Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Do all writers have iron stomachs when they’re writing?

English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica vir...
This is an adult version of a corn rootworm. I decided not to share any larva images in case you are eating while reading my blog. | English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) on corn (Zea mays) Italiano: Diabrotica su foglia di mais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so glad I decided to go for a walk this morning. For some reason, I always get my best ideas while I’m out for a walk. Today, my walk ended in a jog, as I was in such a hurry to get home to scribble out this new scene.

I grabbed my notebook and pen, then turned on the coffee maker and threw a slice of whole grain bread in the toaster. I wrote while making my breakfast because I knew I would lose steam if I didn’t get some food in my stomach and caffeine coursing through my veins.

At one point, I realized I needed to know what a corn rootworm looks like so I could show it in the scene. I ran from the kitchen table to my computer with a piece of toast dangling between my teeth. A quick Google search produced a plethora of gloriously disgusting images of corn rootworms in every stage of life, from egg to larva to beetle. Continue reading “Do all writers have iron stomachs when they’re writing?”

Places to Write, Restaurants, Rivers

Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI

Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters - Thiensville WI
Here’s a nice view of the Milwaukee River from the dining room at Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters in Thiensville, WI.

Today I’m writing to you from Fiddleheads Café in Thiensville, WI. I first heard of Fiddleheads a week ago on the local news when the overflowing Milwaukee River was threatening to flood the café. I loved the idea of a coffee shop so close to the river’s edge and knew I had to check it out.

Fiddleheads is located in an old converted house that sits just feet away from a bend in the Milwaukee River. It’s a bit chilly to sit outside today (unless you’re here to snuggle up in a sweatshirt with hands clasped around a hot cup of coffee, then it’s perfect,) so my writer friend and I picked a large, round table inside.

The dining room where we chose to sit was a bit stuffy when we first came in, so I opened a window by our table and brought some outside in. Fiddleheads’ dining room is bright and airy, with white painted walls and lots of windows. It seems like a great place to sit and write in any season Continue reading “Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI”


I do my best blogging at the coffee house

The view from my comfy chair at Cafe de Arts in Waukesha, WI proved very inspiring last weekend.
The view from my comfy chair at Cafe de Arts in Waukesha, WI proved to be inspiring last weekend.

I love blogging while sitting in a coffee shop. Whenever I meet my writer friend for a day of coffee and writing, I always end up putting my intended work aside to write at least one blog post. At our last session, I ended up writing three different blog posts before the afternoon was done.

Maybe I should just plan on going out to a coffee house once a week to write all of my blog posts. When I blog at home, my blog posts often come out concise, professional, and utterly boring. At the coffee shop, I get creative ideas and write posts I think people might actually want to read (I hope.) Continue reading “I do my best blogging at the coffee house”

Dialogue, Novel Writing

Adventures in eavesdropping: Take One

Conversations at Vermillion
Coffee house conversations can be very interesting, but difficult to record. | Conversations at Vermillion (Photo credit: JeanineAnderson)

I’m working on a novel-writing assignment that is turning out to be far more difficult than I had ever imagined it would be. The assignment is to go to a public place, listen in on a random conversation, and write the conversation down word-for-word, being careful to capture the inflection in the speakers’ voices and imbue the dialog with the mood of the “scene” without the use of description. I thought writing the dialogue would be the hard part, but it turns out that eavesdropping on random conversations is extremely hard when you set out to do it on purpose for a school assignment.

After class Wednesday morning, I decided to stop by a small coffee shop near the school where I teach. I had never been in this particular coffee shop before and did not realize it was a Christian book store/coffee shop until I was halfway in the door. Continue reading “Adventures in eavesdropping: Take One”