Community

The sun is still 3 degrees below the horizon, but the eastern windows are staring to show the light that curves in atmosphere around the surface of the planet as true night gives way to another day. A door opens, and the familiar sleep-rumpled figure of LawDog shambles off to one of the three bathrooms in this rental house. I take that as cue to hit the little grey switch on the coffeemaker, preloaded to his satisfaction the night before.

As my love types away at the kitchen table, I view the remaining crumbs of the chocolate chip cookies and wine CV Walter, D. Jason Fleming, and I demolished last night while coming up with ad hooks and revised blurbs for books. I should clean that up… maybe later, when I won’t wake people up.

Not all of us are here: JL Curtis wisely decided to get a hotel with a proper bed and complimentary breakfast, and Alma Boykin rightly chose her own bed, not that many miles away. We’ve been meeting up to do research at museums, and dinner, and supper, and hijinks… Breakfast this morning will actually be a group outing, hauling the only non-writer on this trip off to Waffle House because she’s never been to one before. It’s okay, she’s fairly fresh-moved here.

Welcome to the North Texas Troublemakers, here’s an explanation on why this 1800’s pocket pistol was a gambler’s gun, the bloodlines of quarter horses, how well the leaf springs on a chuckwagon didn’t work, the rise over run of that particular horse racing track, a wonderful dinner at a steakhouse, and the epitome of greasy spoon in the morning…

Oh, and a rant about how 6th street was far more honest back when somebody was on the narcotics task force busting dealers and pimps than in its current gentrified state. Witness the coffeehouse trying to out-virtue-signal California… including sporting stolen “no concealed/open carry on premises” signs.

Yeah, that’s going in a book. Which one? Well, we have an abundance of authors to choose from!

But it’s more than the food and the research. It’s more than the ability to sit down (okay, sprawl across couches) and bounce ideas off each other, and draw our strengths together on keywords and ad hooks. It’s more than accountability partners on a class together, or providing a place to pace and type. It’s more than the beta reading, or the subject matter experts on tap. It’s more than the gesalt that produces higher page counts from all of us.

It’s community.

And I am grateful that they let me be a part of it. And that there is now a pot of coffee, less three cups because other people moved fast while I was writing.

May your day go well, and hopefully in good company.

P.S. If you want a cute short fairy tale, this is from our newest author – LawDog’s Lady! The Seashell by Bessie Bingle

12 comments

  1. Oh, and a rant about how 6th street was far more honest back when somebody was on the narcotics task force busting dealers and pimps than in its current gentrified state. Witness the coffeehouse trying to out-virtue-signal California… including sporting stolen “no concealed/open carry on premises” signs.

    When we were in Texas, I actually liked those signs.

    Because they have no legal authority. There is a specific setup for a sign that does have legal authority, and that isn’t it– so it become effectively an idiot-neutralizer. “I don’t want to deal with people being dumb, so here’s a sign.”

    1. (I am not a fan of anyone having legal authority to remove another’s self-defense rights without taking reasonable steps to ensure those rights are protected, with or without a sign. But an attempt so ineffective it is most likely deliberately flawed is better than most options.)

    2. …No, these are *actual government-legal signs printed only for government buildings* that to be at a coffee shop, must perforce be stolen.

      Right by the sign stating bathrooms were for paying customers only, no freeloaders allowed.

  2. And once again I am reminded I need to stop wool gathering, finish getting that scene out of my head and into the page, and go to bed before it gets any later…

  3. Ah, a Waffle House virgin. I hope one of y’all briefs the newbie on the whole “scattered, covered, smothered” schtick.
    And it’s called concealed carry for a reason. And even with a legal sign, the most they can do is request that you leave. Of course if you don’t you can be trespassed.

    1. When I have business in this particular neighborhood at night, well . . . It’s a long walk from the door through the dark parking area to our cars, and the folks who visit the area at night are sometimes a leeeeeetle bit different than the hoped-for daytime clientele. I know at least two people in my group carry surprises in their jacket pockets or handbags, chemical or otherwise.

    2. As far as I know, private party signs in Oregon are backed by state law. I’ll skip the rant about urban lawmakers who haven’t encountered reality. It’s the lament of the red county residents under the thumb of the blue cities.

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