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Meeting, 7/29/15:  “Cooking”…

30 Jul

Quote from Tolstoy:  “If you want to be happy, be.”GORE VIDAL

Quote from Gertrude Stein:  “A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.”

Quote from Raymond Carver:  “That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.”

Word:  meretricious – (adj) apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.

Word:  persiflage – (n) light, bantering talk or writing.

Outlines.  What do they do?  What are they intended to do?

A plan for YOU.  So you know precisely where you’re going with your topic, with what you’ve chosen to display expertise, or authority, or dare I say ‘mastery’.

And when we start writing, we follow the plan, the outline.  Sure there may be changes along the way, but make sure you’re consistent, that you don’t confuse yourself.  In fact, that’s a big part of the outline’s intention, so you don’t get confused!

Again.. about quotes.. like I always say, only use them when you need to, when you need support.

Poetry–  a reading…  “I, Too, Sing America” (Hughes)

Thoughts?  Questions?  What is his “thesis”?


Gore Vidall

Final Thought from me:  Just start writing.  And don’t edit.  Just write.  Get onto a second page..  And bring tomorrow a 1-page typed entry of your writing process so far.  that is, what you did and how you did it, what you plan on doing from here.  Tell us how far you get.  AND, tell us the steps you take in developing your topic!  STAND YOUR GROUND!

HW DUE TOMORROW: the 1-page typed journal entry of your progress.. (1 full page, double-spaced, please)

One more thing!  And I can’t emphasize this enough:

28 Jul

Don’t let quoting interrupt your voice on the page!  I want to read your arguments, and your passion, and your position!  Not an excess of outside articles and experts that support.  And that’s just it.. you only quote them to support YOU and what YOU have to say!  That’s all.. I’ll see you soon, please don’t stop working on your final papers!  And don’t let it stress you, budget your time!  Like Leo Tolstoy once said: “If you want to be happy, be.”Leo-Tolstoy-Quotes-1

Outline notes and thoughts, and drafts…

28 Jul

just an example.. simple, but with only two supporting points, as you see…..

Please below post what you have of your outline.  Remember, an outline is to guide you through your topic, display a plan of how your ideas are to be delivered, the order of statements if you will.  My counsel: have six or seven main points (Roman Numerals, and this includes the intro and conclusion paragraphs), then three supporting points specified by lowercase letters.  But that’s just my advice!  Do what works for you!  And don’t forget to edit!!!


Assigned to Moments

17 Jul

So I time myself this morning with writing, just as I invite you to do in class.  And I know how hard itHunter-S.-Thompson-Quotes-2 2 is.  Time IS the enemy for us as students, as writers.  But we persist with our thoughts, stay on our respective and collective Road, Roads.  I’m with a coffee and several characters around me in a Starbucks and I feel uncomfortable with the crowd and the noise I even hear over the Thievery in my earphones, but I write on.  No writing spot’s ideal, I understand.  And no writing I write’s ideal, either.  But I still write.  I don’t doubt, as I don’t have time.  I don’t worry about how this will be read, as I don’t have time.  No time to be delicate or obsessive or anything but in the page’s ebb and tumult.  So I storm with my brainings, and a storming brain gets me somewhere, not sure but I’m here anyway, writing to you all, encouraging you all to BE your writing.  To embrace your voice and thoughts and what you put to page.  Write with the embrace of the class and what it entails, yes, but don’t let it compromise your expression, ever!

I hope you all have rewarding weekends with fruitful edits of your drafts before final submission cometh Monday.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.  I just wanted to thank you all for your enthusiasm and patience over the past 5 weeks.  And with this entry.  I think of students often when I have observations random and unplanned like this, in a Starbucks (not the most riveting and shaping of locales, I know, but I thought I’d note it.  For you.

Keep writing.  Keep reading and re-reading your work.  Make it your own and don’t be light with your sentences.  Be confident and convincing…  That’s what I’m looking for.  That’s what YOU should be looking for!



Post for outline…

26 Jun

Please post your outlines below…


The reactions.. show ownership of your work! 

24 Jun

Titles.. indent…. interpret those passages YOUR way!

So for tonight’s class.. we are going to own our ideas.  And share them with confidence and forethought.  Observations in Kerouac’s novel, Dean’s impact on Sal and Sal’s on Dean, among much else.. what do we have in this book?  And what does Kerouac want for his readers?  To act?  To do something, right?  He wants a reaction and he wants us to see something.. IT, right?  So what is IT?

Tonight…  Let’s write together, let’s share our interests in the book, what we want to write about and why?  Remember, connect JK’s novel to your own life.  That is, use what you have lived as a special interpretive lens.

Let’s see what we find!


Bonjour, tout le monde!

19 Jun

Thank you all for a wildly wondrous first week!  Feel free to post anything below: comments on Reading, the freewrite we did yesterday (poetry).  Keep with your reads and start developing some focus with ‘Road’.  What speaks to you?  What do you find interesting?  And what does Kerouac say to you, personally?cup-of-coffee

With 7 weeks to go, we need to increase our pace.  My advice to you all: plan.  Time will win if you don’t.  Time loves to capitalize on the littlest of our follies.  If you plan and plot, measure your work appropriately, you’ll be inviolable (secure from destruction.. word of day…).  But, do, make time for you!  Like my Philosophy friend has always stressed, “You have to have fun!  You have to have fun, Mikey…” So, do.  I encourage you…..

Me, now, writing in a café looking at the clock, counting Time before having to leave for the winery.  Ugh, don’t you just sometimes wish for that day off, just one..  Enough of me, go enjoy your day, your story, your Road, your LIFE!

À bientot!


Merci, et Bonne Nuit!!!

16 Jun

Thank you all for a wonderful first night…  Everything from the discussions to the participation, Jack-Kerouac (1)willingness to participate, and our first in-class creative writing freewrite.  Feel free to share what you feverishly scribbled tonight, below!  If you wish to add to what you wrote or edit a bit, then fine!  But try to keep it as in tact as you can as to give us, your readers, and much a truthful taste of what you wrote in that brief ten-minute span.

Cheers!  I so very much look forward to seeing you all tomorrow night, and working with you over the next eight weeks….

Loyally, Yours,


Good Morning, Everyone!! [7:04AM, 6/7/15]

7 Jun

My name is Mike Madigan, and I’ll be your instructor of record for the next 8 weeks– or, 8 weeks from when the semester does actually start, June 15th… I just wanted to make sure you all have the books the first day, which are Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ and David Sedaris’ ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’. As well, please have one notebook (preferably a Composition Book), and some post-it’s for our readings and places in your journals where you may need to reference and re-reference certain ideas and writings, notes and what be…..
What you can expect from this class: what you invest, what you equate into the equation. So.. if your election is to be miserable, then you will be just that. BUT, new colleagues and friends, if you want to learn a couple new things about your writing voice and about how to approach Literature, and your dreams and academic pursuits, then you will receive that and quite plausibly more!

So, to close, I look forward to meeting and working with you all, and I’ll see you on the 15! Please feel free to introduce yourself below and what you want from this class and your academic life, or anything you want to narrate! Cheers!

Loyally, Yours,