05 January 2014

Writing home

For more than a year I have been searching for a new place to write near home. One within walking distance. A place with good light and nice people. It had to have comfortable chairs and enough tables that I didn't have to worry about fighting for a place. The coffee/espresso had to be of a certain quality. And there had to be options for real food, not simply a pastry. It had to be clean. This proved to be a bigger challenge than I ever anticipated in a town like Portland and a neighborhood like mine.

Around a month ago a new place opened up across the street from Starbucks. This would the 4th coffee place to open up within the distance of a single city block. (I had been able to find faults in the other three). It is, rather fittingly called the fourth estate coffeehouse. From the first time I walked through their door, I felt like this could be the place for me, the place where I could sit and write and think while drinking (and occasionally eating) delicious things. There is bright light from windows. There aren't any fluorescent lights. In fact, there is a skylight above my table that balances the light just right.
In short, I think I'm falling in love.

I am able to write at home and I have a great space in which to do that. But writing is so often a solitary pursuit and so it's nice to get out into the world where unpredictable things happen, where you can watch two people navigate the waters of a first date, where you can watch the newspaper reading habits of someone else. You can observe the gentleman who always holds the door open for others. You can wonder what that other laptop people are working on. Is it Facebook or a brilliant novel?

Over the past week, I have been slowly reclaiming my life from the grips of the retail holiday season. I have slept, I have read, I have cooked and eaten good food. I have watched movies and gone for long walks. And now, I dive back into writing to see what is worth pursuing from November.

I didn't talk a lot about what I did for NaNoWriMo, but I will tell you that if I can do it right, it's going to be a tough and beautiful story. A story of friendship and a story of family...in all the forms it takes. For the first time in my life, I wrote a scene that made me cry as I wrote it. I've heard other writers talk about this, but I'd never before experienced it. It was, at once, both awesome and terrifying.

I'll confess I am a little nervous to see what I wrote, but I finally feel ready. I feel the time is now.

My fourth estate Stumptown latte.

01 January 2014

Starting the New Year Right

I've heard it said that you should start the new year doing the things you'd like to do all year. So far, I feel like I'm off to a great start.

I've slept in, read, made coffee, tried a new recipe for breakfast, and am sitting down at my computer to write the first words of 2014. I also have some lovely things lined up for the rest of the day. And I get to spend the entire day with my favorite person.

So far 2014, I'm a big fan.

2013? You brought some good times and some heartache. Overall, I'm grateful for the time we had together. You taught me some important life lessons, reminded me how important it is to have fun and to take the time to do the things that make your heart sing. I'm lucky to have had the time we had together.