With the help of Google maps I found a cafe. Well, it’s a Starbucks but I can walk their, drink tea, and write. Well, I hope I can write. I’ll be by myself. I got used to the companionship of my fellow creative friends and lovely cafe people in New York. Also, sometimes people can’t help but think, “that person looks bored, typing away, let me help by being a distraction.” Happens if you read. Or wear headphones.
I guess you could say if I don’t want to be distracted I should stay home but sometimes a different atmosphere is needed and home is filled with distractions. The noise of a coffee shop is like static or rain. It can help focus. Help tune out the bullying voices in your head. And if you’re stumped there is always people watching. Need an outfit for your character? Look up and use something around you. Have trouble writing dialog? Listen. Being in a public place and just listening can help find rhythm, or accents.
Also, exercise. I like knowing there is something in walking distance. Days I feel like a lump or am having trouble breaking through the creative wall, walking loosens my limbs and brain waves which helps writing.
But i’m getting ahead of myself. Have to get their and hang out a few times to see if this is the place for me. But there is hope. Hope and tea.
Happy New Year! Checking in and happy to know people still follow my blog! Or at least I think you do. It could be the followers shown as following me have also disappeared from their blogs and are just a ghost of a follow, which is good too, I guess. One thing that hasn’t changed and is always a running theme, I will forever fight to post to this blog. It’s always been hard to find topics to post about. I’ve even posted when I wasn’t happy with the post but I was trying to post regularly so I would just post it. I have certainly found my theme for this blog over time, mostly writing about having trouble writing. And why not? There is a small section in bookstore with all such books.
I have big plans that will one day become a reality even if I can only seem to post here once every blue moon…or more often because blue moons happen less often then my posting. Blue Moons like my posting is not such a rare thing, just not an often thing. So, anyway, a New Year. Here we are again. Making promises we struggle to keep. So, this year, no promises other than write more. I’m pretty happy with making this the resolution of 2017 since I ended the old year on a good path of accomplishing more writing. I’m part of a creative group. It’s a writing/art group my co-workers organized. We have a few writers and drawers trying to meet once a week just to talk/do our creative thing, and encourage each other. It’s great. It’s the 1920s of Paris, France but 2016-17s (The years are not every poetic…oh well) New York/Ireland (Thanks Facebook and other internet programs).
I’ve found inspiration from author Gail Carriger. I tweeted her a writing question at the beginning of October and she answered! It was amazing for me and a big Thank you to her! Also, inspiration from Neil Gaiman, like his commencement speech and New Year posts. So, here is what I’m going to do this year…
Write more. About anything. Just create. I have a feeling it will be easier this year. More support, energy, and time. Try to stay positive through the frustration of work. Use that energy to write. If it’s exhausting don’t feel sad or mad just rest and try again tomorrow. Let’s get to work!
I first learned about Hannah Hart on her YouTube show, “My Drunk Kitchen,” and I introduced her videos to many of my friends and family. I was hooked by her creativity, funny cooking puns, and life morals after every episode. On film she is a positive force. I didn’t know that from the comedy came a hard and trying life. She is an inspiring person with a story everyone needs to read.
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded is a collection of journal entries, essays, and memories of Hart’s life experiences which lead her to who she is today.
This book is incredibly moving. She talks about growing up with a mother who struggled with mental illness. She talks about her sisters and her slow understanding they weren’t living like others. Her complicated relationship with her father and step-father. How that realization still affects them today. But she also still tries to help others by showing how she has overcome her battles with self-harm and stress. I felt a close connection to Hart’s struggles with depression. And was making mental notes to try some of the exercises she uses to work through tough times.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Hart did a great job of mixing the sad with the funny. It was nice to learn the beginnings of “My Drunk Kitchen,” the work that went into creating the business and the content she does today. Also, the meaningful friendships she has developed and the honesty of learning to embrace her sexuality, faith, and self worth.
She is an excellent writer. Her voice is strong and comes through as completely authentic through her writing. It reads as if Hart is sitting with you sharing her story. It takes a lot of courage to open up but by doing so she will help many others.
Thank you to Dey Street Books, HarperCollins, and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for this review which had no weight on the outcome of the rating.
Expected publishing date for Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart is October 18, 2016.
Yesterday, I cleaned my desk. This was very important because it was my writing desk. I dug out all the papers and notebooks I had stuffed into every shelf and draw. It was rewarding throwing away things I don’t remember why I was keeping but a small stack of papers has found a place on the far corner of my desk. Now I have the task of what to do with all the little scribbles on tiny pieces of papers. What I thought, at the time of writing, were scraps of genus. Should I read through and transcribe them onto a computer in an archive file or should I throw them all out without ever looking? True, I don’t think I could just toss these papers without a peak. They were the sneaked writing I accomplished while at work or the quick scribble on the train. The words meant so much at the time that I had to get it down somewhere, anywhere, no matter the consequence.
The notebooks are another story. More then one story. Stories I started but never finished. One has long scenes written out. A notebook full of writing advice I found over the years and recorded to encourage, give guidance, and inspire me to write. Notebooks full of more random scratches. Pages of one line.
I have always struggled with throwing things I no longer need away. But I’ve been trashing, donating, and organizing more often. Maybe it’s the small space and the overwhelming feeling of too much. Stress, work, and planning. Even the simple pleasure of reading has become immense.
Even with what’s left of the few notebooks and scattered papers I know I already fill better about my space. I remember where I rather spend my energy. Writing.
Heading to the city for my gym class on Monday and the train wasn’t running. I realized after climbing the three flights of stairs that I should have known. When I had gotten off the bus, I could see a huge crowd waiting. According to the MTA the train wasn’t running and the booth attendant would only say the trains weren’t running. I have an app, which told me there was a police investigation at one of the stations so there were limited stops but was this information up to date? Not taking a chance, I ran back down the stairs grateful the bus was still there and trying to figure out how do I get to the city. I wasn’t the only one. I figured out I should stay on the bus and it would take me to another train line. So, that’s what I did. I shared this information with a woman and a man. The man told me he had decided not to drive today. He thought the train would be best since his destination was Chinatown. Now, he was wishing he drove. We laughed and eventually we were seated separately and I started reading articles on my phone.
With the slow bus ride I lost track of time. I felt a tap on the shoulder and it was the gentleman again. He told me this was our stop. I kicked myself for not paying attention and we continued to the train. We started talking more on the platform and on the train. He wasn’t familiar with this train line and I was so I tried my best to help him to his goal. I assured him that it is still a learning process for me since I have moved from one side of the Bronx to the other and wasn’t as confident with these buses to which train. He told me how he has only been taking using the train since he started dating his boyfriend and that he has tried to learn and remember what to use to get where. He told me since the 7 train has been not running on the weekends it has really tested his abilities but he has been succeeding.
He told me how they take the train down to flea markets and walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge. His knees are not happy about it but he has been able to enjoy the sites of the city now that he doesn’t have to watch it from the driver’s window. We talked about Flea Market Flip and the Gotham Market. It wasn’t until I exited the train at 42nd street that I realized we never exchanged names.
I have never has such nice company from a stranger on the train before. New York City’s subway system taught me to be aware, and cautious at all times. I can’t say this experience has changed me to the point where I will open up and converse with anyone but I guess I find it nice to know that the MTA’s out of service train didn’t ruin my mood or day.
He was continuing on to Union Square. I hoped he transfer to the 6 train so he could make it to Canal Street. Maybe someday I’ll see him again, hopefully on a working train and we can laugh about the odds.
When I had the money some days I would go to the MET. I would find a favorite painting, statue, or place, sit in front of it and write. Sometimes it was just a journal entry, an idea or a story. Sometimes it was nothing. When it was a story it was usually about what I stared at. I loved those days and miss them. I would go by myself. I could take the day and wonder wherever I wanted. There was no worry it wasn’t what someone else wanted to do. All that mattered was what my mind and writing hand wanted to do. Sometimes I would spend hours in one section or at one painting. But sometimes if the day was nice it was through Central Park for some nature inspiration. I hoped nothing would become to familiar or boring. That my mind would clear and my writing would take off. Sometimes I could write pages upon pages. The worst days were when no ink would leave the pen tip.
I looked for someplace closer. I use to write at the Starbucks by me. It was a long walk, and a noisy place. Before people yell at me for not supporting a nearby cute Mom and Pop cafe there isn’t one near me. Still this Starbucks feels like a homey cafe. Maybe it’s the small town feel surrounded area or the baristas who seem to know many customers that come in by name and their drink. All that’s missing is the to stay (London style) ceramic mugs. I liked the ambient cafe noise. I liked hearing the sound of steam hitting the milk as coffee foam was made and the people around me working or talking. In the cafe I could people watch. I liked catching meet and greets, business deals taking place, the old men playing chess or children and teenagers giggling and laughing just a little to loud. I liked being able to get any type of coffee or tea creation. Probably the one thing I never went for that most did was the free WiFi. I found it easy to shut off Internet access and write. I stopped going because of bad weather, calorie intake, and maybe that one nosy interrupting person.
Next I tried the library. It seems it has been the one place I have always had trouble writing. In one library I couldn’t get any work done. One of the Assistant Librarians knew me from around the neighborhood and would love to chat with me. He was loud for the library and even said embarrassing, inappropriate things that got looks from other patrons and workers. Needless to say it made me feel uncomfortable. I tried to be polite but it was an every visit occurrence so I stop going to that location and tried another. I realized from another library location I have always believed libraries are too quiet. Hearing every turn of a page can be maddening when I’m trying to write. I look up from the screen with every movement.
I think the best writing I do is when I’m on vacation or away. A new city, place, and constant stimulation. I know what I have to write about and the short amount of time I have to write. It’s not story writing but journal writing and who cares? I write like a fiend. (Sorry for the cliche). I don’t care about imperfections just as long as I get everything I want to remember down. The air, sights, sounds, and the events of the day.
Lately I’ve been writing from home. I make my own tea and use the Coffitivity or Rainy Cafe website to get the ambient sound I need to write. When I need to leave I take a walk around the block or to the dog park to clear my mind. It always helps to watch my dog, Lana, run free from the leash and tumble around with her doggy friends.
Do you find going someplace helps you write? What place has inspired you? Or do you need complete silence to get words down on the page?