From the outside, Bardeli's looks like pretty much any other coffee shop, but with a somewhat rounded exterior, fitting its ideal corner location. Inside is a different story.
The interior is round! Well more accurately, a false wall is been inserted, creating a round main shop, but with a couple of quieter nooks for those wanting a little more intimate surrounding. Best of all, at least for me, is that the walls are lined with bookshelves! Full of second-hand books!
I cannot help myself. I wander around, scanning the shelves, flicking through the odd selection. For me it is better than a library! Here I can sit and slurp down coffee, get fed, flirt with the ladies behind the counter, read and write. Bliss! Plus the library staff don't give me such a cheery smile and hello when I walk in.
Sitting in here, writing free form as I am, ideas pop into my head. Terry Pratchett wrote about inspriation being contained in little neurons that fly around, hopefully to strike the right head at the right time. I think that there is something in that. Unfortunately it doesn't work all the time. For all we know, the inspiration neuron for a revolutionary new form of clean energy, guaranteed to clean up and save our planet, landed on the head of a three-toed sloth deep in the Amazon jungles. Not much help there.
As I have been scribbling, an inspiration came to me about how to revitalise a story that I had previously considered 'finished'. OK - it isn't as great an inspiration as the one hitting the sloth, but I doubt it would have done the sloth any good anyway. It isn't as if they are particularly well known for their literary prowess. Come to think of it, neither am I.
I suspect that emptying the brain a little while free form writing makes the brain more receptive to those inspiration neurons.
'Calling all inspiration neurons. The Drivel's brain is now empty and you are cleared for landing.'
'Neurons to brain flight control - waddya mean now empty - there wasn't ever anything in it anyway.'
'Oh no - not you lot again. How often do I have to tell you smart-arse-think-you-are-funny-when-you-a
'Too late - we just landed. Ha ha!'
Well - maybe that does explain the bursts of manic almost-funny gibberish that sometimes comes streaming out. Like - who else would have come up with the idea of fairy tale characters as professional wrestlers, writing it all as a transcript of the match broadcast? Sometimes I'm embaressed to have written such a thing, yet other times I am quietly proud of having come up with such lunacy and managing to get it published.
So the little inspiration neuron hit, giving the the idea how to improve that little story. The story itself was a semi-cathartic piece with the protagonist based on a former work colleague who had been the bane of my life. I gleefully made her utterly repulsive, ridiculing her at the same time. It was such fun and wonderful therapy at the same time. And now I know how to make the satire even worse. So take that, anonymous-person-I-cannot-name!
Thank you little inspiration neuron. Thank you Bardelis. Thank you lovely-lady-behind-the-counter-who-makes-m
Time to go and ridicule Carolyn some more. Whoops - you didn't see me write that.
POST SCRIPT: Jan 2008 - that story is being published in a forthcoming anthology.