Garret or Coffeehouse, That is the Question.
Certainly not a garret. Who wants to be cooped up in a loft? Or an attic, though in California, try and find a house with an attic. Besides, attics are gloomy and presuppose cobwebs and dankness and maybe a ghost or two. Not for moi.
As a writer I have always worked in a particular part of my habitat and no matter which house or apartment I’ve lived in, (about 10 or so over the years) there is one deal breaker. My office had to be located next to an adjoining kitchen. For obvious reasons. Need I spell them out? OK I will. F.O.O.D.
When writer’s block might occur (rarely) or boredom (sometimes) or when I just needed a change of pace and place, off I’d go to “the coffeehouse.” But I don’t actually go to coffeehouses, especially the overpriced and pretentious Starbucks. You can twist my arm until I cry uncle, but I will never utter the word barista or grande in my lifetime. Or order things like Carmel macciato or Expresso con panna. Puleeeze! Get real. Coffee is coffee. Anyway, I wouldn’t go there or to any other coffee joint because there is no F.O.O.D.
Over the years I have written in bars. (Must be part of a restaurant) Usually off hours with a bartender who will keep pests away who will always ask: 1.What are you writing? (a script.) 2. Where do you get your ideas? (out of my head) 3. I could write that crap better that what’s on TV. (Get lost!!!! Or stronger.)
Another favorite place were bowling alleys. The wild cadence of the bouncing balls flying down the alleys reminded me of an angry ocean at high tide. Very soothing. Naturally I sat near the coffee shop entrance.
But my all time favorite was the year I spent in a small boutique restaurant called The Pleasure of your Company. The owner, a gourmet chef, saw me as an “artiste” and offered me a table in the rear, with plug for my computer.
I arrived 8am sharp, had my incredible breakfast, different every day. (Spinach Benedict, yum.) Then got to work. Of course I was still there at lunch (My favorite; croissant sandwiches filled with brie cheese with a soup to die for) The noise level was high. The TV blasted. The phone rang off the proverbial hook. The kitchen shouted out when orders were ready. The diners loud and energetic –they worked at a nearby film studio.
I heard nothing but the sound of my muse whispering in my head, telling me just what to write. (Or was it my mother nagging from her great white condo in the sky?)
And had the chef been open for dinner, I’d have stayed all day and perhaps napped on the patio for a while to gather my strength.
I wrote half of a novel there and gained five pounds, but it was worth it.