You know you’re a writer when…

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you keep pens where your toothbrush is supposed to go.

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Sunday Storytime: The Bear on the Moon

This book features a curious polar bear who is different from the other bears because she “wondered about things no other bear thought about.” She swims as deep as she can to see what’s below, and she swims to the horizon to see what the aurora borealis is all about.

Photo on 2014-05-23 at 17.50 #3

Seriously, look at how beautiful this page is.

When no one can answer your questions, go and find the answers yourself. If you persevere, despite what others say, you just might get to touch the shining lights at the horizon.

Writing in Sebastopol: The Holy Cow


I am not a morning person. My parents could tell you about what a nightmare it was trying to wake me up in time for school. College was great, because I was pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn’t have to wake up before nine am, so it’s been awhile since I’ve had strict schedule.

Two weeks ago, all of that changed. I got a job driving this kid from Petaluma to Sebastopol for school, which means I have to wake up at 6:30am. This is not a thing that I enjoy.

However, once I’m up and driving, I’m looking forward to the morning hours that I would usually miss.WP_20140523_003

I’ve been frequenting this coffee shop for the past two weeks, and it’s become one of my favorite (and most productive!) places to work. The first barista to greet me has a smile even bigger than the frames of his glasses, and his friendliness extends to everyone who walks through the door, long before you even make it to the counter.

They let me smell my tea options before I commit to a potful, and don’t seem the slightest bit miffed or resentful when I stay for three to four hours, getting refills and not buying anything else.

When I buy tea at a coffee shop, I’m not paying three dollars just for tea. That would be ridiculous. Tea is much cheaper elsewhere. I’m buying unlimited hot water, a place to sit, and access to both wi-fi and a bathroom.

WP_20140528_005Located on S. Main St. in the heart of Sebastopol, the shop gets plenty of foot traffic. There’s seats by the window, and although there’s a regular stream of customers, it never gets crowded or loud. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s placed in the sleepy town of Sebastopol, but the vibe is always laid back. The baristas never seem stressed, and in between the rush, they take time to chat with the regulars. The small-town-ness also means friendly people, who offer smiles and actually make eye contact with their fellow patrons. Toddlers explore fearlessly as parents chat nearby. Mothers bounce babies on one hip.

I don’t have to wear my earplugs here; the ambient noise stays low enough so as to not be distracting, but loud enough that I don’t feel awkward sneezing too loudly.

I finally treated myself to one of their grilled cheese sandwiches, and it’s a good thing I waited this long, or I’d be ordering one every day. The cheese itself is a tasty melted delight, and the sourdough bread lives up to its name, soft and dense with a strong flavor. My side salad is as big as my main course, which is just the way I like it.

If you’re ever in Sebastopol, I highly recommend The Holy Cow. And try the backpacker’s cookie. It has everything delicious in it,including graham cracker bits.

Diary to Doc: Lost in Translation

Every six months or so, I’ll go back through ALL of my journals since June 2012 (when my journalling really started getting good.) Besides stumbling upon lost memories and fun quotes, lots of writer silliness ensues. Enjoy.

This is what happens when you’re not looking at what you’re typing, and your fingers get off home row:

“od hia Lem ro ewaxuw m” = “of his alarm to rescue him”

“Snf you vrtysinl” = “And you certainly”

When I’m typing quickly, the phrase “on the” ALWAYS gets typed “ont he”

“at the” becomes “ath t”

“to be” becomes “tobe”

“From” becomes”fmor”

I just looked at a sentence written in my journal and then attempted to paste it into a document. Like, I glanced at it in my PHYSICAL journal and attempted to copy&paste it into my computer with my eyes.

There are so many pieces of writing in my journals that I want to eventually expand on; so many sections that need to be typed and editing and made into something. But right now, I’m on a specific mission, so I’m using sticky notes to mark the pages I’ll come back to, especially the examples of mania for my main blog on mental health (among other things.)

And so ends nine hours of furious typing, resulting in 18 thousand words. And the math-inclined can tell us that’s 2000 words per hour. It was basically a marathon of typing, and my hands are still recovering.

Maybe next time I’ll spread out the journal rereads over several days…

Tea Troubles

Back home, after a whirlwind week of travel that took me to Santa Barbara, Irvine, Riverside, Dana Point, Costa Mesa, and Anaheim. I was without my journal for most of the trip (panic attack!) and now that we’ve been reunited, I can hardly write fast enough.

I’m journalling sporadically, trying to keep up with all the observations and experiences that simply MUST be recorded, and I keep forgetting to drink my tea! Every time I pick up my mug, it’s already gone cold. I take a few gulps, make room for more hot water, and pad quietly to the kitchen for a refill. Half an hour later, I find myself yet again with a mugful of lukewarm tea, and tea’s just not satisfying when it’s not steaming. #writerproblems

But there’s a warm cornbag at my feet, and my journal is back in my hands, so this cat is happy. 

P.S. Who knew that “mugful” is a real word

Marbles Lost in Martinez, Please Return to WriterCat Immediately

The morning started well enough. My train was delayed by three hours, but I was in a fine mood, and spent my time reading and writing sonnets.

Trains are often late, but a WriterCat is always prepared

Trains are often late, but a WriterCat is always prepared

I rarely have the patience for sonnets, because iambic pentameter really cramps my style, but occasionally I’m up for the challenge.

WriterCats do their best work when curled up in the sunshine. (It's also where they take their best naps. Which I may have done.)

WriterCats do their best work when curled up in the sunshine. (It’s also where they take their best naps. Which I may have done.)

Then the unthinkable happened. I boarded the train, set my bags down on my seat, and before we’d even pulled away from the station I realized that my journal was not with me. In a panic, I tried to run back out to the platform, but it was too late, we were slowly moving away, and there was nothing I could do.

An unhappy WriterCat curls up to mope. This is a perk of being a cat-like writer: we fold up into small spaces, allowed optimal moping (and napping) even when limited to one upright seat.

An unhappy WriterCat curls up to mope. This is a perk of being a cat-like writer: we fold up into small spaces, allowing for optimal moping (and napping) even when limited to one upright seat.

Filled with anxious adrenaline while trapped inside a crowded car does not allow for the typical pacing and scurrying of an irritated WriterCat, so I did what any WriterCat would do: curled up for as many naps as I could fit in to the five hour train ride. Because my journal is where I keep my sanity, and when would I ever have the patience to attempt those sonnets again? Never, that’s when.

There is, fortunately, a happy ending. The next day, a package arrived at home, addressed to me, from Amtrak. I assume my sanity is inside, and when I get home, I’ll be writing a heartfelt thank you to Amtrak.

Amtrak Delivers!

Amtrak Delivers!

For now, I’ll fill the blank pages of my aptly named reading material with the thoughts and sentences that just can’t stay in my head any longer. Because there’s just too many words bouncing around inside of me to go even a few days without writing.

An Unquiet Mind

Hooray for train rides and happy endings!

#writerproblems

Riddle: What is most frequently lost in the bed?

Potential answers: virginity, dignity…

My answer: pens.

I find pens in my bed constantly.

Last night it was under my pillow. #princessandthepen

Right this minute, I’m taking a break from handwriting some thank you notes, because I moved my covers and now I can’t find my pen. But it’s okay, I know it will turn up eventually, even if it’s in the morning, when I wake up covered in purple ink. #colorfulanguage

Moral of the story: Hold on to your pens… ladies.