I frequently go to Cracker Barrel to write. There are dozens of people around, it’s very noisy, and I find that the act of “tuning out the people and the noise” helps me focus on the writing I am trying to get done.  A couple of years ago, one of the waitresses came over to my table and asked if anything was wrong with the couple she was serving. I told her that I had written a poem about them during their lunch meal.  Here it is:


He looks at her

Like my dog looks at steak.

He smiles at her,

Delighted to be in her presence.

His jaw, resting on his hand, is firm.

His smile is lopsided, a little goofy!

“I only have eyes for you”

Is the clear message he sends.

His eyes are riveted on

Her lips,

Her eyes,

Her face.

He listens to every word she says

With no distractions.

“I understand,” he says,

As he leans forward,

Eager to hear more.

He’s not lecturing,

Or explaining,

Or teaching,

Or telling her anything.

He is just enjoying her company.

Clearly, they are not married.

This poem was the impetus for my first book, written under a pseudonym, featuring many of the poems I had written and saved over a 30 year period. Many poems were on scraps of paper, some in those blank books that are supposed to inspire one to write, and a couple were written in lipstick on toilet paper! (We use what’s available when the Muse starts dictating!) That’s when I learned that I should carry a pen/pencil and small notebook or yellow Post Its with me at all times, in case of a writing emergency! I will get up in the middle of a good night’s sleep to write down whatever occurred to me, because I have learned that the Writing Muse does NOT strike twice for me! The takeaway from this is that you should write wherever you find inspiration. Chances are you can return to your special place many times and find it conducive to your need to write.