15 on the Fives, no. 2


It’s been a long day, and I’m slightly out of sorts from the randomness of all that I’ve been involved in. Not that this is new or unique to me; I thrive in randomness. The difference here is that all of the projects I’ve been engaged in are so, well, engaging, and I’ve been wanting to do all of them at the same time.

Just to mention a few: AP planning for next year, designing my blog and understanding the behind-the-scenes operations of all that I can do in WordPress, completing yearbook and Maryland Voices deadlines, wrap up a senior supplement that needs to be mailed out next week….all on the last full day of regular classes. Former students have been stopping in all day to say hi or finish yearbook spreads….I’m grateful for it all, but it has caused an unsteady buzz within me as I try to settle into a groove to finish one thing, and finish it well.

And of course, there’s the buzz of the year ending, the unlimited opportunities of a summer to come, with reading lists, writing projects, and old friends to enjoy at least a coffee drink or two and spill stories of all that has happened in the past year.

Still more, I guess, is the anxiety of all that my sister is going through with her cancer, the fact that there’s brewing trouble on my wife’s side of the family with her own mother’s illness, and the lingering concern about my mother, 80 years young and battling her own fight with cancer.

But I stop for these fifteen and let the world spin around me, at its own speed that cannot touch me, as I remain still within this small, small bubble that is quickly becoming a trusted sanctuary.

SK wants me to pursue the coffee shop piece, and I agree with him. i think I will focus on the best small coffee shops in Baltimore City, County, Howard, Carroll, Harford, Anne Arundel, and Frederick. That hits a good reader base for any local pub I can pitch this to.

Maybe the query will go something like this:

I have the great fortune of knowing a colleague who teaches in Frederick County. She knows all the good places to go where we could sit for a while and chat comfortably about some summer writing workshops we’re directing. We were in a time crunch one afternoon, and we both realized that it would be better to meet halfway, say, in Mt. Airy. She googled the small town for a good coffee shop, and we happened upon the Vintage Coffee House on Main Street (I think I need to verify this name later). What a treasure of a place. To think that we in Towson don’t have anything that even remotely touches the character and personality of this little shop. That’s when I realized that, although I am a daily supporter of Starbucks, the small coffee haunts are in grave jeopardy of being pushed out for good. I want to spotlight these few remaining places that—


Okay. I have to stop here…but I’ve got a good idea of where to go with this query. I’ll publish it here when I get a solid draft written.

A note to my readers: 15 on the Fives is posted twice-daily at 5:16 a.m. and 5:16 p.m. These entries are what I call “vomit” or discovery drafts, where I write uninhibited for 15 minutes. There are no rules about topics, content, form, grammar, or spelling. The only rule is that I don’t stop writing. By following this one rule, I almost always discover something new in my writing, and more often than not, I find a seed or two for future pieces I feel I can take to publication. Give it a whirl; there’s nothing to lose (but 15 minutes, of course!).