200 Words with Paul Dini #3 – Writing at Starbucks

February 28, 2008

Today I’m doing what many LA writers do, write at their local Starbucks.  I’m typing away and flashing a comradely smile to the fellow scribe at my left… who just scowled and pulled his screen in closer.  Well, same to you, Hemmingway.  I won’t steal your genius idea for, what does it say on your title page?  “My Mother, the Kraken.


  1. I’m glad to know I’m not tthe only person who goes to write in Starbucks! Granted, I’ve not been published. And my local Starbucks is not in such a glamourous city in sunny LA, but a a tiny branch in rainy British Leaminton Spa, but there is a little common ground… 😉

  2. I love writing and reading and editing at my local Starbucks. A huge plus is the fact that it’s located inside a Borders, which means no one minds if I read some magazines or browse some books for free. I feel the overpriced (though delicious) coffee justifies such freeloading. I love Starbucks. The only recurrent problem I find is people who bring their small children in and then ignore them. The pitter-patter of little feet, the primal screams of a child vying with a latte for his parent’s attention–these are not things I want to hear. I bring earplugs.

  3. "Old fashioned", man I haven’t heard about those since my grandmother died about 15 years ago.  She would always go to the cafe down the street to get her coffee, paper, and old fashioned. 

    I have never been in a Starbucks cause to me coffee tastes like drinking dirty water, but to each their own.  It amazes me how many people refer to Starbucks as their prime choice as a writing destination.  I can’t imagine it is an inspiring place to write.  Other than the coffee, what is the point?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to sit in a park, laundromat, or anywhere really?

    Mmmm, I gotta ge me an old fashioned now. 

  4. "My Mother, the Kranken"


    Sounds like a bad sitcom waiting to happen. 

  5. Sounds like me when I try to get any writing done in a coffee shop–that was awesome.

  6. I drink my Coffee black with a bit of Splenda and Cinnamon. 😉

  7. The Starbucks near my house is about ten feet wide and twenty feet deep.  If you include the counterspace and the area for the workers, you’re looking about about maybe 5 square feet of space for people.  Still, they’ve managed to fit tables in their, and I’ll be damned if there aren’t people reading and writing at these tables as customers walk over them to get to the counter.  I’ve even seen people sit on the floor, their laptop resting on their knees as they do their thing with mocha in hand.  It’s kind of sad, but in a funny kind of way.

    Personally, I visit Starbucks very rarely as I’m not a big coffee drinker.  I tend to find that loads of caffeine does more to distract me rather than focus me.  But I do enjoy the occasional (and seasonal) Peppermint Mocha.  Oh, and old fashioned donuts are so boss.

  8. That sounds so like me when I’m at Starbucks. It takes me at least 15 minutes to get in the "zone" and actually start something. 

    Unfortunately I don’t have a Starbucks just around the corner. It’s always a half hour ride with the subway to get there. That’s the only thing that hinders me to be there all the time. Oh, and the prices…

  9. I hate Starbucks – I just want a cup of coffee-flavored coffee that I don’t need to know Italian or French or whatever to order. If you want to throw something else in there like caramel, whipped cream or anti-freeze, don’t go passing it off as a ‘coffee’ drink. And who the hell pays more than like $2 for a coffee? I can go to my local Royal Farms, put in as much cream, sweetener, sugar, honey, whatever, into it, get like a tankard’s worth of it, and get it for a buck and four bits. And guess what? It’s pretty gosh darn tasty. You don’t have to put up with pretentious a-holes (present company excluded) who are trusting someone else to get what they want exactly right. God forbid the college freshmen behind the counter, busting his butt to earn enough to maybe go to a frat kegger on Friday night, puts just a little too much chocolate into your mocha locha chino machino.

  10. Nothing quite like a maple nut scone.  Yummm!

  11. I don’t drink coffie and i don’t write but Mr. Dini your article was great none the less. You never let down sir. Brovo Brovo

  12. …and that’s how Paul Dini manages to get so much done in a day. 😉

  13. Paul, since I am employed by the good old starbux, I will try to aid you on your quest through our coffee and confections.
    The Doughnuts are better than Krispy Kremes. The lemon cherry coffee cake, not so good, I would go with the cinnamon swirl coffee cake instead. And we still sell the peppermint mochas. It is just a normal mocha with peppermint syrup added to it. And also the maple scone is the most fattening thing we sell. Out of everything. It tastes great but I thought I should give you the heads up.

  14. Better than Krispy Kreme!? Heresy.

  15. Writing at Starbucks sounds like fun right now.

  16. Green Tea Lattes look like sewage, but they’re very tasty.

  17. Great article, 200 words is a nice cap.

  18. @thewordisdrawn I love their doughnuts. Cherry Lemon Coffee Cake? Sawdust and Cough Syrup. 

    I’m a sucker for their breakfast sandwiches, cupcakes and their other food stuff. I never order coffee unless if the frappacino’s count. 

    Love the article.

  19. Great article. The one drink that I miss from Starbucks that they never brought back on the menu is the Sweet Spice Latte from November of 2006. I was hoping they’d bring it back before the Christmas season last year, but alas, they didn’t answer my prayers…

  20. Hilarious!  🙂