Friday, October 16, 2009


I’m signing books at Always Quilting, Booth 1021 at PIQF this weekend.

Reason #656 why I love being an author

British author Bryant Simon maintains that Starbucks is eroding communities. The availability of free wifi and the lure of take out food has destroyed any need for conversation and led to disjointed communities, according to him.

That couldn’t be further from the truth at my local franchise. If it were not for this coffee shop wouldn’t know many of my neighbors. I met them over there for often than at our pool or board meeting.

Not only that, the baristas are my champions. These mostly young, mostly college-educated kids like the idea of having a published author pecking away most mornings at one of their tables. While it rarely shows up in the form of free drinks, they often buy books and congratulation me on each new release. We even had a mini launch party, setting me up to sell books in the lobby. And thereby introducing me to even more people in my community.

My favorite part is when they send people over to talk to me. People interested in writing. A teenager’s mom came by asking for advice for the scribe in her family. I was glad to give this kid a tiny bit of advice. I sent another to join the California Writer’s Club.

Usually my advice is pretty simple. Write, don’t worry about publication. Try to find some like-minded people that will encourage you to keep going. And keep writing.

A few months ago, a good–looking, younger man approached my table. Let’s face it, one who would ordinarily never engage me in conversation. You heard it here first: I’m a sucker for braids on a guy. Also a sucker for anyone who wants to write but is afraid to start. I spent much of my life in that state, so I understand. What the inertia can do to you. How painful it is to repress a part of you that cries out for attention. The toll that tending to everything but takes.

I gave him by usual advice. Just try. Put pen to paper and see what happens.

He told me this morning that he can’t stop writing. That once he started, the words just come. His eyes shone with the mystery of it. He thanked me for the encouragement, and left.

I could do nothing but smile. Aw, the community.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I don't believe community is dead, either, Terri. We go to our local Panera for breakfast on weekends (love those cinnamon crunch bagels and hazelnut coffee!) and we've become quite friendly with the other regulars there. If I get up early enough (not often, I admit), I know I'll find another Berkley Prime Crime writer there on Saturdays. And occasionally I, too, give writing advice.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so wonderful! And what about those women who we talked to at OVC the other day. Coffeehouses are MADE for writers!

And I am SO finding you a doll with braids. A cute one. :)