Finding Ernesta

19 Jan

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.

Levis, not Old Navy, but close

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!!!


4 Responses to “Finding Ernesta”

  1. auntie coon January 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    It’s good to see you writing again, girly-girl! Find yourself a corner, put up pictures of Ernie, Jane, and Gilligan – voila! Do you carry a notebook that fits in your purse? As you surely know by now,
    inspiration can hit you in the strangest places. You may be able to hold it in your head now, but the
    time will come when you will need that pen & paper, so you might as well get in the habit now, if you
    haven’t already. Writing is your destiny – never give up!

    cyber hugs from your exclamation point loving

    auntie coon

  2. Nanny January 22, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Thank you thank you.

  3. Nanny January 22, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    Did I tell you about the boy cat I met at St. Paul’s pound? He was multi-toed and adorable. I decided if I had been able to take him home, his new name would be “Papa Hemingway.”

    “Writing Down The Bones” Natalie Goldberg always wrote in cafes. And tipped extra if she held onto a table or booth for her extra time there. Maybe Starbucks places are more gentile in New Mexico.

  4. Nanny January 22, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    HA HA HA HA , I mean genteel. Is that spelled right??

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