Posts Tagged With: Self-publishing

NaNoWriMo, a hundred mots of

…not much over 500 words, collecting pieces to submit and opinions on wine and wine life and travel, and then I see it, my truest of true truths in the pocket of aspiration: travel.  Moving.  That constant Newness I shared while talking about On The Road, that forever sequencing stream of stimuli that gives the character more of a story and more growth, breadth, believability as an Artist.

My next article, on living in wine country and realizing what the magnet truly is, what pulls people here and makes it difficult to detach, what makes them believe it’s more for them that where they live.  I’ve even heard New Yorkers, the most proud of state people that I’ve ever studied and met, say phrases to the shape of “Okay that’s it, we’re moving.”…

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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Products, Production, Productivity, Produced

IMG_7683Haven’t felt this productive and accomplished in some time.  Writings for clients, done and posted.  My check book, BALANCED.  Bills, paid.  I’m feeling very much even this afternoon and now I reward myself with some freeness in writing time.  Just remembered I have two more checks to write but no matter, I can very much handle it.  Have to return to my 3 pages a day, and I will, soon as my schedule in me settles.  Still have to grade Summer papers and prep for Fall, as well as gather the collected poems I put together.  Yes, a lot on the writer’s plate, but that’s how he wants it.  And now, here in this quiet house I very much have to take advantage of my moment at this desk in the Autumn Walk study.  Planner on left, mapping out the morrow.. going out with Glenn tomorrow night at midnight and picking the Old Camp Vineyard at midnight till 2.  Can’t even gather how excited I am about this dark pick, haven’t done such since 2012 when at that other place.  But this will be all the more resplendent and memorable, 1, as it’s Pinot Noir, and, 2, with a man I greatly respect.  Didn’t spend that much time with Glenn IMG_7696today but just in the short time we walked the Old Camp lots and had coffee and the place.. what’s it called….. Blue Beagle in North-North Santa Rosa, I ingested more knowledge of the harvest and this vintage and what it’s like to be one fully living as a self-employed and sustaining wine business figure.

3PM exactly, Alice scheduled to meet me here at 4 to leave and get little Kerouac before his swim lessons.  So much to organize.. already scribbling items on the calendar for morrow, not putting on this goddamn laptop’s datebook as I don’t trust this app or laptop as far as I wish I could throw it.  Busy, busy.. self-employed, love it..  had the chance to visit and old friend, Sophie, at her new base at a RRV winery on Olivette Road.  Bought one Pinot.  Can I write that off?  Poems, don’t forget to type those poems, especially those three you wrote the last days of class– see?  I’m mad with how IMG_7700busy I am, but again I love it more than I can here convey.  So full of vision and life and in no time I’ll be on the Road, traveling and writing and bringing stories and presents home for my babies.  And wife.  Just as Mom and Dad used to when they flew for the airline.

What else can I get done in this efficiency spree?  Sent a sample and a revision to a prospect, and this one seems to be testing me, but I could be wrong.  I should here today whether or not I’ll be let on to her project.  Hope she contacts me soon, as there’s little space left on my calendar.  And in the end, really, I’m the one making the call.  Empowered writer, writing books, running a business, and his blog, and running (11.1 miles yesterday I think was the final count), teaching 3 classes, and .. what else?  Sure there’s something else in their, in here, in this room with and somewhere on this desk in or atop or under one of the piles.


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Late to the office,

my Yulupa coffee base.  This morning, one of delays, coupled with waking late.  So my mood is volatile.  And I bite into the sausage and egg sandwich and then I’m calmed, eased in the IMG_7403placement at this table.  Writing fast but not too fast.  Thinking I’m just going to relax and enjoy this slowed, much slower pace.  This morning, no run.  But tomorrow come death or something else I will wake at 4AM like one of the students said he does nearly every morning, writing his final paper on a general Wellness that one can reach through fitness and exercise.

Not in the mood to recite anything today, to repeat and describe and look busy or .. then don’t focus on that my consciousness tells me, and I’m here in this café, quiet with music in my ears and just me and the words, the magnanimous deposition of my reality, written in books for people to love and hate and shun and embrace, maybe even learn from.

New possible writing prospect.. have to do a better job of marketing myself as mmc.  And the business cards, I’ll do that today at work if it’s entirely slow.  Just need to get to my office, and write what I need to, no bothers and no distractions–  I pick my head up and look around the shop and see so many probably going to work, in uniforms (road workers), and others that just seem in a rush, and I feel for them, then a lady walks by with eased pace, nothing bothering her.  And that’s me right now, and for the next 35 minutes when I have to pack my bag and leave.  “Have to”… I don’t HAVE TO, do anything.  But even still, I’d rather be writing, or running on the treadmill, oh that sounds amazing getting in a hurried 7 or 8 miles.

Tomorrow morning, 4AM, me up an on the pavement running the same route I did the other day, maybe a bit varied.  Depends on how I feel, really, what story I want to scribe in my strides so early with no light and barely any cars.  Love that feeling and love the rush, and the slight touch of fear when running that early.  It does something to me, not sure what but it certainly shapes me and establishes my temperament in something advantageous, or at least that’s what I hope to feel tomorrow morning.

Have to call back a prospect, and write some notes for tomorrow’s meetings.. then work on something else, then plan for class.. and all before 6PM today.  Somehow it’ll happen, somehow, right?  Have to finish this entry and market myself a bit, be a realistic entrepreneur– get my family to our farm, our vineyard..

There, did a little marketing, now back to relaxing as much I can before having to be at the vineyard, set up and the bla bla–  A little left in my mocha, but I keep the thoughts in their rumble, in their talk, their momentary symphony, or noise climate, either way it keeps the writer moving, in his movements, so he can move his family to the farm.


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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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Everything Beautiful Little

Later in day, after work, actually night and I feel advanced and at the same time still.  Haven’t written much today but had a wondrously granting meeting with my friend Chelsea downtown, Healdsburg (funny hearing tourists mispronounce) talking about all that’s wine and vineyard and branding and all connected to what I’m trying to do, for me and clients.  But I haven’t lost my Literary leap and skip across these pages, and my novel.  And tomorrow morning, I’m waking at the running hour, to write– and with firm goal, goals:  3 standalone pieces, 500 words, at least, to novel– and read through the 100 3-page days.  Progress.  Get out of the pattern and keep with all I need.  But the writer has to organized, has to plan more and be clean and consistent in his practices.  Right now, in study, dryer going upstairs, the day’s lost its heat and this penner was engrossed in the outside temp as I watered the grass, looking out at the street upon and within which Jackie played only an hour ago with his new neighborhood friends.  Papers from last semester form a ruined tower on this desktop.  Key right– and a pen, disorganized and I hate that feeling.  And the Pinot I’m sipping tonight does nothing for the writer, really, but I’ll write about it anyway.  For content.  It won’t get the most vocal review but a review nonetheless.  A lot going on now for the writer.  Just need to consolidate; from bottledaux to mikemadigancrEATive–  Should be speaking with another potential client tomorrow, lady from NYC who owns a vineyard in Windsor, I think Chelsea said.

I take a breath, try not to stress and look at all the clutter around me, on this desk, I need my own office, and I think I’m nearly there.  Want another sip of that Pinot, to see if I saw what I thought I did, or if I can see something else.  Talk about something else, I order Self– so what then, I talk back.  I don’t know.  I take the keys that were on my right and move them to left, now there’s this lovely welcoming void on my right side, on this desk’s top.  I feel freer.  So more de-clutter, more!  And now the lock, that secured the small thin chain cages storage at the condo complex.  And tuck a power cord wire around one of Alice’s laptops, even freer, more liberated.  I can;t have anything around me, only recollection and thought, and the vision of how I want my office– clean and clear and no obstruction.

So plan for morrow:


-1 short

-finish short started the other day (about college students close to grad)

-recitable narrative (performable, 500 words)

-micro fiction piece (100-110 words)

-novel contribution, 500 words

If the write fails to do all above, then he fails for the day; battle lost and he hides till he enough strength gathers to charge, fight once more.  Noise, now, from the TV my wife watches to the dryer upstairs.. how does my son sleep through this?  I’m annoyed suddenly, and again think of the Road, what I’ll experience and not just experience but live, learn, appreciate and grow from.

Technically I’m over a thousand words for the day but I feel like I’ve done nothing, nothing, feel like that write who keeps telling himself that he’s a writer and he’ll be a someone someday, but I’m an adjunct, forced to pour wine in a tasting room– what am I doing?  Will wake early tomorrow, and leap from sheets with angered energy, and make progress that startles me– my Road only carved partially, the rest invites, and I bite, in that harsh dark morrow to next night.  Reading On The Road with the students this Summer, more so than the past two semesters, has taught me to be more a daring writer, and to truly shun what critics and editor pigs tell me.  Like the recent assignment with the online magazines, saying my writing style isn’t what there looking for and they won’t be hiring me back for more articles.  But they want me to do a round of edits on what I wrote, after she told me she’d “take it from here”.  I’m not angry though, nor upset, nor irk, or irritated, not incensed or bothered or befuddled.  Nothing.  Just moving on.  I won’t change, not at this age.  And why should I, why bother the world with my ‘I’m-going-to’s’ when I can just change and shift and have people saying ‘oh, there’s something different about his, isn’t there?’ That’s what I’d rather.  And that’s what’ll happen.  Only 9 minutes, one hour left in June 26.  And I need to get to bed, especially if I’m to get up when I want, need.  Thinking of my room again, my office, what I’ll see from those windows.  What I’ll write that first day, the first real whole day working there, remembering all the horrible jobs I’ve had over the years, from the grocery gig at Lunardi’s to the Sears days, to the insurance office in San Leandro, to the ad idiots in Marin, then to the box, the Kenwood winery, and adjuncting– and yes, the adjunct cage is the worst tie I’ve ever found myself in.  But I make it work for me and there grip has never been able to pause my page stream.  The more I look into the adjunct qualms and grievances, the more thankful I am that I won’t let myself get that way; I did when I was a couple years in, I won’t fib, but now I have more, I see more, and I want more.  And will have more.

Battery to die, this goddamn thing.  Still need to xfer that story I wrote in class!  Have that count for one of the pieces tomorrow morning, if I can’t think of more material.  Would love to keep it separate from tomorrow’s A.M. session, but if I have to type I will.  Would rather than just have it rot on those legal sheets– oh shit, it’s already on the list.  I forgot.  Nevermind.


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Clocking in only a couple, literally two,

IMG_6585minutes ahead of anything resembling a schedule.  First topic of address: the young boy yesterday telling me how unhappy his dad is at work and how he’s searching for something else, “But, um, he’s looking for a new job…” he went on, and I just looked at him with interest and I guess pity, or if not pit then something of sympathetic semblance.  I’m near a mood not for writing but I maintain, and I think this should go to the yrownjoy project, but I haven’t the money to print so I just type on in this cafe, scribbling notes to myself for the first day of this Adjunct’s Summer, in only 3 days.  May take Monday off, but I’m not sure– now I’m sure my wife will have a comment or 12 if she reads this, but I’m transparent in my diarist leans and that’s what pummels my thinking at present.  I have trouble now writing and I’m not sure why, have to give this 4-shotter a chance to challenge my nerves and concentration.. much better flavor assembly than yesterday’s, no adjustments needed.  More ideas accost me for the Summer, ‘wanting & needing, being the same thing’, just hooped into my head, thinking of Kerouac’s Road and my Road and what I want to do for a living and where I want to be in 5 years– shit, I’ll be 41, and my second baby will be 5, and Jack will be 25– with how he acts.  This morning actuating a silly disposition then to something moody like his writing father then to wander, to roaming around the house looking for some distraction into which to lure us, both Alice and myself.  He’s that clever, mind you.  And me here in the café again, and for what, material.  Not in the novel mood, but I know I should be.  Didn’t wake early this A.M., no surprise, as I’d premeditated.  Woke up near 1AM to get Jack, he requested I stay with him but his bed was far too condense for my figure so I left only to hear him call for me when I stretched out next to a sleeping Ms. Alice.  I asked him if he wanted to sleep with mommy he said yes so I headed downstairs, under that soft red blanket.  Should have set my alarm.  But I didn’t.  And I woke to him running into the room, Daddy, daddy, I have cars!” he exclaimed, referencing the cars one of the children next door him gifted.  And I woke still very much feeling the run from yesterday.  Thinking of running tomorrow morning, waking at the hour of my mother-in-law, near 4:30, to hit possibly 8 miles.. that would be amazing.  Slight pain in knee left but nothing bothersome, nothing that woke me in the night’s middle. Interim before work, when I collect, but not like the last winery, this place welcomes me and my creativity from what I can see– oh, forgot I have to email my editor/publisher, sent her some thoughts on writing about Mendocino Wineries and Oregon spots, but she can only appreciate them at this time, which I of course appreciate and wait and gather more ideas and research if not for my own writings, the MOCK SOMM series or whatever.  Reviewing my friend Blair’s wine tonight, well as a Bacigalupi PS.  So that’s two Petite Sirahs.. I can do that, no problem.  I actually don’t now that much about Petite Sirah, I know it’s dark and used for blending a lot, and my sister made one that scored 90-something.. but not much more.  So tonight I’m educated.

Just off phone with Ms. Alice.  She ran 3 miles.  Her last weekday off before Summer School.  I IMG_6584sometimes forget, and I don’t know why, that we both teach, that we both value education.  And that we both love the students and acknowledge the students being harmed by the political scuffles and the skirmishes between instruction and administration.  I see myself a desperate journalist, needing a story, and I already have what I need in my reality with Jack and Alice and this new Russian River winery and the blogs I’m writing for, with the wines I’m to review tonight– no need to wish, I have everything I need, in this mocha no tweaks necessitated as this Beatnik readies himself for all the stories headed his way and all the notes and how the wines taste today–  Distracted by the people walking by, with their kids and I’m only kaleidoscopically turned in my visions of years before me, how Jack will see me in my profession, in my writing, and how the next little Beat will see me, how I act and how I write then I think of Jack reading my work in college.  And if anything, that’s becoming a prime aim of this writer’s, with my Beat and my new assignments and the promise they promote and boast and now more people swarm around me and invade the café– think they’re watching me write and reading this prose for free but don’t the “blog” readers?  Confounded and confused, astounded and amused–

9:22.  Still a good 30+ minutes for my pages and the character I want to shape for my children– “What’s your dad do?” someone asks Jack or his sibling…  ‘He’s a writer,” the answer.  Simply.  Confidently.  And with a relucent amour-propre.  That will be me, their father–  Blair, my winemaking friend with his own label messages me about some new label designs, I envy and enjoy and learn and some much else from him as a creator, then I second-guess my thought of not making wine this vintage, just stick to the writing.. what do I do? I don’t have the money to get the Cab from Cloverdale.  So there you go, solved.. just write, they’re subjects, the wines and the processes.  Stay in the bottle, you OX!

Have to restart phone.. ugh, tech, why do I do this to myself? Why not just write and post prose to this goddamn blog of mine?  ‘Oh cuz you need a visual of some kind..’ What the hell… okay.. just know the writer loses his patience and his cool and… all.  More likely I’ll leave early today, to gather Self and write more and contribute to the novel and write thoughts about the MOCK SOMM column and how I could maybe syndicate that and expand it as a brand and company and approach to wine; a methodology and kind pedagogy about wine; falling further into a love with wine, a true non-self-anointing characterization.

After 9:30– edit then leave.  A hurried penner, me, incessantly.  But one thing to be promised by this crazy writer, I will note all wines today at work and review my brother Blair’s when I get home.. he said the PS has to be open for at least 2 hours, and I trust him.. but I’ll see if I can make that happen, if not, then small poured and swirl the sense right out the bloody juice.  Narrative qualities in everything around me, all the people and what they order and the pictures I just took and how I feel about the future and how my children see me…  Like Blair, his kids should be more than proud of their father; independent, family-owned wine business and his worldly familiarity with all things wine, and all stories and voices of wine, everything from the bottle type to the cork style to the label, of course, and the fact there’s no foil.  Finally!  A wine that doesn’t need that added unnecessary flex of process.. with these Archival bottles, you simple twist into the tree, and pull, let breathe.. ugh, now I can’t wait to try the Chard and PS.  Asked Alice to find the CH in the rack and put in fridge.. hope she remembers as this has to be done, two pieces, which would give me 1,000+ words of material for the column.. work night, work in wine but not too much.  Need those miles in the morning, on a rapid relay to Wellness.  And my office.  The Road.  MY label, Self-publishing.. ZEN.


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More Days

Wine at this sitting, putting me in a mood of wondering and reaction, reflection, and probably IMG_6566something else I can’t now think of.  Sipping one of my ’12 Merlots.  Never tasted like this with it more poetic edge and ebb– ugh, told myself I wouldn’t write in blog tonight, that I’d produce something I could, and can–  typing in the “Study” of the Autumn Walk palace, now.  And I think about the music they were playing at the beer bar at Whole Foods, while I was waiting for our burritos– punk, loud, disorganized, would have killed for some Hutcherson– huh, this chair’s rather comfortable and accommodating, love it, and love this moment and how the wine flies through my system and senses and what I’m meant and made to think of…..

My articles.  Should work on them.  But not now.  Now’s for this freeing session and the thinking accompanying, and everything associated.  My wine in the kitchen and I can only think of how I have no money to self-publish, put my actual ‘yrownjoy’ efforts on actual page so I have to use this bloody blog.  Should make a publisher print my work, yes the traditional route, that’s what I IMG_6565should do, so I’ll do, that’s what I’ll do– the Massamen novel and go everywhere with it and my thoughts in it and this blog will work for the novels, only garnish them and further elucidate and punctuate my militant manuscript manner.  But the distractions.. I suppose part of life and part of the time I live in but it’s not an excuse, especially if I am truly a militant and highly disciplined writer.  Watching my steps with this new writing gig I landed through Shana, see where it goes but I have to finish a novel!  I thought to myself today, while drinking that IPA at Whole Foods, watching the guy tending the bar and the other employees working; moving boxes and helping frustrated customers like me who don’t have the patience or wherewithal to find the cereal on the cereal ISLE, and the man making the burritos:  What if I died and never finished a novel?  I felt instantly horrible, horrified, like I was IMG_6557really dying and I needed to get that goddamn thing done.  Not be distract by ANYTHING.  No short story ideas, no sketches or vignettes or short-shorts, nothing!  Not even poetry!  So I have a new plan: type the novel, quick, then print, edit minimally before, then send out, shop it; the novel about the adjunct in the East Bay who has to have two side jobs then discovers he wants to do something different, a bunch of something-different’s– but what and how, he’s getting old…  But he’ll do what he has to, to be the character and life he’s always thought– but then I think of the value of the short pieces, but how can I sell them?  Fuck my frustration and how it cripples me– what if I produce novels like other writers do short stories, poems, or short memoirs?  I can be that writer, right?  UGH.. how many times have I had this deliberation?!  So it here stops, halts and dies and is buried.

I quite like this study, if you must know, didn’t know how I’d feel about it as I love the kitchen island, but here I am, looking at a picture I took today of the Mendocino Ridge Pinot, 2013, I poured for myself toward the end of the day, before the blind tasting Mark (one of the winery owners) initiated for us, again.. this one a 2009 Pinot, RRV, from a producer I’d never heard of before.  I like it, I guess, but it was definitely showing its age and losing momentum, motivation for its own senses and purpose and sense of any purposeful positioning of purpose.  And I’m overthinking the entire wine life again, but that’s what I do– my novel, about the teacher at a community college leaving it all, to live a life of ONLY art.. no conformity, no following, no more fucking applications for anything.

The Pinot, the Mendo Ridge, telling a different perception to this sipper, a narrative I envy, frankly, and that I want to imitate.  Someone today even said it, and I could only laugh louder than I ever could aloud: “This isn’t light enough to be a Pinot.. this isn’t a ‘real’ Pinot.” What’s a “real Pinot”, I thought.  But then, yes, it’s subjective, I know.  But wine isn’t “supposed” to be anything.  I mean, how could you say that all Cabernets should do this, or all Pinot should have this feel to them?  That will never make sense to me, ever.  And the night grows and with me, with it, I become agitated and irritable, the cranky aging writer who hasn’t finished his goddamn novel.  But tomorrow that changes.  No shorts– no poems– no sketches or vignettes or even idea scribblings.. only the novel and the novel work log, like .. you know who.

And journal entries are to be kept to a minimum, no more than 300 words per act.  And no more than 3 a day!  I want to see how disciplined I can be as a writer, see how Hemingway I can become.  This house, now, quiet, and the lighting in this study, as I just told Ms. Alice, perfect.  Lit but not too beaming that I’m squinting or wishing it were more dim, more ambient or whatever I need.  I don’t even know what I need.  Or.. yes, yes I do.  My novel.  Done.  Write in one place, just one, and have it published, and all the full-time pigfuck professors at the JC and Sonoma State and wherever will have nothing to say– an adjunct fled, with writing, and nothing else.  He doesn’t TEACH writing anymore, or reading.. he actually does both.  For a living.  Travels.  Lives.  Assigns his own assignments.  And nothing else.  I rub my eyes, and forehead.. I’m tired, but still more than angst-angled with my characters and what they want to do– list, wish list, me always–  Wine stained pages always aid for such discord.


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MY Winery Story…..


A run earlier produced a few ideas as to what I call my wines, the projects themselves; both Literary and running references. And as the writer walked back to the Autumn Walk base–only walking as the heat stopped me right at mile 4–I thought of the balance of wine and Wellness, and how yes people should sip wine, mine or any others, but as well know what they’re sipping; not overthink it of course but just listen to their senses and what those receptors are telling them, and what the wine itself is telling them; what i instructs and confesses and casts….
Didn’t have much chance at work to research as I did on day 1, but I did notice as Kevin and I did inventory that inventory itself as an act can be made so lovingly and comfortably simple, simplified– no surprise drop-offs or organizations or re-organizations. And tonight for the winemaker, or writing winemaker, no wine; only water and a little leftover birthday cake as I need my thoughts atmospherically clear this eve; and to wake early in morrow’s wee-est of times to finish a short story I started. Yes about a winemaker. Yes based on both Blair and my sister. And yes, a vision of what I hope to be– no, what I HAVE to be– with my wines. Tasted a little at work today, just a little and this I tally as a winemaking study act: the ’13 RRV Pinot, the texture and how that transitions into the “finish”. And then I thought how much I bloody loathe that word, “finish”. Why would you ever want a sip and its echo to end? I mean, okay.. I know it HAS to end in tangibility. But what about thought? What about the reflection? The idea that was presented to you, like a short story, or novel, or memoir? Why can’t someone sip a wine and keep thinking about it, or discuss and if they wish deconstruct what they just tasted? Not bludgeon it with excess analysis, but simply communicate. Where is the “finish” there if the words continue, if the thought gallops on? And that’s what I want my SB & Cab, and in later vintages a couple projects in each type, to execute and birth; dialogue, a story, thought.
I’ll open something tomorrow night, but I’m not sure what, doesn’t have to be SB or Cab. Just a wine to study; its functionality and Literary qualities; the “palate narrative” as I thought today with that ’13 RRV PN. And with the narrative, I have to see intent of the wine, what it aims to state and the thesis it demands to deliver. And does it? Yes, I’m speaking of wine as a cognitive and interactive entity. The wine should have some form of rhetoric, and a certain shape and sequence to that rhetoric, revealing its truest of collusions.
A bit after 10, and I think of my tasting room, and the inventory and where it’s kept. Do I do ‘appointment only’ or open Room for the world to come sip? Or do I not do a TR at all? Over-thought… sure I’m not the only winemaker to do this…..


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Over 2,000 words already.

And I still want to write more. How sick. But I stop. Racked a short-short story to the first issue of ‘yrownjoy’, see if I follow through with that– but now, no, I have to! Have to fill these income gaps. $6 an issue, print 20 at a time.. easy. Should cost $3 an issue, printing.. so, like I said, easy.. just have to market my self and this modern pamphleteering effort.
Ugh.. have to get ready for work. but I’m excited, really, will take more wine/winemaking notes, but not taste the wines today as I WILL run.. 6 miles, get back into the shape I was in for that Hot Chocolate Run.

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