So you want to be a writer?
“Is this seat taken?” Bob asked loudly.
Bill was sitting by himself in a secluded corner of the Tim Horton’s restaurant. He was nursing his coffee and slowly munching a muffin staring intently at his laptop. Bouts of intense typing would be followed by longer periods of reflection and thought. He had cocooned himself in a little world oblivious to the noise of clattering dishes, the continuous chatter, and the whooshing of the cappuccino machines and the smells of coffee and doughnuts that filled the room. He had not noticed Bob, his old friend, approaching with his coffee and muffin in hand.
Startled, Bill replied, “Sorry, Bob, didn’t see you there. Please have a seat, I could use the distraction.”
“You were pretty engrossed. What are you up to?” Bob asked.
“I am writing my first novel.”
“Oh – Really? – That’s a change from scientific research.”
“For sure, for sure – but I am really enjoying it.”
“I thought you had retired.”
“While I did leave consulting, I have many good years left to try something new.”
“So Tim Horton’s is your office?”
“Sometimes, — mostly I work from home where I can watch the birds at the feeders out my office window.”
“Do you really think you can be a novelist?” asked Bob.
“Yes, most of the time. I do have periods of doubt though. But I think persistence is the main key to success,” answered Bill.
“Well, you certainly have the smarts but do you have the writer’s soul?”
“I’d like to think so. Expressing feelings in my writing is new and very different from scientific writing. But I am enjoying the freedom and finding it very therapeutic.”
“So, what is you novel about?”
“It is about the almost spiritual relationships we have with our automobiles and the significant life events associated with them. I am starting at my first car and then following the progression of automobiles through my life. Vehicles owned when single, married, with kids and now grandkids,” explained Bill.
“Sounds promising, you have certainly owned many different vehicles. I remember the old Subaru Wagon you turned into a “cruck” by cutting off the rear roof and making a plywood truck box. That was a great tractor. You even skidded logs with it on your property,” reminisced Bob.
“Yea, it was great until it rusted in half. Bob, do you remember that blue Ford Aerostar van that I bought new. It went through four of my daughters learning to drive for the first time? It had over 350,000 km on it before we retired it.”
“Yea, how many times did your daughters put the van in the ditch?”
“Too many to remember or count and that’s the times I was told about. The joy of living in the mountains, especially in the winter.”
Bob had finished his coffee and muffin and could see Bill was anxious to get back to his writing. He admired Bill’s spunk and his quest to become a novelist. “Well, Bill, I best be going and let you get back to work. I wish you well on you novel and its publication.”
“Thanks, Bob, I’ll invite you to my first book signing.”
“That would be great. Bye for now,” Bob said as he got up from the table and left Tim Horton’s.
Bill went back to his work, quickly capturing the memories triggered by Bob. The “cruck” could almost be a whole chapter and the Aerostar was a chapter for sure. So many memories, so little time.