Note: Longer post.
I don’t know if I should love my work-away-from-home place or hate it.
I’m guessing love is the better option.
How Did I Land Here?
About 6 years ago, as I was writing into the home stretch for the Metatron’s Army Series, I began setup tasks for what would become Dragon Core, a series originally begun when I was a sophomore in high school.
I wrote 3 full-length novels for the series.
I began writing Dragon Core’s story not long after conceiving the idea for Metatron’s Army.
About seven months after.
I was 15.
Note: I never typed out a book for the MA series the way I did for Dragon Core.
Until The Dude demanded I do so that is.
By the time I decided to follow the prodding of The Dude and publish Dragon Core I knew it had to be totally ripped apart from the original.
Yep, flushed 3 novels down the drain.
Between Thanksgiving 2016 and when the 1st in the Series was published I redesigned the story.
Even as I kept the original plot in place.
One of the initial tasks I needed to do for Cauldron of the Gods, was find a visual location for Lages’ bar in Seattle.
I originally thought of using J & M.
It was the first place I had lunch while staying in a hotel before we moved to Seattle.
I loved the gritty vibe, the history of the place.
According to the server that first time, Nirvana played one of its signature early performances there.
I love Pioneer Square!
Note: As I write in Psychic Hangover, historical places can be – ghosts notwithstanding – a psychic’s best friend.
I always had a good experience at J & M in terms of food and service and, most importantly, ambiance.
The perfect vibe for me even if I wasn’t thinking of using it for a novel.
On the day I went to evaluate
It was in contention with a gritty Irish place further up 1st
and after telling Aaron it was perfect I found out from the server they were going out of business.
I had just told her I’d chosen their location and would give them PR in my series when she dropped that bomb on me.
Wouldn’t you know the owner was in the restaurant that day? She brought him over so I could explain what I was doing there and how much I loved that place.
Theoretically I could have kept the location but my heart – after hearing they were going out of business – was just no longer in it.
And the other place didn’t fit with the overall vibe I needed though it IS the inspiration for the fake address for the bad guy!
Back to the Drawing Board
For months I traveled a big circle in an effort to find the ideal place to use as inspiration.
Remember I was still finishing the MA series and that includes Metatron’s Legacy.
and found none of them a good fit.
Too touristy, too trashy, too something.
Frustrated, I went back to a local pub I sometimes worked at to not only think over what to do next but to evaluate one last time.
To see if I could use it as a visual anchor for the pub in the story.
The original problem. Get the right vibe.
It was too upscale for what I was looking for in terms of gritty vibe.
From Cauldron of the Gods
1st in the series:
Determined to reserve judgment, thirty-year-old Clare Edwards stepped into the darkened interior and looked around.
“It’s just the right balance of gritty and sophistication.”
“I don’t want a dive bar.”
“I didn’t say -.”
“Sophistication? Have you ever been in a dive bar that could be described as sophisticated? You’ll love it. Trust me.”
She did trust Lucas Drake, and not just because he was a cop. The detective was a straight shooter something not necessarily synonymous with a badge.
The Vibe So Needed
Obviously vibe is subjective but as it’s my story and I have to put myself in Lage’s bar – mentally – when writing, I knew what I was looking for.
Could my local place fit the bill?
Gritty is not a word I would use when describing it.
For a variety of reasons including blinders on eyes
Like those that keep a horse looking straight ahead
I decided to run with it
I have to layer gritty as an imaginative element on top of it but it works…
Wait! There’s More!
There always is…
In addition to being a visual anchor for a series, it’s a place I’ve been coming to – periodically – when I need to solve a problem.
When I need to get out of my environment because the walls are closing in on me.
As problem solving goes, I have a consistent track record.
Coming here to get out of my space and my head.
This past week I came to see solving a problem isn’t always the funnest thing.
At least in my case.
I came to see that as one problem is fixed another if not several more are right behind it.
Waiting for my attention.
When I finished my sandwich this afternoon, satisfied I’d accomplished what I set out to do I saw that I had a rather significant pile of tasks.
The problem(s)/work behind what I came to solve.
Setting the empty plate aside I pulled the laptop close and began a bit of a deep dive into the issue at hand.
Organizing the task list and assigning owners.
Next thing I knew my fingers were flying across the keyboard with solutions.
And my mind was writing this blog post!
I quickly noted the solutions required additional tasks be completed!
And I needed to start this blog post because it was front and center in mind!
Less than ten minutes later I had a laundry list of tasks to complete
And 1/2 the post written in a file.
While all will bear luscious fruit I can’t help but wince at the additional work I now have on my plate.
Work I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t come up to solve a problem only to find myself hyper inspired by the ambiance!
It isn’t like I’m going to blame anyone at the pub for this quagmire but I can’t help appreciating the irony.
Be careful what you wish for
What Else Did I Learn?
I will try to determine what elements I can transplant to my normal work environment
To achieve balance.
Yin and Yang
This place is obviously an opposite extreme for a variety of reasons.
Elements I know do not factor into the equation: Food and Alcohol.
In addition to a variety of foods I have wine and champagne along with a nice bottle of tequila that was a recent gift.
I’m saving it for an upcoming occasion: My birthday!
I’ve never had tequila outside margaritas so I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons!
A great part of it is the fact it’s a sports pub.
I love watching ESPN and sports!
Sports TV deals with passion and dreams fulfilled
Athletes who started out in a crib like the rest of us
Those interviewing are equally passionate.
There’s also vibrant color and movement and all things helpful for the business side of being a writer.
Note: It wouldn’t work to just turn ESPN on on my laptop or the TV.
It’s kind of a yin/yang thing.
Music is – I’ll admit – a crapshoot.
I think it depends who’s working the bar.
At the moment Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride is on.
“…before the thing could answer me – well, someone came and took the lamp away…”
Been there, done that.
What I know is that I solved one problem and wound up with a laundry list of to-do’s as well as the challenge of figuring out what of the energy here I can transfer to my home work space to inject a bit of that yang energy.
There has to be a balance.
All I have to do is find it…
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