Bonjour, lecteurs!

Up.  But barely awake. Called in/posted morning class.  I need a break, I told myself.  But no extra sleep for the writer as Emma’s downstairs with me, right in front of me swatting at her swinging animals in the jittering chair.  Using today to further consolidate writing efforts and business plan as a writer.  Today I reach 3000 words and have something to sell.  Tired of worrying about money, stressing about it, talking about it.  The mention of bills makes my internals crawl like lecherous arachnids, I hate them.  So today I plan and reshape everything.  Luckily Emma doesn’t need me to hold her or too much doting as she’s fully rapt in what she’s doing, making sounds and staring down the monkey and koala bear before slapping the daylights out of them both.

Coffee.. sipping slow.  Over there on the counter, the kitchen island so I have to rise and get it— need to read today, the Wolff stories, Kerouac’s Underwood, and re-read the Beloved chapters.  Today is about reading more so than writing, in many folds and facets.  Can’t write fast enough, but I better find a way to, I know Jack will be down here soon then it’ll be two mini-beats to this one slowly waking writer.

The police officer over the phone told me to “contact my administrator”.  But what if I didn’t?  What if I so conveniently forgot to let her know?  Who would know?

How has your morning been, so far?  If you’re up that is…  Time for me here in the Autumn Walk Studio, 6:49.  Still no sign of my resident China Shop bull, lively and never-stopping 4 year-old, Jackie.

What are your kids doing?

How many do you have?

Have you had a rushed session like this recently?  Tell me about it…

Profitez de votre journée—

Mike

0647, and

the writing starts.  48 hours from now in class sharing ideas as I always have but different, feeling more aeonian this morning than I usually do and I’m certain that’s the proximity of the semester speaking to me, telling me “put all your words here”— then the thought interrupted by my daughter looking up at the room’s light intentionally dimmed as I hate when it’s too beaming and blaring but she looks up at it as if some divine eye flirts with her, instructs her what to do with her day as the semester does me.  The semester will have started, two days from where I now sit.  I’ll be getting ready for class and on my who-knows-what-th cup of medium roast.  This morning is one of those mornings and I’ve been wading in them quite a bit, of late, those telling me to not care and to just write, stick to what gives me the thrills, or ‘kicks’, the teaching, the pages, turning them… lecturing from them.

First couple sips and I already senses that precipitating inferno.  More than one foot in front of the other.  A singularized stampede of ideas.  Not idealism, or the idyllic portrait everyone has in their head.  But, ideas.  Those fiery and revealing notions and possibles that anyone can attain, frankly.  They simple have to acknowledge the level of truth in their conviction, and follow-through.  Like Emerson noted, I’m ‘giving this the arrangement of my own mind, and uttering it again.’ This semester will be one explosive, on several dimensional levels.  And looking at my daughter I know I have to staple markers in the semester, points at which certain realities must be accomplished, not just say “this is going to be my best semester ever and I’m going to be traveling as a result of it.”

NOTE TO STUDENTS:  Gift yourself elevated goals, ones challenging and inwardly vocal.  And don’t be afraid of not reaching them.  Don’t entertain not reaching them.  That’s not a possibility in this new mind.  What is possible, and wildly likely, is holding what you sought upon the term’s close.

Can’t tell if Ms. Austen becomes agitated or she’s having a time to herself in the bassinet, staring up at that light.  Her eyes seem to be getting heavy…  And she cries, or starts, accompanied quicker breathing…

I hold her for about 25 minutes or so and can’t wait to return to the coffee and lines imbued in the semester’s already-seraphic hue.  Former students messaging me at the end of last semester saying how my teaching style is the most exciting they’ve ever seen, and how it’s their best English class ever…  Which I appreciate.  BUT, I have to feel that way, about my own teaching, about the semester itself, and about my empiricism.  It has to impact me, I as well need to instruct ME alongside the student body.

Ms. Emma, my petit professeur, may be waking up, hip to the placement of her wee vessel in the bassinet while she slept.  I tried to pull one fast and I may be getting caught.

Need to read more.  I’ll start with the books I was recently sent from Amazon (one for semester, the other two on teaching at the college level).  I’ll start today, after this entry.  Or later in day when little Kerouac naps.

Coffee a bit cooler but I don’t mind.  Sometimes I prefer cold coffee.  Something occurs with the texture that I quite enjoy.  Thicker, or slower moving.  More connection and intimacy, more touch—  Emma stops moving, she sleeps, head turned slightly to her left in that rocking open oval, with blanket that’s so sedating in its texture that I want it in my rest place.  But I can’t do that to her.  It’s hers.  She’s already taught me so much about my character and goals, and what I see from myself, from her father, what I want her father to be doing.  WRITING.  TEACHING.  Which he already is.  But he has to build.  And he has 18 weeks.

1/18/16

(letter to Spr ’15 students)

Dearest Students,

I sit in the nook where I often write and think.. about the final submissions, and what I hope you hope to gain from it, from the process; reading and researching and finally composing…  At this stage, you should be brainstorming, scribbling furiously in the caverns of your Composition books and toying with the possibilities of idea direction.  If you are in fact organizing these thoughts, well done!  Just don’t consume yourself with formal composition just yet!  And this may be difficult to do, restraining your own Self and ideas, especially if they pulsate aggressively, ordering you to sit and type!  But my counsel to you, for our collective record, is to wait.  Let it develop, ferment, and then if it has stayed with you over a couple days, or eve a week or so, then throw yourself to page.

And, with research, be playful with what you search for and how you search for ‘It’.  For example, if you were to do a paper on ‘Morality’, or ‘Wellness’, or even Jack Kerouac, start outside the topic, or “reach” as I’ve said all semester, then work your way backwards.  For example, if I’m going to write a paper on Jack Kerouac, wanting to argue that ‘he was his own genre’, I could start with something connected to him, like travel (as a theme in his work), then research the benefits of travel, or travel logs, then start looking into jazz music and connect the movement of jazz to the movement of travel, then come back to JK and show how in his writings (‘Road’ and some of his poems, maybe some short prose pieces which I can lend you) it makes this ‘genre’ of his.  Something like that, I don’t know…..  I just don’t want you all worrying about this last paper, and there’s no need to!  It’s about you and your ideas and how you mold them.. I want you to assume the role, nearly, of an investigative journalist, a true scholar hellbent on making his/her point known!

And as the semester closes, I’m quite aware, “easier said than done”.  No?  I get it, believe me.  That’s why I urge you to balance everything, schedule, and schedule dimensions of your life in a way that works for you!  You determine what your standard of Wellness is!  And no one can break you from that if you truly have ‘faith’ in your vision (vision of you professionally, personally, academically, or…).  I humbly wish you all to be well, and composed, and successful in these final weeks of the term.  Let us promise each other that we’ll end not only on a “strong” note, but a memorable one, and enriching one, a distinguished one!

Well…  Time to go to work.  Do you ever wish you could just stay home, relax, be it through reading or writing or exercising, or just drinking your coffee (if you drink coffee, or tea like some young scholars I know–) and reading the Times?  Well, not the reality for this teacher, this morning.  Readying for work, and thinking of my students, what else we can teach each other in these concluding pages of our academic calendar.

Contact me if you need anything, be it with ideas, the assignments, the reading, or this letter.

Loyally, Always…..

Mike

Dearest Mr. Hemingway,

11/17/13

I’ve finished a MS, one with which, within which, I feel a great deal of pride and peace. However, I’m having difficulty finding time to perform final editing tasks, and I still have noticeable reservation in releasing it to the world– finding trouble bringing myself to that level of courage. I’m reading through your letters, noticing your habits, diligence, prose precision. I’m hoping you can offering something in this newly acquired book, given as gift from my mother, that will change my character– simply embolden me to write, then blindly release.

Another matter I wanted to address with you this morning, right before I pour my third cup: How did you wake a 5am so consistently, after nights of wine with Mr. Fitzgerald and other counterparts? I’m succeeded a couple times, but more often than not I’ll let my head back into the comforting palm of that pillow. Again, anything you can suggest…

Last semester I lectured on your work, ‘Sun Also Rises’, discussing the roaming Libertine qualities of the characters; their curiosity, their obvious excess (pardon the term), interactions. What specifically did you intend with that MS, if anything? Or, is that the answer to my question, perhaps an example I should follow: throw paragraphs together in the moment, to effectively capture that moment, and RELEASE?

The time, 8:23am. Wish I had the whole day to write, as you once did. Have an office to my self, as well. I can only imagine what I would create… How many books would I have by now, out in the world? I certainly wouldn’t be on someone’s clock, assigned a wage to my worth…

 

You’ll have to forgive me. I tend to scorch when that topic lands. Also wanted your thoughts on writing pen-to-paper vs typing. I used to frequently look down upon writers who typed more than actually wrote, including myself. What did you do, and what do you see as most beneficial to Craft? My problem is I WILL write with pen, but put off transferring by way of key punch, if ever do it at all. Again, what was your system?

8:33. You’ll notice in my writing, in the enclosed MS, that I have an obsession with time, possible to my appreciative and perceptive detriments. I think the reason I time-stamp so much [much I hate that phrase] is to let readers know where I was, what I was thinking, when I was writing, at specific points in my Life. Although so many other writers tell me it’s impossible: I want to capture EVERYTHING. No matter how seemingly repetitive or mundane… Like now, on this couch, sun squeaking through thin openings in vertical shutters behind me, fridge humming, my 3rd cup waiting, my son’s toys surrounding me like arresting officers– Shouldn’t have made that, as I know I’ll get a mocha en route to winery. Caffeine and I.. far more associated than that poison the industry calls wine. Lately, I’ve reflected with only disgust with what it does to sentences, thought, translation. Writers should stay far from anything with alcohol when they write. Don’t you agree?

DO you agree, Mr. Hemingway?

 

Sir, I want to thank you for all you’ve written, and all the characters you’ve shared. I’ll continue to enjoy your work, and your defiantly refined pages. While at work today, I promise to keep my pen moving; capturing characters to start, then considering their candidacy for story immortality. I will also start tonight with my final edits. And I’ll do them quite quick, hopefully sending my MS to print this coming week. And if readers catch a couple typos, that’ll only highlight my bravery with rushed willingness to get my book into reading hands.

 

Enjoy your day, sir.

I’ll write you again quite soon.

 

Loyally,

Mike Madigan

1st Letter: “A New Book. Of Me.”

11/10/13–  6:31am.  Went to bed last night well before 9p.  The stomach ache or whatever it was pestering the writer all day, making my mountain shift seem without tunnel’s ending light.  First tour, 20ppl, with Alex, which was actually surprisingly manageable.  Tour 2, 13 people, which we just as congenial.  And the last tour, a group of 2 and separate group of 10, never showed (thankfully).

Downstairs with little Kerouac, waiting for coffee machine to be at ready.  Mom recommended Pepto Bismol, which I loathe taking, but I signed her suggestion into action, taking a shot of the ‘Extra Strength’ last night, and just now.  Still a bit aggravated, my core, but leagues more mellow than yesterday.

And I didn’t have a single chance to write yesterday after the morning’s 300 or so words.  So, sadly, no poem.  But that’ll today change, Sunday’s traditionally slow, a bit boring, sometimes, more melodic in progression, general rhythm.

Time for a cup.  Looking very much forward to Tuesday, when I get so much done, putting Self in closing position for semester, getting grades in summary position.

Hard to type with the little Artist here with me.  He, much better after doctor visit yesterday.  Ear infection, one ear, and bronchitis, slight.  I know.. none of this entertaining, or forcefully Literary.  But what will be, is how I close this term, enter the next one, with my 3 classes.

Jack, moving faster than I am this morning, which is funny as I calculate that I pocketed nearly as much rest as he did.  Today: all poem, poems.  When home from Mom and Dad’s this evening, submit 3 new poems to new lit mag.  That has to be my practice, the submissions.  I can still publish them by Self, have them formatted to page as I like.  But I also want to ‘play this game’ with much of what I write.  The poems especially.

And flash fiction.

Could have had this morning be a Barleycorn session, but I went back into recovery sleep, to rest from the day previous.

 

11/11/13–  This morning woke with fire in mind.  Fire for my Equilibrium.  Solving this equation.. getting to where I want to be, truly.  Mom gave me an early Christmas gift last night: a monstrous collection of Hemingway’s letters, divided into 2book.  Which is interesting, as I told Mom last night in midst of profuse thanking, that I was just watching a documentary piece on Mr. Hemingway the other night.  Not only that, just yesterday I was talking to these two guests from Portland, Or., just before their mountain tour, about letter writing, how some say email ‘brought back the Art of writing a letter.’ And how I believe it single-handedly MURDERED any Art in epistolary composition.  The wife was an HR “expert,” or something, often looking at people’s business writings, communication, or memos, leading seminars from time2time.  So we related on some form of instruction level.

Unfortunately, from my horrid obligation today, I can’t dive into the book as I want, but just looking through the first introductory pages set, I see notes on H’s habits, the punctuation (how to read it, as it may be error’d, as with the spelling).. so much to this collection.  I need to begin letter writing.  Write one every day, maybe, like Carolyn See suggested in her book.  Doesn’t have to be long.. could just be a note.  As so many text, I write.  Actual letters.  OR…  actual notes.

8:31am.  Want this morning’s session and yesterday’s to blog before I get in car, fetch Self an angry scorpion of a mocha, then to winery.  On mountain today, this Veteran’s Day.  Sometimes I feel’s though I’m a Veteran: of pattern, of expectation, of responsibility, of struggle, blandness; war with the bloody clock.

But what if it stopped?

Taking the first book with me, along with newJournal.  Where is it?  OH, whew…  Still in car.  Left it last night.  Not worried.  I’ll bring work bag, so I won’t forget items smaller.  Not the first time that’s happened.  Leaving keys.. off to day.. pen, kept in motion.  Almost done with yesterday’s poem.. think only 7 more lines (shooting for 20).  Wishing you well, reader.

Consider this my first wave, of a decades-long letter invasion

Loyally,

Mike

Leaving in a bit to pick up Alice & Kerouac, from SFO.  Picking up new biz cards on way.  Just finished a 500-word academic piece.  More to come.  Back on path, one studious, utterly Literary, Self-educated, passionate.. ARTFUL.  Haven’t looked at books yet, for this semester.  I know that’s terrible.  I will tonight, though.  This morning, an unusual drive in the writer.  I feel like a student again– invincible in my aims.  I can’t fail, as the wholehearted attempt is tremendous success.  Would say “victory,” but I hate that word.  Not sure why.

project R, still in swing with these two classes.  Taking a fundamentalist approach.  Not spreading students too thin, nor mySelf.  Leaving in 8 minutes…  I’ll report more later to you, reader.  But just know, this year is ALL mine.  ALL of it.  Sharing with MY family, as they’re the main priority.  Winemaking, a hobby at this point.  If I get more serious later in life, getting bonded and what be, then I do.  But I’m having galaxies-worth of fun just having it as a hobby, only seeking to have fun.  I feel many times the money, the commerce itself, strips wine of any fun, Humanism.  But I’ve written that before.

We’ll connecter later, dearest reader.

Do enjoy your day, wholly.

 

Peacefully,

Mike

pursue pursuit

7/2/12.  Monday.  Mocha down, now to compile page by page.  Have several quotes from winery visitors, but plan to save all for project, off-blog.  Have a verse cooking in the little notepad that I’m afraid to finish, want to just keep it motioned.  But I can’t, I know.  Have to end it, eventually.  Add it to catalogue.  So much clutter on the desk.  Seems to grow like the vines, these curious piles.  Last night, tasted an ’11 Sauv Blanc before an ’09 Red Blend from a nearby producer.  Both spurred ideas for bottled approaches.  See what happens.. should probably make some notes in the little black winemaking log I started.  Need music…

Know people are watching, on this “blog.” And that’s fine.  No fear in me.  Only aim.  As for the “social” media element, I use it when I have to, if at all.  It works for me, not opposite.  Can’t think of sentences, suddenly.  Hate when this happens.  Almost tempted to type the lines from yesterday’s sippers, and the two ladies the day before, one of which whom just kept repeating everything I pointed out.  “Acidity…structure…balanced jamminess…” Was a bit annoying, especially when she started to turn my words into criticisms of every wine I poured.  By then, though, it was just amusing, humorous, useful for the writing.  But I’m saving it for printed page.

The little notes, proving more and more useful in that tasting Room.  That area, where people come from everywhere, to taste wine, creates a career for me.  As long as I’m there, or on the mountain giving tours, pouring, talking about whatever character’s below the cork, I’ll be writing about it.  Not to say I can’t write about other worlds, I’m simply writing about where I am.  The corkscrews, corks, bottles, glasses, spouts, spills, questions, grape names, purple-touched napkins, pour buckets (what’s in them.. gross)…  All mine.  All for manuscript.  This entry, the only “post,” to this infectious blog [and I don’t type that, “infectious,” with Self-indulgence or any type of raise, or praise].  Off to write what I hope to retail.  My “merch.” My releases.  Jackie, to my left, in and out of sleep for his morning snooze.  Time, 9:53a.. want 1000 words in project b4 sleep.  Scurry to scribble.

fantasy – handwrite novel, like in “Crashing,” think King does that with most of his work, or at least that’s what he said in an interview [think he said that]

Croatia – [fantasy 2, for morning] write novel in 9 days, like Bradbury, only sessioning with water view, from cliff; after, to Hungary, for next novel; road novel from Europe, then to Africa

These fantasies, not at all fantasies, really.  My genre.  I’m the genre.  Well, eventually.  Have to be mobile.  Can’t write novels in an office.  Or maybe I can.  Maybe I did, when working with those pigeons, those muddle-headed marketing monkeys at the box.  Offices are death chambers for writers, Artists.  Studios, too, to some extent.  Well, for me anyway.  Need another coffee, for whatever I put into this book, or project.

note – Yesterday, a large group in tasting Room upset when they weren’t poured more.  Typical.  Do you want to taste wine, or just get drunk?  If latter, I would have said, “Go to the nearest liquor tent and stock up on ALCOHOL.” The wine I represent, I see as Artful.  When it’s trivialized, I get agitated.  And most with my wine scope do as well.

2pm.  Run in a little over an hour.  One as well tomorrow.  To save me from predictability, POETRY.  Started to print and compile works, for mySelf [recital].  From this “blog,” various files stored on monster, Comp Books, stray sheets.. wherever I find verse.  The goal: mere collection.  Organization comes later.  Beautiful outside, can’t wait for my dashes.  These Wine Bar beats, again sending me to vacation, travel.  Writings abroad.  What would give this penman more rhythmic balance.  Needed.