Friday, February 19, 2010

Scenes from Starbucks

Since mini-me came along, our house has not had a second of quiet. Not that I mind a happy, noisy house, but it’s not very conducive to writing. So, I’ve started taking my trusty laptop to Starbucks every morning to get my semi-quiet writing time in.

My local Starbucks is pretty large, and happens to be pretty centrally located. Couple that with the fact that we’re smack in the middle of Silicon Valley (which means 50% of the people who live here telecommute to work on their laptops), and the high number of unemployed in the area (i.e. being interviewed for telecommuting jobs by guys telecommuting on their laptops), and I’m finding a pretty interesting cast of characters that regularly show up to work at Starbucks. Let me introduce a few:

This lady comes in every single day at the same time (10:58am on the dot) wearing exactly the same thing. Exactly. A ball cap pulled down low over her yellow (not blonde… we’re talking clown coloring yellow) hair, a cotton skirt, a fuzzy leopard print jacket, and metallic gold flats, carrying a coach purse and wearing lots of gold jewelry. At first I thought her lack of outfit changes and odd outfit choice spelled homeless person. Nope. She drove off in a Jag today. Convertible. Go figure.

Next is this lady:

Five points to the person who can spot the dog. Yep, it’s in her jacket.

It may be a little hard to see in this pic (yes, these are all taken stealth style on my phone), but these three people are holding hands and praying. From what I overheard, they needed to make sure that Jesus was down with their business deal before they started their meeting. Now, I have nothing against prayer in public… I’ve just never heard this particular one before. (“Dear Lord, please bless this meeting, bless this website, may our launch be bathed in your glory…”)

Look, it’s Adam Lambert! (Plus twenty years and twenty pounds.)

But, my fav group are these three ladies I was sitting next to the other day. I was typing my little heart out and overheard them talking about a new website for tweens that they’re launching next month. Having just sold a YA series myself, I was intrigued. (Yes, I was eavesdropping. So sue me.) The lines I picked up?

“Okay, you’re in charge of finding writers.”
“What should we pay our writers?”
“I don’t know, but I think we should pay them a lot. Writers are so underpaid.” (No, seriously! They really said this! )
“If only it would be easy to find someone who could write for a tween audience. Where on earth do we start looking?”

Um, yeah, I totally leaned over and introduced myself at that point. ;)

Okay, that’s where I do my writing. (And you thought all the wacky characters in my books were fictional. Ha!) Where do you write? Any fun characters hang at your local watering hole?

~Trigger Happy (and slightly hopped up on caffeine) Halliday


Becky LeJeune said...

Love it! Are dogs even allowed in Starbucks?!

I used to work at a chain bookstore with a coffee shop and we definitely had some characters there.

First were the homeless and nonhomelss folks who came in to nap.

Then there were the local spiritual leaders: a cult leader who spoke in tongues and didn't believe in deoderant who would wander the aisles flipping books backwards to let his minions know which ones to buy for him. There was also a sherpa looking guy (very much not a sherpa, only looked like one) who held court with a woman in a wide brimmed hat every day. He yelled at the cafe team and threw milk at them one day but never got kicked out. I won't even say what his companion did but it involved defiling the restroom. She didn't get kicked out either.

And since we have a different sort of school out here, we got teachers from there who would seem to be more calm and peaceful and loving based on their occupations, but they weren't.

There were other cafe regulars, but since I worked the book floor, I really didn't see them unless they made a memorable stink on the sales floor itself.

TerriOsburn said...

I am determined to start doing my writing at a Starbucks or the like and now I'm looking forward to the characters I could find. I love that these people have no idea they're stars of a blog. LOL!

And what serendipity about the YA site. Good thing you're one of those extroverted writers who would jump right in and talk to strangers. :)

Suzan Harden said...

Our local cafe'/bokstore is the "safe" meeting place for hooking up. I love listening to couples doing the getting-to-know you dance.

Like the two business owners trying to out-boast each other.

The shy couple too scared of venturing past discussing which books they read in high school.

Then there's the nerdy, middle-aged, single guys. *sigh* I'll be in the middle of scene, fingers flying over the keyboard, when they interrupt me. Their opening gambit is always the same--"Have you had problems accessing the wi-fi here?"

Susan Thompson said...

Those metallic flats look familiar.

I'd really like to hear that lady's story! Please keep us posted if you find out more.

Tori Lennox said...

I write in my bedroom, so the only character there is me. And the ones in my head. I think Starbucks is probably better fodder. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm new around here, seems like a cool place though. I'll be around a bit, more of a lurker than a poster though :)
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Bruce J Bobitt said...

Starbucks is a fine place for people watching and writing. Thanks for the laugh about your locals.

Maria G. Swan said...

Hey Gemma, I write in my own huge loft with city lights and mountain views. Am I bragging? Nope, I'm talking about my dream home that soon will be someone's else house. I'm going to miss it. Death to the bad economy. I wanted to live here forever.