Posts Tagged With: Creative Writing

Time to leave

for Petaluma Campus. Another quick meeting of prompting students to write their stories (3 pages typed by next meeting, Tuesday), and collecting the ‘Hem papers’. Then, run when home. Need more coffee although right now I’m quite happy and functional. But could use a break from the key and from thinking too harshly as I have been since I sat here in the Emeritus conference room or whatever, since 8AM, about. Class doesn’t start for another over-2.5 hours, so I have time to think and collect and think about my ‘Wellness’. My new friend Phoebe’s topic and consistency and encompassing fervor with health has me thinking about my Life, and how Jack’s father needs to be as healthy as he can.. to be around and involved in everything. Tomorrow night, I’m thinking, for dinner I’ll make healthy quesadillas at home– onions, carrots, mushrooms inside.. and don’t sauté the ‘shrooms, not at all, just cook them and have them soak what they can from the cheese and be shriveled and soft as you like. Find some healthier chips to have on side; unsalted and, if you can, gluten-free.. Think I see a new Me approaching.. thanks my new friend, Phoebe…..

In the shared or “open” office, Petaluma. Went outside of character andIMG_5174 habit, any pattern, when I took the East Washington exit to downtown, left on the Blvd, then to Kentucky. I parked and went to the SBUX around the block (on Blvd), then went to the riverfront where I injected a couple more little pages of notes for Krystal, my character.. and new focus (Massamen novel on hold, indefinitely). No, it won’t be narrative, my story for her, but in present tense and from a 3rd person chant that conveys intimacy more so than obvious trite voice-over information.
Coffee done, now, and I count down till class.. no prep needed for 1B. IMG_5175Just going to tell them to write, hand in their papers and enjoy the weather.. find whatever push or ‘inspiration’ they need. Gorgeous outside.. in fact, it became too hot in the sun by the river, on that first bench, forcing me to move to another by the Blvd, completely sheltered by calm Petaluma-old-building/historic-edifice shade. Been some time, years I’m sure, since I walked around down there, with those buildings above me and the river and those bridges, the retired tracks–
Took only a couple pictures while there. Now I revisit a poem I wrote yesterday in the TR and forgot about, nearly, till I came across it just now about to upload the stills I shot by the river. And the day’s only starting.. 10:47AM. I have to run when back home, have to! Just five miles, then stop. No 6.2! Don’t even think about it, I tell myself. I look at my backpack, how heavy it gets when papers are submitted– the Krystal novel.. how to proceed with it.. just little blurbs at a time.. take inventory tomorrow night, on retreat.. don’t get distracted. And there they are, the Self-reminders from the grumbling writer. My Beat disrupted and renewed how can that be I have no idea this must be the caffeine speaking, so I finally take a minute to breathe…
Can’t wait to cook for myself tomorrow night, and open some new wine, meet some new character.. Syrah, have to find a Syrah.. go to Whole Foods on block, or down Yulupa rather, and be selective. Don’t set a budget.. in fact, aim high with price, treat yourself. Yes, this must be the caffeine talking.

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Not as

much sleep as I would have like but there you go, and here I am in the adjunct office at 6:13, sitting for my sitting with coffee and yesterday, thinking of how resplendent it was around the property and how every color was accented in its own way. Not too busy so I did have a chance to react and write a bit, about the winemaking character, Krystal, and other notes of note– But now I prep for the day and the adjunct realizes there’s not that much to do..just some small prep for a writing prompt, the Creative Writing piece they’re to do by next Thursday, and hand in the Hemingway papers and then adjourn. I figure why not.. it’s the first week back from break and I hit them all pretty hard last class with information and prompts and directions, so today’s my treat. I’ll hang around for anyone that wants to meet and dissect the semester’s remainder or just talk about what’s ahead– oh! And the poetry reading/open mic at Redwood tonight.. almost forgot. Should I postpone or stay on path laid? Latter.. definitely latter.
Didn’t write a thing last night and I hate when I do that, just enjoy my night and not write, I always think of what I could have written and what would be on page but I can’t punish myself and I can’t think in past terms and tenses– just keep with the story, I tell myself, and I find now that more and more wine’s finding its way back into the constructs of my compositions. And the blog.. a blog.. bottledaux, with more wine fiction and pieces but then I think I don’t want it drowned or redundant.. just that my character involves wine, the story includes wine but does not in any way depend on it. In fact, many times I wish I could expel it altogether while still at the same time extolling it. Possible? I don’t know, but I’ll keep writing.
Set timer for 30 min, have 23-something left. So no real rush needed. Terribly quiet here in Emeritus, in this office, hear a hum above me. The lights. No heater on this A.M. And I don’t think it’s needed, and I’m glad it’s not on actually as there’s a chance I might fall asleep if it were with its usual hallow metallic hum. Coffee, I think.. more! Sip and force myself into some posture some readiness for day. Tomorrow night, night 1 of my newest writing retreat: dinner and wine and write about it into unfair hours, hours that are cruel on my consciousness and concentration. I’ll have coffee standing by. And a new restaurant.. to try.. maybe. But then part of me just wants to get snacks or something at the grocery, as there’s next to nothing in the house, no one’s fault. And maybe that’s what I need, some meal from a house I haven’t tried. Be a foodie for once, and “blog” about it. And have a nice bottle in cue (may have to get one as nothing at home is really what I’d call “new”). And the Newness is just what I call for, just what the pages demand as they always have.
When I left, Alice and Jack were still deep still into their respective sleeps. I didn’t watch them long or lightly rub Ms. Alice’s leg too forcefully as to not bother either, especially little Kerouac who had trouble last night with yet another cough. Must be allergies, I thought, as he didn’t have a fever or any other noticeable symptoms. I went back downstairs to attire then out the door, to coffee, back to car, listen to NPR, Farmers to 12 to 101 to College to Mendocino to right here where I sit, struggling to sit up straight. Tuesday, managed to run 7 miles on tread after the long day I had, waking at 4:58. Today, I’m thinking only a short run around BV, or maybe not if I’m to do the poetry gathering at Redwood– I’m a mess this morning, even with this coffee trying its damnedest to wake the writer. I wish I were in bed, still, still sleeping, still with the pillows convivially encircling my scalp. 14 minutes left in my timer, what to do what to write what to be this early morning. At least I made it to the keys. I HAVE A SOLUTION! I’ll have the open mic be virtual, on the teaching blog! Yes! I’ll compose a post right after 1A meeting and wait for the pieces to precipitate! That way I can get in my run so I don’t have to tomorrow night, I can just fly home from winery, or to the new restaurant I select, whichever it’ll be– Then the heater comes on, and I automatically think of sleep, what I’d be thinking of in sleep, the singularity and serenity to personal dormancy. Books.. characters.. wine… all tomorrow night. With some bottle, what, Cab? Pinot? Merlot (one of my 12’s that I made?)? All questions. And yes I’m very much overthinking, but that’s all I do and can do is be somewhat manic in this hour (6:32AM). Just writing that hurts, but I know what’s building my character and getting me closer to the Road, like the writer I met yesterday at winery on some writing retreat, sponsored by her publisher, I think, and or one of the wineries (Inman I believe). She told me her MS is due in November, as we sat and talked in the inlet, the table by the brook, surrounded by rocks. She too has a blog, more centered around recipes and food, but she told me her book is about the concept of wellness, and civilly beneficial balance with enjoyment, or “hedonism” as she put. Either way it was nice to have another writer with me on wine’s parcel and I could only think of what I should be doing to get on the Road, what shift in my character habit I can catalyze and forcefully initiate to get ‘There’ quicker. And I always come back to Newness, acting out of any pattern, and today’s prime in such exemplary envisage. Meet with students, talk briefly about writing their stories, again due week from aujourd’hui. Quelle merveille! Un plan! And all for the story and for the book. Didn’t get a chance to read a single goddamn page of my book yesterday, so the 360 pages sit in the thorax of this laptop devil, waiting for me and laughing at my inconsistencies. They won’t be neglected, I order myself with the heater still going and my coffee cup losing its smolder…
Less than 3 minutes. Should look at notes and read Self for the meta-meeting I’m about to hold with the 1A-ers. Over a thousand, already, and feeling like I didn’t write a thing. Hate that. Wonder who has this office after me. Which adjunct. Have I met them? More than likely no. And who cares. They don’t. They don’t know me. None of us know each other in the adjunct pot, or ditch, or hole. And under a minute– concluding. Thinking. I’ll write Dav a letter.. or Amber.. or this new writer friend.. or Lila.. or Mom.. or Alice.. just keep communication and with the characters closest.

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In the early hour, day I

come back to campus, two thoughts: 1, of a girl’s article I read online about her not being able to afford some page project, so she had to stop it, I thought “Money should never be able to do that to writers or writing, ever! 2, the earliest of hours at which I wake, always different, each day, and how today is most special with my energy and I haven’t even had the first sip from this dinosauric cup. Oh, and 3 was I woke precisely at 4:58. Alarm set for 5:20 but I thought “Fuck it just wake up.” I’ll come back to this office after the 1A.. reading the John Updike article, or interview from the Paris Review, something I’m to show students.
First sip, and I’m off. 6:20-something left to write, minutes and envious seconds. Thought it’d be beneficial to start with a timed sitting, something truly rushed and with time around it like a jazz track– as a writer this is helpful.. you know how long the track’s to last and how much time you have to breathe vs. play. Need a word of the day for students, something to twist their minds and make them think like they haven’t all semester. Dickinson.. some Poe….. Hear someone enter the building. Could be the cleaning guys or the other adjunct with the shared office on the other side of this wall, left. Yes, it has to be as I hear commotion and some unraveling of items, possibly a bag and books and other whatevers he has with him. Now I hear him blow his nose, I’m not alone in this building and I couldn’t care less. I’m on a certain I wouldn’t say mission today just know that I’m intent, intent to get to the Road, to travel and see whatever there is for this writer to see.. but I don’t want to be gone too long, away from Alice and Jack and any baby on his/her way.. no, all has to be balanced there’s just certain things I’m now seeing. And another thing I’m “seeing” is that ‘Forced Avarice’ has to be edited.. no more of this bullshit stall of mine, that I’ve always been doing, that I always find some pretty way to rationalize.
Less that two minutes and I have no time to proof as I go.. time to push into professor mode.. and first thing, roll sheet, call on all of them. Then, the quotes, then words, it’s all about the words.. then.. this Hemingway paper.. talk to them about audience, or remind them.
30 seconds.. then, writing.. just writing.. Creative Writing for these matriculants in their 10th week, I believe.. wow, went fast, I know they’re all thinking. NO. 11TH WEEK!

6:38.. posted lecture to teaching blog and I think I’m ready.. hell, I better be at this point. I have about 12 minutes to write freely. And now that I can I haven’t much to say..
Still need a class, another one rather, for Summer. And of course more for Fall but what if I’m on the Road by then, with these words and all in my writing Life is of the idyllic equanimous nature that I’ve always wished? Still though.. I think. And I write. And I sit here with coffee. This coffee. What do I do with it other than praise it? Kill it of course, sipping… And I find we’re in the 11th week.. 11! Of 19 total counting finals.. again, if there’s no calculation error from me.
6:42.. should go to room, get ready, set up, note any last minute ideas or directions for day.. what Updike said in his interview about teaching, it being a ‘customary alternative’ to writing, a career in writing or whatever still pokes at me. Why can’t we do both, as writers? This is my topic, my character and my story, part of my subject.. interesting, I think and say to myself, that I’m interested in what I was over a decade ago; literature, the journal, stories, poetry, what is written in my pages for whomever to read even if the whomever is me and so what if it is, what if I like my work? Is that wrong?
My reading and writing, forever maddened!

After 1A, the class that I always enjoy, and the adjunct is drained.. enough time to look at some Literature I brought and read and “analyze”, expand upon my plan for 1B–thought about going home but I can’t I have things to write and ideas to trap before they fly away. 1B, only 1 hour 2 minutes.. so what do I add? How about a quote from Plath’s journal? She talks about painters in the first page of entries, after a poem by Louis Macneice.. and I think of Art, and the impression these painters have left on the world– Michelangelo, Picasso..– Students should ask themselves when writing something creative: “What do I want readers to think of me?” And not from a point of vanity or insecurity, but just asking the question, the perception..
And now I feel tired, not committed or something, to the day and the class that’s over three hours from now. Maybe I should go home.. maybe I should take a break. Or maybe I need more coffee.

Ms. Plath talks about people and how she loves them like stamp collectors and their gatherings of stamps. Am I the same way? Or do I detest people a little more the older I get– the other day, in the Safeway parking lot, a woman pushing her child in a stroller and looking into trash cans for recyclables, the toddler looking back and up at her mother doing so. I felt sad and embarrassed for her, then fiery and furious toward her. “How could she let it go that far?” This is unfair I know, but that’s what I felt at the time and I understand it said and still says something quite strong about me as a character and writer and character– two full-timers have a discussion in front of me in this conference room. They talk about tennis, and how the TV does it no justice, “You have no appreciation for how fast it is,” one of them says. He then concedes “I haven’t played in years.” I’ve never had an interest in tennis and I don’t know why I’m listening to this as I am but I am. Nearly 9.. think I should leave soon. Go down to the library and look through someone, some author and his works. Now I think of what Updike said in his interview. I should be free already, much as I write. The full-time post is still a wish, a dream, and I can’t afford that– the wishing and dreaming– at this point in my Life. Especially with the prospect of buying a home… so… I think more. What do I do next? How do I want to be seen and read? What do I want Jackie to see when I come home from a day’s push, some strained and committed effort? A writer or community college English teacher? No. I can hear him saying it now to his friends, or his teacher, in Kindergarten or something: “My Dad’s a writer.”
The adjunct knows he’s thinking too much but he has no choice. The role involves panic, that should be in the job description he thinks. He focuses on the table at which he sits and how much he has to do before the semester finishes. He has to get through the Baldwin collection of essays and writings– “UGH” he thinks, “Does it ever fucking stop?” He plans as much as he can but there’s always something, always something else, always an addition to that ‘else’. And why. A full-timer comes in, gives him a hug, tells him she went to Cuba over Spring Break, then leaves. He wanted to hear more about the travel, have some vicarious turn or lovely taunt. But no she’s gone, Anne-Marie, the one who used to be an adjunct, always says hi to him and always expresses affection and kindness, and curiosity as to how his classes go. And now, he had to go.

Reread everything I wrote. Edited. Then I think of my contempt for the institution and academia, or some facets of it, how the full-timers talk to us and each other, then I think ‘to hell with editing’.. you can’t edit in jazz and I won’t here! Or if I do it will be minimal.

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After wine and meditation,

I’m ready for morrow. Books on table, bag packed and seeing only fruition for classes.. I’ll have to do a little planning in morning, but only a little.. revisiting Poe’s Philosophy of Composition, some of his ideas. And I’ll refer students to the idea of Composition, something being ‘composed’, showing and exhibiting and demonstrating ‘composure’.. defining both. Honestly, as I sit here in the nook, looking at the flowers Jen sent Alice a week or so ago, I hope I wake early; I hope and I can’t sleep; I hope this excitement for tomorrow’s classes stays with me and haunts me– I’ll address every student in each class at least once; students that escape my calls and don’t offer their hand or ideas will be summoned for voice.
I’ll run tomorrow, but only 5 miles, the Big Daddy run around the BV neighborhood. And that’s it. No 6.2 that I usually do!– Just found a line in Poe’s ‘Composition’ that’s just what I need for tomorrow’s momentum. Oh I can’t wait! Don’t let me sleep, Craft. Keep me up. Let me be tormented by the ideas.

Add words to tomorrow’s lecture: 1, “design”; 2, “excite”; 3, “sitting”.. as in “the limits of a single sitting”… 5 minutes, 9 hours till show. I’m ready! Ideas, thoughts.. know who I’m calling on first already, to show her/him that they need to be heard; their voice matters, otherwise they’re just dreaming, and muted!

Almost 10, and I think of the coffee.. the parking lot at SRJC, right where I park by that light and walk up the slight ramp then up the stairs then opening the door with my key (one of the few privileges I have as an adjunct instructor), then sitting in the adjunct office to write, prepare, sip my large medium roast chalice. I’ll be a different adjunct– this is where IT, the truest ‘IT’, starts. (3/23/15)

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Done with rough draft of Tuesday lecture. But I couldn’t fit in an address, or redress, of Kerouac’s prose rules. No matter.. I’ll save that for Thursday’s. 7:18, not sure I’m running this morning. I’ll go after work then, if I can’t go this morning. And with tonight’s run, on the belt, I’ll fit what I can in an hour, not going over as I did last workout (Wednesday?). At winery today, where I’m thinking of starting a little podcast, not sure if that’s what it’d be called, about wine and the estate and the RRV AVA, and whatever else I can think of, wine-related– Having trouble thinking of something to put on paper, something to convey, something with a moral or even worthy of readership..Kurt V!!!
IDEA!! Post draft of lecture to blog, then print final draft and bring to class! Have quotes on narrative or writing, or creativity … Time everything out! Have that on printed sheet… Consult Kerouac’s rules and a book of Lit terms and theory.. or something on narrative theory, just to share, not to take away from the freedom or fun in writing the narrative– oh yeah, and freedom! There must be some address, theme, sub-theme or subtext of ‘freedom’ somewhere in the text. That’s part of the exercise itself.. have that on your mind while writing…
Just copied and pasted some of the above, so I wouldn’t forget. Need a new laptop, so I don’t lose these writings, I don’t trust this thing. So why do I continue to use it? I swear I could strangle myself sometimes.. the inconsistencies, the writer-whining, the self-doubt.. it’s not in anyway appealing! And not what I want for my students, from their instructor of record..
Haiku all day, and all instructional or encouraging, in some light, or some theatrical nature.. pushing students, or just readers to act, to create.. make ART! That’s where the freedom is!

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032015 session

One hour and one minute to jam with likes of Evans, Hutcherson, Davis.. when I was in high school, I think freshman and sophomore years, I loved the word and concept of ‘Apex’.. ‘an apex’. Just the thought of reaching it, or being IT.. the highest point. But something about that’s sad as well. Where else do you go? but I have a long way to go before being concerned with such. I turn the volume up and talk to myself about the sensibility of the division, the division of me as an adjunct; one day at the class’ head, instructing and sharing ideas on Literature then next pouring wine like a robot, sharing nothing but a remembered script (not at Arista, but past estate).. damn, I think, but I make it all my own, or try.. typos and typos this morning, so eager to get the words to screen through these shaky fingers on board, from first cup and now this 3-shot mocha.. morning chill only helping, form some concerted paragraph link or sequence–
The adjunct finds new rhythm in muted anxieties.. he summons them and uses them.. he plans for his next session and just goes with what his heart feels. He’ll find his height, he knows and he won’t stop till he gets there– and how, well, through the books, lecturing alongside the masters.. no self-doubt now, he can’t afford that.. 36 nearly and still working part-time.. that’s what adjunct meant, kind of.. actually, the word only assures that you’re part of something, not “part-time” in the contemporary sense which can mean with some steadiness or predictability.. just part, a fragment, a piece, meaning if you were lost or shed the greater portion would still function, right? He doesn’t want to think about that, not now.. he had the semester’s rest to make an impression.. start the revolution, the freethinking band of wily students, that embrace their topics and writing and are guided solely by their own goals, not what the department or institution tells them– and that’s all college was, an institution, he realizes. The adjunct loves to teach, he enjoys the transactions and conversations with energetic students, but the system and the waiting and the never-have-to-guarantee-them[meaning adjuncts] attitude They have is what prompted quills. But he continued with his morning, thinking of what to offer them.. the students, back from Spring Break.. that was always hard, or not so much hard but challenging, possibly obstacle-woven.. the path chosen.. quoting from certain books, on Creative writing, memoir.. the story, with a point, a thesis not so much but an objective, taking the reader to some realizing apex… You want to share your story, he thought.. this is what he’d say on Tuesday.. “You have your story, it’s important.. you have to know it’s important, and you have to tell it as you.. and make the reader think it happened to them, as Hemingway said.. this is the connection.. this is the intimacy that any and all Creative Prose Writers should envision and target..”
The adjunct saw a centrality in his thoughts, that ‘great consolidation’ he’d always hoped for.. no more part-time jobs to amend and support the teaching ‘part-time’ role, or act, or habit.. and it was habit-forming, and They knew it. They knew you’d always chase the class, or classes if you were lucky enough to land more than one.. it was a game to them.. and this morning, he decides to play back, to see it as chess; he had to plan his moves, all, no matter how insignificant or benign. He’d budget his pieces so he could soon, not “one day”, experience that peace of the professional apex– no, artistic APEX. The music told him to just.. let it.. let IT.. let it talk to him and see what happened at the end of the chapter and if he were to just trust the story and his own motions and rhythms then all would be fine. He was fine, fine being an adjunct ‘cause now he’d redefine it.. he’d be that adjunct that made a career from the few classes he was allotted– oh look at him fly, he thought, the syncopation with Hutcherson’s mallets and the keys, he just moved and saw the future and his office and never having to be anywhere and any certain time unless it was to read or lecture or meet a publisher that would try to screw him out of rights, in which case he’s tell the pig to go skip onto a sword.
Another point for Tuesday’s session, he thought; the concept of revision.. challenge it! Yes, you should instill basic principles, he thought, “but don’t let the worry of revision compromise your expressiveness…” he said this to himself aloud.. and he wrote it.. then he’d talk about the concept of fiction and nonfiction and how modern readers don’t care, long as they’re engaged.. in fact fiction writers are often only liars, or convenient contortionists on page, simply changing locations and names.. and what does it matter? Just tell a story! He thought about his story, and if anyone would read it? Sure they would, he thought, especially what was to happen next, the next set of chapters where he’d see the Road and have his own office somewhere in Healdsburg, some office space ON the square, where he’d write at the Grill then return to his desk to write, prep another lecture, then get coffee; walk think roam get a snack then return.. in whatever order he thought ought.

39 minutes. Still jamming with jazz greats, and I just want to stay here, continue this streak of days off, just write and prepare for Tuesday, and a little for Summer– will email SSU Chair to just check in, see what I can land if anything. And if not.. then I’ll formally prep lectures for the Road– in fact, I’ll do that anyway.. Bringing Comp Book with me to winery today and if slow I’ll write out ALL points of address for Tues’.. and time all parcels of discussion. Rubbing eye.. should take allergy pill– will before I forget– There, better. And I climb and climb till I reach some apex, and I will. Know that no ‘They’ can provide it. Only me, and for Self, and FROM Self..
Still with more than enough time. For once, it’s not aggressive, but more so accommodating.. seeing all ideas and observations and items around me with certain lecture pertinence.

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First time the adjunct’s had to sit and write, all day.

IMG_5081First accomplishment, if you could it so tag, running over 6.5 miles on tread. Then soonafter playing a bit of basketball. Felt amazing to workout again, feel my character come alive with elevated pulse and just the physicality that gets me closer to the 26.2 readiness. Then, delivering a sandwich to Alice at her school. Then the curious idea materialized on the way back home, before picking up lunch somewhere in our BV enclave; me getting a teaching credential, teaching high school English, preparing students for college composition; using my adjunct experience for prepping the students for what’s ahead; maybe being integral in the college application process; diving further into a more encompassing education; still entertaining the doctorate, feasibly in education, down the Road. Was going to investigate SSU’s program earlier but opted for a nap instead, woke to my alarm, brushed teeth only to have them again stained and coated in an added cup, that ‘breakfast blend’ coffee. Better today than whenever that first cup was. So much in my thoughts tonight after talking with Dad about a house purchase, seeing him so fluid and fluent and fanciful with numbers and budgets, anything organizational. And tomorrow I start, starting with the stash upstairs, and the change I have down here– no spending! No more lunches out! Nor dinners! This writer will be more than merely minimalist! Just the paper, pen, till the money comes from this blog and other associated paginated efforts– so I need not fret about printings… I’ve always wanted that ‘great consolidation’, I thought on the ride back from Alice’s school, and now I have all the reason to perpetuate and promulgate such. All to the blog, put all in the bottle, all of this Ox!
Sipping my cap, the Little Sumpin’.. tried an Oregon Pinot at Mom and Dad’s.. the… can’t remember it’s name.. took a picture of it. And speaking of wine, I’l get to RRV tomorrow after meeting with the two students.. I’m even arranging a lesson plan for the meeting, centralized around re-writing the Kerouac paper. I’m humbled that they’re so ardent in the meeting and the revision process. Should type the lesson plan and print it before bringing J to school..
Getting back into my studies of Poe, and not just for the Grim issue,IMG_5085 more for the exploration of consciousness and his shaping of imagery, and his word choice. His characters and the anonymous narratives only intrigue the reader further, and with the coming Creative Writing dimension to both the 1A and it’s all the more commissioned. My beer done, and I look forward to tomorrow, with the students most obviously, but the wine, the writing, the sights, photography– my last day of this ‘Spring Break’– which reminds me, ran into another adjunct at Whole Foods while picking up a Chardonnay (Monterey AVA, I think..) for Mom and some “Delicious IPA” from Stone for Dad. He was with his daughter and he posed, “Enjoying your break?” I told him I was and that I graded all before break. He said “Smart.” But then I confessed I had a wave about to land as soon as we all got back. We can’t escape it, the grading, as adjuncts or high school teachers or any educational level..
So tomorrow.. wine.. writing.. last day concept.. to make it fun, I do what. Going to let the story tell me. I’ll go to Arista after meeting the publisher for the Skyhawk Paper Mom told me about (meeting at 12 & Mission ‘muffin spot’..). Not sure she’d have much use for my prose, but it’d be nice to meet another writer/SELF-publisher. Hear Jackie whining upstairs. Hope he sleeps well, my little Artist. He has been, of late, but we’ll see. Time to close the day, my chapter append.. tomorrow will change the story just as it has me hemmed for better. (3/18/15)

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a record: stamp 1

And let myself be driven mad, MAD by the words and this sitting.  On couch, no music yet but I will soon be submerged in jazz and thought, and thoughts of next week with the students and the lectures.. should probably get the Comp Book, but I just sat down.  No RRV mission and I’m glad– I want to be locked in here, in this house, and I want to be driven to hilarity by the words and the Story itself, me an adjunct.  I do plan on writing letters, later, but consider this the introduction to my immersion, to my day, my composition.. the first stamp.

Mocha left (I know I should cut down on those, yes, but today’s one of those gem days, one of those electric transitions in a writer’s life).  Jazz–  no rehearsing and no diving into the thesaurus, only what I have now, here, in my head holstered.  Do feel a bit tired but I’m ignoring it, and I don’t know why as I slept more than I needed to, or perhaps the right amount as I am sick.  Time 9:31 and I think of money and what to do with the day, and the vision, of me as a paid writer, not having to tinker with these goddamn tasting rooms and the wine industry and people telling me ‘hey, something just opened up, why don’t you contact soandso’…  No, I’m writing today and can’t wait to share this energy with the students.  Have a meeting on Thursday with one of the 1A seats, ‘A’ I’ll call her, to go over her first submission (Kerouac paper) and see what she can adjust, even though she did log 45 of 50.  She’s a former lawyer and I suspect has the perfectionist strand about her centrality, at the foundation of her character.

If I were at the estate, I’d already be in the tasting room, after clocking in by putting my finger on that devilish scanner– not thinking of them, today I’m free, an adjunct yes but as ‘I’ want to be.  The IT of it all.  Thought about planning the next meetings with the students, but I’m only going to make notes, just small jots so that I can know where I’m going and how to keep them guessing, ‘what will he say next.. what will we learn next about writing and reading a text like this [Hemingway], and what is theory?’ I do want to touch on Deconstruction a bit, when we come back; have them see the value in dividing a text, separating its parts and seeing certain truths and information about the author delivered.  I won’t be seen ever as a farceur, especially by the students.  TRUTH, the valued direction and principle.  This is not valued in the wine industry, obviously– or I should say by most houses (it is at Arista, which is why I’m there and speak so often and with such countenance).

Don’t stop typing, I tell myself like I alwys do but today, honestly, I’m reaching for true Creative and written, and MUSICAL, madness.. the adjunct making it his own, not begging for assignments or looking for jobs on the side to uphold his crumbling cliff of a check.  No.. I’m making it my own.. I’m the vocal adjunct.  I’m the adjunct which is not simply part of something larger…  I AM(!!!) something larger.  Larger than Them, larger than any ‘Them’.  Oh look at me fly with my types here on the couch with my mocha.. can’t get up even thought I want to a bit to stretch.. should write the students in a bit, just check in with them and say something like ‘I’ll see you in a week’ and ‘please be ready for an energized and enriching session on Tuesday the 24th’…  Something like that.  And brief!  And put a prompt on the blog for them.. let them know you’re there, always there for Them (a ‘Them’ much different than the other ‘Them’ types.. again, Deconstruction, knowing what is by way of intimacy with what isn’t..).

Thinking of Life, now.. and how it’s not just fragile, but altogether exposed, to threats visible and not, how is that fair well it’s not it’s just something the adjunct has to live with and can only brawl through words, become pugilistic within few pulses.  No remorse, no discomfort in who I am, nearly 36 and with a reflection that I see and don’t; I just know it’s there.  Not so much work as it is lovely, or loving labor– cliché, yes, but know where I am.. this, the writing, work, with aims of sustainability, and traveling to talk about writing, not like I’m an “expert” or sage, but sharing ideas as I do in the classroom– and it shouldn’t be seen as drudgery, ever, but a fruitful functioning, as a writer, have your words speak, so don’t YOU speak.  Just write…

Stopping for a second, realizing it’s St. Patrick’s Day.  And of course I have to be sick, so no beer for me.  Shit.. need to do something while imprisoned here.. already going mad.. should read.. after I write or write then read?  Who knows, this mocha’s bollixing.. but encouraging, I don’t know what it is, but I need a book next to me.. someone.. Jack?  Ernest?  Sylvia?  Leo?  Fyodor?  Or Mr. Faulkner?  Perplexing placement, this morning, and not even 10 (well, 3 minutes away).

May get Jack early, which means I have less time to write and find a useful madness.. so, next topic: Alaska.. hiking and exploring like those students from Stanford.  I’d have only a pen, paper, a Comp Book to write what I see and be weary of wildlife but so eager to see some, any, even what’s coined menacing.

Adjunct.. you adjunct…..  That’s just what many full-timers say when we voice grievance, that’s why I approach our place, the adjunct space, a different way.  I won’t empower them any more than they already’ve been–  And if any have remarks about my writing or my style or my sentence arrangement, let them judge, ‘cause at that point I’ll be on the Road, unable to hear them.

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6:43. Been up well over an hour

since going down so early last night.  No RRV mission today.  Need to stay in.  The cold’s assault diminishes but its element is still enough present to slow me.  And I’m in a bit of a mood– why.  Money.  Stress over money.  Need to sell my writings.. enough of this blogging for free and doing anything for free for that matter.  Was contacted by a winery who passed on working with me, bringing me on board, saying they made a mistake hiring who they did and need someone ASAP.  And I supposed to what.. just jump?  It may pay more, but no way I’m leaving Arista.. and this other spot is just a small TR on 12.  I’d be stuck in that goddamn box.  Yes, I’m surely in a mood.  Alice in the shower and little Kerouac asleep.  Today I’m printing.. secret pages for Self and poems and performance pieces.. need the Road.. write lectures for Tuesday, Thursday.. ugh these symptoms.  Shouldn’t writers be immune to anything ‘common’, including the ‘common cold’?  I’ll write all day today, ALLFUCKINGDAY, till I’m driven mad by my own words and have some vendable manuscript and don’t have to worry about money as I know I’m going to sell what I’m typed, printed.. more aggressive.. more competitiveness from ME.

First coffee, in cup and I’m up.. sinus aches, sniffles, and frustration.. but I can stop it and I will by having my first TRUE lock-in.. only writing and only jazz.. no going out for lunch, find something here.. survive on words, have my renewed plight carry me to reason and Zen, Peace…  Namaste.

oh, I guess PS– the coffee I bought yesterday is not flavorful not helpful (even if Med Roast), will only go out to get better coffee, no SBUX trip.

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The adjunct comes home

from his other job at the winery.  He sits down and examines his setup, the total lace of his placement.  Bills; childcare then COBRA then mortgage then groceries, gas for the cars, and everything else.  Something had to be done, he knew, but what WAS the next move?  Semester to semester coupled with a part-time fly in wine’s eye.. huh?  The job the job the jobs!  He’d design his own jobs, and not care what the possibilities were, are, are going to be.  He wouldn’t write out a business plan, he wouldn’t budget, he wouldn’t project or measure…  He wouldn’t do any of that shit.  Not after being let go from the last winery job for the tightness of their budget (among other things..).  He’d just leap.  The adjunct.. the lecturer.. the part-timer–  New thought: the running, Big Sur, I think they have a marathon or ‘half’ down there. Should do that.  Will be running tomorrow night after work, driving straight to gym after first day– or second day, of last weekend of barrel tasting.  Sipping the night’s cap now, Sculpin, not first sip yet–  There.  And the adjunct goes to dream, day dreams after the workday and that’ from all the enabling of my wit, somewhat slouched or scripted but it’s there.  How to react, the point, the coin in my pocket, lost in thought because I wish for travel, I wish a wish list and every item on it is a destination; on for each continent then repeated.  And I’d write, in Morocco, in Paris (my city, again), then Greece, then Russia, South Africa, and wherever.  Sip fast to make imagination more viscous, but it doesn’t work, I just need to put every word out there till I’m out there.

The adjunct looks at his remaining weeks, 10.  And thinks of what to do when back, back from Spring Break.  People ask the adjunct why he does what he does.  “That’s crazy,” they think and sometimes say.  ‘Yeah I know’ he thinks.  But that’s what he went to school for.  That’s what he knows and wants to do.  He doesn’t want to be in a box as he was at the last place, that winery, the instruction the orders, the dictatorial tightening.. what does he do?  Arrested…  so much order and commanding conversation, he’s an adjunct.. part-time, just a nickel-a-novelty.. he wishes he was a dime-a-dozen.  But he stops and looks at the notes he made today in the tasting room for Tuesday’s lectures.. he wanted to enjoy his night but couldn’t.  Time was accosting him.  What could he do?  THIS, for the rest of his life, with a son and a wife and the wanting of another soon, before he’s too old?

The adjunct writes, imagines other paths he could have taken so he wouldn’t have to be here, there, back and forth between two identities–  The forced, the coerced, the manipulated pond of transfused professionalism.. a deadend, obviously.  “Transport me to Big Sur,” he thought.  He saw it.  And it offered a key, imaginarily.

And up, 6:24, in dark, with allergies.  Officially Spring, I think.  Should get some of those allergy pills at the store and not the ones that promise to work on the commercials I mean the really strong stuff, so I’m assured proper breathing.  Right now, I can barely through my nose, and I’m frustrated, hating hearing myself sniffle and snort down here in the dark quiet.  Jackie not yet stirring, nor is Alice.  I yawn… want coffee but not yet.  Not bringing backpack today, just the little pages, capture what I can when I can on the secondtolast bbl tasting day.

3 days, two months till the Santa Cruz 26.2.  I’ll do seven at the gym tonight, then 5 on Monday, then 14 on Wednesday.  NEXT Wednesday, I’ll go for 20.  They say, other runners I’ve met, that if you can hit 20 you can do the 26.2.  Well, now I’ll try for it.  Need two pairs of socks to wear, ties shoes tight, and start slow this Wednesday and next.  And cut back on certain foods, beer and wine, and the icecream that I usually sub in as a nightcap when I’m trying to be good.  But I’m not.  Alice is a great wife and gets me the good stuff; the mintchip by.. can’t remember, but it’s not ‘low-fat’ or ‘lite’ or any of that nonsense.  Like I said, the bad good stuff.

Think I hear little Kerouac upstairs, headed for his door, any minute I now I should hear ‘Daaaaaddyyyyyyy’ like he’s summoning his butler, or chauffeur, or orderly.  His sentences commands and rejections grow stronger and more cogent by the day.  Soon we’ll have our first true exchange of ideas, which I’m sure will be like Hem and Bumby.

Still so dark outside.  This always happens around daylight savings, and it confuses people, workers that rise early and stayathome moms, yes, but especially us (writers).  I want the sun and how it slowly climbs to perception and is coy but ardent and knows I’m watching, looking left just to the fence and whatever openings it allows for that day’s sun.  But, as I thought last night, only the dark of this room, and the quiet till the fridge starts its cold, metallic hallow cord hum.

The adjunct thinks of his students often and what he could do for them to make the class more exciting, yes more entertaining, and for himself as well.  He doesn’t like showing too much movie or video as that’s cheating.. he thought…  But what about cinema deconstruction, taking the film apart piece by piece?  Dialogue and color and the concept of mise en scéne?  He could do it, he thought, and be more than critical– be surgical with the observations, have prompts and targets for what precisely to consider prepared THEN have the students find their own idea mines of importance.  “Keep them guessing…consider the rest of the semester, when back from break, like its own movie, its own script.. have the students on chairedge, unable to take eyes from you, that unusually passionate and creative and WRITING instructor of record,” the adjunct thinks, “I don’t want to be like the older full-timers and I don’t want to ‘usual’ in any form, patterned and processed and predictable.  What am I teaching them by doing that?  To be safe.  No.  Don’t be safe.  Be like the sun; everything revolving around the ideas you generate, bright forceful and inviting.”

The adjunct then thinks of that word, his word, where They have him worded: adjunct.  “a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part…” I’m added?  To what?  The college, okay, yeah, fine I’ll give you that, but ‘rather than an essential part’?  Why not make me an essential part?  Wait…  Aren’t I already an essential part?  I look further into the definition provided by the dictionary that was stock with this laptop, and I’m bulldozed by an example sentence, “computer technology is an adjunct to learning.” Now the adjunct starts to feel his venom bubble, being likened to a piece of technology in the arena of learning.. the only reason his students were learning was because of him and his lectures and ideas and plans for day after day.  He, and others like him, were more than an ‘essential part’.  Already.  Then “connected or added to something, typically in some auxiliary way.” He couldn’t read anymore, the adjunct, up early and about to be a dad and husband then go to the winery.  At least there was Peace there and enhanced Personhood there– the fridge came on, growled and hummed and motored.  All its parts were essential, nothing auxiliary there, or ancillary, or supplemental, or added.. pick your goddamn word!

Think the sun’s coming up, as the sky looks back at me with that blue or purplish gray.  That’s when I always know.  The allergies are frankly, and quite literally, harming me.  Still no breathing through nose.  Coffee might help that with those olfactory nudges… we’ll see.  Had one guy get a little snarky with me yesterday, as he found out we weren’t participating in barrel tasting.  I just repeated the obvious, which I just wrote, and he still wanted to make it known he was displeased, and in front of other visitors, two whom were industry.  One of the industry guys, John, from a nearby Dry Creek winery, looked at me and rolled his eyes, then later when the older man was done with his roar of citation, he said to me “That’s when you know they probably don’t need to visit another barrel tasting.” Or something like that.  And I agreed.  Agree.

Jackie up, coffee brewed and in cup, Alice still resting.  Have to leave at 9:15.  Showtime is 10AM but I want to be there early to note in the vineyards, walk around and scribble in the little book, take pictures, meditate, just be outside, be a writing walking and noting and immersing myself– no hate that term– involving and surrendering myself to the surrounding scéne.

The adjunct wakes to find he didn’t pack his bag.  Costs thirty seconds to a minute.  Drive to coffee shop, 5 minutes.  Order and walk back to car, at least 5 more, probably closer to eight.. then campus sit down and plan (no way he’s getting grading done this morning..), who knows.  What if he let them go early, sent them off on some ‘research assignment’?  That’d help.

On campus he sips his coffee and looks at the bag, full of papers he wouldn’t touch, why’d he bring them?  Confusion, tired, not even 7AM.  The day would test him, as they all did, and the assignment was half over, more, week 10.

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