Tag Archives: coffee

Day Three #3DayNovel

Yikes! Is that 8:22 already?

Foggy day to go with my brain. It’s been days of sitting, dwelling in my head, I still have miles to go before the story ends, and my fingers just aren’t fast enough to get them all in.

Haven’t had a decent meal except for dinner the last two days – not hungry, given my total exercise is mental. Not ODing on coffee, yet. I think today may be the day as I scream into the finish line…panicking, wind in my teeth, madness in my glance.

Need a soundtrack for today. Oddly, given my novel context, my iTunes shuffle kept playing “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I shifted to Seaside -FM last night, usually perfect for writing, only to be assaulted by hymns for their late night “songs of praise” show. Given that I am writing about religious matters, it kind of freaked me out.

Beginning to get paranoid about being watched from above…

But maybe that’s the muse I’m courting. God knows (as it were), I could use her help.

And wheeeeeeee! Off I go!

Doin’ Drugs… Part 1

There’s something about making a home pumpkin latte that makes me feel ever so slightly illegal.

First, you gotta get the stuff. And it has to be good stuff, Fair Trade Certified, Organic – in this case, Annapolis Valley Pumpkin Spice.

Then you need to grind it, fresh, until it screams for mercy and releases all the wonderful coffee/pumpkin/spice smell. When the grind is just right, you get out your specialized equipment, a good quality but not excessively so, as you are not THAT kind of person, given to obnoxiousness in personal belongings, happy to settle for the Honda over the Maserati, function over form and all that.

You take your ground up stuff, and carefully put it into the holder, tamping it down just so. Then it’s time to let the water bubble through it, while you inhale the atmosphere, getting faintly buzzed on the caffeine flowing around your nostrils, straight to your brain. Time for bubbling the milk – held at the perfect angle to first warm, then push air through it until it forms a perfect head. Pour it on top of the black liquor, and sip.

I do mine a double shot, no sugar, just milk. By accident, I bought 1% milk instead of skim and I tell you, it makes a difference that is almost sinful. The foam is creamy and thick, the bubbles behave, and the taste is better. The pumpkin flavour is subtle and not sweet, spicy enough without being overwhelming.

I find myself thinking about it all day, as fall creeps in around the edges. The taste is best now, in apple and pumpkin time, when the chill of first frost hovers. When I run out, I feel a nervous need to get more. Soon. Mornings simply aren’t the same.

I think I’m addicted.

Nanowriwon’t, or how my life conspires to prevent me from writing…

Okay, it’s morning. I’m awake, perky, eager for the writing demons to take over my head and heart and fingertips and maybe even help me type without the need for constant correction. It works best if I don’t look at what I’m typing, so I can’t see the wiggly red lines under everything. Why, oh why, didn’t my mother let me take touch-typing when I was at school??? She said, “No, daughter mine, that WILL NOT DO. You will end up being a secretary and I won’t have it.” So untrue. She should have realized by then that she was the only person I would ever take orders from. Sometimes I even ignored her. Not often, though. She was ferocious.

Still and all, I miss the touch-typing skills. By the time I decided I needed to learn it, I’d already developed my three fingers and thumb method and that, my friends, is impossibly hard to retrain.

So up I spring, joyous, ready. But wait. What sound through yonder door breaks? Tis the dog, and his walk must begin. Well, fair enough. I can’t expect to have him cross his legs until I finish the novel, tentatively titled “Stigmata”.

Of course that’s a working title. Of course I know there have been other books and movies and such already written, viewed and trashed with that title. But it’s a good short form for the story I plan to write. I already have the visual. I need a visual to start a story. It’s my method.

But first, the walk.

We meet everyone today, which means the walk is punctuated with pauses to allow said dog to smell other dogs in areas I avert my glance from, plus the usual inanities of conversation over a pooping dog, which of necessity are distracting and yet not so much so that you lose the location of the poop, which you must them carefully enclose in a bag for disposal. Perish the thought you leave a bit behind. And heaven forbid the dog urinate on the condo’s lawn, as hordes of shrieking aged ladies will drive by in their Lincoln Continentals and throw tissues at you (used) from their sleeves and say such ridiculous things as, “We prefer they don’t,” nose wrinkle, “urinate on the lawns.”

It’s tougher than it looks, this dog walking routine. But finally we are done and I tell myself, well, that was a good thing. The air is fresh, it was good to get out and around as now my brain is freshly aired and ready, yes ripe for the task.

I turn on the computer.

There’s a whine at my feet.

Ah, yes, dog needs feeding. So off I go again, scraping something into the dog’s bowl that looks suspiciously like the stuff I just picked up in my precious bag. He ignores it. He wants the milk from my cereal, which of course requires that I pause to have some cereal. All good, I think. A brain needs carbohydrates to work. I eat, and look wistfully at the coffee pot. Ah, the heck with it, I argue. Caffeine is a writer’s best friend. I make a pot, which requires some hovering because I have foolishly become attached to a Bodum and must wait and stir the coffee grounds with a special spoon until it is perfectly dark and then push down the handle just so before I can drink it. I’ve even knitted a coffee cozy to keep the Bodum warm. That was on another day I was going to write. It’s brown and I haven’t sewn the buttons on it yet, but not today, I tell myself firmly. Today I write.

Back to the desk, and I open my email, just to check for emergency notices which I am sure to get because my life is very very important and if I don’t check and respond to email (well, and Facebook) right now the entire earth will be suspended in space and time.

So now it’s noon.

The dog needs to pee again and is lounging around with a chew toy in his mouth looking at me like I am the most horribly neglectful pet parent the world has ever created. At some point in my wasted morning (though I did have a good conversation with my sister on Google chat and we sorted out some things about siblings and travels and stuff), he’s eaten his food and licked the bowl absolutely clean, and then gone rummaging in my yarn for a treat I unwisely laid under it last night.

I detangle.

We walk.

It’s lunch, so I eat.

It’s two o’clock and I’m feeling a bit sleepy. Perhaps if I take a nap, I’ll be much more able to write later in the day. I’m always best in the evenings, I tell myself. I work quickly then, feeling the panic of an unused day leaning on me.

But I suddenly realize – other than the walk, I haven’t exercised.

We all know how important regular exercise is to the body, and to the mind. I’d better get in a few moments on the bike before I get started. I wipe off the dust and sit in place. Hmm. Need a book to read while I cycle. Go get Kobo, wait for it to wake up, start reading Lawrence Block’s “Spider, Spin me a Web”. It’s almost the same thing as writing, reading about writing, right?

I do my fifteen minutes, arguing that I’ve walked at least fifteen and have met my required “thirty minutes a day or die” requirement.

I smell bad.

I skipped a shower this morning, as I was so keen to get writing this morning. Now I can barely stand myself. My hair itches.

And I know I’ll be more awake if I have a shower. Isn’t everyone?

It’s now six pm.

The dog is looking at me with a lean and hungry look. I go to feed him again. He ignores it. He would prefer my dinner leftovers, but I’ve decided in the interest of actually getting something, anything written, I am going to skip dinner and just drink wine. Antioxidants, right? I might have a carrot or two later. I need to lose weight anyway.

The image of food is dancing through my head. At least I think it is food. The wine has made me a bit muzzy. I watch a few videos on YouTube while I sober up.

I have never been so hungry. I want beef, and lots of it. I happen to have some stew made up in the fridge, but since I abhor microwaves, I have to heat it up on the stove. Which requires some hovering, since it sticks to the pot as I have so frequently burned things in it.

And of course I must have more wine.

I eat. The dog licks the plate. We are both happy.

There was something I was going to do, but I have no idea what it was.

Never mind. Tomorrow I will rise with the sun and leap into writing, fresh and vibrant and alive.

The ceremony of tea

Every once and awhile I get into this pattern of slurping cups and cups of coffee, ignoring the growing headache that starts in the back of my head and  creeps gradually forward, adding an ache in my gut, adding irritability as it creeps ever forwards to my frontal lobes. It starts small, and I don’t realize I am seeking coffee every moment of the day until it dawns on me all of a sudden that I really don’t LIKE coffee, that it’s smell bothers me, that the joy in drinking it is hardly enough to make the side effects worth it. Of course, two days before, I loved the smell, I desired its bold taste more than anything, and the side effects are what I craved. It’s very odd.

Then someone mentions tea to me, and a new vista opens.  The ceremony of tea – selecting the type, putting just the right amount of loose leaves into the tea ball, warming the tea pot, getting out the delicate cups. And then that first, slightly smoky sip, the aroma insinuating it into my sinuses, easing them, the warm liquid slipping down my throat to my tummy, still agitated by the coffee, soothing it. Is there anything better?

Today, an extravagance: Green Yerba Matte Citrus from Teopia. I bought it some weeks ago, but it retains its freshness, its complex taste  – bitter, sweet, smoky, a little lemony bite.  So much more for a tongue to do than with coffee.

And then I wonder, why did I ever stray?

Coffee is like a brash American cousin – bold, enchanting, a bit bossy, and sometimes just the sort of companion you want.  But tea – it’s like a whole roomful of relatives, each different type having its own personality, its own moodiness, humour and charm.

And as my too sweet teacup sits on my messy desk, full of things I must do and a parking ticket (argh!), it gentles me and helps me focus.