  $280 to company.  and I stop.

Jackie plays with a couple pennies, nickels and dimes I gave him.  “Dada, that’s my money, I pu’ i’ here!” he says, turning back around to focus on his arranging.  Feel like xenobombulating today, make up some excuse.  They have plenty of people, right?  In the speed-walking wine club member frenzy and dogma of entitlement and somehow warranted overconsumption.. I don’t want to hear their requests and hear how they’ve been club members for years, or a little over a year, or they just signed up and are already acting like they own the bloody winery.. I just don’t want to hear it.

More coffee.  I hate it when it approaches the Siberian stage of staleness and it loses its courage.  Excuse me…  Second cup cued.  Blankets on the floor just in front of a puddle of toys.  Very much looking forward to only teaching two classes next term.  And, I have to be honest, the drive is something I won’t at all miss.  At first it was exhilarating being a freeway flying teacher again, but I’m calling it, it’s over, no more, more centralization and that pertains to vocation avocation and geography.  Flying for adjunct assignments is a young person’s pursuit, and I’m an aging writing stuck and even further harnessed to my ways, practices.  “Less is more,” a full-timer at Napa Valley College once said to me, addressing quality vs quantity with courseload.  Now I get it, now I see…

And the morning is much in motion with Alice up and out for a walk.  No running with her recently paining knee.  And laundry upstairs, groaning and circling and throwing water and soap all over its insides.  And Jack, jumping from snack to snack, seemingly never full and never bored and never, never exhausted with his surrounding.  Never with mulligrubs.  How does he do that?  He’s luminous always, even when he wakes in the middle of the night like last night, he had a question: “Where mama go?”

He rises from his recent snack and goes to the table where his cars and trucks and trains and one plane situate.  The winery on thoughts, the vent, but I won’t let it stay long.  I’m like a photographer walking around looking for the perfect shot, like that guy yesterday that I saw roaming around the Syrah hill with his camera and stand, standing with folded arms deciding when to push his button.

Hoping to get a haircut today, not that you needed to know that but I’m looking for anything to note at this point, anything.. I’m running out of fuel, ideas, thinking of the past; Arundel, my grammar school and Serra, the high school– seems like two lives ago.  And how?  My goal for tomorrow, on running’s note, is to feel better than I did on the last ‘half’ at mile 10.  Mile 10 is where everything started to wear, pain, pulsate about me.  But not tomorrow.  [8:18AM]

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excerpt… (novel)

Me, post-shift:  Tired but ready for dinner at Girl & The Fig.  Never been there before.  And I’ll be in writing mode, even though it’s ‘date nigt’ with Ms. Alice.  Done from day, tired and embittered even more, and frustrated with large groups.  Yes, I’m essentially the only one handling such, but today’s irked me in a stacked sense that cranked my tense, from present to past and future and tangled.  MY language blended and this is the exhaustion and the Racer 5 very much in speech reach.  Little Kerouac with his grandparents, so Alice and I have brackets, breaths, momentary collection lulls.  I’ll open a wine when back home, and Alice more than likely will rest after her 11 mile run.  ELEVEN MILES.  How does Mrs. Massamen do such?  Why can’t I?  Well, like she said, “You just do it.” Agreed.  Like with this novel.  And how the IPA tries to slow me but I keep with types.. my Beat.  And the grading, addressed tonight as well.  Just ten items.  That’s it.  Think I’m having lunch with D—– tomorrow, so no Lit Lunch and no markings on papers.  Rough draft session on Monday– coincidence, my novel’s draft is due a week from Monday, if I’m to be a serious Self-publisher.  So old entries addressed tonight.  Gary, the Literary friend at work, whom I found has an ABD PhD, brought me gifts: two MSS from Amy Hempel, a writer known for her short-shorts.  I’m reading through them now, and love her richly tinted brevity.. some of her sentences wouldn’t even make “sense” to the mainstream reader, and who cares.  She’s SHE, herSelf.  And I love it.  When supervisors talk, and yell, and lecture, I just want to smile, and not walk away, but smile in their face, show them They don’t affect me at all, their hollow, jokes, jesters, special needs characters– not apt to play my chess game.  And that’s just how I reacted today, with one of them; older than me, not as quick, certainly not as apt in any appropriate Road, and just a burro.  Look at you, sad.. go, gallop that way, ass…

7:34.  We should get going soon!  Our reser’ is soon, 8:15.  Alice is tired…

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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.

(9/13/14)

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9/11/14.

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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10:02PM

Entered a page in the new Comp Book.  And I’m tired, sipping the 7UP I bought at the store, just hours ago.  Overwhelmed already by all the work I have before me for the semester, but I’ll keep my life simplified, into one Composition Book.  This laptop, used less and less.  It has to be that way; simple, condensed, fluid, singular.  Feeling not at all pained by the 5 mile run, but more from Jackie’s 1st day of preschool.  How is it that my little Artist is here already?  He grows quicker than I can handle.  Need a cocktail, or something, a sip of this 7UP then one of the Stewart’s Root Beers I bought.  Tomorrow at lunch, going to the Warm Springs park for writing, collection.  And only bringing this Comp Book, layering myself in nothing I have to, but only want to.  tomorrow’s theme, or major subtext note: exploration, true boldly honest exploration.

As I read further into Kerouac’s journals, I find he had the same struggles with the Craft that I do.  Not sure if that has meaning or just something I’m looking for anyway seeing’s how much I love his work, but it’s something I’m here noting.  Becoming renascent in a way I’ve never been, at least in my stepping, what I see, feel.  Going to alter me tomorrow, in some way, and write it all in my little notebook– so I have that one, this new Comp Book, and “Front”, the notebook I took from campus, from the English Dept’s mailroom, me writing “FRONT” on what I believe to be the front side.  Not sure, that’s why I wrote it, so I’d always know how to open.  Somewhere in there’s the key to Road– well that and all the old blog entries.  I hate the blog but then I love it.  We’re richly and tastefully dysfunctional.  We’re to be admired.  Our mutual abuse is like thrown seduction, a loud tryst with unavoidable light and shape and beat.

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