where the writers are
Starbucks Versus The Beanery

Beautiful mid-spring weather graces Corvallis. It was fifty-five when I set out this morning, with patchy clouds. The sky is now unbroken blue. Seventy-nine is the forecasted high. I'm fortunate that Corvallis has The Beanery so I can get my double shot Mexican mocha. 

The Beanery here is much larger than Ashland's Beanery. It is very, very busy in the mornings, much busier than Ashland's Beanery. In fact, Tuesday I arrived at nine to discover every table in use, a line of ten people waiting to order and a few others awaiting their drinks. I set off for Starbucks, a couple blocks away. I'd sought locations for all coffee shops and was surprised to see how few existed in this downtown area. Starbucks and The Beanery were really my choices, and each had only one location.

I notice similarities and differences between the two. Both are well located for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, but that's true for most downtown Corvallis businesses. It's set up that way. More people arrive by car at Starbucks, but The Beanery is favored by cyclists. The Beanery has an older crowd and is a social destination. Most folks arriving at it are with one or more other people. They order, sit and visit, or, on arrival, others greet them, and they sit at tables chatting, reading newspapers or busy with laptops, Nooks, Kindles, and iPads. Starbucks is much more of a drop in, grab a beverage and go place. Fewer people sit down. Most people are singletons. 

On all three of my Beanery morning visits, the shop was very full and busy. Lunch time also picked up on Monday and Tuesday. They had a very brisk business. Starbucks had much more of an ebb and flow to its business during my observations periods. 

Besides my morning writing at the coffee shops, I watch people, reflect on what I've edited, what's left to do, read my email and peruse agent listings. I have several sources for agents, and have a short list of five selected. I ponder those agents and the difference in their approaches in submissions and time tables and what my synopsis and pitch should say.

This, my third day (it is Wednesday, right?), I walked the mile to the Beanery, found it full, and walked the half mile over to the Starbucks where plenty of tables are available. That's where I'm at now. I figure I'll write here at Starbucks for two and a half hours, finish my drink, then head back to The Beanery and do another session.

After all, I must have my Mexican mocha.