“starting in the same spot” by Julia at Arbutus Coffee

Wednesday,January 20, 2016 at Arbutus Coffee
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t write about someone else doing something interesting or brave or great or even good. I physically can’t. Mentally can’t. My body refuses to listen to what someone else is doing, how they’re feeling, who they’re talking to. I have tried, I have erased. I have wondered, I have stopped. I don’t know why other than the fact that I have no choice but to write about myself. I suppose that is a strong enough reason for a writer going through things of her own. Can’t pour from an empty cup or however the saying goes. Put oxygen mask on self before assisting others. Something like that. All these ideas wrapped up in a journal or diary or confession or voice memo. They don’t belong in someone else’s mouth, or phrased in someone else’s diction. I can only put myself on paper, hope it doesn’t bleed through every single page and tarnish the book I’m writing of me. Unclear but honest, I am city girl noise and small town heart, bursting.

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” By Sasha on White Shell Beach

Saturday, June 20, 2015
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Julie reads her horoscope every morning. In fact, she reads three versions, all on different websites that different psychics recommended. She hopes that they’ll bring her inspiration. She crosses her fingers all the way through the last one, whispering, “Gimme gimme gimme,” just like the ABBA song, but different.

Writer’s block came like a fog, thick and inconvenient. She felt like she couldn’t see, like she couldn’t feel, like she couldn’t meet deadlines, like she’d die seated at her writing desk, where she’d had so much luck before.

“I’m sorry, Mel, I just need a couple more weeks…”
“You’re three months overdue, Julie – ”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry.”
“You’ve put me in a real tough position.”
“I’m – ”
“If you don’t have pages to me by the end of the week the deal’s off, hon.”

She takes up smoking, thinking that it can’t get worse. She’s addicted after the fourth drag. Maybe the protagonist is a smoker. Yes! That’s it. Billy McDonald is a chain-smoker. That’s why Lisbeth leaves him! That’s the final straw!

“I used to sleep at night” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday November 1, 2013
5 minutes
lyrics of Empty Room by Arcade Fire

“I don’t have any ideas left,” Bob says. “I used to be a genius and now I’m a nothing.” We’re out for Indian Food and I’m stressing about the fact that my hands are going to smell like curry for the rest of the night. “Did you hear me? I’m a nothing.” “”A”?” Dip the kabob into the chutney. Keep eyes down. “I’m being serious, Polly. Don’t mock me…” “I’m not. I’m just wondering what “a” nothing even means?” He angry tears apart a samosa. “You know what I’m talking about. You just want me to feel like an asshole.” “Lie!” I say. “I never want that!” The mango lassi is smooth and sweet. “You have a pretty voracious appetite tonight…” I know he’s trying to hurt my feelings but I won’t let him. Just because he feels like a nothing doesn’t mean I should. “I love this stuff,” I smile. I dip my finger into the raita and make a big show of sucking it off. “I’m in a real rut and could really use your support, Polly.” I think about how I have a bird name. I can’t believe that’s never occurred to me.