So, I spent the morning in coffee shops drinking coffee and writing on the laptop. I started at the Steaming Cup in downtown Waukesha www.steamingcupwaukesha.com. The coffee was awesome and the atmosphere greatastic. A good mix of people with a great neighborhood feel to it. Locals and outsiders alike. The only downside to the whole experience was the "free" wifi, which wasn't working. At all. When asked, the waitress said they've been having trouble with it for a while now. She recommended I try one of the other unsecured connections she was sure the other businesses around them had.
Well, it turns out the only one that did was the Clarke Hotel, and their connection sucked. It dropped in and out with little or no warning.
Normally this wouldn't bother me, but I quickly discovered how much I use the internet and e-mail in doing my writing. I use google for everything, in this case researching a breed of turtle that I was using in my story. The web is a beautiful thing for research, and if I can't get to it from somewhere, that somewhere drops a bit on my list.
It was too bad, because I would have had a second cup of coffee and maybe a pastry if I could have had a decent connection. Something so simple (a router) is all they need to keep people like me hanging around longer. I know it's petty and there are bigger problems in the world, but I'm a big proponent of supporting local businesses, and if they can't accommodate something as prevalent as a wireless connection point, well then I'll go somewhere that does.
Which is how I ended up at Le Cafe Bistro on Sunset Dr. in Waukesha. They have great coffee too, in a slightly more sterile, though incredibly comfortable environment. The staff is great and best of all, they have free wifi. It was an excellent connection and allowed me to get my writing done, while doing my research and checking my e-mail. I highly recommend them!
Tonight I'm off to a book signing/reading by Michael Perry at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon www.nextchapterbookshop.com. Donna saw it in the paper yesterday and thought I'd enjoy it. Right On! I'm a big fan of his writing, having read Population 485 and Truck: A Love Story. I love the way he weaves two or three stories together and makes it all come out in the end. I tend to think in a single train of thought, so don't think I could write like that. It's a gift of his.
Anyway, his new book Coop came out in paperback this week, so he is out promoting it and doing readings from it. I haven't read it yet, so plan to buy it and get it signed. It's a totally selfish thing for me, but Donna said she can't go because she's volunteering at Sarah's masquerade ball at church. I know she'd come with if she could; she loves a good author as much as the next guy. He has a great website where you can see some of his books, his blog, his band (The Flatbeds), etc at http://sneezingcow.com.
Michael Perry is one of those writers who I aspire to. His sense of humor and his heart resonate in his writing in a way I can only dream of. The fact that he's a local boy makes it even cooler.
I wonder how the capping of the BP well is going in the Gulf of Mexico. I pray that it succeeds and puts an end, or at least a slowdown, to the epic disaster that's going on down there.
The rest of the weekend will be busy but great. Ben's soccer game is tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Then, sometime in the afternoon we are going to our friends' house in BayView. Because we'll be in the neighborhood, I told Ben I'd take him to the F N F fingerdecks for a while.
He just loves these finger skateboard things, and I can't deny him the simple pleasure of going and hanging out there. He wants to buy a new wooden deck at great expense (I don't want to talk about it, it's insane) so I told him we'd go and he could stay an hour or so.
From there it's back to our friends' house. Then on Sunday (Mothers Day) we all plan on going to church, then Panera and then on to take a hike at Lapham State park. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/lapham/
So, it will be a busy but great weekend and I can't wait to get to it. I hope to post at least once during it, so check back. For now, I've got to go work out, run errands and get back to my writing.