Saturday, July 24, 2004

Writer's Meccas

So, you might argue that there are many places that could serve as writers' meccas. Say, the corner coffee shop (even Starbucks, with its lone readers reading, or booting up their laptops over a latte). Or, the independent bookstore, with its occasional poetry readings or book signings (even Borders or Barnes & Noble, which often throw similar events to bring the masses in).

Here's another one: the office supply superstore.

I don't know what it is. But I can't walk out of one of those stores without buying something that's a tool of the trade. Whether it's coming up for some professional justification to need a pack of multi-colored gel pens, or truly needing that bulk box of Tyvek envelopes for those snail mail submissions I ranted about earlier. This is where you get your own personal postage scale for those snail mail submissions, too. Or what about the box of red pens to perform loving surgery on the hard copy of a nearing-final draft of one's latest labor of love -- man, it needs to be 3,000 words, what do I cut? What isn't needed here?

Not to mention, my most recent favorite new tool -- Post-It flags. They're the greatest, whether it's to mark what look like friendly markets in Novel and Short Story Writers Market or to flag the best stories in the latest copy of a lit mag.

It does seem odd considering so few of us need Wite Out or even paper and pens anymore -- at least not to previous degrees -- what with computers having become ubiquitous and giving us less of a reason to go through a ream of paper for a short story or novel drafts. But something about being surrounded by tools reminds you of the rigors of the craft.

So anyway, I'd love to hear about any other meccas anyone would like to share. Surprise me. And if anyone suspects this is a bit of a stall because I'm working on my latest lit mag review, they'd be right. Stay tuned, because it's gonna be a good one.

Write on,



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