Thursday, June 20, 2013

Writing's Little Rituals

    With summer here and my son home from college, the last five weeks have wreaked havoc on my writing schedule. So, as I write this, I’m trying something new. New for me that is, though I know plenty of writers who do this. I’m writing from my local Starbucks. Not much of a coffee drinker and easily distracted, I’ve avoided the whole coffee-house scene. But since I couldn’t find my groove at home, here I sit, a little experiment if you will.
    Here’s what I’ve got going on…
    A skinny Vanilla Latte sits on the table to my right
    My laptop is on my lap
    And my reading glasses are perched on my nose.
    Sounds ideal, right?
    While I try to summon my thoughts, two women sit behind me talking about a woman who got shot coming out of a local bar. That tidbit turns to complaints about work and another person’s biopsy results.
    Two men chat about the smell of gas. I pray they are talking about a house and not their intestinal issues.
    Through the window, I see two ladies sitting outside. It’s a gorgeous day. Maybe I should opt for an outside seat? The women’s conversation becomes animated, complete with swinging hands and intense expressions. Instead of doing what I came here to do, I find I am watching a movie with the volume turned down.
    A few more sips of coffee and the caffeine begins to pump through my veins. This helps me focus until the first two women shift seats and their conversation shifts too.
    Talking about her husband, the first woman says, “I asked Richard what his goal is for working.”
    Taken out of context, this bit of dialogue peaks my interest and I twist it in my mind. What is my goal for working at this, I ask myself. I have plenty of answers, but it’s the question that stops and makes me think. The question feels like an opportunity. An opportunity that, had I stayed home today, I would not have discovered. Kind of cool!
    I’m not sure if I’ll be back to Starbucks to write. A natural observer, I’m one of those people who may not be able to tune out the interesting tidbits of life as they unfold right in front of me. But I’m glad I gave it a chance.

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