Weekend Writing Warriors: Anti-Cupids (By Coffee Alone*)

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I thought it was time to move on from the cake tasting, as there are no more convenient eight-sentence chunks in the rest of that chapter, and my constant craving for mocha cake was becoming a hindrance to my lifestyle.

But none of us can be more grateful about this than Viv, who left The Elegant Crumb several paragraphs after her victory over the relentless romanticism of Bibi the Wedding Cake Consultant, desperate for caffeine and perhaps a little sanity.

Good luck, kiddo.

Coffee and Sunshine

Viv dragged herself into the coffee shop she’d passed by on her four-block sprint to The Elegant Crumb.  The rich scent of roasted beans gave her enough of a boost to reach the counter and she ordered the largest to-go cup the barista could find, grabbed a handful of sugar packets and a wooden stirrer, before collapsing at a table near the front window.

Her name was called, and she managed to get her cup back to her seat without incident, unlidded it, sipped, grimaced, doctored it, and dove in.  When she came up for air, she had company.

Tall, broad-shouldered company, wearing a brown sports coat.

“Hi,” he said, in a familiar voice. 

“Hi?” she asked, then relaxed as her brain defogged and recognition dawned. “Oh.  Hi.”


If you’ve been following along at all, you’ve already met our mystery man of the broad shoulders, though as the last couple of Sundays have been from his POV, this is the first time those shoulders—which are really quite exceptional, as this is my story, and it’s possible I have a thing about those things—have been noted on page.

I originally wrote the bakery scene from Viv’s POV, and if I’d kept it that way, they would have been noted, because Viv might be severely caffeine-deprived, but she’s not blind.

Ignoring genre, what do your characters notice first about each other?


* “It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of the Coffea that thoughts acquire speed, the nerves acquire vibrations, vibrations become a warning. It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion.” —Dune, Frank Herbert Me, every single, flippin’ morning.


The “Coffee and Sunshine” image is by the brilliant Frank Gruber.


41 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Anti-Cupids (By Coffee Alone*)

  1. Broad shoulders are a personal weakness of mine, lol. My characters notice sincere smiles and the ability of someone looking them in the eyes.
    This piece is definitely intriguing, want to know more – and want to get a cup of coffee.

    • l love the coffee obsessed Viv and from your description, l can taste and smell the coffee. And the handsome stranger,,,omg!
      ln Mr. Short, Dark … & Funny, my heroine first notices my hero’s voice [smooth, sexy] because they talk on the phone before they actually meet. l have to admit that the first thing Jay notices is how cute Reese is, but he finds out fast that she’s not just another pretty face. And he has to keep reminding himself that he’s decided to be a lifelong bachelor thanks to a rash of bad dates he’s had lately. Poor Jay…

      • Thanks, Nancy! He’s only temporarily a stranger—the caffeine will kick in between this bit and next week’s. 😉

        I think voices are a big attraction (or not) for me, too . . . Your premise sounds like fun!

  2. Enjoyed the excerpt very much, could really relate to how she’s feeling, thanks to your great description. Hope the caffeine jolt helps her with my Broad Shoulders. Excellent excerpt!

  3. As I sip my own coffee, Peet’s Holiday Blend this morning, I could completely appreciate her diving in to her cup : ) My magical characters notice the colors of other’s aural threads : )

    • Ooo! Peet’s! We don’t have them around here. But we do have Highlander Grogg in the stores, now. Yum!

      I like aura stories—there’s a lot of emotional fun to be had with them. 🙂

  4. Love how it takes her a sec to focus–even on Mr. Broad Shoulders. She really *did* need that caffeine! Nice one, Sarah! 🙂

    My characters notice different things first, based on how I throw them together–but mostly my guys notice confidence. They’re attracted to someone who’s comfortable in their own skin, maybe because most of my protags aren’t cozy in their own.

    • Thanks, Charley! Caffeine headaches are The Worst all right.

      I like men who like confident, comfortable partners—and I love it when insecure MCs find their own confidence with those partners. Must be why I like your characters so much. 🙂

  5. Personally, I can’t stand coffee. It’s so bitter! But having seen plenty of people with a caffeine addiction (never, ever give up caffeine for Lent, if you value your friend and family), this scene made me laugh. Now her brain can begin to work!

    • I’m a confirmed diet Pepsi addict, myself, but I do have coffee (sometimes a LOT of coffee) in the morning, except when I have tea. It all depends on how badly my brain needs a jump start.

      I gave up caffeine for seven years, for the kids. Never. Again.

  6. She is soooo not a morning person! LOL

    As for what my characters notice first about someone, it probably depends on the character… For instance, the warriors in the Academy of the Accord series are going to first anything that marks someone as a potential threat to their wizards, whereas Taliya, the main character in Onyx Sun, first notices someone’s (emotional) attitude toward her and then eyes.

  7. She is, as long as that morning begins with coffee! 😀

    It makes sense that different types of characters notice different things first. I like that, Paula! 🙂

  8. I’ve only had coffee five times in my life, twice by accident. Tea is my hot beverage of choice, which I choose to attribute to my small amount of British blood.

    I’m also curious to get reintroduced to the broad-shouldered stranger.

    • I love tea, Carrie-Anne—I just found these DYI-tea bags that I can fill with my favorite loose stuff without worrying about the tea-ball mess—but that’s when I want something soothing. Coffee is for jolting me awake, regardless of my personal wishes. 😀

      It’s not really a mystery, just another switch of POVs. 🙂

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