I arrived at the Queen Bean a bit nervous. It had started some hours earlier and I as late. Because I’d gotten home late from work I’d barely had time to warm up my fingers before my bagpipe lesson with Aaron Shaw of the Wicked Tinkers (Awesome lesson, by the way!), and I had yet to eat, I almost talked myself out of attending and if Marirose had been home, I probably would not have gone as with her schedule I do not get to spend a lot of time with her, but as it was the house was pretty quiet. Besides, the NaNoWriMo and cool get togethers of like-minded and writing crazy individuals because of it, only happen once a year. Just dooo-it, I told myself.

I went in to grab a bite before I sat down, but unfortunately the Queen had stopped serving meals much earlier. Bummer. As it was 19:30 and I had not eaten since noon, I was hungry. I turned around and headed back to the car with Japanese food on my mind. As I left however, I saw three folk in the corner with their laptops open going for it and figured they were the NaNo contingent, but as they were pretty focused, I didn’t hail them.

After a delicious meal of sushi, miso soup and gyoza at Tokyo Express on J st., I returned to the Queen Been for a cup of Jo and introduced myself to the two remaining NaNo. I recognized one from a forum pic on the Modesto Meet Up site. I sat down, opened up my lap top and had only written a line or two when the barriesta told a customer the café would be closing in about a half an hour. I smiled to myself ruefully, chuckling at how the night had gone so far. I just shook my head and did my best. My new NaNo-friends were having a discussion about various books, fan-fiction, a new spin on Vampires and their own writing goals. I simply listened and tried to key at the same time.

The acting “ML” suggested a word sprint type game in which we randomly drew popsicle sticks pre-marked with a word count—150, 250, 300, etc. (I drew 450) and tried to reach that mark in 15 minutes. The winner was awarded a chocolate. We only got about two thirds of the way through the sprint when, to our disappointment, the barriesta announced that the Queen Bean would be closing shortly! We thought we’d be there until 22:00, but it seems they closed an hour earlier than we’d been led to believe on their Facebook site.

All in all, though I was only there for a short time, it was fun and a foretaste of the larger Write-In at Panera Bread in Turlock on Sunday. I have to say, that I enjoyed the intimate atmosphere of Queen Bean and look forward to meeting there again.

Originally posted in The Salamander’s Quill 1.0 now deleted.