Check out the article that I wrote for Matador Notebook on the 10 best cafes in L.A. for writers and look through a few more informative articles with hip travel tips!
~FOLLOW ME ON~
My not-so-baby sister will be graduating from high school in two months! Time really flies. I remember when she was born (she was premature) and was half the size of a coffee table leg (I was 10 and very curious so I checked).
I promised to buy her a car, but that was when I was working a corporate job and had an actual salary. So homegirl is going to have to settle for a good book. Well a collection of great books!
Writer’s Retreat City Guides to the best cafes for writers, bloggers & students. This way no matter where she goes to school or travels she’ll be able to find a great place to sit and hit the books. A total of five cities, New York, LA, San Francisco, Seattle & Chicago.
Luckily Hollywood isn’t letting the teens have all the fun. Snow White and the Huntsmen has Charlize Theron playing one bad ass mutha and Once Upon a Time’s Lana Parrilla gives the same role magical layers.
But what about us readers? Aren’t there any witchy wonders on bookshelves that we can tap into?
Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery Witches quenched my thirst for sorcery for a bit, but what will I do until the next installment?
The Witch’s Daughter & Daughters of the Witching Hill
Offer historical and romantic twists to the usually Salem Witch trial story.
For a more modern tale check out Under Witch Moon: Moon Shadow Series
The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls From Jersey is equal parts humor and fantasy.
And you can always check my little ol’ book about a witch. Rise of the Wadjet Witch the 1st book in the Written in the Sky trilogy.
Read, Write, Create.
My book Written in the Sky* Rise of the Wadjet Witch will be free on Amazon from May 11th to May12th. Download a copy to read on your Memorial Day weekend road trip, flight, train ride, horse buggy ride (if you’re Amish, but then if you’re Amish you are probably not online right now and you probably don’t own a Kindle so don’t worry about it unless you’re currently taking part in rumspringa and need a good book to read while you’re on recess in the Devil’s playground).
For the rest of you, head over to Amazon (dot) com and get a copy. Did I mention that it’ll be free? It’s Friday,books on me!
For more updates follow @bookaboutawitch on Twitter.
Read, Write, Create.
I’ve been traveling a great deal for the past two years and heavily in the past six months. I’ve been able to take away a few golden nuggets from all of my experiences.
1. Boys Are Much Cuter With Accents
That dress makes you look fat is less offensive when you soften the “t”.
2. Home Is Where The Wi-Fi Is.
I nearly went mad while I was in my dad’s village in Nigeria and didn’t have cellular service.
3. I moved out of my parents house for a reason.
Family vacations are a strong reminder.
4. I am American.
I didn’t realize how much so until I was deprived of cheeseburgers and over priced lattes.
5.People are inherently good.
With all the travel horror stories/scams out there. I would be surprised but reminded of this fact whenever I would get into trouble and a stranger would lend a helping hand.
Carrying (not stealing) my luggage, an impromptu tour or free dessert as a thank you for visiting.
~FOLLOW ME ON~
Just received the beautiful drawings for the cover of Writer’s Retreat New York City- A Travel Guide for Writers, Bloggers & Students from Ms. Jonique Williams! She’s working on the ones for Los Angeles & Chicago this week. You can pre-order the guides here.
Oh and we’re also holding a drawing for Writer’s Retreat New York City Edition- The Best Cafes for Writers, Bloggers & Students.
The winner will receive the new iPad filled with the entire collection of Writer’s Retreat Travel Guides to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans,New York, Portland, San Francisco & Seattle.
AND… a $1,000 to book their very own Writer’s Retreat on Airbnb anywhere in the world!
Congratulations to the winners of the Writer’s Retreat New York City Edition Giveaway on Goodreads.
Dear Juliet C Obodo,
Unfortunately, your project, City Guides to the Best Cafes to Write, Blog & Study, was not successfully funded. Because funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing, all pledges have been automatically canceled.
We understand the hard work that goes into running a project, and we hope it helped to build connections with your community.
Bad news-my first Kickstarter project wasn’t a success. Good news-I know why.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want it to succeed, I just didn’t help it out much. I sent out a few tweets, posted it on Facebook and even had a link to my campaign on my column, Reader’s Retreat, for IndieReader.com. But I wasn’t proactive about marketing it. I think it may have had something to do with my pride & the fact that Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.
I didn’t want to be a virtual panhandler and it would have crushed me if we were $3 short of our goal and didn’t get the funds.
But after talking with my team, we’re giving it another shot. This time with IndieGoGo, “A Collaborative Way to Fund Ideas.”
This project is important and has to succeed because not only is it useful (hello the best cafes to write, blog or study), but it’s also charitable. We’re giving free press to independent and small business owners.
How many times have you discovered a gem of a place only to find its doors shuttered after only a few months. Not because it was a terrible eatery, but because not enough people knew about it.
Our guides will also feature inspirational itineraries with local landmarks. <—-Great idea huh?
Why go with IndieGoGo instead of creating a new Kickstarter project?
1. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you keep all of the money raised minus a IndieGoGo fee.
2. They’re international. (If you want to sell travel guides you’re going to need tourists)
Caveat: Backers may be concerned that if we don’t hit our goal they won’t get their perks.
Not a problem. The project will move on even if we collect $1 so there is no problem and no risk for any of the supporters.
This is happening, it may take longer without all of your support but it’s happening!
Click the link below and help get us there!
According to Wikipedia, Crowd funding (alternately crowdfunding, crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd sourced capital or street performer protocol) describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.
While creating my IndieGoGo campaign for guides to the Best Cafes for Writers,Bloggers & Students. A banner appeared at the top of the site congratulating me; The JOBS Act passed. This opens up a new source of funding for small companies and startups. Much of the attention so far has been on this component of the bill because it would allow financing via crowdfunding. Participants can raise as much as $1 million a year without having to do a public offering — a step requiring state-by-state registrations that can cost thousands of dollars.
This type of funding will open up more opportunities for capital to flow into startups. New companies means new jobs.
Investor protection may be a cause for concern, but if you’re investor you really should take extra precaution. That’s the case with everything. I can’t walk down the street without someone asking me or offering to separate me from my funds.
So Buyer Beware!
Oh and did I mention I created an IndieGoGo campaign? Sponsoring us will help shine a light on local businesses.
Yay! Written in the Sky* Rise of the Wadjet Witch is currently #3 on Amazon Hot New Releases. Right behind James Patterson. Hopefully not for long!
I’m a columnist!
I started writing a column on IndieReader.com this month. It’s called Reader’s Retreat, a literary spin-off of my Writer’s Retreat travel guides to the best cafes for writers, bloggers & students around the world.
I was offered the position after a press release for my Kickstarter campaign was submitted.
Note To Writers: Press releases are a great investment. I use Writer Tank for mine.
Here is the intro to my column from IndieReader.com
If there’s one thing both readers and writers have in common, it’s the appreciation for a quiet spot with comfortable seating and a kick-ass cup of coffee.
We’re not talking chain stores here. While we’d be the first to agree that the ubiquitous outposts of Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks do have some virtues, we have a hunch that the main reason people frequent them—to quote George Mallory of Mount Everest—is “because they’re there”.
IndieReader, the essential guide to self-pubbed books, is a resource for people who prefer reading material that is special and unique. We have a hunch that you might prefer your cafes the same way.
Every week I will post a new location. I’ve traveling for awhile now so there will be a few international faves. Be sure to check in every Friday on IndieReader.com.
I recently posted J.K. Rowling’s astrological chart on my Tumblr My Flights of Fantasy, where I dedicate my sci-fi and fantasy posts. To celebrate the release of my first urban fantasy novel, I’ll be writing a few posts on astrology and mythology this week.
I had to do a great deal of research on natal charts for my book Written in the Sky- Rise of the Wadjet Witch.
The main character unlocks her destiny once she discovers her chart. I was reading this one particular natal chart description and I thought to myself… “this sounds a little like me. Well A LOT like me. I bet this person’s a LEO.” Not only was this individual a LEO, but it’s J.K. Rowling. Now I just wish we had the same bank acct balance. Check out the description below.
It is also difficult for her to receive warmth, affection or appreciation, for she often feels that she does not really deserve it or that “they do not really mean it”. Rowling may therefore come across as rather cool and aloof – much more so than she feels.
A deeply ingrained critical attitude often makes Joanne difficult to live with. J. K. Rowling needs to learn to be gentler and less of a perfectionist with others and with herself.
Rowling gets a lot of emotional fulfillment through her involvement in groups, clubs, organizations, community activities, or a network of close friends who support and care for her. J. K. Rowling makes friends her family, and she feels a close kinship with people who share some ideals or beliefs that she holds dear. J. K. Rowling needs close relationships with people outside of her physical family.
J. K. Rowling has a buoyant, cheerful disposition and she reaches out to others in a warm, open and friendly way. Her emotional generosity and lack of pettiness is well known among her circle of friends, and people often seek Joanne out for help, sympathy or advice. J. K. Rowling is always willing to overlook others’ faults, and she sometimes overdoes her charitableness.
There is another side to J. K. Rowling as well, a rather introverted, self-contained, even pessimistic side which tempers her good cheer and generosity, as discussed below.
Some rather acute fears of being excluded, rejected, left out in the cold or separated from loved ones can make J. K. Rowling either extremely cautious about getting close to people or clingy toward whoever gives her any warmth or security. J. K. Rowling tends to withhold and clamp down on many of her feelings and craves nurturing and security, perhaps feeling that they are unacceptable or will never be satisfied. Learning to be open and trust others to nurture her is important to her. Her earliest years, especially Rowling’s relationships with her mother, will determine whether J. K. Rowling will overcome her fears or retreat behind a mask of self-sufficiency and indifference.
In addition to Joanne’s rather introverted, serious or self-contained side, she has a wild streak and urge for emotional freedom that breaks through erratically. J. K. Rowling craves both stability and excitement, and the conflict between these two impulses can make Rowling rather tense and irritable. However, they can also balance each other out. Her freer and unpredictable side will now be described.
Joanne has an unusual sense of humor and enjoys acting a little bit crazy or outlandish sometimes. Rowling craves excitement and emotional freedom and she likes to break the rules and take risks. Anything new or untried appeals to Rowling and she has little patience for restrictive customs. J. K. Rowling is attracted to unusual, creative, or offbeat people and nontraditional lifestyles and relationships.
J. K. Rowling tends to surround herself with people who are gentle, sensitive, peace-loving, and artistically or spiritually inclined, and there is a strong element of mutual compassion and sympathy in her personal relationships. It is easy for Joanne to tune in psychically to other people’s feelings and emotional worlds. J. K. Rowling may share this type of telepathic link with her mother, sisters, or female friends in particular.
Her emotions are very intense, but often hidden. Like a volcano, one minute J. K. Rowling seems quite peaceful and the next, she is exploding with great force and unexpected fury. The intensity of her reactions often surprises even her. Joanne has tremendous zeal and tends to be an emotional fanatic about things she cares about. Her feelings and desires can be so compelling that she does things against her better judgment and reason. Rowling can also be very manipulative, in a subtle way. Her personal relationships are deeply emotional, passionate and often stormy and painful as well.
J. K. Rowling seems to float above reality and has a very intense imagination. Joanne likes to daydream and is apt to have many wishes and illusions that rarely have a chance to materialize. She is guided by her feelings and seems to live in a world of her own.
She is quietly devoted and faithful to her loved ones and often becomes subservient to her love partner. J. K. Rowling is more comfortable showing her love by doing or making something for her loved one, or simply being there for her, rather than by making any romantic, soul-stirring declarations. She is timid about expressing too much sentiment or emotion. J. K. Rowling also underestimates her attractiveness and lovability and doubts her own worthiness of love and appreciation.
Rowling is a very sociable, congenial person and she wilts very quickly without relationships with good friends and people to share good times with. J. K. Rowling thoroughly enjoys working with others on group projects or community activities. She is quite happy when she is a part of a club, support group, or team of some sort.
She is excitable, spontaneous, and easily aroused emotionally and sexually. J. K. Rowling falls in love very quickly and has little self-restraint or concern for propriety when her feelings have been stirred. However, it may be difficult for Joanne to sustain relationships after the first rush of excitement wanes, especially if Rowling’s partner is basically a conservative person who does not like to change or experiment. Nontraditional relationships appeal to J. K. Rowling, and personal freedom is or paramount importance to her.
Her artistic feeling or perception gives J. K. Rowling a strong creative potential. Joanne has the ability to think in forms or shapes and also to tune into rhythms such as dancing, gymnastics and song. Her physical coordination could be excellent as well.
Her interests may lead J. K. Rowling to unusual or specialized artistic fields and she has the ability to successfully advertise or promote her projects. Joanne could do well in journalism and in writing sexual literature. This astrological configuration also is associated with a marriage swindler!
Reading is from topsynergy.com
Writer’s Retreat Greece
Welcome to the Writer’s Retreat Greece mini-guide! This will give you an easy to read and organized listing of the best places to write, blog or study. If you’re taking this trip for inspiration or for a bit of quiet time I suggest that you go to Greece during their slow seasons, which are from January to May and November to December. The popular touristy neighborhoods like Syntagma and Plaka actually seem spacious and slow paced; like a European Atlanta, Georgia or because the sea of acid washed jeans, somewhere in the Mid-West. No offense! Acid wash works for some people. My hips are way too narrow.
The islands are colder, but still just as lovely and even more welcoming. They’re happy to see tourists. My friends and I were constantly served complimentary desserts, alcohol and frappes. Several gentleman offered me their last cigarettes and I eventually learned the meaning behind giving someone your last cigarette. Awkward.
I have another Writer’s Retreat guide out for New York City, where I have a section titled Café Etiquette. This was to make sure that I didn’t have an angry mob of business owners showing up at my door or rather commenting on my blog. For this mini-guide it won’t be necessary, especially if you go to Greece during the months that I suggested. The Greek have a “Café Culture” they won’t bat an eyelash if you camp out for a few hours or even if you decide to move into their café; just as long as you pay rent. It’s all about the Euros baby.
No, but really it’s a very relaxed culture. It’s as if there are dopamine particles in the air that enter your system through your skin and you suddenly become extremely content and can sleep a full eight hours. That was the effect my stay had on me; it may also have been all the Souvlaki and Raki that I consumed. But really my writing was prolific while I was there and I can’t wait to return. I will try to curb my envy that you’re heading over there now and will help you out with a list of great places, on the mainland and the islands, which are conducive to your creative and studious mind. They all have comfortable seating, outlets, great food and I will indicate which ones have Wi-Fi. I’ve also included an Inspirational Itineraries section for Athens.
Read, Write and Create.
The Frappe is such a huge part of Greece’s café culture that I had to dedicate a section to it. The Greek version of this frothy beverage is so different from the American version. You can order it bitter, sweet, very sweet or diabetic coma sweet. When the drink is two-thirds gone, you can just add water and the party never stops. This how one can spend hours in a café; if there is table service the servers usually drop off the check with your order and you are left alone to work or stalk your ex on Facebook.
Greece is located in Southern-Eastern Europe, in the Balkans peninsula. Greece has more than 2,000 Greek islands but only 168 are inhabited. The country is surrounded by two big seas, the Aegean and the Ionian seas, which include other smaller seas.
The mainland is divided into:
- Central Greece- Sterea
- East Central -Peloponnese, Thessaly
- North West- Epirus
- North- Macedonia
- North west -Thrace
Athens is the capital of Greece and is located in Prefecture of Attica, the center of the Greek territory.
- Acropolis- a lovely and quiet neighborhood
- Gazi- the new hipster neighborhood with a great nightlife
- Kolonaki- Shopping mecca
- Koukaki/ Makrigianni
- Monastiraki- the famous flea market , souvenir and antique shops
- Piraeus-fun bars by the water
- Psirri- The SoHo of Athens
- Syntagma- The center of everything
- Exarcheia-most interesting neighborhood
- Ambelokipi- hand with the locals and really experience Athens
The Greek Islands:
There are more than 2,000 islands scattered both in the Aegean and the Ionian Seas. The majority is located in the Aegean between the mainland and Turkey. They are Crete, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Sporades, Saronic and Eastern Aegean islands. The largest Greek island is Crete and the second largest is Evia.
The cafes will be listed by area to make it easier for you to reference while you’re on the go or print out before your trip.
The best cafes for writers, bloggers & students.
- Balux House- A large café with a swimming pool and a great staff.
- Pure Bliss – A two level café with a lovely selection of work from local artists.
- Filion Café- Great selection of pastries
- Café Boheme- Easier to grab a seat during the day
- Jima’s Ginger-also a music venue
- Flower Café
- Mylos Café
Crete– Is the largest Greek island and is south of the Aegean Sea. It’s divided into four areas: Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno. Here are a few places in Chania and Heraklion.
- Kathodon- A well-equipped internet café with good connection.
- Metropolitan-Has three levels! You could seriously hideout here for an entire afternoon. And evening stay for live music and great food.
- Synagogi-This is an outdoor café. It great for a warmer fall afternoon.
- Fabrica-Right on the seaside in Koutouloufari with breathtaking views.
The Cyclades islands are the most popular and usually heavily populated with tourists. But in the off season you will make you feel like Gilligan. The Cyclades are composed of Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Folegandros, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Syros and Tinos.
Here is a list of lovely places in Santorini and Paros. I will have more for you later this year when I return to Greece.
- Classico Café- a nice and relaxed atmosphere
- Aegle- Yummy waffles
- Athiri- Has the cheeriest chef on the island
- Ithaki Barbeque Café- The top level offer an interesting street view
- Pezoula Tis Lichoudias-With beautiful mountain views and amazing homemade pastries you’ll never want to leave.
- Cyber Cookies-A cute and cozy internet café.
Inspirational Itinerary- Athens
Greece is so beautiful and filled with such history that a simple walk down the street is inspiring. Here you really could wing just wing it without any assistance from me. But I guess if you don’t want to rely on a regular guide book here are a few spots that you should check out while in Athens.
- Dexipos Art Gallery- Has the most eye- catching pieces
- Greek Children’s Museum
- Aeridhes- This tower, like many landmarks in Greece has so much history and just as many uses. It’s been utilized as a clock, sun dial and compass.
- Herakleidon Experience in Visual Art- has a cute little café and gift shop. Visit their website for events during your stay.
- Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum- Stuff dreams are made of.
- Dionysos Zonar’s Café- amazing view of the Parthenon
- Benaki Museum- Has this amazing children’s toy exhibit and a collection of beautiful textiles.
- War Museum
- Byzantine Museum- This actually used to be someone’s home
- National Library of Greece- Duh
- Galaxy Bar- Ernest Hemingway’s former haunt
- Café Ianos- a bookstore and café- Love this place!
- Amorgos- original pieces of Greek folk art, jewelry and furniture
Vorres Museum- outside of the city in Peania. An archeological collection, antique furniture and beautiful gardens. This is definitely a hidden gem.
Well that’s it for Writer’s Retreat Greece. Don’t look at me like that. I told you this was a mini-guide. But not to worry an actual book will be available by the end of this year so keep in touch. Oh and for more pics check out my Facebook albums.
Next up: Writer’s Retreat Bilbao, Spain.
The idea for Writer’s Retreat New York City came to me while traveling in Europe. I spent a lot of time drinking in cafes and walking around taking in the sights of which ever city I was parked in at the time.
Were you to hand me a pen and paper and request that I list what I accomplished during those weeks abroad you would receive a sheet of paper folded into an amateur origami bird with hearts and stars scribbled on it.
Yup I accomplished nothing, but never in my life have I done so much or been so inspired. I returned to New York with a purpose —to have the same experience in my back yard, or in my case, tiny balcony.
I’m a Type A gal surrounded by Type A friends with a former Type A cat that now lives with my Type C neighbor. But that’s another story.
My point is that while in New York I usually make lists of things to do, then I make a list of friends to tell about the list of things I did at a list of places that we listed to go to.
So when I returned I err made a list. Okay so this doesn’t sound like much progress, but it was a different type of list. A FUN list, of places that reminded me of my time in Europe and that brought on the same feeling of purpose, of inspiration. That list continued to grow, I not only added cafes, but coffee shops and cute little restaurants and interesting neighborhood landmarks; soon it became Writer’s Retreat New York City.
Now that the book is available and I’ve returned to New York from yet another trip. I’m looking through my travel journals and I’m finding that I’ve compiled lists of inspirational places on all my trips. They’re not as extensive as Writer’s Retreat New York City, but they are just as inspiring (and they’re free).
The first up is Writer’s Retreat Greece. I had such a great time in Greece, we went in November during the off season and received extra attention because the country wasn’t mobbed by summer tourists. I posted a short list of my favorite places last month, but I wanted to expand on that so check out Writer’s Retreat Greece- mini guide and photo album!
Writer’s Retreat: New York -The Best Cafes,Restaurants, & Coffee Shops for Writers,Bloggers & Students is now available in the iBookstore for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch! Here is the direct link —>Writer’s Retreat NYC
It will also be available for Kindle, Nook & other devices December 28th! A great NYC e-guide for less than the cost of an espresso…