Sayings come and go, but the one I fell in love with when I was a kid as my mom would read books to me, is a phrase that now as an adult has the same impact as the first time I heard it...
Once Upon a Time, I was standing under a bridge in a town just 10 minutes from the mighty Niagara Falls. I was walking with my friends and I remember blurting out "We should write a book!" It was just as out of the blue as you expect it to. But to me it was a declaration of ideas that I had swirling in my head for weeks if not months. It filled me up so much that at that moment if I didn't say something my head would explode. That moment led to many moments over the next year, writing on my white Apple iBook at my friend Shane's home; sitting on the bus coming up with my own worlds to play in as I listened to other worlds in the form of podcast novels. However, the moments I remember most are those at my local Starbucks.
Recently I had to go home from Toronto to Niagara for the day. After doing the errands I needed to, I went to that local Starbucks. It's different now. The smell of coffee and baked goods was still the same, but the furniture changed. Long gone was the long dark brown table that I would sit at. A table that was scratched and water stained from many people who used it as their semi-permanent office. Students would frequent that table to study. Even the most common character at that table, Mark, whom was constantly studying but I had never seen actually study because he often talked to many women that passed by. Not in a creepy way, he was gay, but in a friendly "Sit down! Have a cup of coffee and tell me about your day!" way. I guess I too became a character who sat at that table as I would sit with my laptop open, headphones on as I wrote. Sometimes my friends were there to write with me, but often though I was on my own. I would spend hours drinking lattes overjoyed over the fact that I was writing stories! Even though I was the stereotypical writer at Starbucks, I did accomplish what I set to do: I wrote a book. I wrote two in fact. My first novel "Black Shadow" and my first short story collection "The Caffeine Collection". In fact the name of The Caffeine Collection was inspired by the fact I wrote all the stories at Starbucks.
As I sat in Starbucks two weeks ago and those moments began to flood my memory like a movie on fast forward or a MONTAGE, I had to take a picture. What you see above is the same (but not the same) view that I saw years ago.
It then hit me of the stories I have yet to write. The worlds that have been swirling in my head for days if not months and if I don't write them soon my head will explode. I have built up years of story bits and pieces just waiting to be put together in a cohesive beginning, middle and end. Even though I can't go to the same Starbucks I once did, I'm ready to find a new home. A home I can sit and write for hours without realizing it. A home where my muse can flex it's muscles and fuel my imagination.
I'm ready for more Once Upon a Times.
Do you have a place sacred to you? A place where your muse feels most at home? Are you too on the search for such a place? Leave a comment below and let me know!