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.

In a mood right now but you know

what….

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.

No… No.

I’m changing this…..  Creativity solves EVERYTHING.

day’s 3 pages

Pass

In being a creative, doubting yourself is death.  Plath said in one of her thousands of journal entries that “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” So, no doubting Self.  Ever.  This is more than some cheesy manifesto or declaration for me.  Another of my favorite authors, as many or probably all of you know, is Jack Kerouac.  One of the first bombs of urgency that he projects at us comes in the inaugural chapters, “The only people for me are the mad ones…” Mad people don’t ever doubt themselves, they just do what they do, and with mad beauty, mad effulgence and placement.  Today is Friday, but not for me, as I work tomorrow.  I’m working today at the winery but I only feel a push, a creative shove that will keep me creating and walking around the vineyard blocks staying motivated, decided.  And what have I decided?  To create, teach creatively, share what I’ve learned creatively.  Frankly, doubting yourself is death to any forward.  I’m not hoping to be a motivational anything.  Certainly not “speaker”, or … anything.  I’m just sharing what I learn.  THAT, is my pedagogy.  Positivity is not optional.  The creative act is contingent upon a dominant positive and yay-saying disposition that visible in all creative work.

My 3 pages today, sharing what I learn as I learn it.  Just now, as I walked in, I saw a cluster of grapes going through veraison, just the beginning stages, very beginning steps toward ripeness.  In my head I thought, “I need to get inside, clock in!” But what I did, just stop, enjoy that moment and focus on and enjoy the varying shades of green, deep purple and light purple, that purplish-pink, light red.  I took a couple breaths for me.  Yes, I’ve written about breathing before, but those breaths just outside this building (house, actually), made me feel strong, confident, dousing doubt in weight more mightier than itself.  It was like those burning stars Kerouac talked about in that part of ‘Road’.  Burning, Roman candles, wanting everything right then and there.  The feeling followed me in here— and I sit here a creatively animalistic mammoth of this new teaching mode.

Another lesson from this morning:  Graduating.  The act of graduating is not just in school or academic contexts.  You move from one page to another, one geography to next, moving upward hopefully and not in an exhaustive lateral.  Two students of mine, past ones from just this last Spring, are currently at their school of transfer, UC Santa Cruz.  They’re excited, you can tell, eager to start the new Newness before them.  I know what that feels like and I want it again and again, again, and I can get that, I tell myself.  No doubt, I can get that.  The next step is teaching myself to teach more creatively and go as far outside the conventional box as your mind will let you.  And this mind will let me do whatever I want.  It’s my biggest ally, supporter, like a wandering cheerleader entangling and untangling my anxieties and insecurities.  At this new age of 37, in fact, it’s quite eager to hunt down and kill the self-doubt if it ever steps into sight or some subtle tangibility.  It’s more than an enemy to my 37 mind, it’s a bouldering threat.  But we’re not afraid.  And, if you feel something coming, some doubt or challenge, or collision, get in front of it.  You’ll love how you feel afterward.

I know, “You said you weren’t going to try to be some motivational anything…” I’m not.  And if I sound that way I apologize.  I’m advocating a complete absence—no, VOID, a total VOID—of fear.  Fear and doubt work concertedly, often.  If not all the time.  You feel a fear of something, then you doubt yourself letting the fear trample your ardor.  Or, the doubt morphs into a ravenous fear.  Just stand up to it, all of it.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You fall down, you lose once or twice, or a dozen times, but you again step and step, move forward.  Again, please understand:  THIS IS JUST SOMETHING I’VE LEARNED.  I’M NOT A SPEAKER ON THIS SUBJECT.  But I can share.  I’m a sharer.  Maybe an over-sharer, yes, but I’m intrepid to the point of not caring, just putting my thoughts out there knowing my inner-pushes and motivations are to help someone that feels self-doubt.

Plath and Kerouac both had their doubts and troubles, demons and challenges, blocks and bumbles.  But they created.  They brought themselves out of their nay-saying maelstroms and wrote, put books together, added to their stories with unbridled withstanding.  I learn ever time I read ‘Road’, or ‘Bell Jar’ or some other Plath work.  This is a dance, with me and literature, my story and paginated steps back and forth and teaching myself that I can teach myself and learn with more vocality than I did when in college.  I will graduate.  Soon.  Be in my travels, sharing more positive pulses and peregrinations with anyone who’ll listen.

If this were a Pass/Fail course, I wouldn’t even see the word ‘Fail’.  What is that, anyway?  Who invented that bloody word?  Like those grapes outside I come into maturity, finally, at age 37.  I’m not old, but I’m definitely into life, deep enough into the story where I can’t and won’t and don’t see failure.  At all.  I’m like the cluster outside that’s standing in the way of aggressive sun rays, saying “You don’t hurt me, you can’t burn me, you only add to me…” Or something like that…  Lost my train of thought, enjoying a couple breaths at this desk and staring out at the vineyard.  Oh yeah.. the Pass/Fail thing… yeah, who’s to say what’s a failure?  You have all the time in the world to get what you want.  Yes, tomorrow’s not promised, I get all that.  But I don’t think like that.  The urgency is here with me, and that’s enough.

Enjoying the steady, slow, accommodating beginning to my day, with the outside vines, inside this house with my coffee, no ringing phone, my projects for the day cued up.  The day teaches me something else, even more crucial in value than the breathing outside next to my car:  ACKNOWLEDGE YOU’RE ALIVE.  ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF YOUR CAR, BY A VINEYARD, AND BREATHE.  Yes.  Like I’ve said and written on my blog I don’t know how many times— ‘You know how many people in America would kill for a view like this from their desk?’ True, so I need to slow down.  I offer you do the same.  Just try it.  Move a little slower.  Don’t worry, the self-doubt and fear won’t catch you.  If anything, I’ve just recently found, this makes you more impenetrable as a person, as a writer and creator.  This day has also taught me that you can’t create when you’re negative, or in a mood or funk.  Last night, a disagreement with someone only weighed on my thinking, and I tried to write but only paginated word-sewage.  I hated what I wrote.  In fact, I deleted the whole piece, close to 500 words and I never do that.  Enjoy the steady, smile, be positive, and enjoy your writing fly and you away with it.

Goals…  I am in no way an authority to talk about goal attainment.  Goals, I only just the other week developed a methodology which makes goal satisfaction more seamlessly embraceable.  So I won’t even write about my “methods”, if they’re even “methods”, but I will say play with your own methods… see what works for you.  Goals are great.  They’re there to touch, to enjoy when you reach them.  In fact, if you have some goal obtainment practice you want to share with me, believe me I’m all ears, eyes, senses and thinking.  You teach me, you share with me, I’d be timelessly indebted!

‘On The Road’ taught me to just go.  Don’t think, just go.  Do.  Overthought is writer-death I always share with students.  And it is. It’s goal-death as well.  Just bloody try.  You won’t fail.  In fact, what others so hastily tag as failure is really character assembly, and addition to Personhood and thought fortitude.  Sal and Dean had destinations but more importantly they had a penchant for the journey, the travel, the Road.  They were high on ‘The Road’.  The Road was the pursuit, not some city.  As with writing and being a creative, we do have our deadlines and projects, the manuscript and tangible we rush to complete, but it’s the process and practice that keeps us positive, keeps us mentally live and more immune to self-doubt and fear, those horrible pessimism anchors that love submission.  Reminds me of this George Bernard Shaw quote for some reason, where he says, “You see things and say, WHY? But I dream things that never were and say, WHY NOT?” Just get up and go, right?  No meditation or measurement, just act, just create, just run, just write, just live.  Overthought in many realities is the offspring of self-doubt.  So, no thank you.

Happiness is the path…  I remember a friend in college, undergrad, fellow English major always used to say this.  Think it was a quote from Buddha, I think.  But, I’ve always remembered it, sometimes say it to self while driving Dry Creek Road to work.  I’ll get out there and walk, let the day and the vineyards teach me more.  I have more to learn if I’m to forward as a strong creative.  When out there, I’ll take pictures of what the vineyards tell me.  I’ll let the atmosphere and stage’s character instruct me.  I have no reason to doubt the self if the vineyard’s promulgating me, supporting my curiosities and scholastic rhythms.  I know graduation’s near.  Where am I transferring?  The world.  The whole planet.  Writing in spots you wouldn’t think to write… a bus stop in Zurich, a field in Norway, a café in Egypt.  Travel isn’t a goal just to be a goal and to travel, just to tell people something trite like ‘oh I travel a lot for work’.  Annoying when people say that, like they’re so burdened by the flights and the hotels when they know so many would love to experience what they are.  I’m on a tangent, I feel…  I’m just motivated for graduation, to my next campus, passing to next stage— out there.

After my walk in the vineyard with a co-worker, taking dozens of stills of clusters and the canes, the rows and soil, irrigation lines, I’m not just ‘moving’ upward, it’s become a sprint.  And, I just realized, maybe this goes beyond instructional and matriculated containment, maybe it’s life, the life of a writer and style of life (not necessarily ‘lifestyle’) of a truer than true writer.  Thinking and brainstorming on a separate sheet of paper from the Composition Book and I know that my first travel is close, that assurance and coated affirmation, coated in assurance from what I see around me in the vineyard and this very office, that what I want is right there.  To live madly, having any self-doubt so far at my 6 that it dissipates, halts in any memory or semblance of existence.  The walk was the topper, icing on cake, cherry atop, whatever cliché you insist be inserted.  It’s there, here, now, with me.  Like visual music and poetry.  We can all have what we want, all of it, I’m just now learning.

You know who, or what, or more so who is the motivational speaker today?  This vineyard.  That one across the street from us.  All the patches and stretches and blocks I saw driving to work.  It’s more than motivating, or “inspirational” for me.  It’s the Road, it’s the Roman candle, it’s a story that doesn’t stop.  Happiness with exponents with exponents.  Today’s been like that day in the semester where you know graduation is near and you want to conclude the term stronger than you have the others.  You’re strong.  The feeling is a cosmic intoxicant.  you can’t get enough and you wouldn’t if you could.  In fact, the thought of it leaving you or getting your fill frightens you, but emboldens you.  You’re going to pass to the next campus and stage in your self-education and edification in ways that you’ll yourself want to study, repeat and repeat repeatedly.  You’ve acknowledged that you’re alive, your life is being written, by you—  Before you say anything, I’m not in motivational mode.  Not at all.  I’m in assurance mode, or affirmation morphology, speaking to myself and sharing what I’ve learned and what I’m realizing about myself and what I’m capable of, with you.

Creativity is life.  My life.  If you write or draw, take pictures, make music, make wine from the grapes out there, or express yourself with and/or through anything, then you’re lively with an alive liveliness for which you should compliment yourself.  Keep creating.  you’re far from that doubt, now.  “Huh,” I just thought to myself, I may have a goal strategy now.  And if not a rock-solid strategy then certainly a thought of one.  That’s a start, right?  I’m passed what was, forgetting it completely no, but moving past.  It’s part of the writer’s past, which is essential otherwise I’d have no present nor future.  We creatives ramble, which is precisely what I’m doing right now, a consequence of condensed inspiration, the atmospheric nudges from vineyards, views of vineyards.  Always coming back to those grapes, the canopies, the leaves and extending canes.  There’s life out there, self-life, self-education, my newest self sense.

Another Island

IMG_8805 Wine, today was all wine.  But as well, a return to running.  6.2 treadmill miles today, then home to shower before the crushpad, where the Cabernet, the last Sanglier lot as I understand was crushed.  Now the writer’s at home, battling several distractions but here in the homestudy writing about the day and how it only moreso convinced me I’m a writing/running winemaker.  Tomorrow morning, although I’m sure the wine will still be felt, I’ll be writing and journaling, inventorying all.  The run is starting to catch me, a bit, but not as much as I thought it would.  Must still be in a bit of shape.  After the 6.2 I took to the basketball court to shoot a few.  But not many.  I know Glenn would call any minute and ask me to come to the press and I did and he later messaged me to be at this house for the wine club/employee/grower event at his house.  Myself, didn’t sip much, but there at home I have surveyed both the La Rochelle Chardonnay and the Selby Merlot.  Not aiming for any level of effect but just to be in wine’s story– the write can only think of how many weeks are left in the semester and how much longer he has to wait to launch both the startup and the website for ‘mmc’.

Smelling the other fermenting wines in that room, one of the barrel rooms showed me what wine can IMG_8812do to senses and the story, how it’s perceived by a writer like me.  A writer– like me.  Down comes Alice, what haveth she to say– “Where’s my ipad?” Then up she goes, pointing out to the writer how big her stomach gets.  I remind her she’s pregnant which is unnecessary but I do to comfort her and she smiles airingly and I can’t help but imagine my little girl here in this house, crawling around like Jackie used to in the condo.  Wine is family, and a family business.  So I need to push harder with mmc and vvv.  There are universes and solar strokes nearing that I never before pictured.  So here it is, what the writer has always wanted and I can’t be slowed even for a minute– I should be drinking coffee right now no worry I will in the morning keeping my story going and all these short stories and narratives involving and revolving wine and winemaking and wine drinking, what the grape says to me, leaving behind the bloody adjunct de-signification, how they lower us and throw us where they need us and– no matter, this semester, F ’15, will be a bold forward in my wine label’s methodology and bottle titles.  Already have one thought of , the “Adjunct’s Succession Blend”.

IMG_8814Now, for cap, the write sips his Lagunitas bottle.  Then I need bed.  A fine rest for the writer and a sturdy state for the winery, Arista, come morrow, where I know I’ll taste more wines, Pinots, and a Zin– oh and that Chard, maybe two.  The writer’s exhaustion him catches but the book grows and I hope to be on the Road soon with my little pages and whatever pens I can steal from the plane and hotel– simplicity in my saunter and syncopation, my synapses rile in new realizations and thought so going back to Mendo someday soon and confronting that tight-greasy-faced pig that rejected my writing pulse, telling him something like “Oh I’m doing fine, I’m writing.. and what are you doing?  OH.. still teaching English at a community college?” And yes that sounds vindictive and petty, ‘cause it is. It’s warranted.

Then I calm down.  It’s the weekend, if I even get those.  Do I?  The downstairs of the Autumn Walk IMG_8824base, quiet, and me with this laptop on my lap and my family upstairs asleep except for possibly Alice who took a nap only a handful of hours ago.. provides the writer some pause, some collection, and another sip of this Lagunitas Sucks– was tempted to have more of that Selby Merlot, but the writer’s done with Merlot tonight, done with wine.  Beer’s what the character craves.  And another cruise through the day’s stills.  So I deep breathe, hear the back neighbors but ignore them, already fantasizing about the coffee– oh, I should make some now, and I would, but I know that would anger Alice. I should be upstairs now but I’m a writer with a flurry of character quirks.

(9/25/15)

El Work (coffee talking)

Cup 2, earlier this morning.
Cup 2, earlier this morning.

Waking this morning to be in the Kick Ranch vineyard, to shoot and blog and write about the pick– but no one there.  Glenn held up at another site and me driving around Kick looking for him.  No blame, no blame at all!  In fact, at one point I was quite lost and turned around in that pitch black stage and somehow finding my way out.  Proud of myself for solving that little vine block puzzle.  Not sure how, only time I’ve been out there with him is during day hours.  But what a world and dark universe, stage it is out there by yourself; no light and only random animals running ‘round you and across the road.  Jack rabbits, bobcat (saw 1), skunk (saw 2).  One rabbit, not at all afraid of my Passat creeping by.

So, I went back to sleep when again home, surprising Alice I was back so early, and thankfully not waking little Kerouac.  Just before sitting to these keys I thought about and nearly overdwelled on how tired I was, am.  But I wouldn’t let it stop me and I can’t as this Thelonious song plays, “Work”, he tells me something through his notes and rhythms and I can hear Beat writers past telling me to keep playing, keep writing, write till you find IT.  I’ll get in the shower around 10, then head to Petaluma for my 12PM meeting, then to the crush pad to meet up with Glenn and film more of whatever I can from the ’15 lenses.  Wine in everything in my thoughts.. and I do want to, if I can, get by Cellars of Sonoma to taste a bit and add to compiling content for the startup.. and individual pages today, clean the desk’s top, and organize further.. sooner than soon I’ll be in the office and I can’t let the overload or apparent deluge of content and to-do’s muffle or mute me or my progress.

Cup 3 at left, haven’t taken a sip, not yet.  More thoughts of selling wine creatively through the blog and through other crEATive streams.  And then my creative works, for ‘Mike Madigan, Author’, no forgetting that.  In fact, last night after the students at Mendo left I remained in the classroom taking advantage of the quiet and odd scene of the empty space and only me there still in my teaching position, sitting on the desk at class’ helm, one foot on ground and the other on the desk’s lower support bar.  And just wrote.  Week 5, done.  So now we see real progress into Time and what it put on a plate for me to work and suffer and write through.

Writings on wine.. the types I love and the types I avoid, and how to “analyze” wine or think about it– no, shouldn’t be a ‘how-to’ for any of it, I don’t think.  That’d be like someone telling me how should be listening to and appreciating this jazz.  Ridiculous.  Wine is music and it is a voice, a conversation between palate and flavored pulse.  It’s always yours and you should think of it and remember it so.

(9/18/15)

MOCK SOMM:  Cirq , Treehouse Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2012

IMG_8350Waited to open this bottle, and I wish I would have waited longer.  Just to see what else it would say and sing—or more so, wishing I had another 11 bottles.  But this was a gift from Michael Browne himself and I waited for the right occasion, with family, greeted by a rich and prominent palate, convincing and determined with dark meaty fruit qualities and illuminatingly proverbial tannins.  Usually tannin address doesn’t concern me, as I’m looking for fruit composition and profile, but the methods by which these tannins align themselves with the berried tenacity is admirable, worthy of study and ode, the slow sips where you think about what the wine’s telling you—you listen, you let yourself be instructed and shown, shown and delivered to a higher stretch wine wined reflection.  You do nothing but sip.  And slowly.  Study.  Listen, see feel fall and get lost in the fermented translation ebb

This Pinot screams drama and theatricality, not to get attention or connoting that it’s over-extractedIMG_8349 or any intricacy overdone, but that there’s so much attention-deserving dimensions to every step and syncopation of the bottle.  It’s obvious Michael Browne has a precise aim with this Pinot project, just like with the circus and how it seeks to not only entertain but help you escape the clasps of mundane modes and muffles.  Here you’re being shown something, something with Pinot that hasn’t before been done or perhaps even attempted.  And what is that exactly?  Not sure—or, I am sure but not with any words presently to characterize it.  It was an experience, it was visual and vivacious, credible and coded in flavorful aggression.  Not sure how to get another bottle, or if I can, but if I ever do I’ll note while I sip—and that’s another note to note; this wine had the writer solely in sip sequence, sans scribble.  Which never happens.

(9/9/15)

Pinot and the Penner

IMG_6856On my last Pinot glass, and feeling relieved and free, with this consolidating urge, all writings funneled and filtered into one effort or voice, or book– that’s what it is!  I say to myself.  I need only to write books.  This wine tells me to fall further into wine’s story and into the voracious vortex that laments my wine curiosities.  and I won’t lie, reader, I very much feel the wine tonight, oh yes I do like Hemingway at La Coupole, scribbling away at my novel and — then I think of something else to do.  Away with this notebook, I tell you– or laptop rather (that wast he wine typing, there)… earlier writing in my little notepad on the patio of this Autumn Walk base, looking out at the street, watching Jackie play with his friends and even when there was no one there, on that pavement, I thought of the moment and how terrific, utterly, it was and is to be here on this street as a writer, watching you only son interact with the other younglings… another sip of this Boekenoogen ’13 Pinot.  Knowing I need to have my own label directly in motion at 2016’s beginning, seeing my son in the tasting room, greeting people and telling them we’re pouring this, that, a blend and a single vineyard whatever…

Getting up at 5AM tomorrow morning, somehow.. last glass nearly finished.  But then I look down at, to left to couch’s side, and I see I have at least two maybe three lion-like licks left.  Shit.. why did I pour myself another glass?  I blame myself and the day back at the winery today and how it, Arista, even more made the writer yodeling in wine’s promise.  So now what.. I guess just drink my glass last, and watch a movie, one that will keep the writing writing in morrow’s harsh morrow.

(8/29/15)

Writing freely

for the next few minutes or so, Yulupa SBUX.  About to upload something to client’s blog, thenIMG_7875 off to RRV.  Picking up one more class for Fall, and that makes 4, and there I stop.  May have one more client as well, feeling rather positive about this particular prospect, but we’ll see.  I’m not letting a single thing or moment or person stress me today.  I’m moving slower as Dad advised, and not letting myself move so quick.  Need to get in a run either tonight or tomorrow.  Thinking tonight, but I’m not sure.  Let’s see what the story suggests and not think about it so much, so excessively and obsessively.  Would love to have the entire day to write and plan my semester, but.. what.. what am I thinking, what is this writer going to lever next, leverage with my own priorities and businesses– oh!  While here I need to finally type one of those poems for the collection, for ‘Mike Madigan, Author’, as I have it “in the cards” (an mmc office expression).  When my daughter arrives, her father will be busy and writing and successful in something he in motion set.

9:02, should get ready for early departure, go across the street to the drug store and get some comp books for my classes, keep everything separate and organized, and remember “less is better”.  Indeed.

Can’t rush-type these poems I have in the yellow spiral book.  I’ll start a new one here, or maybe type some short ones for the collection, showing readers that I’m always here at the keys with words and observations and critiques of the pattern, the expected, the conforming urge of people today, to post and “follow”– hate that word more than I have time to express.  I write with my babies in mind, how they’ll read me when in college or when able to read this type of prose and shape some individualized conception of it, and of me, their reading style.

Computer moving slow and I’m not caring, feels lovely really.. and flying an aloft flight that I haven’t before.  Can’t wait to taste the wines today with my new Zen sense, not caring and just being a consumer, one writing and teaching 4 classes and with his own business.  Yes, the cards.. where are my business cards?  I’ll order them tonight, promised.

Photo uploaded, now I can post to client blog.  Large man standing in front of me eating a breakfast sandwich, taking a bite then walking back to counter.  I’ve seen him here before, with obvious attitude and entitles disposition.  He sits next to me with two coffee drinks and his sandwich, ‘nother bit, then a woman sits with him, she on her phone talking still and he clears space for her on table, she still talking and he’s bothered so another bite.

And me, I’m just coffined in my Zen, loving all the moments and chords in the song playing into my ears, onto the sensory drums.  Today will be lovely.  Today will gift me peace, compassion, more love than I know how to handle.  And I’ll keep writing.

Namaste,

Mike

(8/14/15)

Back In Class

IMG_1003And I have to applaud myself for working/writing myself out of a mood which was generated by my email getting hacked, some dimwit sending out a letter saying I was in fucking Turkey.. and needed money.  That, and I have grading for Summer to do, then planning for Fall, then the pick tonight at Old Camp.  But I calm, as it’ll all get done, I know.  I have managed to clear my desk a bit– oh, just remembered I need to charge my cameras, phone.. everything before the launch tonight.  No run today, as I have written on my calendar.  Thought about taking a nap, and that probably would help but I wouldn’t be working– have to stay working and writing.  Have notes typed up for meeting with Chelsea tomorrow.. need to designate notebooks for classes, and don’t EVER overlap.  Simple, simplified.. less is better.

Alice to bring home lunch in a bit.. not much more I can due right now but rightly write freely here at the desk, in the home study.  I now truly embrace the idea of “nothing new”.  No new projects, no new directions, no new anything– well, new clients I’ll take, but with a keen eye, careful and not at all with whim.

IMG_1005

While at Costco with Alice this morning, I motioned to look at my phone and she told me not to, “Be free for a minute,” she said, then seconds later disclosing how she intentionally left hers at home, again emphasizing freedom.  And she’s right.  Why should this email hack bother me at all?  AT. ALL.?  Kerouac didn’t have email.. a phone.. neither did Hem, Plath.. I know I’m in the blogging arena, and that comes with emails and social media, and this goddamn laptop.  But I don’t have to be chained.  In my little black book of ideas for mikemadigancrEATive I jot: “plan for tomorrow”, “less is better”, and “nothing new less you have to”.

Enjoying some music here in the study.. go plug in battery/charger for camera.. done.  Mind IMG_1008swirling and I’m having trouble stopping it, which I suppose is a benefit, a boon for me as a business owner, right?  Thinking the content tonight should be 50/50, video and still, but I’ll see.  I have to feel the scene and see what the story tells me to do.  Words come first.  I’ll bring my little notebook but I doubt I’ll be able to see anything out there, in the dead of night/earliest of mornings.

IMG_10097:24PM.  And after the most fierce battle with tech that I’ve found myself engaged in, in months, if not a year (calling what I thought was an IT number but was only a scammer.. luckily I hung up and disconnected internet connectivity), I’m back at the laptop with renewed appreciation, and total embrace of the simple approach to writing, my business, life.  Alice had it right this morning, put the phone down.  It’s down now, believe me, and with under 5 hours, actually just over 4 hours till departure for the vineyard, I’m in the mind state and frame I need.  And to add to today’s attack on the writer, the SF prospect passed, stating her editor didn’t like my revisions.  Of the original sample I sent.  And honestly, I’m fine with it.  She very much tried to help me, which I appreciate.  And who knows what her editor wants.  I don’t care what any editor wants if you must know– well you already do.  I’m focusing on the wine, the winemaking, the vineyards, wine writing, me, my family, building this business so my babies will have the option to share one day the office with me.

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Jackie home from swimming lessons, which I took him to, Alice staying home and resting which she needs, carrying little M.  While watching him, in the water, me not looking at my phone and seeing so many parents looking at their screens completely ignoring the processes of their IMG_1013children in the pool.  The instructors were far more attentive that those parents.  But not me.  I watched everything little Kerouac did in the water, sitting on Ms. Ashley’s lap and letting her take his arms to make the stroking movements.  My phone now still in pocket.  There it stays.  And the email that was hacked, letting it die.  Never using it again.  Now only my vinolit address used for business.  And to everyone who tries to contact me through the old address.. well…..  If the story wants us to stay connected we will be.  I’m moving on and distancing myself from this technological terrorism and dependency.  I’m going to continue to be the odd one who doesn’t look at his goddamn phone every five seconds.  I’m going to always be the lunatic watching his son swim in the pool, or the view of the vines or how the tree moves with gusts.  I’m an artist, not a device dependent drone.  I’m alive, they’re not.  They’re less than alive.  They’re devices themselves, with vices about their movements and interactions.  Not this writer.  At present, this laptop not connected to the internet, and I love the detachment!  I love the art of my movements and my breathing, the way I push the keys even feels better, much more richness in the sounds.

IMG_1015Going through the camera I see so many images that I haven’t used, and the video camera I haven’t used has material as well.  And no connection to the internet for these tech pieces, so no chance of getting hacked.  Yes, I know, but still tech.  A compromise you could say.  In the vineyard I’ll go from camera to camera, and if I can write notes, single words not burdening myself with full sentences or any kind of proper grammar as these editors want.

Funny the email said I was in Turkey, as I’d love to go to Turkey, have always wanted to go there and write about the streets and all the merchants, the customs and scents and buildings, wherever I could go.  And the danger that people speak of and warn Americans against, what fuel for the writing. For THIS writer, dodging and hiding from whomever…  I need travel, and this hacking event today, if you could even deem it an “event”, only made Mike more resolute.. nearer to book’s completion, my travels, and more enhancement of life quality for my family.

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Still quite a bit of clutter and paper piles around me.. evidence of the battle and how it diversely crushed my day’s routine.  Maybe I won’t go to bed when I get back here at 2-whatever.  Maybe I’ll come to this swiveling chair, to my pages, to this new me for which I have today to credit.

(8/12/15)

In Block, A.M.

IMG_7418Not sure I have time today to write 3 pages as I’d like, and after the walks in the vineyards with Glenn, I only want to stay lost in these wine thoughts, and keep sipping wine and thinking about having my own vineyard, or label.. keep myself in wine, lost and not caring.  At the Hopper base right now, in the side conference room, if that’s what you’d call it.  Sipping my coffee and looking through pictures I shot on the vineyards and about the block, of the rows and the clusters I clipped and tossed into that red Home Depot bucket, one of two that we went to go quickly fetch.  And honestly I don’t know what to do with all this material I’ve gathered, just from today let alone pictures from the past week or two.  There so much to learn about all this; wine and the business I’ve started, running a business and media and the blend of everything.  But I’m not focusing on what I need to learn but more so on what I already know.  The videos I shot with Glenn talking about the grapes and the levels he wants to see with immediate respect to acid, ph, brix.. again, still learning.

Have to do a couple house-cleaning things while here, for mikemadigancrEATive.. site and IMG_7428business cards design, and marketing.. more marketing.. crEATive marketing.. I see my office, off the H-burg square, just down or up the street from Sanglier, in a spot where I be around and about everything.  Watching the video where he talks about cluster sampling, and the samples’ intention, getting a snapshot of the vineyard and ripening, and with harvest coming ever closer.. so much to think about but I don’t get flustered, just fixate on the vineyard and its magic, especially that Bennett Valley spot, up there in the hills, a bit up the street from where Alice and I used to live.  And there’s the proximity and the unifying quality to wine, that magic and coercion that I welcome.  And my wine story intensifies, get further into my already-busied IMG_7431character.  Need something to explore, something to taste, but I’ll wait till tonight, at Mom and Dad’s whatever they decide to open and I love not knowing.. maybe I’ll send them a note to open something new and unfamiliar, with some unique chord they’re aware of and that they think I should feel.

Again with the pictures.  Those Pinot clusters in the bucket, looking back up at me and I wonder what they’ll turn into (well, even though I know these particulars are meant just for sampling, to get a read on the vineyard).  What will the vineyard look like the night before picking?  Can’t wait to be out there when the crew is, early in the morning, writing about the harvest and all the activity as I did in ’12, covering the story, and being there as the ’15 vintage is written, documented and sent to press.

(7/31/15)