It is widely known that coffee shops are inspired locales for people watching, observing, and where many a great writer and novel have flourished.
My friend worried I would be bored to tears while I killed a few hours sitting at a downtown Starbucks, waiting for her to get off work. I reassured her that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As a writer this exercise sounded promising and as a natural observer of human behaviours, I wondered what I might bare witness to.
On the surface it was a simple formula: busy and on-the-go people, rushing here and there, stopping for a quick coffee break. On a Tuesday afternoon most of them had business meetings or were on their way to dinner or drinks with colleagues, friends, or loved ones. The drink orders were almost constant. I listened from my seat with the receptacle to plug in my phone, and heard people ordering their Mocha Lattes, white chocolate Frappuccinos and Chai Tea and I began to daydream, the melodic voice of Bjork coming through my one ear, so I was still able to have some concept of what was happening around me.
I wondered about all these frenzied people and what their stories were. They all seemed like they had somewhere to be or someone to meet. It was the perfect time to make up stories for them in my mind. My imagination was filling up with these stories. Then I ventured to imagine that I was one of them, that I lived, worked, or went to school in a bustling place like Toronto and that I belonged.
Earlier in the day, as the Via worker was helping me to locate my waiting friend, he asked me if I liked being in Toronto. I hesitated, not because I don’t find the frantic energy of all the people exciting, but because I still couldn’t see myself as one of them. And in some ways I so much wanted to.
This day in literature: children’s author Eric Hill dies at age 86
After spending a fun and educational evening at The ROM last night with a few old friends, I heard this news today and it made all the reminiscing we did last night take on a whole new meaning.
I knew one of these girls since we were in kindergarten. I remember her childhood cat and watching a British mini-series Of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles Of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I would go to her house.
Now, all these years later, we were all grown up and she had built a life for herself in Toronto. I couldn’t help remembering the little girls we once were.
Eric Hill was the creator of the “Where’s Spot?” series of children’s books, a much better alternative for a visually impaired child then the more well-known Where’s Waldo?”.
Spot, along with my other favourites at that age: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Clifford The Big Red Dog” were my introduction to literature, in it’s simplest, purest, sweetest form. I loved the flip-up pictures on every page and Spot was the perfect literary character to show me that books were fun and could be meaningful in my life.
You can check out his obituary
I figured I should give this children’s author a shout-out today. Funny how I hadn’t thought of those books in years. Having nieces and nephews of my own now makes it all the more important.
Amongst the Starbucks reflections and the death announcement I thought I would include, to finish off this mid-week post, with a few pieces of news for which I am grateful today:
You never know who you might meet and the connections that could be formed. I met a lovely woman as we were leaving Starbucks who introduced herself and we exchanged information about writing and possible plans to collaborate. It just goes to show that you never know what could be on the horizon and who you might just meet in a busy Toronto coffee hotspot.
I am featured this week on Autharium’s blog, where I guest post, writing about colours, words, and technology. Check it out if you can.
I’ve reached and passed the fifty followers mark on this blog, after only four months of having begun Herheadache. I could not be more pleased to have you all as readers. I know there are plenty of things to read every single day and the fact that you have chosen to read my writing on a continuous basis: I can not tell you all how much I appreciate it.
And finally I left for my night in Toronto after stressing over an exam that turned out not to be nearly as awful as I had been imagining. While I sat in the coffee shop mentioned above I received a phone call informing me of my 91% and I gratefully accepted it without question.
I am continuing to work on a few important posts and articles that I want to share: including Keep Calm and Get Your Hair Done, Walking On The Edge, and Flense (about last night’s ROM seminar a few friends and I attended on the blue whales that washed up along the coast of western Newfoundland). I hope to keep up with all these things, but they are presenting welcome yet difficult challenges.