#weekendcoffeeshare: I Have Lost My Impulse

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it once a month, you can get the lowdown about it at the link above.

[Your dialogue is in purple.]

[My dialogue is in teal.]

§

If we were to have coffee…

We’re having our powwow at your choice spot, which I gather is Starbuck’s. After all, there aren’t many places in the US that can beat the variety of blends of coffee and creamer that are find there. Pricey but if we don’t use this place all the time, it can be managed.

We find a table away from the noise of the register and the hoards of people at the counter trying to make up their minds. We didn’t hesitate when we placed our preferences. I knew exactly what I wanted by the time I reached the counter. Chances are you knew what you wanted before you got to the door.

“I wonder why so many people can’t make up their minds about what coffee to get. I mean, most of these people have been here before numerous times.”

“Chances are they’re thinking about something else while they wait in line. Or it could be there’s so much to choose from, making their decisions are almost impossible. Still, they should come prepared, or, at least, step out of line until they’ve decided.”

“Exactly. You look tired. What’s up?”

I sip my coffee trying to find the words that will acutely describe what I’m going through. “I may be more distracted than some of these customers in here. I’ve lost my impulse with my writing. Not writing altogether but for anything that would prove I’m an author of any sort. You know, something meaningful.”

You finger your mug as you look down at the light brown swirls inside. You peer up at me. “You are an author. Your blog proves that. It’s meaningful, isn’t it?”

I have Lost My Impulse
by Michel Moreau
https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmaes/

I shake my head and stare at the cravings edged on the table. “Anyone can write in a blog as long as they have access to the internet. That doesn’t make anyone a writer, really. You know that. If I had a strong following, sure, maybe I could say I’m an author of sorts. Even so, I don’t think I could call myself a journalist at the point I’m at right now. Being a journalist would be okay. I don’t find anything wrong with that. Basically, that’s what being a good blogger is, writing articles for the masses to read. If the topics were enticing, it would be kind of fun. Nevertheless, what I write in my blog cannot be considered journalism, by any stretch of the imagination.”

It’s your turn to shake your head at me. You take a swig of your coffee and emphatically set it down. “Did you take one of those writer tests online?” I nod. “Did any of them say you weren’t a writer?” I shake my head. “Do you like writing?”

“Of course, I do. I’m just not all that good at it and probably never will be.” I sigh.

“Maybe you need to explore what type of writing you really and truly are happy doing. It could be you’re on the verge of the kind of writing that suits you perfectly but because you won’t get off the treadmill you, evidently, are on, you aren’t recognizing it.” You sit giving me a canny look as you cup both hands around your mug and sip the brew.

“I sure can’t be a reporter, not with my mobility issues. And the thought of writing a tech. book makes me cringe.” I case the shop and, finally, find a clock. “I’ll need to get going in a few minutes.” I take a gulp of my coffee.

You reach into your bag and bring out a notepad and pen. “Do me a favor and check out this site.” You write http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/. “There’s an article there listing thirty types of writing that aren’t associated with writing a fictional book.”

I stare at the note, then smile. “Thanks.”

§

Have you ever been balked by your own writing to the point where you feel you can’t go forward?

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: Social Media Pandemonium

Remember last month I stated how the #weekendcoffeeshare at Part-Time Monster wasn’t active anymore? I found where it is active, The Daily Post. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it once a month, you can get the lowdown about it at the link above. From what I read, I do mine a little differently but no one seems to mind enough to approach me about it.

Additionally, the hashtag of #weekendcoffeeshare is used lavishly on Twitter and Facebook. This might get more readers to your blog. 😉

#weekendcoffeeshare: Social Media Pandemonia
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

If we were to have coffee…

I’ve requested to have our coffee-share at McDonald’s just north of the interstate. Since they got rid of the playground area and have revamped the play for actual adults, it’s become a favorite of mine. We drape our jackets over that backs of the chairs that are with a clean table along the front window. No one is waiting in line so getting our large flavored coffees is a snap today.

[Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in teal.]

“Several of the writing blogs I follow are telling me I need to have an online platform, a brand, a presence, whatever they’re calling it this week. I know they’re probably right but this is the one thing I’m not fond of in the twenty-first century of writing.” I carefully take the lid off my container so the coffee will cool down a smidgen.

“It’s the price we pay for the freedoms we have now. I wonder how authors did it before the internet.” You sip your coffee cautiously.

“Maybe they hired publicists. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford one of those. Besides, I can’t see myself attending many book signings at bookstores. Most of the sales are at online outlets these days.”

I give out a yip. I’ve burned my tongue.

“Are you okay?” I nod and lean against the back of the plastic chair. “Have you joined and participated in any of the social media sites?”

“Oh yes, I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now. I also have an account at Google+ and belong to three groups there. I even went back to Facebook, as much as I hate it, and made myself a page.”  Delicately, I take a sip of the caramel coffee blend.

“Why don’t you like Facebook?”

“Things are written there that probably shouldn’t be written anywhere. It often gets rude and cruel.”

We sit in silence for a few moments watching the cars on the road.

You turn to me and say, “Do you know that Facebook has filters now so you can target your crowd a little?”

I smile at your attempt to sway me. “Yeah, I saw that just the other day. I need to investigate that more. Part of my problem is when I read what people write on my timelines and my one page, I’m wondering what they’re really after. So much of it looks like boring dribble to me. Is it a case of me not knowing how to be sociable on the internet?”

You let out a guffaw. “Haven’t you ever been to a cocktail party?” I shake my head. “Not ever?”

“Nope. I have been to some bars, though.”

“I didn’t realize you were the type.” You give me a sideways stare.

“Neighborhood bars with friends. No, I’ve never been a ‘pick-up’ at a bar.” I briefly give you a look of reprimand.

“Okay, think of social media sites as bars of different types. You’re still going to get a lot of the dribble you were talking about but if you scout around, you’ll find some interesting conversations.”

I raise my eyebrows and give a sigh. “So I have to spend more time with it, right?”

You take a swig of coffee before answering. “Yes, but you can do other things while you waiting for intelligence to arrive. Work on your WiP. Visit some blogs. Just peek in on the social media site every so often.” I peer at you with concern. “You’re an introvert so this takes a little more practice is all.”

People are starting to breeze in for lunch. We watch some of the characters who waltz in, making funny comments about them. Soon our coffee is gone and we leave to continue on with our day.

§

What’s your take on social media sites?

Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience. ~Walter Lippma

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: Writing during the Holiday Season

#weekendcoffeeshare: Quirks
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

Diana at Part Time Monster used to host a weekly link-up, where you can submit a link to your post and browse everything else that’s been submitted, or you can use the #weekendcoffeeshare hashtag on Twitter or Facebook. However, her last #weekendcoffeeshare was last June. Still, I like this idea of a dialogue so I’m bringing this post category back, but as a monthly feature. 😀

§

We’re having our coffee at Sisters’, a little knock-about diner on Main Street. Things have changed a bit since the last time we were here. The linoleum is gone and tile that resembles a light grained wood has replaced it. They’ve removed some of the tables and chairs along the front and side walls where the windows are, replacing them with booths. Still, the laid-back atmosphere hasn’t changed.

(Your dialogue is in brown. My dialogue is in green.)

After placing our order, the waitress circles back to us.

“We have flavored creamer. Do you want that instead of the half and half?”

“If it comes in the packets, sure.”

We catch up on the going-ons of our lives at first. After all, it’s been months since we’ve gone out for coffee. With the winter holidays in gear, we end up talking about the interruptions in our schedules.

“So how are you handling your time writing right now?”

“Writing?! What’s that?” You look around for our waitress. “I need coffee. Ah, there she is. I don’t have time for writing these days. I shouldn’t have volunteered for the events at the school. I know better than that. How’s your writing coming along?”

I dump some of the French Vanilla creamer into my coffee and stir, trying to give myself time to drum up courage.

“Well, I shelved the book I was working on.” You don’t say anything, but the stiff posture says it all for you. “The thought of the wrong person reading it was wearing down on me to the point where I had a terrible time even thinking about what word should come next. I have two other incomplete projects I can work on, plus an idea for a new one. Now I find my time has to be gauged minute by minute because of family obligations. I hate to put it that way, but that’s the way it feels.”

“Yes, I know what you mean. I love my family, but this holiday stuff is mind-wrenching. You said you had gotten to middle of the story. Couldn’t you just change a few things and keep on going?”

“Chances are I could, but I think I need some distance from the story, at least for a while. Besides, I think this season has me in a funk. Every time someone calls, I cringe, wanting to be left alone.”

“Kinda sounds like depression. One of the best things for melancholy is to write. You know, get your feelings out in a way that isn’t too aggressive.”

“I think they’re talking about free writing where you write about anything. Writing a story doesn’t cut it. Besides, I’m kind of afraid of what I’d write under those circumstances.”

You shrug your shoulders and gulp down the rest of your coffee. I do the same. On the way out we make intentive plans to do coffee again in about four weeks.

“Happy Holidays! See you next year.”

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson

§

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#weekendcoffeeshare: The Groove and Laptops

Diana at Part Time Monster hosts a weekly link-up, where you can submit a link to your post and browse everything else that’s been submitted, or you can use the #weekendcoffeeshare hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

#weekendcoffeeshare: Quirks
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The coffee shop is crowded today. There isn’t any point in even going inside. We hop back into our vehicles and head on over to Wal-Mart where there’s a small snack counter with seating in one of the front corners of their building. No one is in there except the clerk at the counter.

(Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in green.)

§

The coffee isn’t quite as good but there are free creamer and sugar packs. There aren’t any free goodies so we splurge for donut sticks.

Everyone must be shopping at Big Lots this morning. I almost canceled this morning.

You peer at me as you stir the sugar into your coffee.

Don’t like me anymore? Was there something going on?

I like you fine; you know that. I’ve had a busy week. And all of it was my own doing. I was grappling with my writing the week before, actually for the past few weeks. This time last week it was disgusting. I’d write maybe one hundred fifty words, maybe up to two hundred, and then nothing, absolute void in the brain. I tried doing some chores, tried reading, even tried exercise. Nothing was working. My brain kept on taking unauthorized vacations.

You laugh, having to cover your mouth because you took a bite of donut. The French vanilla creamer is okay but not terrific. Still, I sip the coffee anyway and open the film surrounding my donut stick.

Sorry, but you are funny. Why are you having these problems all of asudden?

I think that it’s a case of me trying to be a pantser when I’m de facto a plotter–even if my stories are character-driven.

And why would this make you cancel our coffee time? Couldn’t wrap your head around it or something?

That’s what was happening a week ago. After I got home last Saturday from our coffee clutch, I wrestled with my conscience about what I wanted and what I need to do to get what I want. I read something Sharon Bonin-Pratt wrote–I don’t even remember if it was in her blog or in an email now. She said something to the effect that a writer has to figure out his/her own way of getting into the writing process; and once that’s done, the writer will get on with it. I know I have problems remembering so I need to take care of this annoyance to get what I want. The solution is sketches, summaries, and written research on anything having to do with my WiP–PERIOD.

One coffee isn’t enough for me. I pay for two more coffees, one for you and one for me, and carry them, along with more creamer and sugar packs, to our table seated against the opposite wall.

You’re still not explaining why you almost canceled.

I’m getting to it. I hid my yWriter within a folder on my Start page of Windows so I wouldn’t even consider trying to write on the story. I developed three new character sketches, did real research on the main location of the story, and wrote seven scene summaries this past week. I still have more research and character sketches to do. I need to write setting sketches, and do at least fourteen more scene summaries before I get the story out again. I’m a little hyped up about this despite how much I’d just love to tear into the story again. I got up at 5:30 yesterday  AND this morning just to work on this stuff. I debated whether I wanted to stop so I could come have coffee with you. I was in that marvelous groove.

My mouth is dry. I take in three gulps of coffee before setting the plastic mega-cup down.

This took you all week to only get this much done?

Yes. It’s the research that takes the time. I changed the location from the original. It’s now set in a place I like better even though I’ve only spent a couple of hours there, and that was several years ago. I had to go get reacquainted by going through photos at Bing. I still haven’t read everything I’ve bookmarked about the town.

How long do you think you’ll take before you’re writing the story again?

At least another week, probably more like two. I don’t want to get lost somewhere along the way again. Something else is happening that I’m hoping will help.

#weekendcoffeeshare: The Groove and LaptopsMy eyes have grown to twice their size as I wait for you to react.

What? Did you win a million dollars?

No, no. Back in May, husband offered to buy me a laptop. At the time, I didn’t think it was worthwhile to have. I was doing just fine waiting until he was off to work to do my writing in “the computer room”, our spare room. Now that I’m feeling this invigoration that is so bizarre to me, I realize I may need that quiet space when he’s home; or worse, when he’s asleep. This “computer room” of ours doesn’t have a door on it. It needs a whole new door frame before putting on a door. The other bedroom I use for sleeping when husband’s snoring is blaring is a better option. The laptop is a good idea all of asudden.

When do you get it?

It’s ordered and is supposed to be delivered by next Wednesday. I’m staying way from Hewlett-Packard. Husband’s PC is a HP and it’s a piece of crap. I opted for a Dell seeing that’s what my PC is.

Now then, what have you been doing?

Do you know how hard it is to find bicycle marathons not connected to some cause that’s overrated or shouldn’t need any more money for a while?

Seeing that I don’t ride a bike anymore, I can’t say that I do, but I’m sure you’ll tell me. Go on.

§

Rules for #weekendcoffeeshare

  1. Posts should be framed as a chat over coffee or some other beverage.
  2. Posts should be current (written within the week).
  3. Links go on the link-up, not in the comments section.
  4. Comment and share each others’ posts using #weekendcoffeeshare on Facebook and Twitter.

“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master — something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.” Emily Bronte

#weekendcoffeeshare: Crazy for Color

#weekendcoffeeshare: Quirks
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

Diana at Part Time Monster hosts a weekly link-up, where you can submit a link to your post and browse everything else that’s been submitted, or you can use the #weekendcoffeeshare hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.

We’re back at the coffee shop this week. Sorry Jacqui, want my flavored creamer. Besides, it isn’t the hot spot on Saturday morning like the diner is. I like the quiet here.

You, the reader and I, your friend for a few years now, have coffee almost every Saturday morning at approximately 9:30. If you rise later than this, assume the time has changed to your convenience.

(Your dialogue is in purple. My dialogue is in green.)

§

When we get seated at a corner booth along the outer wall, Connie is the waitress who come to take our order. Once she’s headed toward the counter where the coffee maker sits, I look around for Laci. Maybe she took the day off today.

I was kind of looking for her too.

Who?

You squint your eyes at me, probably wondering where my brain is.

Oh, you mean Laci. Yes, but maybe she’s off today.

Or fired.

Nothing more is said about Laci. I figure the next time we’re in we’ll get a better idea of what’s happened to her. Our coffee comes in mugs we haven’t seen before. The pattern is random and the colors are wild. Swirls of hot pink with bright orange and specks of aqua and maroon. The handles go from the top to the bottom of the cylinders, and the bottoms are stemmed a little. Unusual to say the least. As usual, we have a small basket of goodies–donut holes this time.

These mugs are great. What do you think?

They’re okay.

Okay? All right, so I’m a little outlandish when it come to color. What can I say? I took that art class in my senior year of high school and have been fascinated with color ever since.

While I’d been yakking, we both had dolled up our coffee, you with your sugar and me with my cream. I pick out two of the donut holes, one cinnamon-coated and the other chocolate. You pick two of the powdered sugar ones.

I painted my bathroom light spring green after the new shower was put in. You aren’t bored by the color in there, that’s for sure.

Aren’t you afraid of green making someone feel sick?

Oh no. It isn’t hospital green. It’s the color of the first new blades of grass in the early spring. I’d like to change the walls all through the house. For the common areas, I’d like a white sea green, and in the bedrooms a white aqua blue.

What do you mean by white sea green?

In daylight or when the lights are on bright, it’ll look white, maybe a little off-white. In the shadows it’ll look the slightest of sea green. Same for the aqua blue. I did it in the house in Ft. Lupton, Colorado. It was one of the key features that sold the house for the list price we asked for.

#weekendcoffeeshare: Crazy for Color
Image provided by Keshav Bahety
https://www.flickr.com/photos/photograph3r/

You hale Connie to come over to get our mugs for more coffee. I start to reach for another donut hole but stop myself. I’m not hungry. I’d be eating just because the food is there. No a brilliant reason.

Okay, what do you think of white with earthy orange? I want to do something–well, anything with my mud room.

I don’t think orange is going to work.

My eyes get narrow, my lips pucks, and I hunch my shoulders as I shake my head. The refills have arrived and we pour in our add-ons.

How about a soft peach color? Or maybe a light lemon?

Orange won’t work, eh? How about purple like your blog?

You give me a toothy grin when you see the shocked expression on my face.

Lilac would work, but for a mud room? It would look fantastic in a bedroom though.

I was just kidding. Probably the peach would do the job all right. Why did you make your blog purple anyway?

It’s a shade of purple but the color is periwinkle, a purplish blue or a bluish purple–whatever. I even have it subdued so there’s a lot of gray in it.

Okay, but why? I wouldn’t call it a happy color.

I wasn’t thinking happy or sad when I decided on it. I want to pull people in with words rather than all the visual stuff. I almost went with black, gray, and white but I just couldn’t do it with the way I go bonkers over colors. The other day I was thinking about changing it all again. It’s been almost five month since the last time I did it.

I don’t know how many times you’ve changed your blog in the three years I’ve known you. Do you know?

No, but at least twice per year and maybe up the four times between 2014 and 2015. I really don’t know.

You’re fickle.

Okay.

§

Rules for #weekendcoffeeshare

  1. Posts should be framed as a chat over coffee or some other beverage.
  2. Posts should be current (written within the week).
  3. Links go on the link-up, not in the comments section.
  4. Comment and share each others’ posts using #weekendcoffeeshare on Facebook and Twitter.

Color possesses me. I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter. ~Paul Klee