Writing father not waking at 4, so the mood already angularized but I won’t let it slow me a bit. Chugging quick the cold coffee, made last night—well, not made cold but cooled over night, left tumbler at work so I left it in tall cup with aluminum atop—and I set my goal for day. Humble three pages. Day’s goal, stories and stories in my head and the magic hour of 4AM taunts me, today me not even so much as giving it a chance to gloat. Woke at 5-something, think 5:45, to get Emma from crib—actually go upstairs and get Emma from crib as Jack came into our room and evicted me from bed as he usually does. 4AM….. Such a warrior, when you think about. Always there, those numbers, everyday. I should meet it, those numbers, that time, everyday. Writers are heralded for their discipline and obsessive routines, at least all those I study are… ‘Nother swig of coffee, listen to Jackie’s Spiderman cartoon. See? Even my son has a routine, something from which he never breaks, morning cartoons and breakfast. What is my routine? How about in addition to the 3 pages today or at least part of it, write a word every hour in the tasting room to elucidate either my mood or feeling, curiosity or dream at the time.
Have to get in shower soon. 4AM, if I did meet you I would have had well over three hours of unabashed writing time. Untouched writing time. Time to write which would tell present and future readers how serious and manuscript-driven I am. But am I? Always questioning myself and scolding where I misstep, like with 4, can’t be a boon in any telling regard. Maybe I need a break from my character and go back to my character, Kelly’s. Last I recollect I had her in an ad firm in the city. She was mostly administrative but they let her dabble in the creative, but only dabble. She paints and draws, of course, sells pieces here and there, but can’t find the time for her craft as she also pours at a wine bar on the Embarcadero. She has no choice but these two jobs, with how much her modern SF rent is. She would get a roommate, but that’s no what she wants. She needs more quiet, she needs more travel, she needs more creative in her life and the Now is where she vows to attain such.
Ah…. Now the writing father feels better. Not thoroughly improved, but enough to feel good about reaching 3 pages. Got Jackie some milk and water, now back to my morning highly critical meditation. 4AM has not dodged out inevitable meeting. And the writing father’s mood, only elevating. Jackie burps… and again… and I laugh. “Excuse me excuse me excuse me,” he says. “Was that a funny burp?” he then asks. I can’t stop laughing, and my disposition is completely repaired this morning. No more mood, please. I can’t bloody stand them. Doesn’t matter. They don’t matter. Today I invest in self, my pages and book, pages for Kelly and everything else off starboard. Wrote at the beginning of the month that ‘maybe I’m taking my self-assessment too seriously’, or ‘personally’. Either way, like Mom sometimes says, “Lighten up.” True. It’s Sunday, not that that matters as I’m headed to work while a trapping total of Americans get the day with their families. My word for this hour, now in my house with my son, 8:19AM— Puzzle. I’m terrible at puzzles but I’ve never had to solve with anything in balance. What’s in balance? How about my family, our quality of life, my happiness, my aim of traveling and taking pictures, writing, more photojournalism… How about fucking everything on the line? Is that enough motivation for me to solve the puzzle, THIS puzzle, this life? I think so. But, really, lighten up. Enjoy your cold coffee, your story, Kelly, her return to your thoughts with that 400-square foot apartment in the Marina. She wakes early, every morning, to just sketch, and sometimes just doodle but make the doodles somehow multicolored and magnetic with the color play and brush, or pencil, strokes. Her dream, having a loft/studio in Manhattan, “The typical artist dream,” she always tells people when they ask what she ultimately wants, avocationally. But that’s what she wants, and being trapped in that office and behind that bar watching people become asses after however many glasses is just the poignant propulsion she needs. “It’ll be here soon,” she tells herself. Every morning.