Monday, August 24, 2015

Surround


   I am joining fellow writers on Kate Motaung's blog who are doing a bi-weekly online discussion group.We are using On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits For A Writing Life That Lasts by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. I am personally reading Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg as inspiration. 

  Today, I will not go to the bakery. I say that almost every week on Thursdays. I don't need the calories and my grandchildren who benefit from my visit later, with their favorite twice baked croissants, don't need to feel they deserve this treat every week. But then I turn off to the left at the crossroad and find myself, again, at the bakery. They make the best chocolate croissant anywhere. I know, because I've sampled many other bakeries. 


       Today I bring my computer inside to write. The line at 7:30am is long as customers peer into the display cases at the works of culinary seduction. The lights above create a warm glow over the delicate baked goods.  Little frosted cupcakes swirl in poofy skirts with an occasional slice of citrus across the top. I go for the deep brown of, yes, my favorite, chocolate. No one ordering asks for just one thing. We all hope that our greedy order will give the impression that we are supplying an office full of workers. For those of us "traditionally built" we hope that just thinking we will have half of a Danish will get us off the "you should go on a diet" hot seat.

   The owner most definitely has been to France. His buttery pastries are light and filled with air. A short history of the establishment confirms my belief that he has skills attained across the Atlantic. I slide back into the wooden bench trying to find the right fit for my back. Looking around I see the manager knows many customers, maybe not by name but by the familiar face. This is a place you come back to, again and again. It is an artist date for me. A place I visit once a week, far from my own neighborhood, where I can observe humanity yet be a familiar stranger. 
  I often stop at a Little Free Library before crossing the street to the bakery. It is simply a decorative box filled with books. The owner leaves little messages in the box like, "The selection is a little sparse, please bring in some new books." A stuffed animal hides in the middle of the books now and then which adds an element of surprise. Last week I left two paperbacks and the week before I napped a Susan Witting Albert mystery which I'm still reading.
     

    Technically, this is only my pretend neighborhood, but I come to share and take what is offered. It is part of a my writer's ritual. This ritual includes stopping at the bakery, checking on the books available at The Little Free Library, and gawking in the art store window. The displays of art journals, paints, and brushes can make my little head swirl with imaginings. I really could be in Paris, or London. or anywhere exotic where writers hang out to get story lines. Pictures from these little weekly adventures grace my computer. They are story starters.  Rituals like these surround me with possibilities. Possibilities to see, hear and taste things out of my "normal".

          "Writing requires a flow both inward and outward of ideas, thoughts, and stories."
               On Being A Writer, Kroeker and Craig

6 comments:

  1. I used that quote in my post today too. I love that you go sit at the bakery. I would never have thought of going somewhere like that. I so often write sitting on my couch, but you are reminding of how important it is to get out of my norm too. Oh and that chocolate croissant looks so yummy!

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    1. Going to another place to write is what keeps our observations keen and new.

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  2. I liked your post and hearing about the things you surround yourself with that inspire your writing. I loved your description of the bakery and the idea of the Little Free Library too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. And thanks for dropping by to comment.

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  3. Oh Gabriele, I absolutely loved this post! Loved your writing! I honestly felt I was there with you, experiencing it all. I could feel the breeze on my cheeks and my heart soared when I imagined you stood in front of the art store, travelling everywhere, in your mind. LOVED this! Thank you! I enjoyed it so much!

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    1. Thank-you Helen, I am feeling our community growing and melding together.

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