Yesterday was the first day of my online writing class, “The Craft of Magazine Writing.” I read the first part of Lesson One and became incredibly excited, ready to be inspired and to create magazine masterpieces. One of the suggested resources is a 2012 Writer’s Market guide. I decided that after completing my fitness I’d go to the local Barnes and Noble, pick one up and then plant myself in the adjoining Starbucks to finish the lesson in the company of mutual intellects. I knew I wasn’t transporting myself to Paris but I couldn’t help thinking that surely a few Hemingwayish people would be there, writing away, chatting about literature, art and possibly cats.
I located the market guide quickly and made my way to the checkout. The clerk asks me if I’m a member. I reply, “no.” And he gives me that look. Every time I become a member anywhere (ahem the gym) I inevitably stop going or utilizing my benefits. Recently I signed on for Amazon Prime membership and was smart enough to cancel it before my trial was up. Ask me how many books I ordered while a “prime member”? None. But of course I ordered one a week AFTER I cancelled it. But I digress…
I headed over to the Starbucks and ordered myself a decaf latte. While waiting for my motivation-in-a-cup I surveyed the area for a good working station. I began to realize that maybe this wasn’t quite the writer’s den I had imagined when a large homeless man broke through the doors shouting, “The 49ers are destined to win!” He held a lit cigarette in his hand and walked the interior of the place raving about his favorite sports team. I wasn’t upset that he was homeless, or smoking but rather disappointed in his choice of audience. He clearly needed to be spreading his message in a sports bar, not a quiet zone of genius.
I found a small table and set up my laptop. It was freezing. A guy began coughing violently to my right. I looked up and he was choking on part of his apple. A huge chunk flew out of his mouth onto his stone washed Old Navy jeans. He picked up the mangled apple piece and put it back in his mouth. I stared straight ahead at my screen. Focus time. I was midway through the lesson when the high-pitched chatter of two women infiltrated my ears. The blonde lady’s hier was a liar and bad listener. The other woman’s son was a wimp and crybaby. Their lives were completely ruined because of their mutant children. And although it was somewhat entertaining, I needed these two to stop yapping (and I needed to thank my pharmacist for birth control). I was finally almost through with my reading when a young man on his cell phone sat down next to me and proceeded to tell his “bro” every single detail of his day and just how “effed up” it was.
There was zero creative collaboration occurring and no talk of cats. I packed up my things and looked around at my fellow coffee drinkers with disgust. I meandered home uninspired and annoyed. It looks like I’ll be working on my craft at home from now on.
On the plus side soon I’ll be in magazines EVERYWHERE!!!