NaNoWriMo, 5 Days

Next morning I’m up, shower, find what clothes I can and after one and a half cups of the Verona they place here in the room to a writer’s blessing and benefit, I go downstairs and get some eggs, sausage, and one of those biscuits to bring back upstairs.  Déjeuner for a tired writer… didn’t post to blog last night but it doesn’t matter in the collective of this containment.  Hotel, writing with the time I have, then work.. if I leave at 08:00 or shortly following, I can be to winery by just after 08:30, which means more contribution to book and moments and blog and…

Sun, right into my eyes a second ago.  But, it shifted.  To my chagrin, a bit.  Plate just sitting there.  Why did I get it.  I have to write, not eat.  Who has time to eat when you have no time?  Notes on the Colonel’s Vineyard Cab from last night, “…own climate and aggressively wooing sway… love in quakes and sped movements that slow when you don’t expect and become taken and smitten and enveloped…” Nearly finished the bottle but thankfully stopped.  Last night walking down to the casino, not to gamble surely (if you know me and my fear of gambling), and not even to drink (though, I did have one beer), but to observe that commotion again, on a night, Friday night, where all the frenzy and brouhaha is assured.  Definitely an element I could live without, but I found it more than engaging and educational… reminding me why I illimitably propel and excel in the vineyard, creatively and other.  Approaching the bar, in the center of the casino floor, I saw a couple people in front of me be asked for their ID.  Pulled mine out sure I was next.  He just waived me in, the bouncer.  I thought, “What?” I was offended, or not so much, but sad, or not so much, but definitely in a grip of realization that I’m getting older.  Now, there is no denial.  The casino, that bar area and scene, dynamic and stretch, is not for me nor any writer my age.  I hurried to finish mon beer, unable to wait for the Equilibrium of this hotel room, jazz, wined jots, my own selfish time-shape.

In a storm of non-sequiturs, ce matin.  Just what my thinking’s doing and what I feel in this room, unable to finish the eggs, even the two sausages… and why in the planet’s play did I get a biscuit?  Have to rise and run, soon.  Be in the Sauvignon Blanc block, take pictures and maybe just sit in the car and write right there… in driver’s seat next to a row.  I don’t know.  Though, I need make progress, some, some significant, on this wine retail project.  Hate that bloody word, “retail”.  Wine merchant, mercantilism.  There, I think.  My notes assume a mucilaginous consistency, with possibility and vision, plan and brainstormings, visuals in the tasting room and on the sales floor, how I’ll have bottles arranged and… everything.



Me at work.  Thought about getting coffee at the Hopper sbux but then thought it more poetic and meaningful, more “visceral” as so many like to say, if I took a cup from the winemaking team’s break room.  But then I think, should I have done that?  Will I affect production for the vintage?  Don’t know.  Don’t want to worry or think about it.  Coffee not sipped yet I just do wha tI do, listen to the production sounds on the other side of the wall, then my thinking goes to the classes I yesterday taught.  How I’m intent on doing more with my lectures, words… inventory my writings, my poems, my thoughts.  What would I talk about if I went on a speaking “tour” right now?  Honesty?  Life.  And writing your life.  Yesterday I offered the perspective of writing for your life, writing in your life, and writing about your life.  Then I thought as soon as the students left the room that I need to follow my own counsel, listen to my own lecture and read my own lecture notes a little more intimately.

First sip… hot.  Not that much flavor but I don’t need nuance at this sitting.  Just caffeine.  Just fuel.  Just what I need to show the world what I’m doing this NaNoWriMonth.  Music comes on somewhere out there…. I hear noises then more music.  We all have music in and to our lives.  That I see and know, and am reminded each time I see the babies in the morning—  This morning little Kerouac with his fervid hankering for conversation and bragging how he won’t be at school today but spending time with his grammy.  A write I enjoy always speaks of travel, just getting out there, seeing what’s out there.  You don’t accomplish that between 09’ and 17’.  How could you?  You’re on someone else’s docket.  In someone else’s runnel and grapnel.  Here on this page I see everything for us, readers… everything.  You owning whatever shop you want, me traveling the world and photographing and writing it.

Second sip.  Education.  Educating myself to keep going, and to read further into what I’m doing and what I see… admin manager walking in looking for something and not finding it, shaking my hand or reaching to shake my hand just as I pick up cup for ‘nother injection of this hot and harsh winemaking fortification… perceptiveness this morning especially forward, forwarding.  As writers and readers, as people we have to refuse blocks.  There is no writer’s block, there is no business blocks, there is no WE-blocks.  There is only meditation and invitation to keep with out momentums.  This is me, at work… this is my real work, working here at this keyboard and offering ideas as I do in class.  Want to teach more.  Want to share more ideas.  Writing about our lives, in our lives, and for our lives ‘cause no one else will.  So what is you story?  What do you want to be read as?  How do you want to be seen?  What do you want to see from yourself?  Trust me… all this in and on my inner tablets, this morrow.  I’m archetypal of my own contour.  Not sure how holy or sagacious it be, but I’m reading it, re-reading it… editing as I go, or trying.  I want to see myself somewhere— in Paris, in Madrid, in Canada on that lake… Louise?…. Writing by hand and typing when I get home.  Matter ‘a’ fact, I should be penning now.  Like my students.  Want to be a teacher?  Offer ideas?  “Tour”, Mikey?  Then write more by hand and don’t just let the notes away-waste in some bloody drawer.

3…. Cooler.  More direction and poise and precision about the palate.  Just remembered I have to send my newsletter to 3 new subscribers.  Lost one, yesterday.  Not mad.  Actually, relieved.  Less, much preferred.  I don’t want to force my ideas or writings, notes or thoughts or in-the-moment musings upon anyone—  Idea for class, “Building a Book from Notes and Jots and Scribbles”.  I could start the class on 1/8/18.  Start the New Year with a new class and a new cascade of plausible for my writing and teaching career.  All is within reach, my most lovely and kind readers.  Can’t you see that?  Can’t I see that?  I do now.  Why’d it take so long?  Ordered myself yesterday after the English 100 class, driving to meet mother-in-law at Emma’s learnery, that I will die for my writing, my lectures, my offered thoughts, ideas…. ‘One written page a day’, one of my.  What if as a writer or someone thinking about writing, or just someone wanting to get thoughts on page or plan something, you only had one page to fill?  What would be on that page?  What singular word would you start with?  Today my word is MUSIC.  Music…. Me, here with this coffee I took from the winemaking team, the echoing music out there on the crush pad blended with all those clunking and clinging metal sounds…. This is more than visceral.. this is penned Personhood, and edited and re-edited echo of my own epistemology, etymological sinew and discourse.

4.  Extended… deep, more communicative…..  The coffee sings to me and we sing together and the fire wheels its words into my pulses and circuitry, cyclical senses and circulation.  Thoughts.  Plans.  Musings.  Decided.  “Teach yourself.  That’s the only way you could ever hope to teach others.” I just jotted in my Comp Book, the one with ‘1’ on the cover below where “MARBLE COVER-80 SHEETS” is read.  Teaching my self not to fear, not to worry, not to stress, not to (as much) mind time.  To write when you can.  Of course, try and write as much as you can but if for some reason you can’t sit for a thousand word sitting like this, don’t fret, don’t complain, don’t fume.  Breathe… meditate.  You’ll get to your love and passion and page soon where you design your dream and dash forward like a famished cheetah chasing that plump prancer.


Day 01, April 20, 2017, Thursday — Day I find what classes I’m getting in Fall.  Definitely booking two, no matter what.  06:56 now and I’m in the conference room, about to go to classroom but decided against, and I wasn’t in the mood for the adjunct cell.  Anymore.. I don’t want to be in any kind of box.  First coffee kiss… perfect.  An adjunct in the hall struggles with the door of the shared office.  One reason I wanted no part of that room, just for that, some scuffle with the door and the jingling of keys… can’t stand that.  So I’m here wondering what I’m going to teach but I recently reasoned that I shouldn’t do that, that I should just jump in there.  You know what.. I’m going to the classroom, now, to be a student of the students and that WILL make me a better teacher.  The business plan for me as a writer and general creative is ‘Education’.  So what is this morning teaching me?  Do things different, don’t overthink, and be FREE.  I never feel free in that adjunct cell/shared office.  I mean, I feel isolated, and alone, and with quiet to get work done, yes.  But I never feel free.

Shouldn’t have watched that murder mystery show last night with wife.  Should have read, written, done so while watching at the very least.  Maybe I need that, though.  Some kind of distraction.  This artisanal slice of regret this morning to pair with my coffee.  Possibly.  Why?  ‘Cause now all I want to do is write.  Looking at notes from yesterday’s stapled pieces of scratch paper from the winery, I wrote— “Watch character development. That way, YOUR character can develop.” Hoping my character further develops to what I want it—he, me—to be… traveling writer, teacher.  Photographer?  Why can’t I decide where I stand with photography?  Wife’s friend,’S’, took up photog’ as a hobby, left her job, and now has a studio spot.  “Of course,” I thought in the car while she was telling me this.  “Anyone but me.” I said to myself.  Completely the wrong attitude.  I WILL have my office, if I stay linear with my pages and always return to Education— be it with wine, with this morning and me typing in the deserted conference room… with Running and health, or fitness… educate, always educate.  I’m an Ox, not so much trapped in his book/bottle, but educated by it.  MY story.  WHERE I’m going.

The last project taught me that there is always a way up, and out, and if you need help to seek it.  But, many times you need to help yourself.  People so many times surrender to the mercy of the possibility of “the big break”.  Maybe we should give ourselves a break.  Maybe we should look to ourselves for our brick & mortar, or shop, or office, or studio.  We have to demand more from WE.  I wrote yesterday that “Calendars are shaped jokes. Does this have to be here and that there? I sat where I thought I should. Coffee drop.” Written at work while behind bar pretending to clean, but rather scribbling on a piece of scratch.  The calendar is a joke, but it’s not.  One day, you’ll wish for more squares.  Or maybe you’ll be fine, more than fine— elated!— with what you did with yours.  That’s my drive.  That’s what I want.

After class— fire.  With a useful creative ire.  Students and I talking about their final projects, or “submissions” as I say since I hate the word ‘projects’, and coming up with ideas that were reaches and some more linear, and some downright creative.  The authors this semester and the consistent rush toward freedom.  Very much healthy for me.  I feel myself becoming more a teacher and less a wine industry chap.  We’ll see.  But even if I’m in the wine industry, I’ll be speaking as an educator.  Acting like one, speaking like one, writing everything down like a lecturer…. I’m closer to the Road with the recent news I’ll be teaching in Summer.  Told myself I’d never do that again, but I’ll do anything that involves me teaching.  Today in the tasting room, watch…. I’ll ask sippers to offer their initial reactions.  Not at all talking down to them but interacting, exchanging ideas, thoughts, just the human reaction to wine.  Yes, Janet just told me I’ll be teaching over Summer.  Or rather, she asked me with a smile on her face, so eager and happy to tell me yet unsure I’d take the gig.  English 305.1.  The most developmental course we offer.  This will make me a stronger educator, I know.  Janet I think unsure if I’d take it as she knows my preference, and is all too familiar with my fervor for literature, philosophy, composition.  But here I am.  About to teach Summer, again.  I call later for Fall, but for now I’m in the educator’s pose.

Student in class re-worded my offering on ‘ire’.  At class’ end, when I asked what was on the day’s page, something I ask at every meeting’s summation, she said, “Write with an ire. Confidence, fire.” I joked with her in front of class and said, “Well of course, J——-, you have to say what I said better than me.” We all laughed but were lifted by her words.  And I guess I took some appeasement in knowing some of that came from me, teaching.

09:05.  Have to leave in 10, tops.  Want to just stay here and write… more thoughts from class.  Plan for next class.  Write the lecture and the timetable, questions… all of it. Maybe that’s what I should do at lunch, at the winery today.  And email it to the students!  Yes!  I’m ablaze, this morrow.  I’m Dad, in that Porsche GT (think it was), racing around the track, not letting anyone catch me, but me passing everyone, reaching every goal I put before this writer, teacher.  I’m learning that everything I want is already here.  I just have to be in constant re-write mode, and eventually I’ll have a book, books, and I’ll be on the Road sharing my story and what I’ve learned with the planet.

Swear tomorrow I’m going to start inventorying.  Everything. 

All set for the day that is tomorrow.  Forcing self to rest, rest of night.  But now I find myself crowded in my own education, self-examination of my pages and what the world wants me to do with my words.  What I’m living is nothing like what people see in Syria… was just watching a doc on the civil peril there, and I had to turn it off.  Enthusiasm, I think… what I hold the highest herald for.  Thinking…. Was talking to a winemaker this evening, about wine and what his family history is, and what brought him to the practice of fermentation.  This writer needs to singularize, and its not something I need to wish for.  I already have everything, here, in the books. I study and lecture on.

9/30/16 – No real events to speak of

img_7122this morning for the writing father, other than I’m going in a bit later, so he has some time to write and gather self.  While sipping that Chardonnay yesterday, leaning against fence, looking down-valley, I thought of where I am versus where I want to be.  And, what Mom said to me in an email, about working with what I have.  She was concerned that she was presenting the idea as a condescension, or “lecture” as she said.  But I read it as anything but!  Truly what it accomplished, confirming what I’d been thinking for months if not longer, of working with what I already have.  I have everything I need to get to where I want to be, to experience “success”, to be truly self-sufficient as a writer, or blogger, as a figure in business.  Listening to some Thievery and sipping more medium roast (already, almost, drank the whole of what I last night brewed).  For some reason this morning’s brew tastes more vigorous, has more character or dimension, voice, I don’t know, just tastes better (all poetic description attempts aside).  In the house by myself, I have this time to collect, look over what I wrote last night alongside the bottle of ’12 Nicole’s, which I probably shouldn’t have opened, but I remember thinking, “It’s wine, it’s not a precious metal you’re wasting, just enjoy it.” Or something like that.  Sure someone could say, “Oh you need to age that.” But my response would always be, will always be, “For what?” They could say it’ll taste better, or the tannins will be more inline with the varietal character, or fruit, or oak presence, whatever.  But if I want to drink it, I should exercise that right.  The time was right to open.  It was perfect.

I said, “No real events to speak of”.  Why not change that.  Yes, change it, with this article and scribbling in Carpe what I typed last night, sent to social media…  First: “When we/know,/WE know./What/can stop us then?” Then, “Love beauty when you find it—/As it only lasts/a/breath or two—“ Which is true, both of them, returns me to the fence, the lawn, that glass of Chardonnay I sipped while appreciating the placement of the sun in the early autumnal, late-September cielo.  Can’t get too tangled in these thoughts, have to leave soon, drive to Geyserville.  Should be driving to the airport, to catch a flight, for a writing assignment, self-assigned, to take pictures of something, something…  More photography, like yesterday, me stopping on Barnes to shoot a short video and take pictures of those canes, how the sun yelled through leaves, hitting the lens on my phone’s camera just right so that halo could present.  “Freedom”, it instructed me.  Find FREEDOM.  From everything…  And the way you touch such is to stay in your present presents, define your presence by relaying the current reality.  But, of course, I look at the clock and it tells me to pack, hop in the Passat, head to San Miguel, then Barnes, then 101 North.  The clock can have this win, the it will learn loss as this Friday’s unfolded.

I Pick


In the adjunct cell and I immediately started grading the English 100 papers when I sat down with this cannon of coffee.  Now the adjunct takes some notes in the “holstered journal”, as I mention it to my students.  Not sure where to go with this sitting just know I’m back on campus after taking Monday off, enjoying a day of writing and Self time to measure and contemplate, further deconstruct realities and possibilities.  Dickinson said something like “I dwell in possibilities.” I do, too, but I want to more dwell and act from made actualities.  Something immensely gratifying that I brought about, and I’m right there, I’m right there.

Hear doors opening and closing in the hallways.  I’ll say, for some reason today, I’m so glad to be on campus, or ‘back’ on campus.  Ready for both sections, but I’m not sure they’re ready for me and the energy I’m about to catapult at them.  Time, 11:42AM, and I have more than enough time to meditate before class and collect myself here with these exposed Composition Book and Carpe Journal pages.  ‘Nother sip of coffee and I think more of what I want, but maybe I should stop, think outside of the box, right?  Noticing now, and of course at my old ass age, that I continue to have the same reality in certain respects and confront the same results on account of my practices don’t change that much.  Well, now they are, will— no, ARE.

Uncomfortable in this chair, so maybe I should walk around the library till I find one of those chairs by the window, or one of the windows on the third or, better, fourth floor where I can see the entire SRJC world right there, write about the seasonal change and how today’s cooler than the last three angrily heated installations.  I’m not stopping for anyone or any thing.  NEVER.  When the alarm on my phone sounds (set for one hour, to get all my prep and grading done), I’ll head for the bibliothèque.  And I’ll go right upstairs.  Being in this office is much part of the problem with experience excess similarity in existential momentum.  (Wrote that down, “Existential Momentum”, for classes, then a sentence: “You don’t like it?  Change it!”)

Another sip…  Thinking of the wine I had last night, that Zin from Truett Hurst.  How it was loud, both with the jammy thing and alc’, but somehow harmonizing and melodic, musical and narrative.  I’ll write about it, and another Zin I took home yesterday from Dutcher, tonight.  More wine writing, from me… NEEDED.  Again, change that momentum.  Wine and its industry doesn’t have to be the fang-set its in the past been.  With this voluminous yay-saying yodel of mine across the page in recent months, I’ll change everything about how it registers with me, and fellow industry characters.

Alarm sounded, 11:51AM, but I don’t want to get up.  And why should I?  This moment’s mine, right?  That’s just it, though, Mikey…  Make it more your own by leaving.   Going to the library.  Be in the presence of goal-chasers, the driven young student who wants to transfer, graduate then go to grad school, or begin their career.  Student noting me a few weeks ago, about how she graduated law school and passed the state bar on her first try, emailing me thanking me for all I’d done for her.  How she had a 1-point-something GPA at SSU then took my class and was somehow enlivened beneficially.  That’s the feeling I want to experience, over and over, over.  Repeated.  Yes that’s selfish, but it’s from helping others which makes me think it’s not as selfish as other endeavors.  I could be wrong, but I’m just writing freely.  Maybe too freely.

This office, which I ALWAYS call the ‘adjunct cell’, is more freeing than I credit.  Why?  I’m liberated from the commotion in the hall.  I’m all to myself, thinking for myself and the benefits of others, most immediately my students, and I can just collect.  Like I do on a run, after some brutal stretch in the sun or some uphill scuffles and then the ground evens, or is slightly downhill.  You collect, you recover, you sprint on.  (Wrote that, or some derivation in the Carpe as well.)  Right now this isn’t an office, or a cell, or even a room.  It’s a ship, taking me from one “possibility” to the next actuality.  Reward, rewarding my Self by pushing, moving with agility and unusual acumen.  Forgot I was uncomfortable in the chair.  Well, actually, now I’m not.  In fact, this is the most relaxed I’ve been all day.

11:59AM.  Now into the afternoon.  You know, I’ll just head to my classroom.  My plan for the day is to not ask for too much student participation.  Do most of the speaking, presenting.  And not to show off, or gloat, or be too aggressive with my young colleagues, but to throw self back into character.  I have no regrets about taking Monday off, taking little Em to the doc, but it takes me out of character a bit, frankly, makes me lose momentum.  I won’t have some lazy, gradual immersion back into instruction, but a forced placement of my educator self back at the front of that room.  I realize how stretched and wandering my thoughts are, but that’s enjoyed by the author.  From last night’s Zin sips to taking the babies to school this A.M., to me now readying for detachment from this shared bureau (office, in French, I just learned), to the walk to Maggini Hall where I teach the 100 class… all purposed.  All purposeful.  Free now, which is why I stayed in this once-odd chair, where I have to sit up straight but not too straight otherwise the back hurts— and the back part is too far back to lean back…  But I don’t care.  The moment’s mine, as is the page and my class, the students’ eyes and hopefully ears.  New day, new story, new fold, new form.  Carpe…  CARPE!

Mini-mini-mini Lecture 5:  Night

Don’t misuse the evening.  You may be tired, and I get that, I’m tired right now writing this, so tempted to be lazy and just watch some stupid show.  But nothing will get done.  Nothing will be written.  My story won’t be told.  You’re tempted to go to sleep.  Write instead.  Everyone’s situation is different, but mine right now– kids and wife asleep.  I need to write.  If I don’t, it’s a wasted night.  A death of sorts.  So, using it wisely or at least intently.  I want to go to bed, when I finally do, knowing I’m done.  Feeling it.  I want to be tired from effort, not tired ’cause I think I’m supposed to be under sheets, with skull on a pillow.  The day is over.  I’ve written.  You?  What do you want to say on page, prior to close of YOUR day?