Posts Tagged With: Journal

Souled on in about for Wine

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The barrel and its inner-narrative

At the home office desk trying to upload some articles for clients, no surprise.  And the rest of this Albariño in my glass gone, I think about the ideas for this new idea, this new project, on wine and anything wine– wine “education”, wine insight, behind the scenes, interviews and just rich immediate, immersed material like nothing else out there.  But what’s the name of the project?  One idea: ‘winesolife’.  OR, ‘sowinelife’.  But I don’t know, honestly.  I just want “followers” or readers or anyone to know what wine is and what it’s supposed to be– the intention of wine and how’s it’s not supposed to be anything but approachable.  And there’ll be videos and visuals, maybe not of the most hight quality or something studio-laden, but truthful and candid.  And all with wine’s promise and candor.  And it’ll be honest, so when I want to, or anyone I have on my show or podcast or interview or whatever, wants to talk about Napa or challenge anyone promoting wine with that angle, or discriminating, or being that all-too-expected pompous pill of a person in a tasting room or on some tour, then it’ll be cited, discussed.  There’ll be no fear with.. whatever I call this idea.  And the honesty is what will make it sell, make it appealing.  I’m distracted now, messaging with a friend, my brother Dwight.  Miss those lunches with him, the beers and the conversations and the talks about dreams and what’s next.  So much on the writer’s mind, and looking at these photos wine will always be there in some facet and form.  The pictures begin to upload, and I see the minced piece on the Pinot pick in RRV, just a couple weeks ago, or so, and the feel of the air that night and the meteor shower overhead, and looking at the vines while and before they were picked. 

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Dormancy

Wine and life, wine is life and in more ways that the people that say it is know,  From the soil to the weather to the cover crop, to the nutrient adds, to anything you can envision, and it’s sad to me that consumers don’t account for his or much of what this relates or gravitates.

In the morning, I wake at six with Alice’s alarm, she hops to shower and I to the desk to write IMG_4894more and gather thoughts at laptop with coffee.  After leaving Jack at his miniaturized university, I’ll head to Starbucks, and stay there for as long as–  OR, go to campus!  Work there!  Use the adjunct cell as my mmc trench.  I don’t know but I have to do something magnanimous today, with all this wine media I have and all the ideas to be written down.. the ‘winesolife’ idea still simmers as does the ‘barrelnarrate’ thought.  Just have to keep moving and not stop and pack everything I need today, and remember that the English Professor role is to be given a newly-posted priority in my day, now.  As that’s how everyone sees me, a professor.  A writer, yes, but a teacher, one with unique knowledge; an elevated sense of.. something.

Can still feel yesterday’s 13.1.  Have to register for Napa’s, next month, the Healdsburg after that.  Then I think I may be done for the season.  Running.. another facet to me which truly makes me ME, this writing me at the desk at 6:20.

Jack may be waking so I’ll lightly trot up the stairs and poke me head in the room.  Today is going to be profitable in so many ways as well as self-educational…  And he’s still asleep, and I go back to typing after taking a monstrous sip of this coffee, not as well-sung as the coffee yesterday at Flavor Bistro, where Justin and I had breakfast after the race.  Was thinking, while running those final miles, the race provided a new view and appreciation for Santa Rosa, everything from the way the sky looked, to the crowd at the event following the race, to the trails and the tents, everything.  I just saw the town differently.

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Samples in the lab

Just remembered I have a meeting with a prospective client at 10AM.  So no coming back home to work as I thought I might do.  Rather, to Yulupa SBUX to write and collect Self before meeting (with notes, estimate and all aligned), and prep for class, write the first Kerouac lecture on Big Sur; how Kerouac feels and what’s in his mind after such success, and why couldn’t he pull himself out of it?  Keep moving, keep writing…..

At the Yulupa Starbucks, and I keep saying to myself, “The picture,” and “visual… visualize.. make visual!” Will leave for meeting in a little over 30 minutes.  Today is about organizing and execution, the ideas and the insights of everything that interests me and everything in which I have some sort of “authority”, or credibility.  And that’s why I won’t ever shake or rid the professor role and reality.  So many walking by on their phones, detached, not knowing where they are and what they’re doing and what’s in front of them.  Sickening.. with wine and what I provide the wine world, be it consumer or industry, vineyard or lab or tasting room, I will be fully and envelopingly aware, of everything, otherwise nothing’s captured..

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Mom, Little Kerouac, discussing literature

I start with my phone, obviously, the pictures I took at that Sonoma Valley winery, and the ones I’ve snapped wherever, alongside the road at a vineyard or just in my home, wine in a glass.  Then I see pictures of little Kerouac reading a book and walking around  our old condo, with his mama or my mom, then I think about how wine HAS to be family.  Like my friend Chelsea said a few days a go, in a post on.. somewhere, “Wine business is a family business.” And I couldn’t agree more, that is just what I see, my family with our new home somewhere here on the Sonoma side, vineyard and small farm for my children to play and explore as I used to at the Bayview home.  But I need to build, build, build as I started to write in the Massamen novel (which now is a streaming of vignettes and sketches, short fiction and what have).

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Buds and the break

I’m getting my energy back the more I write and sipping this mocha.. three shots, and what I want to say at this meeting, what I want to pitch.  And how I don’t want to undersell myself, even though it’s a friend.  Let’s hear what they want, then go from there, I’m thinking.  Let them do the talking, the draw the numbers and rates.  But be there no longer than an hour.  Need to be in adjunct cell, planning for lectures, writing prompts, and ideas to just throw at the students and see how they react.

(8/24/15)

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Back In Class

IMG_1003And I have to applaud myself for working/writing myself out of a mood which was generated by my email getting hacked, some dimwit sending out a letter saying I was in fucking Turkey.. and needed money.  That, and I have grading for Summer to do, then planning for Fall, then the pick tonight at Old Camp.  But I calm, as it’ll all get done, I know.  I have managed to clear my desk a bit– oh, just remembered I need to charge my cameras, phone.. everything before the launch tonight.  No run today, as I have written on my calendar.  Thought about taking a nap, and that probably would help but I wouldn’t be working– have to stay working and writing.  Have notes typed up for meeting with Chelsea tomorrow.. need to designate notebooks for classes, and don’t EVER overlap.  Simple, simplified.. less is better.

Alice to bring home lunch in a bit.. not much more I can due right now but rightly write freely here at the desk, in the home study.  I now truly embrace the idea of “nothing new”.  No new projects, no new directions, no new anything– well, new clients I’ll take, but with a keen eye, careful and not at all with whim.

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While at Costco with Alice this morning, I motioned to look at my phone and she told me not to, “Be free for a minute,” she said, then seconds later disclosing how she intentionally left hers at home, again emphasizing freedom.  And she’s right.  Why should this email hack bother me at all?  AT. ALL.?  Kerouac didn’t have email.. a phone.. neither did Hem, Plath.. I know I’m in the blogging arena, and that comes with emails and social media, and this goddamn laptop.  But I don’t have to be chained.  In my little black book of ideas for mikemadigancrEATive I jot: “plan for tomorrow”, “less is better”, and “nothing new less you have to”.

Enjoying some music here in the study.. go plug in battery/charger for camera.. done.  Mind IMG_1008swirling and I’m having trouble stopping it, which I suppose is a benefit, a boon for me as a business owner, right?  Thinking the content tonight should be 50/50, video and still, but I’ll see.  I have to feel the scene and see what the story tells me to do.  Words come first.  I’ll bring my little notebook but I doubt I’ll be able to see anything out there, in the dead of night/earliest of mornings.

IMG_10097:24PM.  And after the most fierce battle with tech that I’ve found myself engaged in, in months, if not a year (calling what I thought was an IT number but was only a scammer.. luckily I hung up and disconnected internet connectivity), I’m back at the laptop with renewed appreciation, and total embrace of the simple approach to writing, my business, life.  Alice had it right this morning, put the phone down.  It’s down now, believe me, and with under 5 hours, actually just over 4 hours till departure for the vineyard, I’m in the mind state and frame I need.  And to add to today’s attack on the writer, the SF prospect passed, stating her editor didn’t like my revisions.  Of the original sample I sent.  And honestly, I’m fine with it.  She very much tried to help me, which I appreciate.  And who knows what her editor wants.  I don’t care what any editor wants if you must know– well you already do.  I’m focusing on the wine, the winemaking, the vineyards, wine writing, me, my family, building this business so my babies will have the option to share one day the office with me.

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Jackie home from swimming lessons, which I took him to, Alice staying home and resting which she needs, carrying little M.  While watching him, in the water, me not looking at my phone and seeing so many parents looking at their screens completely ignoring the processes of their IMG_1013children in the pool.  The instructors were far more attentive that those parents.  But not me.  I watched everything little Kerouac did in the water, sitting on Ms. Ashley’s lap and letting her take his arms to make the stroking movements.  My phone now still in pocket.  There it stays.  And the email that was hacked, letting it die.  Never using it again.  Now only my vinolit address used for business.  And to everyone who tries to contact me through the old address.. well…..  If the story wants us to stay connected we will be.  I’m moving on and distancing myself from this technological terrorism and dependency.  I’m going to continue to be the odd one who doesn’t look at his goddamn phone every five seconds.  I’m going to always be the lunatic watching his son swim in the pool, or the view of the vines or how the tree moves with gusts.  I’m an artist, not a device dependent drone.  I’m alive, they’re not.  They’re less than alive.  They’re devices themselves, with vices about their movements and interactions.  Not this writer.  At present, this laptop not connected to the internet, and I love the detachment!  I love the art of my movements and my breathing, the way I push the keys even feels better, much more richness in the sounds.

IMG_1015Going through the camera I see so many images that I haven’t used, and the video camera I haven’t used has material as well.  And no connection to the internet for these tech pieces, so no chance of getting hacked.  Yes, I know, but still tech.  A compromise you could say.  In the vineyard I’ll go from camera to camera, and if I can write notes, single words not burdening myself with full sentences or any kind of proper grammar as these editors want.

Funny the email said I was in Turkey, as I’d love to go to Turkey, have always wanted to go there and write about the streets and all the merchants, the customs and scents and buildings, wherever I could go.  And the danger that people speak of and warn Americans against, what fuel for the writing. For THIS writer, dodging and hiding from whomever…  I need travel, and this hacking event today, if you could even deem it an “event”, only made Mike more resolute.. nearer to book’s completion, my travels, and more enhancement of life quality for my family.

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Still quite a bit of clutter and paper piles around me.. evidence of the battle and how it diversely crushed my day’s routine.  Maybe I won’t go to bed when I get back here at 2-whatever.  Maybe I’ll come to this swiveling chair, to my pages, to this new me for which I have today to credit.

(8/12/15)

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8/5/2015

In the cell, and I sip Coke, not my usual coffee.  Didn’t want those jitters and the tremors I usually find with the cup.  And, to not at all my surprise, no word from SSU, even after two emails saying how much I’d love to come back and teach.  This is a game they play with the adjunct, I know it.  But I’m letting go and forgetting about it, looking to this new semester and all promised by it.  Just did a bit of work for a client now I focus on the last regular session of this Summer “semester”.  Workshopping rough drafts tonight, and doing a little writing.. not sure what else.. maybe a group activity, like the ‘create a character’ bit I do.  That always comes out quite interesting, I think.

Went to Mendocino today to order books and get my respective processes in motion.  I feel now like I have nothing to write and nothing to think, and absolutely nothing to offer this page.  Have more writing to do when home tonight for client 1, then to bed.  Hoping to get a run in, for morning, before meeting with client 2.  Then tomorrow night the Summer semester ends.. have to lock myself in the study tonight, just write and gather myself, organize before this busy impending term.. and collect writings as I’ve been meaning to, the adjunct has to always be more together, more cogent and fluent in his duties as he’s more mobile, more pulled and scattered between campuses than the full-timer.  The adjunct has a challenge that the full-timer can’t appreciate, really at all, as there’s no real connection for the adjunct other than to himself, to his practice and his teaching.  That’s all he has.  He’d love to be on some committee, but he hasn’t the time.  He works another job, two if you want to be honestly honest, aside from the classroom hours.  So he can’t “volunteer” as he’s so urged, as he’s told he has to if he ever wants to be full-time.  He has a family, so what is he supposed to do?  Easy:  MAKE IT HIS OWN.  Own the moments he has and all the talents at his disposal and fire away, keep going and use his life as material as so many of the authors he admires did, still do..

Her in the office thinking of the remaining hours in day, the Chardonnay I put in the fridge before leaving the house, and how it felt warmer outside that I remembered it being when I came back from the car wash, after returning from that long Mendo drive.  The Road, again with me, this semester two days a week, like in Fall ’14–

Reconnection with sitting after retrieving sparkling water from fridge in mailroom.  Don’t want to be interrupted, but I feel’s though I might be in a minute by that adjunct from the other day.  I don’t know what I’m feeling now in this goddamn office but I don’t like it, I should just leave, go home, email the students and be done with the Summer.  And what would that do.  Nothing.  That’s surrender.  The trials and pains of an adjunct supersede him even if he’s under some empowering impression.  Does he have control?  And if so what does it get him?  The adjunct role is about insecurity.. that’s just what they want, and they win for this moment, that’s what I feel but I recognize it and battle with this typed beat of mine, and thinking about the Road, all the forests in which I’ll write, some random bench on a trail, and wherever else.  While on the Mendo campus I had the urge to write in the Comp Book, in that little quad outside the library’s building, in between that an the bookstore’s building, where they have that cafeteria with the most horrendous bites and mochas you could ever hope or not hope to envision.  My plan for tonight, simple:  Edit.  Edit everything.  Perfect.  Perfect everything.  And as I mentioned the other night, the “feel” of the paper.  How do you feel about it, and how do you want your reader to feel.  And I realize I should be asking myself those very questions with everything I write, type.

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A Morning In Out (some of day’s 3 pages)

IMG_7396Finally find myself freewriting, writing freely, free in my morning writing, starting the types at 9:12– writing for clients later when in adjunct cell, and grading papers, meeting with students at 6; optional session for them but I hope several of them arrive.  Didn’t make it to class last night, stuck in that traffic, and I hate feeling behind, but it motivates me so I should do well with the current current and the ebb of my electric written impulse.  Have to leave this Yulupa base, the Starbucks of course, at 10 promptly to make the appointment where Ms. Alice and I have the engagement to see our little Ms. Austen on the screen, make sure all measurements are well, and that all is as anyone would want it.  But I type faster and whirl in my written novelizing of Self and my career and the meeting I had yesterday at the Ad office, Napa, still very much in the writer’s brain.  And I realize I’ve a break, one that will benefit me and my story greatly, expose me to more wines and wineries and the experience wine brings with it and all the characters, in the industry and out–  forlorn never, and my gravity and brio intensify with each word.  And the novel grows even more, more for me and my family– the day’s practice of three pages, a true write making a life for himself, one that will be read, rebelling against the adjunct ropes and bars, cells made to keep us complacent and now I speak up and tell them, the Them, those devils in their cozy little, or not so little if you’re a Chair (not sure why that should be capitalized), office.  I just make it my own, knowing that no full-timer will ever write about or speak to me as that one did, at that one removed garage-sale-college.  Ha.. look at my rattle, and me slither toward the aggressor rather than flee.  Fangs.. here… look closer…..

Wine, and all its educational potential, and the Human approach to wine, antithetical to what sommeliers think you want to hear..  Wine should be appreciated as Art is.  As it IS Art.  And that I mean to capitalize.  And in this day’s three, I only reflect and revel in wine, and not so much the “educational” facet or dimension, but the appreciative, as I told my new partners yesterday in the office, not wanting to leave, wanting to talk more about the wine, a Merlot, we opened and just appreciate the moment, share what we detected in the wine’s momentum and Beat.  I have to do more than just “immerse” myself in this, this stream of rich wine chapters at this point in the novel stream, or memoir stride– but I’m here recording and about my jazzy reaction and reflection, thinking of those Roads, the pourings I’ll do in hotels, the travel and the trips, the overnights in hotels and the resulting writing.  So what’s the end to this, this series of books?  I haven’t a clue, frankly.  And I don’t want one.  One rile I embraced yesterday was a reminder to just enjoy, enjoy wine and the characters with whom you sip, and go from their, form your life and write it all.  ALL.  Don’t omit a thing!  OH, and Mom reminds me just now by social media’s mount that I need business cards.  Shit!  How did I forget that?  Also need to upload some photography and copy to the bottledaux blog.  And.. officially put myself on the cards as a client of mmc, “Mike Madigan Author” I have it dubbed.  So that brings me to three clients.  And how do I market Mike Madigan?  Uh.. blogger, prose writer, poet, performing poet.. think that’s it.  What else does he write?  What do I think he should write, as his agent?  Arduous thinking of myself as a writer, objectively.  I’ll have to brainstorm, not in this freewrite.

9:26.  Time to write nearing an end already, but I won’t dismiss or let that free wind alone, not even for a second.. young lady in front of me going through her purse for something while she waits for her coffee.  Looks like she may have come from the gym or a walk, maybe.  But she looks tired and not wanting to start her day, flipping her hair and slightly rolling her eyes.  I hope not at me, the peering writer.  Now she gets her cup and leaves, about her day, looks at me again before putting some sugar in her, what I think is that passion iced tea my wife gets– rushes out, to the day, to errands and probably kids.  But I’m free, here with these characters and words and diarist accouterment, my mea culpa, theatricality in my gaze, my typings.  Looking and using what’s around me, so I’ll always be writing– this place, a place for people like that lady with her tea, me with this mocha and moment, then some that just come here to have a coffee and read the paper.  That’s their peace.  Just like wine, and in the vineyard, different intentions.  I realize, I can’t with all I have going on make wine– and I don’t want to really as I want to cover it; film it and write about it and photograph every facet as I did in ’12 at K—-.

No more distractions from email.  I know I always say that.  Had a call from client 2 this morning, that he had a busy weekend with company and didn’t have a chance to read the email and draft I sent him.  I know the feeling, I said, and didn’t mind at all.  He, with his business, everywhere and so centralized and focused, and beyond successful.  That’s mmc, soon, you’ll see, and my novels will capture everything, like a photograph but with the regimented discipline of writing and with the painted scene and plate– woman working here going around wiping off tables, the crumbs and coffee stains and used napkins.  I envy her speed and devotion to a task that most wouldn’t want to do.  That most are just too lazy to bring to any finished roundness.

Now in the morning I see what the day’s remainder looks like.  Just me at work and working toward my office which I know is closer than it’s ever been.  And wine education: I offer you don’t overthink it.  And if you want to look further into the wine you’re sipping, then enjoy.  But don’t steal the joy from the puddle in the bowl, what you sip and what contributes to the story and the occasion, the music created by conversation, like jazz in the moment and not reversed not edited and certainly not over-planned, or thought, or measured.  Just leap into the wine and explore its character like a book and see what speaks to you.  And I put an exclamation mark at the end of that sentence then deleted as the emphasis is obvious.  Just go forward into the wine and how you want to know it and don’t stop and don’t be swayed by anyone.  Certainly not some loppy-witted sommelier that recites book babble to sound versed.  That’s a facade– not with all of them, but many, even most I’d say.

9:47– the jazz slows, the trumpet and the highhat, snare, then in comes a piano like a trotting tiger, but gentle, some unseen dance, and I just want to stay here and write the characters around me and imagine this is my café, my jazz/wine bar, that my children visit when off school, go upstairs to the office and do their homework.  Something like that.  Wine should be family-placed, or as I see it– not sure where that thought was headed, but I don’t think corporations when I think of wine, or the vineyard.  I think of a house, a table, dinner, a bottle or two in the center, and people talking about what they choose, smiles and laughs and memories and new stories.  Nothing sour or downing.  Just an aloft mood and consistency…

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Morning, 7/26/15

The next day.  Shamed in that I don’t write till the next day, the next morning, and not at the hour I want, which frustrates me to no end.  And then I have it decided that I’ll leave work a bit early to get done what I need done; all the tasks for clients, some writing for the novel, and whatever else.  I can only entertain what I’d be getting done while at the winery, when it’s slow, hating how it’s slow, and then pacing around the tasting room wishing I could get all that stuff done.  But I put myself there– and this new idea I have, getting one more class to teach for Fall, but online.. never taught online before, but I know I could, and can, and will.  Just have to push, make that part of my hustle.

Jackie still asleep and I badly need a coffee.  All I have to do is put the little cup in that bloody contraption and push BREW.  But I can’t separate or sever my thoughts from these keys, this laptop thatI had charging all night and in the corner of this bottom floor by the couch with my work bag and all the other worlds of me, this current Mike Madigan, so riddled in angst and ambition, that only wants to write and can barely find it in himself to repeat those descriptions behind the bar–  “Keep writing, keep writing..” I tell myself so I won’t have coffee any time in the next few minutes or so but that’s fine, I just won’t let myself stop, and think about farmers and how early they rise and that they have no choice, they don’t have the luxury of flakiness from time to time.  It, whatever the current “it” is, has to be done, finished, then there’s another “It”.

Then I hear my boy, talking to his mama.  I have to stop writing for a minute–

And we’re both downstairs with my coffee and Jack continually saying he wants to go run, as Alice just left with her friend to take on the hills of Fountaingrove in their now-tradition’d Sunday morning powerwalk.  Which leaves me here with the little Beat, and now I can only think of how it’s just 3 minutes before 7, might as well be 11 or 3 in the afternoon.  Again, I failed to get up at 5, or just before 5 to write and do things of clients as I told Alice last night.  This morning I just feel separated and not quite as directed as I want to be.  I have to leave work early today for the prose and its sake and its development.  I look around the internet for distance learning courses but then turn it off as Jack comes closer to me, to play on the other side of the toychest and arrange his toys as he likes, then I just watch and type while he does with his alway-obsessive placement of the larger little trucks afront the little race cars.  “You see, Daddy?” he says.  I go back to typing without looking noticing all my typos, fix them then I’m back off on my story.  And the story today is building not just my clients’ stories but my own.  And the regularity and patterned ‘anything’ has to be shed.

Something Glenn said the other day, about his business and waking up as early as he does, “You have to live it,” he told me at the tall Campo Fina table.  And I want to now live as a writer like I never before have, finishing my novels and either self-publishing them or having them printed.  More than likely the former as I want ALL control.  I’m not letting them fumble my ideas so they’re more marketable, or letting them quarantine the most truthful tellings only to have them absconded, stricken altogether.

Jackie begins to lose patience with his cars for some reason and pushes them all to the floor, which he often does, now settling on the new endeavor of putting everything on the floor into the little plastic tubs, each a different color.  I should have gone for a run this morning, yes, but then I wouldn’t be able to see this, his projects and how he doesn’t complain like the writer but just does, and has fun doing so even if there’s the occasional vocal grievance .  There’s a focus, or certain cynosure to his movements.  And now to mine.  I’m learning from my little Beat, everything I need to be as an Artist, and he takes me through every step, “Daddy I have to put this toy away.” And he follows-through, doesn’t become diverted or pulled to some other urge, “And now I gotta put these toys…” I WILL be more like Jack as a writer and Artist, and teacher as well, with students and their assessment, and writing about it all, everything, the discoveries and stories, and the blog for the students– just learning and teaching what I learn as I go.. but then I again think of killing the teaching blog, right?  Too much.  Consolidate.  Or not.  Just keep it, as I did renew it recently.  Feel like a mess this morning but I’m rather centered.  OR that could be self-deceit.  Who cares, I’m onboard, fine with it.

This next day, writing and teaching myself something, and being taught by my little boy, to just live, play, and forget about stresses.  Yes I should have been earlier up, but I’m now here with my pages, with my thoughts and the visions of what I’m to do with my business and with the teaching, and the tasting room– how much longer, not sure, but not much I know.  But why I’m there I’l embrace it, use it, learn what I can from it and let it continue to contribute to the novel, novels.  Now Jack’s on the floor trying to assemble something, I think one of those air-motivated toys that sends some foam missile to the air when you jump on one end, not sure, but he tries to connect a cord to one of the pump-bases.  And he narrates each step, what he sees and learns and thinks should happen.  that’s how I should be with this new day, this next morning and till whenever I decide to leave the winery.  Have to find online classes to teach, if I can.. just one more, one more section then I’ll be in the place I need for the books and for the clients so I can focus on their needs and projects.. it’s the hours at the winery that seem to be infusing the most interference, much I enjoy being there, right in front of that Japanese water garden.  Have to plan, everything from when I wake to the drive to work, to the tasting room and what I want from there, to the couple free hours after. 

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7/24/15– notes

Meeting with client, then what.  Writing, whole day to self.  May do short run, but the writer needs time to meditate think in the context of the novel.  6:54AM, and not much in a mood for writing.  So then what.  What am I doing?  Why force?  ‘Cause I can’t sit still.  Not with the words and the streamings of what’s synaptically snapping in my head.  the novel the novel the novel, just like when I was in grad school; go to the fiction seminar then come home to write, all jazzed up but then do nothing with the pages in fact I have now no idea where they are, were, or are, in the garage?  victims of the Autumn Walk move?  Who knows.  But I’m older, much, now, and with a family, with real deadlines.  Used to hate deadlines but I now I clear conceptualize their value and grow from that, the old Chinese wisdom, Lao Tzu, of calm overcoming heat.  The connection not sure but I know there is one and one that will establish the day’s mentality and attitude, my mood which has of late proven to be volatile somewhat.  Symptomatic of writers and their ways, my ways.. the one holding the pen and collecting the pages– if I’m to be a novelist all has to be simple and all has to be contained, have borders.. so…..

On the Road I’ll have–

Hours later, i resume with whatever I thought I had, after meeting and so many wine thoughts and sips I’m confused and convinced that the wine story will show me where to go, exactly and not.  I’m not editing this entry even a little, but writing freely, so freely I’m lawless and chaotic, and defying what there is in way of law.. two Chardonnays I tasted on Healdsburg’s square before my meeting with Glenn, where again I was prompted to futher submerege in the text and subtext of wine’s clefs and frets– but then what, the entanglement of my consciousness becomes even more oceanic in its momentum–  I’m cornering myself for reason;s sake and stabilization, the anchoring of wine’s candid thesis and direction, the papers and novels it wants me to write– so now I sip more of the Sanglier Blanc, a blend of every white varietal under a Sonoma County variable sky– my beat complete and replete with a street’s beat.  And me, the novelist under deadlines always just sipping the new wine that greets him, thinking he can be a winemaker and novelist and journal everything he can– he said, “One fast move, or I’m gone…” And so I feel the same way and drink more, listen to the music of the quiet on the bottom floor of this Autumn Walk spot– distractions that’s it, Emerosn would be mad at me and he should be, and so should Dad, as he once told me that distractions are “death to a goal”.  Those were his precisely realized words, the specified direness of everything, and as a writer it vocals even more, me with my students and my novel just haunts me and makes me drink more of this white blend of 53 varietals– I just use sarcasm as a way to cope, and with what, who knows, this narrative is directionless, and I am on my Road, in these studies and always jealous of the students and those that get to travel for work, you know the ones that say “Oh I just got back from a trip to North Carolina for a week, and then Florida after that…” Just heard someone say that to me, so placidly, and I was angered or envious I don’t know I just saw the Road for me and become hellish in my realization of accepted regularity–  staring at the wall, the wainscoting, the patterns have me distracted– nothing in this room wants me to write.  So I fight, for my sanctum, and my sanity, and the stabilized penning of my Now, the Newness and the Road’s varying light, what happened?  but I’m calm, not at all overheated, or understated, but what am I truly, that’s the novel’s goal determining that so I’m destined to be flat and failed– my beat piles on a cold floor.  This white blend, telling me to go further into wine’s heave, but for what I ask, what if I stopped–  I need sleep now, the adjunct, the tremens, that’s a career right? 

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At

the car place.  Or tire place more specifically.  And I won’t fill this day’s 3rd page (or actually, technically, yesterday’s..).  After this, running, then campus, then writing and writing and structuring and finishing this goddamn novel!  I’m a novelist, right?  So where the hell’s the book?

Sipping some cheap coffee in a little styrofoam cup.  Not bad actually, quite tasty with a quiet rile of oak and spice, if I’m not overanalyzing.  And why doesn’t this laptop red-underline ‘overanalyzing’ but does to ‘overthinking’?  Technology always aggravating and inconsistent.  What can I do to this day to make it epic, or extraordinary, mammoth in how it’s paginated?  Think music, of course.. jazz, and how beautifully momentary it is.

Categories: artist's notes ..., mikemadigancrEATive | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

from today’s 3 pages

…and one of them saying “I’ve been here fifteen years, you don’t need to tell me that,” speaking in mimicry of the moment, the exchange with this person.  I don’t know if ‘this person’ is a full-timer as well or an adjunct but I’d like to think he or she’s an adjunct, and that this is just more evidence I have of how they’re always there, talking about us and slighting us either to our faces, behind our backs, or in their heads.  But then the run starts to catch up with me, slowing everything I do, typing on this keyboard, and slowing my eyes in their movements, making the lids heavy, and me disinterested in everything I’m thinking and doing.  And what am I doing?  But writing a novel.  Or finishing one.  Or have I already finished one, in that string of 100 days, 3 pages a day.  Now, the 3-page mark is to be daily, and forever, all prose and reflective and truthful, and painful if I need it to be.  Tomorrow, wake when you should have today, around 4, or just before 5, and get the three pages started.  Enough of these affirmations, I think.. these writer thoughts.  No one wants to read that!  Wine!  People love wine!  And the wine fantasy!  And winemaking and the winemakers and the sight of some bottle on a table surrounded by opulent and visually antagonistic food.  One of my clients, one of the two, has a pervasive thesis of wine and food, which I love, and the link to the farming.. there’s something there for me, and what specifically I’m not sure but it’s something.  This man, self-made, a farmer and winemaker and overall whiz with so much, and how– self taught and some institutionalized order.  And I’m reminded, use what I already have, what I know, I don’t anything new, any more stress or clutter.

Outside for a break, I think.  Need something, and that’s air, the sight and feel of that parking lot air and the furtive gusts I remember to be out there presently.

Back from my walk, and returning a message, someone saying my writing is “fantastic”.  Want to look into something, something concerning wine brokering, or selling wine creatively.. after all, my company is called “mikemadigancrEATive”…  So I start brainstorming.. need an idea book for mmc, one quaint, not too large, and in one place.. selling wine but not in some cheesy scripted robotic, unidimensional utilitarian method.  3:03, the adjunct forces himself to look at the clock much as he doesn’t want to.. meeting on Thursday, 5PM, wine-related.. opening the Stewart Cellars Cab Blair gave me.  And it starts, brokering wine, a facet of mmc’s “Professional Blogging” division.  Good, so I’m consistent…

Still quite full from lunch, and tired from the run.  So I brainstorm, think.. write.. images… listen to the music I’d have playing in the mmc office.  This adjunct, shedding his initial intentions with teaching, and finding more about himself and his relationship with wine.  And that “perfect world”, the travel and the lecturing, showing the literary qualities of wine, and the voice and narrative, truest of stories disclosed in the sip sequences.

Needing another break, but I won’t let myself stop till I reach this page’s bottom and am onto the day’s 3rd.  Wine.. the character, the arranged nature on the palate and how the suggestions encase your perception and ability to react and reflect; when you find a wine that tells you what to think, and embraces what you already cognitively hold, accept.  A pleasant palate putsch.  I love those bottles.  They make me think and rethink everything about my knowledge of wine and how I speak of it.

Iced coffee.. gorgeous in all its dimensions, but I can only think of the wine I’ll drink tonight, and tomorrow at the winery how I’ll talk about the wines differently, and associate them with certain characters in Literature or maybe just laud them as their own individualized presences other than just recite basic and dumbing “facts” as so many do– the remedial approach to wine, the depreciative demeanor.  Wine deserves more, especially wines one’s passionate about.  Could use a glass of Sauvignon Blanc right now, here in this adjunct cell.  I should do that one time, bring in a split of something, have after class.. ha, then I’d really be making this cell my own space, my own Creative cave, my own slice of Newness.  Have to start prepping for class in 29 minutes, 1 hour.  But now one of my favored calming songs appears through the speakers delineating my senses in this cell.. or this office, depending on how you look at it all.

And more wine thoughts fly through my head; drinking it and thinking about the food I’d have with it.  Tonight Alice said she conspires to make a wonderful pasta plate with spicy meatballs, so perfect for that Stewart Cab and all the precipitating writing following, right?  Don’t want to think of all the calories I’ll be re-introducing into my circuitry after lunch, then this iced coffee, then the pasta and wine.  No matter, will run Thursday, early, but speed work on tread.  My tenacity is re-firing itself in my keystrokes, and in the rhythms I hear from the speakers, like bands on stage not taking anything back and no time to edit just let the thoughts fly to the screen, the page, and everywhere, finding their readers.. my beat comes from everywhere in this sitting, my the 36 y/o writer with his novel finally constructed.  Want to start assembling, and with noted officialness, my “wine qualifiers list”.  An amalgamation of words meant to describe wine but not like the simplistic and numbed-down words that these tasting notes sheet utilize, thinking they’re so brilliant and resourceful, helpful or entertaining.  Truthfully, I find a better 80% of them annoying.  And not worth a read.  But I learn from reading then, as like Faulkner said, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad…” They would land, if I were to conclude, majority of these lists and their illuminative wordings, under ‘trash’ and ‘bad’.  And if I could add one, ‘dead’.  The words are lifeless, doing practically nothing but taking up space on that page on the tasting bar, committing page robbery and having the guests, especially tourists who’ve never been to a single wine zone in CA, think the author is some handler of prose, imagery and voice…

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from today’s 3 pages (no edits)

…prepare for class– my mind everywhere, this is what the cell does to you, you adjunct– part-timer not valued, part of the scam but maybe now I’m scamming them, right?  That’s what I tell myself, but the story keeps going into new articles and facets and dimensional waves till I crash on some reflective shore with a notebook, a Composition Book that I only hope gets looked at, if not by a publisher or reader then me, or Mom.

Jazz.. want to write poetry, and only have these items and corners in this adjunct cell for composition, and it probably won’t come out a bit composed, not at all.  Need a full day to write, but when will I get that?  Not any time soon, much I’m working.  SO, I have to get up earlier, much earlier.. less wine.  Although, last night I only had one glass of that Paso Cab, which was quite forceful with its dark texture, presence and call.

Mocha murdered, now my water gone.  Good I bought three from Michelle…

Need some air, some breathing outside– looking up, at the shelf just above this surface, old textbooks, and to the left, a small can of Squirt a student last Summer gave me.  Can’t believe that’s still here.  But I look at the texts again, each a ‘How to Write’ text, or ‘what you should do while you read’, something of either, or both.. they all know, they all have the answers, so do teachers even teach if they rely on these feeble-thinking texts?  Their voice, or instruction, pedagogy or rhetoric, not at all sly, or even fruitful in my mind, just rehearsed, and constructed, built to sell; a piece of teaching merchandise.

Distracted by pictures of my son, on the carousel, and on the little train he rode, and of him with his mama and I.  There’s no greater push than him, and pull from his words, toward him and his carefree disposition and character I only wish I could partially mimic..

Still no response from client.  So I should treat myself to a walk, and a snack.. yes, I need to eat as my wife tells me but then I remember Hem telling me “Hunger’s a good discipline”.  So what should I do?  Wish I knew.  And what is it with me not indenting anymore?  I blame the blog, and the habits it brings with it.. and 3 pages for the day, I have to, everyday and for the rest of my life, not just some 100 days of it nonsense, no, everyday!  SO I’ll be outside for my treat of fresh air and some salty treat to pair with the next water, from the book store, where I’ll see Michelle again and I’m sure she’ll have the author’s name this time, and the perfect phrasing she wants to convey.  But not before I touch page 3.  And what if this is a new code for bottledaux.  3 pages.  Everyday.  How many can say such, writers or otherwise?  How many have three pages to their personified page tower, per day?  Not many.  Yes, Kerouac, Hem, Dostoevsky maybe.. and now me.  Am I in their lineup, league?  Yes I’d like to think so.  With three pages I will be.  Each day its own standalone short, or novelette-ette-ette.  And keep writing in this cell, the adjunct’s chamber for whatever they want.  Some grade, some fill out FT applications at colleges in regions I would never think to live, and then some go to their social media pages, but I write and listen to this jazz and think again of my vineyard-farm, my little beats playing, Alice and I sipping more than likely sparkling wine from somewhere in Carneros or Anderson Valley, and just smiling at each other, “We’r finally here,” we both think, but don’t need to say.  And that’s closer than I realize, I realize, but the trumpet and snare, light, tell me to just focus on this sentence, and the next.

Back from walk, getting snack, and talking on the phone to an old friend who started his own label, is experiencing a couple stalls, some exhaustion and frustration it sounded like, and just an overall reconsideration of what he started, maybe, it sounded.  Opened my second water, and it’s bloody flat.  Little to no bubbles, just flat lemon water.  Getting closer to when I have to be in the classroom.  Plan.  Get everything together and in–

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Top Floor, Please

Up not as early as I’d hoped but I’m up.  My laptop clock or time reader or little ‘here’s where you are in the day’ corner tells me it’s 6:30.  6:30.  Most people aren’t even up right now, least those on my block.  My wife and son are still slowly sawing some huge basin tree by tree upstairs.  And I’m here.  Writing.  Have a meeting in the morning with a guy who might buy some wine from me, but who knows.  He wants me to look at him while he smells and sips and thinks something sophisticated or whatever or tries to look like he is– no, I should say that.  He’s actually a nice guy.  A really nice guy if he’s taking time to visit with me and try some of my buddy’s small lot projects.

But work is on the mind.  I have to start the day, every, with coffee.  Don’t working people love their coffee?  Met a guy recently who said “naw I just can’t do the coffee thing?” ‘What the hell’s wrong with you’ I thought.  But then, ‘good for him’, I said inside.  He’s not part of this patten, this expectation of work and have the goddamn morning cup storm and how to get ready, and he’s not in the caffeinated catacomb as I am.  I should have woken earlier.  I could get more done, write more, maybe finish an essay or lecture or do some imagining of how soon I’m going to travel and sit in Paris again at some café on whatever street that was in ’09 by the hotel and just think to myself, “See?  I made it.”

Someone’s awake upstairs, I think my wife.  Or no, that would be my son, right above the couch here.  So my writing may be interrupted but I’ve started at least and I keep going till he charges me as he does with that slightly open smile, then always jumping on me, saying “Daddy!” I always accept that as a guarantee, that something wonderful will happen today.  Something already did, he was the first character that greeted me.  I sip quick the coffee, ‘cause he’ll knock it over if I leave it on the wood floor, my right side, close like a holstered gun.  Well isn’t it?

Not in any mood to work today.  I’ll just put that out there, way out there, but not too far.  I’d be in that coffee shop off Railroad Square (or is it ON Railroad Square?) just typing, writing the characters around me, eavesdropping on their proclamations and confessions to friends and arguments between boyfriend and girlfriend and just make it my own.  That’s not work, that’s not what I’m directed to do from some maturity obligation.  It’s WHAT I am.  WHO, Mike’s always been,  And now he can pleasantly levitate as a writer.  And not some story, fiction, and not even some rushed memoir.  Just a day, mine, written– sip coffee, still alone down here.  Odd, the day already forwarded, onward into…let’s see……

(7/17/15)

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