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Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 03:50 AM
You know the type. "Look here! I'm a writer!"

This type is further divided into two categories:

"Oh, what am I doing? I'm writing my newest novel. Have a seat, I'll tell you all about it."

or

"Shhh, I'm much too busy to be bothered. Bzzzzz!" (ala Chris Tucker in the 5th Element)

I understand the need for some gratification, some acknowledgement as writing is an inherently lonely work.

So the other day, as I was at Starbucks/Chapters, (without my laptop, thank you very much!) you can imagine my smile as I flipped through a book called 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know and found a chapter entitled: "Skip the Starbucks." According to the author, those that bring their laptops to Starbucks are not writers, but just want others to think they are.

What do you people out there think? I can understand the appeal of wanting to do so, and to some extent the atmosphere of being around people talking can really get you writing. I always carry a pencil and notepad with me, just incase...but bringing a laptop to a Starbucks... pretentious?

KTC
01-10-2007, 03:55 AM
Screw whoever said that. Typing into a laptop at a coffee shop is anything but pretentious. I don't notice anybody or anything when I'm at Starbucks writing. I do it. I don't give a good Goddamn who notices or who doesn't. I'm doing it to write. I'm a writer. I'm a paid writer and I sometimes write at Starbucks...so you can tell that pessimistic ass who wrote the book to sell it to somebody else. End of Rant.

TheIT
01-10-2007, 04:02 AM
I live in Silicon Valley in California. Every coffee shop, bookstore, or library I walk into has people working on laptops. A lot of people seem to be working, some are net surfing, and others might be writers. Who knows?

For me, I'm glad I recently picked up a laptop. I write both with pen and paper and directly into the computer. I spend hours in coffee shops or the library writing, and I truly enjoy the convenience of being able to type in what I'm writing in a different environment than at home. Also, I even go so far as to bring a wireless keyboard with me so I can save some wear and tear on my hands. So no, I would not agree with the label "pretentious".

Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 04:02 AM
Screw whoever said that. Typing into a laptop at a coffee shop is anything but pretentious. I don't notice anybody or anything when I'm at Starbucks writing. I do it. I don't give a good Goddamn who notices or who doesn't. I'm doing it to write. I'm a writer. I'm a paid writer and I sometimes write at Starbucks...so you can tell that pessimistic ass who wrote the book to sell it to somebody else. End of Rant.

Whoops! I didn't mean to strike a nerve. I leave the house on occasion as well because that's where I can actually get my work done...

I'm sorry, the post wasn't intended to offend people. Infact, I know that JK Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book(s) in a coffee shop...so the authors statement is a generalization

Toothpaste
01-10-2007, 04:06 AM
Actually after reading some of the suggestions in the thread about slipping at the whole writing thing I was thinking of actually doing just that. Sometimes romanticising something gets the inspirational juices flowing and then you get all excited about writing again. And just because someone choose a Starbucks, well they are hard to avoid aren't they? I think the more pretentious folks are the ones who seek out the quaint non-coffee chain miles and miles away because they don't want to be seen writing at a Starbucks. Who cares who sees you? It's not about being seen, it's about writing.

Birol
01-10-2007, 04:07 AM
Shades, you're talking about PARPG (http://www.lloydwrites.com/images/stories/PARPG.pdf). I'm not saying that's what you read, but it is the phenomenon you're talking about.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 04:11 AM
You know the type. "Look here! I'm a writer!"

This type is further divided into two categories:

"Oh, what am I doing? I'm writing my newest novel. Have a seat, I'll tell you all about it."

or

"Shhh, I'm much too busy to be bothered. Bzzzzz!" (ala Chris Tucker in the 5th Element)

I understand the need for some gratification, some acknowledgement as writing is an inherently lonely work.

So the other day, as I was at Starbucks/Chapters, (without my laptop, thank you very much!) you can imagine my smile as I flipped through a book called 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know and found a chapter entitled: "Skip the Starbucks." According to the author, those that bring their laptops to Starbucks are not writers, but just want others to think they are.

What do you people out there think? I can understand the appeal of wanting to do so, and to some extent the atmosphere of being around people talking can really get you writing. I always carry a pencil and notepad with me, just incase...but bringing a laptop to a Starbucks... pretentious?

I immediately quoted you, instead of reading the other replies....

I joined NANOWRIMO on a whim, and had a great time. They occassionally had these "write-ins" where you'd go to a coffee shop and bring your laptop or notebook, whatever, and write. And I thought....I'd be toooooooooooo preoccupied with looking at the other Nano's to get anything done.

I went shopping at Borders the other day, and saw all the "am I or am I not a writer" stationed outside with their laptops typing away with their Borders version of Starbucks coffees. I frowned as I passed them on the sidewalk.

However, I loved watching SATC when Carrie would haul her laptop off to the Starbucks and work.

Would I take my laptop to Starbucks to get some work done? No. I wouldn't work. I'd worry that people looked at me and thought "she's not a writer". So exactly as you put it...Skip the Starbucks.

I would however (if I could afford a battery for mine) take it to the park. What is said about people with laptops at the park? You don't really see that.

I sort of feel for the "I'm a writer at Starbucks" because having a toddler at home, and a full time job 9 - 6, I don't get a lot of writing time. Starbucks might just be the thing for me.

Akuma
01-10-2007, 04:19 AM
I can't imagine clacking a keyboard in Starbucks. I dislike being noticed (this supports my natural Writerly Ability to observe.)

I carry a notepad with me and when I get an idea, I do my best to write it down without attracting attention.

Because people, for some reason, see something and comment about it, no matter how frivolous. Then, forced by some unofficial courtesy, I am forced to acknowledge.

I hate talking about my writing--it just feels awkward to me. And, you see, if they ask about the notepad, then they'll ask about the writing.

And Akuma does not condone such behavior.

TheIT
01-10-2007, 04:28 AM
FYI, I've never been approached while working on a laptop in a public place. At least in this area, people working on laptops is an extremely common sight especially since a lot of coffeeshops have free wireless. Also, once I start concentrating on my writing, a marching band could parade by the table and I wouldn't notice.

Work whereever is best for you. For me, yes, there's a Starbucks I occasionally use, but I've found a smaller coffee shop with better tasting coffee which I like better. I think when I'm in public writing, most people assume I'm working rather than writing a novel for personal reasons. Even if I tell someone in passing I'm working on a novel, I've never had anyone seriously ask to read it. Deflecting unwanted interest is simple and can be done quite diplomatically.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 04:31 AM
At least in this area, people working on laptops is an extremely common sight especially since a lot of coffeeshops have free wireless.

I am so much more attracted to the idea now, thank you. I now have to buy a battery for my laptop.

RJLeahy
01-10-2007, 04:33 AM
Isn't going to Starbucks for a cup of four dollar coffee, pretentious enough?

TheIT
01-10-2007, 04:37 AM
Isn't going to Starbucks for a cup of four dollar coffee, pretentious enough?

Get hot tea, and keep getting refills of hot water. ;)

For me, I figure if I'm going to camp out at a business like a coffee shop for a couple of hours, I don't mind giving them a little money in return for the table space, the atmosphere, and accessibility to coffee/pastries that I don't have to make myself.

WildScribe
01-10-2007, 04:38 AM
I live in silicon valley too, actually, and while I don't work at Starbucks, I do frequently work at the bakery/cafe next door, which also has free wireless. So often, in fact, that half the staff know me on site, and a few even know my name. I sit down, plug in, and plug away for hours. The terrifying idea of someone making off with my computer is enough to keep me at the table until I am done with my project, which sometimes takes most of the day. Very few people ask me what I am doing, and mostly I just politely steer the conversation away, then get back to work. The white noise of people talking and eating helps me focus, for some reason.

TheIT
01-10-2007, 04:42 AM
FYI, you might want to invest in a laptop cable, at least I think that's what they're called. It's basically a cable with a combination lock which locks into the laptop and can be looped around a heavy object (like the table leg) so that your laptop stays put.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 04:42 AM
The terrifying idea of someone making off with my computer is enough to keep me at the table until I am done with my project, which sometimes takes most of the day.

What about potty breaks? All that coffee.......one has to wonder.

WildScribe
01-10-2007, 04:49 AM
I don't drink coffee. If I really have to go potty, I ask the person at the next table to watch my computer, and take my flash drive with me. I've never had a problem. I DO however, get back to my computer asap, and would never trust anyone to watch it for more than the two minutes it takes to pee or get a refill on my lemonade.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 04:50 AM
I don't drink coffee. If I really have to go potty, I ask the person at the next table to watch my computer, and take my flash drive with me. I've never had a problem. I DO however, get back to my computer asap, and would never trust anyone to watch it for more than the two minutes it takes to pee or get a refill on my lemonade.

You're more trusting than I am. :)

WildScribe
01-10-2007, 04:51 AM
Not really. If you ask a party of three old ladies, loudly, to watch your computer, not only will they watch it, but several people will curiously be watching them. Trust me, it works. If there is no party of old ladies present, I tend to hold it, but they usually show up right when I need them.

Edit: What scares ME are the people who get up and go outside to take a phone call with all of their gadgets (all nicely portable) arrayed on the table. I once took someone's blackberry and keys, and gave them back after he'd had a minute to panic. He thanked me rather extensively for the warning.

Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 04:52 AM
Not really. If you ask a party of three old ladies, loudly, to watch your computer, not only will they watch it, but several people will curiously be watching them. Trust me, it works. If there is no party of old ladies present, I tend to hold it, but they usually show up right when I need them.

I need to start up a ring of laptop-thievin'-grannies

MidnightMuse
01-10-2007, 04:52 AM
I bring the laptop to Starbucks nearly every Friday for an hour and a half after work, no one notices me and I don't notice anyone else. I don't use my laptop to be noticed any more than I sit with a notebook to be noticed. And I ignore people using one just as I ignore people in general.

I never thought I could get writing done in a public place with distractions, but having tried it, I can say for me it works great. I tune out the world, sit with my back to the windows, completely unnoticed, and write.

Carrie in PA
01-10-2007, 05:01 AM
I totally wish we had a coffee shop around here. We used to have this one little one that had the best hot chocolate ever, but I never had the opportunity to go sit in there with my laptop. They're out of business now.

Sitting on the floor of the gas station just doesn't have the same effect.

Beyondian
01-10-2007, 05:12 AM
You know, for two years while going to uni, I wrote almost exclusively at cafeterias and on public transport. It was the only time I really had free from study (practical Diploma, couldn't swot without a huge bunch of samples and markers.) I used to go into Starbucks (in my Laptop year, not the 'Write-with-pen-and-notebook' year), but the largest and cheapest coffee I could, and spend an hour or two writing away happily. I didn't go there to show off that I'm a writer. I did it so I could get some writing done without my laptop's batteries running down.
Heck, I wrote two-thirds of a play in a four-hour-odd stint at a cafe one time. It was fun. It was exciting. If anyone had interupted me, I would have bitten their noses off in a wordless rage.
Same on the public transport. I have been known to change seat because people across from me are getting too darn noisy. (I travel on ferries). I still love catching an hour or two at a cafe between boats. The worst part is trying for one of the few powerpoints. I hate going into the cafe, buying one of the over-priced cups of coffee, and then finding out that someone else nicked the last power-point while I was waiting.
Anyway, rant over. :D
(must cut back on the parenthesis ((ooops))

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 05:23 AM
Sometimes I write in coffee shops because they have fireplaces, which I like, comfy chairs, which I like, HIDEOUSLY EXPENSIVE INTERNET, which is great for focusing....and if I frequent the place enough, they refill my tea for free.

But I do agree with the article, to an extent. I see all manner of writers in our local Caribous who are Writing Their Art. One of them will lean back and dramatically announce to the room, "Be glad your'e all not writers! This is so hard!" and then he goes back at it equally dramatic.

I'm sitting two feet away in a comfy chair with my notepad on my lap, and I wanted to whap him upside the head and offer him a cup of Shut The BadWord Up.

underthecity
01-10-2007, 05:43 AM
It's funny this subject came up since I had thought about opening a similar thread.

My wife decided a few months ago that she likes the lattes and other expensive hot drinks at Starbucks, so she started to go get a caramel apple cider or something every week. Sometimes I go in with her. Recently I saw a young woman there at a laptop, a pile of manuscript-looking paper next to her.

There aren't very many tables or chairs at this Starbucks. Plus, it's a busy, noisy place. For me, at least, there's no way I could get any work done there.

Personally, I don't see the point about Writing at Starbucks on Your Laptop. Why Starbucks? Why not . . . . anyplace else? In fact, writing at Starbucks has become kind of a writer's stereotype. Besides, sooner or later you're gonna have to visit the restroom. And you have a choice: hold it, or take your laptop and supplies into the toilet with you and take a chance on losing your table. Oh sure, you could leave your laptop on the table, but would you?

In the meantime, you've got all those people staring at you as they wait for their orders. And it's like that article says: "they just want others to think they are [writers]." Like they're drawing attention to themselves as "the writer at Starbucks."

That's my two cents.

allen

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 05:49 AM
Touching on fireplaces, lattes and nice comfy couches...there is a starbucks in Pasadena with just those things! A great fireplace, wonderfully stuffed loveseats and chairs and well...lattes.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 05:50 AM
Besides, sooner or later you're gonna have to visit the restroom. And you have a choice: hold it, or take your laptop and supplies into the toilet with you and take a chance on losing your table. Oh sure, you could leave your laptop on the table, but would you?

Haven't you seen the old ladies?

underthecity
01-10-2007, 05:56 AM
there is a starbucks in Pasadena with just those things! A great fireplace, wonderfully stuffed loveseats and chairs and well...lattes.

Pasadena??? My novel is set in Pasadena! I even have a couple scenes set in Old Pasadena.

(Now, back to the regularly scheduled thread already in progress)

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 06:04 AM
Mostly, I write at home. In the summer, if I dont' feel like that, I go write in the park with some angry hormonal geese. I rarely go into Starbucks. If I go anyplace to write, I go sit in a chair in the middle of the hubbub that's our local mall. I like the flow of people around me.

But mostly, I just stay home.

Jadezuki
01-10-2007, 06:12 AM
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RG570
01-10-2007, 06:14 AM
I can't imagine writing in a public place. I'd be too worried people were looking over my shoulder and laughing at what I wrote.

And I can't drink coffee anyway. It makes me nervous. I'll drink a tea, or an ovaltine. Yes, ovaltine. Maybe if Starbucks had private cubicles and served ovaltine...

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 06:19 AM
I can't imagine writing in a public place. I'd be too worried people were looking over my shoulder and laughing at what I wrote.

I face this problem on the train. I have to sit in one of the few aisle facing seats so that everybody else is to my right or left, but not behind me.

Cath
01-10-2007, 06:52 AM
I read that book too. And I think it's nonsense. I write in Starbucks a lot. It's a mile away so I can walk, tea is $1.25 and will last me a couple of hours, the staff all know me and I like the background noise - it helps me concentrate.

No-one there's ever accused me of being a writer. A couple of old fellas thought I was in college (um, not for ten years or so) and one guy asked if I was the woman he was supposed to meet - but that's it. Everyone else knows me well enough to leave me alone.

If that makes me somehow not a real writer, so be it. Doesn't make any difference to me.

KTC
01-10-2007, 07:30 AM
Whoops! I didn't mean to strike a nerve. I leave the house on occasion as well because that's where I can actually get my work done...

I'm sorry, the post wasn't intended to offend people. Infact, I know that JK Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book(s) in a coffee shop...so the authors statement is a generalization

I was being silly but serious. I forgot the little smiley face again, didn't I. The guy who said that is whacked though. It may be the case for some, but others just like the atmosphere of writing in cafes. Nothing wrong with it. Writers actually do it. Sorry if it sounded like I was angry...I was just being silly again.

WildScribe
01-10-2007, 07:39 AM
I read that book too. And I think it's nonsense. I write in Starbucks a lot. It's a mile away so I can walk, tea is $1.25 and will last me a couple of hours, the staff all know me and I like the background noise - it helps me concentrate.

No-one there's ever accused me of being a writer. A couple of old fellas thought I was in college (um, not for ten years or so) and one guy asked if I was the woman he was supposed to meet - but that's it. Everyone else knows me well enough to leave me alone.

If that makes me somehow not a real writer, so be it. Doesn't make any difference to me.

Sounds about right... and if for some reason the tables at Panera were all taken one day, I would head next door to starbucks, most likely. :)

September skies
01-10-2007, 07:47 AM
Funny -- I never thought of laptop people at Starbucks as writers. I mean, they might be, but I just didn't notice. I have seen laptops opened to excel programs or people who are working on something else or just surfin'. If they look college age, I think of them as students - doing some report.

As to coffee -- I drink plain coffee - $1.55 -- and refills are only 50 cents.

I've only taken my laptop there once, but for me - it did not work. Too busy and our Starbucks is tiny -- no place to focus on work and write. I'd much rather write outside by the river -- or in the woods.

Birol
01-10-2007, 08:56 AM
I will admit that the place I used to live, I'd sometimes take critiquing to a nearby 24-hour truck stop late at night, order a burger or an omelet, and sit there and crit before my food arrived or for a bit after I finished while drinking a cup of hot tea. I only ever had one person ask me what I was doing and that was the waiter, who was a college student, and was rather alarmed by all the red ink on the pages in front of me. I've also taken a book there to do reading for one of my own classes, but there's usually one or two other people sitting there reading, too, so I never stood out.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 10:46 AM
I will admit that the place I used to live, I'd sometimes take critiquing to a nearby 24-hour truck stop late at night, order a burger or an omelet, and sit there and crit before my food arrived or for a bit after I finished while drinking a cup of hot tea. I only ever had one person ask me what I was doing and that was the waiter, who was a college student, and was rather alarmed by all the red ink on the pages in front of me. I've also taken a book there to do reading for one of my own classes, but there's usually one or two other people sitting there reading, too, so I never stood out.

I used to do that too, especially for reading and editing, and especially in truck stops. Call me crazy, but truck stops have better food than loads of other places.


I think that if you like writing at Starbucks.....write at Starbucks. If you just want to get out, I suggest a park. It can be wonderful and fun. You may not get loads of work done, but you'll be happy, and that's good for something too.

Birol
01-10-2007, 10:51 AM
I used to do that too, especially for reading and editing, and especially in truck stops. Call me crazy, but truck stops have better food than loads of other places.

I agree. It's not always the healthiest fare, but it is usually good and reasonably priced. While the staff might converse with the regulars, for the most part, it's quiet and everyone leaves one another to their own devices, too, especially late at night.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 10:57 AM
I used to ride the Grayhound bus cross-country, twice a month, for almost a year. Looooong trips. It would be three in the morning and I'd be groggy in a truck stop somewhere, no idea what state or time zone I'm in.

I love watching the people (who are used to travelers and don't chat much) and I think that truck stops have secret access to amazing fried chicken and potatoes with gravy.

Which is off-topic, but I was just thinking about this the other day. Out west, you can't throw a rock without hitting a truck stop. In Minnesota, you'd be hard pressed to immediately find 'em.

BiggerBoat
01-10-2007, 11:41 AM
I like writing at the library. It's inspiring to be surrounded by all of those books. They have comfy chairs, research materials are close-at-hand, and it's all free.

Mags
01-10-2007, 11:52 AM
I type in coffee shops and other public places on my Treo (http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo680/index.html) with a wireless folding keyboard (http://www.palm.com/us/products/accessories/peripherals/). It can be counterproductive when people stop and exclaim and want to know more about my setup. For me, if I'm sitting at home idly surfing the net and being unproductive, a change of scenery and a dose of caffeine (one venti nonfat chai latte, s'il vous plait) can give me a bit of a kickstart. Also I like to sneak out of the "day job" at lunch, a little after the rush, and have a writing break.

ETA: Just remembered--my first published short story was written in a Wendy's in about an hour and a half. It had been bugging me for a while and I just sat down with a notebook (pre-Palm days) and it all came rushing out. It was the first draft but it didn't change that much in the final.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 05:48 PM
I love Treo's "How to get your boss to pay for your Treo" page. I think that's awesome.

Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 06:12 PM
I type in coffee shops and other public places on my Treo (http://www.palm.com/us/products/smartphones/treo680/index.html) with a wireless folding keyboard (http://www.palm.com/us/products/accessories/peripherals/). It can be counterproductive when people stop and exclaim and want to know more about my setup. For me, if I'm sitting at home idly surfing the net and being unproductive, a change of scenery and a dose of caffeine (one venti nonfat chai latte, s'il vous plait) can give me a bit of a kickstart. Also I like to sneak out of the "day job" at lunch, a little after the rush, and have a writing break.

ETA: Just remembered--my first published short story was written in a Wendy's in about an hour and a half. It had been bugging me for a while and I just sat down with a notebook (pre-Palm days) and it all came rushing out. It was the first draft but it didn't change that much in the final.

heh - I'd be one of those people that wander by, do a double-take, and exclaim, "Oh hey, cool!"

MyFirstMystery
01-10-2007, 07:34 PM
Infact, I know that JK Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book(s) in a coffee shop...so the authors statement is a generalization

I had a chance to visit that coffee shop in Edinburgh, they have little placards on the tables declaring it the birthplace of Harry Potter, and the most smashing Vegan chocolate cake. Very cool. :) It was called "The Elephant" or something to that effect.

As a Seattle-native I've never considered Starbucks pretentious - just expensive. Most people who work on laptops in there seem to be business people who can't tear themselves away from email for twenty minutes.

I've written in coffee shops from time to time - but I find I'm less productive there than when holed up in my home office without distractions.

MFM

Jared Axelrod
01-10-2007, 07:37 PM
I guess it depends on the writer. There are writers who thrive on the comotion and bustle of a public place, who need that background noise in order to focus--I've been that writer on occasion--and the constant flow of caffine certainly doesn't hurt the creative process.

There are those who would rather be known as writers than actually write, and that's what 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know is most likely talking about.

Personally, I often find it difficult to write at home. I used to write at a local java house all the time before I moved to Philadelphia. Now I use the library, which is near coffee, because I could never find a coffee place just like the one in my hometown.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 07:37 PM
My big problem with coffee shops is that they serve me nice warm tea, and I sit in a comfy chair, they play quiet music, I have a fireplace in front of me, and no distractions, and....

........twenty minutes later, I realize that I was snoring, and am really pathetic.

(god forbid I should go there on a full stomach)

Del
01-10-2007, 07:57 PM
Sitting on the floor of the gas station just doesn't have the same effect.

Try riding the lift. Might be fun. :)

clockwork
01-10-2007, 08:05 PM
Did anybody see Jerry Seinfeld on David Letterman a while ago? He was speaking about 'the coffee situation' in America and how things are getting out of hand (to paraphrase) -- "I mean, is it just going to get bigger and more complicated? And there are some people who seem to think that because they've bought a cup of coffee, that they've opened up a small business. They've got the laptop and the palm pilot and the paperwork and they seem to want to create the impression that they've got quite a bit going on. And, you know, I don't see people in pizza places doing this."

I like writing outside of the house too but I almost always end up reading or people watching.

maestrowork
01-10-2007, 08:06 PM
"Skip the Starbucks." According to the author, those that bring their laptops to Starbucks are not writers, but just want others to think they are.

What do you people out there think? I can understand the appeal of wanting to do so, and to some extent the atmosphere of being around people talking can really get you writing. I always carry a pencil and notepad with me, just incase...but bringing a laptop to a Starbucks... pretentious?


I am sorry, but I do write better at the Starbucks (or some public place with food/drinks and power outlets), and it has nothing to do with other's people perception. In fact, I couldn't care less if people notice me. There are plenty of college students or business people using their laptops there. I finished the second half of my first novel entirely at Starbucks. I loved the vibes there -- I can't work at home alone; I need to see people and feel I'm part of the world, but at the same time, to be left alone. One cup of coffee and a scone can last me all day. You have to pay for Internet but that's great -- I just DON'T get on the Internet unless it's necessary (like when I need to do a bit of research).

Of course, now that Panera Bread has free WiFi I go there a lot -- still trying to limit my Internet access because I really do want to write.

There's nothing pretentious about doing what works (for you).

Del
01-10-2007, 08:35 PM
Starbuck's, Barns and Nobel or Joe's Breakfast Nook...what's the difference?

I like to write in different places. My same words feel like a different perspective and I can better evaluate them. I bought a laptop so when I write about the woods I can go to the woods. When I write about a mall, I can go to a mall. Sometimes I just like the change.

Occasionally someone will comment on my Laptop. It's a 17 inch wide screen and full keyboard (number pad) and looks different from what most are used to, it draws attention to itself but not to me. No one has ever asked what I'm doing. I guess I look unimportant. :)

Frankly, I'd steer clear of anyone (or book) telling me I'm pretentious for doing what I do. I have a standing opinion of judgmental people. Even though doing so is judgmental. ;)

Jared Axelrod
01-10-2007, 08:43 PM
Did anybody see Jerry Seinfeld on David Letterman a while ago? He was speaking about 'the coffee situation' in America and how things are getting out of hand (to paraphrase) -- "I mean, is it just going to get bigger and more complicated? And there are some people who seem to think that because they've bought a cup of coffee, that they've opened up a small business. They've got the laptop and the palm pilot and the paperwork and they seem to want to create the impression that they've got quite a bit going on. And, you know, I don't see people in pizza places doing this."

Funny, back before I started watching what I eat, I frequently wrote in pizza places. I may still have the grease-stain notebooks to prove it.

maestrowork
01-10-2007, 09:25 PM
And didn't JK Rowling say she used to write at coffee shops and that's one thing she misses the most now that she's famous? Well, ask the author of that book if he thinks JK Rowling is a writer-wannabe.

Toothpaste
01-10-2007, 09:33 PM
This whole thread is really making me want to go down to my local bookstore and write (there is a Starbucks in it). Unfortunately my laptop battery is all screwed up. So I must stay home. Curse my horrible penmanship and spelling that makes it impossible for me to write long hand without going crazy!

(PS: this is my 300 post - I expect you all to celebrate accordingly)

Siddow
01-10-2007, 10:09 PM
We have a great indie coffee shop in town. It's in a house that was built in the 1700's--lots of small rooms filled with sofas and chairs and such. I have a four-hour battery on my laptop. I should go there.

Anybody available to babysit?

Kate Thornton
01-10-2007, 10:15 PM
Lots of people take their laptops to Starbuck's and other similar places for the free WiFi.

Our local pizza joint ain't got no free WiFi...

I say write wherever and however you like and don't worry about what anyone thinks.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 10:38 PM
(PS: this is my 300 post - I expect you all to celebrate accordingly)

Wooohooooo Congratulations!!!!! I love that I am no longer just an esteemed new writer.....hehehe. I'M SUPER!!!

Celia Cyanide
01-10-2007, 10:40 PM
Wow. I HATE having people notice that I'm writing. They might ask me about it! It never occured to me that someone might want the opposite!

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 10:41 PM
Wow. I HATE having people notice that I'm writing. They might ask me about it! It never occured to me that someone might want the opposite!

We want to be read, but we don't want people to know waht we're doing. Go figure.

Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 10:51 PM
And didn't JK Rowling say she used to write at coffee shops and that's one thing she misses the most now that she's famous? Well, ask the author of that book if he thinks JK Rowling is a writer-wannabe.

Yup, see posts #4 and #44 :)

maestrowork
01-10-2007, 11:07 PM
We all know what it means to generalize. ;) Besides, I do think the author was wrong on that, generalization or not.

badducky
01-10-2007, 11:15 PM
I'm a hardcore Starbucks writer:

My guitar is not there. My internet connection is not there. I don't have my video games with me. I don't have my books with me.

Also, and even more than being a "Starbucks" writer, I'm a restless writer. I travel around. I take my laptop to different and new locations. I take my notebook to different places. Sitting cooped up in a room doesn't help me write. That's for editing. For writing, I'm exploring new places.

Even as a child, I wandered the house to study, using different rooms as the mood struck me.

I've gone to the local art museums with my notebook in the past. I sat in front of paintings and sketched ideas onto paper. I wandered the streets of foreign cities, outlining characters from the people I saw in the window.

My favorite place to write in the world is a place called "Muffin" in Wiesbaden, Germany sitting on a high chair at a window and looking down at this bustling marketplace while many, many Germans chain-smoked and spoke in elegant Hessian German all around me. (Imagine precise German with an elegant French nibbling at the edges, and that's Wiesbaden Deutsch. I sat on this high chair, looking down at all the people walking past, and I scribbled into my notebook. It became a book, later on.)

When I'm editing, that's cave time. That's silence.

When I'm writing, that's time to turn on my human antenna and feed off the energy of the room. Starbucks is one of those places where people go to be happy and talk to each other. (It isn't like the ubiquitous sports bar where unhealthy people go to watch healthy people on TV, and everyone seems to die at the end of the night.)

I like Starbucks just fine.

(Also, and this is key, I go incognito as a college student with my backpack and my rumpled clothes. People tend to think I'm a college student or just another programmer. I don't like people to know I'm a writer -- I won't lie, but I won't volunteer it, either -- because I am listening, and I am taking notes. People talk differently when someone's taking notes.)

Shadow_Ferret
01-10-2007, 11:16 PM
I envy the Starbucks crowd. Oh, to be able to get away from the family and hide out like that while I worked on my novel in peace with a crappy cup a joe while the sun is still in the sky would be ideal.

On an aside, I never really thought of all those laptoppers as writers, most of them just seem to be students or other professionals doing work or surfing the web (it is a free wireless zone).

All that said, my son starts band practice on Saturday mornings so this Saturday I'm taking my printed out manscript and red pen to Carabou Coffee where I'll work on my novel, enjoy my cup a joe in peace while the sun is still in the sky.

Pat~
01-10-2007, 11:31 PM
I usually do my writing at home; the less distractions the better.

Our Starbuck's does NOT have free Wi Fi, so the only time I ever wrote on my laptop at Starbuck's was because of that. Home, with its Internet access, was too distracting, and I needed to get a writing assignment done on a deadline. I knew if I took my laptop to a public place I'd actually write...because it's stupid to sit there staring at your screen and not typing. It worked for me; I got the job done in record time.

Shadow_Ferret
01-10-2007, 11:46 PM
Wow. What kind of backwoods Starbucks you got down there in Texas? ;)

No Wi-Fi? That's the main attraction I thought.

badducky
01-10-2007, 11:48 PM
They have Wi-Fi, for twenty-five bucks a month...

Which is kind of the point, I think. Who in their right mind would pay for that? Thus, there's no internet connection to distract us.

Pat~
01-10-2007, 11:51 PM
We have about 4 Starbucks here, but their wireless is not FREE :-). The only place that has WiFi that's free (ie. matches my wireless Internet service) is a health food store here in town.

jennifer75
01-10-2007, 11:52 PM
I envy the Starbucks crowd. Oh, to be able to get away from the family and hide out like that while I worked on my novel in peace with a crappy cup a joe while the sun is still in the sky would be ideal.

On an aside, I never really thought of all those laptoppers as writers, most of them just seem to be students or other professionals doing work or surfing the web (it is a free wireless zone).

All that said, my son starts band practice on Saturday mornings so this Saturday I'm taking my printed out manscript and red pen to Carabou Coffee where I'll work on my novel, enjoy my cup a joe in peace while the sun is still in the sky.

Before writing even became a thought for me, if I'd see people at starbucks on laptops, one thing came to mind: must be working on a spreadsheet. They had pained looks on their faces, and well isn't excel just that - painful?

AnneMarble
01-11-2007, 12:17 AM
What do you people out there think? I can understand the appeal of wanting to do so, and to some extent the atmosphere of being around people talking can really get you writing. I always carry a pencil and notepad with me, just incase...but bringing a laptop to a Starbucks... pretentious?
Naw. I don't have a laptap (too high maintenance for me :D), but I sometimes bring my AlphaSmart to the library, Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc. I've realized that sometimes, it's easier to write in a place like that than at home. (I guess because when I'm home, I tend to check my e-mail; check AW and my 20 or 25 or whatever it is now subscribed threads; check the latest blogs; check the message boards at sff.net... And then realize I'm too tired to write. ;))

I don't care if people look at me and think "Oooh, she's writing a novel." As a matter of fact, if I'm really into the scene, I hope nobody sees me because people sometimes see the AlphaSmart and come by to ask what it is. (I don't mind the curiosity, as long as they don't ask when I'm really flowing. Or when I'm writing something naughty. :D)

Shadow_Ferret
01-11-2007, 12:32 AM
What's an AlphaSmart?

Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you.

MidnightMuse
01-11-2007, 12:37 AM
For me the point of sitting at Starbucks to kill that bit of time is the fact that I won't pay for their WiFi - hence no distractions.

Granted - yes, there was a time at one Starbucks where people would read my screen and ask what I was doing - but I go to a different one when I want to write, where a lot of people sit and work on spreadsheets or do schoolwork, and not one person there will bother you. And I sit in a corner facing out, which helps.

But just as we writers are good people-watchers, so are others who simply like to notice things. So getting a few looks if you have a shiny piece of electronic anything is to be expected.

Celia Cyanide
01-11-2007, 12:58 AM
We want to be read,

Speak for yourselves! I only let other people read my writing when they ask enough times that it gets annoying. :)

Del
01-11-2007, 01:03 AM
What's an AlphaSmart?

Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you.

My kid had one in 4th grade. Think of a digital type writer made by Playskool.

Though, his was issued by the school. They have higher quality models. It was indeed portable, and it ran on regular batteries and for a long while too.

AnneMarble
01-11-2007, 01:03 AM
What's an AlphaSmart?
One of these thingies (http://www.alphasmart.com/products/dana-w_In.html).

Some recommended an AlphaSmart, others urged me to get a laptop instead. But I decided on the AlphaSmart because I wanted something cheaper and more durable with fewer distracting bells and whistles. It was probably a good call because I've dropped out of my car trunk at least once, it's fallen off my bed, and I've locked it in the trunk on both hot and cold days. (BTW it has no whistles, but a few bells. It runs Palm software on it, so I have some Palm games on it. Lately, I've only concentrated on losing badly at video poker.)


Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you.
That's OK, I'm not writing anything naughty now. :D

WerenCole
01-11-2007, 01:07 AM
I am of the opinion that if you are what I term "a migrant writer" you are a writer that can't seem to stay in the same place for very long. I am not one of these people, but I do bring my laptop with me quite often. Usually, and here I will admit that I do not go to Starbucks but prefer smaller coffee shop chains with free internet, I am at the shop getting my coffee and checking out major league baseball and preparing to write my next sports column, though very rarely do I actually write it there. That being said, if I am in the corner with my coffee and scowling I am probably disapproving of whatever the Red Sox just did. Though, I have been know to do creative work just about anywhere, whether it be a coffee shop, a park, my couch, my bed, your bed, at the library, etc. If you find me in one of these locations and care to discuss what I am writing, well, maybe I will tell you. That just depends if I like you or know you. I try not to get long winded about it and never tell people what I will do when I am the next big thing. (Well, as a writer. . . though, as the next King of the World I often let people know that certain societal taboos will no longer be taboo. . . don't ask.)

I have heard of the "your not a writer if you sit in a coffee shop pretending to be a writer" thing, though never really believed it. Those people do exist, but, as a general rule, I never lump people into stereotypes as such. Sometimes your just bored of being at your apartment. . . that is when you will find me in coffee shops. That and to steal internet access so I know what Dustin Pedroia is batting in the Arizona Fall Winter Baseball League and wonder what type of trade we are going to make in July.

Okay. . .whatever.

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 01:11 AM
We have about 4 Starbucks here, but their wireless is not FREE :-). The only place that has WiFi that's free (ie. matches my wireless Internet service) is a health food store here in town.

I prefer them not being free, but giving us the option to pay for it (their pay-as-you-go option is about $6 an hour).

Panera Bread has free WiFi but the problem is: too many people go there to use their WiFi, and I end up spending too much time on the Net. Last weekend, there were at least 20 people there with laptops surfing the web. I turned around and walked out.

I prefer Starbucks, especially the ones in Barnes & Noble, because I don't have Internet access, and I can focus on writing. But if I do need it (there's an important email I need to send out, or I need to go on Wikipedia), I have that option and I will promptly log off. And in BN, I can walk around and browse the novels/reference books if I want to. Plus I do like Starbucks' coffee....

Jadezuki
01-11-2007, 01:14 AM
-

badducky
01-11-2007, 01:25 AM
I actually feel weird working in Barnes & Noble cafes because the only writers on their walls are white ones. It shouldn't bother me since I'm white as milk, but it does.

I e-mailed their headquarters about it, and they assure me that they updated the mural from which the wallpaper is cut to include Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neal Hurston. However, apparently they lumped all the "ethnic" writers on one end of their fictional cafe. Thus, when cutting the wallpaper, the not-white writers tend to end up cut off the wall.

That bugs me.

Shadow_Ferret
01-11-2007, 01:26 AM
One of these thingies (http://www.alphasmart.com/products/dana-w_In.html).

Some recommended an AlphaSmart, others urged me to get a laptop instead. But I decided on the AlphaSmart because I wanted something cheaper and more durable with fewer distracting bells and whistles.
Hmm. At $400 it's almost the same price as the laptops I've been pricing out.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 03:17 AM
An anonymous (to you) source who has only my best interests at heart has suggested that for portability and price, I get one of these. (http://www.1000bit.net/lista/dati/apple/mac/classic/mac_classic.jpg)

Really, a dolly jack is only about ten bucks, so I can cart that sucker around with ease. And as we pointed out, if anyone argues with you, you can crush them with it.

You can't crush anyone with a Sony Viao.

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 03:21 AM
Wow this is a heated topic.

Yes, I take my laptop to Starbucks and write. No, I am not pretentious. Were I pretentious I would walk into Starbucks and INSIST that the person camping out at the only available outlet move because "I'm a writer. I need to work!"

Why do I go to Starbucks and work?

1. I like Starbucks.
2. I write.
3. Sometimes, I need to get out of the house.
4. If I just went shopping I'd lose valuable writing time.

And yes, I do hope that somebody (meaning a young lady) will notice me and then shyly ask "May I sit here?" to which I will respond in the positive. When I take a break to take a sip of coffee she'll shyly ask "So, are you a writer?"

"Yes."

"I knew. I mean, I was dying to ask, but I just knew. And I think guys that write are just so sexy, you know, I just had to get to know you..."

Yeah. Imagination. That's why I'm a writer to begin with.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 03:24 AM
And yes, I do hope that somebody (meaning a young lady) will notice me and then shyly ask "May I sit here?" to which I will respond in the positive. When I take a break to take a sip of coffee she'll shyly ask "So, are you a writer?"

"Yes."

"I knew. I mean, I was dying to ask, but I just knew. And I think guys that write are just so sexy, you know, I just had to get to know you..."

Yeah. Imagination. That's why I'm a writer to begin with.

........I need to go to Starbucks. The only person who talked to me is the crazy guy who comes in and tells us the world is ending soon. NOrmally, he shouts at the street signs, but he wanders into buildings now and then. Lord knows why. (And probably tells him, because he's insane.)

Anyway, the cruel joke of the universe would be that she's hot for writer's.....who only do free verse angst-ridden poetry, and my fantasy is no good here. and then i'd go home.

to my wife.

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 03:38 AM
I'm not proud of it PeeDee but I can free verse angst all day. I can do free verse angst that would have emo kids worshipping me as a god.

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 03:39 AM
The craziness at Starbucks is the perfect thing for the craziness in my head.

MightyScribbler
01-11-2007, 04:21 AM
I only do Starbucks. I use to use a small coffee shop that no one went to, but of course they went out of business. I don't think people think I'm writing, in fact many have stated "So, I guess you can get internet here" or said that statement in the form of a question, assuming I was online. Most people I see with laptops are working on spreadsheets or web pages, I rarely see anyone writing there.

But I can't write at the library (too quiet, close early) or home (TV, Booze in Fridge, ringing phone, etc.)

My complaint, when I was a kid our parents took us to McDonalds and let us run around screaming and what not. I guess Starbucks is the 21st century Mcdees.

My second complaint. A few friends/family members got wise to me working there, and they (as if doing me a favor) have decided to stop by and hang out with me for a while, and then tried to get me to leave and go to a bar or something. And when I resisted, they pushed, and when I made them wise to why I was there, they seem to take offense. I guess non-writers don't get it.

Mags
01-11-2007, 04:32 AM
Did anybody see Jerry Seinfeld on David Letterman a while ago? He was speaking about 'the coffee situation' in America and how things are getting out of hand (to paraphrase) -- "I mean, is it just going to get bigger and more complicated? And there are some people who seem to think that because they've bought a cup of coffee, that they've opened up a small business. They've got the laptop and the palm pilot and the paperwork and they seem to want to create the impression that they've got quite a bit going on. And, you know, I don't see people in pizza places doing this."


Pizza places don't have wifi. :D

wmd
01-11-2007, 04:33 AM
Whenever I see someone with a laptop I do not immediately assume writer. But when someone does look like a writer, for example writing longhand in a notebook, I like that. I think it is good to get out and write.

What I do find pretentious is the bored housewives who meet at Starbucks and chat LOUDLY about stupid crap so that everyone is in their business. Then they give you dirty looks for being in their business.

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 04:37 AM
What I do find pretentious is the bored housewives who meet at Starbucks and chat LOUDLY about stupid crap so that everyone is in their business. Then they give you dirty looks for being in their business.

AMEN.

Or the stay-at-home moms with rich husbands that spend hours in any public place letting their hooligans run rough shod. CONTROL. YOUR. CHILDREN.

Amethyst
01-11-2007, 04:45 AM
Shadow, you must've been looking at the Alphasmart Dana - it's a Palm device with WiFi, SD card slots, etc. The Alphasmart Neo runs ~$250 and is a text entry device. Some writers I know have one or the other, some both. I did have both but I no longer have the Dana, just the Neo. It lets me type away while making editing just awkward enough that I don't want to do a great deal of it, yet can do some to make the work right enough to move on.

Can't say I've written much in coffee houses, but this thread is making me consider it. :) Sometimes being at home is just plain too distracting. Now if I can find a coffee house with a fireplace, I am sooo there.

wmd
01-11-2007, 04:52 AM
AMEN.

Or the stay-at-home moms with rich husbands that spend hours in any public place letting their hooligans run rough shod. CONTROL. YOUR. CHILDREN.

I hear you. I used to work at Zany Brainy. That was a high end toy store in a very rich neighborhood, and all day long was the stay at home mom's who thought the word "toystore" meant "playground"

DrCallo
01-11-2007, 05:09 AM
Oh, those prudish, self-serving people who look down their noses at the modern writer using the writing implement du jour, namely the laptop PC rather than pen and paper, to write that next best-seller, should give it a break. Personally, I see nothing wrong with using a laptop to write with. I own a laptop myself; and, quite frankly I can't imagine myself returning to the dark-ages of writing out text in long-hand, scribbling marginal notes, and revising drafts the old-fashioned way, or banging out that article or book on a typewriter. People who look at modern writers with laptops at Starbucks as just people seeking the attention of others should really have their own heads examined. Like them, I also happen to like coffee, good coffee, while I'm writing. It's relaxing and helps set the mood. Nevertheless, this is the digital age, and writers are moving into it, not away from it. So, why don't the Starbucks' writer nay-sayers take a lesson from the modern age, damit, and mind their own business and simply get over it!

Azure Skye
01-11-2007, 05:52 AM
I've always loved writing at Starbucks but I never took the laptop -- I was too ashamed of the old thing. Now that I have a new laptop, I have no Starbucks to go to. I would haul myself, and my laptop, downtown to the local coffee shop but it seems like such a hassle. I could probably get a lot done there. Something about being in public, with all the background noise and not being able to get up and move about, gets the juices flowing.

Pretentious? Hardly.

Shades of Humanity
01-11-2007, 06:44 AM
Oh, those prudish, self-serving people who look down their noses at the modern writer using the writing implement du jour, namely the laptop PC rather than pen and paper, to write that next best-seller, should give it a break.
You've missed the point completely. There's nothing wrong with technology and using the latest tools to work your craft. It's the location and wanting to make a show of it.



Personally, I see nothing wrong with using a laptop to write with. I own a laptop myself; and, quite frankly I can't imagine myself returning to the dark-ages of writing out text in long-hand, scribbling marginal notes, and revising drafts the old-fashioned way, or banging out that article or book on a typewriter.

Again, nobody said anything about using laptops. You're just being silly.


People who look at modern writers with laptops at Starbucks as just people seeking the attention of others should really have their own heads examined.
Read PeeDee's post at the bottom of this one. It's people like that that give the Starbuck Writers their name. Obviously there is enough of them that it has become a stereotype of sorts.



Like them, I also happen to like coffee, good coffee, while I'm writing. It's relaxing and helps set the mood.

Buy a coffee maker and a tin of coffee for the same price as a Latte.



Nevertheless, this is the digital age, and writers are moving into it, not away from it.
Again, nobody said writing with a latop was the problem.


So, why don't the Starbucks' writer nay-sayers take a lesson from the modern age, damit, and mind their own business and simply get over it!


Do you feel outted?


From what I've read so far, it's not "pretentious" to bring your laptop to your Starbucks depending on where you live. (ie. Silicon Valley, near colleges, places of work)

However, none of the Starbucks near me have WiFi, and there are no schools or offices nearby. Those with the laptops spread their crap all over the conspicious tables in the center of the store.

They dress with their turtlenecks and scarves and wear their thick-rimmed glasses. They bang their fist on the table or pace around it, mumbling to themselves as in deep thought.

So, as long as you don't go to Starbucks just to get noticed, then there is no need to be offended. Relax, this doesn't apply to you.


I see all manner of writers in our local Caribous who are Writing Their Art. One of them will lean back and dramatically announce to the room, "Be glad your'e all not writers! This is so hard!" and then he goes back at it equally dramatic.

I'm sitting two feet away in a comfy chair with my notepad on my lap, and I wanted to whap him upside the head and offer him a cup of Shut The BadWord Up.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 07:42 AM
I go to Starbucks and I wear jeans and sneakers and a comfortable shirt. It's never a turtleneck, 'cause I don't own one. I almost never talk about my writing, although they know that's what I do. I tlak about the weather, how the girl behind the counter is doing. If people ask me nicely what I'm doing, I'll say "just working on some stuff." And if they say "What sort of stuff," I'll say "I'm a writer. So a story. I hope. Unless it's not."

As with all things in writing, please, for Pete's sake....just be polite. Be nice. Do not assume you're better than anyone else because you can write. You're not. I don't care how much money you make. Just be nice. I don't understand why you'd want to be anything else. I really don't.

There ARE pretentious asshole writers out there. They come into my bookstore all the time. I really despise them, not because they give writing a bad name or anything (it's survived long enough on its own, I think it'll somehow keep going) but because they're rude to people around them. I don't like rude behavior much. Especially not if it's because you think you're better.

(disclaimer: I hope it's obvious, but this is a "you" in general, not a "you" in particular to anyone. I'm being adamant here, so I don't want to sound like I'm attacking anyone. So's we all know.)

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 07:43 AM
I should also add that one of the best reasons to go to a Caribou or a Starbucks is that internet, at least around here, is something like six dollars an hour. Which I sure as hell don't have. Nothing keeps you off the internet like the complete inability to get on it.

Sage
01-11-2007, 08:27 AM
I like having someplace to write other than my apartment. It's nice to have this other space to let the creativity flow with no chance to decide you need to do laundry or play with the cats or get a snack (& even if you do get a snack, there's nothing left to do afterwards but to return to the laptop).

I don't write at Starbucks (too little natural light inside), but I'm a fan of writing at Borders. Granted, on Fridays I socialize more than write there (my roommate & most of our friends work there), but other days I go to the other Borders & just write. It's so nice. Nobody bothers me (no cats, no roommate, no loud neighbors) & there's no internet to play on. Dictionaries & thesauri are handy, as are refreshments. At the Borders where my roomie works, I get 30% off of everything. I've started noticing that some people are at each Borders cafe as often as I am, but do not think more or less of them because of it. Nobody has come up to ask me what I write, although I have had someone ask me if I could write his life story (as I was packing up), & had a musician from their "live music" diss writers in front of me (in a bookstore while two-fifths of his audience were on laptops).

If I was in San Diego, though, I wouldn't write in Borders. I have a favorite cafe there, & nothing in Columbus compares. Plus, the Borders I frequented when I lived there had no windows near the cafe. That's really a must for me.

I'm willing to leave my laptop to get a drink or snack, 'cuz it's within view. If I have to go to the bathroom & don't have anyone around I know, I'll pack up my electronics (& money & keys) & go, but I might leave my jacket or a folder behind in hope that I'll still have the table when I return (my fave Borders has less outlets than some others). I'll leave the laptop on while it's packed so I don't have to wait for it to close down & start it up, but I won't leave it behind, even w/ old ladies to look after it

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 09:01 AM
I think people who go to libraries and hang out at the paleontology section and whisper in British accent are pretentious.

;)

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 09:03 AM
I wanna be pretentious! How do I do that? All my British accents turn into Monty Python...

katiemac
01-11-2007, 10:04 AM
I have to admit I wonder what the heck people are doing in restaurants with their laptops and gadgets. I went to Panera the other day, and the seating was full. I'd wager a guess that 50% of the people had their computers pulled up and were working on them. It was on odd day, too, a Tuesday or Wednesday, and well past lunch hour.

The only Starbucks I've been to is in my college town, so I just assume students are studying. But in my plain old hometown I just don't get the laptop phenomenon. Just wait until McDonalds revamps with their WiFi plan.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:09 AM
The McDonald's here in St. Cloud have WiFi. I absolutely dont get that at all. McDonald's in pretty low on my list of places to hang out and write. It's below just staying home, for example.

Birol
01-11-2007, 10:23 AM
The McDonald's here in St. Cloud have WiFi. I absolutely dont get that at all. McDonald's in pretty low on my list of places to hang out and write. It's below just staying home, for example.

Your baby hasn't been born yet, Pete. Give it a couple of years. You can take the Curtain Climber there, feed him/her a Happy Meal, then let him/her go ape in the play area why you knock out a couple of pages or do research online.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:30 AM
I wish, but you know, we have five McDonald's in the area and not a single one has a play place of any sort at all? They have Gamecubes, and Super Monkey Ball.

I figure I'll leash Tzinski 2.0 to a tree and then do my notes. :D

maestrowork
01-11-2007, 02:35 PM
Mmmm, hash browns and egg mcmuffin and orange juice and free wifi? My kind of work space!

tjwriter
01-11-2007, 03:22 PM
You folks are making me miss the little spot I hung out in something fierce. The last few semesters of college, we had a little cafe that served Starbucks coffee. (An actual Starbucks is in the new library, which was under construction at the time.)

Whenever I had a break, I'd get a nice cup of Verona, find a quiet table, turn on my MP3 player, and write longhand (didn't have a laptop) for the next hour or hour and a half. It was great.

I may have to try going to the campus and using the new library (http://www.usi.edu/library/Documents/Interim4.pdf). I haven't checked it out yet, but it's supposed to be really nice. However, the town I live in just opened a coffee shop. Now if I could only get some "me" time that isn't in the middle of the night...

Cath
01-11-2007, 05:57 PM
I think people who go to libraries and hang out at the paleontology section and whisper in British accent are pretentious.

;)
Dang - I'd better start faking an American accent. :tongue

Shades of Humanity
01-11-2007, 06:01 PM
Your baby hasn't been born yet, Pete. Give it a couple of years. You can take the Curtain Climber there, feed him/her a Happy Meal, then let him/her go ape in the play area why you knock out a couple of pages or do research online.

:ROFL:

haha! You took the words right out of my mouth (er..fingers?)

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 06:56 PM
I think we can all agree that there are pretentious asswipes in any profession, any location, at any time of day, doing anything. They all have their own methods of saying "Look at me! I'm a pretentious asswipe!" and they all get on everybody else's nerves.

For example, people who call me pretentious simply because I'm quietly working on my laptop at a Starbucks are pretentious because they're thinking is constipated by prejudice.

And by the way, McDonald's could be giving out chocolate-covered crack rocks and I don't think I'd want to go there: children or no children.

Shadow_Ferret
01-11-2007, 09:22 PM
The McDonald's here in St. Cloud have WiFi. I absolutely dont get that at all. McDonald's in pretty low on my list of places to hang out and write. It's below just staying home, for example.

McDonald's (at the expense of each franchise owner) is converting all their happy playlandy places into more upscale, WIFI-ified, adult hanging out type places.

I don't get it, because it's fast food place, not a hang around and be seen sipping on your chocolate shake while you do your stock trades place.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 09:40 PM
They have gamecubes hooked up, they have "Deluxe" coffee now, one McDonald's has a couple of armchairs and a potted plant.

I do not get it. I absolutely don't get it. BRing back the two-story-tall lunatic play jungle-gym thing, so I have somewhere to dump my kid!

If I want him/her to play Gamecube, we can stay at home.

McDonald's wants to be Starbucks. Burger King (with "The King") wants to creep me the hell out. Our local Wendy's is a third world country all by itself.

I'm running out of toad burger places to eat.

jennifer75
01-11-2007, 09:40 PM
Has anybody tried the "take your laptop to the bar" thing yet? It's sounding pretty good to me.

http://i16.tinypic.com/4cdbe4n.jpg

badducky
01-11-2007, 09:48 PM
I tried the bar, but the thing about bars is the kind of bars where you can do that really well (like that biergarten in Rice Village, Houston) are also places where people go to chain smoke, spill beer, and basically be illiterate.

I must confess that I live in the suburbs of Dallas, where evolution is still open for debate and the only bars within a ten mile radius of my apartment all have to pretend to be sports bar-themed restaurants to fly under the radar of the local liquor laws. They even have to pretend that 60% of their sales are food.

Bubastes
01-11-2007, 09:49 PM
To heck with the laptop to show people you're a "Writer." Wouldn't galleys be more effective for pick-ups? :D

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 09:50 PM
If Hemingway had a laptop, he'd take it to a bar.

By the way, how come suits that come in and get a venti, quad, cinnamon latte with whip and then pounce on the outlet, spread their papers and palm pilots and suitcase and rolodex out on the table, and then stay there for HOURS talking loudly and forcefully on their cell phones and get all peeved if someone salivates over that precious sweet outlet (that they've hogged for hours) aren't labeled pretentious? They're announcing to everybody "Look at me! I'm a business man hard at work! Yes sir, so hard-working am I. Nobody can match my skills of working hard."

To me, that's more pretentious than sitting down, opening your laptop, and typing away without bothering anybody.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 09:51 PM
"Hello, Gorgeous Brunette. Oh, I'm just editing my latest novel. Yeah, 'cause I won't get to do that much when it's a bestseller, next week. So, want a drink?"

badducky
01-11-2007, 09:52 PM
Solution: do you carry a surge protector with multiple outlets?

I do, sometimes, when I'm going somewhere with sparse outlets.

If you want people's attention, that will do it, though.

Oh, also, much of the editing I'm doing with my editor is done with the "comments" feature of Microsoft Word and a telephone. Wow, having your editor on speakerphone in a bar with a laptop while going through the large document is a level of arrogance and weirdness i can only imagine.

MidnightMuse
01-11-2007, 09:57 PM
If I'm in a bar, writing is the last thing on my mind :D I'd look a little silly licking chocolate martini off the keyboard if I spilled.

badducky
01-11-2007, 10:05 PM
Please me allow me to direct your attention to the AW family album for pictures of you licking chocolate martinis...

Kate Thornton
01-11-2007, 10:26 PM
McDonald's wants to be Starbucks. Burger King (with "The King") wants to creep me the hell out. Our local Wendy's is a third world country all by itself.

I'm running out of toad burger places to eat.

Eeeeeeeuuuuww! That Burger King "King" talk about vomit-in-your-sleep-nightmare guy!

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:29 PM
They did this commercial where someone lifts up the blinds on their window, and there's The King just standing there. It gave me the heebie jeebies.

Or the one where THe King is the size of King Kong, and looks in through the window at the woman he loves? DISTURBING.

Where's the good wholesome entertainment of the Sponge Monkies who did the Quizno's commercials? WHy can't we all just like the moon?

Kate Thornton
01-11-2007, 10:30 PM
Those Quizno's commercials were *inspired*!!!!

Bubastes
01-11-2007, 10:36 PM
Those Quizno's commercials were *inspired*!!!!

Yes yes yes!! I loved the Sponge Monkies!

"They got a pepper bar!"

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:43 PM
They also like the moon. (http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/)

(the original Sponge Monkeys.)

engmajor2005
01-11-2007, 11:39 PM
The King is the most disturbing character in the history of advertising. He just screams "rapist."

Kate Thornton
01-12-2007, 12:01 AM
The King is the most disturbing character in the history of advertising. He just screams "rapist." Disgusting and true. If they knew how poorly this ad goes over with normal people, maybe they'd get rid of it.

MidnightMuse
01-12-2007, 12:03 AM
Yes, the Burger King is a smiling zombie, but is he any worse than that McD's clown ? I don't wanna say what he makes me think of. Pedophile. Clearly I have an issue with clowns.

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 12:13 AM
EVERYBODY has issues with clowns after seeing the made-for-TV movie based on Stephen King's "It."

And there you have it. Keeping a thread on Absolute Write Water Cooler going long enough and somebody will reference Stephen King.

Which gives me an idea...

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 12:19 AM
Have at it. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51627)

WildScribe
01-12-2007, 02:06 AM
So it took us six pages to essentially say "nu-uh"? LOL

Azure Skye
01-12-2007, 02:12 AM
The King is the most disturbing character in the history of advertising. He just screams "rapist."

Hear, hear! But I gotta say, I just love the new ones where he keeps crashing the motorcycle. Now *that's* entertainment.

Oh, and does anyone remember the Skittles commercial where the guy in the interview had a long beard that doubled as an arm. When he stroked that lady's face with his beard...*shudder*

MidnightMuse
01-12-2007, 02:13 AM
So it took us six pages to essentially say "nu-uh"? LOL

We're wordy folk :D

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 02:13 AM
Hear, hear! But I gotta say, I just love the new ones where he keeps crashing the motorcycle. Now *that's* entertainment.

Oh, and does anyone remember the Skittles commercial where the guy in the interview had a long beard that doubled as an arm. When he stroked that lady's face with his beard...*shudder*

Yes, the King crashing the motorcycle is the ultimate "let's see that again!" moment of recent advertising.

The first time I saw the Skittles commercial, I was not freaked out. Every other time after that, weirded out beyond belief.

jennifer75
01-12-2007, 02:19 AM
Skittles? Burger King? Clowns?

What happened to discussing laptops at Starbucks?

WildScribe
01-12-2007, 02:22 AM
Am I the only person who has no idea what everyone is talking about? (I don't watch TV. Ever. Don't even own one.)

jennifer75
01-12-2007, 02:24 AM
Am I the only person who has no idea what everyone is talking about? (I don't watch TV. Ever. Don't even own one.)

It used to be a conversation about how you felt seeing people on laptops at a Starbucks. But somewhere it took a horrible turn and went on about skittles, clowns, and bad burger joints.

Azure Skye
01-12-2007, 02:25 AM
It used to be a conversation about how you felt seeing people on laptops at a Starbucks. But somewhere it took a horrible turn and went on about skittles, clowns, and bad burger joints.

Funny how that's just like real life conversations -- people go off here and there but usually come back to the original topic. No harm, no foul.

Jadezuki
01-12-2007, 02:34 AM
-

jennifer75
01-12-2007, 03:41 AM
Funny how that's just like real life conversations -- people go off here and there but usually come back to the original topic. No harm, no foul.

Very true.

Shades of Humanity
01-12-2007, 05:07 AM
It used to be a conversation about how you felt seeing people on laptops at a Starbucks. But somewhere it took a horrible turn and went on about skittles, clowns, and bad burger joints.

Without even Bartholomew hijacking it :tongue

btw, has anyone played the Burger King game for the Xbox called Sneaking or Sneak King...either it's awesome! X)



For example, people who call me pretentious simply because I'm quietly working on my laptop at a Starbucks are pretentious because they're thinking is constipated by prejudice.


You're very defensive. You use a Mac don't you? :D

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 06:27 AM
You're very defensive. You use a Mac don't you? :D

I will be soon! You see, I needed a laptop, wanted a Mac, and had seven hundred bucks...and no job. Now, I have a PC that's starting to flip me the bird every time I turn it on, a job, and a bit more money.

If Juniper bank had've approved my credit application, that bad boy would be on its way right now. Alas, I must pay for it the old-fashioned way.

AnneMarble
01-12-2007, 06:31 AM
Skittles? Burger King? Clowns?

What happened to discussing laptops at Starbucks?
Huh? What? This thread was about laptops at Starbucks? I thought it was about the Burger King. ;)

WildScribe
01-12-2007, 06:33 AM
Huh? What? This thread was about laptops at Starbucks? I thought it was about the Burger King. ;)

Who is terrifying.

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 06:45 AM
I actually think the people who came up with the recent King advertisements had a stroke of genius. They're totally embracing the inherent creepiness of a mascot like that, and practically making him counterculture. Then again, these are the same people who came up with the "Big Buckin' Chicken" and the "Subservient Chicken" campaigns.

Moderator, I think you should close this thread. Somebody's getting intellectual about a fast food mascot...that's not a good sign.

Jadezuki
01-12-2007, 08:13 AM
-

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 08:16 AM
Dude, I took Media Studies a few years ago. I can totally do this in my sleep. :P

I must admit, I made that statement only hoping to deny that I could see your point. It was useless.

I can see exactly what you're saying. Which scares me a bit.

Birol
01-12-2007, 08:20 AM
Moderator, I think you should close this thread. Somebody's getting intellectual about a fast food mascot...that's not a good sign.

Um. Yeah? And?

Dawno
01-12-2007, 08:59 AM
I would like to point out that whilst this thread was still on topic we had 4 new members post here.

I think it's great that we can have a long discussion like this one, share some very interesting observations and also provide a place for newer members to feel comfortable about posting.

So hi, and welcome, to MightyScribbler, wmd, DrCallo and Amethyst - I hope you've come back for a peek, even though the topic has strayed.




Personal to Birol - this one is going to be a footnoted exception in the thesis.

KTC
01-12-2007, 04:06 PM
I wrote at Starbucks last night. After reading this blasted thread I actually felt pretentious! (You will note that I was the first to respond to this cockamamie theory.) Damn this thread...my religious experiences with my laptop and a mocha valencia latte are ruined forever!

aadams73
01-12-2007, 04:54 PM
Our local Starbucks are a little tight on space and crammed. Not exactly primo writing space. I'd love to try writing there but my biggest worry is that I'd be distracted by all the people. No, not the noise, I can handle that, but all the people-watching. It's my favorite sport :D I'd be so busy making up fictional lives for the other customers that my own WIP would lie fallow.

ink wench
01-12-2007, 05:23 PM
I would like to point out that whilst this thread was still on topic we had 4 new members post here.

Five now! Woohoo! Eh, but I guess it's not on topic anymore though, hmm.

I envy all of you who can write at Starbucks or any other public place. I can't stand distractions, not even music, yet I've always thought it would be so cool to sit in a coffee shop sipping my drink. Ah... I want more coffee NOW.

engmajor2005
01-12-2007, 06:12 PM
Writing in a coffee shop is cool. And it is distracting the first time, but eventually one learns to tune out the distractions.

Welcome to the new members.

MidnightMuse
01-12-2007, 07:38 PM
Well I went to Starbucks last night just for a latte and to relax before grocery shopping - no laptop or writing - but I did notice two guys in there with laptops and thought about this thread. One was clearly doing school studies or work, judging by the papers and books littering his tiny little table. The other one was busy typing away, possibly surfing, maybe a writer, but they didn't look pretentious in the least.

Although thanks to this thread, I kept glancing at them and asking myself if I thought they were being pretentious! :)

PeeDee
01-12-2007, 08:11 PM
I went to Starbucks a night or two ago.

I sat down. I had my notebook. I drank warm tea.

And just like I said.........I feel asleep.

*grumble*

jennifer75
01-12-2007, 11:45 PM
I think it's great that we can have a long discussion like this one, share some very interesting observations and also provide a place for newer members to feel comfortable about posting.

So hi, and welcome, to MightyScribbler, wmd, DrCallo and Amethyst - I hope you've come back for a peek, even though the topic has strayed.



Just because I'm a "super member" I'm still very new and enjoying every bit of this. Thanks.

jennifer75
01-12-2007, 11:47 PM
Well I went to Starbucks last night just for a latte and to relax before grocery shopping

Gosh, I need relaxation AFTER a trip to the grocery store.

SherryTex
01-13-2007, 12:54 AM
Pretentious is as Pretentious does --I have a red journal I write in, it is worn, beat up and has indications that at one point in its life, it was nice (leather, silver clasp with celtic design, but has had hot chocolate and life with kids beat on it, as I struggle to write when inspiration strikes.

I go to Starbucks because it is quiet, it is cozy in the winter, the music is good and if I go home to write, three messages, two loads of laundry, the dishes and that night's dinner, the unmade beds and left on lights in the boy's room, left at home assignment due today by my daughter and an assortment of bills will crowd out of my brain any hope of writing.

It is pretentious to presume that someone who writes where they write is pretentious unless they are putting on an act to draw attention to themselves about their process of writing or how others are interfering with that process if they are out in public.

Reading your poetry out loud without request and outside of an open mike poetry bar, now that's pretentious.

KimJo
01-13-2007, 01:26 AM
I'm sitting at Starbucks right now; it's the first time I've tried to write here. So far, so good; no one even seems to have spotted me. LOL. And I scored a table by an outlet :)

Kate Thornton
01-13-2007, 02:02 AM
Reading your poetry out loud without request and outside of an open mike poetry bar, now that's pretentious.

And get-away-from-me ooky, too!

Before cell phones, people who ranted or talked to themselves in public places were avoided or given help. But now all you need to get away with being a loud public niusance is something techy sticking out of your ear.

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 02:02 AM
Reading your poetry out loud without request and outside of an open mike poetry bar, now that's pretentious.

It's also an invitation for me to come along and give you a boot to the head... :)

WildScribe
01-13-2007, 02:07 AM
Guess where I went to work today ;)

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 02:32 AM
Guess where I went to work today ;)

God, that winking smilie face is so pretentious.

I'm going to go be pretentious with my pretentious friends about it, pretentiously.

Azure Skye
01-13-2007, 06:37 AM
I'm going to make a Tshirt that has PRETENTIOUS written on the front in bold letters and go into Starbucks with my laptop. HA! Take that.

[/remove tongue from cheek]

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 07:32 AM
I'm going to make a Tshirt that has PRETENTIOUS written on the front in bold letters and go into Starbucks with my laptop. HA! Take that.

[/remove tongue from cheek]

I would totally wear that. :D

Shades of Humanity
01-13-2007, 08:17 AM
I would totally wear that. :D

So would I....

*runs over to Cafepress and creates t-shirt*

So, if you knew you were being pretentious, and were wearing a t-shirt saying you were pretentious, that makes you -

jbal
01-13-2007, 08:26 AM
JBal!

ETA: gotcha! you didn't know I was lurking.
:roll:

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 08:52 AM
On the front: Pretentious Sumbeech

On the back: Who is writing right now, thank you very much, creating great art which you probably wouldn't understand because you're not a writer and even if you are, I don't believe you because I've never seeen anything you've written and anyway all you probably do is write in Starbucks which is so cliche and it's probably fanfiction anyway which is always garbage and total sell out except for Kirk and Spock sex fiction because I really like it and it's not literary what you write so don't bother talking to me because and my art are miles above you even though we have no where to go because most of the markets are dead and the book is going extinct and the few publishers left hate me.

badducky
01-13-2007, 10:14 AM
Oh, man, I have this sudden urge to take brief quotes from my novel and set them up as cafe press shirts to promote my book...

Are you going to kill him or are you going to eat my cheese?

Add a picture of the cover, and WHAM - a painless marketing tool.

jbal
01-13-2007, 10:25 AM
Or go even shorter.

It was on fire...
or
"How many more..."

Azure Skye
01-13-2007, 07:27 PM
On the front: Pretentious Sumbeech

On the back: Who is writing right now, thank you very much, creating great art which you probably wouldn't understand because you're not a writer and even if you are, I don't believe you because I've never seeen anything you've written and anyway all you probably do is write in Starbucks which is so cliche and it's probably fanfiction anyway which is always garbage and total sell out except for Kirk and Spock sex fiction because I really like it and it's not literary what you write so don't bother talking to me because and my art are miles above you even though we have no where to go because most of the markets are dead and the book is going extinct and the few publishers left hate me.


Pretentious on the front. Artiste on the back.

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 09:18 PM
[Jimmy Durante]

They'll be shellin' like hotcakesh!

[/Jimmy Durante]

Summonere
01-15-2007, 07:10 AM
I can resist all things but temptation...

Thus were I to sit and type in a Starbucks, I’d soon end up watching people, or eavesdropping, or sipping, or munching, or figuring out how to look really cool sitting there with my cheap, coffee-spotted, nobody-uses-one-of-these-anymore, oft-crashing laptop, the one that only works as long as it’s plugged in...

I prefer to write like a hermit, one that stinks, hisses, and bites with crooked little yellow teeth when interrupted.

And I like tea. Not coffee.

But if others can work that way, okey-doke by me, especially if they write something that ends up on a bookstore shelf somewhere, something that I buy, read, and enjoy.

GPatten
01-15-2007, 06:01 PM
Shades,

I guess Starbucks/Chapters is something found in Canada. I’ve never heard of it before, but here in Titusville, we don’t have Starbucks.
Sigh. I wish we did.

I usually write just after I’ve woke up in the morning, or after a long nap in the afternoon. I like to write when I have a snack, or something to drink beside me (Coffee – Coke). Starbucks would probably be a nice place to spend some of my writing time; I’d love to be sitting beside a window overlooking people and things passing as I glance out - - thinking.

I’ve thought about taking my laptop out poolside early in the morning amongst the palm trees, squirrels and birds, but with only two hours on battery power...it hardly seems worthwhile and if there were people there, I don’t think I could manage writing if they were to bother me.

I have no desire to carry on as if I was a writer and hardly anyone I know knows that I am a writer. They know me as just, me. I prefer to be known as a little odd, but friendly old guy with a friendly smile and inquisitive about others lives sort of old guy.

Shades of Humanity
01-15-2007, 06:16 PM
Iíve thought about taking my laptop out poolside early in the morning amongst the palm trees, squirrels and birds, but with only two hours on battery power...it hardly seems worthwhile and if there were people there, I donít think I could manage writing if they were to bother me.


It's -21C right now where I live. -32C with the wind chill. I hate you. :tongue

GPatten
01-15-2007, 06:44 PM
It's -21C right now where I live. -32C with the wind chill. I hate you. :tongue

I know. ;)

PeeDee
01-15-2007, 08:28 PM
We're at a balmy six degrees here. It's balmy, because it's above zero. Wow!

Kate Thornton
01-15-2007, 08:40 PM
Shades,

I guess Starbucks/Chapters is something found in Canada. Iíve never heard of it before, but here in Titusville, we donít have Starbucks.
Sigh. I wish we did.


But you have that Rock Shrimp place. That totally trumps every single Starbucks in the freakin' world!

GPatten
01-15-2007, 11:32 PM
Dixie Crossroads, they donít even have an advertisement in the phonebook, yet at dinnertime thereís a 2 to 3 hour waiting line out front full of locals and people from all over the world.

Yes, I like to go to the takeout window to save time now. Years ago, I would take a table inside. I love both of their Rock Shrimp and Deep Sea Shrimp and I prefer to take it home to eat rather than wait that long. They trump almost any seafood place in the world. Iíve eaten their fish and shrimp many times in the evening while surfing AW in the evening.

jennifer75
01-15-2007, 11:34 PM
Today would be a great day (for me) to sit down and sip on a latte and get some writing done, I'd be so up to the idea of doing this at a CoffeeBean. I like their latte's better.

badducky
01-15-2007, 11:38 PM
You may laugh now, but hurricane season is coming again, soon.

You know what's great about living somewhere that gets snow instead of ice? You can't shovel ice off the road. you can't build ice forts. you can't hurl ice balls at your friends and rivals without getting arrested for A&B. You can't build "Ice men". In fact, all you can do is wait for the sun to melt the bridges in our magical mystery tour of interstates and overpasses.

I can't wait to get out of here. I'm counting down. Ich gehe nach Deutschland.

Kate Thornton
01-15-2007, 11:45 PM
Aber jetzt es ist kalt im Deutschland...

http://www.about-germany.org/life/weather-in-germany.php

bylinebree
01-16-2007, 12:09 PM
Really? Is it?

jennifer75
01-24-2007, 12:18 AM
No lie, yesterday at Subway, someone had their own little workstation all set up. Complete with plug in's haning from the ceiling outlet. I couldn't stop staring.

Shadow_Ferret
01-24-2007, 12:21 AM
My wife and I just stopped in at a Caribou Coffee that they just opened up. I liked it. The coffee seemed to taste better than Starbucks and when I asked if the WiFi was free, they said yes.

We bought a gift card and intend to stop there every Saturday morning.

Now I just need a laptop.

MidnightMuse
01-24-2007, 01:14 AM
Now I just need a laptop.

Didn't you say your wife was with you?

:D

badducky
01-24-2007, 01:38 AM
Aber jetzt es ist kalt im Deutschland...

http://www.about-germany.org/life/weather-in-germany.php

Ja, aber ich kann treffen aus. Ich gehe um and herum bei das Bus. Wir haben Schnee. Ich mache Schneeman, viel spass!

Im Texas wir haben eis. Wir haben keines Gehsteig.

Deutschland hat Kalt, aber wir alles haben Kalt. Auch hat Deutschland eines Kultur mit gutes Kaltwetter dingen, ja?

jennifer75
01-24-2007, 02:12 AM
Didn't you say your wife was with you?

:D

:popcorn: hehehe

Jean Marie
01-25-2007, 08:10 PM
I like Border's coffee better. Thought I'd add my .02 in here. Starbucks coffee is too bitter. Now, I'd have to trust that someone would keep an eye on my laptop while I run up the stairs to visit the piddle-room.

It's a nice break and change of atmosphere.

Hey, SF, you can borrow my laptop, anytime :)

Vanessa
01-25-2007, 08:31 PM
Whether you write with a laptop or a notebook and pen, your preference of where you write is entirely up to you. No one should assume you're trying to be noticed.

I'm not offended but I absolutely love to write in Starbucks, B&N, Borders, or any other coffee shop. And no one has ever asked me about my writing in either of those places...probably because I don't set myself up for that. I don't ever feel like I have to impress a bunch of strangers in a coffee shop! Puulllease!

Although the ambiance is evident, my mind is always lost in my work. I have no inclination of who or what anyone thinks of me during the process. I go there to absorb the environment and write.

I'm with KTC on the first page of this post.

MidnightMuse
01-25-2007, 11:58 PM
I'll be writing at Starbucks with my laptop tomorrow afternoon for about an hour, I'm going to make a point of scowling this time :D

jbal
01-26-2007, 12:02 AM
Ja, aber ich kann treffen aus. Ich gehe um and herum bei das Bus. Wir haben Schnee. Ich mache Schneeman, viel spass!

Im Texas wir haben eis. Wir haben keines Gehsteig.

Deutschland hat Kalt, aber wir alles haben Kalt. Auch hat Deutschland eines Kultur mit gutes Kaltwetter dingen, ja?
Ach, schwester, ich habe ja solche kopfschmerzen!

PeeDee
01-26-2007, 12:44 AM
I'll be writing at Starbucks with my laptop tomorrow afternoon for about an hour, I'm going to make a point of scowling this time :D

Randomly announce "I am SUFFERING for my ART here, people!!!" and then burst into tears.

It'll do wonders.

MidnightMuse
01-26-2007, 12:45 AM
Should I wear a beret?

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2007, 12:45 AM
Randomly announce "I am SUFFERING for my ART here, people!!!" and then burst into tears.

It'll do wonders.

Well, you ARE drinking Starbucks coffee. That's suffering enough for a whole slew of books, I'd think.

PeeDee
01-26-2007, 12:46 AM
*I* don't drink Starbucks coffee. *I* drink tea. Starbucks has decent african tea, and lousy other stuff. Caribou's tea can kill a moose.

MidnightMuse
01-26-2007, 12:47 AM
Well, you ARE drinking Starbucks coffee. That's suffering enough for a whole slew of books, I'd think.

:wag:

Carrie in PA
01-26-2007, 01:07 AM
Should I wear a beret?

Only if you also have a black turtleneck.

PeeDee
01-26-2007, 01:20 AM
Only if you also have a black turtleneck.

And have ANGST.

I want a black turtleneck that says "ANGST" on it. :D

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2007, 01:37 AM
*sighs*

Black washes my face out. I look so much better in a white turtleneck.

SherryTex
01-26-2007, 01:46 AM
If you could grow a goatee and have thin black shades before tomorrow, that would complete the effect.

MidnightMuse
01-26-2007, 02:23 AM
Well, being very blonde I look awful in black . . . being female I can't really manage the goatee - but maybe I could find a goat by tomorrow.

AndreaGS
01-26-2007, 02:41 AM
I don't think there's anything wrong with writing in a coffee shop. I don't use Starbucks, personally, because the ones around here don't have very large tables or good seating, but I write in various coffee shops all the time. I like having people around me that I don't necessarily need to interact with. That, and I have two cats at home, one who insists on draping himself across my laptop keyboard when he wants attention.

P.S. I never thought of the Burger King man as being creepy at all. This thread is forcing me to reconsider...

PeeDee
01-26-2007, 04:49 AM
P.S. I never thought of the Burger King man as being creepy at all. This thread is forcing me to reconsider...

He terrifies me. I can imagine him going around and sneaking into people's homes at night, just to smell their shoes. Appalling.

jbal
01-26-2007, 04:50 AM
I think he's supposed to be creepy.

jennifer75
01-26-2007, 05:19 AM
You know, I'm totally going for this "laptop at starbucks" idea.

I had my latte this afternoon, and OH the pleasure it brought me! I would have loved to enjoy it in the COFFEEBEAN (my personal preference) with my laptop.

I don't think anything would have made me happier than if I'd had that experience. Today.

Aeryn
01-26-2007, 06:24 AM
From someone outside the US....but whose visited, and whose country has recently been infilterated by a few Starbucks....I have an urge to invite you all over for some REAL COFFEE! (;) - runs away and hides)

I work from home, and love it - so any change of scenery, only equals stopping using my big Mac in the 'office' - and moving myself and the beloved iBook onto the couch, in the lounge. LOL. Where I can stare out the window, in my pyjamas - to my hearts content.


I like writing at the library. It's inspiring to be surrounded by all of those books. They have comfy chairs, research materials are close-at-hand, and it's all free.

If I were less lazy, and didn't have it so good at home I would totally enjoy spending a whole day at my local library....huge, quiet...space to relax, plugs for the laptop. Mmmm..... :)
Like some others have mentioned, I think I would find coffeeshops or cafes or bars (of which there are legion's of very close-by ones to choose from) extreeeeemly distracting.

finch
01-26-2007, 08:00 AM
I admit, I did the laptop-at-Starbucks thing a couple times. I'd just finished a nasty break-up, needed to get out of the house and wanted to get my writing back on track, so the table-in-the-back plus the unending supply of coffee was very appealing. I got my detailed outline for my second novel done there, so I gotta say, it's not all bad.

That said, the people-watching aspect was a bit of a distraction.

A.M. Wildman
01-26-2007, 08:43 AM
Thankfully we don't have a Starbuck's anywhere near where I live. $4 bucks for a cup of coffee is criminal. At least the guy mugging me on the street is honest about what he's doing. That and I prefer coffee flavored coffee, as Mr. Leary said. ;)

The people would distract me. I'm a people watcher, that alone would keep me from getting anything done. Plus, when I'm writing, I'm focused, and I have a tendency to pace while I think, talk outloud to myself, to my cat, to a character, pretend I'm a character and talk to the other characters. There are enough folks around that think I should be committed, and I try not to give them more ammunition to use. :)

:Shrug: If it works for you...:D

Josie
01-26-2007, 09:53 AM
I'm addicted to lattes at Starbucks, so I can have a double shot latte every day.

But as far as the quiet in SB, that seems to have gone. In the past I've been able to get first drafts for stories in SB, before that bldg. was marked for demolition. Now the new one is more touristy and I'm getting less done, and more people watching, plus too much noise. Argh

So I go to less crowded "other" coffee shops, though the lattes are okay they're not SB lattes. But it's peaceful. So it's a trade off.

Starbucks has lost money on me now. But hey they already made a lot off me and other addicted coffee drinkers.

There's something in the air at SB that makes me long to write that first draft on my laptop.

Am I brainwashed?
:Shrug:

WildScribe
01-26-2007, 10:18 AM
Thankfully we don't have a Starbuck's anywhere near where I live. $4 bucks for a cup of coffee is criminal. At least the guy mugging me on the street is honest about what he's doing. That and I prefer coffee flavored coffee, as Mr. Leary said. ;)

The people would distract me. I'm a people watcher, that alone would keep me from getting anything done. Plus, when I'm writing, I'm focused, and I have a tendency to pace while I think, talk outloud to myself, to my cat, to a character, pretend I'm a character and talk to the other characters. There are enough folks around that think I should be committed, and I try not to give them more ammunition to use. :)

:Shrug: If it works for you...:D

I would love to watch you write! :tongue

A.M. Wildman
01-26-2007, 06:41 PM
I would love to watch you write! :tongue

lol. If you're in the room you may get a part. Luckily my SO is EXTREMELY tolerant of my quirks, and VERY supportive of my writing. She's learned not to be too shocked by the things I do. :D

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2007, 07:26 PM
Thankfully we don't have a Starbuck's anywhere near where I live. $4 bucks for a cup of coffee is criminal.

Actually, you don't get coffee for $4. You get those frothy foo-foo oversugared overcreamed drinks for $4. A cup of joe is only like $2.


From someone outside the US....but whose visited, and whose country has recently been infilterated by a few Starbucks....I have an urge to invite you all over for some REAL COFFEE! ( - runs away and hides)

No! Don't run away. I want real coffee, too. That's why I dont go to Staryucks either.

MidnightMuse
01-26-2007, 07:29 PM
Those frothy foo-foo oversugared overcreamed wimpy-azz drinks aren't for scowling writers.

We need coffee, black as the night and twice as strong.

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2007, 07:33 PM
You're a very special person, you know that muse? :)

A.M. Wildman
01-26-2007, 07:57 PM
Actually, you don't get coffee for $4. You get those frothy foo-foo oversugared overcreamed drinks for $4. A cup of joe is only like $2.

Cool. Learn something new everyday. Still too much. I'll take my local diner with it's $1.00 coffee all the refills your bladder can hold, and listening to farmers gripe about the government, the weather, and how much money they don't make. While extolling the virtues of the $110,000 combine they bought this year that came complete with captains chair, air conditioning, built in cooler, cd player, and drink holder.:D

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2007, 08:34 PM
George Webb's. Open 23:59 hours a day. :cool:

jennifer75
01-26-2007, 10:17 PM
I admit, I did the laptop-at-Starbucks thing a couple times. I'd just finished a nasty break-up, needed to get out of the house and wanted to get my writing back on track, so the table-in-the-back plus the unending supply of coffee was very appealing. I got my detailed outline for my second novel done there, so I gotta say, it's not all bad.

That said, the people-watching aspect was a bit of a distraction.


Laptop or no laptop, I've only SAT in a starbucks maybe twice in my life. The first time, I just ended a looooooooong relationship and though I was ecstatic to be out of it, I was tortured thinking how I may have totally ruined his life by leaving. I cried and cried and cried over lattes with a friend. The second time, I was on my lunch break from work, and the Wells Fargo was conveniently INSIDE THE STARBUCKS! It was wonderful. AND they had a fireplace. So, it seemed wrong to leave.

Other than those two times, "to go, please" is how I do it.

Kate Thornton
01-26-2007, 11:09 PM
I like my usual Starbucks - comfy, clean, warm when it's cold outside, cool when it's hot out. Lots of interesting stuff to eat. I like chocolate, and they'll put it in anything.

I don't write there, though. It's just not conducive to gritty crime.

PeeDee
01-26-2007, 11:10 PM
I think he's supposed to be creepy.

So the message we get here is "Eat at Burger King or I'll come show you my bed?"

Shadow_Ferret
01-27-2007, 12:31 AM
Are you suggesting the King is some sort of pervert?

I think he's a ax-wielding, serial killer.

Some of those commercials, where the guy looks out in the window and sees the King on his lawn, then he turns to say something to his wife and when he turns back the King is right there at the window! I just know he's got an ax behind his back. Get away from the window! Call 911!

Kate Thornton
01-27-2007, 12:43 AM
He's creepy and odd. If I saw him on my lawn, it would be 911 time!!!

PeeDee
01-27-2007, 12:45 AM
Are you suggesting the King is some sort of pervert?

I think he's a ax-wielding, serial killer.

Some of those commercials, where the guy looks out in the window and sees the King on his lawn, then he turns to say something to his wife and when he turns back the King is right there at the window! I just know he's got an ax behind his back. Get away from the window! Call 911!

*THAT* commercial scared me. If he showed up at my window like that, I would be stabbing knives into his face and screaming at the top of my lungs.

I haven't eaten at Burger King since they started those commercials. Not on purpose, but I bet it's subconscious. "Go in there, and the King will rape and kill you."

Kate Thornton
01-27-2007, 01:32 AM
I haven't seen one, so I don't know if they exist, but a "King" mask on someone would give me nightmares.

KiraOnWhite
01-27-2007, 04:05 AM
Ehhh...seems kind of weird...Nowadays, who would stop and ask anyone typing if they're a writer, much less discuss about the story? I don't know about you, but from where I came from writing isn't much of a sensation and people are more likely to sneer at you than to praise you. Sad...

Akuma
01-29-2007, 12:28 AM
http://www.sable-pro.net/WHERE_IS_YOUR_GOD_NOW.jpg

Akuma
01-29-2007, 12:31 AM
But, to play the devil's advocate, let's say the King is actually a noble vigilante...

http://www.tswgerbils.com/andystuff/bforburgdetta.jpg

Gabriel
01-29-2007, 12:35 AM
Starbucks in conjuction with Evilbay is the root of all earthly evil.

My neighbour said so.

Chumplet
01-29-2007, 01:47 AM
An anonymous (to you) source who has only my best interests at heart has suggested that for portability and price, I get one of these. (http://www.1000bit.net/lista/dati/apple/mac/classic/mac_classic.jpg)

Really, a dolly jack is only about ten bucks, so I can cart that sucker around with ease. And as we pointed out, if anyone argues with you, you can crush them with it.

You can't crush anyone with a Sony Viao.

Ha! We have at least a half dozen of those suckers still being used as doorstops at our newspaper. I remember the day they first arrived. Ahh, good times.

Regarding WiFi, the entire downtown area of Toronto has been 'wired'. It was launched last fall, and free access ends in March. Here's a news link: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_3348.aspx

I would love to take my laptop to a coffee shop to write. I like to watch people and make up little stories about them. However, I would still feel guilty taking up valuable customer space for hours at a time for the price of a cup of coffee.

I, too, spend way too much time surfing and not writing.

Chumplet
01-29-2007, 02:01 AM
Here's a marketing tool: Sit in Starbucks/Chapters (yes, we have one here) with your laptop, typing furiously, wearing a t-shirt that has your book cover on the back. People will see the book cover, see that you're a local writer, and go buy the book out of curiosity.

Chapters is one of those super duper big bookstores, and I guess they have an agreement with Starbucks, because there seems to be a Starbucks in every Chapters store.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
01-29-2007, 03:13 AM
Here's a marketing tool: Sit in Starbucks/Chapters (yes, we have one here) with your laptop, typing furiously, wearing a t-shirt that has your book cover on the back. People will see the book cover, see that you're a local writer, and go buy the book out of curiosity.Someday I'll have a book out, and I will do that. The closest I've ever been to "local author" status thus far is going into a Denver-area New Age shop and opening up their copy of the Fall 1999 issue of PanGaia to my article. I'm not sure they really appreciated that, though. They prefer you buy the magazines before you bend them open to a particular page.

FWIW: I am currently in downtown Boulder's Tea Spot (http://www.the-tea-spot.com/) on a sort of double-date work date. Both husbands are programming, the other gal is emailing, and I'm... well, I'm supposed to be writing, but here I am. (Just, y'know, give me 15 more minutes.) Boulder has so very many computer-friendly places with wi-fi and yummies (various tea houses, coffee shops, coffee/tea places that also serve alcohol, the IHOP, the Irish pub, Cafe Play on the Hill where you go for LAN parties and console gaming...) that there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to go to Starbucks to write.

Unless one likes Starbucks, that is.

wm_bookworm
01-30-2007, 06:54 PM
I've taken some paper and a pen into Borders a few times. It was actually kind of relaxing to be away from the usual distractions of home, as well as internet access. I find that I spend far too much time online than I do on my writing project.

Kind of like right now. Darn my lazy, procrastinating self!

But I do have a Starbucks real close to me. Perhaps one of these days I'll not be so lazy and go write there. I have a great story idea developing in my head these past few days. It keeps getting better each day, so I'm not rushing it.

But I do have tomorrow off from work. Hmm...

DragonHeart
01-30-2007, 07:31 PM
I don't think I'd be able to write in a coffee shop. Library maybe. Too much noise, too much distraction. I'd likely end up just sitting there people watching while attempting to avoid any form of conversation from the other people.

Of course, even if I did want to change scenery, there's nowhere local that's really writer-friendly. I keep praying that they decide to build a Barnes and Noble or a Borders around here but nooo, they built a Home Depot instead. *sigh* Not to say I don't like small town living, but it does rather limit the places available to just sit and write.

~DragonHeart~

KCathy
01-30-2007, 09:18 PM
I usually write at home (where I work) with two toddlers who switch into distract-mom gear when they notice I'm paying more attention to the screen than to them. This is fantastic because now I could probably write in a hurricane with a gaggle of yodeling geese dancing on my head.

The bad thing is that I only get four hours alone away from home each week, when my husband gives me the night off. I wouldn't want to spend that time doing anything but sitting in a nice restaurant with a steak and novel or at the theater watching a movie with lots of swearing and no talking animals. I wouldn't use the time for writing because I know I can always do that around the yodeling geese...I mean kids.

jennifer75
01-30-2007, 09:36 PM
I'm sorry, this has nothing to do with Starbucks or a laptop, sort of but not really.....but the last post reminded me...

When I was a kid, like 10, I used to help my cousin babysit this upper-middle class family's runt. Anywho, the mother had a home office upstairs. This was probably in 88 or 89. I remember thinking how odd and freakish it was that she (1) worked at home upstairs, and (2) would pay someone to sit downstairs and mind her runt while she worked away upstairs.

Today, I soooooooooooooooooo wish I had that job! I don't know to this day what her profession was, but it rocked! (she was probably miserable for all I know)

To have a home office, to be successful at whatever it was she doing, to have her family right downstairs. I can only take a deep breath, sigh a nice long sigh, and dream away.

Anywho, sorry to go off subject, but wouldn't this be great? To have your coffee pot downstairs, your bedroom down the hall, and your office conveniently located upstairs! I wouldn't accomplish a thing.

jennifer75
01-30-2007, 09:37 PM
AND YOU'RE ON THE OREGON COAST! So not only are you working in bliss at home, you are probably perched in front of your bedroom window overlooking the beautiful scenery!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrgh.

Please don't tell me I'm wrong. No matter how wrong I am. I have to continue with this image I now have of YOU working at YOUR window, overlooking the coast. I LOVE YOU.



I usually write at home (where I work) with two toddlers who switch into distract-mom gear when they notice I'm paying more attention to the screen than to them. This is fantastic because now I could probably write in a hurricane with a gaggle of yodeling geese dancing on my head.

The bad thing is that I only get four hours alone away from home each week, when my husband gives me the night off. I wouldn't want to spend that time doing anything but sitting in a nice restaurant with a steak and novel or at the theater watching a movie with lots of swearing and no talking animals. I wouldn't use the time for writing because I know I can always do that around the yodeling geese...I mean kids.

Josie
01-30-2007, 11:00 PM
Ha ha, so funny. Well not exactly funny. A gaggle of geese like children who have figured out to bug Mommy when she's at that machine, is pretty serious.

I dont have kids. I have two cats. Let me tell you, a 6 month kitten is pretty good at whining about getting your attention. The other older 4 yr. old cat is tired of playing with the kitten, and goes and hides for a loooooong nap,
so guess who's on duty !!! It is hard to work with the little darling stepping on the keyboard and I can't shut him out, that's cruel.........hey just a minute, don't anyone move, I think the little tyke has gone for a nap....oh thank you thank you.

I do have a small view of the water in Vancouver on the Pacific Coast.

Jen you are funny too.

Oh, what was the main subject of this thread?

I love hearing these stories.

Cheers :)

KCathy
01-30-2007, 11:24 PM
Actual transcript of things I've said while posting today:

Man, Jennifer, that does sound pretty good. I won't ("Get OFF the bookshelf!") correct you because your castle-in-the-air (break to change the diaper I changed less than an hour ago) is just so darn gorgeous I couldn't bear to tear it ("Give me the W-2's--I need those! No, don't CHEW on them!!!") down. Also, I can get my whining out at my online mommies community, where they understand (STOP BITING YOUR SISTER'S FOOT!) that you can love a job even though sometimes it's a little (Don't eat that thing you found under the couch!) stressful.

Sorry for hijacking...Starbucks, anyone?

jennifer75
01-30-2007, 11:56 PM
Also, I can get my whining out at my online mommies community, where they understand


I must have the link to this community.....

Shadow_Ferret
01-31-2007, 12:54 AM
Do they have online Daddy communities? Not that I'd really want to sit and listen to other guys whining about how they're misunderstood, or expected to actually *gasp!* do dishes or change diapers or anything like that.

Josie
01-31-2007, 01:46 AM
Ok. I'm going back to write after this message. I've found a quiet (so far) little coffee shop and they have free internet. Give me a break.

KCathy, I certainly sympathize. There is only one thing faster than a "speeding bullet" and that is a toddler. Ha ha.

Jen, let's all make a date to meet KCathy for coffee on her once a week 4-hour reprieve to gather her sanity. We'd certainly be a big help.

Cheers, stay sane:crazy:

jennifer75
01-31-2007, 01:54 AM
Ahhhh fun. I love dates! Wait, she's so far away! Anybody want to come to sunny-but-rainy SoCal I could sure use a latte. Gosh, was that a run on sentence or what? :)

KCathy
01-31-2007, 02:16 AM
Not that I'd really want to sit and listen to other guys whining about how they're misunderstood, or expected to actually *gasp!* do dishes or change diapers or anything like that.

I think that might be why I haven't seen too many dad forums, but then again, I haven't exactly looked. We don't JUST whine about things; that's just a solid 10% or so to keep us sane, lol. We mostly talk about things like getting a toddler to eat veggies or avoiding episiotomies or finding daycare.


I must have the link to this community.....

It's https://earthymommies.com. I should warn you that there's a definite hippie vibe but I'm only about 10% crunchy and still fit in just fine, if that helps at all.


let's all make a date to meet KCathy for coffee on her once a week 4-hour reprieve to gather her sanity.

Hey, come on over! Would you believe that while I was typing this, my 3-year-old dipped a finger into her sandwich and smeared a big glob of peanut butter on my pants leg? Honestly, what was the point of that? She's awfully adorable, though...or at least adorably awful.

Josie
01-31-2007, 02:28 AM
Hey, peanut butter all over your pant leg, that's a clear step towards being an artist!!! Your 3 year old is a quick learner

You see that's rational ..... hee hee
Well who knows, I hope to go down to Southern California in March or
April, so where are you in Oregon. Of course, any stops mean time and money, but the Pacific Coast is a great place to live, isn't it?

:)

P.S. Jen, I've always thought that Southern California and Southern B.C. together with Oregon are the closet together, okay not as close as Arizona maybe, depends how the geese fly :)

thethinker42
01-31-2007, 02:41 AM
I don't usually go to Starbuck's simply because I don't drink coffee, but I can occasionally be found pounding on the keyboard at Denny's, the beach, the park, and various other restaurants that tolerate the presence of a computer. I just do it because I need a change of scenery sometimes (which is why I got a laptop in the first place), and sometimes, well, I'm hungry! It has nothing to do with wanting to be "noticed" as a writer...in fact I've been known to tell people I'm just catching up on e-mails, or working on something for work, just so they WON'T start in on the "OOHHHHHHH! WHAT ARE YOU WRITING WILL YOU WRITE ABOUT ME I WANT TO WRITE A BOOK BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME OH WELL I GUESS I CAN'T WRITE BUT PLEASE PUT ME IN YOUR BOOK" crap.