9:39am.

Latte from Oliver’s.  Not bad. Only thing I’m permitting self aside from sparkling water, during this fast.  Just made two calls.  Both voicemails.  Looking for other businesses….  IDEA.

Writing notes in a bit.  Couple more calls…

Left voicemail.  Marketing firm in Petaluma.  Never heard of them… looking at their site and getting ideas for my businesses.  Visual… more photography.  May go for a drive later and film and shoot in a vineyard.  Where I’ve said I’m the most me, but now I’m starting to not just acclimate to the current work office situation, but needing it.  See a story in it.  See more stories.

Kids in the other room playing some learning game with bird sounds, sitar riffs, and some gentle kid-focused ambient music.  Keep writing, I tell myself and stay in the chair.  This latte isn’t the best I’ve ever had, honestly.  I should buy a latte or espresso, some coffee drink machine when this is all over and I have my own office, which again Jack asked me about yesterday.

I’m picking up the journal….  On the desk.  Went into kitchen to check on babies.  They’re taken by the challenges of the screens and the puzzles… fill in a letter here, there, then this song plays.  I tell myself again… DIFFERENCE. 

Stopping typing.  Write students a quick email, then scribble notes in journal.

How would I sell this, this situation, I think to myself.  Shelter… IN…. Place.  SIP.  Huh… as in, wine?  As in …. This latte?

10:25.  And selling this stage, this corner, this office, my kids going crazy and the virus still out there.  What if a virus could be something beneficial?  What if it already is?  Not with people falling ill, or worse, but in this.  With my family, in house, safe, SIPping the latte and typing as I am.

11:58.  Lunch, I guess. Other half of the burrito I got yesterday.  Stuck in house, not stuck at all.  Thinking of the idea of a “secret sauce” as some say and not having it be a secret at all.  In fact, blaring it to everyone, and showing that you’re the only one that can do it that way.  Interesting.

                Took a picture of this desk.  This work station.  Why… to capture that I’m here, producing, working, being the most me of the me-ness I can put to page.  More than productivity, more than staying busy, or moving as I say, even more than staying “STARVED” as my article’s title asserts, but breathing, and not thinking so hard.  You don’t need to.  Everything you need and have and should want for growth or advance is right HERE with you.

                Sparkling water in a bit, some new kind or brand I found on the Oliver’s shelves.  What I took since I couldn’t find any of the Bubbly, or do they spell it Buble?  Don’t know how to put an accent on the ‘e’, on this basic bitch of a laptop.

                Co-worker emailing me and saying she needs a beer from Moonlight, up the street as we’ve met there before with her husband.  They’re big fans as am I and more and more and further we get into this stay-the-fuck-home decision.

9:44 – After an online class meeting that not only showed exactly where to go with my writing, about wine or whatever, I’m sipping a Zin.

Yes, a Zin, one I’ll write about tonight or the wine blog.  Just checked on my daughter, and she’s still not asleep. I can’t blame her.  She doesn’t know the entirety of what’s going on but she knows something’s happening.  She keeps saying “coronavirus”.  I’ve reasoned and rationalized staying home, going to the store one last time after seeing that the next two weeks, or even two months, I don’t fucking know, could be… well, bad.  Not sure what they’re basing this on, or from, but I’m committing myself. To here. No more store, no more anything.  Going to do a wine order from K&L for wine writing assignments, and just stay here, write, finish this fucking book, the semester, and not worry.  About anything.  Lately I’ve been catching myself a bit unnerved about what could happen to me at Sonic… why.  What REALLY can I do from my house.  I have two outstanding contracts, one with whom I communicated today and giving in to a request or really inquiry he had about contract length (3 years versus 2, he wants 2)…. I’m not worrying.  Prospecting for example… big part of the AE’s life, but what can I do here besides connect and “network”, makes a list or lists of businesses to hit.  I’m doing all of that.

                Like I think I wrote earlier this week or maybe even today again at one point, I’m in a bit of a kamikaze skip into this.  I’m not running away from COVID.  No fucking way.  In fact, you know what… this is the wine book grant I had a dream about years ago… this is where I do what I’ve been suggested by SO many I do.  Just write wine, write about it, HER, and personify wine in ways these other wine “writers” CANNOT.  Zinfandel in my kitchen, formally in my glass.  Need another.  From Dry Creek, Dry Creek Vineyards… high ABV, no surprise, but an eager and connective, romantic and animated personality.  Deep and dimensional, intricate and communicative.  Why can’t all Zins be like this, I ask myself.  Glad they’re not, really.  ‘Cause then I wouldn’t recognize what I’m recognizing…. Writing about wine and speaking of a singular bottle as I am now makes me miss the tasting room.  I need to dive so far into wine that I embody the principle shape and place, atmosphere and complexion of wine… her ideology and expressive geography.  See?  Nothing makes me write like this.  Only wine, only her.

Imagining that first day back in the TR, at Lancaster, with my book already done, and out in the world doing whatever it’s supposed to do.  I’m not concerned with my position, anywhere.  Not at the JC, or at Lancaster, or anywhere else.  I’m not fearful of this weird bug that has everyone in hiding.  I have a book to write, and now I have NO excuse or escape in explaining why I didn’t write it with this ordered shelter.  The new journal, as you’d see it, or as I do, is for HER.  Wine.  What she’s done for me, what she’s shown me… how the story is to be written till my last page.

about the AE thing… what can I do.

I’m prospecting, networking, doing everything from this fucking chair.  I can’t speak to people anymore.  I can call them, but no one wants a call right now, and no one’s in the office for the most part.

A beer will help.  I’ll help self to one in a moment, and the rest of last night’s Shannon Cab from Lake County I think after that.  Wine, the vineyards… taking myself there.  That novel I want to write, or started taking notes on the other day.

Jackie putting away vacuum.  Can tell he’s annoyed.  I am as well.  But then I’m encouraged.  At one minute thinking the whole ‘what do I write’ pit of thought then I’m into a full yell of self-knowledge and know in the Now.  Almost 5..

This new journal is from a new state, new sight, sense of everything around me and with all the updating, none of it ever good, I try to compose composition when my character’s assembly and composition is threatened.  So, I’m in a kamikaze state.  Write, write about wine… this new journal, the regular journal… letters, and the novel about Eric and him leaving real estate for wine.  Starting a wine community, a family of wine-loving people.. no more pressure to transact, to go to those stupid fucking conventions or galas, or whatever they are…..  Tonight writing on the legal sheets, what he sees, the wine he sips that first night, at the hotel on the tasting floor with over a hundred small producers from everywhere in California and a small circle of Oregon and Washington houses. With a beer finally open, 4:51, I celebrate the realization that this ‘stay in your fucking house’ stage that’s been set by a dystopian spell is giving me a book.  A couple, actually.  And a new end-aim, or sight.  Writing about wine as I don’t even know how many people have told me to do.  Still need to post the Desmond Pinot page.  Write about the Shannon from last night.

3/29/20, Sunday.

8:23am.

Slept in a little.  As did kids.  Made them both breakfast downstairs, Jack some cereal and Emmie a bagel.  Then they back to play.  I get an idea for a novel, or story, or something.  I need time to write, I say to myself.  Start a new doc on lap—NO, don’t do that.  Reminding self of no new anything’s.  Use what you have.  So I tear off the yellow pages used on legal pad to left, and start jotting notes, world and life of a character in Redwood City.  Real Estate Agent, commercial mostly.  Very what you’d lament as successful.  In the business for over 20 years.  One night goes to a function at hotel, one side of floor, or one room on one side, a real estate gala for top producers and fancy glossy shiny characters showing off all their money and what they’ve done, their numbers and what not while on the other side is an event of over a hundred small family producers.  The character, Eric, buys a ticket on the spot to get into the wine event.  He sees all these small producers from Sonoma, Napa, Mendo, Carmel, Santa Barbara and the areas surrounding…. Lake County even, and sees the simplicity of it.  The family framing of it.  He’s always taken to wine, “collected” I guess you’d say, but never appreciated the love and family, the farming nature and step to wine.  He decides to take a step back, down… at first he wants to sell his business, or just quit and get out.  But no…. he wants use real estate to aid and abet and beget his wine sight. He wants that… may be too late in life for a family for him, single and 45-ish, but he wants the vineyard(s), the walks, he wants to be around family wineries, family people… THIS, whatever it is…..

Just an idea at this point, born in quarantine.  Raining outside, sipping my second cup.  Going to do some budgeting and more noting of this Eric’s echo and rush toward wine and being what he said.  Jack bounces a dying and deflating balloon around me… Jack calls to Emma, she yells down, “What you need me fo’?…. You call my name loud.” She says.  Jack tells her she’s hearing things, I laugh, ask what he wants… he tells me a PS4.  I say, “No dude, from Starbucks.  They don’t have PS4’s at Starbucks, bro..”

“Dada… hold on, don’t look yet…” Jack says behind me.  Me, a bit nervous, agree to wait.  “Say hi to my new friend…” he says, then showing me a face drawn with permanent on the balloon and a hat on the character’s head.  He has fangs and am told he’s 4 years-old, he loves watching baseball and loves the Angels, Jack furthers.  Jack reads what I just wrote, I edit from his reading noting slight flaws and exposures in the prose’s complexion.  I look out the window again, back to my Eric notes.  Finish a goddamn book, I remind myself… this quarantine is just what a writer needed to finish a book.  Not stopping this new journal, but noting that I’m noting new notes for another world and thesis, new voice and sight, climate and cause.

11:55.

Odd quiet in the house.  Everyone gone.  Only me here.  Distracted by kids earlier, and willingly.  Playing with them upstairs, reading books, and playing some more.  Waiting on two contracts, now.  One of them requested this morning and sent shortly thereafter.

Sipping coffee.  Had eggs for breakfast, trying to skip lunch.  Only write, record ideas and wait for the return on some things.  Made a couple calls earlier, but nothing materializing.  Reminded by one that they’re not in the office, obeying the shelter order, or suggestion.

Digital Marketing, Web Design, Blog-based Marketing and communication, all giving me ideas but nothing I want to act upon just yet.  Gather the ideas in journal.  When this order is over, I feel like that will be it.  That is when I’ll launch, be aflight.

Quiet outside as well.  Hear wind chimes.  A couple kids playing off to right, up street.  Thinking of going to get some wine for tonight, some red.  Tired of drinking Chardonnay or weird white blends like the one from a couple nights ago.  Was good, don’t mistake me, but still weird and not something too much worth writing.

Sitting here in long-awaited soundlessness, I imagine my vineyard, and what’s needed to get it.  The wine I’ll make eventually from the rows.  Don’t think too much, I remind myself.  In fact, not at all. This in-place prose, seeing myself in third-person as I wrote the other day.  Me and wine… this is all for wine.  All of it.  All my ideas with marketing and business narrative, design, tech, internet-anything… this whole AE story, is all for wine.  To write it, her, and for other intentions.  Some of which, most of which, I have not discovered.

She tells me to find more story, to write more freely. Don’t work, just pen wined prose.  Or is it poetry, poetic.  Who wants a category?  Not me.  Not her.  So write more freely, I see.  Wine is not bottled, certainly not bottled poetics. It’s free verse, it’s music that continues flight, to be in-flight and flying, telling us things about our stories and where we’re from, where we’re going.

3/27/20, Friday

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8:42am.

Going to start calls in a minute.  Wrote business idea in BW journal.  Kids not as crazy as yesterday, at least for now.

Targeting Graphic Design firms, marketing and advertising offices, architects, digital design, web design…  Everything I’m interested in.  I’ve been doing that, but not with the intensity I should.  Aim, even though I said I wouldn’t jot aims anymore, is 25 businesses.  List them all.  That will be my launchpad, or nexus for the agency, MY agency, the P-O-Z Agency.

Need more design, more visual incorporated into not just the blog, but everything.  One challenge presented by this shelter order, that I can’t go our there and be in front of people, show my enthusiasm and liveliness for Sonic.  Or wait….. yes I can!  Video….  I’ll take a drive later and shoot one.

Ideas this morning applying to many businesses… wine, me as an “educator”, blogger and writing bloke, and just Mike Madigan.

3/26/20, Thursday

Woke earlier than usual, leads group meeting over phone.  After that and after a quick battle with car, came home to a leaking kitchen ceiling.  Just when the circumstances and how they’re set couldn’t get anymore interesting.  Straight into prospecting and research, with crazed beast children around me.

Need some lunch.  Like what…. Whatever I can find in home.  Bought self latte earlier, as it was entirely warranted and necessitated, and then a hot chocolate for someone else in house.  Logging and tracking production in day.  Found two commercial real estate firms to contact, and I did.  Now to property management.

Noise in house, from all angles… from the babies, Jack most audibly, and the fan in kitchen.  No more new aims being set, only logging what’s done.  Tonight I’m thinking of when there’s no noise, a complete sound void, what I’ll do.  Come back here, rather than work on phone.  Which I did last night, but it’s not being in the chair…. IN THE CHAIR, where I tell students they should stay, remain, till something significant and something they enjoy is on page.

Jack agitating his mother and sister.  I don’t fault him, even when it sounds like I do getting annoyed with his restlessness, like this morning throwing a sock at me while on a call with a prospect (I nearly laughed while talking to the guy).  Now I’m restless… Dad had a good point on our call this morning, what if you can’t get ahold of them. Which of course I already measured, but then my head went to time.  What if this lasts a long time?

Re-writing CV as I think I noted, and a concise and vibrant letter which I re-write over and over, have several letter prepped to launch to various businesses.  And after that I don’t know, something… some project.  Always a move, a movement, new music and beats to play.

1:40pm

Desk.  Again.  Learned that schools are closed until May 1st.  Great.  Effects of the quarantine are visible.  Loudly visible.  Made self a coffee, kids in home school mode in kitchen writing in journals.  Jackie writing about the day, effectively reminding me of the straightforwardness of such narrative qualities.  Stressed now about business, and the whole virus itself.  I need to stay up late tonight as I earlier mentioned… write my thesis on not thinking.  Noting in journal, item #11.  Been itemizing ideas, a project to itself kind of but more to see how many I can log sans interruption.

“This should be Emma and my art studio.” Jack says.  The eventual office need have that feel and texture, voice and creative climate.

Jackie and his mother leave to go back to her school, to get some chords or something for some device on which they’ll do more homeschooling and lessons, activities, ed videos and what be.  “Can I bring my journal so I can write that we’re driving to your school to get the power chords?” Jack asks.  Love his eagerness to write and how he writes, his style which may be influence by my emphasis on narrative meta, or not.  Emma stays with me and sings some song in a silly octave, in the kitchen coloring, or trying to write… she continues singing after a short-spun intermission.