Tag Archives: max barry

MAX BARRY TOPIC NO 3: The Coffee Shop: What: You take your laptop, order a coffee, and compose your masterpiece in public

The Coffee Shop

What: You take your laptop, order a coffee, and compose your masterpiece in public.



Totally didn’t go to a coffee shop today with my laptop or anything else. Wimped out completely. Didn’t even move to a different writing spot. I could at least go out on the verandah but I probably won’t. I have been writing in other places all week because I have been staying with family and that has mean the corners of unfamiliar rooms and on my bed.

In addition, I did go out for the day today. The power was off here. We had forgotten that. They sent us a message before Christmas but we forgot about it. That sent me scuttling out into the world. The world today was a pleasant place. I visited Kati B and the baby and we went to Gleniffer for a swim. Its also known as the Promised Land out there and the Creek is the Never Never.

Its not a coffee shop and I didn’t take my laptop out anyways. I did take my camera. I still like the coffee shop idea. Perhaps I shall trace my internet usage over the years – briefly – within the coffee shop framework. And also, the motel.

Way back, when the Net was new, I stayed from time to time in Sydney. I used to take the bus to Glebe and use the computers in an Internet Café. Did the same thing in 2001 in Coolangatta,

Before laptops were common that was.

Libraries gave free Net access and community centres provided it cheap. All the writing and searching was then done in  public. With tight time limits on it. Once I had  a full on dispute with a librarian in Tweed Heads who wouldn’t let me use the computers due to not being a local.

Then dial-up came in Meant I could write at home but slowly and with no phone access while doing so.

These days are good days for me.

Laptop. Mobiles. Good times. Might find some pics of me out and about with laptops. No, I shall look for images of places in which I have done my writing. Usually at the window watching the passing parade.


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27 Paxton Avenue. Belmore, Sydney. I grew up in this house and began writing at the windows on the far right.

In 2002, I was driven to living in shared accommodation in Tugun on Queensland’s Gold Coast and my writing was restricted to my one room. That’s the windows there.

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2005. In Bilambil Cottage.

Looking North to Queensland.

The outdoor writing table at Bilambil Cottage. 2005.

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The LINDEN GALLERY where I sold fine art and did my writing standing at the windows which overlooked the pool.

The spare room in Camperdown where the computer was kept.

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The Camperdown setup. 2006.


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The LINDEN GALLERY setup. 2006 Bilambil.
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2006 Bilambil

2007. Sharing resources due to Gold Coast Resort having no net facilities.

The new ACER laptop. 2008 With mobile broadband. Vodafone (which sucked but freedom had begun). AND the cordless mouse.

That will do me for today. The Coffee Shop assignation is still with me. I will close with some feedback from Bellingen Writer PIP WILSON.

Pip Wilson  http://www.facebook.com/pip.wilson

Julia, a writer herself, ages ago asked how I’d actually written a very long novel (Faces in the Street). My strategem had been to set myself 1,000 wds/day, 7 days/week. I had a ball, and liked the result. Now, after searching, & heat, I’m about to start that easier thing I mentioned here recently, my memoirs, at one par a day. Fun for me, easy, and a wonderful part of my healing process esp. vis-à-vis memory.


The Word Ceiling

What: You write no more than 500 words per day.

Once again, I shall modify the number of words due to this being a Blog rather than a Novel.

Ceiling of 100 words.

Today I went out for only a short while. A couple of kilometres to the Raleigh Hall. Its an old Hall. Was once the School of Arts and had a lending library tucked into one corner. We are talking about having a dinner dance there. Myself, I like the idea of Sunday barbecue once a month. 

It was a gentle day there today. Not too hot and not wet at all. We have had some rain this year. A lot of rain. Flooding rain. Enough rain to forget what rainless times are like. Until today when the breezes were sweet.

Thanks Max Barry.


The Word Target from MAX.

What: You don’t let yourself leave the keyboard each day until you’ve hit 2,000 words.



Right then. Having let myself in for this one, best not back off now. With the DANA  challenge nearing its end and my starting this one 2 days earlier due to the shortness of February, I shall settle into the size and shape of it. First thing I am doing is cutting the  number of words back to the 250 I have become accustomed to because this is blogging and not novel writing and I shall add another 50 and round it off at 300 words before I leave the computer.

Second thing I am doing is locating myself within my evening. Heard a noise before. Out the back. We went looking to see what it was and it turned out to be an OWL. A very big owl. Its flown off into one of out trees and I haven’t found what it was doing in our laundry area. It sure is beautiful. I read a book once called “I heard the owl call my name”. This owl has been around for a couple of months.

I don’t know what calls I am hearing in this owl hooting year. I do some cussing and some weeping and lots of the time I am cold and emotionally wandering. Today, I am looking for a place to stay in Port Macquarie. A cheap place for a night or two for my children and my grandchildren – and me.

I almost took a back road today from a ferry in Port Mac. The road called Maria River to Crescent Head but changed my mind. 37kms of dirt just didn’t appeal to me today. Brought back memories of the Old Tenterfield Road.  Aha!