Yesterday, in order to get my thousand words written I had to go to a coffee shop. My housekeeper came and I didn’t want to be in her way. The two of us love to talk and that’s not an activity conducive to writing or to cleaning.
It was my first time to write in a public place, unless one considers the year I worked for a small town newspaper. Then, I was surrounded by other people involved in the same activity. My beat was society news and girls’ sports. I was much better at the second of those than the first.
But on Friday I carried my trusty Dell to the Starbucks on north Monroe and typed with abandon. I ran into a research snag, but thanks to Google and internet friends I got back on track fairly quickly. Fifteen hundred words flowed from my brain to the electronic page. Some of them might even be worth keeping.
As I was writing I recalled a conversation I had with Theodore Taylor, author of The Cay. We were both at a conference for English teachers. I was an attendee and Mr. Taylor was an invited guest. My seventh graders and I had just completed a unit on his novel, and I was delighted to find him at the event.
He told me how he’d written The Cay in a single weekend after encountering a group of black musicians in the lobby of a New Orleans hotel. Something about that experience sparked in him an idea for a book about a young, white boy and a black man who became dependent upon each other for survival.
Every now and then I wonder what it would take for me to write a complete novel in a forty-eight hour time frame. A visit with an alien species? A proposal from Jason Mamoa? It’d almost be like waving a magic wand. Abracadabra!