No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.
Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.
Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.
I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.
I know people don’t want to hear or read about that. Snap out of it…. concentrate on what strengths and fires already drive my character.
Stabilized…. situated. Cemented in my new sensibilities.
I’m changing this….. Creativity solves EVERYTHING.
bored with my writing before I even start typing. What this is a symptom of, I don’t know. Guessing the time of day, how slow it is, day before xmas eve. But this remaining shift time will be keeping myself interested in all ways, tints and manners. Should I go for a quick walk again, photograph the low clouds and how their misty claw stretches over the hills west of our property?
Music on, keep self alive with music. Still haven’t finished the coffee in tumbler. And I can make more. I’ll head to New York with my book finished, self-printed and published, ready to speak on whatever. Kerouac.. journaling… reading more actively. I’m losing my mind trying to stay motivated. Finished a project for the winery, one entirely minor and quick to be brought to completion– A picture. Of outside. What the gray does to the terrain… “stay connected,” I tell myself over and over. Go slow, don’t rush. Just finish the hours here at the desk. What I learn from it, and what I hope to. To both: how to keep self interested– no, not just interested, but creatively connected. Finish the goddamn book! Students this semester heard me say over and over that “Only you can write your story.” So, then… actuate what you advocate, Mike.
Rain again, this time in a gentle but thick rhythm and consistency, meant to energize and replenish the vineyard, yes, but to get my attention. Keep raining, keep raining! There’s no excuse for getting bored at work. NONE. Take notes… make a wishlist… do some research….. Where do you want to be?
On the Road, teaching, writing, teaching from my writing, writing about what I teach.. learning from the travels and teaching/sharing ideas from what I learn. Life is too valuable and too active and musical to succumb to boredom. Boredom is injected, by self. Nope… I have a book to finish. That’ll be my gift to self– the book, finished, ready to sell. And me, soon after, ready for travel. What I’m learning from writing that before-sentence, is that this is a new year and it’s glowingly inviting for such to materialize.
Already I can feel the day prompting me, assuring beneficial newness to my story. With unexpected surplus of time before going into winery, I sit here at a coffee shop feasting on all minutes. What I want from day, and how to make this sitting different from all the recents. One, not to care. Just write. Had doubts about self as a writer driving here, which never happens. This is the one dimension and context I can always rely on. So why the doubt? Not sure. Like I stressed to the students last night, the 1A section, love yourself and your ideas enough to put them on a page. That says something. And doubt is a negative, a nay-say. Something I recently vowed to altogether quit. Just need to drink this coffee, that will center the writer. Feel like I’ve been distracted as a writer. By my blog, which I love but it’s not writing as my heroes did, and other ventures. What if I only wrote content for Self? What if I only wrote for me? Invested all the eggs in the Madigan basket? Simplified, consolidated?
7:51AM now, should be disembarking from this Hopper Starbucks around 9:20, or something close. Coffee needs to cool. Almost uncomfortably hot at the moment. Weather outside calls for such a hot cup, but in here the atmosphere is welcoming to what I want, which is a river of moments for me. Writers that are fathers need this, this devouring and indulging in meditation— Huh, still have the feeling, me as a writer… I’m bored, exhausted, drained with what I write. So what do I write? Pretend I’m a student again, finishing a doctorate. Should I go back to school? Do something drastic? What’s the alternative? Keep as an adjunct? Keep working at wineries? I want to put my babies through college, and neither, I fear (meaning I could be wrong, you know), will make such tangible. HELL— I’m truly stuck in what this is. Writer’s block? No. But definitely not something that encourages sentences. Would take another sip of the coffee, but I know it’s a lava bed that wants to punish me, scold repeatedly for doubting my writing motions. Why won’t this day intervene, interfere? Focus on what I want, what the character wants— That character I wrote about years ago. Kelly, the painter/artist, selling what she could when she could, only wanting to be free from occupational regularity. Thinking I revive her paginated presence. Working at a marketing firm as an admin, at times dabbling in the creative, but mostly just assisting with projects and office functionality. Her co-workers and bosses support her, but not with enough pay to travel as she’d like, nor with flexibility in scheduling. They just say stuff to her like, “Hey, that’s a nice one.”, or, “I like this one, it’s pretty.”, as one of her supervisors, Herb, the other day said. Herb’s a couple years older than her, late-20s, and was promoted to management last year. Secretly he envies her artful attitude and appetite—
And me, Mike Madigan, her author, realize something, the morning gave me something, something I’d left a bit ago— fiction. My characters. And before doing any of these other ventures and letting it shift or steer me in any odd or out-of-character direction, focus on what I am. A writer. I write. Tell stories. Kelly’s and mine own. Not sure why I left Kelly, and her small studio in SOMA (South of Market). Me growing up in San Carlos, about 30 minutes south of SF, I was always passing through the city. But I feel like I never got to know it well. What I mean is, I’m just as much a tourist on those streets when I do walk them as the actual out-of-towners. Through Kelly I can live in the city, an artist, sell my work, learn from her and how she does it— But she too wants to teach, start a workshop business as well. So maybe I shouldn’t surrender these avenues of revenue I entertain from time to time.
The day, the morning and all its revolutions and solutions and solvents gave me wha tI needed. Coffee cooling down, but now I need a bathroom break, but I don’t want to just leave my laptop here. Don’t want to pack up everything, either. Do I trust the lady next to me? Looks like a nurse or some sort of caregiver, doing paperwork, entirely quiet and composed. She’s not going anywhere, right? Or do I wait? Wait. Keep thinking about Kelly, her story, and my story, the writings I have to write, how I have to change as a writer to finish my projects. No more block, no more stall. Listening to music, just freely typing. Going to research the city, SOMA studios, artists in the city, what to do in the city. Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, cafés… paths to walk in Golden Gate Park. Interesting, this idea. This is assuredly a charm from the morrow. One of the new students the first day said we teach ourselves through our writing. Now I see what she meant. I agreed with her when she raised her hand and said it, after I asked class “What is the benefit of writing?” Semester is promising me things the others over the past 10+ years have not. HEAVEN— Now I feel like, know I’m, a writer. Kelly’s life and what she wants, so aligned with mine, me, however so fortunate for her she’s only 22 and her author is bloody 15 past such a bright, impressionable number. But she’s anything but ‘impressionable’. She knows precisely what she wants, has since early in life, 4 or 5. She wanted to paint, draw, create, and sell. Now she does. But she needs a something else. A “break” of some kind, I don’t know. She doesn’t know. The story will show us both. We’re both in class.
First thing I want to do when up is write.. and I mean the first thing. I need be more champion at what I profess to love. Being a blogger and burgeoning business owner, you focus on so many other priority octopi, it seems. From social media to other promotive methods, the blog’s layout to just telling people that you’re a blogger, or in my case more a writer… you get lost. today I refuse to be anymore lost or pulled. And you’re to talk about branding, I’m a writer before anything else. Then reader, then teacher. I know I’ve written this before hundreds of times, I just need an affirming moment, I guess.
Usual routine this Sunday morning, with Jack over there watching a cartoon (just a little, not too much other parents!) before he and I play with his cars, where I’ll definitely participate. Me here with my coffee at the kitchen island counter, wondering how the day will go— shit, where’s that $40 tip the nice chap, John, gave me. In my wallet? Don’t even want to rise to check, too into this writing. Too into thoughts of the Fall semester, thoughts of Paris and everywhere. No run this morning, only words, only words for me and my thinking of teaching somewhere other than SRJC— on the Road, out there anywhere, on Kerouac and all my other favorite authors— suddenly I have a stinging need to read. I’ll bring a book with me to work. What. WHAT? I don’t want to just automatically pull Kerouac, so what then, WHAT. Hemingway’s the first that to mind comes. Where’s my ‘Feast’ copy? Garage? Office? Tucked in the desk? As composed as I’d probably look right now to an observer here with my laptop, phone and coffee (only have phone in case wife texts from upstairs, for whatever reason, to help with Emmie or to come help with something else and not wanting to wake my little plum), I feel scattered, jittery, nervous— WHY. This is not a negative sentences set, just truth. Impatient writer with two kids realizing he too much was pulled away from the writing for the sake of other wheels necessary for the writing. Paradox, I know. But that’s how it goes when you’re one of those writers who doesn’t just talk about the writing and that he writes but LIVES it. Okay.. now I need to get the book, find my $40 as that’s what I’ll use for this morning’s sbux visit (don’t like writing out their name, probably a result of shame from my coffee addiction, and how opposed to corp hoards I am.. oh well).
Found the Hemingway ms, and the Emerson book, and a notebook I’d been looking for for some time now. Need my own office, not a bloody “man cave”. A place where I can situate and depend on all my books being. Could start with the garage, and I’ve written that before I know, but now I should seriously start.
Stayed up far too late last night, and I’m paying for it now. Another error and something completely unwriterly. Know that’s not a word I’m just freely typing, giving myself the gift of freedom in what I feel this morning, making a serious dent in my 3 pages for day.. yes, my goal, used to be an official project this month, which I think started last month, but some-fucking-how I was pulled from it. Something I’ve noticed about Self. But that stops. More I read these other writers and bloggers and watch what other business owners are doing, I realize change in one’s Personhood is tyrannosaurically plausible. Another sip of the coffee… And I think of a project for day: write notes all the way till lunch then at lunch go to cottage where my work week desk is and write from those notes. Writer with two babies, needing work and more work to support all obligations and maybe someday get ahead, finally, take family to vacation spot, somewhere, get Self an office offsite, travel and write from travel—
No more distractions. Only words, writing, completion of manuscripts, all marketing an other obligatories come after, much after. The coffee tells me to not stop, just keep writing— “Don’t think, just write.” Like I tell my students. Jack calls me over for a bit to see something in the cartoon, the cars zooming by in a place that looks like somewhere in Southern Italy. Not that I’ve been, just what I think it looks like. But that WILL change. I will be traveling before year’s out. For the stories, and sights of building’s I’ve never seen, having coffee in some café that’s been there for over a hundred years. In America or elsewhere. Life is much too short to just settle for something, anything. That much I do know.
tonight, poems and prose to be read. Jack and I now watch some carton before bed. Only now do I get a chance for prose. Yesterday running the half, going to winery to work event that was even more physically taxing than the race, then home. Now sitting. And no session today till now. Today, whole, with family. Which we needed, which little Keroauc most specifically requested. So I posted the class. Now, everything I write will be sold– blog writing like this is what is temporarily rendered “disposable story”. I may sell it later, but immediately this and other leaps like are merely entries, diarism from the penning cavalier… My attitude becomes freer and more separatist wing flap than anything before, sipping my Claret and thinking about the day with family, how amazing it felt not to have to be a fucking adjunct tonight– not having to be somewhere cuz they said ninjas to– and then they’ll say, “You agreed to the assignment.” Yes, I agreed, not wanted. Were there so many other elections to caress? And like you plate so many more pedagogical aperitifs for the writer. Don’t care what they think anyway so it’s not worth writing. You’ll say I’m being negative but no this fearless curvature quips the yay-sayer’s beckon.
9:27M– both babies asleep, I think. Emma no longer in her bassinet and Jackie cuddling with Ms. Alice, temperament settled for evening, and how much a rich stretch it is to finally write. Wanted to go for a covert run today, at some point, but did little exercises in pool, and will do push-ups throughout night. Vacation on the mind but writing about it the whole time, what writing fathers think about, or me anyway, while babies sleep.– Wife just texted me from Upstairs, “Sure is quiet…” We’re both afraid to go in and check on Ms. Austen, afraid we’ll wake the gorgeous little Victorian from her rest and have to do it ALL over again. Hear movement upstairs, think Alice leaving Jack’s quarters. And then what… She comes downstairs. But to tell me that Jack wants me for a minute to talk before bed, and I think “OH here we go.” I know just how this goes, I go up and we talk then get a little silly, telling jokes and throwing stuffed animals at each other, then Alice comes up to tell us ‘stop it!’, or ‘BEHAVE’, something like that. So I go up and talk to him, Alice comes in to supervise and calm him down in prep for sleep, I go in and check on little Ms. Austen two or three times to makes sure all’s well in her little pack-and-play thing, whatever it’s called. And the night is off, at my desk with a nightcap, glass of the ’13 Taylor I took home last night. Have runner’s guilt, isn’t that funny? I ran 13.1 miles yesterday and I feel like a pig gelatinous right now for not running. Pushups, only solvent.
But holding off a bit, as I’ve been noosed by other pulls from the day, one a picture Alice took of little Kerouac and I walking but Spring Lake, just gone in our moment, not saying a word, looking at the water and the weeds around us, thinking and looking for the next scene ingredient to address in some conversation, some wholeness about our characters— My little Artist is much more sagacious than anything I was, am, or ever will be. Not sure if that’s pathetic that my son’s more adept at so much more than his English Professor and Writer fahter but I’m sharing what I observe, and what I observe I’m not qualified to comment on. He’s a stratosphere, and ionosphere, a mesosphere of manuscript potential, as is his little Victorian sister. Getting distracted by my ideas which happens when you sip any kind of wine in concert with exhaustion, be it half-marathon-caused or not. And now, wine gone. Last sip. I’m learning that the academic institutional clasps that everyone so much wants to be a part of simply abhor me. That’s why I have no takes doubled from calling in tonight. Calling in, and what are they going to do? The ‘They’? I can teach, I will teach, I don’t need some building, some department, some curriculum or joke course “outline”? So funny how they promote and ‘profess’ freedom yet they have these bloody outlines for us. Where’s the freedom in that? “Oh, but —— is one of the most prestigious [or sought-after, or high-ranked, or what the fuck ever] community colleges in the country…” Yeah, so I need them? How does that rattle my written rile? I’ll be more brave, borderline bumptious with my efforts. No one will do a thing, certainly not in the academic world— they’re too convicted and concerned with being academics. Why not writers?— Think I heard something upstairs. Emma? Jack? The writing father again interrupted by his concern and love for the babies. What was that noise? Should get up and go check but I’m too into my words and this moment, at the desk with this empty wine glass I more than plan on filling for one more elixir’d transaction. Feel like Kerouac, yes my son but also my lit hero, here at this wooden surface typing on these keys thinking about tomorrow but how can I even entertain a tomorrow when today hasn’t closed. Too many writer’s act in ripples of absolution when in comes to time. Why not just be in-moment, mold it, act within and around and about it? Not saying I’m right I’m just offering how I’m writing right now in this home office with an empty glass— oh the most begged and predictable symbol of anyone examining one’s own or another’s perspective. ‘Is the glass half-empty or half-full?’ As if they’re so smart when they pose such. No pose from me. See the glass as something I need fill immediately—
Finally sitting down to type. Didn’t write during lunch break today, but rather actually ate for once, the remaining territory of the burrito from the other night. Then, going for a quick vineyard walk, down the Rhône section, just one row, taking pictures and shooting a quick video. So here I now am felling awkward while writing like I haven’t written in years (seriously how I feel currently), on my second cup of decaf, and looking at the notes I took earlier for an article I’m set on writing about happiness’ philosophy. Not that there’s a certain set philosophy of happiness, or any directive or campaign to acquire it, but I do see there as being some set vision, or interpretive lens through which people who consider themselves happy or those riled in determination to be happy see. Tonight, I needed to be free in my types and just sit at this desk and listen to the handing shutters, right, every ten seconds or so lightly touch-tap the sill.
Still feeling odd while typing, but I embrace it as a topic, getting more into its psychology— Why do I feel like this, doing the one thing that I’m CERTAIN I’m meant to do as a Human— WRITE. I’m estimate it’s form the day and how it wore me, and how I didn’t wake early this morning at all to write but rather to a dry mouth and percussive head from wine night prior. Tomorrow morning, I again ready my thoughts like a brigade for a clash with 4AM. Now, anymore, my thoughts and their high general (me) are a simple annoying dissension, or occasional hasslers of the 4AM hour. Our victories are small in quantity and so spread that the one prior is forgotten when the current precipitates. But, tomorrow morning something has to happen. I’m hoping for 3 pages that capture the lifestyle of an obsessive and wild early morning writer-father that will take any free and quiet second he can to write. Waking at 4 and writing moments after is a charge that nothing gives me, not even running. As the oddness leaves my circuitry, I become hungrier, more eager for that hour, what I’ll write and how I’ll be thinking. I’m a dad, so 4AM is like heaven— no kids, no crying, no wife asking me to do this, that, this again, that two more times, that blended with this with a slight hint of the first this and that… Why did I not see it so before?
Still in my seat and more comfortable geographically and cognitively. Have three books, new manuscript targets to read— one on what “the best” college teachers do, ‘Sur’ by Kerouac, and that Carolyn See book about living a Literary Life. In no way will I fail with these reading missions. No way. Not minutely, majorly, not at all. Just read the first couple sentences of See’s book. She’s a teacher, I’m a teacher, I will learn from every word that’s on the pages and propel myself from there. Kerouac and the other author, too. Right now.. hear cricket somewhere outside, perhaps on our lawn or left neighbor’s, don’t know, but this is a moment, here at this desk, the writing father’s. See what I mean? This is an opiate for us writing fathers, the quiet, this decaf, light wind on right, and just the moment— It’s mine, all of it— I get to write! Finally. Ending the day with far more effulgence than its main content. Ready for 4AM, but that hour is not ready for the salvo I’m set to send its way. Happy, tangibly and philosophically.
woken by Jackie wanting to watch some cartoons downstairs. I take to the coffee I made last night like a madman, desperate to wake. Today’s one without a show at winery, but I need to hit certain markers, one being a nice applaud-worthy run. Next, a thousand words in one sitting. That won’t happen now, and that’s not the mode I’m in right now. Right now is about observations in this unusual Monday Morning conditions set.
It’s not 4, I keep telling myself, but 6-anything isn’t bad. Now the clock reads 6:20, and I slow wake with each coffee sip. Thinking about identity, what I was writing yesterday about the word ‘the’— just odd notes, a poem I think actually, behind the bar to make the time quicker pass.
Morning of a writerfather, son over there with cartoons but I won’t let him watch too much. I’ll cut him off around 6:45, then play upstairs, or down here although I don’t know how much there is down here to play with in the way of toys, or some useful manipulative.
Set up literary corner in garage..
More I have to do, less time I have for writing, or not. I apologize, my thoughts are everywhere this A.M. But I have to change this direction and tonal. There needs to be productivity this Monday unlike others— I do very much, though, miss going to campus early. Right now I’d be either at sbux filling the tumbler, or somehow in the adjunct cell early working on the lecture. What I’ll offer to the 5-ers, what workshopping or freewriting prompts I can carve in the next 30 or so minutes.
Noticing what’s poetic about this morning and others like it: Its containment, quietude, but as well its volatile nature. This peace, and ‘containment’ like I said, could fall apart at any minute, with either Emma waking and demanding feed, or Jackie dissolving into one of his 4 year-old swings of the mood, it changing or dissolving into whatever he wants it to be, for whatever reason. Frustrating as hell, but he does it.
Looked up at the time in the upper-right of this screen, and it offers 6:32. Thought it was to promise something 6:59, or 7:03, something thereabouts. QUESTION FOR YOU, READER: How does time influence your writing? Are you obsessed with it like me, or do you ignore it altogether? Respond with anything from 100 to 500 words…
French word for day: Météo.
‘Weather’. Not just what’s outside, but inside the character, what temperament are they, although there’s a word for that, I’m sure… And there is, ‘humeur’, meaning ‘mood’. Which is and isn’t what I was after.
Have to keep with my French studying. What happened to it? See? Not enough TIME in the fucking day. Sip coffee again… stop complaining, Mikey!—
Emma awake, and Jackie into a mood, just as I forecasted. Huh, a weather word. And onto and into the day…..
4:13— late lunch at winery, so I’m in the office of the club manager, one I occasionally share with when having copywriting to do. Had a snack earlier, so no need for the writer to eat. I mean, I would have a snack if I had one, but since I don’t I’m fine with just doing some work for bottledaux, writing a bit, going through the pictures I took earlier. It’s clear to me, after pouring what I did today for whom I did, people from out-of-state, that I will always be here in CA, in Sonoma, and my ultimate of ultimate apexing aims is to own a vineyard, a winery, possibly even with a farm element to it (goats, sheep, horses, whatever). Think I have till 4:20-something for lunch, but I can’t remember, and it doesn’t matter as I came in earlier for writing-purposed proposed purposes.
Huh… Now I am starting to feel a form of famine, catching myself yawning, or rubbing my eyes, or my attention wandering, or too easily getting distracted by the conversation in the next room… I rub my eyes again, yawn… shit, I need something to eat. Think there’s some crackers left in the kitchen. Having pizza tonight to celebrate the end of Alice’s school year, and for the Warrior’s game tonight, not sure I can wait till then. Yes, the hunger is definitely influencing my concentration. Maybe I should have a sip of something to “numb the pain” as my an old friend said once, years ago when I worked with him at another winery, telling each other repeatedly how disgustingly hungry we both were. Think that was in ’09, or ’10. So, so, SO long ago. That too happens when I get hungry, dwelling and tangents, memories that lead to tangents that dwell on some random memory or conversation— think I see someone in the kitchen, eating something or having a snack. I may be saved! Hem said hunger’s great inspiration or motivation— NO, it was discipline. And it is, but it fucking hurts. And now I am definitely feeling that pain, or discomfort. Wine would only make it worse. What about water? Grandma once told me water numbs hunger, or makes you feel like you’re full, something like that. Maybe that’s what I should do— have a couple of those crackers and a shitload of water.
Need to market my freewriting course obnoxiously. Keep my pitches short, and lessons loose and not too constrictive. In other words, if lecture 8 is about dialogue, let the students know that we don’t only have to talk about dialogue. Yes, that will be the nucleus of the lecture, its epicenter, but the ONLY aspect of prose we discuss.
4:23… Yes, they have food. I need food. The wind outside distracts me, how it pushes the vines one way then another. Have so much to do tonight. Need to put myself to bed early, make coffee like I did last night, pour it into tumbler, be ready for early morrow.
More ideas about freewriting course. The hunger fades— Huh.