Between bites of fluffy crust spinach-packed Quiche and laughs with L1, I have finally opened the blog and posted a title. Crema.
This is the coffee-house where several years ago I came to meet up with a small group of women who wanted to write. I was so excited I showed up a day early, and sat outside at a table with my tea, a YA book and my journal, feeling the slightly familiar tug of rejection as I realized no one was coming.
L1 laughed when I texted and she explained the writing group would meet the next day. So I showed up that afternoon too. And the two of us, L1 and L2 decided to blog on the theme of “inspiring teachers to write.” That was a huge noble-sounding idea, of which I will not evaluate the efficacy.
There have been times when we wrote for long stretches and shared a bit; times when we talked extensively and got a bit of writing down; and times when we wrestled with the clock and collaborated on how a weekend of professional development would fit into the session hours. We even spent some coffee-house time working on an outline for a book proposal on how to best teach writing for EL students. One time I got the idea for a comic page called “Your Brain on Writing.” Sometimes we ranted, sometimes we asked hard questions, and sometimes we told stories from our lives. Once, we collaborated on L1’s handwritten story in Spanish and I drew illustrations with my watercolor markers.
Good times. That’s why I like the feel of this place. And seeing L1 writing in her notebook now, working on a model piece for coaching a unit of study, I am truly content. In spite of the shock that she had an unexpected baby and that her career maybe was going to send her to NYC, I still have a writing partner.
What is it? I find there are people I share an internet easily with in terms of thoughts and attitudes. L1 is one of those. So I can write whatever I want or need to get down and expect to be understood and accepted on some level. A trusted listener, a trusted reader is a treasure for a wanna be writer.
The concept of a coffee shop has always pleased me. Chairs, tables, wi-fi, caffeinated drinks and pastries. People visiting and people focused on their screens or journals. Sometime ago, after a trip to New Orleans I wrote an ode to coffee shops.
Today’s ode is to the think space shared by putting a meeting at Crema on our calendars. I like the sound of the espresso machine scalding the milk, the smell of roasted beans and the pleasant chatter of people around the comfy room. But what I like the most is that we can talk about writing and the writing project and our lives seamlessly.
My third of a century career in education was largely aimed at the question, “How do we teach writing?” And now that I’m retired, I’m still interested in the education angle, but more so, how do I develp as a writer, now that I’m not working time and a half?
I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh