The most wonderful part of living near a city as large and eclectic as Charlotte has to be the strange little places it contains. There’s a French coffee house here named Amelie’s, and I would go so far as to consider it a hidden gem of the city. The walls are stripy and the furniture is mismatched. The coffee is very French (meaning strong and bitter), but the Chai is out of this world and the pastry cases are absolutely to die for.
Me, I’m partial to the salted caramel brownies.
Because this place is over an hour away from home, it’s rare that I get to come up here. When I do, it is almost exclusively on Saturdays when my husband has made plans with his best friend to go and do boy-things. (Get your mind out of the gutter! I don’t mean actually doing “boy” things… I mean going out hiking or on day-trips in the car… stuff like that.)
And when I do come up here, it’s always with one of my best friends in the world, Lexxx Christian. Her husband is my husband’s cohort, so when they disappear, we get to play with each other. (Out of the gutter… yes, you. You know who you are.) Amelie’s has sort of become our weekend writing haven. It was introduced to us by the fantastic Dahlia Rose, and we sort of ran with it. We even have a tendency to drag others along with us. When others are around, we get very little done for the eating and the chatter, but just the ability to sit with friends and be silly is worth the drive.
The music in Amelie’s is a little eclectic (read: SCARY AS HELL), and fits well when writing murderers, so I suggest taking headphones and another source of music if you don’t like French Cabaret and Michael Buble. I also suggest getting there early, because while there are lots of tables, they fill up quick…especially when you need to be near a power outlet.
The atmosphere in this place is wonderful, though, despite the musical stylings (they’re playing BB King right now, and it’s so wonderful to hear something NORMAL for a change), and they’re open twenty-four hours. Large portions of my stories have been written in this building, drinking this chai, sitting next to Lexxx, and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In fact, I feel very blessed to have such a good friend alongside me in the chaos that is an author’s world. She understands the insanity in my head. She doesn’t look at me funny when I talk about all of the people screaming in my brain at one time. And she gets it when I get impatient waiting on cover art or want to complain about a set of edits that made me mad. There are a lot of people that don’t have that sort of companionship, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know what I’d do without her.
I just wish our friend, Amy, lived closer so we could hijack her on Saturday mornings and bring her with us. I don’t think we’ve managed to get her up here yet, and I know she would love it.
As much as I love this place, I do have one complaint. There’s a lamp hanging next to me that’s made from driftwood and chicken-wire. It has this little crystal finials hanging from the bottom, and they’re all unevenly spaced. And Lexxx won’t let me fix it. She keeps telling me it’s part of the artistic style of the piece… but it’s bugging my poor, little OCD brain to no end.
Needless to say, productivity is out the window. I’ve written a grand total of 450 words on the current WIP, but I have scheduled posts for both upcoming dates (Six Sentence Sunday and Tuesday Tales), so that’s good, I guess. I’ve also waited in line for ridiculous amounts of time for the restroom (this being pregnant thing means having to pee constantly, and that’s no fun).
It’s 3:30 now, so that means I should probably stop babbling into the internets and get back to work.
In closing: If you live in the Charlotte area, come to Amelie’s. If you’re here on a Saturday, there’s a good chance you’ll find Lexxx and me and our computers… and a whole pile of cups and dishes.