Coffee Shop Kook

Home is my enemy right now.

Completely.

I’ve been more productive in my writing in an hour or two at a coffee shop in the middle of my workday than I am for hours at home on the weekends or after work.

Gah!!!

I’m sure it’s because I get distracted by all the things that need doing or that I would like to be doing besides writing. Although I adore writing, I’m in the middle of a massive rewrite and it’s a LOT of work, so I look for things that are easier.

I haven’t had any success at home, so I’m essentially living at three different coffee shops around town. Thankfully, everyone is nice is about it, although my patients do notice I smell like coffee quite a bit.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but the smell of the beans after they’ve been ground seeps into my clothes. I’m fine with it. Eau de Coffee ain’t so bad.

Where’s your most productive location? Not your favorite location, your most productive. Home? Office? Work? Coffee Shop? Frigid street corner?

 

Happy writing!

 

“Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”
― Douglas R. Hofstadter

“To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self disciplined is to follow in a better way.”
― Corita Kent

A Little Robert Burns

Last night I started reading a book of collected poems by Robert Burns.

I’d read a few snippets of his poetry before, and know a few of the more popular poems, such as Auld Lang Syne; A Red, Red Rose; and Address to a Haggis.

But I hadn’t delved too deeply into the rest of his work. All I can say is… I love it! Even though poetry isn’t my go-to choice for reading, everything else has seemed too involved to read right now.

And because I read and adore Scottish accents, I don’t find it difficult in the least to decipher all the words we in America may find confusing. In fact, it amazed me how humorous many of his poems are! I found myself literally laughing out loud at a few of his bits, thoroughly enjoying his word choice and meter and style. Plus, he’s the national poet of Scotland. How cool!

What about you? Who is a poet you love? A favorite poet?

My favorite poet is Rudyard Kipling, but I think Burns is quickly going to climb the ladder and vie for the top spot or two.

Happy writing! And reading!
“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley.
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

(To A Mouse)
― Robert BurnsCollected Poems of Robert Burns

“There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
― Robert BurnsCollected Poems of Robert Burns

“Some books are lies frae end to end,
And some great lies were never penn’d…”
― Robert Burns

My Book Saved Me!

I’m a total wimp when it comes to bugs. As a kid I used to love them, but now… blech. They make me shiver and I get wigged out.

Walking out of the bathroom after I got home, I saw an enormous wasp on the floor.

Eek!

There was no shoe close by. And there was NO way I was using my bare foot or hand.

Fortunately, there was a used cookbook not five feet away. And it saved me.

Sorry, book! But you helped me out when I squealed far above my normal pitch range and ran to you for help. You saved me!

See? Books aren’t just for reading, right? Have you ever had to do this? I apologized to the book afterwards, but I think it was happy to save me from my distress.

Happy writing and reading!

(I couldn’t find any bug related quotes. So there are none, today.)

3 Quotes, 3 Days… Day Three!

For my third and final 3 Quotes, 3 Days challenge, it will take even more thinking and probing the depths of my memory to bring you a quote that I adore from my readings.

I believe I will choose a quote from the author that has most inspired me as a writer. Since I’m choosing quotes from books and since I’m a writer, it seems fitting.

But narrowing down the genius of L.M. Montgomery is a monumental undertaking.

Hmm…

anne_shirley_and_gilbert_blythe_by_mcdalek-d68jqoi

It was hard to choose, but here it is,

“In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of “faëry lands forlorn,” where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart’s Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of the Island

I believe this encompasses my love for all things imagined, and one of the most inspirational books for me as a writer. I adore L.M. Montgomery, and if she were still alive, I’d do almost anything to meet and talk to her.

For my last day, I’m going to tag Herminia Chow over at aspiringwriter22. She posts beautiful poems, thoughtful questions, fun trivia, and generally makes me smile on a daily basis.

There you are! My three quotes in three days. If anyone else wants to participate, feel free!!! Tag yourself and be off! I love to see other peoples’ favorite quotes.

Cheerio!

3 Days, 3 Quotes… Day Two

Here I am on the second day of this challenge, and it’s even harder to pick a quote that I adore.

But I have to pick one, so it’ll be from “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” which is a book I’ve recently finished and absolutely fell in love with.

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“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
― Brian SelznickThe Invention of Hugo Cabret

LOVE IT!!! Because we’re all here for a reason.

I’ll tag Caroline G. Sibley for this challenge today! I always enjoy her posts, and she knows SO much about history, which is one of my favorite subjects.

See you tomorrow!

3 Quotes, 3 Days… Day One!

My awesomely awesome bloggy friend, Rachel, tagged me for the Three Quotes, Three Days challenge. I love being tagged for challenges because it gives me something to blog about when my brain is on empty.

Rachel is an amazing writer and always has endearing, funny, thought-provoking and soul deepening posts on her blog. So go check her out!

I’ve seen this challenge floating around, but didn’t exactly know the rules. Apparently you post a favorite quote, but in some versions it says to post a quote from a book, for three days in a row. One each day. And nominate one person each day to participate.

Easy-peasy, rice-and-cheesy, right?

GAH!

I love quotes, if you haven’t noticed, yet. I post quotes at the end of every entry to sum up what I talked about and emphasize the point. Or to provide witty repartee.

So narrowing my choices down to just THREE will be hard, but I think I know the first one. For the purposes of this challenge, I will limit my quotes to books only, just to help myself out a little bit. Maybe another time I’ll do quotes by my favorite inspirational (real) people.

And here’s my first quote!

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From “The Fellowship of the Ring” in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gandalf wisely says,

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Such a profound quote, and so simply worded. I could expound on its meaning for days, but I’ll just let you enjoy it.

My first nominee is E.H. Bates from BumblesBooks. She’s one of my very favorite bloggy buddies, editing pal, and overall great friend. Have fun!

*Since this challenge is about quotes, I will forego my normal quoting at the end of posts until this challenge is over*

From the Mouths of Elderly

We all know that person. Or two. Elderly people who have lived so long they no longer give two craps one way or the other what they say to you or how you feel.

As a PT, I experience a LOT of people like that. Both men and women.

Today I was out to dinner with a co-worker at The Brick Saloon, the oldest bar/tavern in Washington State, and we saw a current elderly patient.

One of the patient’s friends, upon looking at me, said, “Let me put on my sunglasses so I can see you better. You’re so white it’s blinding!”

BAHAHA!!! Seriously! Then, she proceeded to stare aghast at me when I told her I had actually garnered a bit of a tan from being out on a boat two weekends previous.

Anyone who’s seen me in person knows I’m as pasty as a new bottle of Elmer’s, but I’m still shocked when people say stuff like that.

I wasn’t offended, but it got me thinking…

How often do writers accurately portray the elderly? I think I’m fairly accurate because of my profession, but too many times I see people write elderly characters as being sweet, gentle, and passive.

Coming from someone who knows, most elderly are NOT that way. There are definitely some like that, but once people get past a certain age, their filters crumble and fade.

So when you’re writing elderly characters, think to yourself: “Would my grandma or grandpa say that? Would my great-aunt Philomena? What about that lady you always see at the drugstore or market who’s always giving the employee a hard time?

If you want to be accurate, go spend some time with the elderly. Do a nice deed and volunteer at a nursing home or a hospital. Bring cheer to someone’s life and learn a few things, as well. The elderly have so much to teach us, and a lot of it is brutal in its honesty.

Happy writing!

“‎You cannot correct an old person every time they say something offensive. You would never make it through Thanksgiving dinner!”
― Stephen Colbert

“…but oh, it would just break your heart to see some of them waiting for their visitors. They get their hair all done up on Saturday, and on Sunday morning they get themselves all dressed and ready, and after all that, nobody comes to see them. I feel so bad, but what can you do? Having children is no guarantee that you’ll get visitors . . . No, it isn’t.”
― Fannie Flagg

“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Hans Zimmer Is My Soundtrack

I’ve said in the past that I don’t listen to music when I write or edit, unless it’s relaxing instrumental music.

Welp…I’ve changed my mind.

The last few days I’ve been listening to my Hans Zimmer channel on Pandora, and it’s epic to say the least!

If you don’t know who Hans Zimmer is, go check him out. He’s easily one of my favorite movie composers ever! It’s a pretty even tie between him and Howard Shore and John Williams.

Since the book I’m working on is fantasy, the music he writes is so inspiring and dramatic. It makes for interesting editing and writing times. And since it’s all instrumental, mostly from movie soundtracks, I don’t get distracted like I do with regular songs. Bonus!

Here’s a selection of some beauteous Hans Zimmer.

What music do you like to listen to when writing/editing? Does it help put you in the right mood? Does it inspire you? Or do you get distracted by music like I often do because it’s just so amazing?

Happy writing!

“What’s the point of getting up in the morning unless you’re gonna have an adventure? As the moments of our life are ticking away you have to be aware that it needs to be an adventure.” ― Hans Zimmer
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” ― Victor Hugo

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” ― Anonymous

The Dirty Thirty

Has anyone else ever heard that expression before? No? I hadn’t either until someone told me a few days ago since…

I turn 30 today!

Yikes! These first thirty years have just flown by. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t accomplished a thing, and then I think back on the last decade, and I can believe how MUCH has happened!

I’m definitely not where my 20 year-old self thought I would be at 30, but you know what? I think I like this better.

For my 30th birthday, I went to a bunch of appointments at random doctors before I head out west in two weeks. Fun, right? Man, is that not a sign of getting older, or what? 🙂

Tomorrow night I’m having a big dinner with friends and Sunday I’m doing a family thing. I’ve never been much of a partier, and even these two things make me uncomfortable. But I’ll be so happy to see my closest friends and family because I have no idea when I’ll be back in the Mitten to see people.

So, here I am… turning the “dirty 30,” though if you know me at all, you’ll know what a perpetual Goody Twoshoes I am and how dirty thirty will never apply to me. But it rhymes, so I’m using it.

Happy birthday to anyone else out there celebrating. My 20s were amazing, insane, emotional, difficult, mind-blowing, and demanding. I hope my 30s will teach me even more.

I’m so grateful to my family and friends for always supporting me in life, and especially in my creative endeavors. And to all you lovely WP bloggy friends…thanks for rounding me out as a person. You’re just what I needed.

Happy writing!

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
― William Shakespeare

“Happy Birthday Seaweed Brain”
― Rick RiordanThe Last Olympian

“A happy birthday is measured not in the amount of gifts one gets, but in the amount one is loved.”
― Todd Stocker

My Writing Perfume

In the past few months, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time at a local coffee shop using their WiFi and rewriting my first book. I didn’t notice until a few weeks into that timeframe that I smelled different when I left the coffee shop than when I entered.

A few days ago, I was there for about three hours. Not too long for me, really, but afterwards I had to run a few errands. At one store, as I was walking away from the cashier, I heard him mumble, “Do I smell coffee?”

Haha! It was me!

Although I rarely wear perfume, I’ve somehow gained a new scent. And I’m calling it: Coffee House. I smelled like espresso. Strong espresso. They brewed so much coffee and made so many drinks, it seeped into my clothes.

As most of you know, I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of coffee, but I do love the smell, so I’m proud of my new perfume.

Anybody else? Has this happened inadvertently to any of you? Gained a new perfume/cologne accidentally?

I was amused at his comment and laughing as I left the store, and wondered how many other people noticed my new scent and said nothing.

“I don’t really like coffee, she said, but I don’t really like it when my head hits my desk when I fall asleep either. ”
― Brian Andreas

“Come on, don’t you ever stop and smell the coffee?”
― Justina ChenNorth of Beautiful