Last Tuesday, I did something kind of naughty. And I plan to do it again tonight.
On my hot husband? Heavens, no. On my recommended pre-natal diet? Um, I would actually have to be following said diet in order to cheat on it. No, I committed my naughty act against two slightly more mundane things: my old city coffee shop, and my new country one.
My long-suffering novel has been dormant for almost a year now; the last time I dusted it off was at the KPL Storytelling festival last year, where I read a revised version of my first chapter. Since then - nada.
Motivation to write is - not surprisingly - harder to come by these days, not to mention the dwindling trickle of once-plentiful ideas that kept my characters and plot ticking away. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself; family needs to come first sometimes. But things are gonna get really busy in the fall with baby numero duo, so I made up my mind to try and get at least two more chapters written this summer. And in order to do that, I needed a writing space...outside of Someday.
I'm not sure why I can't seem to write at home. I have a decent-sized office with a great chair and a reasonable desk. But I prefer to do my writing outside the walls of my house. Back in Waterloo, I used to write faithfully for several hours a week at the Second Cup coffee shop; there was something so comforting about the aroma of that place. I'd feel all the day's tension melt away at the first sniff of freshly ground coffee. I always ordered the same thing (a mocchacino to start, with a mint tea for later), the chairs fit my kinks, and there always seemed to be a table waiting just for me, with an electrical outlet within my laptop's reach. It was my weekly ritual, and I loved it.
After moving to the Kink, I searched for a suitable replacement. There weren't many options, and certainly no Second Cups to satisfy my mocchacino cravings. The independently owned Books n' Beans had a quirky, welcoming atmosphere and decent lattes, but they weren't open beyond 6pm, and I'm an evening kind of writer. Still, I liked the fact that it was a small-town operation, and not some crazy Starbucks catastrophe.
When a Coffee Culture chain opened up a block away from Books n' Beans, I disdainfully turned up my nose after trying one latte, which - HORRORS! - came out of a push-button box thing instead of a proper espresso machine. Yes, Second Cup is a commercially owned chain too, but at least all their drinks are hand-brewed!
But as I tried to find other options, I realized that unless I wanted to write in a noisy bar with peanut shells on the floor, or in the hermetic, beverage-less silence of the library, I was going to have to suck it up and give Coffee Culture a try. And so last Tuesday, after Tai Chi, that's just what I did. And I was pleasantly surprised.
CC was clean, quiet and comfortable. I had a wide array of seats to choose from; deep, squishy armchairs by the fire, straight-backed chairs at little tables, or soft, cushioned booths. They had a rather nice menu, and as I'm always starving after Tai Chi, the toasted bagel and cream cheese hit the spot. (My one complaint with Second Cup was that their food always - frankly - sucked.) Even the latte wasn't as bad as I'd remembered it, although it still made me shudder to see the guy press the "Latte" button on his machine. Service was friendly and prompt, too. All in all, CC was a location very conducive to writing. I managed to get a few pages scribbled after spending an hour sorting through old chapters and trying to collect my scattered thoughts.
So I'm going back tonight. Wish me luck. And don't tell the guys at Second Cup!