• Shea Robinson

Writing Tip: Catching that day dream

What’s your current daydream? Chances are it’s to own your own bookstore or coffee shop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been talking to friends when the conversation inevitably turns to the subject. Eyes become downturned, smiles attempt to be hidden but break through, voice gets quiet and sheepish, but yet we agree, we want this. I don’t know what your place looks like, but I’m going for it y’all. Here it is, my fantasy in all its glory about what my bookstore would look like:

Fun arrangements of books are key. I would absolutely divide my genres in the most fantastic ways possible. For Paranormal, I could have books suspended from the ceiling by wire or have the covers of my lights in this section be wrapped in old covers of books on flying. The Mystery section would have all its covers shelved and hidden. There would be an entire section dedicated to “What do I read next?” Maybe the Romance novels would be arranged like a waterfall since that's what being in love feels like. The Fantasy section would be hidden behind a doorway of beads you have to part to see fully. Perhaps the best part would be the Children’s section. It would have a loft where you could enter by climbing up Jack’s beanstalk and sit in the outstretched hand of The BFG. If heights weren’t your thing, children and adults alike could sit in the car from The Phantom Toll Booth while they lost themselves in the lands of fiction. Or maybe the children’s section could only be entered through a doorway painted like Narnia’s wardrobe. There would be book suggestions by staff and regular customers tucked into the shelves. I’d support local and self-published authors.

There would have to be coffee. Books + coffee = happiness. The café would only offer value-added products, like Fair Trade, Organic coffees and some baked goods in partnership with local bakeries, or an item of the month baked by me. It would be zero-waste with homey mugs to drink out of. The names of the drinks and the food would be book-themed, like the "Richard Parker" would be the Orange Chocolate Mocha . Plenty of tables and couches for working or reading or daydreaming.

Live music is a must. And sometimes an Open Mic in conjunction with a local non-profit like Solano Writer’s Society.

Practically speaking, the hours would need to reflect the hours people frequent, but I also want it to be open for the reader who stayed up all night finishing the book and needs to deconstruct what she’s feeling with another reader, or needs the sequel right now. I would want it to be an option for people who feel like going out but not to a bar or a club or some other socially-taxing event. I want the space to feel cozy and safe and peaceful and like home.

What's your daydream and how can we make that happen?

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