Posts Tagged With: Self-publishing

Over 3,000 words for the day, and I’m exhausted, but I still want to write.  And my writer friends, can only wonder what they’d say.  And my friends that teach like I do, all of them with FT jobs mind you, never having to worry about pouring for tourists, answering stupid questions about wine that they are convinced are so glowingly important– no sales goals, no threatening, no reprimanding, being treated like a wandering toddler with a gnat’s attention span– none of that.  I sit here, an adjunct, in a shared office, in a noose of malignity.  And I’m more or less prepared to meet with students, those that choose to show.  And my notebook is…

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Next day, I’m up around 6:40-something. Sipping coffee, watching little Kerouac play, on this toy drum that talks back to him and encourages him to hit harder, make his own music which I like.  Last night, sleeping better than I have in some nights.. deep, composed, still and mentoring.  Jackie doesn’t like me typing, so this session has to be postposed.



Didn’t want to come in early.  And I’m not.  I’m just in the parking lot, the “overflow” as they call it.  Part of me was afraid to come to the estate early– “the estate”, makes it sound so exalted, so mighty, but it’s not, it’s an ordinary workplace, just much prettier.  I look out at the Merlot and Chard blocks, see the tree to my immediate left, nearly touching the roof of this Passat.  It moves with the wind’s orders.  And I listen to my music, pretend I’m not here, or fully embrace it.  Have to apply to that job, the distance learning assignment through Klamath.  OH– and I need to call Solano.  Should do that now, or do it on their dime, while I should be working or setting up or counting some bloody register.  This novel will reveal everything, showing all the industry that writers won’t be quiet– and I mean REAL writers, not dim-witted and dopy-brained bloggers or wine journalists, or wine writers– yes, I know I titled my latest blog, which I started over 2 years ago, “another Literary wine blog by Mike Madigan”, but that’s just it.. ‘another’, meant to be sarcastic, satirical and spiteful, and ‘Literary’ meaning that it’s more important than the wine component, and not just from being capitalized.  The jazz, telling me to go to San Francisco, walk where the Beats did, live like them, continue the revolution, or social movement.. move, you have to move and be in constant movement to be part of a movement, don’t you?  The mocha, in fact all the coffee I’ve sipped this morning, making me uneasy, a bit touchy, or “punchy” as Dwight says of me when I’ve had too much, but I’m rolling with it.. this fiction, about the characters based in the TR and the ones visiting, sure to change it all, strip this guised industry of the fantasy, show how most Rooms are merely revolving doors, only interesting in the “bottom line”.  You could call it justified in the capitalist net, but I call it carnivorous opportunism.  And I’ve had it.  Now the coffee feel’s beginning to balance.  Much better.  Miles Davis with me, and the image of a dark room, trumpets, saxophones, drums, a young female vocalist riling me.  On a trip, to Manhattan, for my book, then down to Missouri to see my brother, Dav.. check in on his photojournalism, his studies, his latest works.  Now Sonny Rollins, I’m on the Road, visiting people I never thought I’d meet.  So I continue with the logging of everything I see, each corner, light, building, smell, concrete stain, bookstore, auto repair joint and tavern.  But I don’t drink, not a single thing, which is hard to believe for one formerly in wine’s wicked industry.  I have only the little pages in my back pocket…


See a young lady, sipping her coffee at the bus stop.  Part of me wants to go up to her, see her coy red lips, not too bright, up close, and examine the pattern of her white shirt, sleeves only going down to where shoulder meets bicep and tri, how her hairs like a thick caramel path to her upper back, partially exposed; I wonder what she does, she’s probably a singer, or maybe a student, why is she taking the bus?  Maybe that’s what they do in New York, no one has a car– I’ve heard that actually.


Alley.  I want to go down, but something tells me know– I mean ‘no’.  See?  Too much coffee…  I only see a lone dumpster, no litter on ground which is curious to me.  No people, no cars, just quiet, and the dead-end, like an atmospheric message saying ‘don’t bother, you won’t get far’.


9:11AM.  Should go in soon, or not.  Maybe I should leave early.  That would help me, and that’s all I’m concerned with at the moment; the page, the characters, the story, my novel.  A former student, ‘A’, experiencing fiery betrayal from a loved one; I tell her it’ll get better, but I understand pain, the two-faced reptiles that hive and enter our lives.  And I think about what I wrote her, mostly questions– she, a grad student; me, envious.  But I’ll be on the Road soon, maybe visiting her, in Portland, or wherever in Oregon she is.  A little hot in this car so I roll down both windows, but no crossing breeze greets me– there it is.  How will I look back at my position here, at the winery?  Will I wish for it one day, regretting my resentment?  I don’t think so.  I’m 35 and know what I want– or more, I know who and WHAT I am.  Novelist, poet.. with maybe a short-short and/or vignette in between.  I heard a weed whacker, or lawn mowers, and it intrudes on Arturo Sandoval’s playing.  Goddamnit.  “Shut up!” I want to scream, and hope someone hears me.  Maybe I’d be fired.  Huh…

9:17.  And the fucking countdown.  One of my coworkers just pulled in; Karen, in her red mini.  She has the same expression on her face that I held driving in, before I started writing: “And again…” I don’t blame her.  Why else would I be writing, wishing for a Road, wishing for visits, those Manhattan sights, the Portland micro-breweries.  Don’t think I’ll make a thousand or maybe I will, but I can’t edit a single thing– this does this to me, the schedule, the clock and how it’s always threatening; you don’t clock in you’ll be written up, you won’t make enough, you.. you.. you…..  How is that a Life?  Well, plainly, it’s not.  Certainly not Art.  I want more coffee, the most jurassic I can find; I want seismic coffee, that makes me rattle and results in internal tsunami.  Love.  that’s art– the push of Self.  Oh, jazz…  Kerouac…. poetry and Life and escape and Big Sur and the Bay Area, where I grew up.  I see my whole life and I’m not dying.  I’m just coming alive in a way that was drawn, that Grandma promised.


9:25PM.  Sipping the 2012 Malbec.  I know, I should have waited, but I didn’t want to, and I have no regrets.  Yes, it’s muffled, but I don’t want to think, I want to enjoy what I drink.  Nice class tonight– oh, need to post to blog, almost forgot.  I’ll do that after this little paragraph.  In full teacher mode, especially with the possibility of landing a Comp section at Mendocino, for Fall.  Couldn’t be more excited.  This weekend, my writer’s retreat, and I’ll write the whole time.  No Gatsby nights, as I used to.  Total isolation.. printing.. wine.. relaxing…  Jazz.  I want it to be one of those sittings where I remove all clutter from this kitchen nook table, maybe setting it on floor or on one of these teetering wooden cheap chairs, then having one of my favorite bands or artists play what gives them life, then giving me life, finishing my novel.. and the wine, only an additive.  Not really needed at all, just pleasant to sip in quiet, my peace, my place, my night.  Little Kerouac asleep upstairs, and I envy his peace, his optimism and joy and movement, how does he do that?  My notes from tonight’s class, just ruin, and what do I do tomorrow night to keep them interested?  How do I keep it “fresh”, whatever that means?  There has to be some teacher magic or resource, or “method” (hate that word when talking of teaching, sounding so clinical)–  But who knows.  And if I was traveling, how would I have time to teach?  It’s just what I’d rather do.  I do love it, but not as much as the reality of living by pen–  PEN, not laptop, which is what I now touch, these fucking keys and the noises they make, like little plastic giggles reminding me of what a bloody hypocrite I am.. no, I’m not a man of consistency, but one of layered pattern and myriad mess, failed test, just more unrest.

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note, 7/5/14

Coffee, now shower.  Thinking about that measly check from yesterday.  I’m going there today with a predator mood.  I want blood.  I need it.  I’m the orangutan.  They, my rue.  Making it known today, I’m moving on– mentally at first, then tangibly second.  What is that wage going to do for my family?  It’s not my Beat, that’s for sure.  So much time of my life, and for what?  My hangover, not tearing at me too tyrannically at the moment.  Glad I switched over to water last night before bed.  Mocha, now, just at right, reassuring me it’ll be a good day.  Hope it’s right.  Keep saying to myself, ‘my Beat, my Beat’…  And what it is.  Thought I figured it out at the end of Spring semester.  Think now– or realize now that I’m just starting to put pieces together.

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And an offer.  $15 per hour.  IS that what I’m worth?  I’m fed up, and I can’t take anymore of the dismissal, and the reduction, and the interviews, and the applying.. I’m hiring mySelf, and I’ve said that before, but I’m changing, tonight, doing what I want, curing mySelf of this regularity and boredom.  Would have another beer, but I’m saving it for another time, for the Road.. may write at 3rd Street tomorrow, or somewhere else I can observe characters, other lives, and just record.. indulge in whatever, whomever I want.  The objective: escape.. through fiction.  Have to wake early tomorrow, start more than early on something.. anything.. not necessarily project focused, but more on the process, the writing.. the characters.  Will I run as I aimed?  I doubt it, as tonight I’m too very much fixated on the writing.  I can run another day, but if I don’t make progress on a MS tomorrow, then that potential advance will be lost.  So the pages deserve more attentions, immediate attention.. MORE immediate attention and address.  I don’t want to die never having seen the Road.  That would be defeat, that would be failure, and I won’t be a failed writer, I’m not a failed writer, and I never will be.


And the location, any location, any setting, a scene and character to itself: a subject, something for standalone submission, to my own publishing company.  You should read this offer letter, it’s humorous.. but I won’t go on about it.  I’m already bored, after being insulted.  $15 an hour, me.. wow, thanks.  Already know where I’m going tomorrow to write, to plan tomorrow night’s lecture.  And poems.  What if I surprise mySelf, over lunch, a couple afternoon beers, finally get what I want.. in one day!  It can happen, right?  I’m fed up, completely, utterly.. I don’t need another entity, 2B FREE!  Time for some sparkling water, sip it slow, hydrate, percolate…


Drinking this sparkling lemon water like it’s scotch.  I don’t drink scotch.  I never have– well, that’s not completely true.. I had some at that 2006 wedding, my sister-in-law’s, in Virginia.  I hated it, the scotch.. like hell vintage elbowing and clawing its way through my orbit.  Tomorrow, I’m writing in the Comp Book, and I’ll sip like I’m on the Road, at whatever pub or bar or restaurant I find mySelf at.  And I’m going there, wherever ‘there’ is, for material.. to add to the book, the next one, after the poetry chap.  Adding more money to the petty cash.. what I’ll use for my chapbooks.  What’s in Schwab is for MY wine label.  At least that’s the now-plan…

I haven’t given up on wine, nor am I dismissing it, but everything has to be on MY terms.. everything.. even the quick stills I snap at the estate…

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Check in.  Made a fair amount of grats today.  Will count publishing stash, and the novel will certainly have decent subsidization from the poetry vending.  Sipping an ’11 Chard from my sister’s winery, then moving to a ’10 Rockpile Red blend from her op’ as well.  Today was a fight, right from the launch, but smoothed with the mountaintop guests, the views, and the strange winds which I thought would be uncomfortable but only eased me, allowed me to meditate while holding dialogues with visitors.

This Chardonnay, forcing me to see what my sister has done with her career, and what I’m about to do with my writing aims, efforts and leaps.  I’m a falcon, or some type of hawk, not necessarily hunting, just enjoying the wind keeping me aloft, with these views, above all troubles and angst.  Another sip, hardly any oak override.. more of a harmony shove through levels of sensory shades.  This is just what keeps a writer of my gallop quite motioned.  Tomorrow I’ll be running after work, as the ‘half’ is a week from tomorrow, exactly, up in Windsor.

11:03, and the night’s cap has been mustered, a glass of the ’10 Rockpile.  I can only laugh at what earlier stressed me.  Do I jolly as Poe, no.  But certain method to be soon implored will mirror his illustrative ilk.  About to count publishing stash, and I find myself more eased, rational, level than I’ve been in some time.  She would compliment me, as she won’t let her office frustrate or shake her.  She has her sight on the wine, her wine.  And I sip this thinking of her, how she’d react to it, and she’d do so without showing how much she knows, or how much she’s recently learned from her studies, her research, and what bottles she’s bought to deconstruct, searching for “notes”, as she notes.  With this Rockpile Red, she enjoys the depth of current in the wine’s way, but think the impression, the impact, is a bit much.  It’s a Bordeaux blend, from a hearty AVA, so that’s to be known, or expected, but that’s not what she wants.  And no, she doesn’t seek to make feminine or gentle wine, she wants to provide bottles with an artistic feel to them, a certain painted grace about how they bow to sippers’ senses.  She walks to the kitchen, sips again…  Too much oak, she writes.  But that could be from this as her third glass.  She’s focused, she’s intent, she’s serious.  She WILL get out of that office and make her own wine, sell it.  She’ll pour her bottles and sell it and speak of it how she wants, not how They want her to.  It’s wine, she tells herself, looking over some oenology website’s article, stating how Cabernet should taste.. then Chardonnay, then Carignane, then Sangiovese.  She hates that.. ‘how it SHOULD taste’, what it SHOULD express, or deliver.  Wine isn’t that.. it’s supposed to be expressive, Art, something for someone to sip and channel through which one making wine can relay his or HER belief in what comes from the vineyard, the vintage, varietal.  It’s voice.. concerted code to sip.

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4/21–  Especially tired today.  Onto 3-shot mocha, had 4 this morning.  Quick meeting planned with ‘100’ students.  Sending them to library…  Need nap before Fountaingrove hills.  Presently in Adjunct cell.. sipping this espresso, but cautiously.  I’m starting to wake, and quicker than my mind can process, decode.

Still surprised I wrote 3,000 yesterday.  Days off yield the unexpected, often, even though I don’t have them that often.

12:35PM.  In library.  Students looking for topics, researching.  I’m on the fourth floor, trying to keep Self motivated, awake.. difficult to clearly think.  Week 15 we’re in, and I’m ready for break, a break, of any length.  What the author could really use: a nap.  All the students around me, motivated by deadlines, thinking of my deadlines.. don’t want to be dead before reaching.  And I remember what I looked for when I would research.. which was–  Too long ago, once in graduate school.  And here I am, exiled in the library.  Hungry, but ignoring those impulses.  Hear students laugh from one of the group study rooms to my left.  The novel, my novel… under some type of construction.  So tempted to rise from this chair, leave, go get something to eat, take my nap.  But what if I didn’t?  What if I actually practiced what I preach; “Stay in the chair,” I’ve always told them.  I mean how else will the novel finish?

Around me, quiet, concentration, panic with the semester closing.. all these students facing their last days in this semester’s story..  Asking reference desks where books are, ‘where can I find, where can I find…’  There’s Life in here, pursuit of what one wants from Life..  You can build your Self here, in a/this library, in any library.  But I’m here, wanting to be a student again, but I don’t want to spend all the time, money, in some institutionalized program, where I have a questionably competent professor.  Am I talking reinvention?  Maybe a little, but more of a simplification, separation.  A “new era” for me, indeed.  One of the page, constant typing, writing…

Those students in the study room, doing anything but study.  Just laughs. “We were just talking about how tan you are,” just heard one of the boys say to the returning girl, back from restroom visit.

Kerouac, the poet (not my son) in thoughts.. thinking he may be my new focus, maybe something to read with students in coming terms.. ‘On the Road’.  I so very much want to be on the road, just for a week at a time.  Here and there.  Travel, Life, seeing, observing, recording.  The stationary day sets will not be permitted in this “new era”.  My ‘new era’ embodies rebellion, defiance of convention…  POETRY…  BOOKS…  revolutionizing the Self-printing platform and plight.  Publishers, I’m knowing now more than I ever have, are wildly evil.  And they can be defeated by Us, small presses.  And my journals will be the starting salvo in this period of my Life.  What in here I look for.. affirmation, not from outside sources or articles, necessarily, but some kind of lens that assures me what I’m doing is needed.  8 days, one month, till 35.  THIRTY.  FIVE.  Time, easily my greatest enemy, but it too will suffer tremendous setbacks in this “new era”.  Hate that wording.. meant to be so profound, emphatic, when really it’s hyperbole– flabby and false.  Allow me to hold, “Illustrating and cementing chapter”.  And it’s been in motion for some time, as I’m tired of regularity, expectation set upon my character without my permission, or any sort of negotiation.  Who do you think you are, fool, devil?

1:13PM.  Wrote a poem, one easily destined for reading, recital.  Think I’ll submit it tonight just for laughs.  The poem is meant to capture me, in this library, my moments in this place that’s supposed to be quiet.  But now that I’ve finished my criticism, I’m glad, quite pleased actually, that it’s anything but quiet.  Talked mySelf out of the exhaustion I felt before ‘100’ and much of my presence here.  Ready for lunch, some sustenance.  And I think I’ll submit the poem right now, here from this fourth floor.  The volume has declined, and I’m in better mind, finally.

Not submitting from here.  Have to set up some account with an online submission manager and that could take a little time, so I should leave, go home, enjoy lunch and a nap.  Then, ready Self for run up hills.  Yesterday’s jog, or walk/jog, through Annadel/Spring Lake was so fruitful for my thinking.  Need to enjoy that same course more frequently.  And now, I make the leave.  Should count Self-publishing funds once home.  I know I’m over $300, which I said I wouldn’t do.  So I’m stopping, sealing the envelope, and not digging it up till I have my MS printed, ready to truly publish.  I’ve been in this circle for years, I was reminded last night reading entries from years ago.  But in these new chapters, it stops.  And I finally can begin.

8:14PM…  As tired as I was all day today, and after the broken nap I took once home, I can’t believe how well I did with that Fountaingrove run today.  No intervals this time, but a 2.25 out then back.  So 4.5 total miles.  I’m pleased, and that’s all that matters.  I still very much plan on sending off the poem I wrote today in the library, and I begin a new log of my submissions.  Sipping a Little Sumpin’, as I always am anymore when it comes to beer.  I’ll open one of my wines for dinner pairing, but I need to stay alert, sharp in this ‘new era’ of MINE– like the beat generation; rebelling, confronting conformity at it stands so bold, sure of itself, convinced it’s so witty and invincible.  And I start with this poetry collection.  One title I thought of, while running up one of the first hills, was ‘Oblong Ode’.  But anymore, I’m beginning to have an aversion to alliteration.  And how poetic is it, really, in its obvious commercialized slouch?

Sipping my Merlot, so very re-laced.  My story tonight, about the moment I’m in, as will be all my work in this new stupid era.  I’m in a new character’s suit, and it feels lovely.  That would be the reason this writer still sips.  I won’t be in my late fifties, or sixties, just celebrating the publishing of a book-length work, a novel.  Why, ask you.. as I publish my Self.  I only need approval from myself.  And I’m not like all other Self-printed penners..  I’m fanatical, extremist, militant.  Publishers kill writing, except when the publisher is a writer, and his only Artist is himSelf.

The re-inventive chapters begin.. tonight, and tomorrow.

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oenobellion, 2014

So I’ve reached it.  My end.  Tomorrow, the full transition, ideologically, into writing, the Literary, teaching.  Wine, tomorrow, greeted by its execution.  And then, me free.  I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be getting from this, any of this in wine’s world.  Yes, I know, the steady check (which is bloody insulting, in its best stature) and benefits.  But what else, for ME?  Not even worth talking about.  No more.

Tomorrow afternoon, going to adjunct cell.  Working till 5-something.  Finishing the Marin app, then doing some grading, then writing of Wednesday’s meetings.  Or lectures.  Hate that word, to be honest [“lectures”].  I’m looking to bend my consciousness a bit, tonight, with Blair’s wine, the SB.  Or what remains of it.  May open that below-average Cab I took home tonight, from work.  My act of its consumption, with such indifference, punctuates my plight; wine is consumed, then gone.  How is it as significant as they boast?


11:06PM.  Intentionally trivializing this wine.  Drinking it for the pleasure of so.  So what do I mean?  These wine rods always seek to overanalyze, over-explain.  But tonight, I’m letting go.  Of everything except my students, my writings.  Met a woman today, in the Res Room, where I was stationed, that used to be a teacher.  She spoke of all the passion she had for her position; how proud she was to tell people what she did.  But devilish management drove her away, of course.  Now, she holds the same degree of self-regard, for her holistic/massage practice.  Was quite reviving, talking with her.

So interesting, how when I tell people I teach at the college level, they nearly immediately ask me if ‘this is my part-time job’.  I have to be honest, forward that it’s just the opposite.  But that’s changing.  This year.  Before I’m 35.

Right now, Mom & Dad enjoy our home in Sunriver.  Tomorrow morning, there, looking out at that snow, past the deck, I’d write as I did in ’09.  But in vignette.  From the random birds, eagles, squirrels, bears, dear; snow falling from branches; how the wind always makes a point of pushing the white dust from roofs; trees, plants, the few cars that pass.  I’m set, when my publication liftoff, to stay a night or three there, if doing readings in OR; waking in the morning to coffee, lots of, writing, napping, waking again to write, then to that lodge, where I could write to a nice bulbous glass of Cabernet [as I now be], setting self in a profitable session, waking the next morning to re-read, minimally edit, print, sell…  It has to be that simple for this writer.  And that’s what winemakers, wine obsessives, can’t grasp.  Our succinct strokes bother them.  They want to complicate, always.  And I’ll never get it–  How free we are as writers, educators, thinkers, bothers them so seismically.  I love it.  I’m so separated from their rants; They amuse me, especially the manager types, how seriously they take their jobs– clownish, stage for us, material, pages.. thank you, toiling toad.  This wine, the one I’m sipping: meaningless.  My reflection is minimal, if at all placed.  Only evidence would be this defamation, within which I’m in control.  And I know that’d bother “managers”, or ownership.  Now I just want to read, study, prepare for Wednesday’s presentation, especially after the way Nadav, “Dav”, described my teaching style; how engaging, passionate, demanding it is.  I felt honored– no, humbled– no, motived– I don’t know what, by what he said.  I know where my heart is.  And it’s obvious that some in wine’s industry resent that my love is outside its world.  Wine’s “industry” is a needled edge of a cult, targeting the freethinkers, anyone gauling to question a single cent of its scaffolding.  Well, I won’t stop.  Wine’s world is humorous, at best.  And I’m drinking tonight for freethinkers; for the Emerson’s, for the Poe’s, for the Dan Madigan’s.  Enough, enough.  Where’s my glass, devil?


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Oh, how free I feel.  And I’ll continue to drink this IPA, follow freely into Poe’s plea.  I feel invincible, frankly.  Yes, Hemingway served his own genre, but not like Poe.  Death, it’s disclosure, so animated.  So I return to my studies.  Tired.. from the day.  Tomorrow, Superbowl Sunday.  Going to post a poem before I throw up this prose.

Too tired to type more for night.


2/2/14.  And the Superbowl’s here.  Jackie watches a cartoon, or some Disney Mickey Mouse piece, while I have the rain at my back, on the other side of the glass doors.  Unexpected, these drops.  I don’t recall hearing anything even hinting at a drops’ set, in the news or by route of rumor.  Either way, it’s here.  And I’m writing.

Going in late again today, just a bit, so I can get some more words into this semester’s book.  Need to count the money in the Phil[osophy] book upstairs– all set aside for publication of poems collection.


Second cup, already, this A.M.  These cartoons, or whatever they are, distracting me.  That, an I can just a bit feel last night’s wines; the SB I had before dinner, and whatever Cabernet the waitress selected for me.  The food was nice.. not exceptional by any means, but quite ambrosial.

No stories, really, in TR yesterday.  Meant to taste through tanks at lunch, but was too hungry to do that.  I’ll make point at some portion of today’s surely sluggish shift..  Oh, note: two nice people from the city yesterday, talking with on everything from Literature, Philosophy, wine [a bit], the environment, to topics random and scattered.  By far my favorite characters of the day.  Need more coffee…  [Don’t let me forget: the Steinbeck MSS he suggested, the character from yesterday...  Guess TS wrote a journal while he was writing one of his books.  Definitely want to give that a read, or at least a quick skim.]

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journal– 1/28/14

And I’m home.  Switched ResRoom for Mountain, with Dwight.  Relieved, as I had a chance to enjoy views, air, quiet.  Tomorrow, back in classRooms.  Feel like doing nothing associated to material.  In other words, only touching on themes, not necessarily analyzing texts.  Announcing first formal paper, in both sections.  After 100, I’ll be at a café.  No nap tomorrow, no ma’am.  I plan on fully enveloping mySelf in a Lost Generation’s habit, pretending I’m in Paris; with no bills, obligations, appointments, responsibilities.  Oh no, I won’t be drinking.. just writing.  Not grading, planning, and certainly not thinking about wine’s industry’s tightening noose.

Past entries, from recent days, posted below…  Love the short story I wrote this morning in Annadel Park.  Takes me back to graduate school, that one presentation I gave in Dr. Fuch’s class, on Postmodernism.  My partner, Robert I think his name was, a newly-converted and very proud Buddhist, had the most ambiguous non-specific, and confusing, definitions for the theory itself that I was lost, even when giving the presentation.  Fuchs was an interesting guy.. pulled from retirement to teach this class, a fiction writer, poet, in love with Alexander Pope.. had a great time in his class.  Think I took three classes total with him, if you count the independent study credit, where I wrote several papers on Pope.

Sipping my night’s cap, already [8:11PM].  Want to get coffee tomorrow, for my 5-ers, so they can sip it while we watch “Midnight in Paris”, getting a sense of what Hemingway’s in love with, while he writes ‘Feast’.


Started a vignette today, writing when I could, mostly before the two mountain tours.  where’s my wallet?  Oh yeah.. the kitchen.  That’s where it is, in my wallet, those stapled pieces of scratch paper.. the makeshift notebook that I always make.  Mostly dialogue, inspired by slow days like today, in the tasting Room, where all you can do is sample wine, repeatedly.  But, just so you know.. IT’S FICTION!

More compliments on my wines from co-workers.  Today, on the Merlot.  Maybe I should do another, for ’14.  Why not?  No.. dedicate your entire life to the page.  If you want to write about winemaking, follow a winemaker.. use him/her as subject.  Anything pulling me from page might as well be death.

You know.. the image of me at the delicatessen, eating my chicken salad, sipping a Racer (as I am now) sounds beauteous.  And no, I won’t be inviting any writer friends, or anyone claiming to be a writer when in fact they only write little dialogue snippets and do nothing with them, to join this REAL writer.  And I’ll stay there.  No need for location change, as I did that first day of class.

And my little son, losing his littleness.  Nearly 2.  Was just looking at a photo album with him, of when he was only months old.  His reaction was interesting.  We’ve done so before, but tonight he seemed more pensive, realized.  That that’s him, that he’s aging.  And it’s documented.

Finally transferring all the pictures from this devil phone to computer.  So many old stills of little Kerouac.  I have to say, for as much criticism as I throw at visual expression, it proves legitimately valuable.  I can’t believe what time has done to us all.  But that’s what has been documented, I guess.  Sipping what remains of the ’08 Syrah I opened night before last.  Tastes more like a Pinot, frankly, now… Has to be the oxygen.  Just received another compliment on my blend.  But it’s from a friend.  Does that count?  IT’s wine.  How hard is it to observe, critique?  With writing, you have to be acute, precise, poignant.  All these pictures I’ve taken, the computer now shuffles through…  Makes me think about observation, as a concept.  Need another sip of the red, this tired, tumbling red…

Should go to bed soon, actually, and change patterns, as I’m set to run again with Carmen on Monday.  Will definitely be obstacle-laden, as that’s a teaching day, and I haven’t sprinted since 1/1.  Changing habits, now.  Tonight, my last of a bottle brush, please note.

These pictures, still “downloading”.


1/26/14.  Interesting day.. only 1 mountain tour.  Class tomorrow.  Bought another notebook, as I accidentally left my mini Comp Book in pants pocket, along with some notes, so it could have a nice stormy challenge in the wash.  Angry at Self, or was, now I let go.  Sipping the only glass I’ll have tonight, the ’13 SB I last night opened.

Hemingway tomorrow morning.  Setting alarm for 4:45AM, like mother-in-law.  Getting grading very much done.  Have to put Self in runner’s mindset tomorrow, as Carmen and I again go out for a 5+.  Not nervous, as I was earlier in day.

Book, thoughts over and over, all throughout day.  So much material, especially since ’09, when I started the first blog.. I can only bind something.  And all those cubeNOTES, while at the box.. what am I doing?  What am I waiting for?  I think it’s so funny, that it took them so long to let me go, those office bunions.  I wrote so much, on their dime, on the stationary that THEY provided.  They had this little area, for supplies, a medium-sized, waist-level cupboard, or “office closet”, I used to call it.  And I would absolutely pillage it, rob it for goods, for what the writer could use.. pens, paper, notebooks, highlighters, even paperclips.  Then, on lunch, I’d go to the roasting company, write for 50-60 minutes.  Oh, that bloody office.  Their obsession with sales–  Yes, I know that’s their gig, or what be, but I don’t have to like nor agree with their tonality, tenure, track.  I find them repulsive, with how they bastardize wine’s innate intention, which is enjoyment, fun, familiarity, the ‘ease’ of it all, far as I, and many with whom I now closely roam, feel.  And I know, they’ll say it’s ‘so Sonoma’, how I’m talking.  And of course.  That’s what Napa people always say.  So I’ll topic shift, take another sip, of this SONOMA VALLEY Sauvignon Blanc…


Tomorrow morning’s class, or classes, may be a bit curt, as I’m going to put them in essay mode.  And with English 5, the ones reading EH.. I want them continuing their research, finding out more about Mr. Hemingway, his habits, ways, beliefs.

Nearly bought a copy of the NYT.  Would love to have a piece published in their borders.  Much as I slander publishing, its world, and “being” published.. there are a few houses into which I’d like to be invited.


In kitchen’s nook.  And sitting at a different side than usual.  My back, not to front door.  I see it.  Wish there was a rain storm on the other side.  My friend, ‘N.S.’, working for the JC newspaper, against a deadline tonight.  He came out for one beer, but made it quite clear that he’d be in his office, in the pressroom or whatever, working towards final draft.  I want deadlines, I want the rush.  There’s so much I want, as a writer.  And now it’s time I take.

Have another bottle of this ’13 SB in freezer, chilling.  Please don’t let me be as hungover as I was this morning– wait, I don’t think I was so much hungover as I was fatigued, slow, not at all interested in giving petty repetitive tours.  But I did.  Only one, thankfully.  When I’m back in Paris, I’ll use the journal I today bought.. I don’t see much of a long wait for my next visit to my city.  So funny…  Only one cent over budget for that notebook, $3.01.  Hilarious.

Mom and Dad, back from SEA, today, or tonight.  Think there in home, now [8:46PM].  The only way for a writer like me to revolve is to travel.  I want to go to Mali, like Dad, and Egypt, like my distanced cousin, Nick.  Nick.. so sad, his story.  Once an Artist, now a mere mechanized commercial goon.  Yes, oh yes, he’s paid well.  But his soul’s  a lost goat, looking for suckling, for Life.  I don’t have any time to help, be some sort of savior.


Centering.  Tomorrow morning, being a shepherd of sorts, bringing students coffee, as I did on that first day.  But we’re only going to be there for an hour.  Yeah, I know.  IT’s part of the plan.  I’ll put the “traveler” in the lounge, or copy room, let the other instructors have at…

The SB, still in freezer.  And the pasta, still on burner.  So paranoid about time.. am I going to get enough sleep, am I going to be ready for tomorrow…  Will I have everything ready, perfect…  Just relax!  IS this any way to live, this obsession with time?  No!  Thinking the best way to defeat Time, my ever-enemy, is to ignore it, deny it significance.


Four years ago, I was adjuncting.  And that’s all.  I may have been in the wine world, but on my terms.  4.  YEARS.  Ago.  So I guess me acknowledging this would calculate another win for time, right?


My friend, J.M., been with the estate for over 20 years, a true connection with terroir; all its conditions, fiddles, respites, wanders, contradictions.  I admire him in a number of quarries; first, work ethic; second, knowledge and encompassing familiarity with the vineyards, all the blocks, micro-blocks, microclimates…  And, frankly, wine as an element, before it reaches the bottle.

Tonight, just as interesting as today.  How, in that I sit in a different seat in this nook, with an empty glass, waiting for this dinner to cook.  Ideally, I should be asleep, now.  But ideal is never the real.  So here the write reels.  And, I just checked on the SB, in the freezer…  Nowhere near what I’d deem “ready”.

Want to post one more note on the teaching blog before I resign to rest for night.  But I’m unsure.  Only one more glass for the writer.  With dinner.


If I were in a café on some hidden Paris street, I’d probably, in this current Literary shape, not write.  I’d just observe.  Have my wine.  Relax.  And OBSERVE.  Like the Hemingway depiction in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

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2014 ~ And I’m off…  With a new semester.  New students, new voices, new reactions. A new set of stories thereby sewn.  Again, back to Zinfandel tonight.  And why, the writer doesn’t know.  Think I found a new writing hideout.  You’ll know what it is when the book’s released.  Still can’t detach from that energy this morning, when it was still dark; all the students, hurrying to find their classes, find their way– in more than 1 way.

9:59PM.  Much more awake than I was earlier.  Just need one more night’s rest, wake well-rested, to persist in purposeful pose, prose.  OH, wait…  I have to schedule my bloody bottling, sometime this week or next.  How will I do that?  I’ll talk to Blair tomorrow, and/or Zach, see what they suggest.  Have to pick up 3 12-packs of beer for them.  After leaving little Kerouac at Ms. Lisa’s.

Couldn’t believe how warm it was this morning, today.  Where is this writer’s bloody rain?  And I don’t care about the wine world– I want it for my sessions, to sip espresso at that bar, writing in journal, while plump little drops assault Santa Rosa’s downtown.  Just this day, this first couple pages of the new semester, have coated me with a confidence that I have never felt.  Grandma ordered: “It’s your life, you have your choice.” Indeed, ma’am.  I have chosen.  And I choose to be free.  The industry, not for me.  OH, but there could be consequence from your candor.  Welcomed!  I won’t be welded to script, pattern.. the expected.  How is that living?  That’s existing!

Writing doggo, but not so.  I want the world, even those that could harm me, to read my words.  Dad said, “If you don’t think for yourself, others will think for you.” He also said, “Everything that you’ve instilled in your students has now fallen into your lap.” Oh how the industry can’t handle someone like me– this cumulonimbus confidence– cosmic candor.


10:17PM.  Hard to stay focused, with my exhaustion, which easily muffles any sound rippling from Zinfandel’s bend.  And then, I remember last semester, how the English 5 section, so many times, pulled me from moods.  And now, my little Artist, doing that with just a jog to me when I come home.  He’s more than mystical, magical.. he’s a drawing drawer of reason, uniquely layered to yield knowledge.  This little one, teaching me more than I could ever hope to teach students.  And if any of them are reading, I apologize that I can’t be as skilled an educator as my 23-month old.

10:23.  How is time moving as it does?  I always ask this, and it’s far too cowardly to answer.  But at the same time, it’s a cudgel, always assaulting the writer.  But I still write.


Now feeling boorish.  And I blame this odd, stupid varietal.  Should have opened a Cabernet.  I’ve always said Zinfandel’s the varietal for people who know nothing about wine; don’t know how to appreciate wine.  I said that when I cared about wine.  Now, I just don’t like Zin.  Or wine, for the most part.  Love when I speed across the street, Hwy 12 rather, for a beer at Kenwood.  Beer, more my present poured passion.


Going to finish Zin, then watch this episode.  Poe, though I’m not relaying his works this term, very much on the writer’s mind.  I’ll forever be a Poe-ian.


I know it’s time to re-read, edit.  But I don’t want anything typical, akin to.  I want to skip into irresponsibility, that’s much more fun.


1/15/14.  In the middle of January, already?  5:53AM, leaving for campus, shortly.  Love these early hours.  I especially love the feel of the day when English 5 ends, I walk out and it’s 9, or a bit after, or before.  The day’s so young, and the sun’s a faint shove for us to start the day.  I’ll leave after Alice & Kerouac are up.

Approaching Hemingway today as someone we just met.  What do you think?  Does he seem happy, sad, interested in something particularly?  What did these students observe, is what I want to know.


9:17AM.  And that morning air I love so much, right after I left the Room, greeting me, like a coach of some kind, telling me to fall forward, directly into my day’s layered nature.  Had to get a cup from the caff’.  Straight black.  Great discussion this morning, with ‘5’ on Hemingway as a character, writer, Human; how he seems to never be satisfied, always looking for a new shape of moment.

This coffee, too hot to sip.  Just remembered this morning that Monday is MLK day.  And on that day to Self, I’ll work on Wednesday’s class.  Later today, finishing, or all but, the SRJC full-time app.  Will do so after meeting with writing mate, 1:30p.  So much for today planned.  Can’t be tempted with nap when home.  Stay caffeinated, I’m telling mySelf.


For 100:  Start them off in a journal freewrite, about anything they saw in Orwell’s piece.  Theme, narration, objects, people.. doesn’t matter.  ANYTHING!  Just get them writing.  And talking.  Will have them read some poetry as well.. poetry, exploring its problematic attributes; writing as a recipe.  For what?  Expression.. much else.  Can’t let mySelf slow.. keep moving, teacher!  Want to walk around some more, drop this laptop off in car.  But not yet.


Waking so early, different tax on my person than in ’07.  This, much more costly.  Has to be my age.  How did Dad do so all those years, waking early to drive to airport, then fly across the country, or internationally?  I guess discipline, and sort of strength set I don’t have.

Going into winery, after meeting.. what will the wine taste like from its bottles?  Can’t wait to write something to that first bottle I open; of both the Merlot and that Grenache-based blend.  It’s all for this– the work– the books.  Going to take my time with the English 100 section, today.  Go slow through Mr. Orwell’s work.. I’ll have them read, as I said, but I want them to read aloud, asking each other questions about what they observed.  With the students interacting with, and challenging, or simply responding to each other, creates a true classRoom– one of Life.. the words; the book: a story being written.


Have to organize this book I’m writing this semester, by the day; don’t fall behind!  What happens, what I like and don’t– or moreover, what engages me and what doesn’t.  But that’s difficult, as it all keeps me writing, typing.  By the end of the semester, I’ll have some sort of reasoning.  I’m sure.  I


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