I like to write in coffee shops. The environment offers me inspiration and helps stimulate that one nagging idea that has been tumbling around in my head like clothes in a dryer. I am attracted by the smell of fresh roasted coffee; its rich aroma awakens my sleepy senses. I marvel at the little round tables and the artwork on the walls. I do a little scope of the room, looking for that perfect place to set up camp for the next hour or so.
I order the regular house coffee, knowing it may grow cold while I am besotted by my notebook. I am lulled into another place by the low music buzzing through the speakers, the hiss of the espresso machine and the prattle of customers. I feel a sense of kinship seeing others reading a book, sliding their fingers over their new tablet, typing on their laptop or writing in their journals. On days when ideas are scant, I sit and observe. Sometimes, I catch the glassy-eyed stare of another and I know we are both fighting the same war – trying to find that perfect word, that perfect phrase, that ideal beginning or ending – in short, that perfect story.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.