Fear in Writing: Coffeeshop Watch

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coffeeshop Watch

Coffeeshops.  What a hotbed of crazy humanity!  There is the insanely overweight man with the state school ballcap.  The mixed-fashion college students--one in a plaid golf cap and skinny jeans, the other in a preppy black fleece.  There's the semi-cool, fighting middle age, work-from-home guy; the dowdy high school graduate slumped so far down in her chair that her brown shirt, brown hair and dark attitude melt into the brown leather; the crazy loud-on-her-bluetooth businesswoman--spouting catchwords and business slang like she's on Wall Street...

Then there are the writers.

They were sitting next to me today, at one of those high cocktail tables.  Each was waxing about his antagonist and romace plot line and hidden twists.  One had a heavy southern accent delivered in a nasal voice.  The other sported a beard and didn't talk much.

They were the only ones in the coffeeshop actually talking to each other.  What brought them together may have been the written word, but they managed to put a voice to it, conversing and exchanging ideas.

At first it was annoying.  I mean, I'm trying to write here!  But then it was intriguing and a bit inspiring--not hero dies saving a child inspiring, but small-twitch-of-a-smile-I-know-what-you're-going-through inspiring.

Writers.  I guess we stand out in a crowd.

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  1. We don't have any places where writers write in public around here. I've never seen anyone in a coffee shop or book store (they're too small) or even the library. Must be a big city thing :)

  2. I love the first passage of your post, Chels, but I must admit - I already see your writing would be a nightmare for translators :PP

  3. The only place I know of where writers congregate is at Barnes & Noble (the local writer's association, at least), but it's not at a convenient time.

    I always write at home!

  4. I find that funny. I have never met a writer in a coffee shop. Of course, I don't really frequent coffee shops. That's nice that they could discuss together.


  5. Did you join the writers' conversation? Make some friends? I'd love to find a place where other writer's were hanging out and chatting--kinda like this blog :)

    Truthfully, I feel pretty comfortable writing this from thousands of miles away, but I'd be self conscious about striking up a conversation with strangers in a cafe. My real life socialization skills aren't as good as my virtual ones.

  6. Yes, we writers do stand out, but sometimes it's simply because we have our heads in our story so much that we forget what we are doing and don't realize before we go out in public that we are actually putting on two different pairs of boots. LOL. Go see Sara McClung for what I'm talkin about. Good times.

  7. I've found I can connect with people at Starbucks in the evening. They're not rushed, or wearing their fancy duds. I usually have tussled hair and a disheveled look first thing in the morning.

    Stephen Tremp

  8. What a vibrant community you describe.
    Public places can be an inspiration.

  9. Writers are a breed apart, as are readers. And I like your description of inspiring.

    ~ Rayna