I had ended a three-year relationship with a woman that I had planned to marry. She had everything that I wanted: beauty, kindness, highly intelligent, financial stability, close knit friends and family, love of dogs. But something was missing. It wasn’t passion. Nor the connection. Or maybe it was those things, there in the beginning, then slowly seeped away like pinhole in a water balloon. I didn’t have the tools to fix our relationship. And the only solution was to end it.
And it pained me to do so for several years.
But something great came out of it. I had sunk myself into my new found passion, writing. Actually, it wasn’t writing as much as book one of the 7th Province: NIGHTFALL.
Thousands of my heart wrenching emotions helped fuel my main character’s emotions on paper. Losses that he goes through were better felt, understood. Of course, what I went through is nothing compared to his emotions, but without the breakup, I couldn’t have delved as deeply as I did. Tears was always a sign I was heading in the right direction.
Writing, however, requires some level of consistency. I have to sit down somewhere and write, be it on paper, computer, or imagination. Unfortunately, I’m a lazy person.
In my emotional turmoil, I had found a home away from home.
Borders café had become a place I could sit down from all the things that would tear me away from writing my book: TV, Internet, refrigerator, bed, couch, HGTV. OK. I was watching a lot of HGTV. OK. I still do. So to help focus myself and give me little excuse to do anything else, I bought a coffee or tea, glued myself to a small wooden table in the dark corner of the bookstore, and dove into the world of NIGHTFALL. Despite the babies crying, college kids laughing, soccer moms arguing, coffee beans grinding, and the constant frothing of lattes, I was totally undisturbed.
Time flowed by like a bunch of kids playing in the field with the warm sun shining.
I had spent thousands upon thousands of hours writing at Borders. People knew my name. I had seen cycles of baristas drift through like ghosts. Specialty drinks changed with the seasons. It was a safe haven for me to call upon my tormenting muse and write. My bliss.
Then there was a disturbance in the force, more aptly called, the Internet. Rumblings of Border’s financial troubles sounded through the grape vines. Months went by with nothing happening. Barnes and Noble fell into a similar predicament. They came up with a simple solution. They saw what Amazon was doing with the Kindle and created the Nook. It was a brilliant move and probably saved Barnes and Noble from bankruptcy.
Borders wasn’t so fortunate. They ignored the potential of e-readers. Their predicament became worse. They had dug themselves into a black hole by acquiring too many stores. Cut back their closing time from eleven PM to ten to nine. This forced me to change my schedule so I could still write. Reducing the hours did nothing to save them. So they heeded their competitors and came up with their own e-reader, the Kobo. Did it work? Kobo is a monetary unit of Nigeria. Not sure if that was a great choice.
News ebbed that Borders was going to close down low performing stores. I had no problems with this. I doubted my Borders would be closed. Border’s parking lot was always full. Except after closing but that’s obvious.
One day I had walked in and I saw this:
A few days later, I’d found out my Borders was closing and they had let go of all their baristas. An era had ended for me. My home away from home was leaving. My tormenting muse had no use for me. Simply put, I had gotten over my old flame. With it the completion of NIGHTFALL, four years in the making.
Borders may have been a conglomerate, but this Borders became my refuge. I, for one, am grateful. Thank you.