I’m sure I’m not the only writer who has a writing home (or homes) away from home, where she or he takes the process to a new environment, if only to refresh the mind. Moving the usually solitary process into the public realm—having to maintain focus while the world is right in your face—is, I find, a good editing tool. The public sites I write in include libraries, laundromats, trains, buses, coffee bars, cocktail lounges, and art museums, just to name a few. But most often, my branch offices are restaurants, and one of my favorites is Abby’s Café on Highway 74 in Hemet, California.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, Abby’s Café is a community gathering place. The food is good and wholesome, and it would kind of have to be considering, for example, the breakfast crowd on any given morning consists of a variety of community stalwarts such as police, sheriffs, highway patrol, fire department, and forest service personnel who have stopped in to get something to eat. I even see the school district superintendent in there now and again. Oh, and a church pastor and minister. Not to mention the common folks, and the miscellaneous characters like me. You get the picture.
Abby’s Café is owned and operated by Abby’s parents. (Abby herself is a high school freshman and girls softball phenom who, a few years from now, we’ll be watching in the NCAA women’s softball tournament, I have no doubt.) It just doesn’t get more “local.”