Love Your Backstory

Every cup of coffee has a backstory. From seeds to grinder, there’s a physical tie, a beginning, and ultimately, an ending. Hands work to plant and the rest is a natural growth. There are people behind the scenes, each step of the way, transforming the bean to cup of coffee. Who are these workers? Men and women that I will never meet, but if I met them in a book, I would get to know … Continue reading

At First Sight

​There’s a gorgeous coffee bar I can’t resist. Smack dab in the middle of the Bake Hall and Roastery at Harrod’s—the name alone stirs images of class and fanciness tangible enough to bottle up for a rainy day. I’m at a crossroads between old London and new, on the corner of preserving tradition and stepping ahead. It makes me think about intersections. Not the street kind. The character kind. The first time a hero and … Continue reading

Drive-Thru Writers

There’s a drive-thru Starbucks in my town with a line of cars wrapped around the building. The wait will take longer than finding a parking spot and ordering inside, but the car is warm and I’m only interested in shortcuts. I want hassle-free. Instant. At my fingertips. I think the publishing world was misnamed. It should have been the Delayed Gratification Industry. The wait is the hardest piece to endure. The art of perfecting a manuscript … Continue reading

Birdie’s Cafe – Coffee & Art

I think coffeehouses are meant to be in a row home on a historic street. There’s a rustic charm to a brick building with green trim and purple shutters. I go inside, staring at a narrow hallway with an old staircase and hardwood floors. The large, colorful mural of a woman holding up a cup of coffee spans the wall. The colors are bold, the details, vibrant.  This is my first trip to Birdie’s Café. … Continue reading

Frederick Coffee Company & Cafe

Coffee in my hand and an overcast sky. The perfect combination for my visit to The Frederick Coffee Company & Café in Downtown Frederick. Flavors of the Day: Coffee – Oatmeal Cookie Crumble. Latte – Samoa (Chocolate, Coconut, & Caramel). The weather has been all over this place this year, just like the first draft of a novel. Half-thought out story lines. Characters rebelling against my plans for them. Loosely fitting chapters with no golden … Continue reading

The Buzz

There’s a bakery in Monrovia that has my attention. The Buzz. Have you heard of this place? Correction: How have you not heard of this place? The words at First Sight come to mind. Three simple words implying an instant reaction. But there’s more to them. There’s more to this bakery than what you see. There’s all the ingredients for making a good story. Our senses include sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. They evoke … Continue reading

The French Twist Cafe – November Coffee Shop Blog

The French Twist Café The French Twist Café set in historic Sykesville reminds me of a setting in a story. The word twist actually means to turn away from something stationary. A plot twist. A twist of fate. A coffee with a twist. It’s not just a coffee shop. It’s more. The words on the side of the building are Coffee, Crêpes and Conversation. Like a good flow of paragraphs, I want to turn the … Continue reading

The Perfect Blend Cafe

I am not new to coffee shop hunting. Ever since my love for this strongly and offensive flavor began, even the smallest café still catches my eye. By accident I found The Perfect Blend Café tucked into a corner building—a short walk from where East Patrick Street becomes West Patrick in downtown Frederick, a literal crossroads of flavor, unique shops, and a thriving arts scene. There’s something timeless and original about a good coffee shop, particularly once … Continue reading