Today I find myself at the beginning of a voyage. I'm away from home and will be for a while. But before I settle at my true destination, I am making a pit stop in Montreal to visit my parents. While here, I always do one thing. I come to my favorite cafe, Cafe Laika, to write. I have been coming to this cafe since it was called something else, and probably something else before that. Since I lived across the street. Since I was closer to being a teenager than to being a sassy lady. And I find that although it's well over a decade since I began sitting here for hours on end, I still run into the same people. Look, it's the book critic of the local weekly over there. Look it's fellow YA writer Jill Murray over there. Look it's the french canadian dance star over there. There is a comfort in the fact that the same faces dot the surroundings as I disappear into wrestling with words and story. (I am currently struggling with a draft for a new novel.)
I'm not the only writer who likes to write in a cafe. I like to be in the flow of life, with the movements of others surrounding me. Or more truthfully, maybe I'm just hoping that someone will distract me, because writing is so hard and I like to procrastinate. And I'm not quite sure what makes this cafe the best cafe for me to write in when in this city. Is it the soup? The crepes? The espresso? Is it the large airy space between tables? The high ceiling? The enormous window? The many outlets?
I suspect it's none of those things. I suspect that it's just the first cafe that I really wrote in. It was here that in my early twenties that I wrote a letter to Madeline L'Engle, telling her that I loved the character Meg Murray, and related to Meg so much because of my genius little brother and my scientist parents and I felt happy that Meg saved the world. Mousy little Meg. Mousy just like me. And that one day I would maybe like to write for young adults. Madeline L'Engle wrote me back, to the post office box I kept next door to this cafe, and told me that if I wanted to do that, maybe I should get started on writing that YA book.
I'm going to lean over my laptop now. And keep working on my latest YA book.
Causes Cecil Castellucci Supports
Interstitial Art Foundation
Doctors Without Borders