Interesting start to

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

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

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

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

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

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


inward jot

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

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

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

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

Some random Cabernet

I bought off a winemaker based in Livermore. Might be my only glass, being so tired from yesterday’s event and all the speaking today. Just swore to self that this sitting would be the one that does something. What. What? I ask the Cab. I provoke one sip and it doesn’t answer. So I’m done for the night. Clocking out. Not sure I deserve to.

Short fiction, me now. 

One of my characters littering his studio floor with sheets of short verses and poems, some haiku streams and anti-form pieces.  He gathers whatever he randomly picks up from the floor.  He reads them lightly, not wanting to find any errors as he knows he’ll be tempted to re-write or somehow correct.  Each poem should be a snapshot and taste of the Now, he says to himself.  Right at 5pm, he pours himself a white blend, something from Anderson Valley, and reads some more from the past 8+ hours of scribbling.  He has something, something to sell, just from a day.  Pours another glass, writes another page.


…be low on the communication volume, if at all known past what I write and post to blog.  I’m camping in…. Working.  Now that I think, I will message her, just let her know I’m off for the day and ‘if you want to talk I’m here’, something like.  Overeagerness of course could contaminate my chances but some constant conversation, concise and to the point if you would could only be more demonstrative of my candidacy’s validity, oui?

My French.  On the day’s list.  Haven’t studied or practiced in some time, too long.  Met a lady the other day that told me she learned, years ago, all on her own by getting together with other French learners and French speakers.  Starting a project, today.  “J’y vais…” which just means ‘here I go’.  Name of the project.  I’ll pick a word, later.  No now… argent.  Money.  I’ll learn word by word, if I can.  Part of today’s productivity plan.

Wife calls me from New York City where her sister has some lunch meeting or event, and wife watches all 4 kids.  Missing them, jealous of their travel, saying to myself, “See?  Even my six year-old son and 2 and a half year-old daughter are traveling, in New York where Kerouac and the gang were.  I need to write faster, not be afraid of anything, certainly not in the wine industry, I just stay educing and moving into the 12, the forward…