Writing like a journalist today, inspired from the Hemingway research I did for class, and a documentary I found– that’s what I chase, the who what where why.. and all other “facts”. Then I’ll fictionalize. I can write for papers, I’m seeing, now at 35– why am I developing and settling finally comfortably and confidently into my writer skin now at THIRTY-FUCKING-FIVE?
Already wrote a 500-word piece, sent to the whoso issue, which is nearly done. And that’s another thing, as a “serious” journalist/writer I need to be known as one practicing the deadline! 9:09. Will write here in the Kenwood lot till 9:20. Which is now 10 minutes away. hoping the day treats me well in terms of story. I’ll post to blog covertly from phone, deliver little vignettes and see what the reaction is, and I’ll compile formally, or more formally, later, but not too formally. Whew… Thought I forgot my green journalist notebook, or little scribbling sheets but I didn’t. It was in the bag, my teaching bag, thank the Craft. Wore a jacket this morning so I wouldn’t be so cold as I was the other morning.
Need coffee though, all reporters or journalists and us crazy Beat writers drink coffee– dinosauric amounts of coffee. That’s what keeps us in scribble. Short pieces sent somewhere.. who do I want to write for? Well, me, but.. let’s see….. The New Yorker. The New York Times. SF Chron.. anywhere with a height to it, you know what I mean?
9:14. All I can do is count the minutes down. And I’m relieved; no breakfast burrito at the market this morning, has a asiago bagel with cream cheese– I know, a lot of cheese. But it hit, it sufficed, it leveled the writer who had low estimations of the day’s beginnings.
Knocking on 1,000’s door. But I don’t know if I want to get there so early this morning. Want to do more thinking and analyzing and observing than immediate writing. And that’s what I’ll be doing. End of harvest, wine and fermentation in the air.. looks like this year has a quantity that trumps ’12 and ’13, in some areas, and quality that rivals as well. Interesting. So what can the consumer expect? Another pronounced character collectively as far as can be gathered.
9:23PM. Home and I don’t want to concentrate on much just the pages in front of me and the next novel but how can I do that when I haven’t edited the first, ‘Quarry Swing’? It just sits there, or here on and in this laptop like a fish on grill, charred and marred. And the magazine, think it may have been a bad idea maybe I should ask Amber, one of the contributing writers, the featured writer actually in its launching issue– I can’t surrender, won’t let Self, what was I thinking just then I deserve another sip of this Syrah, the ’11 that I opened on Tuesday night. Planning on waking tomorrow morning, when EH would, 5AM. The winery today, definitely reflecting the season, at least in the main area, the TR itself, but where I was on that patio altogether lively– tips, laughs, new characters, and me sipping the Chardonnays. ME.. sipping Chardonnay. Odd day means odd new practices. And I wrote in my journalistic little pages– who what where why… Now, 9:26, kitchen nook, crowded table with dead flowers in vase from our anniversary, oranges in a bowl (the ones Jackie loves to eat), Alice’s lunch bag, and my glass of Syrah next to laptop. Hungry for assignments and Newness. And Hemingway shows me keys– Wolff, I have to say, didn’t grip me as I thought he would. So this will be the only semester I teach or discuss his work with students. Next term: Poe, Plath, Hemingway and Faulkner for 1B– I guess, but no idea for the 7AM 1A section. No idea at all. But no Mendo, that’s for sure. Which means I’ll have much of the day to me, Tuesdays & Thursdays, right after the 1B at PC [Petaluma Campus], return finally to the Redwood Café to write and sketch what me surrounds, find stories just as a journalist would and what have. Alice just went upstairs and I should follow her soon. Must fall early to rise early, yes? So many stories I’m noticing in the winddown from harvest this year. Wish I could have gone out as I did in ’12 to see them actually picking, all the lights in the rows and the tractors slowly clunking by the cordons. But those lights and the surrounding dark, only for people like me, with a pen, looking for stories.
Taking a break but only for a minute looking forward to sleep and what the morning will feel like– what I’ll do: pretend I’m a journalist covering harvest tomorrow morning. Have to be at launching site at 5AM. Not a second later. Which means I should wake before 5, right? Yes, I’ll be with this laptop on my lap as it is now on the couch with the humming refrigerator and start my story. College student working harvest for first time, doing both picking and lab and cellar, a rare opening and he could only take it. He thinks it’s going to kill him, how hard he’s working, but he knows it keeps him alive, this new passion, that set of CF skins he pressed to make his own juice, his own project. Earliest he’s been out so far this season, 2:50AM. And that day he worked till 5:30PM. Again, craziness that rewards. That’s what he keeps telling himself.
I know I have my comments about the wine industry and winemakers, but they do follow through, especially the winemakers and vineyard garrisons. When they schedule a pick, they pick. When bottling’s on the calendar, it’s done. And that’s how the journalistic writer need be. Found my Beat, so I leap.