Writers’ Fuel

 

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a wordsmith writing a story is in want of some coffee.”

 

I’m pretty sure that’s what Jane Austen said.  Followed by, “Gimme some java.”

I write, sure.  I plot and plan.  I noodle with friends.  And yes, I’m invariably in want of some coffee.  But more, I want a lovely, quiet, clean place where I can sip and type, or lounge and talk in peace for a few hours.

Shout out to STORYVILLE COFFEE!!

If you’re in the Seattle metro area, give Storyville a try.  Four locations.  Two types of extremely freshly roasted coffee: Prologue for the full caff, and Epilogue for the decaf.  Breakfast bits.  Luncheon stuff.  Beautiful ambiance.  Comfortable seating.  Uber kind people behind the bar.

Also?  Hand-crafted espresso.  This means they don’t push a button and let the machine do all the work.  They actually know how to pull espresso.  It’s a disappearing art here in Seattle, lemme tell ya.

What’s more, they have a wonderful objective:

“… STORYVILLE is a FOR GIVING company, created for giving. At STORYVILLE, our desire is to support the fight against human trafficking worldwide until no child, woman, or man is trapped in slavery.”

This is a coffee company I can get behind.

If they were also open until 9pm, it would be a match made in heaven.  However, they are open 7a-6p M-Th, and 7:59a-6p weekends. [edit: summer hours begin THIS weekend, so they’ll be open at 6:59a Saturday and Sunday.  Wheee!]

Pssst … you don’t have to be a writer to enjoy Storyville Coffee.  All that is required is a desire for a bit of something lovely in your day.

Give them a try.

PS:  They did not pay me for this endorsement.  I just loved them.

 

Have you been to Storyville?  What did you think?  What is your favorite place to write, muse, converse, chill?

Village People

 

 

Over The Town. Marc Chagall, 1918

Over the Town. Marc Chagall, 1918

 

It takes a village to raise a child.  We’ve all heard the proverb.  I think it takes a village to do almost anything, whether that village is defined by geography, passion, bloodline, profession or adoption.  Our creations always require the touch of others somewhere along the line, whether it’s raising a small human or putting a new story into the world.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.

So why is it that one of our deepest myths is that of Single-Person-Makes-Good?  What is it about that story which turns isolation into an anointment, and the solitary figure into some kind of demigod?

The individual as savior/fixer/developer/creator is a story old as time, but it’s one that is inherently untrue.  Its roots can be found in entitlement and isolationism, and it’s a paradigm the U.S. has embraced wholeheartedly.  It’s the same “go it alone” machismo which birthed the myth of the Starving Artist, the Lone Wolf, and the Man With No Name.

Some downsides to the stoic isolationist story are that the Lone Wolf remains a broken man–I’m looking at you, “Outlaw Josey Wales”–unless he accepts the community gathering around him, the artist almost always dies of tuberculosis (or madness), and the Man With No Name always leaves a trail of dead bodies in his wake.

As an artist, neighbor, and countryman, I’m all for embracing a more flexible model, one that makes it acceptable to ask for help, to lean on and learn from those across the aisle, to acknowledge the contributions others make to what we build, and to help them in return, as equals.  I want my country to learn the gift of collaboration, not simply dictation.  My hope is that we–especially the succeeding generations–ditch the toxic, fearful concept of “other” and embrace being an open and equal member of our global village.

Here at Ink in the Veins, we’re trying to be the change we want to see.  I’m unwilling to accept the struggling, lonely, tubercular writer in the freezing garret as my paradigm.  Our tribe–other pen monkeys, gamers, artists, dreamers, visionaries–stretches up the West Coast and extends around the world.  We embrace a global family.  Sure, the act of putting words on paper is often solitary, but frequently (and in Simone’s and my case, repeatedly) creation is collaboration.  No artist exists in a vacuum.  I don’t think any creative person does.

Our stories–the ones we tell and the ones we take in–are how we connect to our world.  They’re our bridges, our exploration, our way of opening the door and letting in something new.  They’re our way of embracing life’s differences.  They’re also our invitations to you.

Ink in the Veins is our village.  We hope you’ll join us, sit by our campfire and share in the storytelling.  Our village is your village, our yurt your yurt.  Please share your thoughts.

Welcome.

 

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