I write at Starbucks. When I’m close to deadline—like right now, I’m there more than the busiest barista, and that’s no lie. This week I’ve spent and inordinate amount of time at my local Starbucks which, thank God, is less than a mile from my home.
I’ve been there most days from nine or so in the morning until they give me the old “We’re closing in ten minutes.” warning at twenty after nine at night. During the summer months, I’ve been known to move my computer out onto the patio and write until my battery dies or I need the restroom, whichever comes first. If I had an extension cord and a Porta Potty, I’m sure I would have been there 24-7 during the last week of writing Fisher Kincaid’s story, Call Me Wild. One of my favorite baristas even brought a box of coffee out to me to hold me over before he left for the night. Thank God Starbucks never turns off their wifi!
This week I’m on a tight writing deadline but I’m trying not to stress too much about it since it happens with every book. I’ve found when one spends 90 hours a week in one place staring at a computer screen; people tend to ask you what the heck you’re doing. So in the last few weeks, I’ve met the most fascinating people. I live in a relatively small, rural town in Maryland. I’ve been here eleven years and to tell you the truth, not much happens that’s at all exciting. Imagine my surprise when in the last couple of weeks I’ve met more wicked cool people than I’ve met in the past eleven years.
Take for instance Friday afternoon… I got up to stretch my legs when I noticed a woman curled up in front of the fire reading a book. Now, I don’t know about you, but whenever I see someone reading, I want to know what they’re reading. This is the only thing I don’t like about e-readers. You can’t simply spy, you have to actually stop and ask the person what they’re reading, and sometimes you’re given dirty looks—not that I let a little thing like that stop me. But I digress… I see this woman with her head buried in a book (the same book she’d been reading for hours). I wanted to know what she was reading, but she had the book on her lap. Of course I had to ask, I just had to. She held up Gena Showalter’s new book THE DARKEST SEDUCTION, which she said was really good.
Needless to say we started chatting and I find out EJ Lawrence a Forensic scientist and specializes in DNA. I was immediately impressed, after all, I’m a huge fan of NCIS. It turns out her lab actually does all the DNA tests for NCIS (the real one). So EJ, my new best friend, whips out her phone and shows me pictures of her and the cast of the show! The cast went to the lab to do research and to meet their real-life counterparts. Here’s one of EJ Lawrence and Pauley Perrette
I’m sure you’ve all heard me mention Twinkle Toes, my sixteen-year-old injured ballerina. Yes, she’s stopped dancing, moved home, and has decided to concentrate 100% on school instead of dancing forty hours a week. Her new goal in life is to be Abby on NCIS—a real life Abby that is. And there I was talking to her—well, EJ AKA Real Life Abby.
I asked EJ if I could email the picture to Twinkle Toes. I mean, how cool is that? I also asked if she would mind meeting Twinkle Toes to talk to her about what she does, the education involved, and whatever else Twinkle Toes wanted to know. EJ, being the nicest woman in the world, said she had all night. She sat with Anna talking about everything and anything for at least two hours. When we closed Starbucks, I sent Anna home with her dad, and EJ and I ended up talking for another hour. She’s definitely one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met, and she’s also a writer—I can’t wait to read her work. Now all I have to do is stop talking to people at Starbucks and write faster!
So, am I the only one who meets wicked cool people at Starbucks?