Posts Tagged With: wine industry

C—— had the last glass of Rosé. She thought about opening a bottle of the blend Rosie made a couple vintages ago, but thought about the meeting she had in the morning, what they wanted her to present; budget, projections.. How do you “project” how many people are going to visit the website, buy wine.. visit the tasting room, join the wine club, which was becoming more and more humorous to her. Whenever she had her own wines, or tasting room (which she was more and more against by the day), she would be that label that didn’t have a “wine club”. She hated how that sounded, the whole idea… Wine club. Rubbish.

“So are you gonna quit?” Mikaella asked.

“No. Not yet. I’m a ways from that, but eventually I have to leave. This is just too much for me, all this pressure to sell, the constant threatening.. it’s ridiculous.. this isn’t wine, the wine industry.. this isn’t why I got into this business,” C said.

“Are you headed home after this?”

“Yeah, I have to study..”

“For what? Are you trying to be a sommelier?”

“Oh, no. For making wine.. I’m just looking into different wine styles, yeasts, oaks, and whatever else I can learn.”

“You don’t want to be a sommelier?”

“Uh, no, not really.” C poured the rest of her SB into the sink behind the bar. Everyone else saw her dismiss her wine, and thought she would say something, but she just walked out the front doors. Why was it so odd that she wanted to make wine? Her own wine… What did anyone know, especially Mikaella. She’d been in the wine industry for what, two months? Once home, she’d study like she were going for the bar, or something else.. no, she wouldn’t compare, because there was no comparison. This was for her.

Categories: SPRING2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Drinking her coffee, she knew this was ending, this pattern.  Today would be hot, like yesterday.  She could only think of her first day, selling her own bottles.  There was so much to work out, “logistically”, but she didn’t want to spoil what she saw.  7:34AM, the clock configured in its lifeless digital intone.  Maybe she’d be late today.  Take her time.  After nearly seven years, it was time she spoke, time she chased something for herself.  Time she started living what she wanted, chasing something worthy of early risings.

Yesterday on her walk, she thought about how she arrived where she currently strolled, in total.  The wine industry, the bottle that hooked her– or interested her– or tempted her.  She didn’t know which perspective to assign it.  But now, it was about wine.  Her wine.  Her translation of wine.  She would show everyone that she, only she, had this understanding of wine; connection to it; ability to translate grapes this way.

She finished her coffee, rushed.  She was ready to play the role, quite happy to, today.  Because she knew it was nearly over.

Categories: SPRING2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Notes gathering in little pages, faster than I can inventory. One mountaintop tour, after helping Sam with his giant pumpkin, moving it from his house to winery, for the contest [of giant pumpkins].  No winemaking duties executed today.  No time, really.  More unionization with teachings, writing.  Completely prepared for tomorrow’s English 5 lecture, beginning the close of the Plath section.  Was going to grade ten papers tonight, for Eng5, following through with my ‘TTTT’ practice, with grading [Ten Today, Ten Tomorrow].  But, too tired.  And I want to value my writing time, this evening.  Dentist appt tomorrow morning, 9am.  And it’s already affecting my mood.

Took home ’10 Cab, again.  This bottle, opened yesterday.  I’m expecting more softness, perhaps a little oxidation, but not much.  Let me see…  No.  Nice on nose, palate, finish–  Which reminds me, one guy in the last group I helped–6 from Philadelphia, 2 couples–always commented on the “finish” of the wines.  Every time.  No fail.  And I find that to be the case with many talker-tasters, the ones who want to be heard, seen as knowledgable.  They’ll focus on the same part of the taste, obsess over it.  “This mid-palate’s a bit light…there’s not much mid-palate on this one…”, one guy last year was heard saying.  And not just by me.  Everyone.  We still joke about him till today, in fact.

But anyway.. to this wine.. quite nice.  Just what the writer needs.  What I need?  To post what I last night wrote.  The fiction, still very much in me breathing.  And the poetry, always there, in my stare, wear and where.

The longer this wine sits in glass, the more vocal it becomes.  It’s developing an ambrosial dialect.  In love.  Reminding me of Paris–  Finally returned to my French research today.  Si heureux!  When I’m back in my city, I’ll be one with the streets, crowds, cuisine, scenes.


To teaching–  Want students, in these weeks approaching the term’s close, to distance themselves from the academic/grade concept.  To make the topic their own for the sake of such.  Skimming the Poe collection for English 1A.  Locked in eddies of intrigue, I’ll admit.  And obsession, with his character, tone, views, form.  But I need stay focused.. not let Self fall into some admiring loop.

Anything else from today?  I swear to you, this little notepad gets heavier by the week.  Oh.. here…  Contradictions in Plath’s work.  Obviously.  That’s part of why she presents so irresistibly.  As her own genre.  More than sensible.  Tomorrow, testing Self, in both sections, to keep continuous in my vocalized composition.  All on, in, about, for the Author.


9:39pm.  On couch, relaxed, feeling Cabernet’s song.. syncopated tone, lowering lids, but encouraging key taps.  Its magic, odd.  Like the fog in Petaluma yesterday.. following me.  My book, telling me to sip more, enjoy evening.  The therapy of your own words constructs a certain tune dune, where my own Literary measures adhere to ordered repeat.  Welcomed heaven.


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8:40am.  Never have timed Self, with the WPM measure.  But writers don’t do that.  That’s for clerical folk.  The office jockeys.  Not much time to write–  Can’t wait to see if I get the Grenache or not.   OR Sangio’.  Which would prefer, between the two?  GR, of course.  Like Pinot, but not.  Can’t forget lunch today.  That’s part of what made yesterday so long, arduous, draining on the writer.  Early to bed tonight.. harvesting Syrah tomorrow, in that cool Petaluma Gap climate.  Oh, and I have to charge phones tonight.. don’t let the forgetful writer forget.

Going upstairs to print the 3rd page from Thursday, the narrative.  And today, will try to write when I can.  I’ll be cooking tonight, without help from a cookBOOK.  May have some general direction, from some recipe.  But minimal guidance overall.  More caffeine for me, PLEASE.  Only 1 cup so far, and it’s leaving system.  OFf for mocha.. 4shots.  Where’s my little notebook?

I’m a mess

this morning.

7:57pm.  Tomorrow, harvesting…  Today, more than busy in TR.  Frantic, rushed, impatient, eager, elevated.  Now, home, quiet.  Want to explore old entries, and old photos believe it or not.  This JC student I work with, ‘D’, prides in his photography, having an online gallery, or portfolio.  He took pictures of me during and after today’s Merlot punchdowns.  Had me thinking, about photography’s role in my Writing Life.

Thought I lost my two cameras, as I couldn’t find them in the top-right drawer, desk.  One of them, a cam Alice bought me for xmas ’09, was in that location.. the writer simply didn’t look hard enough.  And the other, a piece Mom and Dad bought for me a couple birthdays ago, was in a cupboard down here, in the red end-table.  Charging both tonight, well as the Flip video camera.

No word on the GR or SG, yet.  And that’s fine.. so much on mind, with this week’s lectures, introducing the Poe Project.  Also, I’ll begin final grade calculations, putting what I have so far onto a spreadsheet, xfer’d from gradebook [if you could call it so].  Need a beer, after such a wave of people barreling at the bar, all day.  Did capture some useful dialogue for a vignette idea that was born the other day– all the random chatter, statements, questions, braggings I hear in that Room, from both sides of the bar.  But the real beauty to the piece: the reader doesn’t know who’s talking, where it’s coming from, nor precise context.  That has to be assigned by the reader.  Earlier to bed tonight, so I have to get more pace from my Self, somehow.  Yes, a beer.

Oh…  Nearly forgot how much I adore craft beer.  The pieces in my 1st chapbook, the 41pg-er, may change, or rotate, meaning I save some for a future release.  But I haven’t decided.  Should probably dive into some of these old pictures, starting with phone first, see what I find, see what material waits.  Thought, while punching down Merlot, that I need to take more pictures, respond to them in writing.  IF a still’s worth 1k, words.. then I could write a short story collection, easily, in a day.  Or at least begin a compositional congregation’s blueprint.


Just plugged in phone, to laptop.  Should really be spending more time in lectures Comp Book, and GRADING…  But I’ll get to that tomorrow, or Monday, I promise.  Also, set to do Lawndale tomorrow, if I can, if I have enough light, and get out early enough.  But if tomorrow’s anything like this day, I’m doomed.  No running.  Not even when I get home.  Should I join the gym?  Whatever it takes to get a run.

These older pictures of Jack, then looking at some I took just two days ago.. starling– startling.  One Alice snapped today, while we were walking outside, to the new car to retrieve his stroller, for their morning walk/jog, him holding my hand, with the most carefree, joyous grimace I’ve ever on him seen.. melting whatever strength I can boast.  He rules me, this little character.  Dominates my mind, sense, projections, plannings.  He’s a cliff I’ll walk over repeatedly.


Cabernet now, the ’10 I opened a few nights ago.  This bottle, more posture, charm, music to its moments.  Back to the pictures.  Such the journal.  Need to take more, for sure.  At least three, everyday.  Three thousand word mark, that’s the diamond.  So…  One of barrels, one of the vineyards the other day (with fall patterns, character), another [1 of three] of fermenting Sangiovese in bin.  Gorgeous color, love sight of floating skins.  Like today, pushing them back into their parenting pool.  What winemaking is to me.  Now some more of the clusters, right after the fruit set.  Then all these videos.  I’ve documented, NARRATED, my whole life.  That’s my genre.

Batteries, for cameras, charging.  Time for night’s cap.  Have to wake at 5:45am.  Not sure where I’m going.  Should look at directions again, what do you think?

Okay, know where I’m going.  Pretty sure.


Hoping the Grenache finds its way to my hands, like today’s Merlot did, has a couple other past days.  MY wine.  Lovely idea.  Now I do need another glass, get Self into character.  That’s what Hemingway would do.. truth, truth…

Some say I should hold on my expressions, restrain.  But, at this age, I only adore the cacoethes.  It’s more than freeing.. it’s what I want to be.  Unhinged, mySELF– someone of which my little boy can be proud.  I call him ‘little Kerouac’.  So I need act like THE Kerouac.  Against order, expectation, what’s ‘to do’.  Literarily, Poetically.  Getting a little tired.  Not getting to anything else tonight.  This blog’s the only landing.

Night’s cap poured, little cleaning there was to be done, done.  A picture of wine, being spun in glass.. dancing for its soon-sipper; rhythmic, syncopated somehow; painted in glass for view; when I like what cameras do, when they capture something, a motion I can write.

Wine, about so much

for we, the penners.

Sip, put self back in


Have to get coffee tomorrow morning, non-negotiable.  Want to show up to cut clusters from vines, then snap stills needed.  Dormancy, only a month away, maybe less with their present pace.  So I need to capture everything I can.  And everyone.  For the fiction, my entries, stories.  This is all story.  All fiction.  IF I want it to be.


I do.


Mike sat at the table, on the patio, by the water.  Lunch.  Only 26 minutes left.  It took three minutes to run to 2nd floor– get sandwich from fridge, talk to coworker (Rafa), run back to 1st floor, out door, then the thirty yards (maybe more) to table, then he had to wipe it off a bit.  He couldn’t believe that only took four minutes.

He didn’t eat right away.  He just want to look out at vines, their October uniforms.  Breathe.  As a tourist.

He just sat.

Ten minutes left, not a bite.  What happened?  He looked out, counting the small gusts, till he was carried back to work, somehow motivated away from vacation.


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newest journalist journalism

10/6/13–  Spicy pasta from Alice, tonight.  Tired from day.  Sipping last Ale, and the writer’s about finished.  Want to wake at Barleycorn time.  Not to run, but to write.  Still very much feel yesterday’s Lawndale jaunt.  Today, party of 42, handled by Ed, also a teacher, and mySelf.  All from Norway.  Interesting group.  Not many questions, but still.. considerable interest in our wines.  Opened a random 375 from downstairs stash, just a minute ago.  On cork, in permanent marker, “EP”.  I opened it, thinking it was ‘extra pours’ of Lancaster Nicole’s Blend.  But…  Extra Port, from a friend’s [Lauren’s] boyfriend, who works for, I think, Fritz, in Russian River.  At my age, I’m convinced, I can’t do hard alcohol, or Port, or anything Port-like.

Was finishing this last bowl of pasta, imagining mySelf eating it on an overnight in some hotel, east coast.

Visited my wines today.  But only to top them.  Didn’t taste.  Only tasted the topping wines– a Grenache, for NDC [New Dad Cuvée], then an incredibly dark, smokey Malbec for the Merlot [MMFM Merlot].  Have the winemaking bug, again.  Making wines as a writer, not winemaker, if that makes sense.  IT should, to writers.

Distracted, by old videos I shot around estate.  Would love to go for an early early morning run.  Maybe I’d see a mountain lion–  Oh!  Maybe I would.  Annadel, promising such interaction.  They wouldn’t hurt the writer, I’m sure.

So pleased to be in base.  Ready for bed, I feel, after today, that group Ed and I had.  This entry: 300, no more.  Words conserved.  Need days off.  Don’t I have some “professional development” day, soon?  Yeah…  I’ll develop professionally.. with these pages, nothing to do with that JC, the activities they have planned, on how I can be a better educator.

The umbrellas, at work.. labor symbol, excess.


10:04pm.  Sipping sparkling berry water, preparing for early rise, a Barleycorn session.  Need the Road, my Newness.. sick of waiting, already.  Little Kerouac, crying.  Think he may be excessively tired.  Turned off internet connect, reducing–or rather improving–this device to a typewriter.  Can’t wait for morrow’s morrow, the harshest hours.  Setting alarm for 5am.  Want at least 1,000 salable words before Kerouac wakes.  And his crying, stopped.  For now.

Quiet.  Not elevating the TV’s volume even a millimeter.  Oh, just, remembered.. out of cups for machine.  Will have to brew own cup.  Not a big deal.  Having trouble focusing on any details, as the exhaustion gifted from day’s more persistent that I can handle.

Finished water.

Watching advertisements, muted, screened.  So many colors, promises.  Interesting, to us thinking types.  The semester, nearing its halfway point.  Not fair.  Should I start composing the book, for the term, that’ll ‘do something for me’?  No.  Not yet.  Not rush.  Wait till morning, when head’s clearer.  No way I’m touching that ‘EP’, Extra Port.  That has to be what it stands for, right?  Doesn’t matter, ‘cause I’m not going near that poison.

What if I just stopped writing, for the night?  Should really be playing with words, rhymes, ‘stead of this run-on prose.  Decreed, then– in morrow, poetry, solely.  Caffeine, in doses mean.

Want another water, but I don’t want to wake the little Artist.  He seems especially sensitive this eve.


journal, 10/8/13

Jack, exhausted.  Still with cold.  Me, not so.  Second cup.  Larger than first.  [coffee]  Want to remain home, write.  Print.  Not as upset about losing long verse on phone.  Printing this morning.  Not losing anything else to devilish tech.  Annoyed by more systems.. not getting too specific, or at all so, but I’m in revolt against pattern.  Artists don’t engage with such.  And certainly not of my form– fiction, diarist, poem.


7:40pm.  No evening class.  Home, with sick mini-artist.  Red wine, Cab.  Tired, after 1,800+ words.  Still need to post to teaching blog, answer student emails.  When Thursday comes, I’ll be a dragon of diligence, direction.  They’ll never know what hit them.  No, I shouldn’t say it like that.. I’m just anxious for a better day.  In English 5, felt heavy, soaked surreally, with lower inner light, bent peddals.  Better now.  And after I read some Plath, I’ll be even higher, standing more straight.. more Literarily.

No social media distractions tonight, as I’m turning devil phone OFF.  Not giving to the chutzpah.  And no TV.  That’s just as bad– no, worse.  Thought I heard the Artist upstairs.  Poor little man, with his sniffles.  I’ll never get used to seeing him sick, or even slightly desensitized to it.

After these however-many words.. to newJournal.  Why don’t I have a bloody book out, already?  Honestly, with as much as I write.  This is truly laughable.  OR pathetic.  Or maybe both.  Can I have another glass now, of this fabulous Cab?

Getting annoyed with doors of other units I hear closing.  Don’t they know my little boy’s sick, trying to sleep?  Irritated, angry at Self for earlier weak state.  Should always have Self in militant, vicious Artist mode.

At home, all day with Jack tomorrow, taking care of him, making sure he defeats this system bug.  Have to get some reading, writing done.  The three boxes of k-cups I bought, little over an hour ago, maybe more, just behind this screen.  Should be set for month.  Maybe less, knowing me, how much I drink in morning.  Sure I’ll go through more than a few in morrow’s skatings.  So quiet down here.  Little Kerouac, finally getting some rest, poor bloke.  And his father, hoping to shift everything.  Won’t go on some wishing rant, but there will be reconfiguration.  No more nonsense.

More of the spicy pasta leftovers from Alice.  The writer needs a break from his page.  Some laziness.  We’re allowed to do that, right?  OR maybe I should lookup a Plath quote, post it to some social media site.. see if any of my “friends” respond, or “Like” it.  So contaminative, the whole thing.  That’s why I’m stopping.

Another glass, Professor MADigan?  Why yes, thank you.  I look at it, after a sip & .5, at my right, moving slightly, the purple puddle, as I type, slapping keys like a recommitted journalist (aren’t I?).  Want to watch a movie tonight, with a writing theme.  But what?  Ugh.. what was that Sylvia Plath movie, starring Gwyneth Paltrow…  Oh, “Sylvia.” Why didn’t I know that?  Anyway, hoping to watch it tonight.  Or some of it.

Keep writing, Mike.  Don’t stop.  Don’t let this devilish wine catch you.  Decaf is starting to sound good.  And I can’t get too diverted, as I want to be ready for Thursday’s class, by day’s end, tomorrow.  Thursday morning: running, the only priority.


And this moment, here at table.. just re-collection.  The wine, respecting my pace, my aims, what I want done tonight.  That I want to get poetry onto ACTUAL page, later.  Looking at this tower of coffee boxes behind laptop’s screen.  Find it funny, honestly.  I truly, and quite quietly, laugh to Self, as to not wake the little Artist.  The writer surely loves his coffee.  Why do I find this so comical?

Glass, empty.  Good.  Leave it that way, for a bit.  Need to fill the untouched Comp Book I recently bought, with notes on ‘Johnny Panic’.  What Ms. Plath is, where she’s going.  “When in doubt, put it back on the author,” I’ve always told students.  Time to practice while I bloody preach.  Drat!  Left her book in car.  No surprise, with this crazy day.  Tomorrow, off, but not.  Little Kerouac, his little sneezes, sniffles.  Would take it from him in a blink, nevermind a heartbeat.  Reading some of her poems online.. should bring these, or some of them into class.  “Blackberrying,” just read for first time.  Beautiful imagery, language, voice, temperament and tonality, stanza balance.  One of my students, making her journal a gallery, each entry with prose, painting.. showing the most vicious of ownerships.  Mimicking, starting tomorrow, with my reading journal, the new one I mean.  Putting Self in role of student, in own class.  But I’ll be with Kerouac, THE Kerouac, as well, for Thursday.  His form, style, voice, veritable page journey.. only massively applicable.  How can people not read him, admire each of his writings, typings?

Cutting Self off at 1,000 words.  I’ve already gone on FAR2long.  Kerouac.. what else can I find from him, online…  Only poetry.  Was hoping for some prose, or journal entries.  Maybe I can find them at bookstore, if I have a chance to go, tomorrow.  Probably not.  Should keep little Kerouac inside, with Papa.


24% on laptop.  Tired of this machine.  On couch now.  With this little buttoned monster charging.  Nightcap in kitchen.. ON kitchen counter, make it longer last.  Looking back at day, knowing I need not let Self get so frazzled, worried, stressed, depressed, what have.  There’ll be a day after, theoretically.  So calm, writer.. calm.  Peace.  And I’ll have true peace tomorrow with Jackie, sipping my coffee [one of the 3 types I bought tonight] while he zooms about this condo’s lowest floor.


umbrella tops, tickled by

polite fronts, pacific and

wherever.. picnic by houses on 19th–

oh the city, busy with its tempestuous

tizzies, lamp moths, fixate on

gas station drizzle, hoping to

square their dares.  hope they fly,

flee west.

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Autumnal Concernz

Hard to keep up with Kerouac this morning.  And before you ask, no.  No run.  Still feel Wednesday’s.  And today’s only Friday.  Friday, that means nothing to me.  I’m writing till I see that bloody office of mine– till I’m scribbling by that espresso machine.  Jack just leaned off his toy car, over the keyboard, seemingly saying “why, why…”

7:41am.  19 minutes till we get ready for Ms. Lisa’s.  Not making wine this year, I’m thinking.  Want to devote EVERYTHING to page.  All of it, Life.

Narrative, of a teacher, writer, Literary addict.  That’s what’ll get me to Stanford.  And the shorts– be them stories, vignettes, or poem.  Thinking about everything this morning.  Want little Kerouac to have a certain father type.  And I’m almost there, I swear.

Going to finish 2nd cup, then [--]


Next day, 10/5…  Upstairs, with coffee.  Just posted to teaching blog.  Almost wrote a full 3PAGES last night, but the Cabernet caught up to me.  As did the run from Wednesday morning.  Running Lawndale, for one of the last times this year, after work today.  Days, so much shorter.  May have to join the gym, like Alice did, to get my workout in.  Oh, and yesterday A.M.’s entry, interrupted by Kerouac’s little sprints around the downstairs play area, kitchen.  Just for specifics…

Only thing on my mind.. teaching.  Each day, I’ll do ONE primary act for sakes of getting my into the classRoom, fulltime.  OR, to teach, lecture fulltime.  Need more coffee–  But lost track of time.  8:09am.  Should get in shower, get ready for “work.”

8:04pm.  Lawndale, again toppled.  My favorite such run, on that challenging course, to date.  Lower sun, cooler temps.. even smelled someone’s fire, chimney’d.  What aromas on that rural run.  Didn’t hit goal, of finishing under 50min.  Still have some training to do before I get there.  BUT, in end: 59:14 total time, 8:14/mi pace, 7.2 miles total distance.  May run a bit tomorrow, like 3 miles or something close.  Maybe I should do an intense 25 min workout.  Not sure, but I will run tomorrow.  Not in morning, as I want the vessel to rest.  But when home, yes.  Or should I take the day off?  I’ll let you know.

Will grade 10 items tonight.  Also, post to teaching blog.  Will grade ten items tonight!  The inclass pieces from English 5.  Everyday, take a major step towards Artistic Autonomy, I tell Self.  Just finished 1st beer, may be time for another.  I’ll have the rest of the ’09 Cab I last night opened with dinner.

Memorable characters today, in tasting Room, all the clowns showing up right before close, asking “is it too late to do a tasting?” Technically, no, but we close in three minutes.  There are several signs outside those tasting Room doors disclosing our hours, did they miss those?

Gorgeous on estate today.  Exciting varietals on crush pad, Cab Franc and Barbera.  Took a few pictures, shot a quick video.  Love this time.  Heard today that I may be getting some Merlot.  But it’s not locked-in, not yet.  Speaking of winemaking, I’ll finish that short story, yesterday’s 3PAGES, 2nite.  Then, into the old entries for this first chapbook.  Like the ‘barreling philosophy’ I have with blog posts.  At least 1 year of aging before it’s bookable, manuscript-worthy.. “ready to bottle,” as the winemakers voice.

How is it that next week is Week8 of my best semester EVER?  Not sure, but I need come at students next week with methods, activities, interactions, WRITTEN lectures they won’t expect.  May have to sacrifice running time, much I hate to.  But it’s for the writing.  It’s for my path to Stanford.  And if I never see Stanford, not fatal.  But if I never travel, see the Road, my office, write for Life.. that would be terminal.  Don’t even want to think about it–  So I won’t.  That won’t happen.  Not sure why I mentioned.

Running past a Kenwood winery’s vineyard, to left, watching vines’ tips pass as I passed.  Cool, no traffic, peace.. won’t forget that, ever.  Need to train on hills more.  Lawndale did succeed in slowing the writer this evening with those 4 hills.  Would have been lower than 50min had I trained on steepness, like Woodview (where my wife walks, runs), or its neighboring inclines.  Can’t be too hard on Self.  I’m running, consistently, that’s what pushes pages.  Don’t get too competitive, writer.. detract from your books.

Funny, seeing the vines without grapes.  This harvest came so fast.  But I love the fall patterns, what is does to writing, or just the walk by vines.  Not everything has to be captured.  Sometimes, many times, simply living, observing’s enough.


Full glass of the ’09.  Thinking of today’s run.  And if I could get up tomorrow at 5am, but for writing’s sake, not a jaunt.  Would write in poem, as I did this morning.  Want to read to audiences, see them speaking with me, singing with me.  Isn’t that the most full form of Art, that level interaction?  May not get to yesterday’s short story.  Better for tomorrow morning, probably.  This Cab, not as illustrative as last night.  Still enjoyable, but not with the same skip.  But it catches me quick.  Need to keep typing.  Won’t get to teaching blog tonight, sadly.  I have mySelf too stressed with efforts.  Need to simply let all “flow,” much I hate the term, when people say that.  When I ask students what ‘coherence’ means, regarding a finished paper, to have a sense of [...], they always say something like, “like the flow of the paper…” But either way, that’s what I’m thinking right now.  After this sitting, going to perform poem surgery on some lines I’ve been safeguarding, adding to, for the last few days.

Getting sick of this laptop anyway, as I always am.  Hoping for one verse tonight, that’s it.  Wish the rain would come back, that always helps with poetry’s tap.  And I could use it now, this moment, while I’m here at this table sipping Cabernet.. more than any time usually sprouting.  Again thinking, what Literary shape do I want to take?  Have an idea, but I don’t want to settle on anything right now.  What does that indicate, psychoanalytically?  Probably a lot.

Near glass’ end.  Lovely.  Wonder if the production crew’s still on Estate’s crush pad.  Pulses…  Thinking…  My Merlot– or, my POTENTIAL Merlot.  Like the writer I want to be, that I may already be.. Literary shape.  Want readers to go agape away from page.  Is that wrong, self-centered?  Isn’t that necessary for writing Life?


images, study, re-read,

suggestion, reply, letters,


calculate tape, check, monitor,

scattered scrimshawing, look–


Watching some murder mystery, or just murder report, nonfiction telejournalism, on TV.  Volume quite low, as Alice texted me from upstairs, letting me know Kerouac was sitting up, strait.  Talk about the writer I’d like to be, or type.. that’d be it.  Him.  Mr. Kerouac.  I’m Literary, not musical.  Although I’d like this writing, MY writing, 2B more musical.

No grading getting done tonight, as I poured what was left of the ’09.  This may be one of my last Lawndale runs– may have been.  Grammar jumbled.  I blame the wine.  And the run, ironically.  Looking forward to coffee.  And the day I can sip coffee from lobbies, in early morning, only up so early to write, capture all characters in my favorite stage type– the hotel.  All the roles, doing what they’re cast 2do.


Cabernet call.  All, no stall.

Report rumor.

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Straw Sign

9:14am.  Cut out run.  Here in condo, about to inject words to blog.  The aviation short will begin typing today, after Eng 5 class.  Will be out door at 10:30a, latest.  Enjoying 4shot mocha.  Thinking of character, Kelly.  After this first chapbook, thinking I’ll release a collection of shorts.  Strictly fiction, exposing style/philosophy on the Craft.  Well, of both fiction and short stories/flash pieces as well.  Actually, thinking I might just jump in shower, head to Petaluma, get head start on day ahead of me.  The majority of material, from this point in my Life, forward, will be in/on teaching, what I do with/for students, and what I write with that in mind–  OH how this 4shot mocha works for its writer.

Cold outside, a bit, these first Fall days.

Should I bring laptop?  Why not.  Just do it.  Listening to chilled beats, help calm the writer.  But my resolution of leaving early for campus, I’m much more composed, relaxed.  Yes, I’ll be on Road soon.  Stanford, awaiting.  I have to do something totally different, maybe a bit drastic with classes today, to supply more material, construct more engaging lessons for students.

Exploration of Art.. the concept.. memoir, already being Art in Life.

Life is Art.


This A.M., start of something.  Want to go to Stanford’s site, but can’t let Self.

This, what’s snapping synaptically, this morning.. nearly too much for writer.  But I’m calm.  Characters in students.. one always participating, one never speaking nor responding to blog prompts, one always challenging, complaining; one always wanting to joke, one seldom speaking but when he does it’s insightful, useful; and, he’s a great writer, very vocal, provocative, precisely humorous.

Study these students more.. take notes.. fictionalize names.

Should get in shower, get ready.  Still feel yesterday’s run.  Glad I didn’t go out this morning.

11:02am.  So quiet, this reading room on Petaluma’s Campus.  Thought I forgot the inclass papers I have to grade for English 5, but no such luck.  I shouldn’t say that.. and I shouldn’t procrastinate.  Getting right to it, with laptop ready for capturing any captivating lines.  Why do I not enjoy grading as much as other aspects of this job?  Easy, it puts me in the position of assigning worth, putting a number (points), or “grade,” to one’s work, as if writing can be so simply reduced to such.

“But must an author write with a point, a direction in mind?” one student wrote, about Capote’s ‘Muses Are Heard’.  “Instead, Capote writes to observe generally,” she continues.  “The fact that Mr. Capote is on this journey…shows his avarice for knowledge.”

Another student wrote, “Mr. Capote detailed throughout his account the entrapping immaculate power art holds over people…”

What is the right way to Stanford, for me?  Certainly not doing last-minute grading like this.  I know precisely what to do.  Write more on board.. plan menu for day [this idea coming to me just after getting in car, heading to get gas for Passat [which I grow ever SICK of driving].

Closing device, headed into naturalistic slips…

8:18pm.  Holding off on aviation piece a bit longer.  Instead, will inject 500-510 word piece into book.  Not sure what about, but I will finish it tonight, print it tomorrow before work.. use someone in tasting Room as sample reader.  My sample audience.  As I’ve said so many bloody times: “Want to print more, get further away from this devil blog.” Opening something tonight, not sure what.  Maybe the ’11 Century Vine Zin.  Ugh, but Zin…?  Not sure what else I have down here.

Can hear outside’s winds.  Surprised how forceful they’ve grown, since earlier.  Looking at my latest issue of WineMaker magazine.  Where do I want to go with this?  I’m not sure.  I do want to make more wine, just not sure of approach, and how much coin with which I’m willing to part.  The publishing, printing of my pieces MUST come first.  Weighing all–

This semester, keeping me writing.  Tonight’s discussion with the 1A section, on Walls’ ‘Glass Castle’, reminding me that memoir can provoke just as much emotion, discussion, reaction[!!!] as fiction.  Not sure why I always downplay or involuntarily degrade nonfiction.

9:55pm.  To bed soon.  Sipping night’s capping.  Posted to teaching blog twice.  Should bring some grading to work tomorrow.  Yes, 5 pieces.  OR 6.  3 from 1A, 3 from 5.  Now I’m blanking.  I am stretched quite thin, a writer, this semester.  But I have to push.  Bringing little pages with me to work tomorrow, as I always do.  But I want a piece of standalone fiction, tasting Room fiction.. one different.  All dialogue, no narration, exposition.  Like a play, but more Literary.  Can already see the people, from state to which we can’t sip, asking idiotic questions.

Much I criticize people coming into the tasting Room, I’m quite anaclitic.  For sakes of this fiction.  Love what they say, how they approach wine.

No regrets in cutting out run this morning, but I’m already itching for next sprint set.  Won’t be able to run tomorrow night, so I’ll do pushups, or jumping jacks, or something here in home.  Thursday morning, surely fitting in a couple miles.  Planning a 55 minute step set.  25 out, then back.  Hopefully I make it into Howarth, see some trees.

Not editing this night’s words tonight.  Too tired, believe it or not.  Will edit in morning, to the new Verona coffee I bought tonight, on a spurred grocery run for dinner.

Character:  Isela, making coffees at home for fellow employees at private upscale grocery store in Calistoga; her aim, to own her own café; saving all her tips in envelope, in safety deposit box; she loves seeing how they react; new recipes, each day, even writing her own menu.. and its all free for her friends; but they don’t let her work for free, be too sweet; they force their money onto her; she only accepts as to not be rude, that’s how lovely she is.  (9/24/13)

9/25/13–  Finished another standalone.  Closer to book’s finish.  Won’t be done by Sept’s close, which is fail.  But I don’t care.  There’s a new focus about me, concerning these standalone pieces, which is precisely what’ll take me to the Road.  This teaching blog, turning out to be a gold mine.  The truest of true bullion pots.

Sipping night’s cap, in this Racer 5.  Time, 10:35pm…  Running 10 miles tomorrow morning.  Will write between 5 and 1A.  Thought much today about the reactions to my recital at the bowling alley, just a couple nights ago.  Having people come hear you speak your ideas, visions, dreams.. what’s more rewarding?  No wine production could rival that, EVER.  And I’m sure some talking winemaker would offer how it could.  But you and I both know that NO bottle of wine could rival manuscript’s sonorous potential.

But they’re not worth my address, the “winemakers,” most of whom simply ride nature’s coattails to systematic scores.  What I want to address: this new story, possible novel I see shaping, in this semester, with my students.. their dedication, ownership of topic selection.  Wish I could have a cup of that Verona Roast [DARK] I bought last night, as I’d love to be up all hours writing about them, their interests in my assigned readings.  Need to finish this first chapbook, so I can maybe start this book.  My character, ME, finding new love of teaching, finding ways to engage students through course material, challenge of proscribed course outline, “curriculum.”

Hoping I wake early tomorrow, as I did the other morning, at 3-something.  I remember thinking of typing something, like one line, to tilts of “I’m awake, and I’m writing, what a shock…” Something like that.  Giving Self a deadline.  10 minutes from now, 11pm.  Need to embrace more this notion of “dead”lines.  Why does ‘dead’ have to be there, in that conception?  Isn’t that where the piece, the STANDALONE, comes alive, when the writer finishes it?  Just thinking aloud, reader.  Please pardon.

My first Road trip, know precisely how it’ll follow:  I’ll write.  The whole time.  I’ll be so enamored, so trapped, I won’t appreciate what’s happening.  And that’s one of the falls of writers like I: we feel the we always have to be writing.  I always say I hope people notice the obsessive habits.  By me hoping, I’m insulting the readers.  It’s quite obvious, Mike.

Oh coffee…  Why do you haunt me?  Would love a cup right now.  But I don’t want to wake the little Artist.  I remember a guest at AV Winery last year, at a release party, warning me about the trials of being a parent, that you won’t get to do much what you wish.  I remember saying, “I’ll write my way through it,” or something like that.  He laughed, almost condescendingly, as if to suggest ‘you don’t know what you’re in for’.  And here I am, writing more than I EVER have.  IF anything, that little perpetually-positive pulse has spurred my scribbles, irreversibly.

AV winery.. wow.  Seems so long ago.  My 128 sessions, on that little side lot.. dirt, birds, trees, cyclists.  Time, another victory, in my noticing passes.

Setting alarm, 5AM.  To write.  Not run.  Will do latter after Kerouac is dropped off.

9/26/13–  Can’t believe what I brought Self to do..  Finished 3PAGES today, amounting to a 1,566 word short story.  In my adjunct office, currently.  Printed it.  Stapled.  Will read tonight, to a beer, or sparkling water.  I’ve proven again that I CAN make Self focus, finish a piece.  So now, I reward Self with freewrite…

What else do I have to do before class?  [...]  Plan session.. oh, I wanted to start that Jack Kerouac piece [500 words] at some point.  Maybe a bit too wired to so do, now, with this 2shot mocha reviving a caffeine quake swarm in my unstable circuitry.  3:19pm.  Should go to bookstore, or library.  Should really dart down to Barnes & Noble, get a book of Kerouac’s poems, writings.  Never did finish ‘On the Road’, did I.  Took some notes in my lecture Comp Book about his writing style, earlier today while in Petaluma Library.

Going to class tonight with only text and Comp Book.  That’s it.  Utterly minimalist.  Not taking attendance, as I know who’s there, who’s not.  How students don’t come to class, expecting to somehow pass, keep up with material, will always be a logic puzzle, unsolvable, to me.

Listening to music, but feel boxed, trapped.. this bloody office.  Can’t see anything, just what they want.  Haven’t eaten the blueberry scone I bought.

There, took a couple bites.

But uninspired.  Have to change what’s in eyes, ears.  Deafened, lessened…

10:02pm.  Home.  Night’s capping…  Tomorrow, back at winery.  Visiting my wines tomorrow, no matter what.  Hoping no damage.  Quite proud of the short story, today.  And, that 10minute rushed write in lectures Comp Book, which I shouldn’t have done.

Tired.  No more in me.

Leafless tree.  Winds carrying questions

only.  Careful reaction, attacked

attraction, looking into

messages, letter I wrote myself,

over a decade ago;


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Mattering Ever

Had a thought about writing on this evening’s events, my presence at the dinner, on Olive Hill.  But, I didn’t feel too committed to such writing.  I’m going to write it, a 500-word piece, centered on the cocktail hour, seated dinner, threatening rain, the dark, what I could see of the surrounding hills.  Sipping an ’09 Merlot, Napa Valley.  Been wanting to open this bottle for some time.  And finally, we meet.  Love nights like tonight.. all the newness.  Still smell the trees from that part of the property, tonight.  At one point, Naomi noticed me inhaling the air, my capture of notes’ shift.  “You smell the rain?” she asked, obviously noticing right when I did.  I still wait.  When I left, noticed small water beads on windshield, car’s roof, door handles.

This wine, telling me to go forward with my ’13 Merlot.  Why does it need to tell me that, encourage?  I was thinking of not doing another barrel, this year.. that it would take from the writing.  But not if I make it a writing project, I said to self walking into tasting Room this morning.  And now, the writer sits here in kitchen nook, far too tired to touch too many projects, efforts.  One thing I want noted: met a couple today, part of my only group [8 total], that was married in Key West, in Hemingway’s house.  They used his typewriters, or some of them, as centerpieces.  Part of me’s disgusted, with them trivializing his tools.  Then the other, in utter awe.  Just went to a site, devoted to his Key West home.. feeling it’s minimized, too a tourist destination.  Pardon my cynicism, but that’s my reaction.  Even still, though, what a sight.  An experience.  I would just sit on that porch, the second floor, cross legs, open Comp Book, or newJournal, just singular pieces I’d gather.. even napkins.. an write.  Need mobility.  Just give me a week–

Can’t forget what I saw tonight, from that hill.  The houses in the above hills, off-property.. who lives there?  What have they done to afford such views?  What would I write from there?

No longer see the tasting Room as valuable scribble spot.  Too tired, there.. everything’s on circle.  Painful.  Want to repeat visits to hotel lounges, like last night, after class– that glass of SB, just observing characters encircling me.  And now, clutter on circular table, crumbled receipt on floor, the large bottle, think a 6L, that people signed on our wedding day.  2007.. seems like so long ago.  Hear the news boasting rain coming, “significant amounts,” they say.

Looking at a picture I shot at sight, tonight.  Thinking about the drive back, how the Estate is completely different in P.M. hours.  It’s like a different story.. the day, night, in that specific slice of Sonoma Valley could never speak to each other, as their languages are opposite images, flipping reflective folds.  Running out of words.  Time to edit.

Night cap open.  Finalizing–




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10:15pm.  A 10.55 miles run.  Deep into Howarth Park, back.  On sprint back, I increased speed, as the writer’s mind sculpted plot’s lines for his own murder.  Jogging, or running, no one around, and with me exhausted, I’m the perfect writable target.  Sipping the ’11 Estate Cab, which at first I dismissed.  But now, much more charisma about its sensory storm.  Posted to both blogs.. my students, carrying my momentum.  Surprised how energetic I am, sitting here on this couch, after such a run, sipping Cabernet.. Making Self to bed go around 11:30.  Which gives me a good time block.  Or more like a mini-plot.

My student responses to these blog posts.. motivating me in ways I never estimated.  Almost unsure of how to react.  Have contain composure, sustain it.

And pour the writer more wine.

This last glass, night’s cap.  This Cab’s changed.  More grip, gravity, grace about it’s speech.  Not letting Self touch book tonight.  Why?  Want to write freely, here on these feeble “blogs.” My character, Kelly, experiencing a certain ‘rebirth’, much I hate that term.  So what else can I say?  [...]  Her literary voraciousness has been re-emphasized.  By me, of course.  I’m her biggest abetter.

Short of night’s goal, with words.  Why do I always focus on that, so much.  Who taught me this?  This encompasses my pen strides.  Her story.  She walks, narrating to herSelf.  She’s not maniacal like me, feeling the need to write EVERYTHING down.  She carries the impact with her, delivers to canvas at her willing.  Not sure what to say about her.. other than she’s out there, and here.  On page.  For me, the readers, for herSelf.  Right now, 10:33pm.. I’m assured she’s sipping.  To quiet.  TV off, unlike her author.  Staring at her blank sheet.  She engages one motion at a time.  Never back-to-back colors.  Each stroke, rivaling shades.  She loves the concept of contrast, exposing beauty in difference.

Taking another sip of the obnoxious glass I poured Self, I’m re-reading what one of my stronger students just posted.  Feel like it’s something Kelly would say.  I’m consumed in her, my character.


Won’t disguise my struggle in this sitting.  My mental, combatting both my 10.5 mile dash, well as the ’11 Cab which is proving to be more poised than I originally mapped.  I’m easily distracted by the muted Weather Channel, by thoughts of the coming study of Poe for my 1A students.  A new chapter, one directional, beginning next week, with the submission of this 1st paper [both sections].  Am I excited or terrified?

Wrote that after minutes of mind wandering.  Curse my run, this bloody wine.  This is precisely why I’ve detracted on oenological connection.  And why I’ve become so vocal on this “industry.”

And back again from distraction.  Checking email.  At least I return, am still writing.  Can’t wait for coffee in A.M.  This morning, thought about coming back home, writing, taking a nap.  But I surpassed.  AND, I didn’t even get a lunch today, after VIP tour, then ResRoom.  But I triumphed.  And I




New stories written.  Now.


But not.


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mikeslognoblog, again

9/11/13–  Instead of throwing away the 2,000+ words from the past few days, here on blog, I’m deciding to rack them into the ‘41+’ project.  Sipping Rosé, then onto ’10 Pinot.  Running tomorrow.  Of course, I failed when my alarm this morning sounded at 5:15a, simply hitting ‘off’, going back to bed.  but maybe I shouldn’t stop trying to have the wee hours run.

Did a lot of writing at winery today, for this small release.  Also, new notes for tomorrow lectures, concerning Capote.  Faulkner, next…

Harvest, still in motion.  Not sure I want to make any wine, believe or no.  Want to stay full focused on my writings.  Once they free me from the machine, then I’ll return to barrel.  But maybe that’s the wrong decision.  No, it definitely is.  I should practice, every vintage, till I’m free, selling my own bottles from small label [‘whoso’].  (8:14pm)

9:52pm.  Into Pinot.  Sipping quite slow.  Not even going to promise that I’ll wake at 5-something for a run.  I’ll run immediately after dropping off little Kerouac.  My goal, five miles, fast as I’m able.  Need some music, soon.  Tired of the TV.  It’s poison.  Going to look for some critical pieces, essays, on Faulkner, Capote.

In mode to just enjoy this Pinot, after transferring 1600+ words to ‘project 41’ [I’m now it dubbing].  Drizzle this morning, water drops on car.  Heard for first time in months it seems that sounds of drops in drain on other side of condo’s wall.  Seasons in shift.  Just hope my Merlot doesn’t get damaged.  Also thought this morning, while driving Jack to Lisa’s, that I should put more older entries into this first chap, and maybe the first few chaps, than newer works.  Only racking pieces that have sat on blog for a year, or more.  Rule4Self.  After a year, sitting unresponded-to, it deserves a page.  Or even if it DOES get a reaction or 2, 4, 7, more.  I don’t care.  My writing, ALL of it, deserves page.


Film.  Anti-Literary, at its very best, Capote said.  IS that true, fair?  Do I agree?  With today’s films, or movies [as they don’t deserve the word ‘films’], YES.  To both questions.  that’s why I’m writing books, ones short.  Praying they never see translation.  And if they do, I’m to be involved from translation’s first sheet to final.

Pouring next glass after this entry.  Thought of descriptors today, how silly they are, after I called the ’11 Estate Cab “too permissive.” After I said that, I thought “What?” What does that mean?  Why do we get so bizarre, obscure, elevated, self-indulgent with language when it comes to wine?  So many people don’t read [at least anything quality, of reflective worth], certainly don’t write, have love of language.  But when it comes to wine, unexpectedly they’re syllable saints.  Makes me laugh.  Makes me mad.  Why does wine do this to people?

It’s only wine.

Poured night’s cap.  More than generous.  Perhaps detrimentally.  But I haven’t had Pinot in a while.  Looking at Harvard’s English Department website.  Would love to speak there.  Posting on Pedagogy Blog after this.  This writer/professor, much in character.

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