Outdoor seating, too!
In the nerve-wracking days leading up to Hurricane Irma’s arrival, with my work campus closed. Mom’s day center closed, and our home as prepared (we thought) as we might be, I had to get myself out of the house for a little while. I had been meaning to visit Organic Life Coffeehouse in Palm Harbor for as long as it had been open, and decided it was past time.
They have all kinds of sandwiches and wraps, baked goods, pastries, and of course, what I was there for–coffee.
Larry cheerfully behind the counter
The latte’ Joanne prepared for me was wonderful but I didn’t think to take a picture of it. I was too busy drinking it.
They have live music several nights a week. Larry also plays guitar!
Organic Life Wall O’ Friends
I had my notebook with me and spent some time writing while I enjoyed my drink. There was nice jazz playing. It would be the perfect place for a writer to get in some quality writing time, if she didn’t have a day job. Maybe they’ll let me hang out there on the weekends.
My bedroom writing space
Yesterday, I was in the lobby area of the hotel having coffee with my wonderful husband and doing my Morning Pages (aka therapeutic journaling, aka daily brain dump), and a woman stopped at our table. She apologized for interrupting and asked if I was a writer. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Yes. Yes, I am. And one day I plan on being a professional writer”. She noticed my Florida Writers Association t-shirt and commented on it and I was glad I had worn it.
She asked about my projects. I told her I had a blog that I was trying to pay more loving attention to, and an idea for a non-fiction book that I have established a URL for with the idea of blogging it into existence. She told me she had a screenwriting idea for a complete story arc for a current television show that has had a poor storyline into its latest season. I wrote down my blog URL for her. We exchanged the titles of a couple of books each thought the other might enjoy.
It was so cool!
I would go on and on here for awhile, but Mother keeps looking at her watch and asking when we’re leaving for Wills Point and our family Thanksgiving get-together. I guess I’ll stop making her wait.
Every morning, I write Morning Pages. It’s something I’ve done off and on for almost two decades, starting with the first time I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. A couple of years ago, I reread it and went through all the exercises and endeavored to make Morning Pages a daily practice. At first, I spent $10-12 on each ruled, wire-bound journal, purchased from the bargain table at Barnes and Noble. When I got to the point where I was actually writing every day and going through one blank book per month, I decided that the $1 composition books from Target or Office Depot worked just as well, and when I watched for the Back-To-School sales, I could pick them up for half-price or less. Now I have dozens of them stashed around the house, ready for me to fill up with what is essentially a daily brain-dump.
Sometimes I sit at an antique secretary in the den, sometimes at my sewing machine/desk in the bedroom, and on the weekends when I feel the need for extra solitude and quiet, I take myself out to the travel trailer that is parked on the side of the house between camping trips. I have taken my current journal with me to early morning doctor’s appointments so that I could stop by the coffee house afterwards and do the writing I hadn’t had time to do before the appointment. As I’ve progressed in this daily writing habit, I have found that I am able to write with more focus in what at one time would have been unbearably distracting conditions.
Some people refer back to their journal/diaries for reference or as a memory aid. I have almost never done so (as if I’d be able to decipher my handwriting anyway). Others keep theirs as some kind of gift to the future or a legacy for their children. Since mine act as both a writing lubricant and therapy tool, I don’t believe that I would want anyone reading them, nor do I think anyone would find them particularly interesting. I do keep them, although I’m not sure why, but I only have them dating back about 6 years, as shortly after I moved to Florida, I had an amazingly cathartic bonfire in my backyard, burning all the pages I had written up until that time.
But, I digress. The original direction I had for this post was that it took me about three years to fully integrate Morning Pages into my daily routine and make it something that I anticipate as I know how it enriches my day. My next step is to make regular blogging so much a part of my routine that it is just the next step in a natural progression after coffee and Morning Pages. Maybe one day, I’ll get yoga in there, too.
I have a couple of nice writing spots at home – my closed sewing machine cabinet/desk in the bedroom and the antique secretary in the den – plus the travel trailer when I need to have quiet on the weekends, but sometimes I just want to get away from the house. I had heard that our library had a little cafe’ space so last week I decided to check it out.
I had already had my morning writing session at Nosh!, so I just stepped in to take a few pictures before heading into the library proper. There was one other person there studying, but I thought it would be rude to interrupt her or take her picture without asking, which is why you don’t see her in these photos.
There’s a vending machine:
and free reading material:
a few tables and lots of natural light:
and you can even get buy a bottle of water to help support the library!
They said they’d like to attract a vendor to have an actual cafe’ there, but it might be hard for them to compete with the local Starbucks. Although, come to think of it, it is a lot easier to get to and has a lot more parking. Even without scones and cappuccino, though, it looks like it might be a good place for a quiet writing session.
I recently tried a new cafe’ in Oldsmar, Nosh!, where I got a breakfast sandwich pressed on Cuban bread. It was really yummy and I can’t wait to get back to try some of their specialty coffee drinks and other breakfast and lunch items.
I also got one of their crumb cakes to go. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it’s 2/3 “crumb” and 1/3 “cake”. It was pretty tasty, but I would have preferred less crumb and more cake, myself.
It wasn’t too crowded mid-morning, but did have a steady flow of traffic. It seems like a good place for future morning writing sessions.