Not that it came close… it’s not even worthy of a brief comparative. There are words everywhere, here… in this office. If I think of where I was five years ago, Sonoma Valley at that disaster of a winery, more wine factory, I never, not once, felt what I do here in this break room typing with my complimentary coffee. What I write, right now, is compliment. To this place, me being here, the coffee and the doors, my badge that I need to use to enter through certain doors, the guy training me. Everything. Everything here and everything I see and hear.
Love your mornings. This morning teaching me that I can re-write, and I will, I’m going to, right now. What can stop me? Nothing. And, nothing wants to stop me. Don’t see things like that. Everything is encouraging me, loving me, loving my passion for words and teaching, students and my babies, family and health, reading, writing… all my yay-saying yells and professing—
Love is with me, this morning.
So, je gagne.
At work and ready for event. More I think about myself as a “brand” and idea, writer and teacher and wined bloke, I see everything as the same, more connected and singularized and not as compartmentalized. Quiet now, but not later, with our ‘Burgers & Bocce’ event today. Was told I might be on the mic a bit to stir the crowd, something I have absolutely ZERO problem with.
Want to run tonight. And I should… at least 8 miles. Also, just a note to self, as is most of my writing anyway… look into marathons for next year. Want to do three. Want 26.2 to be MY distance. Have to adjust certain consistencies, though. Go to bed later, meaning write into later hours… wake up earlier…. Don’t worry, Mama, I’ll get enough sleep. But I need to push myself like no other time in the writer’s life. Just what has to happen. And it starts with today, tonight, tomorrow morning…. Au revoir!
3 pages a day. Needed for my sanity. So many directions– I always shun patterns and routine but maybe that’s just what this writer needs. Having a collective pause after some outreach for a winery owner friend of mine, then getting son’s birthday gift. Five. He’ll five. How. Why. That alone has me ablaze with urgency. I need every objective accomplished immediately. The company… my books… traveling… indie teaching. My wine shop and own label. Everything. Have writing to do for a client tonight so I escape to this Whole Foods tap room to sip an IPA, slowly, and write with just as much discretion. Or, writing with less discretion and more sped sweeps than I sip. Actually, I just forgot the glass was even there…
Day after he turned five and I’m in the office on campus, promising an “epic” day. So many use that word, “epic”… ‘This is going to be epic’, or ‘awww, that’s epic!’ Today, there will be immediate and materialized progress. Make yourself do something. If you’re tired of something or some state, then stop it. Stop doing what you’ve been doing, completely. 7:24 presently and I have the whole day. Have writing to do for a client… should jump on that now, right?
Just did. Now back to MY work. Me as a brand… You as a brand, reader…. How do we as creatives want to be seen? In the 3 pages for this day, I need results. At the end of the day I need to feel forwarded. On a path— Well, I am on a path, just on another path, or the same path but with some additionally cosmic promise.
One thing I realize I’ve been doing all my life is not thinking big enough. Of course I dream, and pulse ‘oh wouldn’t it be nice to…’, but today, drawing, at the drawing board, with coffee always on right, I’m seeing more. My Dharma is nearer than near. Why, I’m thinking bigger than I ever have…. 13 days, 3 months, I’ll be 38. Two from 40.. so, READER: we need to move QUICKER, think so much BIGGER. My advice, to you and I: JUST GO. You already are what you’ve always wanted to be, so keep thinking that way, and thinking bigger.
In many ways, today is like a birthday for me. New me, new measures, strides, only assured to accent new results. Urgent, ablaze…
…getting a small coffee from the caf’. Have to sip slow, make it span the time here. Productivity but not in a conventional way. Told myself I’d have one sale by day’s end. Not sure that will happen, but I’m going forward anyway.
Odd being here on campus when I don’t have to be. Odd, but in a not-odd-at-all way. Hear people in the hallways as always but they don’t exist. Not to me, anyway. Not now. As a creative, the only scenic ingredients that exist are those you allow.
Too many things going on then I think I don’t have enough in the works, in revolution and part of my immediacy’s dilution. “Dilution”? No… nothing diluted. Just remembered, have to send an email… see? Nothing stops as this kind of writer…
Waiting for laptop repair. Going to campus after this to write and plan for the semester. Had revelation this morning about me, and work, and “career”. The concept and reality and tangible existential touch of the career. “What do you do?” People ask. As in, for work. So if I’m to think and respond singularly, what do I say? Writer or teacher? Probably ‘teacher’. Anyone can write. Yes in a perfect world I’m a writer, but that sounds too predictable, plain. “I’m a writer…” That just sounds fluffy, phony and flawed. I’m am a writer but I should never have to say I am. I will tell others I’m a teacher, if asked. But the writing will just jump from my peregrinations. But, if I’m a teacher, if that’s my allotted gig then I have more to write about. A year ago today I wrote that the coming semester would be my best, the one that defines me and further forwards and writes my story. But I had two classes. Now, I only instruct one. See myself being repaired and rebooted with this goddamn laptop. Here I go… 11 minutes left in reboot, repair, restart.. rewrite.
Moved away from the awkward alcove here at Hopper with the strange character talking to himself and making certain sounds. So now I’m right under a vent, or so it feels. Not sure it was written for me to write here till 2, or just before as wife and I negotiated. But I’m here. I can’t surrender my place in this spot, this makeshift office just off Hopper. OH… have to get gas, as well. Taking babies to school tomorrow, then after going to see client in Healdsburg, then to campus. Busy ’17 start, which is just what I wanted.
Just made some notes in Comp Book. No, I’m not budging. ’17 will not see me back down so soon. In fact, the air on me, on my left arm and a bit down my neck and the left side of my back, calms the writer. Not caring if the people behind me are peeking at what I write— I know, total paranoid writer thing, but that’s how I usually get when I situate in spots like this with a couple occupied tables behind me.
This moment and realizations teach me to be measured in creative carelessness— that’s an advantageously fearless charge that will benefit you immeasurably. Sure, they could be looking, commenting, gossiping. But that’s envy, of sorts. I love it. AND, it probably isn’t even happening to begin with. Like I said, writer’s angst, anxiety. Should’ve smuggled wine in like Miles…
Relaxed with my usual tracks, enjoying a day off, a day to me and family. Jackie this morning, more than alive and wild and free in his spirit, which I found, find, freeing. Reminds me of wine, and the family business that so many of us as consumers seek. It causes us to move, be foragers and expedition-prone bottle lovers in our own vessels. Here in the coffee spot I dream of the story of wine and what’s headed my way, from the ’12 Napa Cab I last night sipped to whatever I open next (more than likely one of the St. Francis bottles Mom and Dad bought me).
While sipping the Cab last night I thought about wine, and what the wine wants to say— its individual speak and sway in the glass, for all of us. And it’s different to everyone, I know. But that difference, like with Literature, is poignantly what makes wine so intriguing. Letting wine steer this new year. And it navigate my tongue, mind rhythms and sight. Last night’s bottle, the ’12 Freemark Abbey, rather than file it down to a nub of plebeian description, I see it as more— alive with conviction and character, its own flavorful scene and revolution. It makes me wander in my own thinking, change focus locations and move around, makes me evaluate my relationship with wine— what I like to sip and why, and why so many make too much of wine, take from the fun and the implicit, intrinsic dimension to wine. Last night’s Cab took me to school, educating me more on Napa but as well me on ME. Wine increases its velocity, tells me to write about it more, and more me with it, and why we are and always will be ensemble.
1/1/17. So it’s here. And I’m here for a couple hours to gather self… Not an inch of planning, just doing. Hopper Starbucks for a couple hours and disbelief that it’s already 2017, but I have to get over that, and immediately. Woke with a bit of a stomach-honed uneasiness but that’s not at all a result from the wine or sparkling J Rosé I bought Alice, but eating too late. And that ice-cream sandwich nightcap. Yeah, won’t be having one of those for a while. First lesson from this first day of ’17, is to just do. Feel like in English classes they instill too much process and procedure when it comes to writing. In high school and even in the JC’s quirky and medicinal-looking rooms. Why not just hop into your idea, start writing and edit or polish or refine later? Why can’t writers, or any of us, just be allowed to DO? To write? To express and be ourselves as that’s what living is. That’s what Newness is and learning from Self— when you try new approaches and avenues, and you find yourself in a belle vie. The first day of a new year, after so many do so much planning, you’ll find me here in Hopper just writing, just flying at the page with a blind appetite and subscription to this writing life. To this creative life. Even with my center a bit a-quake, I sip slowly a medium roast. Left the sparkling water bought for me at home. She just called to remind me.
Rather large man sits across the room from me, making noises and laughing. I’m not being judgmental but I do need to concentrate. On my story as a teacher with this new year and how this WILL be the semester to end all semesters— Or rather, to START all the following semesters. Me, mobile, sharing my ideas and thoughts and approaches with students, and formulating new ones with them. Saw one of my strongest and more cherished students from Spring of ’16, yesterday at the Piner Café while in line to ring out with Jack (after he and I enjoyed a daddy-Jackie lunch). The man across from me makes more sounds but then focuses on a tablet he brought and is quiet, or quiet under all this Hutchinson I have playing. 2017… New Year, New Day, New Mike, New STORY— So I fly toward it like a fly on a freeway about to hit a glass flat, but I dodge and continue flying toward impediments, evading them or slaying them. Wine is music so it will be there with me in my story, in the 2017 stream…
Already see day one of Spring ’17— Theme: Freedom. In all the authors we’ll be covering. Hunter, Plath, Kerouac, Hughes. This will be the most constructive and magnetic semester of my career. For a number or reasons, but foremost how everything will extend from the “teaching”. Connected to this blog and to me and culminating in a book, sending me on travels where I’ll sip wine from some hotel room and write about the wine and the room and how I can’t wait to go back home to Alice and the little beats. One object for this year, as I scribbled in the Comp Book, was something like “MUSIC…more music”. Again, something like that. But Bobby now tells me to just play, jumpy around in your own notes and knots and consciousness hops. 2017 is about life in the creative and only living such. No playing roles, or “looking the part” as so many say— that’s always annoyed me. Why spend anymore time doing anything but actuating.
More people come into Starbucks, appearing beat, worn, over-sipped, tired from the night before. How could you do that to yourself? That would waste if not terminally infect any forward in this first ’17 page. Others aren’t like me, I know, or like my writing friends like the lady at work in the office who also teaches and understands this phylum of thought. We have to write, we have to be we, always. It’s definitely here. The year where everything has to happen. Freedom and exponential simplicity but I’m overthinking as usual, as a usually over-self-used writer. Write forward, write from this coffee and to the next one, and back home to the water you were supposed to have drank more of. 2017 orders me to continue as veridical as possible. No fiction, only truth. And I do plate any fiction, like with Kelly, then it has to be from a place of truth, a fold not in any way fictive. Truth solves everything, and truth coupled with creativity is impervious. I start to relax, on this first day, while Roy Hargrove and Ronnie Mathews play. The first day puts me in a place. One if not lucrative then assuredly, freeing.
another glass of red, and some apps I set out for self… 2017 is going to be one of a certain and specific and measured rebellion. Well, like what I’m doing now… pairing this Merlot my sister made with Wheat Thins and string cheese. So what? It’s what I’m in the mood for. And the synergy, well, I guess it works. I mean, how do you know when an attempted “pairing” “works”? I don’t care, if you need know. Not now. Not with this fiery and forward a Merlot… Music paired, thinking of my wine bar, shop, wine deliberative spot— and not to overanalyze but appreciate. Just be, converse.. why not practice now…
can literally not afford to waste one second. Forgot earphones in car and I think it beneficial I did. I have no choice but to focus harder and block out all the chatting and noises and slurps all around me here in this Healdsburg Starbucks (Vine Street). Will leave for client’s in 25 minutes, 11:48. Man next to me works on something for his business, I think graphic design. Design… designing sites. New Year’s plan… learn to do this. Set up my own templates, maybe.. or something for myself as a writer.. just a ‘Mike Madigan, Author’ site. Something to make self more marketable or just get more readers.. but my only fear is that would take from the writing. So let me hold off on that vision. For now. Focus on the writing and what I have to do for the day. Sell wine. Prep for another attempt at a 04:00 wake in the morrow.
Made note in class while student did their final prompt, “Be more a writer…” In habit. How I act and how I work, from when I wake up to my daily page amount. Going to everyday target 3 pages no matter what I have going on.
11:29, and I can’t think of what I was just going to write. It got away, the idea. “Goddamnit!” I say internally, but tempted to say aloud just to see how everyone would react. Man next to me blows his nose.. gross. Me with a couple more bites of this breakfast sand’, but plenty mocha. Enough caffeine to get me through this sitting and through 5 hours of wine DTC work. Writing daddy is enthralled with the day and the semester being done, so another starts. More is beginning for me. New year, new chapter, new narrative and sight.. books and travel, more mochas and breakfast sandwiches and useful sittings like this in a nearby Starbucks or coffee shop or what/wherever.