Thursday, June 7, 2012

Writer in Residence

Wendy -- my beautiful, talented, and sagacious wife -- is, with a great deal of regularity, the source of much wisdom and timely input into my life. Shortly after I began writing as my primary focus, she threw two insightful ideas my way that have paid off in spades:

  1. Because I am a "people person", she kicked encouraged me to do most of my actual writing outside of our home. And I discovered it's true: Writing in a public setting -- surrounded by real people, real conversations, and coffee not of my own brewing -- is an ideal creative space for me.

  2. Wendy also suggested that I write primarily in one location, and -- if the owners of that location were amenable -- that I become the 'writer in residence' there. Basically, becoming part of the "local color".
After wandering nomad-like around town, writing in various different possible locations, I finally settled on doing about 90% of my writing at the Lake Country Coffee House, a converted butcher's shop, attached to an art gallery that showcases local artists. It has that elusive combination of good coffee, friendly staff, an organic food menu, and a certain je ne sais quoi ambiance that I've come to love as a creative writing space.

And I've become familiar enough to the staff that when I returned from Mexico recently, I was greeted with exclamations of "where have you been?!?" And as I've become somewhat of a fixture here, I've learned that several of them are among the artists whose work is displayed in the coffeehouse. and the adjacent art gallery.

Today, I was able to share in the joy of one of the baristas, as she sold her very first painting just three days after it went on display. A few days earlier, another barista -- who refers to me as "that writer who always comes here" -- casually mentioned that she is an aspiring book editor. I introduced her to a friend of mine, a published author of young adult fiction, who just happened to be looking for an editor. Hopefully, that will work out for both of them.

All in all, this writer in residence gig is turning out to be a very rewarding one, creatively and incarnationally. Which proves, yet again and to no-one's surprise, that Wendy's input is a very valuable and appreciated aspect in my life (thanks, sweetie!).

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