Wake earlier. Run more.

Aims with which I’m starting day, before meeting at 9 here in Rohnert Park.  Never written at this shop before.  No significance to it, just noting.

Also, write more.  Could if I didn’t wake so close to 7.  This exchange has thrown off my clock in a blizzard of forms.  Trying to right self, be more in balance.  Like Dad suggested… write in shorter form.

Fragments.  Notes.  Spun jots.

Move quicker.  Think I’ll go to 24hour Fitness here in RP like I planned to last night, but then reasoned to run from Mountain Hawk base, and didn’t do that even.

More discipline.

More strength.

More fearlessness.

More forgiveness of SELF.

More love, sight, knowledge, humility, ZEN, acknowledgment of the Now… why you’re there and what you can do with it.  With yourself in IT.


Love the opposition, and rather than see it as opposition, love its invitation.

Lastly…. HONESTY.  And no reluctance in telling truth.  Even if it slightly or significantly harms you.  There will be elevation and a distinct climb rhythm that follows.


Day 1

Sanction Credit

No more cinnamon bread …

Thought, and am still thinking, this whole morning that I need to challenge myself.  How.  Don’t want it to be one of those sill trite ’30 day challenges’ that you see your Facebook friends talk about all week or month long, posting more pictures than putting energy into their project, or “challenge”.  What does mine consist of .  Well, I think of what I want at the end of it.  So… what, then?  I know, or I have ideas.  But I’m not going to post them here.  I’ll write them in the Carpe Journal.  Just wrote three targets.  So yes, this “challenge” has many challenges within it.  And I’m not calling it a ‘challenge’, but a new story.  The New Story, like the New Deal…  My New Deal to myself.

Change in winery’s schedule has me going in later.  Have to be in at 10AM.  And I thought about writing at sbux but then I thought of all the people there, those filthy fucking tables, all the noise, and how rare it is I’m in this house in nearly-frightening quiet.  So here I am with coffee #2 and my ideas, Carpe and the thoughts of what I want to be at the end of this New Story.  First, more disciplined.  Second, I need something to sell to bridge these infernal income gaps.  And I know what a reader could be saying, “You work two jobs, how could you have ANY income ‘gaps’?” Easy.  First, the college pays me once a month, which is a dehumanizing hammer unto itself.  Then, all the overhead associated with two babies, a house, a devilish auto that constantly needs some servicing of some sort.  What the winery pays me, not bad, but again the overhead devours that before I have even a chance to place it in a checkbook register.  All the story of a working daddy, two babes, two jobs, house in California.  But I don’t have to surrender to anything, I don’t have to accept any reality either handed to me or that I’ve placed myself in.

Just remembered the cleaning ladies are coming this morning around 8:30.  May have no choice but to go to ‘the bux’.  OR, not.  Still have 40 minutes for my sitting here, enjoy thoughts of my New Story and scribbling new adds and ideas to the list.  This is a stretch in self-actualization and realization, education.  Changing the story, just someone, a father, of two, getting what he wants for himself AND his family.  And I don’t want this narrative to be banal, either.  Father making all these declarations, all these promises.. ‘It’s so hard being a father and bla bla bla…’ Not me.  Ever.  So I sip the coffee, or I will when I stop typing, put on some music…  What do I want to listen to?  What kind of mood am I in?  Zero 7, the Pandora station.. electronic but genuinely melodic, jazzy, calming and its own relaxant.

This desktop once more annoying me.  So, of course, added to New Story list.  I always tussle with this desk’s top.  But I’m tired of it.  I’ll take a picture of it everyday and post it somewhere, not gloating it’s part of some hokey challenge.  But to show… I don’t know.  Something.  I pull another piece of that cinnamon bread wife bought from Costco or Target I think.  Enjoy with coffee.  Making this morning my own, what I want it to be, beginning the composition of a new story.  Why not.  Why not at this age.  I’m always obsessing over my age, and I know I shouldn’t.  Mom once told me that you’ll be in a stupor if you dizzy too much in the acknowledgement of your age.  Now I see it, now I appreciated and am rattle by new truth and sight.  It’s true.  Of course I’m going to age, we all are.  But focusing on that number, the tally, something only conceptual if you think about, is utterly unneeded.

Thoughts continue their rain.  Storming brain and wishing I were in school again.  But I am, right?  Student to Self always and what happens around me, learning from every character and occurrence around me.  The thoughts take me away from this quiet house and to travel, where my work will soon carry its creator.  Where?  I don’t know, I hope everywhere.  Too soon to obsess over travel destination, especially seeing’s how I want to go everywhere.  But that would be one of the projected tangibilities of this New Story.  30 days.  30 DAYS.  Today, the first…  10 more pushups.  OH, busted!  Yes, an item on Story list.  100, day each.  Why?  Well, to add to health, life, but as well to stay in that habit and pattern.  Discipline!

I hit a stall, not so much a wall.  Unexpected temporizing of the momentum I was just seconds ago enjoying.  Why, I have no idea.  I haven’t overexerted myself, have I?  Don’t think so.  Maybe I should slow, be more measuring in my typed actions at this home office desk, piece of sweet cinnamon bread at right.  Tempted to get another but that would be my third, and an extensive population in this effort dedicated itself to dedication itself… discipline!  So no third.  “Oh, but it’s so good with this coffee.” Part of me says.  That thought, tossed.  I enjoy my music paired with the Studio’s quiet, and enjoying that I get to delightfully revel in it longer as I called Ricardo, gently asking him if his crew could get here a bit later, say 9:30, as I’m working at something still here in the A-Walk base, I told him. “No problem, Michael,” he affirms.  “I will have there at a little after 10, is that okay?” Answered him ‘yes’ and ended the call, returning to my morning’s thousand-or-so-word hopes.  I returned to the thoughts where I am now, where this New Story started and I’m hoping to never end.  After this “challenge” I’ll plant another, pick what it yields.  Sip.  Live.  Love.


Mini-mini-mini Lecture 1:  Starting

Rather than be obsessed with being a writer, and carrying that moniker, I suggest you ‘be’ writing itself.  Know yourself and be known to others as the act of writing.  That you’re demonstrative of discipline, learnedness, that you take yourself and your art seriously.  Of course, you could start with writing about what you know, but that’s starting too easy.  Write about the moment you’re in.  Right now, what’s around you, what it’s teaching, what you see the moment and your surroundings embodying beyond just the topic of you.  Start your writing life with such a challenge, to strengthen yourself and test your idea of living a writer from breath 1.

Finally I can write freely,

though the big dinner I had makes me slow, as well as this St. Francis Cab.  Want to recapture what I felt on the ‘Water to Wine’ half.  Haven’t written about that, at… well, no, not at all.  Why.  One of my best times, and how I felt at the end was like a cosmic code of reassurance that I’ll be on the Road soon.  Haven’t ran since then, Sunday, but have been doing little exercises around the house— planks, pushups, leg squats or whatever’s.  My next race isn’t till October, the Healdsburg half.  Wish it were next week.  Was going to go for a run this morning, even had a no-wine night last night, but failed.  God. Damn. Me.  Have to move on, have to be guerrilla with my fitness life, staying alive and trim, “in-shape” or whatever, just alive for my babies, so they can always have me around, forever.

Setting alarm for 4AM.  Fuck it.  I’m going to wake and dive into push-ups, sit-ups, leg-holds, or those squat things where you bend down with a straight back and hold.  And planks.  I’m going to torture and be brutal to my own self with planks.  Tomorrow’s the last day of the semesters so maybe I can just come home and go for a short run.  OR, run from campus.. what do you think?  Run around the track a few times.  When was the last time I did that, run around a track?  Just the predictable nature of a circular run has me uneasy, but it’s running.  I have to get in the cardio where I can… then I think of a new idea, not business or blog, just new idea— for dads.  Exercising when you can and where you can.  Think I already told so above.  Blame the food, not the wine.  If anything, I’m more wanting to just relax now, think about this Summer semester and how I failed in so many manifests but as well merriment, manifold.  Have to move on from this section.  Morning awaits.  4AM , more acutely.  So, away, Me.

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.


me:  5/28/16, father writing for writingfather

img_35636:05, just went up to cover Jack in his bed, he calling out for me, “COVER ME UP!  PLEEEEEASE!” I laughed a bit and he didn’t like that, so that forced me to laugh more.  If I don’t write now, I won’t at all today, that’s a certitude.  Hot downstairs in the Studio, coffee ready to brew all I have to do is rise and push the button.  But that will cost at least ten maybe even fifteen or twenty seconds, probably more like twenty as I have to reach up, get one of those cinnamon dolce latte k-cups, put it in the machine then press the button.  Everything costs time, and this time to write could be shattered at any turn.  I’m not even sure Jackie went back to sleep.  This is most assuredly a writing father moment where I’m reminded of how time can be mine and at any time be taken from me.

Hating everything I’m writing, but I’ll write anyway.  Fuck it.  Today should be crazy, with the Memorial Day crowds coming into wine country, wanting to taste, taste more, get drunk and belligerent, obnoxious and argue with us as to our closing hours—  “Well, I read that you’re open tooooooo thix…. that’th what it sayssss onnnnline…,” saying it even more slurred than I tried to write it.  We turn them away and get a bad Yelp review.  So sick of that part of it, this, the wine life.  I’m always on the side of the consumer.  Just, not where they’re total assholes.

Haven’t touched the papers to grade.  Well, read a couple, the ones I know are going to be outstanding, but that’s it (’N’, ’S’, and ‘A’ from the ‘5’ class).  Grades are due on the 1st, I guess, which leaves me NO time.  Have to get up and grade, early, or do so at night, no wine, just decaf and the papers (WOW, sounds like an incredible time!).  The clutter those papers inoculate into not just the physical visual of the home office by my head and thoughts is infuriating.  Kept thinking yesterday, “What do I want to give myself as a gift, for my birthday?” The one word I kept repeating to myself yesterday, well two actually, was ‘happiness’, first, then ‘everything’.  To give myself the career I want and know I’m good enough for it; the travel, the research of places and their stories, blogging everything and waking early going downstairs to the hotel’s lobby or café by the entrance and writing for two or three hours.  LIVING, not existing—  having a life that others want to read, not just the predictable pattern (which I’ve noticed in my work of late; wake up, go to work, come home and be a dad for a couple hours, babies asleep so eat, then write and have some wine…).  Crazily boring.  TODAY:  Write (check..), coffee, take pictures of kids, get coffee and go to work… post one sentence an hour.. never done that before.  Be Dad when home, but write while being Dad.  Write the entire day.  You don’t even need whole sentences, in fact that would be a new thing to try— stay away from proper clauses.  Just keep the machine-gunning of words present and visible, shared with readers— let the world know, or remind them really, that you live with and by, FOR, words.

Jackie and his sister, my wife, all asleep.  Not a bad start to this birthday eve.  I’m going to turn 37 and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I won’t eat till I come home from work.  I’m using the Hemingway starvation method, to enforce discipline, make me more a competitive writer, with a slight mood garnish of anger coupled with intention.  And I lost my thought’s train…  My thoughts missed their train to coherence.  What a joke, an English Instructor not demonstrating coherent page placement…  Ugh, whatever.  Met a lady yesterday who I would have NEVER cast as an academic, BUT she told me that she just finished her PhD.  Actually her friend did, saying, “Okay let me brag on my friend over here for a minute…” In clinical psychology, or something.  Then of course the PhD thought hopped into my head.  What do I do…  What do I do?  I need to calm down, refocus on education, starting with the papers.  Bring five to work with you, and the Composition Book—  Heard Jackie.  Quiet and writing over— quick, brew the coffee!  Breathe…  Go press the BREW button, hurry!  Before he gets down here!  Hear his little feet on the carpet above me.  Is he in his bathroom?  Probably getting the cars we brought into the bath that I left on the counter.  Already feel hunger, that snarl of gut.  Discipline…


Another sip of coffee.. Jackie enjoying his day off, going to SAC with Alice and Emma to meet with her mother and grandmother.  And me, the writing father, of course, off to work.  I will write more during the day, avowed.  Not like yester’ where I let work and the people and my goddamn mood make an irreparable incision in my focus and pervasive day-character.

Breathe… my epicenter more of a center than the 5th.  Today, 23 days from 37.  Old bloke…  But I write faster than I ever have, I think.  The coffee helps.  More than helps.  It IS me.  Feeling like a student, working and going to school, like this lady in my 1A class.  Admire her.  Want to be like her with my habits and written ways.  And read like her and the one student from the 730AM class.

Another cup.. that’d make.. I don’t know.  Who cares.  Coffee anymore doesn’t impact my nerves and circulation like other writers.  Need quiet.  Too much going on int he Autumn Walk Studio.. should write by hand after this entry.  Take notes.. like a student.  Singularity.  Isolated words.. ‘crowded’.. ‘rushed’… still.  Breathe.  This is all just one long session, lesson and meditation.

note:  Let’s talk!  Don’t just “Like”…

What are you writing?img_2852

What is your exercise/fitness routine?

When do you wake up?

How do you reach your goals?

What are/were your goals?

Tips for discipline?

What was the last book you read?

I want to get to know my “Followers”.  All of you.  Talk to me.  Talk to each other.  Let’s share stories and tips and all ideas.  Conversation leads to fruit, and the fruit provides fullness, Wellness, LIFE.



me:  yes it’s still 5/2/16

12:36 and at home.  Brunch ordered in for wife and I, time with little Emma, then I hope to take a curt nap.  Cue coffee for 1A meeting.  May only keep them 1 hour, a bit more, then go through content from yesterday—  read through Mon Petit Mise.

Brainstorming now on a legal sheet on desk.. Emma groans as she feeds, can’t get the milk quick enough.  And I can’t write these thoughts quick enough, get to my travels and lectures quick enough.  Be totally Well, quick enough.  But I read, study, no TV only words and blogs, books, self-instruction.  Cash in pocket, but no more spending for day.img_2840

My birthday approaching, and I dwell, I dwell on the dwelling, here in my Autumn Walk dwelling.  But that means I’m thinking, right?  And not about trivial shit.

Waking at 4.  The war persists, with the 4AM hour decidedly so far having me defeated.  But I’ll change that, soon.  Possibly in the morrow.  I’ll keep trying.  Woke this morning at 3:40-something to help with Emma, but went right back to the pillow, and that goddamn blanket which is most obviously allied with the 4AM hour.

Thought yesterday while behind the bar that I need to be more of a fighter with my writing, with the blog and my business.  No one writes more than me, nor more honestly than me.  I’m set on showing students that I’ve done it, IT, the writing life; traveling and speaking and sharing ideas that could help them, from elevated ethos.

3:13.  4-shot mocha at right in adjunct cell.. had brunch with Alice, fit in power nap, and now I can’t decide how much I believe the imagery around me— like a dream state that I can’t write, that I don’t know how to appreciate.  Hoping the caffeine helps and if it doesn’t, then the oddity will stretch into class.  Who knows, it may help the lecture.. not at all hinder.

Not sure what plan is for 1A, today.  This evening, or afternoon, or late evening.

1 – begin with Kerouac quote

2 – word of day:  moil (to work hard)

3 – have them get in groups for accounts and testimony on paper ideas; walking away with “my partner urged me to think of…”

4 – honesty with self:  How’ve you been doing this semester—

NO.  I hate the silence while writing, while they write.  Keep conversation going this session..

4 – What have you learned in the development of your idea?  (paragraph for essay)

5 – Why people should listen to YOU (ethos/credibility).  Why your position is credible… discussion following

OR, maybe I should just let them go for the day, ensure they have fully-completed drafts by next meeting.  I’m chasm’d, schism’d, the usual me.  But that’s changing, now or eventually.  Letting them go would assure me time to work on the blog, and whatever else I need to, business shit, etc…..  But that’s escapist.  I’m not that.  Don’t know what I am, post-nap.  This mocha and its 4-shots don’t seem to be interested in assisting the adjunct.  Not a problem, as little on this campus is.  Certainly no “trustee” members, which I’ve only been shown I can never trust.

UGH… just can’t move quick enough.  Bought a water at sbux with this mocha.. should start sipping that, maybe.. this is all adjunct symptomatic of our symptoms and what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

5:29.  Lucky time for the writer.  Class done.  Full-timer in here eating some salad annoying the shit out of me.  Class went alright, but I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be.  Shouldn’t have taken that nap.  She leaves, the full-timer, washes out her plastic container of soggy romaine and raspberry vinaigrette, leaving me here alone, peace and so much quiet I nearly feel like I had an extra shot of espresso in that mocha.  But it’s just the moment inspiring me; the wellness and Zen I feel in this sitting, this chair, sitting not at the top section of the ’T’ formed by the tables but to the side, lower toward the bottom.  Newness, even in small simple acts.

Feel hankering for a beer.  Not so much wine.  But I deprive Self of suds tonight, efforts of Wellness and new habit and pattern, consciousness, take the stratospheric priority beacon.  Mon petit mise, here in this room, hearing doors out in the halls open and close.  The goal of all these new and renewed efforts, a new character.  A new form and fold of Mike Madigan.  Obsessive writer, capturer of moments and reflections and life encompassingly.  Now I’m just rambling, I know.  But the moment is mine, here in this room.  ALL. MINE.

Thinking of that old past friend who owns his own business, has a bizarre number of followers on one of his sights…  HOW?  I need to outwork him.  And the crazy wedding planner I used to write for.  And the wine shop owner.  And the insurance agent.  All of them.  By Fall, I won’t be at SRJC, but in my office, in Healdsburg.  Traveling.  Everything I want.. but the goals need to be strict, and dangerously demanding, testing my character.


4AM wake

3000 words

upload and play with three images

write lectures for Wednesday



Just talked to ‘A-M’, my favorite full-timer in the department.  She’s reading Ariel by Plath.  Not sure if it’s for class, or pleasure, or a future class.  Want to ask her, but I’ll just imagine, write what she’s doing not concerned with the actual.  She’s reading it for a future course, maybe.  She doesn’t know.  Then another full-timer walks into the mail room, ‘J’.  She’s sweet.  We’re not close, but she’s cool.—  Lost my thought train again, fuck, look at clock, 5:45.  15 more minutes to write.. what to do when home.. WHAT.  Don’t know.  Well, be a father, of course.  Have the little pages on me.  OR, just live.  Be a dad.  ‘A-M’ tells me she has to grade papers, in her office, and sounds like dread, loathing of her position.  But she’s a full-timer, why’d she take the job?  Cuz she had to?  I don’t want to be in that position.  I won’t.  I’m on my way, I tell her, to educating independently, writing, traveling.  The Bottled Ox hitting the Road and observing, living and eating from the observations.

Trying to shake

off the wine I had last night with Mom and Dad, all the discussions on family, and life— Mama gifting me a little bag which I will use for all the pens I have meandering around the inside of my backpack like frightened ants, with a Kerouac quote on the outside of it, the ‘Enjoy your life, every minute of it.” one.  So thankful for my family, my babies, wife, where we live.  My co-worker, losing his mother so unexpectedly.  Why him?  Why am I so prosperous, and even I’ll say ‘blessed’?  Don’t know.  But I am.  Writing through this img_2787hangover and sipping the coffee like it’s the only elixir on earth, thinking of class tomorrow, the coming week, 16 I think.  Lecturing from where I started, beginning with an HST quote, the Kerouac utterances— forgot my friend Anne-Marie’s visiting, to watch my Kerouac lecture as she’s been saying she’d love to do for a while.  Happy she’ll finally be in the classroom with me, one of the few full-timers I respect, that I visible feel respects me.

LIFE.  What life is and what we do with it…  How I evaluate essays, work submitted by students, also addressed in how I address Kerouac in ‘Bums’..  wait, maybe the characters are performing some sort of self-assessment in the hikes and saunters, journeys and jaunts.  I’ll ask the “students”…

The wine’s ripples fade, finally, with cup 2.  Going to blend everything into tomorrow’s lecture— life, death and those around you experiencing death and how it forces us to appreciate life, my coffee, wine, the winery, commuting.. everything.

In Dharma’s definition, is locked the word ‘duty’.  We all need know what ours is.

Mine is to write.

Teach—  NO, to generate ideas, discuss them, help students with their writing and encourage them in the cementing of their own visions and ideas.  Everything starts with the idea, I’m finding at my old age— that’s what brings us to Truth, our own Truths, confidences, Wellnesses—  You know what, going to test myself.  No more of the cosmically enrapturing and convincing wine I represent, at Dutcher or anywhere.  How will my character be affected?  Want to have the same energy and joy as Jackie and Emma in the morning, wine prevents that.  Think I sipped a bit last night as I haven’t seen Mom and Dad in a while, and one of our exchanges became a bit fiery, which is my fault.  Opened a bottle of the ’12 Lancaster Nicole’s to bury any simmering and quaking hatchets.  Which was a great idea and a horrible one.

This second cup tells me to relax, enjoy your morning with little Kerouac, don’t be so hard on yourself, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…..  I breathe, forcefully and with self-instructing intent, smell the waffles I just heated for my little writer, and now me here back at the keys hoping for 500 words or so but then tell myself to not focus on word count.  Forget everything, be Bum of your own Dharma.

Jackie with allergies, me too, one of my co-workers, everyone, the earth reminding us of Spring’s landing and that everything around us is about rebirth right now, a purposeful and affluent re-start of the story.  That too need be inoculated into the morrow’s talk.

Nearing 37.  28 days.  Today starts May.  Why is time moving with such reckless vigor, and dismissive shapeliness?  Reminded of how curt life is…  Think of my co-worker, my mother…  Don’t stop moving my fingers on these keys, jotting in my little notebooks… in love with my life, every blink and breath contained.  3000 words will be a daily requisite—  sipping my second cup and meditating deeper into the morrow’s ebb and order, or disorder, me a bum in my Dharma.. look to my book, books—