No more wine for day (6/22). I did taste a couple from tank, one Chard and a Zin, ’13 and ’12 respectively. And I’m sure what wine voice I want projected from what I produce. One notable tip today has me encouraged about the ’14 vintage. Surveying the fruit today, for the most part Chardonnay and Syrah, all looks well. And beyond this, I don’t know what else to say other than I’m not looking forward to being away from little Kerouac for 4 days, even though he’ll be in the best of best hands with his grandma Cathy, down in Monterey.
Ran 3.75 miles this morning, waking at 7:20-something rather than 5AM precisely as I’d hoped. Thinking tomorrow should be a day of unusual writing progress, and daunting fruition– MEANING, I print something, make twenty copies and see what I can do with them. This stall has to stop. I remember selling my writings back at Foothill College, only three or five pages of poems, some prose, and some later in life, inconsistently. But now, I have too much riding. So I’m duplicating the pages, selling, owning my office, following wine and whatever shape it thinks it can take. It can’t outrun a writer…
Could use some kind of sweet.. take a break for day’s remainder, this night, I’m in a restless whirl of reason.. hearing one writer talk about what he wrote years ago, and thinking I don’t want to be that.. I want to be Jack.. JACK. KEROUAC. Or some type to that.
4:49AM (6/23). Up and I don’t think I could go back to sleep even if I wanted to. My body won’t let me. And I won’t let me. Love this dark down here, downstairs, a little light from outside, from those parking lights, and a little from sky, I can tell the sun wants to be out, but it’s not time. My whole day in front of me, and I feel reluctance more than promise.. why is that? Why do I get that way? Now I feel a little pull toward the sheets over there, but I resist. And no coffee, not yet, don’t want to wake my little Artist.
What to do differently today– you know what, stop planning, just write, and let the story carry. I had a thought… But I lost it, in the puddle of wine, beer from yesterday, last night. More direction as a writer, that’s what I’m needing, more something. Not that I’m trying to find my voice, just struggling, and always have been, to have that finished MS that changes everything, everything, from where my family stays to how my everyday progresses, to what kind of coffee I drink, to what I drive and how I dress and what the first I see in the morning looking out the closest window to our bed. I can only think these thoughts when I’m up this early.
“So what do you think?” he asks me about his story, just over 800 words on traveling to England. More of a narrative essay than a short story.
“It’s good, I like the details about getting off the plan and hearing the accents, smelling the suitcases and the beer at the airport bar, or ‘pub’ as you call it,” I say, looking over what I just read, seeing if I left something out.
“I need to include some dialogue I think, I don’t like how it’s just me talking the whole time, don’t you think that gets a bit boring?”
“I wouldn’t say boring.. it makes me anxious, when I don’t have conversations in my stories, like I’m afraid of my own shadow or something.” I think I’m telling the truth.
“What do you mean?”
“I keep talking so I don’t have to write other people talking.”
“You don’t want your characters stealing attention from you and YOUR story, is that it?”
“Something like that.”
He reads my piece, about 913 words I wrote at home but edited in the parking lot of the Kenwood Market a few weeks ago, right after dropping off Jackie at Lisa’s and before going into work. His expressions, just around his eyes and on either side of his nose concern me. He doesn’t like it. He thinks my narrative style’s boring. It’s okay, I do too. He makes a couple marks with his pen, on the first page, and that’s it. It’s almost like he’s not reading anymore. IS he reading anymore?
“How often do you wake up that early? Could you just not sleep?” he asks, keeping my pages under the sides of his hands, like a judge or hoarder.
“I just had to write what I saw that early, which was basically nothing. It was like being forced to stay awake and the only way I could fight or resist was to type, and quietly. No, it doesn’t happen hardly ever, which was why the writing happened so fast.”
“And where’d you give it the first read?”
“In the parking lot.”
“Oh.. the Kenwood Market, right next to this dead tree on its side that I guess is supposed to decorate the parking lot or something.”
“I like its rhythm, a lot, and how its just this dose of nowness. It’s refreshing, actually. I don’t think I’ve read something like this before, from you. Well maybe once, but–”
He can’t think of when, ‘cause there’s never been a when, before. And there was never a morning where I woke like that and just started writing, ever! I think he’s lying. He doesn’t like the work. I should get up, leave, or give him some excuse like, “Well I gotta pick some stuff up at the store for Jackie and Alice for dinner, I’ll call you later about our next meeting, sorry for the quick leave.” I can tell he knows what’s going on, and so what. He probably didn’t even read the pages just now. And why am I workshopping with this guy who calls himself a ‘writer’? He even told me he ‘doesn’t write as much as he wished he reeeeeeeally could’, as he said. So then how are you a writer again, Daren? This is, what, our eighth meeting or something like that– And what exactly are you doing with your pages, “writer”– Wait right there, Mike.. you should ask yourself the same question.
5:18AM, and my stomach makes the most peculiar sounds, like it wants me to change my diet or stop altogether with wine and beer. Well, done and done… Planning on going out for another run today, a longer one and one incorporating hills, and some more varied scape. The flatness bores me, really. And anymore, I like merely running to no music, just the natural notes of the cars, passers on foot, wind, my own pace on bruised street material. Feel like I’m not obeying even ONE of my 35 Laws. Why’d I even write them if I only intended to forget them– well, maybe that wasn’t my intention as it were, but that’s pretty much what happened– No, that IS what happened. At least I know where they are, I wrote them completely unscattered in the little notebook, the one I always carry to work. Now I can hear birds, a very precise colony right outside this sliding glass door, singing to be heard, “We’re here, we’re here,” I see them saying, “We’re going to start jamming.. now!” They don’t write their songs, they just sing, and if there’s something they like and remember, then they repeat it, but every morning there’s NEW work to submit.. a set that actually carries and catches the moment. 5:27AM…