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.
- Tables with chairs and access to outlets.
- Good coffee.
- Some space.
- Decent prices.
- Location – must be in Ashland, OR.
- 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.
Checking out a faded stop sign, I thought, man, that thing has lost almost all its color. If it wasn’t for its shape, I wouldn’t know what it is. So, yea for the shape of a stop sign, serving its purpose to let you know what it is in all sorts of conditions.
Winding along the road further down, I thought that I’d been on that road a few times the past week, chuckling to myself about it. Between that thought and the sign, the Sheryl Crow song, “Every Day Is A Winding Road” (1996), crept into my thinking stream.
Yeah, every day is a winding road. Few stay as straightforward as planned. I always think of going with the changes and shifts as, riding the wave of the day. I’d like to think the roads are taking me somewhere, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in the Dichotomy Paradox, where you keep going half the distance left to go, but never get to the end. In theory, it’s impossible because a journey would then take an infinite number of steps and never end.
Yeah, that pretty well sums up my publishing efforts.