Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 12

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee; I had a conversation about Caribou Coffee with my coworker. She likes the blonde blends. I tell her I’m stuck on espresso. She describes a calm Sunday morning sipping coffee and pouring juice for her daughter. Sweet and warm. Maybe I’ll try the blonde next time.

2Chainz just dropped his fifth studio album. As such, he’s on an interview tour to promote. I watched his sit-down with The Breakfast Club. He talks about feeling underrated. 2Chainz – multi-millionaire, real estate mogul, syndicated TV personality, worldwide recognizable artist – feels underrated. He feels like people underestimate his art. He might be right. Regardless, that all got me thinking:

How do you define success for yourself?

Six years ago, I was applying to MFA’s at the same time as a close friend. My friend got accepted, I didn’t. I took him out to dinner at a burger joint in Greensboro to celebrate. I told him flat out: “I’m proud for you, but jealous as hell.” We laughed about it, but the envy had gone past green to yellow. I set to writing short stories, ended up with ‘Chessboard and Tequila,’ and submitted it to sixty lit journals until it was published in ‘Prick of the Spindle.’ When I told my friend, he took me out to celebrate. And he told me he was proud for me but terribly jealous.

I read a different article about artists generally. It was in The Atlantic, written by a neuroscientist, and was one of those pieces that pop up every few years trying to link creativity to particular brain activity. It wasn’t terribly successful, but of all the corollaries, the most reliable seemed to be a link between artistic tendency and anxiety. These were people who described great satisfaction in their work but whose brains were constantly wracked with worry. No matter what you create, it won’t match your aspirations.

That’s a negative note to end on, so instead I’ll leave with this: ego’s double-edged – you might build mountains for yourself, but in the same breath you’re building climbing gear to get yourself up them.

Novel Count: 29,630

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami; FINISHED!

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Psychedelic flow, I’m the dope and the antidote.

2Chainz, Money in the Way – Rap or Go to The League


Coffee Log, Day 259

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

It’s light in the mornings after the roll-back of daylight savings. I’m sitting here with the curtains open. It’s been a busy morning, it’ll be a busy day. Manageable, though.

A North Carolina autumn is a fickle thing. I’ve been working in Apex this week. That town’s about ten miles west of Cary but over there the leaves are vanishing in fits of red. Outside my window, it’s mostly green.

Every year, I tell myself I’ll chase the seasons a little more. I’d like to be the kind of person that takes a trip to the mountains just to watch the world change. Instead, while fall drives by in it’s pick-up truck with new rims and a fresh paint job, hollering at the cities and chasing down the summer birds, I’m stuck in my apartment with the blinds drawn and some music going thinking about a few separate seasons from now, what I’ll be doing and how I’ll get there.

Ambition is a bad flu – unavoidable until you get over it.

Novel Count: 6,376 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

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“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” – Salvador Dali

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Coffee Log, Day 250

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

Long day. Worked eight hours. Came home, didn’t work out, but should have. I ate Taco Bell. The cheese was orange and got stuck to the wrappers and now I smell like a flea market. Messy. It was what I wanted.

I’m trying to make moves – career, personal, artistic, etc. I’m always making moves. In college, I thought I’d major in biochem. When that got old, I majored in philosophy. When that got old, I fell in love and took school less seriously. When that got old, I quit my job and moved and failed for a few years until I understood myself.

‘Restless’ would be a word to describe me. ‘Ambitious,’ if you’re generous. But anyway, long day, worked and ate and worked some more. There’s a half-empty bottle of wine from a week-and-a-half ago on my kitchen counter; it’s sour, but drinkable. Me and that wine have a lot in common.

This is all I’ve got tonight.

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Dying Detective

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