Coffee Confessions: Choosing to Express Like Espresso -A Guest Post by Author Caroline George

Writers tend to be different. Maybe our abnormality is accredited to the excessive amounts of time we spend with our own thoughts. Maybe we see and understand more than non-writers. Maybe our creativity has fried our brains.

I was and am different.

As a determined, overly imaginative teenager, I decided to spend my seventeenth birthday with my mom at Counter Culture Coffee in Atlanta, Georgia. There were two things I wanted for my birthday—a handmade vintage sundress and barista lessons. If the requests don’t convey my weirdness, let me preface by saying I had already published two books and launched my author career by the time I first used a tamp and steam wand. Different described every aspect of my life.

The first thing I learned about working an espresso machine:

Coffee is an art form.

Baristas at Counter Culture are required to complete various courses and training before receiving certification. These classes teach basic espresso machine usage, the chemistry of milk, and much more. All of this information is needed when working in authentic coffeehouses.

How does coffee relate to creative writing?

Writing requires the same amount of knowledge, practice, and skill as pouring the perfect latte. Professional baristas must be so familiar with the coffee-making process, they know when milk reaches the desired temperature, when the espresso is pulled to its prime consistency. Professional writers must also be so well-versed with their craft, they’re able to develop plots and characters with ease, build concise and effective sentences.

I tasted my first espresso shot at barista training—I was required to take multiple shots of espresso pulled at different draw times. My body was buzzed on caffeine as I made lattes, attempted a tulip and art design with steamed milk. The drinks were proof—I was not knowledgeable, practiced, nor skilled.

There are three writing tips I learned from Counter Culture classes.

Knowledge: Acquiring know-how takes effort.

Writing is a constant education, same as working as a barista. To be successful as a writer and author, one must do research, learn about the publishing industry and current market.

Practice: Knowledge is useless without implementation.

Like knowing how to pull an espresso doesn’t mean a barista can work an espresso machine, someone who knows how to write isn’t always a good writer. Once knowledge is gained, it needs to be applied and practiced.

Skill: Time determines talent.

Although some people are gifted with natural writing ability, the best writers gain their skills from utilization and diligence.

We have to make lattes with disfigured latte art before we can pour intricate floral designs. We have to be willing to write not-so-great stories before we can build masterpieces.

I left Counter Culture over-caffeinated, covered in grinds, and more appreciative of baristas. The experience was so inspiring, I made my main character in The Vestige (coming June 30 from Evernight Teen Publishing) a barista—shameless self-plug.

Overall, as writers, we need to express like espresso.

We need to be knowledgeable, practiced, and skilled.

 

About Caroline:

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Caroline George, author of THE PRIME WAY TRILOGY and THE VESTIGE, resides in Nashville where she spends the majority of her time in hipster coffeehouses, sipping lavender mochas and undertaking over-the-top projects. She is a two-time Georgia Author of the Year nominee, speaker, blogger and writer for teen magazine PURSUE. Caroline studies publishing and public relations at Belmont University and works as a publicist for local artists.

Instagram @authorcarolinegeorge

Facebook/AuthorCarolineGeorge

Twitter @CarolineGeorge_

Website: authorcarolinegeorge.com

 

About The Vestige:

Choose to see the unseen . . .

Julie Stryker has spent her life in the scenic streets of Charleston, South Carolina, bicycling to the local college, working at a coffeehouse, watching her family fall apart and back together. She has plans, dreams—all of which seem out of reach. Then she meets a handsome stranger at work, and she believes her life is on the brink of a much needed change. But after a tragic accident, Julie is whisked away from the only home she’s ever known and confronted with a life-altering secret: The end of the world has already occurred and a portion of humankind has been kept oblivious.

Tossed into a hidden world of deception, Julie must confront the truth within herself and reveal the government’s layers before the end of the world becomes a permanent reality.

1st Layer: What you can see.

2nd Layer: What you know is real.

3rd Layer: What you can neither see nor know is real.

Please Help Improve Literature Approved!

A new year means new beginnings for many, many people, so I would love to extend that onto Literature Approved by asking you, faithful readers, to take a few minutes of your time to answer the following polls. They are simple, multiple choice questions that I’ve made to help Literature Approved continue to be the site that you come to for reviews! I’m sure that you’re all very busy so I understand if you can’t answer all of them and I appreciate, in advance, each and every answer you may provide!

Thank you so much for your contributions to bettering this site!

The House on the Corner by Michael Rains

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

For a long time, Chester, we… that is, Auntie and I and William, and a whole lot of people, we only sort of felt something might be happening around us, something we weren’t really sure what it was…

When Chester visits his Uncle William’s stuffy house, he’s only trying to avoid cleaning the hall bathroom. But a single clue written on a gum wrapper may send them all on a frantic journey, across many cities and through places unknown to society, and into a strange war that no one really understands.

Review:

Honestly, I have no idea how to describe this novella, nor do I know which genre to put it in, nor even which audience it was written for. The writing seems to point to a child audience and yet the story is entirely too complex for children to comprehend, in fact, I couldn’t even follow it.

It moves along at much too fast a pace; in the ebook I received, I noticed many many grammatical errors as well as misspellings. And, I really don’t understand how this could have been published by a decently large, and well esteemed publisher.

I’ve never been this negative, nor have I ever been this speechless, in one of my reviews before, but I’m afraid that I have nothing else to say about The House on the Corner. I give it 1 out of 5 stars.

Add to Goodreads shelf

Rated:

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Fans of Goodreads and Instagram!

I have a bookish app recommendation for those of you who love Goodreads and Instagram! This app is called “Litsy” and I’ve only had it for a day and already I love it! It’s set up a lot like Instagram yet it has many of the same features as Goodreads does (shelves, opportunities to post quotes, reviews, and blurbs, all with some cool pictures of your favorite photogenic books). It is for a mobile device (you can’t access your account from a laptop) and is now available for both Apple Appstore as well as Google Play.

I made myself an account and a lot of the publishers that I review for are joining it so I imagine that it will get decently big very quickly and may become a lead competitor for Goodreads (which I still use) after some more updates. It’s super fun and effective so I wanted to pass the word on to you who love books as both something new for you and a different way to follow my reviews. You can find me by searching my username which is “rayleigh_LitAp”.

Heres a link to give you more info about the app! 

Thanks for reading and hope some of you will benefit from this:)

-Rayleigh

Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

A featured School Classic review.

The Synopsis:

Little Women is the heartwarming story of the March family that has thrilled generations of readers. It is the story of four sisters–Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth– and of the courage, humor and ingenuity they display to survive poverty and the absence of their father during the Civil War.

Review:

Little Women is a captivating story that illustrates the power and strength within a family, even when poverty strikes.

There is joyous laughter, overwhelming heartache, tears, and encouragement that will follow the reader long after they finish the book. The characters are charming each in their own way and the readers (mainly female) will be able to relate to at least one of the girls (Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy) and sometimes even all of them at once.

Its a clean read, void of sexual scenes and cussing, and the only thing that could disturb the reader is the intensity of heartache in the midst of the trauma the March family must endure. There are lots of moral lessons that the readers can take away and its a very touching book to readers of all ages.

So, Little Women is an excellent title to read and I give it a full 5 out of 5 stars. Recommending it to readers, mainly girls but guys can certainly still enjoy it, of about 13+.

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Rated: * * * * *

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