Coffee House Rules

My home office is a comfortable place. Got a big desk, chair, books, all that stuff, with easy access to the kitchen and coffee.

You’d think it’d be ideal for writing. Cats, spouse, neighbors, and generalities seem to conspire against it working. If I had to name one as the greatest offense, the cats would take the spot. They’re like, “Hey, I hear him typing. I better go put a stop to that by getting on his lap or the keyboard.” (This is called an interflooftion.) Just doesn’t work for me.

So I like coffee houses for my writing endeavors. I abandoned my previous favorite (management changes, and they treated former employees (who are family) like garbage, so I’m gone). The search was on, causing me to remind myself what I was looking for. Also, people ask me, “What are you looking for in a coffee shop for your writing?” or “Why do you go there?”

So — no order, really, but numbered for convenience.

  1. Tables with chairs and access to outlets.
  2. Good coffee.
  3. Some space.
  4. Decent prices.
  5. Location – must be in Ashland, OR.
  6. General ambiance.

A nice staff also helps but I must say, in fourteen years of frequenting Ashland’s coffee houses, I’ve not encountered a nice (code for friendly and engaging) staff.

These are subjective things. (Right? Most things are.)  I settled on Noble’s after trying a few places. Noble’s has all of the above (plus excellent scones and muffins (although I try not to indulge, right?) except their coffee costs one dollar more. After deciding on the place, though, I then had to pay attention to its ebb and flow, cause, you know, those tables, chairs, outlets, and space aren’t unlimited.

As with most places, you either must arrive early (typically before 8:30) to beat the morning rush. The next break generally arrives at ten. With Noble’s, I found the best time to arrive for my writing is 11:30 AM. The place empties. Most tables (with outlets) are available, so I have a choice of places. There’s then a forty-minute lull before they experience a lunch rush. I can settle in and write for a few hours. It’s great.

The start time pushes back my time, so I need to adjust either ends. Of course, this is winter; things will be different in other times of the year.

It probably won’t surprise you, but I ran into friends everywhere I went in to have coffee and write. (“Oh, you’re writing here now?”)

Alright now. Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

4 thoughts on “Coffee House Rules

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  1. My ‘space’ is in the family living room, and I had to laugh about your cats, for mine are the same … especially Ollie, aka Oliver Wendell Holmes, who jumps into my lap, all 25 pounds of him, and shoves at my laptop, trying to push it onto the floor. And, granddaughter is giggling on the phone with her friends. And daughter is watching some television show or another. Some days, it drives me nuts, other days I can tune it out, but always I remember that I am lucky to have them. Question, though … I see people working diligently on their laptops at Barnes & Noble, and I often wonder … doesn’t the constant flow of people passing through distract you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The flow rarely distracts me. Certain frequencies (heard in a voice or laugh) seem to jolt me but it’s a jolt, and I generally return. A friend who frequently sees me when I’m writing told me that I always appear deeply focused and not noticing anything going on around me. Actually, I notice things on different levels but dismiss most. I don’t know, it’s a gift, it’s luck, it’s training, and all of the preceding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it must be all of the above … I am too easily distracted, although once I get into that place where I’m intensely focused, I think the house could catch fire and I might not notice! It’s hard for me to get to that place, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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