The Coffee Shop Chronicles

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Synopsis

A Word with You Press has assembled this selection of memoirs, essays, short stories and poems about coffee because we know that you can’t get enough of that magical, enlivening brew. You love to drink it, you love to think about drinking it, and you love to drink it while thinking about it. Sure, there are plenty of books dedicated to the beautiful, brown-black bean, but nothing like what you hold in your hands.

The authors featured herein submitted their work to A Word with You Press as entries in a singular writing contest:  stories about coffee, plain and simple. We chose the best one hundred stories to be published in this first volume. And although it was agonizing, we also selected one overall winner, “My Day Off,” by Juan Vandendorp.

Each carefully cultivated story represents not only a slow-roasted labor of love, but also a brief, compelling glimpse into the human spirit. These stories highlight coffee’s role, both subtle and pivotal, in defining moments of clarity, grief, passion, longing, regret, delight, renewal, understanding, and joy. You’ll certainly laugh, and you might also cry; either way, you’ll be moved by the beauty of the language, the wit, humor and sheer bravado of the characters you’ll meet.

So order up your copy of this magnificent brew, and let us fill your cup.

Press Release

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Table of Contents

The Rain Falls Here in Ireland by Jamie Gilliam . . . . . . . . . 1
Ode to Nescafe by Carrie Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Crock of Coffee by William Elder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Coffee Conspiracy by Jonathan Freedman . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Diner by Derek Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Haiku by Amy Glin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Expatriates by Ariadna Rico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Morning Joe by Robby Hoffman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
How to Spot a Tourist in a Cappuccino Bakery by James Weaver . . . . . . .. 13
Mermaid Café by Rachel Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Not That Kind of Girl by Manda Oliver . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Everything Is Spectacular by Kristy Webster . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Monday by Christine Elliott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
An Extra Shot by Mario Amaya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
To Beach the BluMaru by Drew Pearsal . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
The Refill Regular by Korrena Bailie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Nattier Than Thou by Suzanne Parrish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Grounded by George Verongos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Rico Suave and Pixie, $5 Friday at Katipo Café by Kyle McLean . . . .  . . . . . 29
Gotta Have My Coffee by Slim Symes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Fired by Kayla Roth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Glass by Zack Sherzad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
First Date Jitters by Otha Cole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
The Dog Watch: a Pantoum by Sean Labrador y Manzano . . . . . 38

Life Defined by Cups of Coffee by Kimberly Schaub . . . . . 40
A Mother’s Morning by Grace Griffith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Java by Chrissy Tustison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
An Imperfect Love by Danielle LeFevre . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Oh, You Magical Bean, You by Dawn Johnson . . . . . . . . . . 45
Priorities by Terri Neely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Coffee by S.C. Barrus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
The Alley Cat Café by Taiko Toma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
A Buzzed Biog by Russell Shor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Sacred Coffee Time by Monika Spykerman . . . . . . . . . . 52
My Friend, the Medicine Man by Terrie Leigh Relf . . . . . . 54
The Last Thing you will Remember Before a Hot Beverage Spills Against Your Stepmother’s Skin Causing Second Degree Burns and an Abrupt End to Your Father’s Retirement Party by Traci Foust . . . . . . . . . . 55
The First Hours of Rain by Dillon Mullenix . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Stand-up Guy by Cheryll Cochrane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
I Hate Coffee by Crystal Mahaffey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Leaves and Beans by Robyn Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Ode to My Morning Coffee by Antoinette Wayne . . . . . . . . 71
Coffee Sweetener by Jessica Midden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
That Perfect Blend by Suzanne Morse . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
My First Car by Barbara Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Coffee and Corsets by Joseph Trinh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Coffee in tha Mornin’ by Julie M. Dunaway . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Coffee Shop as Office by Andrea Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Coffee for All by Jack Horne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
The Perfect Order by Kelly Flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
My Day Off by Juan Vandendorp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

Golden Rays Brews by Lori Westfall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
My Egyptian Royal Beetle by Lennard Espiritu Santo . . . . . . 92
Eje Cafetero by Mason Schoen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Fatima by Anthony Bonds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Flavor of the Week by Avery Steele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
The Birthing by Stephen Roberts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Caffeine Buzz by Loicia Ware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101
Sunday Morning by Brenda Griffith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Purgatory by Hilary Abramson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Dad by Tom Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
Alien Café: Messed Mixages by Ed Coonce . . . . . . . . . .109
Coffee at Her Kitchen Table by Corlis Martin . . . . . . . . . 112
A Writer’s Strife by Ivan Guevara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
A Coffee Break by Brian Harrison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Doing That Thing I Do by Stefanie Allison . . . . . . . . . .118
Say Yes by Sophia True . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
For the Love of Java by Mia Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Escaping the World for the Moment by Diane Cresswell . . . . 122
Currently Accepting Applications by Adrienne Aiello . . . . .124
Quarter-Life Crisis by Danielle Radin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Wuss ‘n’ Boots on Coffee by Ruthie Joyce . . . . . . . . . . .127
The Black Coffee Wake-up Call by Clarissa McHale . . . . . . 128
Coffee at a Funeral by Stephen Keaton . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Sip, Swagger, Scent by Athena Garcia . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Scent of Friendship by Sonia B. SyGaco . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Hold the Sugar by Amy Glin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Coffee House, Mid-Morning, Tables Half Full by Steven Kakowski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136

In Absentia by Dustin Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
Echoes of Leaving by Nicholas Conley . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
While Moms Drink Coffee, Kids Learn to Fly by Ann Bancroft . . . . . .  . . . . 141
Night of the Fruit Flies by Judy Goldstein Botello, M.D . . . . 144
My Coffee—Brown with Foam by David Artavia . . . . . . .147
Unconditional Love and Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts by Jodie McDanal . . .  . . . . . . . 148
The Proposal by Georgia Hubley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Coffee Stains by Caitlin M. Foyt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
The Coffee Grinder by Peggy R. Dobbs . . . . . . . . . . . .160
Keeping a Secret by Jennifer Silva Redmond . . . . . . . . . . 161
Coffee by Rachel Lyn Jensen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Cubano Intro by James Wika . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166
At the Coffee Shop by Salvatore H. Folisi . . . . . . . . . . .167
Caffeine Coursing Through My Veins by Toianna Wika . . . . 168
There Can Be Only One by Christine Hoang . . . . . . . . .170
Over a Cup of Coffee: Coincidence or Meant to Be? by Betty Gelean . . . .. . . .171
Tap Root by J. Richard Jacobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
The Treasures by Marlayne Giron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
The Morning After by Katie Manning . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
The Awakening by Diana Diehl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
Neighborly Love by Miryam Howard-Meier . . . . . . . . . . 179
Meditating by Nicole Taylor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
You Are What You Drink by Don Maker . . . . . . . . . . .181
Café Zanzibar by F.J. Dagg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

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