Coffee and More

At this writing I’m sitting at a coffee shop, having just devoured a croissant, which was perfectly flaky on its outside and perfectly fluffy on its inside, around that filling of almond cream cheese. I’m sipping on a dark mocha made with whole milk and whipped cream. I won’t lie, it’s been a good start to the day.



I’m sitting across the table from my significant other. (His coffee is black.) He (an educator) is grading quizzes and (also a research scientist) reviewing a lab paper. I am spread out with my laptop, intermittently free writing, letting my thoughts flow onto an open document. Maybe there’s a little room for fiction after.

We are doing this coffee shop thing up right.

But what adds to the cool factor that is already plentiful this morning is that there’s a woman a few tables away. A couple paperbacks and a journal, into which she occasionally jots notes, are open before her. I have decided she is a writer. Her long gray hair is pulled into a loose ponytail, out of the way, she is no frills. The glasses she wears are subtle, but hip, indicative of her underlying personality.

She is researching something for her new novel’s premise, I think, and alternately people-watching, to draw real-world inspiration as writers do. (People-watching at coffee shops, in level of satisfaction attained, is second only to mochas.) She—I have spontaneously dubbed her Gloria—is here to soak up the vibe. To smell the coffee and feed off the energy and work in the white noise, which brings her comfort, more so than the quiet at her home, where only her aging and apathetic cat offers company.

Maybe as I sit here conjuring her story, Gloria is conjuring mine. What would she assume? What would she name me? Who would I be, and what is my purpose as I work on some wordy, mysterious document?

I could be Valerie or Samantha or Beth. I am a dance studio owner, composing the verbiage for our spring playbill. Or a mom on the PTA who will lead tonight’s meeting, and I’m typing the agenda. Maybe I’m a law student cramming for this afternoon’s exam, or a nurse free from duty and writing a letter to my aunt in Minnetonka. Or maybe I’m a writer, just doing that writing thing.

I catch her eye and smile, trying to pass a certain camaraderie across the room.

I take another sip of my drink and get back to my work, leaving Gloria to hers. We both soak up the vibe. Feed off the energy, and work in the white noise.

How cool is that?

Tell us about your last experience in a coffee shop.

About Janna

Just another determined woman.

Posted on April 23, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. That was like a nice short story and as satisfying as a cup of coffee! Thank you, Janna! I find coffee house coffee too strong but the atmosphere is so rich in character building. Enjoy your time. I’d name you Vanessa!

    • How fun! I like that name, Christy.

      I wish there were a coffee shop nearer to where I live, I’d be a regular patron.

  2. That’s a great look inside the mind of a writer! People ask where we get our ideas, but to a writer, everything is a story idea! The challenge is figuring out which ones are worth writing about.

    • This is so true. One need only be observant and aware, and the story ideas are plentiful!

  3. I envy you the ability to work in a coffee house. I’m too easily distracted by my surroundings–and the croissants–to be able to concentrate. People watching, on the other hand, is great at these places. Bars, too. 😉

    • For sure. And malls!

      If I had time, weren’t rushed, I would spend each morning there, strictly for the purpose of pulling on creativity. Well, that and mochas. 😉

  4. What a great post, Janna! I loved it. I have never played that game where you make up a story about someone sitting across from you somewhere but it sure is a great one. Being a writer I would think I would have done this before but no, I have not. You’ve given me a great suggestion by writing this post, though.
    Thank you.

  5. My DH and I occasionally make up stories about the people around us. It’s an entertaining way to spend the afternoon. 🙂 However, I do not have your focus! If I’m in a coffee shop (which truthfully only happens when we’re on vacation or a weekend getaway), I’m too busy talking to write. I’m afraid I’m too shy to write in public…

    • My mind definitely wanders! Especially if I feel at all rushed, or know I have to be somewhere soon. But when I can take a leisurely pace, flow and concentration are fairly decent.

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