Friday, December 18, 2009

More Entries...

Saturday December 12, 2009. Regular instruction, past, passed. Today, I begin the direction for which I have so long longed. I hate malls around this time, but there are more characters than I can count and quantify. I’ll trap as many as I can. For what, why do I need to know that now?
My process today, entailing the student’s role. Let me explain. I want to teach Creative Writing, and Fiction(!) at the university level, some day. So, I’ve been cooking up some exercises, routines. Today, I use my Self as the testing suspect for one such set of creative calisthenics.

Prompt: capture three characters, then compose a descriptive and insightful paragraph, or more, on each. Please give each character a name. What do they do for a living? What’s their favorite food, movie? Do they have any phobias? Travel as far into your characters as the Craft allows.
12:22pm. Three characters. 1) Bald, twenty something guy, early twenties, looking at cheap, flashy jewelry. Shaved head, big tattoo on neck. That had to hurt, right? 2) Creepy guy, 40s, resting elbows on railing, looking down at shoppers on first floor, all the traffic. He’s wearing and old camouflage hat, and a checkered, red and black, long sleeve shirt over a hooded sweater. His sideburns extend to the middle of his cheek, then out towards his mouth, and widen gradually. 3) A guy working in a video game store, late 20s. Asked for his opinion on a game, to get some dialogue. Smart character. In front of me, he and his colleague, a younger male, compared and contrasted a few pairs of games. The character of focus dissected and analyzed each element of each game. He presented himself as a credible critic, with limitless expertise.
What will I do with these roles? Which one do I like the best? Still need to do the assignment, as I have it outlined. I hate seeing book stores take books that aren’t selling off the shelves. Saddest thing, to me. How I hope I’m never one of those books. The rain is falling like it never wants to leave. Just now am I having my first mocha, 3:55p. A deli, with a wine bar within. I could see myself running such, as owner of course. Still quite Zen with the reality that approaches with the coming year. Not going to miss Solano or SRJC. Some of the students will stay in my thoughts, and I’m determined to keep our interactions there. Others, I will be even more diligent in attempts to scrape them from memory. More time to write, sell my art, permitting there are actually people out there that would read my work. Still want to start that critically reading log that I mentioned a while ago.
The character with the sideburns, I am giving him the name Ted. Just watching him look down at the consumer traffic chilled me. His face was without any conspicuous expression. The others, not sure what to do with them. I know what you’re thinking. “Mike, you’re not doing your own homework.” You’re right. Looking through my P&W issue, looking for a lit mag. Found two. I must be published, beyond by myself. It’s just something I want. Or do I? Fuck, I’m a mess. I bet some of my students, present/past, are reading this and thinking “Wow he’s fucked up.” You’re right.
Just thought about Martin Eden, how I first taught it in Fall ’07, in the SRJC 1A section I had on MW, 11a-12:50p. That book, amazing. The character, more so. Hoping I rise like Mr. Eden. Back to the Room tomorrow. Always eager to see what I’ll encounter, what questions. I just hope I don’t have to deal with too many fucking wine club members, the kind that are royalty in their own eyes. Can’t stand those pigs.
10:42pm. Spilled 800+ words out into a doc on this little laptop today, for a short. Going to start submitting again, I’ve decided. I will self-publish, still, only in moderation. It will be my secondary focus. I want these piggish lit mags to recognize me. I’m waging a new war, against the pig mags. They will not be able to resist this prose. Short stories, in the practice of these concise heavens.
I’m thinking that I need to finish my homework, but I can’t right now. I’m too relaxed. I’m freewriting, writing freely. But why can’t I stop writing, just relax on this couch, watch the news. JUST RELAX? I need to write. Every second of all days that net my existence.
What would James Joyce do? I want to put my Self in a random, unexpected setting, see what I would write. Sipping some powerful Dry Creek Zin. Lovely. You know, once I was thinking about writing a novel about a stripper who was writing a novel about being a stripper. The story would be set in SF.

Monday December 14, 2009. Sent away two shorts to three lit mags. I’m back in the game. And, I finished a 1950-word short story. My approach has yet again been revamped. I want something to look forward to, even if it’s a rejection letter. A rejection letter is a response, an acknowledgement that I exist as a writer.
10:37pm. Just found a few typos in my blog. This infuriates me to a bad fucking place! My readers, meaning you, probably think I’m an imbecile. Please accept my apologies. Actually, I digress. I won’t ask for pardon. This is a log, a log written by a Human. Hence, there will be a couple, a few, many, errors. Just wanted to let you know that I noticed I was Human.
Passed 1000 tonight. Received my first official confirmation that this log is being read. I’m beyond pleased. I’m giddy, silly, obnoxious. I’ve been read! Do you know what this feels like? Thank you, Serah! Just thought about New York, and if this penmanship takes me there. WHEN it takes me there. Can’t even imagine how my being would respond to the stage. Manhattan. The streets, the sounds, the characters. Oh characters, characters. Literature is nothing, truly bland without them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday December 9, 2009

Tonight I don’t feel like writing. Don’t fee like doing much of anything. Less of a creator than usual. A duck with one wing, if that makes any sense. Two more days in this final week of instruction. The Claret I was sipping last night, still in the thoughts. Then, I imagine myself owning my own business in the industry, again. Why don’t I just go for it, you know? Now I’m rolling, writing. Let the pages come. I was reading some blogs today while in between classes at Solano, in the library. The library at SCC is like a zoo. Quiet, where? Anyway, I saw “writer” after “writer” contributing to their nonsensical blogs with a caliber of authorship hardly worth the time an illiterate. Many of them continued tirelessly about entertainment, celebrities, alcohol. Substance, where?
Not saying I’m the best of scribes on this Earth, but I am mentally alive enough to journal on topics beyond the bland and brainless ballet of Hollywood. What is wrong with us? Why are people so obsessed with these puppets? So many see movie stars as heroes, sages, activists. Why can’t the agenda of these clones be more visible to some? Don’t mind me, I’m grumpy, and logging the irritability. Really mature.
Topic next. Should make an instrumental or two tonight, write some spoken word. Want to entertain with my writing, as well as educate. I’m a wasp towards the critics, anyone analyzing my work with the premeditation of attack. You ever notice that so many human beings would rather utter the negative than encouragement. Why can’t they simply ask you to explain in the event of a misunderstanding? They always want to criticize, hurl barbs. Not wasting anymore time on them.
Want to take a trip across the country. Don’t care if it’s for writing, leisure, or the sake of spontaneity. I just need to see more, so much more. Tired of my box, cage, fucking cell, choking chamber.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some Entries...

Saturday November 28, 2009. Don’t want to go to work tomorrow. Having too much fun just writing, relaxing. Now, the night before returning to the world that is somewhat “real,” I’m cranky, restless. What should I do?

Sunday November 29, 2009. Back to the classroom tomorrow. A different room. Delivering much more disenchantment than the Room. This Thanksgiving break has provided a certain rebirth for me as a writer. I care less, I just write, release. I was recently offered stern advice as to how I should conduct myself, Self, as a writer. What type of material I should be composing and how I should be delivering it to the populace. Nothing angers me more. I am self-published. I reject governance, counsel, unless it I solicit. Anti. Remember that word, the condensed form of Antilegal. Always in CAPS. I am not interested in what non-artists see in my habits in terms of shortcomings, or strengths.
The tasting room today offered nothing of a substantial structure. I need characters. Unfamiliar ones. I remember when I used to vacation in Sunriver, Oregon as a teen. Wish I would have kept better entries then. The kids with which I associated had vastly different pasts than mine own. The specifics, lost. Wish I would have trapped them. Now, I am trapping everything. Great, but I need to organize.
The poetry I’m writing, surprising me. Need to perform. When? Next semester will allow more opportunity. Delighted that teaching and I are parting. Students of today, dying the worst of deaths. Their minds, captured. MTV, poison. Pop culture, poison. What is revered? Surrender. Individuality, strength, ideological independence, scolded. Rejected, shunned, chastised. I can’t deal with this, students that have no interest in learning, exchanging ideas. So, I’ll write. Put my lectures into books, into fiction, poetry, various flavors of prose.
Speaking of lectures, I came across one that I wrote for the summer term of this year. This first offering, Mr. Tupac Shakur. I need to write at his pace. Wait, is that possible? Either way, I’m writing. Am I writing the proper way, the most effective way? I don’t give a fuck. I’m writing. Spare me your counsel, counsel. Anti!
I’d like to return to the still student. Too many of this particular mold. Why would I want to continue as an educator, pouring my soul into a section and having my efforts dismissed. No thanks. Bliss bursting in my brain and character, now that teaching and I are separating. Other instructors would probably say that I’m giving up, hurting the students, that I should have more of an eagerness to serve the community, that I’m selfish in focusing on my life. Selfish? As in putting priority on my Self? What is wrong with that? Really? Just as I say to the non-artist advising me on my Craft, I don’t give a fuck.
Movies now, just fireworks. No substance, value. That stupid fucking Twilight sequel is the third highest selling movie of all time, from what I hear. What does that say about us, Humans, and what interests us? You’ll call me a cynic. I don’t give a fuck. Look at us, after special effects, not scripts containing literary merit. Zombie movies, the fantasy thing, all this vampire hypnosis, animation. Sick of it all.

Monday November 30, 2009. Never used to like Merlot. Always saw it as a co-dependent varietal, more or less gutless. But here I sit, sipping a glass. Today, the tasting room provided annoying roles, all belonging to the wine club. What is it about these people that endows them with such confidence, self-anointment? This one guy, command after command. Not a single ‘please’. I could never pour five days a week. I don’t have the patient, “professionalism.” My co-workers that do assume the full load have all my admiration, respect. I wish I could have told this man what a clown he was, standing there, on the other side of the bar like he owns half the valley.
Frankly, I don’t have the propulsion necessary to write tonight. Still, like my unmotivated students. One might say that I shouldn’t write such in this log. Censor my Self, in case students’ or co-workers’ collide with my Craft. If I choose to purge consternation, malice, and someone is targeted, then they will be attacked. Be this, though, the last of my haphazard entries. This log, a log of insight and transcendence.
In my circuitry, the desire to connect to my instrumentals, those curious sounds. But I have to stay here, in front of this screen, typing. I’m a writer, but can’t we scribes play music? Or would that be a scattered approach to life, too complicated?

I used to see the fence.
Now, I don’t think about it. Ever.
Fire in the ink. The stage, dimmed.
The reality of we, thinned.

I want to take the rest of the night to my Self, stop these stomping fingertips. But why is it so hard? Why can’t I just walk away, relax? Why do I distress my Self with these entries, this prose, poetry? The chapbook is near completion, the hesitation, shyness, erosion of confidence manifests. Why? Why can’t I just put the words into the worlds?
10:05pm. What I’m thinking of right now, sleep. As an adjunct, sleep is cherished. Adjunct. Done with that life. Creating my own reality with these chapbooks. The quick release, the pace of a poet. Watching “American Gangster” on HBO. One of the better movies I’ve seen in many years. Sometimes I ask my Self why this caliber movie can’t be made with more frequency. Truthfully, I’m elated it’s not. If it was, it’s just be another “Twilight.” What I take from this film, business. The way to achieve Equilibrium is to behave like one in business. In Paris, I remember thinking about living there for a year, to write. Forcing my Self to produce a 300+ page manuscript, perhaps 400+, or more, in that 365-day bracket. One day, a writing escape. How? This devilish adjunct cage. Need to travel to past entries. Jewels there, I’m certain. My temperament tonight, tumultuous, turbulent. How do I swing out of this stall? I’m a broken plane. Adjuncting is not a career.

The only way out, is by altercation, confrontation.
Further deliberation. Sit for too many a minute.
Me, never a zombie. Literary flips off cliffs.
Telephone another corner. Therapy with each entry.

Tuesday December 1, 2009. Swaths of literature in my head tonight. I again combat my reluctance to release my pages. Tonight, on this first day of the last month of this year, the hesitancy is euthanized. Wine and literature, so close they are, in my scope, an entity collective. When I sip wine, I think of my past and, because I am a creator, I want to trap these reflections. The bottles, their grapes, the process to produce what I sip entail scenes, characters, developments that I see in fiction, non-fiction, even poetry. My favorite character, the Zinfandel grape. It’s personality is bold, flirty, royal. I sometimes imagine myself as a winemaker, in my sister’s shoes. You know, I should interview her, follow her during the next harvest, see her at work with the fruit, the machines, sampling. The tasting room, the Room, my favorite stage currently. The classroom, my least liked. The Room, nothing but enjoyment. I’m a bit distracted presently, as I listen and watch President Obama give his speech on troop deployment to Afghanistan. His eloquence, passion, and conveyance are truly unbelievable, incomparable. He does not fear, or at least it doesn’t seem, releasing his thoughts. I must be equally courageous.
War, Mr. Obama addresses with this speech. As a writer, I am at war. With my Self, mostly. I must outline objectives in this war. Have an approach. I fight this campaign solitarily. My first battle, tonight, to update my “blog” with 1000-plus words. Also, to get to page 25 in my chapbook. I will bring in old entries for the latter. Those are the two objectives in tonight’s skirmish. War, with the Self. All at stake. Failure, not something to even be discussed. I can’t, and don’t, see myself as an adjunct for much longer. Today, I gave a lecture, “Writing Costs A Lot,” highlighting how demanding this life is. Made me feel that passion for instruction again. I will always teach, in some capacity. But this, now, no more. Suasion, by means of the literary, my life.
On a less weighted note, I’m getting a bit hungry. Chinese food sounds good. Broccoli Beef? Couple of egg roles? What do I pair it with? Pinot? Do I have a Pinot? Pairing is a facet of wine’s story that I find intriguing, mostly as result of the inherent mystery. Tonight, I read, about wine. Anything I can find. A play about a novice in wine’s web. All he does is read. He’s never been tasting. He’s scared for some reason. No. Not for “some reason.” He doesn’t want to look like a fool. Or, I could write a play about tasting room employees. I’ve done freewrites about that, in stageplay form. I should develop this. I do want to act someday, as you may or may not know. I could star in my own work. I don’t know how good of an actor I’d be. Probably decent. I have been told that I act like an actor. Interesting.
Poetry, tonight, surely. Verses in my veins continuously. Time for Chinese.
6:50pm. Didn’t get Chinese, didn’t look to see if I have any Pinot. Currently, reading my wine magazine. Need to start collecting seriously. Cotes Du Rhone, need to acquire much of this. Need to learn more. Turning pages, turning, turning…boutique wineries, I know there are a few dozen handfuls in Dry Creek, and I love Dry Creek. A day mission, perhaps. I could see myself owning a wine shop specializing in small production, boutique producers, maybe have a license to pour at the shop like my friend in Sebastopol. I will take small steps towards such by collecting.
Just opened a bottle of 2006 Valley of the Moon Sangiovese. An example of Wine is Literature: 1) Introduction (nose and front palate): 7. Not too pronounced with notes, nothing jumping out, demanding recognition. Some cherry, damp soil, oak. 2) Body (mouthfeel and mid-palate): 7. About the same. A bit of an improvement in terms of smoothness and the humble approach of the wine. What hurt the wine in the intro somehow complements it, raises its stock, in this part of the tasting and evaluative journey. 3) Conclusion (back of palate and finish): 5. Goes away, as if in a rush to get off the stage, afraid of critique. 4) Additional comments: Yes, I am drinking it. It’s not bad, by any means, by I wait for the reflection, for any impact that truly affects me. My evaluation of a wine is similar to the consideration and grading of an essay, but not the same. Simply because one is a wine, the other a piece of writing. But I do look for delivery, structure, concentration in both. Addition to my supplemental remarks: After the bottle being open for a significant time, I am greeted by a certain grassy/vegetable set of notes, varying in intensity. To be honest, I don’t like assigning a numerical, quantitative, value to wine. Wine is Lit, hence it is Art. Letter grades are more conducive and appropriate. So, I give the bottle a C.
I want to become more acquainted with Port. The bottle I’m looking at in this magazine was given a 95. And, wow, the bottle goes for $95. How will I collect when this interest costs so much? Not like writing carrying with it a high cost. There are actual dollar amounts to this passion. Came across a cool quote in this publication, from Duff Cooper: “Wine has lit up for me the pages of literature…has induced me to say silly things but not do them.” Wine and words are incapable of being separated. Think about it, the tasting notes on a menu when you approach the bar in a tasting room. Description, persuasion.
Tempranillo, Rioja, Gamay. There’s almost too much to explore in this world. What do I do? Somewhat daunted. Exciting, nonetheless. This wine is opening up quite agreeably. Perhaps I evaluated it too early. Perhaps, huh. I’ll continue to sip. See what happens. Gotta love wine & lit.

Wednesday December 2, 2009. The rest of this, I rest. My much-necessitated holiday. I’m not even going to write. No notes, no poetry. No prose, nothing. Laziness, idol. I deserve it. But how do I do this, this rest thing? I’m a writer. As I said in my lecture yesterday, this costs a lot.
Found a note in my wallet reading “Day after event in valley.” I’m tomorrow going to use this as my topic. It was if the area was recovering from a natural disaster, or war.

Office Hours...

And, no one coming. Then tomorrow, I hear complaints about how they can't figure out what to write, where to take their topics. The American Scholar, dead. Why don't these students like to think, exercise their own ideas? Sickening. Not letting it too far under my skin. This is the final term.


Need one. Bad. Exhaustion, this semester has injected. Thinking of a new type of journal to keep once my 2nd green Mead is full. Currently I'm on page 98. This new journal will be mostly in note form, no too much formal, and boring, prose. Brief, poetic, flirty in a way. Some notes I wish to trap now:

-Bordeaux blends. Need more.
-The chapbook, to be done by next Friday, the rough draft.
-Need to budget for first three projects of MADIGAN PUBLISHING