Friday, June 8, 2018

Writing in Resturants

Geez Louise what a week!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my father was a writer and he seemed to be limited to where he could write.  I realize now that was probably an excuse, but I decided that I didn’t want to be limited and wanted to be able to write wherever I was.


I put it to the test this week.  The only way I could get anything done on my looming deadlines was if I could work wherever I was.  I had been stymied in the past by the idea that I had to set up my laptop someplace where I could plug it in.  I finally realized that my laptop has a sizeable battery life and I went cord free.   Since I didn’t need the cord, I was able to leave my rolly bag in the car and slip my computer into a messenger bag with my other papers.


The conditions were hardly ideal. Since we had seminars for three nights, once I did my checking in stuff,  my computer and I sat in the waiting area of a popular restaurant at the beach I wrote until it was time to do my appointment setting work.  I was basically in the middle of chaos.  The first night some adults who were sitting in the bar had left there two kids to their own devices.  The boy, who was probably about eight amused himself by jumping up and down on bench I was sitting on.  Then he decided to make friends with me.  I felt bad for the poor kid.  He told me how bored he was and how much he wanted to go home.  So, what could I do, but talk to him.  I learned his grandfather, who was one of the people in the bar didn’t like to pay for valet parking and the boy showed me how he was holding the money for the valet. 


He talked a lot about video games which basically amounted to him being better at them than his parents.  Finally, someone gave the kid the go ahead to get the car and he walked out on his own to pay the valet.  I barely got a page written.


The next night was quieter in the restaurant and the lounge area only filled up a couple of times with people waiting for tables.  The noise level increased both times as they upped the volume of their conversation so they could be heard over the rather loud music.  Despite all of it, I persevered and in my head I was with Casey trying to solve a murder and sort out her life. 


The last night the restaurant was super busy as it seemed like everybody came there after graduation.  I admit to ditching my work and watching the crowd.  There were young girls wearing what were probably their first heels.  They tried to appear nonchalant, but it was obvious the shoes were a big deal.  One boy arrived in his cap and gown.  I’d say that made it pretty clear it was a very big deal for him.  His family came in, parents and grandparents and you could see how proud of him they were.  I felt like I was in a sea of happiness.  But even so I got writing done.  By now I’d figured out how to go in and out of watching my surroundings without losing the flow of writing.


And now today, I’m working in the lounge of our Pasadena office. It’s quiet and the only distraction is the view of the San Gabriel Mountains shrouded in haze.  There was some excitement on the way here.  There were billows of smoke and then we it was coming from a fire on the side of the freeway.  Some fire fighters in yellow garb appeared to have just arrived to work on it.  And I saw fire trucks coming on the street below.  As we moved on there up head there was smoke on the other side of the freeway.  The traffic slowed and we saw flames burning the growth right next to the freeways edge.  No fire fighters, just a cop car pulling up next to it.  The fire was too far away from the other to have started from it, but too close to not seem connected.  


I’m posting this late as I run out with my laptop this time to be writing in another kitchen connected to our Torrance office.  This one is much smaller, no distracting view, but the drone of CNBC on a TV and a constant flow of people coming in to check out the donuts the management brings in on Fridays.


Linda Osborn said...

You have a tremendous ability to focus, being able to write with so much going on. It is also interesting that you have so many deadlines aproaching at once! Sounds like you will soon be turning out two books in each series per year. Great for your fans, but it must be exhausting for you. Keep up the good work !

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yikes! Although I try writing in other locations while I'm traveling, I always do best at home in my office on my desktop computer--without distractions, if possible, except for the dogs. I really admire you!