A Few More Drips

I’d been experiencing such great writing mojo. It was wondrous, the sort of writing experiences sought by authors everywhere. The writing flowed freely. Editing and revisions tailored the passages into cleaner, more reader-friendly (and story-advancing) prose.

Then, Wednesday came.

There wasn’t any indication Wednesday would be the day that the mojo didn’t come, but Wednesday was the day the mojo took off. Maybe the rain chased the mojo away, or perhaps they had a dental appointment.

I asked the muses where the mojo had gone. The muses shrugged, palms out in classic “I don’t know” non-verbals. “Who knows how the mojo works,” they said. “Mojo has a mind of its own.”

Their response surprised me; I thought the muses supplied the mojo, a position that amused them. “As if,” they said.

I struggled through Wednesday. Writing a short chapter (about a thousand words) consumed hours. Carving and shaping it sucked another thirty minutes. Even then, I was like, geez, that needs work.

Then, of course, I walked away.

The next day, the mojo showed up late but still, good to have them (don’t know the mojo’s gender, to be honest). Fixed that Wednesday chapter and then pushed on. With mojo encouraging the muses (or is it the other way), the writing time flew. Words poured out.

Beautiful. Off I went, walking, writing in my head as I went, pursuing chores, then back home for lunch and household tasks. All the while, the mojo stayed. The muses kept whispering more.

Quietly (avoiding attracting the cats, scaring off the muses, or alarming the mojo), I opened my computer and added another page. Off for more holiday running around with my spouse. The mojo remained, and the muses kept whispering, “Add this. Write that.”

Back home, more was added.

Then, showering this morning, more scenes dripped in. “Hurry,” the muses said, “let’s go write.”

“Come on,” the mojo said. “You gonna write or what?”

Yes, I was gonna write. At page two hundred, with a goal of keeping it less than three hundred pages (which looks promising), I believe it can be completed by the middle of January. Earlier is possible (as is a shorter novel) as, tying ends together, I revise the page count down.

Got my coffee. The muses and mojo are present. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.


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.

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