Why coffee builds character

I am not a coffee drinker.

Yes, I’m aware it’s practically sacrilege to say so in a culture that prides itself on having a $20-a-day Starbucks habit. I never acquired the taste for it.

But the smell of it can hurtle me through time and space faster than the Doctor’s Tardis, dropping me into a seat at Grandma’s kitchen table. I picture the way she folded her paper towel — what served as a plate at breakfast, when she liked to have a little toasted sandwich to dunk in her coffee. I see her hands, knuckles swollen with arthritis, wrapped around the mug. My feet dangle and swing, when I don’t tuck them up on the chair braces, because in Grandma’s kitchen I’m forever ten years old, and I never did have that growth spurt.

And when I think about writing, I think about coffee — because coffee builds character. All of my characters have coffee moments stirring their memories and emotions. Their moments aren’t coffee in Grandma’s kitchen, of course, but it’s when they share them with me that I know I’m in the right place. The right space. The writing space.