Can I Write with a Double Double?

I like writing in cafes.  My criteria for a good writing cafe are:

  1. people are nice
  2. the music melts into the background
  3. the coffee and tea are drinkable
  4. I write well there

Once I find a place I like, I  gravitate back. I’m that kind of person, which makes me boring. I don’t want to be boring, so I’ve decided to rattle my own cage, and challenge myself to write where I’ve never written before: a Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop.

Why have I never attempted to write in a Timmy’s before? It’s not that I’m a coffee snob. It’s that it’s:

  1.  noisy
  2. dirty
  3. hectic
  4. hey, it is noisy (think: screaming children mixed with lost seniors, drunk street people and middle classers, like me, counting the change in their pockets)

On the other hand, it’s an interesting place from a writer’s perspective, because it presents a slice of ordinary Canadian life. In fact Tim Horton’s and its famous “timbit” have become  symbols for Canada as well known as the beaver, the moose and the Mountie. How’s that for an image.

Did you know, we  opened a Timmy’s  for the armed forces in Afghanistan to make our soldiers feel less homesick? Doughnuts in the dessert. Sounds odd to me, but it was a great success. This is a picture of Prime Minister Stephen Harper drinking coffee with the troops in Kandahar.Prime Minister with the troops at Timmy's

Terms like, “double double” have meaning in our culture, along with looney and tooney.  Words have power, heh.

…and Tim Horton’s is named after a hockey player. Can’t get more Canadian that that. The fact that Mr. Horton died and his family lost the business before it became a  success doesn’t bother the average coffee drinker. They toast to his part in, “The good old hockey game….” How quintessentially Canadian is that, heh.

So can I do it? This Saturday, when I usually head out to my favorite cafe, can I get myself to write in a Timmy’s instead? And…more importantly (if that’s a word) will it inspire my writing?

hmmmm… Maybe, if I promise myself a box of chocolate timbits.

I’ll keep you posted. Maybe, I’ll win a “roll up the rim,” heh.

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

12 thoughts on “Can I Write with a Double Double?”

  1. I like the idea of writing in a cafe but I’m not sure if I’d get too distracted. I need different environments for my different moods. Sometimes I work well in quiet, other times the nothingness kills me. Cafes are interesting places. 🙂


    1. Rebecca
      I can really relate to your comment, “I need different environments for my different moods.” So true. Sometimes, I like being outside, and other days I want to hide indoors and have no external stimuli. The process of writing fascinates me and I love hearing how it evolves for other people. Thanks for sharing.


  2. I haven’t heard of this coffee shop before, but I live in New Zealand. I like to write in cafes too. I’m usually very productive and can write through anything. I have favorites in different parts of the city. I call them my coffice (coffee plus office)


    1. Hi Shelley
      I love your term, “coffice”. It fits. You know, my new grandchild is half “kiwi”. The pictures of your country dazzle my imagination. It’s so beautiful. It’s definitely on my list of places to visit, and I’ll be sure to check out the coffices.


  3. I don’t know if I could write in a Tim’s. They are noisy. Although, I have written in a Williams Fresh Cafe. The coffee isn’t nearly as good though. I love my medium Double Double.


    1. Cindy
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m not sure I can write in a Timmy’s, but I’m going to go and soak in the culture for a bit and see what happens. My fav is a medium, double cream. Where is the Williams Fresh Cafe and what do you like about it?


  4. I don’t think I could write there. There’s pretty much zero that I like about Tim Horton’s. I’m very un-Canadian in that aspect, I know. Hard, cold buns, coffee drinks made from concentrates and tasting like chemicals (I hear their regular coffee is ok but I don’t drink hot coffee), soup made from mixes, no fountain drinks, and doughnuts made Fresh All Day my (you know what) – they’re made at 3am and refrigerated all day. That place would never survive in the South. In fairness, I did have a decent BLT there once, but I knew by then to steer clear of the buns and stick to toast. The only time I go to TH is when it’s the only place open and my Cdn friends insist – then I usually have to deal with other people’s messes somehow – like talking down a suicidal person – seriously – I’m not joking. No, I would never get any writing done there. A friend of ours spends every Monday in TH sketching, but that’s an entirely different creative outlet – he doesn’t have to stick to a story line and I have no doubt TH offers a wide variety of subjects for the artist! Good luck, Jo-Ann.


    1. Kemala
      I love your story. Suicide! Really! Only in a Timmy’s.
      I think Timmy’s has a place in the inspiration category [g] of my life. Sadly, I have to agree with your food comments. (You’re such a good cook (southern with a food blog!), it must hurt to go there.)
      Was your artist friend the one who published a book of his sketches from Timmy’s? What a great idea. You really see everyone there.
      I’m guessing I’ll last twenty minutes:)
      Happy Writing


  5. Hi Jo-Ann

    I’ve written in a TIm’s before and liked it. My son used to have a math tutor with an office in the same area.It was also close to Uvic so there were tons of students “studying” and socializing. Usually I could write for half an hour to an hour without interruption. Sometimes it was more fun just to sit and listen.

    It was teenage and young adult life, unfiltered. Boys,girls and everything in between, jocks and nerds, exams, professors, jobs and coming up with the rent money.

    I don’t think you’ll get anywhere close to the true experience in one outing and truthfully if there’d been a Serious coffee nearby I wouldn’t have either and it would’ve been my loss.



    1. Hi Pat
      I love the sound of your Timmy’s near UVic. I love the vibe of being around young people excited about learning and living.
      I went this morning to the one near me, and have lots of notes for a post which I’ll put up on Monday. I had great fun.
      …but I’m writing this for the Serious down the street.
      I’m going to take your advice of going more than once. Heh, it is fun.
      Thanks for stopping by.


  6. Was babysitting grands, so I’m late to this subject, Jo-Ann. I’m so not going to someplace to write. The distractions would drive me nuts. Not to mention I prefer my big screen monitor and keyboard. Lap Top is just for trips. Down here in the states we have something called Panera Bread. There I might be able to write. Soft music and very nice environment, but basically, I’m a homebody for writing. I’m curious to see how you do, Jo-Ann.


    1. Marsha
      Great to hear from you. The next time I cross the border I’ll have to stop in a “Panera Bread”. You make it sound comfy. I wonder if they have any in Annaheim.
      I love my big screen at home too. It makes putting things together so much faster, and it’s easy on the eyes.
      Happy writing


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