Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 30


Coffee: Breakfast Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand; my roommate E made us both coffee this morning. It was a nice thing to wake up to. Even though she used the same beans, it tasted better. I asked what she’d done differently and listened to her describe her process and it sounded suspiciously like mine. She’d poured a few scoops in the grinder, ground them, brewed them with five cups in my small pot. Identical methods. So the only answer is that it was the unexpected that gave the coffee it’s flavor this morning – the gift of not knowing what you’re going to wake up to and being surprised when it turns out to be ready coffee.

I missed writing a Coffee Log yesterday. I wish I could say there was some great reason for it – sudden adventure, unexpected events – but in all honesty I spent the day the way you would any lazy Saturday: reading, writing, messing around until sundown. It’s not that I was overly depressed. It’s not that I was completely slothful (I wrote a good bit on my book). I just simply forgot to write the blog. Now it’s like that day never happened.

Maybe that was necessary.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. This is not the first time you’ve heard me say that, and all told I live an easy life, but I’ve got a lot of things cooking in my personal fire – both at work and in my literary aspirations – that have been chowing down on my time. I’m like a wick burning a 1000 year oil, fire still going strong, only the wick itself has gotten caked and crusty in thick soot. I needed a reset, now I’ve got it. Surprisingly, I felt refreshed when I realized this morning that I’d forgotten yesterday’s log.

But here I am again. Semi-renewed and re-committed. It’s been a beautiful Sunday with a crisp breeze and the anticipation of Spring. Tomorrow morning I’ll get up feeling positive also, though maybe a little less so, and then I’ll keep repeating that pattern until someday – maybe a year from now – I’ll screw up and miss a post again. But that’s life, isn’t it? You chug along until you lose the tracks. And magically, like little faerie lights, it’s when you’re most lost that you happen to find them again.

Novel Count: 32,750

Currently Reading: The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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It is strange how new and unexpected conditions bring out unguessed ability to meet them.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Warlord of Mars

Coffee Log, Day 115


Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I walked into my apartment last night and the TV was on, the kitchen cooking, a friend on the couch. “Hey,” I said.

“Well hello,” he said.

A couple months ago, I’d clapped for his wedding. Today, though, L was laid-off.

We sprung for Chinese and I bought brandy. I was the only one who had any, but I needed a drink. It had been a hard week for all of us. We watched shows, played games, lived loosely, I was happy L was over. In between the happy, he told me how they sent him home early, wouldn’t pay out his scheduled shifts. He told me that just two days ago his dad was also laid-off, and we don’t know if it was the stress or other demons but his father was admitted to the ER after the news. Diabetes; a family thing; I watch L and think of my own father, my own health, his health, the Southern tan that men get on their bellies and women on their forearms, we’ve got to eat – a lot – to love ourselves.

Night grew on and I kept drinking. It was cheap, warm, mellow. I thought about four months ago when I lost my bookstore job. I thought about three months ago when I finished the best draft of my first novel. I thought about two months ago when I asked a woman to marry me right before she moved out of the state, knowing she’d say no, loving her all the same. I thought about one month ago when I was inducted to a strange financial world that’s got one foot in small-town community, one foot in digital predation.

I thought about a lot of things. One thing I didn’t think about, though, was this blog. I didn’t post.

Sometimes I feel like sugar tacky. A rolling pin, a marble table, I’m spread four corners thin. For the first time since February, I missed a day posting my Coffee Log. This morning, that’s been a bit of a wake-up, even though I got up late. It’s easy to let the mechanics of life get in front of your dreams.

So what does that mean for Livesay Writing? Well, probably not much. I’m dropping my current reads. I’m going to commit myself to a schedule of reading the best regarded, best selling, award winning fiction books published last year. If I’m going to join that market someday, I need to know it. Besides that, we’ll see.

L spread his big arms on our couch. He spat breath at the ceiling fan. “What’s that look for?”

“I’ve been through a lot this week,” he said.

I felt that like it was my own marrow. I gotta remember to remind him to keep his dreams in focus when everything else is falling apart.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist)

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“Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned. May not one lost soul be permitted to abstain?” – George Bernard Shaw