Posts Tagged With: Journal

9/11/14.

And before you ask, yes I remember where I was.  But where I am now, watching a Mickey Mouse show with little Kerouac.  Ms. Alice timed perfectly this morning so I could get our coffees ahead of schedule, so I’m properly caffeinated, ready for day for the most part.  And it happened again last night/early this morning: that inner narrative, about the winery and the wine industry and what my functionality is in IT.  Posted to teaching blog, and I will do nothing during today’s lunch but work.  I’ll eat what Alice packed for me before my scheduled time.  And I’ll write for the novel, bring ‘Road’ with me as well as my teaching Comp Book.  Wish I were in the library.  Wonder what it’s like in there in early morning hours opposed to my usual visits, P.M.

7:42AM.  Should leave in less than ten.  See how Jackie feels about that…  “Jackie we have to go soon,” I said.

“No, five minutes.” He threw back.

Still some coffee left.  Have to start my word count log, the newest that is.  Well as my running log (written).  Don’t want to rely on some device, and that’s not writing, I want all written, ALL.  Just remembered, though, it’s set to be hot today, brutally so, possibly with three digits.  IF that’s the case, then my writing in the park plans may be perished.

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from journal

9/6/14–  Up and I feel better than yester’ that’s for sure.  I’m moving faster as I type and I’m engaging with little Jack.  Could use more sleep but I can only wish so much.  Hoping today isn’t too crazy, I really don’t need that.    Having trouble thinking with Jackie’s cartoon on, but I smile, as he’s more content that I usually am.  The wine from yesterday, not moving me in any way and I wanted it to so badly, for the short stories or vignettes or scenes I have envisioned for Crystal’s character.  The tasting yesterday morning put me in such mood, tasting 12 wines before 10:30, although I didn’t let one touch my tongue or lips or “palate”.  Need a sip of coffee, and stay on my inked toes with observations today; group yesterday, 4, two from NC and the other from New Orleans–  NO!  One couple from GA and the other from ‘Orleans.  So nice, so eager to not so much learn as experience.  And that’s all it should be about, experience.  I guess, if I heard right, the wines we were tasting were pulled to pour for some bigshot critic or something– people were calling him ‘a writer’ to which I just laughed and how can I not if he’s only known for listing descriptors about wine and assigning some insignificantly subjective score.  Makes my head hurt so I stop with the entertainment..

Giving the park another try today, so I’ll eat before going.  I’ll walk away from the bench with one standalone, a piece of micro-fiction, something to toss into a literary magazine somewhere or maybe use for the novel, for my character who has a fascination with the short story and perhaps playing the short story circuit but only wants to be a novelist, or write books, full-length books, ones to be read and reacted to and held, he wants people to hold them and think “I can’t wait to get home and read this.” That park, just what writers use to pull themselves from some lull, or any stall.

Haven’t touched the old entries yet.  And that has to stop.  Have to charge this laptop so I have enough bite to follow through with ideas during those 30 minutes…

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Nothing slipshod. All measured. Take lunch early. Flex your pages’ intensity and gibbosity. I don’t care what I encounter today, how lovely or writhen, I will write it down. I’m a journalist, a spy dans ce jour… and always. New journalism, all panegyric toward what surrounds me. The park on Warm Springs, my meditation plank. I feel rident this morning, renewed. I’m close to the Road… Less than 48 hours near. The campus in my vision:
Monday–
What if I had nothing? What would you do? How would you make this class your own? Would you have statements, questions? Would you introduce yourself to the characters/colleagues around you?
Write your initial reactions– and only offer sentences that antagonize reaction, discussion– stay composed…

(8/16/14)

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10:02PM

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

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

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12:23; In the new classroom, here in Mendocino.  Already hot outside, and was forced from my quiet spot in the café, if that’s what it’s called, by students eating, laughing, talking, high volume.  It’s fine, I’m new.. already making dent in the syllabus draft.  Tonight I’ll be planning everything out.. was given a very easy-rhythm’d and informative tour by a lady, Mary, from the Office of Instr.  Making a checklist of things to do, get done before the 18th.. have to hand office hours form into HR, then finish work on syllabus– oh, get course catalogue and sched from bookstore.  Ran into fellow adjunct, or former adj’ I should say, Ginnie, who’s now FT here at MC.  Need to tighten my practices in teaching, writing, get free from where I am when not in classroom.  Through much of my checklist.  The drive up here, filling me with ideas for the semester.  I can only win with these classes, and what I’m planning to write, what I’m planning to share with the students.  I’m not going to force mySelf to finish the syllabus here, now, in this room.  I simply wanted a healthy jump, which I do indeed now have.  I can only win.

Write.  Everything.  Down.  Everything.  Even the slightest most seemingly minute thought while driving– but I can’t write while driving, and I won’t do the voice recording with my phone.  If I remember it when I reach the MC parking lot, the it gets jotted.  But I will leave nothing unscribbled.  Took me just slightly over an hour to get here, from hwy 101, just after the 12 merge.  My first class begins at 9:30, so I’ll leave at 7, precisely.  I have to.  I’ll try and prep as much as I can the prior night, but I will leave earlier than need as 1, I drive slow; 2, I need time to collect Self prior to lecture, and 3, I want to be in the room before the students– that’s always been emphasized, for me as a teacher.

Want to go for a run, but I’m afraid it may already be too hot.  And I have grading to do, for Summer.  Going to be a late night, I think.  Will tell Alice not to wait for her writing husband, as I need this semester to be the one that frees me from the bloody clock.  Was going to stop at SRJC on the way back, but am now thinking that’s not needed.  Love the feel of this room; the smaller gray square desks, the blue thin carpeting with swirling black lines and yellow-green subtle intricacies traversing the black entanglements; higher ceiling, two windows that look out at trees, a quaint courtyard.  And the drive up here, again, not rural but carvingly removed; like I’m in a distant part of one of the 4 corner states.  I only thought on the drive, how I was on MY clock, thinking my thoughts and writing my own story, finally.  Hope hasn’t been restored, it’s been trumped.  I’m free, intrinsically, definitively.  THIS, is Artistry.

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7/31/14–

Tomorrow, Santa Barbara.  And I may have an opportunity at Sonoma State.  Not sure yet.  Will send my materials by way of email, tomorrow, before I leave, while Alice is on her run.  My first Kerouac book came in the mail today, a collection of his letters.  Didn’t know I bought a used book, once in a library, somewhere, can’t remember where.  I will write the whole time in SB, if not tangibly then mentally.  Bringing my Lagunitas Ale into living room with me; not breaking law of no drinking, anything, on the new couch.  Promised Ms. Alice and I will obey…  The ocean, the sand, that view from our Room down there, just waiting for me.  What can I do but be patient.  I hate that.  HATE it.  The power went out on campus today, interrupting a poetry writing activity, right after we began.  I urged the students to write through it, and they did, after two, both vets, walked around the building, outside, to make sure all was okay– their impulse, prompted by a rumble, heard by everyone in class.  But we wrote on, past it.  It was interesting.

I try to relax, but I stress thinking about the fact I only have, basically– no, less than– 48 hours in SB.  I shouldn’t do that.  Why am  I doing that?  Just enjoy.  Have a run, get one page into the book, and enjoy.  And just because you’re not physically writing doesn’t mean you’re NOT writing.  You are.  Living IS writing, I tell myself.  And my writer friends would agree.  Should sent one of them a note tonight.  I will.  But I doubt she’ll return.  She’s free, flying, a flight attendant, attending flights and her flights attend to her, her pages, her vignettes as she recently told me she’s scribbling.

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Sipping Pinot, the one my friend Ed gave me a couple years ago, or maybe early ’13.  Not sure.  It’s a Pinot; earthy, light fruit, a tad vegetal.  But with a refinement I haven’t encountered before.  9:33p, and little Kerouac very much in his little dreams.  Takeout from up the street, Legends, and I elected my usual, the mushroom/swiss burger with fries.  Not the best pairing with the burger, but that wasn’t my aim, anyway.  And now, I’m truly tired, ready for bed, but I want to research the authors I’ll be using for Fall.. no time.  Can only think, and as I research Kerouac, watch that Big Sur movie, over and over, I understand that the best act I can tell is inaction, just taking it all into character.  So I will, without over-thought.

Tomorrow, I hope something interesting happens, anything, some story, some development.  I don’t know.. I just want something, for the story, so I can be with them.. Scott, Glenn, Bob, Crystal, Dav…  But I can only hope, write, write while I hope and hope while writing.. somewhat deconstructive and destructive.  But that’s Art, strange, and liquified, the more Pinot I sip.  Ed, once a clock-puncher now a wine-wielder.  How?  And why can’t I transcend and time-bend?  I’m not with talent like he.. and he has strategy.  I’m just a fucking writer…

Alice’s shows violate my auditory, like bees, or something that stings, sneaking through screens.  I’m hurt, disrupted, I hate the TV, and anything on it, except for Nat Geo docs.  I can’t wait for my marathon, Santa Cruz, May 2015.

And the Pinot’s gone, thank the good of ness.  What if I could sneak in 3 miles tomorrow morning, or even 2?  I’ll see, and then have more coffee.  And if those devils are reading this, they’re probably laughing, or scratching their heads, ‘cause Literature, true Writing, hurts, as it makes them think, and thinking isn’t for everyone, especially Them.

(7/30/14

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29

And to Mendocino I went today.  Wrote about the heat in my new notebook, the one I took from the SRJC Eng Dept copy room.  It was so intense I was nearly convinced, thoroughly, that I was going to get sick on the ride home.  But on notes more uplifting, I only have official transcripts to send them, then I actually exist, or am “a real person” as the HR lady, Nicole, put it.  I did place a tentative book order, though, and did settle on the books just disclosed in a recent entry: Feast, Road, Wolff’s stories, and Me Talk Pretty by Sedaris…  Being on the Road today, as I was when commuting to Solano in Fall ’10 brought back not just memories but values, a world view I haven’t had since before Jack came into my play.  And all in a positive way.  The drive north, to Ukiah, taking a little over an hour at my slow speed, giving me mountains, a little river peek, vineyards, clouds, intense green then the barren…  It’s the Road, or as much as I can experience now.  But I’m doing it again!  I am!  A freeway flyer.  And I used to have the pessimist’s stump in my mental, since I let the wrong people infect me.  But not this time.  I’m in a true 35 Lark, honoring so many of my Laws, my new notes…  And I couldn’t be happier.  Yes, I know it’ll make for days long, so long, torturously.  But I’m set to be more regimented than I’ve ever been.  The days of wine’s world and industry in this writer’s wheeling ward are nearly executed.  Today’s drive made me feel independent…  FREE!  Just what JK would want for me.

Tonight’s session with the ‘100’ section went well, more than “well”.. it was energized, and I know they have to take control of this final assignment in a way they never have with the others, or with anything else they’ve done with other classes.  And that makes me.. I don’t know if “proud” is the word I’d zoom, but something like it, I guess.  Or how about ‘subtly supercilious’?  It made me feel good.  Healthy.  Alive.  And again, after my drives, even more FREE.  Little Kerouac, fell asleep with unusual diplomacy tonight.  Which is wonderful, I want to run tomorrow morning after Ms. Alice.  She registered me for the ‘Healdsburg Half’.  So now there’s no turning back.  Have to get on a training program.   And I love that feeling, the commitment on MY bloody terms.  The sounds this house makes always distract me, and I don’t know why.  I don’t believe in the supernatural anything, but I just get spooked when it’s too quiet.  But then so oddly and contradictorily I only long for quiet, like a couple Saturday nights ago when I was charging at the Reserve Cab, in the kitchen nook–  And I hope I’m awake tomorrow before Alice leaves, when it IS quiet, so I can add to the 40 pages, for the first of the series.. don’t want to call it a ‘penny dreadful’, but something like that, just more substance, more Literary, more hope and Humanness I guess.  And the coffee, that’ll always be in this writer’s morning recipe.

(7/28/14)

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(from this morning’s session, 7/27/14…)

But, anyway, from my tangent, re-focusing on today’s mission: objects and dialogue; the guests, anything.

Coffee, ready to be made.  I’ll start combing through old entries this week, possibly tomorrow, after Mendo.  And the students, my ‘100’ group, in their final 8 sessions.  And Santa Barbara approaches… Already looking forward to my runs on the beach with Alice, writing about it afterward, or to some ocean frame, just sitting and enjoying the sounds. and I won’t write full paragraphs–  object here at home, empty beer bottle by sink last night, just one, rare for me.  Wasn’t in the mood for beer or wine last night, what happens after a boring day in vindictive heat.  And the phone here, the house line, hardly ever used, it just sits over there under Jackie’s play table, bored like me behind the bar yesterday.  But I carry a phone with me everywhere, like everyone else; I feel like a cutout character, no voice, no distinction.  What if I left my phone in the car today, in the parking lot?  Only wrote– a different character today, me, one only writing, not talking as much, and no sips.  Short phrases and if I was to practice now:  ‘Jackie’s humming, song snippets he’ll maybe put together but indicative of contentment, peace, his ever-smiling bursts/This new couch: already seen enough of me, read enough of my prose–’  This will be the practice today.  EVERY OBJECT.  The stapler, the pen container, the water bottles in the fridge, wine bottles empty with DNC written on them, meaning ‘do not count’.

Cup two, and Jackie and Ms. Alice go for a walk with one of her friends, the more consistent of the aggregate, Lorielle, with Addie the daughter.  Already after looking at these pictures of SB and the resort at which we’ll be lodged, I want to change my story, the surroundings for Jack.. Santa Barbara, my next chapter, I’ve officially targeted it, and this will be my logging of the journey there.  Why there?  Well, I’m an ocean lad, don’t forget, having being born in Santa Cruz.  And the runs along the beach the writing in water-bordered cafés and the dolphins my sister used to tell me about…  And UC Santa Barbara.  I will write my way onto their grounds.  The motivations buzzing in me this morning like some opaque haze of mutant bees, just out to sting.  Now on the website of UCSB, English Dept.  This will happen before 2014’s end, or I’ll all but give up.. Alice, Jack and I will move to UCSB, my writing will have me on the Road and I will have lectured at enough arenas and multi-purpose rooms to afford the relocation.  Down there I will finish my second novel which will lure me invitation onto staff.  And I have no problem leaving this, all these vines and tasting rooms and over-exaggeration of something I fucking sip behind.

8:15.. need in shower soon be.  I have a vision, a target like I haven’t before.  And all because of Nick’s wedding.  Can’t believe he’s getting married, and I even more disavow acceptance that I haven’t met his artful bride-to-become.  Everyone tells me how sweet she is, and I very much trust their words, but I need to meet this character.  Guess I’ll have to wait for the day of wed.  Should be hot again today, and if I were on the beach, in my new home, SB, I’d go for a family walk, with little Kerouac and Ms. Alice.  They’d stay at home afterwards while I go to my on-campus office to get a few things done– well, that’s what I told Alice.  I really went in to finish a chapter for the second novel.. I do that every then and once more.

A bird outside the condo, here, singing in repeating rolls, like I’m not listening but I am.  And he’s not recording himself, he’s just singing to sing.  Maybe it’s a blackbird, or a Jay of some kind, or who knows what.  I have to keep writing, all day, log everything.. another aspect of Mike Madigan which makes him marketable is his obsessive qualities as a penner, always logging, capturing, unconcerned with form… Good.  Then that’s how I’ll be today.  So…  NO.  SIPPING.  Wine is what I want I want, NEED, distance from.  So coffee only.  OR, those new sodas that Jillian ordered– the root beer, Stewart’s, so far is my preferred.  Have yet to sip the Izzy sodas, have my eye on the blackberry or black cherry– can’t remember which flavor she ordered.

8:21AM, and Time rushes, like the flood Kerouac wrote about.  But I don’t care, the priority is thought, and my lack of vulnerability now.  I’m a bull, a bullfighter…  Hem would be so proud.  Declaring mySelf the best writer this zone has ever known.  And it seems that these “wine writers” or “wine bloggers” really do think of themselves as people of the pen.  How?  You write about the same thing, time and time again.  Yes, there’ll be a different bottle or ‘terroir’ or producer or winemaker, but it’s still wine.  But, let’s be honest, how often do I write about writing or teaching or struggles of being a writer, or…  wine.  There, I lose.  But I was honest, true with my thoughts here in this morning nook/coffee session.  Not sure if I’ll have time to edit.  So maybe I should just have the Kerouac attitude, “There will be no editing this MS”.  My wallet, right, only with a few bucks in it.  Should take one out, restart the dollar a day habit.  Will need as much cash as capable for the SB move, 14’s end or 15’s liftoff.  Can’t wait to see that water, hear the waves, smell them, close eyes while painted terrestrial mist lightly brushes my face like a lover from one of my forgotten notebooks.  And the clock reminds me again…  So the rush is hushes, but I’m still ablaze, buzzing.

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journal

7/21/14.  And I’m in the adjunct cell.  Wrote my words for the day, 3 full fictive pages, and I’m ready for class, for the most part.  Have to print some papers for Mendocino, so they can have all my materials by Wednesday (I’ll probably drive up, early).  Did my fingerprints and TB fax-over earlier today, along with getting a couple new pairs of bootcut jeans and some black shoes, only to be worn to class.  My old black ones were just that– old.  And beaten.  And bitter.  I’m very easily over 2,000 words for the day.  And I have this bizarre rare species of ease about me.  Don’t know what it is.  And it’s even more peculiar as I’m sipping a mocha, one of my 3-shots.  I may be too relaxed to write, even.  I also blame this jazz, this particular song, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” by Brad Mehldau.  Walking away from this sitting, going to class, hoping to wake tomorrow, early.  Didn’t go for a run today.  I have no excuse to submit to you, reader.  But tomorrow’s A.M., before that bloody winery, I’ll be scurrying about Bennett’s Valley.

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