And the idea of just wandering off to a café with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while is just bliss.
~ J. K. Rowling
I wish I was a write-in-a-café kind of
gal. I have my home cave set up
so to my liking that the idea of traveling somewhere to sit and post just doesn't give enough ROI. Being able to hunch over the computer sans bra and make-up sounds grubby, not Hemingwayesque. I know. But alternating between editing and bill paying is just too damn tempting for an anal type A.
No garret for me, but not the picture window overlooking a placid mountain lake or the blank white walls of a strip mall office either. Rather give me a cranked up AC, never-empty coffee pot, complete with a European milk foamer, hot and cold running munchies, quick potty trips where I don’t have to protect all my stuff by schlepping everything to the loo, ability to wash laundry, sauté onions and tap away at the same time and my trusty MSNBC on the TV set above my desk to keep me clued into the world. And now with the Coffitivity site or app, I can even have ambient noise from a café sound track to encourage my right brain neurons to start producing.
Plus I can’t walk to a local hangout or even the ever pervasive Starbucks. If only they were on every corner in my neighborhood. So a field trip that entails braving LA streets just to pay for some plain java and a mediocre blueberry scone on the off chance I’ll be sitting next to a cell phone blabbermouth who thinks her life is worthy of its own reality show doesn’t convince me that I should pack up the old messenger bag and grab the car keys.
Then you have to situate yourself and your accoutrements, hopefully not in someone else’s special place, until you've built up enough cred to have your own spot. Then comes the whole perfect cup of coffee performance where I dump out some of it to make room for enough milk and keep adding sweetener packets till I hit the right level. Returning to your table you still have to clean up the crumbs and spills from the previous genius and get yourself into writing mode. Om. Frankly, I’ve become so used to Chris Matthews’ harangues on mute that they’ve become a bit of a ritual for me.
The acknowledgement page of my bestseller will just have to include the names of various evil dictators, lying politicians and blathering talking heads that provide me with that soothing sense of community that some of us need to create our masterpieces. My agent, my family and Richard Engel reporting live via Skype from the Middle East.