Coffee Shop Writing: Week 1 Summary

I’ll let Mr. Miller summarize his own efforts; not because I don’t know what he wrote all week, but because I can’t bring myself to admit that he wrote more than I did.


I started a new short(?) story tentatively titled “The Long December” and discovered that immortality is simply a matter of who’s in charge. Word count: 299


I continued “The Long December” after a late arrival at the coffee shop. Word count: 285.


Faced with the uncomfortable fact that “The Long December” was turning into a parable, I wrote a blog entry: Coffee Shop Writing: Day 3. Three days into this experiment and the meta-writing has already begun. Word count: 650ish.


Kate: Advanced Text Editor
Zombie Day. Due to issues with Puppy Linux, I abandoned it in favor of Kubuntu, which I didn’t *quite* manage to get configured Wednesday night. Goodbye (for now) Geany, hello Kate! I didn’t get any writing done at all today; I need more than four hours of sleep before I can write. If I can’t get more than four hours of sleep, I need four hours to wake up so I can write. Later in the day I wrote another blog entry, Tomorrow is Arbor Day. Celebrate with The Secret Lair. It’s about 375 words, but I didn’t write it in the coffee shop, so it doesn’t count. Word count: 0.


Instead of sitting down to write, I distracted Chris 1To be fair, he had a 200+ word head start by the time I arrived, thanks to a writing prompt at by talking about Kubuntu’s apparent lack of an e-mail client, 2The default client is Kmail, which is—according to the Adept Package Manager—installed, but which nobody thought to provide a link to. Is this what I get for downloading a release candidate? … Continue reading the audio quality issues we’re having with episodes of The Secret Lair, and pretty much anything that wasn’t writing. It worked. I should be ashamed of myself.

Then I decided to fire up Kate and write this summary. I announced that I was writing just as Chris was packing up his things and heading back to his home office. “What are you writing?” he asked.

I told him.

“Good God!,” he exclaimed. “I’ve never met anyone who could write so much about doing so little!”

So true. Word count: 401. 3Total for the week: about 1,600.

1 To be fair, he had a 200+ word head start by the time I arrived, thanks to a writing prompt at
2 The default client is Kmail, which is—according to the Adept Package Manager—installed, but which nobody thought to provide a link to. Is this what I get for downloading a release candidate? EDIT: Kmail is the e-mail component of Kontact, which has a handy shortcut on the Kubuntu taskbar, but which I mistook for an address book. This is because I am an idiot.
3 Total for the week: about 1,600.

10 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Writing: Week 1 Summary”

  1. OK, I’m going to say what you already know: you have a pathological inability to finish a variety of tasks. You start a great many things, you finish very few. Now, before you get angry at me, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. After all, it has no effect on me whatsoever. When you write about it, you always sound like perhaps you wish things were different.

    Well, to make it as simple as possible, you can either (1) accept that this is the way you are and no longer even express any concern about it, or (2) finish more things. Should you choose the second option, the only way it will ever happen is if you stop writing about writing. Nobody ever got anywhere writing about writing. It’s a classic avoidance technique.

    I like to think of you as a great big raccoon. You’re busy working on something and then “hey look, something shiny, must go check that out and then blog about the shininess!” Yep, that’s you, a giant loveable raccoon.

    If you finish anything, it should be learning to play the guitar. I could use some backup on my old-timey banjo music. We’d make quite a pair around the next campfire. (By the way, I can make it easier for you: almost all banjo music uses the G, C, and D chords. Work on those first, ha ha.)

  2. Rob — Actually, my plan is to some day make money by writing about how much I’m not writing. Much like the Underpants Gnomes of South Park fame, there is a step in the middle of my plan that is…well, a bit vague:

    1. Write about not writing.
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    As to the banjo business, you’ve inadvertently stumbled upon my secret plan. I was informed recently that you are evidently a “banjo prodigy” (or something of that nature) and so I decided that I, too, will learn to play the banjo. Then one day out of the blue I will stand in the street outside your house, loudly strum the opening challenge of “Dueling Banjos” and we will, as they say, have at it.

  3. I like your money-making plan. If only that pesky Step 2 would reveal itself, ha ha.

    You don’t have to learn to play the banjo for “Dueling Banjos.” Although it can be played with two banjos, for some stupid reason unknown to everybody, it is most commonly played with a guitar and a banjo (like the scene in “Deliverance”). Perhaps “Dueling Guitar and Banjo” didn’t have the same catchy feel for a title, I don’t know.

    That said, my goal with the banjo is simple: by the time my boy graduates high school, I will be able to play Dueling Banjos as fast as it is played on the record, without missing a note. You see that I have about 16 more years of practice to get it right, I like to build myself some leeway into these sort of things. I do have the music and play it from time to time but I definitely have my work cut out for me.

    If I can find the gee-tar accomp’nent (why, I wrote that like it was dialogue for O Brother Where Art Thou, din’t I?), I’ll email it to you. All things considered, the guitar is probably easier to learn than the banjo.

    Perhaps I shall start my search for the perfect hayseed to stick in my mouth when we start playing. I never seem to have a hayseed handy when I need one.

  4. Here you go, a link to the scene:

    If you’re prepared to take on the Ronny Cox role, I’ll take on, well, you know . . .

    Fun Little Fact: in the closeup scenes of the boy playing, he couldn’t finger worth a lick and he couldn’t even fake it so they had him sit so that somebody else could stick his hand up the neck of the banjo and play the fingering part so that it looked right. That’s some other guy’s hand playing the banjo!

    Fun Little Fact II: At the end, the boy was supposed to turn his head away from Ronny Cox when Ronny approached him. However, the boy they hired liked Ronny too much and wouldn’t cooperate. The boy did NOT like Ned Beatty so they told Ned to walk into the scene and you’ll see the boy turn his head immediately when Ned approaches.

  5. Kris: I read you, copy, over.
    Fun Little Fact IV: To this day, Ned Beatty refuses to discuss that scene. That hasn’t stopped Burt Reynolds from yakking up a storm about it. Apparently, the guy playing the mountain man who sodomizes Ned was really not right in the head and kept giving Ned the eye all day and saying he was really going to do it. So, they film the scene and this guy is really going to town on Ned and it’s getting closer and closer to looking like he really might do it but the director won’t call cut. Reynolds says he finally ran into the scene and hauled the guy off Ned to stop anything more from happening. It’s really quite a lovely little movie.

  6. Ok, who wants to open up a coffee shop in the Cleveland area? I do! Also, I’d want a section in the back or side or whatever open to teach / talk about Open Source Software IE, open office, Linux, or what have you. Also there’d be disk copies of said open stuff for a couple of bucks, to cover the costs of making them etc… Lan Parties, etc… Sandwiches… It’s a nice little imaginary place in my head..

  7. Oh,and I use use and recommend Ubuntu, or at least an Ubuntu install and then add the desktop that you want, KDE, xfce, flux, etc… There’s also a neat debian distro out there, sidux, that can install on a 1 gig thumb drive. – I’ve only played with it a little. But like it along with puppy linux.

  8. Randy — I’ve got Kubuntu installed on a 4GB thumb drive and that’s working pretty well for me. Unfortunately, my efforts to install Ubuntu on another 4GB thumb drive met with failure. I was previously running Puppy Linux, but I ran into some problems with it not identifying hardware properly, which led me to switch to Kubuntu last week.

    As for an open source coffee shop in Cleveland, if it was on the east side, you’d probably get Chris’ and my business.

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