Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hot Coffee, Croissant and Angst

I decided to shake things up a bit this morning. It was cold—that is, cold for California—well okay, chilly. It was quite chilly and foggy. 

I took my two dogs out into the damp air to the groomer’s. My little Chihuahua was shaking and happy to go inside to be fawned over in their waiting arms. Not so for my long haired Lhasa Apso, Buddy. He’s a loner and doesn’t like all the fussing like Milton does. He headed toward the exit the minute I put him down.

After getting them settled in, I decided a short trip to the La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe was in order. Warm, fragrant and soothing—seemed like a good idea on what could have been a downer morning.

 With coffee and a bag of sweets in hand, I sat outside to listen to a live Dixieland Band group that were gathered to perform that early morning. They played Bye, Bye Blackbird while an older couple danced on the sidewalk, a small child bounced in time to the music and his parents drank coffee and texted—yup a good morning even though the cold metal chair was a challenge to my tush. 

Sparrows descended as soon as I took my first bite of almond Croissant—which  being French was very light and flaky. Crumbs dropped intentionally and unintentionally. Where the heck do all those sparrows come from? Duh, Cora, if it's winter, cold and damp, and if you had to eat every day, wouldn't you choose the eaves of that particular building?

I sipped my coffee (yes!!! love me that strong brew), and taking a suggestion from the craft book I’m studying, completed an exercise by penning this moment into my main character’s POV:

Tessa whispered the words of the lyrics while the laughing couple danced to the Dixieland tune, Bye, Bye blackbird.
“Where somebody waits for me…sugar’s sweet and so is he.”
She closed her eyes to stem the tears.  Jack, in her studio last night, alone. Calling her, wanting her.
"…nobody here can love and understand me…oh, what hard-luck stories they all hand me."
She  threw crumbs to the greedy chirping birds that only came for what they could get from her. Jack was different, now, wasn't he? Could she trust him with her already broken heart? Or was she headed for another fall.
“...make my bed, light the light, I'll arrive late bird, bye, bye.”

 Will I use that in my novel? Time will tell. At least it's given me a fresh perspective. 
(I'm not a great fan of Dixieland, so I've included Joe Cocker's version of Bye Bye Blackbird.)

Have you done something to freshen up your perspective when in the midst of a novel? 

I highly recommend it—even if you’re not a novel writer. Change is good I always say. Do you agree?


Suzanne Stengl said...

What a lovely setting! That "chilly California" with the French pastry & strong coffee. I'm way north of you in snowy Calgary, Canada and you make me envious. Congrats on getting a nice picture on paper. Keep going!

Anonymous said...

Loved it, Cora. As I mentioned before I am so homesick for Fig Garden Village. Haven't found a welcoming place in Clovis yet, much less a French bakery like at Fig's. The center is also home to starlings. When they had that delicious hot dog stand in the parking lot, one starling would sit on your shoulder or hand and wait to be hand fed. No cars rushing around, no pushy crowds in front of the older established businesses, just civil, happy people . . . and birds.
Do I change direction in my novel as things change in my life? You bet. Got a one-half Maine coon cat. Bam, Maine coon appeared briefly in movie scene. Struggling for a name of the movie? Bam, have made it an on-going thread in the novel, trying to exorcise my block on this. Messing with Christmas stuff? You guessed it. All fodder for the ever needful novel. Love it.

Cora said...

Thanks for stopping by. Love your new cat. Keep writing and lets have coffee at Fig when you can get a way.

Cora said...

Brrrrr, so sorry for you. LOL Thanks for the stop by, and yes, I will keep writing, what else can a writer do?

Ellen Gregory said...

What a marvellous idea for shaking things up. I can see that becoming a daily exercise. :-)