Archive for May, 2009

Puccini’s

May 31, 2009

(From yesterday, Friday morning, when I was writing w/out wireless)

My favorite elderly man is sitting behind me again. He was here longer than I was on my last visit, and I was here for 3+ hours. He just wandered out the door on his cane, moving slowly down Columbus in his suit and newsboy hat. He’s pausing outside the front door to light a cigarette. There are two women sitting across the café from me. Dark red hair in casual updos, 40+, but with gracefully aged faces, smart looking casual suits. They look like sisters that have lived in this neighborhood forever, whose parents left them wise real estate investments and leisurely breakfast habits. I love them. I want to be them. I need to start getting up at the butt crack of dawn and writing with Rach.

The gypsy is here today as well. Long, dark hair, wavy, tied back in a ponytail. Thigh-length black leather jacket, with big silver pins of knives and crossed axes and unrecognizable crests and medals. A slew of silver necklaces, a huge jingly belt with an even huger buckle. Golf ball-sized rings, and little round wire reading glasses. A red scarf around his neck. A walking stick, another stick length item wrapped in red fabric and bright ribbons. Leather pants. And medieval boots. I wouldn’t have felt the need to write about him: although he is a good looking San Franciscan, he’s not uncommon. But he popped up to open the door for an elderly North Beach local, in slacks, sweater, and fedora. They chatted for a bit, before the newcomer had to say hi to another local. Now the gypsy’s outside, talking to my favorite old man in the newsboy hat. He looks like Anton LaVey’s acolyte, and he’s chatting up Katy’s republican grandfather. Love it.

Puccini’s

May 28, 2009

Argh. That deadline is not going to be made. I simply don’t want to write this anymore. My great idea seems so tired now, and I’m sitting here in the cafe wondering where the hell I am going, not having written a single word on it. I can’t even find it in myself to write this. All I want to do is read blog posts about how horrible “Hitched or Ditched” is, and what do you mean, you aren’t watching it?

How do you make the decision? I’m so used to ignoring my tiny, internal editor, and keepin’ on going despite the fact that I feel like I’m writing shit (thank you, NaNoWriMo). I am totally comfortable with writing shitty first drafts. But what do you do when there is still an overwhelming feeling that you have committed yourself to a future full of a big, steaming, pile of shit? Seriously, I don’t want to waste ungodly numbers of hours on this.

Gar. Urgh. Fine, I’ll try a little bit more. Until the end of this latte and sandwich.

Home

May 22, 2009

I had the best of intentions tonight. It was a stunningly sunny day, with the fog just over the next hill blowing a cool breeze into me as I reclined on top of the ferry on my way home. Inspiring. But then I got home, and the dogs needed walking, and then I was stinky from my bike ride so I needed a bath, and then there was wine that needed drinking, and email that needed reviewing… and now it’s way past bedtime. The dogs are snoring and the roommate has passed out after too many margaritas. And so my word count shall remain static today.

Jeff’s

May 21, 2009

I have an idea. I have a deadline. I have a character that I like. I … have to go look over here at something shiny now.

Avoiding writing is something that comes as easily as breathing. Especially since the advent of Hulu. Damn you, TV on my computer! I remember way back when, someone told me not to read in bed, because if you read in bed then your bed becomes purposed in your mind as being for things other than sleeping, and next thing you know, you’re an insomniac. Of course that never bothered me, as I can sleep anywhere, and, well, I like having a bed that is intended for… things other than sleeping.

Still, it stuck with me. I think of it every time I guiltily watch another episode of Supernatural online. Am I perverting and sidetracking my computer? Is it now purposed as an entertainment machine, and not a tool for writing?

Yes. And that ship has done sailed. The good news is that I can still use bodily force to shove it into the writing arena again. It just takes will-power. Of which I have precious little, and most of that is being used to stay away from the twin demons cigarettes and sugar.

Sigh. Well, can’t win unless you play. Back to shoving.

Nowhere

May 20, 2009

So now I’m not writing at all, I’m looking at Garfield minus Garfield. An excellent way to not write.

Specs

May 14, 2009

From last night: May 13, 2009

I actually am inspired to write tonight, but this was too much of an opportunity to let pass. I’m writing at Spec’s, with Jeff, and, as usual here, the most amazing table is sitting next to us. I wish the whole damn bar would shut up so I could eavesdrop a little bit better.

There is a dark haired Italian woman, and her daughter who has a teeny Chihuahua with a short-man complex in her purse, a man in suspenders and a red scarf who has just had his autobiography published, a silent, slumped man with spectacles being held on by satiny yellow cord, a well-groomed man in black with shoulder length silver hair who is sipping a martini, and a large black man with a high voice and a halo of white hair surrounding his entire face. He’s from Boston, where he belonged to a collective of poets that lived in a house in Cambridge.

This is where the beats gather, even today. Nowadays they seem to just gather in order to tell stories of the good ol’ days, but isn’t that what poets in bars have always done? Whether it was the girl last night, the words they were planning, or the bizarre reception they received in Ohio last June, stories are the lifeblood of poetry.

And my failing. I love stories, but I can never hear them in poetry. I don’t get it. I’d rather poets just talk like they do in bars. I love them in bars. On paper, their pretensions bug the shit out of me.

Coincidentally, I’ve heard “Kerouac” seven times now, “Ginsberg” six, “1950s” three, and “Burroughs” twice. And “Rexroth” once. There’s also a young man outside with a black pit puppy named Jezebel, sipping liquor store whiskey and Pabst. It’s good to live in San Francisco. I can appreciate the poetry of my surroundings, even if I can’t appreciate poetry.

Zocalo

May 12, 2009

Out with my sister, today, at her coffeshop in San Leandro. Good coffee, crowded, but comfy, not bad music. Comfy feeling overall.

Not so with me. I’m feeling like I’m playing hooky, ditching a staff meeting while I wait for someone to look at my car. And I’m too stressed out to want to write. But ya gotta do it anyway, right? That’s the whole thing about writing. The first word is the hardest.

And I can’t even find words for my procrastination writing. That’s not a good sign. Maybe I’ll just go and edit something. I feel like red pen and thick black lines crossing things out.

Puccini

May 11, 2009

Today I am sitting in Café Puccini, the best café in North Beach. Luckily, they open early. For some absurd reason I decided to get up ridiculously early and make a long day even longer. I left at 6, thinking I’d get here at 7 and have a couple plus hours to edit. I actually ended up getting to the café at 6:30, even after overshooting North Beach and ending up on Van Ness somehow. C’mon, I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

Puccini has been my favorite ever since I first came here as a teenager and discovered coffee. I don’t think I had ever had a real cappuccino before, not like they make here. I don’t remember if I was with mom or Christy, or if I was just exploring on my own when I found it, but I’ve been coming back ever since. Somehow it has remained a remarkably non-touristy place. It’s seriously a neighborhood café. Right now the place has 7 tables taken up, all by men of a certain age sitting on their own reading their papers or writing. It’s like that at all times of the day, with a certain amount of tourist activity on the sidewalk in the late morning and early afternoon, though.

Even at those high times it remains a neighborhood spot. I remember sitting here one day, hearing construction workers on break come in and chat in Italian with the owner (who still sometimes works the bar). Generally each person that comes in greets at least one person before settling in to their own isolated table.

This is so my kind of place. Now I just have to find an affordable apartment in North Beach so that this can be MY neighborhood place. A girl’s gotta have her dreams.

Just a little intro

May 11, 2009

This is what I called “Writing Journal” on my laptop. It’s the stuff that I have to get out of me before I can buckle down and write what I want to write, or what I need to finish, or edit. It’s procrastination, in a pure and simple blathering form.