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The Write Place #Brainstorming #Writing » Jolana Malkston
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Jun 302017

I didn’t post on Wednesday. Instead of writing the blog at the scheduled time, I spent Tuesday getting ready for a brainstorming/write-in session with writer pal Margo Hoornstra. We met at the Schuler’s Books & Chapbook Cafe in a popular local mall.

Walking through the bookstore entrance was the first challenge we faced. Discounted books lined up temptingly on bookshelves against the outer wall. Both Margo and I are book sluts. We couldn’t resist their come hither siren call. After we finally tore ourselves away, we were enticed by half-price books stacked on both sides of the entry’s airlock. I spied Razor Girl, a Carl Hiaasen novel I hadn’t yet read. I drooled, but I managed to get my book lust under control. Into Schuler’s we went.

First stop, the Chapbook Cafe to get coffee and find a spot for our write-in. It was a warm day so we elected frozen lattes, vanilla for Margo and mocha for me. We settled ourselves at a table near a corner and out of the sun. It was far enough away from other patrons so their conversations wouldn’t disturb our concentration. We were also far enough out of their earshot. If I felt the need to brainstorm–my work in progress contains a murder–I didn’t want to alarm other patrons enough for them to call 9-1-1.

We buckled down and worked for about an hour and a half. A man who sat at a table close by received call after vitally important, earth-shattering call on his unmuted cellphone. We were certain he believed the calls were of worldwide significance because he spoke loudly enough to share his end of the conversation with everyone in the cafe.

We accomplished a lot despite cellphone man and his megaphone mouth. I revised two chapters of my second draft, cutting as much fat as possible, Margo reviewed two chapters in her novel’s galley proofs. We agreed we got more done in the cafe than we would have at home with all its distractions.

Hunger caught up with us at about the same time. We ordered salads and while we ate, the cafe began to fill up with groups of women who were there to lunch and to play a table game of sorts. A noisy group sat at a table to the right of us. Another group of four women pulled a table so close to us that one of them practically sat in Margo’s lap. They were noisier than the group on the right. Cellphone man and his megaphone mouth was still at it too.

We were going to resume our write-in after lunch, but the din on three sides of our table made concentration impossible. We decided to do our write-in on a Thursday next time. Margo suggested we do a little shopping. I’m not a big fan of shopping as you may know from previous posts, but I did need a new set of pots and pans. Williams Sonoma was a few shops away.

We packed up our gear and were on the way out of Schuler’s when my book lust suddenly returned. We almost made it past the half-price books. I turned right around and snatched up the Carl Hiassen novel. You knew I would buy it, didn’t you?

  6 Responses to “The Write Place #Brainstorming #Writing”

  1. It’s the books you don’t buy that you later regret, not the ones you do.

  2. All in all a fun and productive day for me. I never did figure out that table of ladies who insisted on sitting so close. I still have a bruise from where one of them side swiped me with her purse. Thursday it is! See you there.

  3. Sounds like a fun time, except for the chatty phone guy, and glad you bought a book for the holiday weekend. While I always have some kind of noise while I’m writing, I’m not sure I would get much done with that going on. I’d be eavesdropping!

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