Monday, March 1, 2010

What's a blog for if not a little TMI?

I wish I could say my idyllic weekend basking in the glow of a coffee-shop fireplace and writing with my feet propped up on the hearth went swimmingly, but as most things, it was not without its wrench.

I got sick.

Not throwing up sick (that would make for a truly TMI post!!), but on Friday I woke up with a niggling tickle in my throat and the feeling that my brain was working just a little too fuzzily to be considered healthy. And sure enough, by the time I picked my daughter up and headed out of town, I was in the full throws of what I suspect is just a head cold, although quite possibly might be the flu.

You'd think I'd know the difference by now, but I don't. I think I had a fever. Is that what flings the cold into the flu category?

In any case, I felt like my entire head was stuffed with something I shall not mention. I dropped my daughter off at her choir rehearsal, checked into the hotel, and was bothered by the fact that I was only half way thrilled that my room overlooked a Paneras Bakery. I headed over for an early dinner of soup, thinking that I'd read a little while eating and then get to work. After all, why waste four glorious hours of alone time doing something other than writing?

But I nearly fell asleep at the table. Twice. Which is not like me at all. And I ran through my entire stash of kleenex. So I opted for finishing the soup and taking my Nook back to the hotel room where, if I fell asleep, at least I wouldn't be drooling for an audience.

I didn't get any work done that night at all. I did fall asleep, and by the time I went to pick up my daughter and her friends, head back to the hotel for pool time, the night was shot.

Thank goodness for Saturdays.

When I walked into Paneras on Saturday morning with five hours stretching in front of me, I was after one thing: redemption. There was no way I was going to fall asleep again. I obtained a mocha with enough caffeine and sugar to keep me going and scored the good leather chair right in front of the fire, like I'd dreamed. There was a little table for my coffee and notebook, and outlet for my laptop, and a wooden screen that actually semi-secluded me from the busy tables. PERFECTION!

I'm not about word counts anymore, so I can't give you those. Which is probably good because I suspect I'd come out negative, having chopped 8,000 words after not figuring out how to make them work well with my new premise. I did a lot of pen and paper plotting, rethinking motivations especially. Also, I wrangled that baby into an outline - a beautiful road map to where I'm going, and I think that will bode very well over the next month for good writing. Overall, it was massively successful, even if I didn't come away with a mammoth stack of writing.

Things I learned from sitting in a Paneras for five hours:

1. The fire gets exponentially hotter as the hours pass.

2. It's good to wear layers to Paneras. Unless you're fine with working in your skivvies in public.

3. I think there are hidden bun warmers in the leather chairs that employees turn on high if you stay too long. It might have been my fever, but I don't think so.

4. If you sit long enough in a coffee shop, someone will find the need to talk to you about why you are sitting so long in a coffee shop.

5. Headphones do not necessarily deter these people.

6. Saying you are an author to some people is akin to saying you are a celebrity.

7. I LOVE these people!!

My daughter's concert was beautiful, and my husband hitched a ride down with the parents so he could drive home, which was a very good thing for me.

I got home and went to bed immediately. In the past 34 hours, I slept 24 of them.

And I woke today feeling almost like a human.

So now it's back to writing and making up those 8,000 lost words. And maybe sneaking a nap in there somewhere.


  1. it's miserable to be sick ... glad you are on the mend and hope you feel yourself again soon :)

  2. I'm glad you're feeling better! YAY!!

    Oh, and I gave you an award. I can't help it! :-)

  3. Having come down with the same cold/flu on Friday I totally feel for you. My day was spent watching Olympics or sleeping, not painting or writing.

  4. I'm sorry you were sick. Last time I went to Panera I picked up my apple after eating half of my Bacon Turkey Bravo, and it had a bite taken out of it. I SWEAR it wasn't my bite, and I SWORE to them it wasn't my bite. And they kindly gave me another Bacon Turkey Bravo half and a new apple. But my husband? When I told him the story he SWORE I must have bit the apple. I DIDN'T BITE THE APPLE. Weird commenter.

  5. Hope you feel better.

    We have a very nice Paneras in State College now. I love the smoked turkey sandwich.

    Glad you were able to catch some sleep. I could use a week of those (and my wife could probably use a month of those).