Up with Jack but I’m going to wait a bit to step into my novel’s area and focus. Jackie woke quite early this A.M. and I needed coffee before even touching the keys. Time I saw before going upstairs (as he again wanted to sleep with mama) was, believed, 6:04. Now the coffee and another busy day I’m quite sure ahead of me, thoughts of the novel and Mr. Massamen’s story, me having to translate, having to figure something out for him, like Kerouac down in Sur, and me here in the Autumn Walk base. How I’d love to be home for the day and just work on and in the novel, its circuitry and all the dimensions I’m maybe not seeing. it’s obvious what he wants to do, get away from the adjunct world and into wine, but he doesn’t want to stop teaching, he doesn’t even necessarily want to leave the classroom, it’s the other matters he wants not a fraction of a part of. So there you go.. I have a novel, done in my head and I just need to write it or type it here in this new house in one sitting to several cups of this breakfast roast.
Jack, coughing, not in the mood for his waffles. And he’s such a great eater and acceptor of foods, as I disclosed to some of the neighbors the other day, two of the wives. They said I should be grateful or it’s great that he’s so agreeable when it comes to food. One of the two I can’t remember I’m still waking up and I feel pressured for some reason.. well, with all the papers I have to grade of course. I’ll make a gorgeous dent on Tuesday, then enjoy the rest of my day maybe go for a run or just write from somewhere– and that’s a lesson from this novel worklog, already: don’t work on the serious projects at home.. just freewriting or small projects or poems, or other entries. There needs to be isolation with the novels, especially the Massamen work. Finish it, finish it! I tell myself, over and over, and I want to conventionally submit it, and have it read and disseminated properly, have a Tobias Wolff-type career. Just write and live from it, not have to do what I don’t want.
Back to entry. 204 words of dialogue in novel to get me to new page, page 18. So I want to set one word onto page 21 by day’s close. I’m eating J’s waffles now, as he made it clear he was in no mood for what I heated for him. He makes me laugh, walking over here to the island and saying “Oh, Daddy, you work like that?” Not sure what he meant but I laugh, and I think of his character in the novel, Jim’s son, Mike’s best friend and essential brother. Then there’s Massamen’s sister, the winemaker.. should re-read what I’ve written so far, but the two grounding characters in his life have to be his best friend, his nephew, and his sis. And Lila, his friend from undergrad, I guess. But not too many– oh, and Michael, the PhD friend of his at the JC. But expand upon the idea and concept of Mike Massamen, I tell myself. Then wine. That’s where you want him, I tell myself, and that’s where he can build. He can’t build as an adjunct. The adjunct gig is just something on the side, he realizes, and his energies are meant to be missioned in wine and its world; there’s room for growth and expansion and play, fun, learning.. it’s wine! Certainly more fun that battling with an institution and its sweeping disregard for what he and other adjuncts do.
Looking at clock expecting to see a time after 7AM, I see 6:53. So very early for the writer but not Jack, he seems quite at peace with the hour and his cartoon and not having the breakfast I heated for him. And I’m still hungry. But I need more coffee, I see that as more necessary for the writer at the moment than actual sustenance. I know that’s unhealthy and I can see Mom reading this and thinking “You should eat breakfast!” And she’s right. She’s always right, I’ve found. And that’s candor from me, not sarcasm. She’s amazing, my mother, and she sees it fitting for me the form of shorter writings, fiction and other. And again, she’s right! But it’s an apexing aim to be a novelist. Yes, I’ll still write short fiction, but I want novels– I compare it to an actor who’s harnessed somehow to TV Shows, and just wants to do film, full movies, and stay, grow in that medium.
The Massamen novel starts with him noting the significance of a single morning, and he’s eating breakfast, ironically, a breakfast sandwich of sausage and egg if I remember right, and sees something– so then, like I tell my students to expand upon singular words and ideas/concepts, I think of ‘vision’, having a vision and seeing something out there for yourself, wanting to see yourself doing something, and if you don’t know precisely what then you’re at an advantage, propelled beneficially, you have something to find and hunt. That’s how I feel this morning, this first entry of the Massamen Work Log–
Another word for expansion, for the day’s 2000+ words: tell. Massamen telling his story and his dreams, his story, and that’s all the wine industry is, and that’s what he loves about it– you don’t see that in academia, no matter how noble they say it is and how honorable it is what they’re doing or how they see themselves.. where do you go? h thinks.. with wine, with having his own label maybe some day and writing about his journey and blogging it and somehow infusing it with his favorite Literary works. Have it all come together. A blend.. see? The wine solves everything. It’s world, not so much the “industry” moiety.
There. A thousand words in the work log. Now ready to work. The novel. Here I leap…..