Most weekends, we go out for breakfast, usually on Saturday, and usually we end up at this place, even though we walk past at least half a dozen other places that would sell us coffee and a sweet roll in order to get to this one. We also walk up a fairly challenging hill and down the other side.
We ask ourselves why. For one thing, there is a commanding view of S. F. Bay from the top of that hill. For another, most of the places we walk by are crowded and noisy.
But this place has charms all its own. They serve your latte in those big, heavy, ceramic cups. The staff is cheerful toward customers and each other; I wonder if they own the place. And the clientele are neighborly in a low-key sort of way. They speak when spoken to, which means usually you can concentrate on reading the Chronicle.
Such is the art of breakfast.
When you spend your evenings acting in plays and singing in cafes, you have to do something during the day. Over the past 2.5 years, I have written a suspense novel entitled Krieger's Rescue and taken it through 3 drafts. A dozen friends have read the drafts and given me their reactions and suggestions (what generous people!). The latest of these is Madeleine Butler. I met her last June while acting in Sheherezade; she is one of the eight playwrights who contributed a ten-minute play to that project. I recently learned she has an active interest in writing crime fiction and offered to trade favors. Madeleine went first, and last weekend we met to talk about my manuscript. She gave me a close reading of plot ("Why would he do that when he could more easily do this?") so that I can plug any holes, and she exercised her considerable skills as a line editor, correcting my many lapses in style. I look forward to paying her back as best I can. I was very glad to hear that she thinks it is worth showing to an agent now. I intend to do just that at the San Francisco Writer's Conference in February.