It’s Sunday and I’m at Panera Breads in Westbrook Maine. Near the Kohls. I am usually at Panera on Sunday, even if it’s only for a couple of hours, ever since Edmund and I participated in the National Novel Writing Month in November of 2005. In the spring of 2006, I started taking college classes, so it made sense to keep going to Panera on Sunday – just to keep up with my homework. Fortunately, my writer friends still kept coming, so I’d usually have company.
I love Panera.
Panera is a great place to hang out for many reasons. I am an extrovert, this means I like being around people, even if I don’t want to talk to anyone. At Panera I can hang out all day, with free refills of coffee and/or soda, and be private in public. Sometimes it helps me to have company while I’m working on a project. And it’s nice to not have to cook – the food is pretty good, and somewhat healthy. There is free Wi-Fi, that way I can use the interwebs while I work (especially if I am working on a project for work, or research for school). The staff is nice, and for years I’ve budgeted some of my hard-earned dollars just to hang out at Panera.
There is something to be said about having writing buddies, Teresa, Liz, Kendra, Aynslie, & Ellie (among others) have been touchstones for me. It is partly due to their support I was buoyed through going this back to school process. And, once I’m totally done with school (finally), I hope to join their ranks next year as a NaNoWriMo participant again, if not I’ll remain a cheerleader for sure.