If We Were Having Coffee #3



If we were having coffee, I would offer you a Kona blend in a confident manner that might suggest I actually know what a Kona blend even is.  I could offer you a Breakfast Blend just to get rid of it. I inadvertently missed the green “decaf” marker on the side of the box and not surprisingly, the box has lasted almost two weeks although I have been having a late night decaf coffee now and then.  OK, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t sneak you the decaf.  That would just be selfish and cruel. Actually, I’m a bit wired after having two cups. I’ll take the decaf.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last four weeks have been a bit of a downer for me. I had a death in the family and for some self-torturous reason; I have subjected myself to news overload.  I continually bounced around stations absorbing enough news that should have made me an expert on current events but all it did was confuse the hell out of me and make me wonder if I was living in two different countries or there was some parallel universe where these events might be legitimately interpreted differently. Regardless, they are just different degrees of negative interpretation.  Enough of that.

Life’s balance. I’ve also been reading a number of blogs that have compassion based themes reminding me of why there is hope. There are kind, unselfish people out there and that is uplifting. I don’t see much of that though on sensationalized news stories.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve been writing seriously now for almost a year. I had a short story published and shared it with my aunt and with my uncle who just passed away. They both enjoyed it and encouraged me to keep writing.  Prior to his passing, my uncle even commented to my mother that he enjoyed it. My mother didn’t even know I was writing. She is a writer, an English major, and has had numerous papers and poems published.  My uncle’s passing reminded me how quickly someone can be taken from us so for her birthday a week and a half ago, I sent her a print copy of the collection of short stories I was published in. I autographed it, thanking her for making me read as a child. She read it, sent me an email telling me how proud she was, encouraged me to continue writing, and more importantly, told me it made her cry.  Approval.  She also took on an editing job last week for a sci-fi novel. Her first since she retired years ago.

If we were having coffee, I would suggest that all the events of the last four weeks are having an effect on a short story I am writing. Writing triggers. It’s somewhat of a dark story about a man who has made a decision to kill someone. I had the story completely outlined and short of giving you a synopsis (which I am lousy at) I can feel weeks of grief, music, negativity overload, compassion, and family love taking my story in a different direction.  Maybe.  Another thousand words will tell.  Maybe I will have my mom edit it.

Would you like another cup of coffee? I need one, decaf just doesn’t cut it.

Back to writing…

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”  – Robert Frost


  1. Regina Martins

    How special if your Mom did edit your story. My Mom also edits and encourages me to write. I am not as far as you as I have one or two unfinished pieces of work. I never seem to get back to them and I must ask myself Why. Either sub-consciously I know they are bad, or it’s triggering me at a level I don’t yet understand. Time will tell.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks Regina. I have two unfinished pieces of work myself. One I am running with, and the other I have changed some things up (namely the main character) and am running with that as well. The beauty of it being your work is you can do whatever you want with it. Keep writing.

  2. JDN

    You have such a way with words, my friend. I enjoy reading about your family, your life, your highs and your lows. Life in each of us, can be a parallel to even those who have been out of touch and live thousand of miles away. Thank you for often bringing a tear to my eye, letting me know my heart has not hardened through all the storms that we seem to constantly be battling. Thank you for reminding me there is always hope. j

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks Julie. We have a lot of hope. It’s how we were raised in that little mountain town we both call home. The parallelism does not surprise me at all.

  3. Shareen Mansfield


    • W.C. Cunningham


  4. Shareen Mansfield

    With you. My morning consisted of memories of a cloudy day , like this one. Wishing I had simply shown up. If I could have shared a cup, I’d say, please keep talking. I need to memorize your voice, your face, your spirit, compassion and strength.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      And that… warms my soul as much as the coffee. Thank you Shareen 😉

  5. fillyourownglass

    I’m happy to hear about you sharing your writing with your mom- a touching story that made me smile. The news and social media have been a huge downer for me for the past several months. As a police officer’s wife I know that I should not subject myself to the comments sections, but at times I get sucked in. I lose faith in humanity. Then I read some of my favorite fellow bloggers,, and it is restored.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thank you Karen. It’s very easy to get sucked in at times. I prefer to educate myself to separate sensationalism from systemic issues. Thanks for reading!

  6. philosophoenix

    I always enjoy these entries. Again, my heart goes out to you and yours for your recent loss. Perhaps knowing how much he enjoyed your writing will be yet another encouragement to explore those other directions–even those characters who decide to take a life are complex,with histories of love, grief, and goodness all too often left as subtext.

    If we had coffee together, I wouldn’t be able to stop the twinkle if feel after knowing that your mother was an accomplished scholar. “She did good–as in she added to the sum total of the light in the world–raising you in a welter of words and offering you the gift of appreciating them.

    If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that blending Kona–a delicate bean with a bouquet of subtle flavors that speaks largely of its teroire–is kind of like using a Monet for a doormat. And now you know. 😉

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I knew I could count on you to enlighten me about Kona beans! As for Monet, wouldn’t a Monet doormat make a hell of an impression? 🙂

      I think my mom has a twinkle herself. I’m glad I shared it with her.

  7. christina

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your Uncle, it is clear he was very important in your life.
    It was nice that he commented to your Mother on your writing, and what a lovely birthday gift you gave her!
    I enjoyed coffee with you, see you next week 🙂

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks Christina! See you next week 🙂

  8. Diana

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and the difficulty that you’ve had the past couple of weeks. I wish you comfort and happy memories.

    And I’m sure your mom is really happy to have such a gift, especially if she didn’t know you were writing. There’s something really special about seeing what those close to us create.

    • W.C. Cunningham

      Thanks Diana. I was surprised at how happy it did make my mother.

  9. Anjali

    What an honest and heartfelt post Bill. Your mother must be very proud of you Bill and so happy to receive your gift. I can tell it will be one of her most precious possessions. The passing of a loved one is one of the hardest things in life – but also a reminder – of the the ephemeral nature of all things in the universe. And so all the more reason to hold on to the good and let go of the bad. Enjoy your coffee and I shall share my chai (Indian tea)! :)) Best wishes. Anjali

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I love chai! Thanks Anjali.

  10. Robin

    I’m sorry about the death in your family, and that the past four weeks have not been good ones. I clicked the Like button because I do like how you channel that into your writing. That’s much better than news overload. (I did that when my mother died. I thought it was a strange thing to do. Maybe I just needed to wallow in bad news??) I’ll take the decaf, thanks, since I had to give up the good stuff. 🙂

    • W.C. Cunningham

      I’m glad to see I’m not alone on the news thing. I think it is important to be aware of current events but an overload of negative events is not healthy and I can see that now. Great fodder for writing though! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

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