Sipping a ’99 Merlot-dominated blend. In much better mental and mood form tonight. Could only vent to this poor Comp Book, 24 hours ago. It was that bad, yesterday. But, now new. A new Now, for this vinoLit penner. Need a couple sips before checking account balance. Still haven’t touched business stash. Be right back… 9:55pm. This morning, before landing on AV Winery’s grounds, I filled 4 pages in the Comp Book. Four! Have never done that before. Not even close. Much thanks to the morning mocha, but also to the budding AV vines around me. And, that little parking bay, off road, off 128, towards Calistoga. This bottle, tasting better last night, definitely. But back to the pages, what do I do with them? This was a momentous session. Can’t let them just rot in the Comp Book, same as a winemaker never ignoring her barrels. Not one. Thinking I have to put together a book. For real this time. Speed-write it. Not much free time of late, as I told you. Listening to a Wined beats station on Pandora, but I’m thinking I need character inspiration. Yes, I do. But whom? Capote, Shakur, Austen, King…?
Going in tomorrow to AV, even though it’s my day off. Want to tie up some ends still quite loose. Couldn’t believe how busy it was today. It was surprising, actually. But I still found a couple, and only a couple (2 or a couple more), blinks to make a note cluster in the little notepad. Characters coming to a winery to tour and taste, be they wine club members or tourists from Kansas, will always beg a page from me. Free novels, so why haven’t I finished one? Decided, need Capote’s help. He didn’t stop till ‘Cold Blood’ was finished, till he saw how it would all end. He sacrificed everything. Everything. He knew what the book would be, what it would do to him. He also had no idea how he would be at its end, which I find even more inspiring. However tragic. This, envelopingly, is the purist form of Literature, Art. When success delivers, destroys, you. Make you You.
Time, 10:09 now. Thinking of how my experiences at SSU, living on campus, shaped my writing habits, trots in experimentation with form, genre. Now, I think of, look forward to, traveling around the country, world, and how that will shape my manuscripts. Missing the rain tonight, beautiful and summer-like as it was on Chalk Hill Road today. Envied the tourists walking through the door. A great deal, actually. Tomorrow, setting alarm for 6:20am. Box time. Am I looking to write before I land on winery grounds? Not really. But the Comp Book’s frame will be near, promised. And this ’99, in its specious stammer, revives itself for more consideration. But what if my interpretation’s wrong? And, yes, Kelly chimes in, from my journal’s depth. “You need to stop doing that, Mikey. Second-guessing yourself will hold you in the same place. Is that what you want?” So I’d have to ask her, “Then what should I do? And how should I do it?” She returns, “Just do. Write. And stop thinking so much. It’s inartistic.”
I sip the ’99 again, hoping for an idea. Then I realize, or Mike realizes, he already had one.
He looked at his clock, the same way a coyote would look for whatever trotting prey he could see in a stretched meadow. Hated its unavoidable veracity. The desk’s surface, littered as always, reminding him of that picture he took of his dining room table in his San Ramon apartment, cramming the first quarter’s final work into 72 hours. If only he could find that photo, he thought. He wanted study again, something to anticipate.