Interesting start to

img_3408this morning, thinking I had to be at a meeting at 0830 only to learn I didn’t have to be there at all.  Which serves as a boost and a boon, giving me time to write right across the street at the winery where I’m based.  Retiring… my first taste of retirement, from the wine industry, its slow-moving and barely-communicative facets.  No more tasting room, no more pouring for other people.  I will miss the words, though.  What people say about wine and how they say it, with that tone to their voice.  Like I wrote a while ago, I’m closer to wine and even its industry by writing about it, and leaving physically.

Retiring… to focus on teaching and generating ideas with student, philosophy and pedagogy, writing practice and journal habits… and business, and fusing my literary life and presence into the business world.  Writing and blogging and holding observations in esteem, as they build character, Personhood.

Yesterday leaving the winery early to write.  That’s always my first impulse and inner-shove when I have free time.  Write.  Why then lately has writing given me such a shake, been such a challenge and near painful to catalyze?  Have to write though it, I guess.  As I always say to students and write in my entries.

Going through past entries, where I was stressed about something in the wine industry, or in life, or with teaching, with something.  Find it interesting.  How from day to day we’re all the same character but there’s some sharpened corner, refined angle, or damaged dimension somehow.  I’m learning more, while aging.  That’s certain.  Even now, with no music on as I usually have, I only hear the building’s natural sounds.  I think a little wind from the other side of the wall, outside by trees, and the winery’s tanks and, or, pumps on the crush pad doing something, dinging and whooshing, making some released air clunk-sound.  I’ll share some of this with those registered for the classes I’m to teach this term, and some notes I’ll just leave here on the blog, or in a drawer, in the Burgundy journal.  Only two days away, when I see students for the first time in months, having taken off the summer.  Glad I did, as it taught me that I need a drastic momentum shift.  Something New.  A renewed ME, new story and pages, a BOOK.

No meeting, but I meet with myself.  With this page.  Just felt a chill, a bluster of terror that I couldn’t write anymore.  That either I forgot or I’ve lost some intrigue or interest in and with the act itself, or something.  But it’s not true.  It’s not me, not the present… nothing of what you’d see in me right here typing in someone’s cubicle.  Not sure if she works here, anymore.  Work… what we live for.  What I feel I only do.  So why not have it be not just something you love or are passionate about, but plainly who you are.  You’re a winemaker… you’re a writer… you’re a teacher… you’re a doctor.  Yes, it’s your job, but it’s YOU.  You own it, you own you… you own your onus.  Have a meeting with yourself, see what transpires.  Write it down.

Following my own instruction, I write it.  “I. AM. A. WRITER.” Learning more about me and why I am where I am, what I’m doing.  Letting the immediate scene and observational pattern teach me as to what next do.


inward jot

0c7912a9-f190-4f4f-8b7b-b781b33bc8ab-6321-000003e349dc6a68_fileIn office with one other person.  Tour earlier, first thing in day… 10 people from Florida.  All of them antagonizing my love of wine, again.  But, no changing what’s in motion currently.  The new chapter for me with this new assignment.  New stories, characters, places and placement.

Thinking of short fiction directions, but not sure about any of them.  I know as a writer I haven’t the time for any more stalling.  So I note on Kelly, her first days in the wine industry, her observations…. Someone either just left or came into the office.  Both, actually.  Bored, feeling now.  How to liven the day… take the rest of the day?  Off?  Write some more in Healdsburg?  Seems to be the consistency with me, lately.  Fiction… fictionalizing…. Stories from Kelly and going from San Francisco to wine country, not knowing much about wine other than she enjoys it, knows a couple varietals, regions.  That’s what she works with—  OR, do I go non-fiction.  Use ME, Mike Madigan in tasting rooms over 12-year stretch, seeing more of an industry and a side to human dynamics and dimension, principally, that I EVER thought I’d experience.  Was more than seeing.  It was living, learning, and being showed what is and isn’t for me.  OR….. do I incorporate that into Kelly’s character progression and development.  A writer, in crosshairs, at a certain crossroad, crossroads…. Contemplative intersection.  Just DO.  Stop thinking… goddamnit… how many times….

Little over 18 minutes left in “lunch”, which of course I forgot to bring, and now chew gum to make self forget about eating, having some sandwich from down-the-street deli.  I think about how I spoke the wines to the Floridians, and how kind and attentive they were, how enjoyable.  No contests, no challenges or inadvertent heckles, just conversation.  Humanness.  What wine should be but the industry strips wine of that, insistently.

This cubicle, giving me anxiety.  Luckily, I can leave.  Go back to the tasting room and … And, what?  What will I do?  Maybe I should go to H-burg, write at.. where?  The Bear?  Oakville?  Duke’s?  Or, what is it, Flying Goat?  Coffee spot.  Not much a fan of their coffee but do take to the decor and atmosphere of the café itself.  Want to be in Hemingway mode, writing on a street.  Writing, not typing.  I’ll type later.  Wake up early and chip away at book, either Kelly’s or mine.  May need to get to know her better, my character, Ms. Kelly with her art and studio littered and arranged with her own illustrations.  Or.. just start with me. Not a tell-all as some do, but something like that I guess, a book that highlights wine’s industry’s flaws and appeals, illusions and delusions, charm and character, and toxic repetitions.  But then I think, do I want to devote a whole manuscript to them? No.  And it wouldn’t be FOR them.  It’d be for me.  To be further free.  To be closer to people like the Floridians than the execs and upper-management boils in their limp, moldy, vomitous ivory towers.

img_7127After passing 3000 words for day, I only want more.  I want to finish my goddamn book.  Get to my beach house, write more.. more… MORE.  Publish everything independently and …. Stopping.  See what I’m doing, with my wishlisting—

Jackie in 1st Grade now, and me just getting older and wishing.  Starting new assignment, new story and creative direction in 9 days.  Don’t sleep, I self-instruct and decree.  Be more mad with your writings, more passion-purposed and wandering.  That’s the only way to discover gems.  I’ve told my students this for years, and have never followed the speaker’s specs.

I keep writing, thinking only of the book..books, everything I’ve ever written, what I wrote 5 years ago on blog—  I look, and addresses of money tightness, needing coffee, no-wine nights…. I think to myself, “Has nothing fucking changed?” I’m changing it, by leaving the bloody industry and its all-too gawked-at poisons.  Then I read about flash fiction, short fiction, something Mom has essentially demanded I do, for YEARS.  So I still have more writing to do, do note.  A short fiction piece, probably on Kelly, later.

For now… Do something.  Keep moving.  Quiet in house.  Advantage in such, a tranquil intangible shape and voice coats my senses, all.

img_3408Back from taking Emma, and relaxing with son.  I need to relax today, collect soul and ready self for new work load and shape.  Sitting on floor while Jackie plays and relaxes himself, not knowing what to write about this morning… then I think, obviously, of semester.  The act of writing— not act, but habit, practice, faith in writing.  Noting everything around you and that everything in a student’s day and scene is worthy of page.  Needs page presence.  When reading, I’ll offer to them, not each work and the singular song and significance of each word, sentence, paragraph.  The standalone nature and identity of everything on page, in what you’re reading.

Don’t think I can write about wine, anymore.  Not as I used to, or even principally.  If I’m to write about wine I’ll do so about its industry, its flaws and lures, Hollywood nature, deceitful tactics and turns, and….  For another book.

Now that I’m back in the house, with Jack, I feel Self better collect.  Now that I’m centered here in domicile, I can remove thoughts from anything that detracts from the writing.  Relaxing, but working.  More a unique form and framing of meditation, collection, Zen and Personhood amalgamated to one purpose and travel.  I’m overthinking.  Like I always do.  Over overthinking, utterly over it.  And I hate that saying, and when people say that, but that’s my immediate thought.  Not even 09:00, and I’m measuring the day, the week, the rest of my working life.  It’s all here.  In home and in the classroom, working, writing.  No moods or lowered state.  Not this morning, or today, or again ever.  To get to where one wants to be there must be a stubbornness about arrival, that it will happen regardless of momentums internal or ex’.  I’m convinced so much is ready to materialize, take shape, eternally eventuate.

Kids watching a cartoon, on my Sunday.

Photo on 5-27-18 at 8.52 AMTen days left employed by the wine industry, its supposed business and in that infernal tasting room.  Just back from getting wife and I coffees.  I tell the kids to be good and watch their cartoon, “Ben 10”, little Kerouac responding ‘we will’, and me back to typing.  May drive to Healdsburg with Kerouac, to drop off some paperwork for a tasting room I partnered with on an event, and maybe get lunch even though that’s not exactly in my budget at the moment but right now I’m saying to myself, “Who cares.” Really, I don’t care.  My aim for today is to enjoy time with Jack and the day, relax and observe this as a day off of sorts.  Again, of sorts.

Classes start in one week.  Haven’t touched either syllabus.  Typical of me, I know.  But I’m going to make the syllabus for each section minimal at most.  The rest of the writing on paper will be MY words and thoughts which I am convinced and always have been will help them in their college composition and general endeavors.

Yesterday at prescription pickup for wife, sitting and thinking how that time can’t be wasted, or just let to scroll through some feed on my phone.  And, how I have to read more, read the rest of the short fiction book Mom bought me, revisit Road, and Bell Jar…. No more wishing, or saying, promissory jot-types in these entries on the blog, just actuating. 

Kids, quiet.  Enjoying their morning, and me mine.  Keep typing, seeing my travels, to New York and speaking at colleges and meeting students, me remembering when I was there, their age and at that point.  Being young, just wanting to go, take off, gather experiences and learn from the world, and my Self in that world, others’ worlds.


Just typing, typing to type

Photo on 8-11-18 at 8.30 AM #2while looking around at all the people I usually see in this Windsor Starbucks.  Not taking time to look up any synonyms, or obscure anythings.  Not this morning.  Day at winery ahead of me, one of my final days, Saturdays, at the estate.  Definitely writing my wine industry piece, soon.  Citing everything I’ve observed, what I wish would have happened and what actually transpired.  Looking for more, which we all do.  More from who I already am and what I do for a living as a teacher and writer, parent.  Iced coffee this morning, wasn’t in much timing for mocha, or hot medium roast.  With the mocha it’s always the wait that bothers and disrupts my mood.  But here, I mere sip, and the cool temp calms my character and delivers more soundness and eagerness for day.

I wanted in to the wine industry, in 2006, just to supplement teaching income and have some fun, get some writing material, exposure to characters and what they say about wine, and I did.  Somehow in getting disenchanted with the adjunct teaching life I was pulled into full-time wine life.  Which has never procured exactly what I hoped it would.  In fact it never has.  So now, at 39, I re-invent not so much as decide to reshape my business and writing life.  You could say I’m ‘getting into tech’ as a couple have, but I don’t see it that way.  I’m just taking a new Road, driving the same vehicle.

What we do and why we do it MUST be understood if we’re to acquire and expand from a significant sight of Personhood.  Now, I’m seeing more in work, why we work and how all of us have the option to do something we love—  Not just the option, that reality is right there.  What many of us often forget is that we have to work to find it, at times.  And sometimes, it’s a intersection of chance and effort.  With me, a but of both, but then I’d say effort with how I “sold myself”, much I hate saying that.

New ventures, adventures, opportunities.  Take all of them.  Try everything, I say.  Guy here asked me what I write about and I had to answer, as I always do…. First I said wine, but then “What people do and why they do it… understanding why…” or something of such shape.  I’m here at this Windsor Starbucks as a result of choice and exertion.  I’m going to sell my writings, soon, and if I have nothing to write I have nothing to vend.  So listening to music and watching the characters around me enjoy their Saturday morning the life voice stomps in my recognitions, perceptions.  We’re not here long, and even the brevity isn’t assured.  It could be shorter.  None of us have any map for time, the time we have and what we’re to do, when.  So I endorse just acting, doing, actuating.

Just remembered I still need to write my resignation letter to the winery, the larger company.  I have learned a respectable qualification of lesson, what to do and what NOT to do in business.  Not stopping in my writings on wine, ever.  Just leaving the industry.  OR, not.  Just not in the tasting room, the TR.  And that was a goal, a singular aim and sight, and I accomplished it.  Guess you could say I’m proud, or happy, but there’s so much more work to do for this writer.  For all of us.  There’s poetry in what we do.  What we do is ours, all of it, all scenic ingredients and motions, people and beats.  Just typing, typing to keep my morning in the momentum and deconstructive dash I adore.  What we do, why we do it….  Why have I been in the wine industry so long? Much I think is, was, from a certain self-doubt that I couldn’t get a post like the one I recently won.  Till I tried.  Till I took a risk, till I convinced myself that I was good enough for something other than the bloody tasting room.  So here I am, about to open a new book, write a new log of discoveries and musings, angular considerations and revolutions, tasks and work and creative— more than what the time clock, any time clock, or punch clock that punches you back in the dignity-face could say.  Newness, new seats and notes, chords and songs, new jazz to a single day.

The struggles I’ve had with writing, lately, I directly associate with the tasting room and the clock, the time clock.  I’m freeing myself from all of that.  This new business flight, changing me, already, and I haven’t even had my first day.  I’m in a rarely elevated echo, this morning.  Not only fearing nothing but going into the day daring it to do something, to try me, return my pugilistic blips, if it dare.  I’m writing to write, for my life and understanding of all this— why I am here, why I’ve let the wine industry have so much of ME. My life, time away from family, the days and the people that want to be poured for, served, looking at me like I’m microscopic in significance.  Oh… this day.  This new ME.  Finally.. bloody rising from the patterns and suppression of wine’s industry.  Not qualms with the industry as much as some people in it.  And again, I’m not leaving wine. Never would, as wine’s a literary presence, self-personifying cosmos and composition of thought and ambition, vision, dreams.  The industry is what loses me.  All its inconsistencies and ridiculous logic and connections in business and employee treatment.  I will write that wine industry book, soon, at some point, soon.

First thousand— not word counting.  Hate that I do that with students, sometimes.  And how the department has such so stressed in their course outlines.  That is hurtful in student development, writing.  Me, this morning… I’m just writing, typing, more freedom and intoxication in this freed and freeing liberty.


New.  Today.  More than a new day, but a new….

Photo on 1-22-18 at 12.36 PMDon’t want to say journey, but certainly a new Story.  A new device, a new creative license licensed especially for me.  The world gifting me more ideas and sights, conversations useful.  No more overthinking, I tell myself in this cubicle.  No music, like when I run.  Just the sounds of the tractors out in that field clearing and preparing a field for a new vineyard.  Listening to everything, studying everything.

Out of the wine industry, finally.  Not that I’m bitter, or over-eager to get out, it’s just time.  Very much time.  And for my writing and travels, how I’m developing as a writer, this is what needs to happen.  A new field, not so much a new job but something NEW, an exploration and new flight.  A bridging of what I do here in the wine world, but with more dimension and facet, more intricacy and creativity-beg.

Older I get, I find work so funny.  At times frankly hilarious, if you must know.  Why… well, just what w put into it.  How we see it.  How so many of us want to get out of where we are, our job/jobs, but do nothing but grieve.  We let the work, the JOB, have control over our senses and actions.  With my new assignment and story, I’ve made quite clear I refuse angrily to allow such.

This day… like yesterday… strong.  With no fear.  Nothing getting to me.  Have a meeting in 19 minutes downstairs but I’m going to utilize and weaponize every drop of this time to self.  The cubicle I’m in, have to laugh.  Not only does it make me think of Napa, ‘the box’ as I called it (office where I made calls for wineries for tailored sales campaigns), but how so many work in these things.  I couldn’t.  I just couldn’t.  And I won’t.  Not only is that a choice, you could say, but a conviction.  A functionality in my character.

Saw a picture this morning, one of those Facebook reminders, of me 8 years ago talking to a then-reality TV Show chef/contestant.  Eight years ago, I said to myself just after brushing.  EIGHT.  Time as wife cited this morning passes without caring how it harms or saddens us.  Today, NEW.  NEWness.  Enjoy…. And I will.

Hear those tractors.  Wonder what they’re doing.  My friend Chris downstairs not the crush pad frustrated with barrels and how many there are, how the barrel company crew is over 30 mins late.  Again, work.  What it does to us, shapes our moods and voices, conversations, how we walk and what ripples through the day.  I sit and smile in this cubicle.  New adventure, new words, only accepting elevation and happiness.  Life, its lessons, not waiting for me.  And they don’t have to.  I’m here, already learning and noting, present, recording, writing.  I, not failing.  Time won’t let me.  WORK, won’t let me.  The new ME, definitely not allowing any back-steps.




Telling myself this morning, over and over like a fog horn you’d hear out in Bodega Bay, Monterey, that I’m strong.  That I’m in control of what happens.  That challenges are not in any way a determinant, of anything, ‘less I say.  Going to tell this to Self throughout day.  Starting with now.  With today.  With this morning.  All new assignments and being free to develop freely in my creative and consciousness, my war for knowledge.

I am not so much in control of all of what’s in front of me, but the author.  I’m writing, drawing, writing and re-writing.  I refuse to fear a single singular, anywhere, from anyone.  I’m going forward, leaving what puts my character and Personhood in descent, any kind of spiral, or weighs me down.

One of those revelations that you’ve had before but not like the morning you had it, the way you experience the charge, the electrification, the assurance that you are your leader, your governor, your steerer, navigating through all corners and seas and turbulence.

I saw one thing, and actuate.  With no reservation or stall.  I’m going forward, not worried about anyone’s perception, or objections.  This morning teaches me about fortitude, and possibility, actuality, that a dream doesn’t have to stay such.  And, that bad dreams and nightmares can be disrupted whenever you order.  I’m fire, this morning.  A vigorous carnivore for life, destiny, more story.  Newness, and I’m refusing to stop for anything as I said, and what could happen— what could anyone do to me?  To you, should you decide upon such a move?

We all have the story, the control.  Right where you are.  There’s nothing overcomplicated about this, Life.  It’s ours.  All of it.  Put your Self in the psychological hold of conviction, of knowledge.  Knowledge of you and what you do, what you’re about to do.  Big decisions and “life choices” as people say aren’t without trial.  But we overcome the trial, any taxing nature, by having that inward conversation, that we’re doing what’s needed, what the Story and its author demands, necessitates.  Simply, the Story writes us as we write IT.

We are strong, much more mighty that we inventory.  That I know, finally.  I see it and am convinced of the wild prowess in all of us.  How to write this new understanding, or newly-seen grasp of my reality is difficult, but only ‘cause I’m overthinking it, from being so…. I don’t know if ‘inspired’ is the word, or what, but I’m not fearing anything today, or ever again.

Enjoying full tumbler of medium roast, and so ready for what’s in the next set of scenes.  I can’t wait, if you must know. I’m taking control, over all this.  Everything in front of and around me.  I don’t know what I’m doing, then knowing exactly what’s transpiring.  All I know…. I’m strong.  I’m not a “warrior writer” as so many across media.  I’m a pugilistic observer, not fighting so much as refusing to have anything interpreted other than how I measure.  Just one of those mornings, again.  But different, entirely different.  This new journey for me, I welcome storms…. I invite challenges and any heartache, well as victories and new knowledge.  All of it.  Welcoming everything, daring everything, humbled at the approaching education, the empirical Newness.