Julia Cameron writes, in The Artist's Way, about filling the well, refreshing your creative reserves, by taking the time to nurture your creative consciousness, your inner artist, or writer, by doing something, or going somewhere, alone, just you, and yourself, once, or twice, a week, or more even if what you do takes just a couple of hours of your time.
The idea is that the experiences would open yourself to "insight, inspiration, and guidance".
Have fun, relax, find ways to nurture yourself, bond with, and build, or further develope, your creative side.
Readers of this blog, and Meowsings, have read of the things I've done, the places I've been, since the Summer, then early Fall, and my beginning to read The Artist's Way.
I've always gone places, and done things, when time allowed, from bike rides, and movie going, to zoos, and museums, and 3 trips out of state over the last decade, ever since I was a teen, but until I took up blogging never considered using those experiences for writing purposes.
And certainly never considered doing so in the ways I have the past 2 years, and begun to consider more recently.
On Saturday I hopped the bus, and travelled around LA, Brentwood, West Hollywood, Hollywood, and Studio City, looking to inspire myself by visiting, and spending a little time in, 4 Cafes with reputations for being Writer's Havens, and Hangouts.
Spending a lot of money on breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was out of the question, even more so once I got a look at the menus, and prices, at these places, but I actually lost 2 lbs. despite what eating I did do. :-D
I had breakfast at The Literati Cafe, in Brentwood, sitting at a small table in a corner by the front door, the most peaceful place in a packed, and noisy, establishment.
Then I grabbed a snack at Insomnia, a small, intimate, and quiet, little place on Beverly, near La Brea, in a heavily Jewish part of town, where it was not at all odd to see grown men in black suits, and hats, wearing long black beards, walking down the street, and 3 pre-teens, also Orthodox, and dressed in black, being silly with each other as they walked along, no adults on hand to make them behave.
Insomnia had a set of bookshelves, on a wall, set high off the floor, and on those shelves were a collection of very old books, many of them no doubt from the 19th century.
The place was also immortalized on The Bold & the Beautiful Soaps.
Over on Santa Monica Blvd., along Theatre Row, I found another small, intimate, place called Cafe Muse, with its own little local Art Gallery, where I grabbed another snack.
A few blocks to the west I visited an old haunt I used to visit over 20 years ago, and experienced a little Synchronicity. :-D
In West Hollywood & Silverlake, there are 2 bookstores, named Circus of Books, known for the, um, more adult material they sell, of all variety, mostly Gay, but also for their well stocked Newsstand, and extensive selections of Used Books for sale, most of which go for $2 to $5 a book.
I discovered them in my 20's, way back in the 80's, but had not been back to either store in 20 years. :-D
I paid one of the stores a visit, wearing the new promotional shirt for Meowsings, which had already got a little attention from people at my other stops...
I asked the 2 older gentlemen behind the counter if their stacks of books had anything about Pussies ( Nikita Cat's now legendary defense of that mis-appropriated, mis-used, word, from the Vulgarians! )....
After they stopped laughing I pointed to the image of my Cats on my shirt, and repeated the question.... :-D
Sobered up, the gentlemen admitted to not being sure.
After an hour of wandering the shelves I found 5 cool books. :-D
In addition to the Cat Books, I found a huge book on Limericks that I've already found inspirations for ideas of my own. :-D
From there I headed north of Hollywood, into Studio City, where I arrived at Aroma Cafe, a trendy, expensive, little place, with indoor, and outdoor seating, and walls full of interesting things that make the place a great spot just to admire the decor. :-D
I couldn't afford anything off the main menu, for dinner, not this trip, but spent $16 on a bowl of soup, scoops of potato, and tuna salads, and something to drink. :-D
Another reason to like the place is the symbiotic relationship it has with a tiny, unusual, and popular, independent bookstore, called Portrait of a Bookstore.
It's a place that packs a lot in a very small space, including gifts, and antiques, books, and otherwise, and they also have a blog now, as well ( The Other Day at Portrait ).
It has a reputation for being one of the best indy stores in LA for 24 years, now.
One of the fun things, about both establishments, is the posterboard where visitors are encouraged to respond to a "Sentence of the Week", the responses then being shared on the blog. :-D
All of these places are meant to attract creative types, and all but Literati Cafe had an atmosphere that I felt comfortable opening my notebooks to write in, and reading one of the books I brought from home, as I munched on what I ordered to eat.
I saw people alone, or with a friend, reading, writing, using laptops, or just chatting away about something, with easy to listen to music playing in the backround.
Around 830pm it was time for me to head back home, and I arrived at 1am, much to the relief of Nikita, and Elvira Mistress of Felinity. :-D