Write Anywhere #47

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Write Anywhere is a weekly challenge to writers and other creatives to make time to get away from your daily routine and stir up your creativity. Since I am a writer, the thing I make time for is writing-related. If you are an artist, musician, photographer, crafter, or any other creative, make a date with what’s related to your passion in a new, unusual or different place. Increased creativity is the goal.

Notice I said what’s related. If you’re a writer, maybe you won’t write every time. If you’re an artist, maybe looking at paintings of other artists will trigger a new artistic path for you. This week I did something writing-related, didn’t write a lick, and still got inspired.

Write Anywhere #47: Independent Bookstores

Buy Local!

Local bookstores are still alive, in spite of doomsayers predictions otherwise. It’s not easy for indie bookstores, but they still do what they always do, sell books. I went on an indie bookstore tour for the day.

First stop, Steve’s Sundry, which is an institution in the Tulsa area. Steve’s has been in business for 65 years, specializes in local authors and hosts approximately 100 book signings a year, and has an extensive selection of magazines.

Steve’s Sundry, Tulsa OK

What’s really cool about Steve’s is their soda fountain, which dates back to at least 1947, when Steve’s owner bought it from Quaker Drugs. The black formica counter and red swivel stools were trimmed in nostalgic aluminum that I am just barely old enough to remember from places like Woolworth’s and Ben Franklin’s Five and Dime.

go back in time

I sat at the fountain counter and had myself a tuna melt with sourdough bread and a chocolate malt. The counter person watched me closely and asked numerous times whether my order was good. I found out it was her first day on her own, after the prior longtime kitchen manager moved on to another kitchen. She didn’t have to worry. The secret to a perfect tuna melt had been passed down. I bought my usual armfuls of magazines that I use to find submission ideas and headed to my next stop.

Gardner’s is a used book store with 23,000 sq. feet, one of the largest in Oklahoma. It’s not your typical bookstore. Here’s what greets you at the door:

Greeting from a familiar green face

They have two restaurants: Faye’s Casual Corner and Senor Fajitas and books balanced precariously from floor to ceiling. If you like to hunt for book treasure, you’ll enjoy this place. It’s fun to roam the rows of books, winding further and further into the back of the store like a catacomb of words.

books, books, books

I found a fun book for writing research: ‘Webster’s Biographical Dictionary’.

It was late in the afternoon when I hit the my final stop in the local bookstore tour. McHuston’s Booksellers has recently gone through a relocation and it’s now a great place to take your time savoring a search for new, used and rare collectors’ editions.

The aisles are bright and modern, with lots of seating for chatty writers and readers to write, read and soon to enjoy Irish fare.

Peruse McHuston’s aisles for book treasures

I picked up two writing craft books and one just for inspiration. Local bookstores have different personalities, but all have shelves full of inspiration.

Love bookstores? Read this post from The Intern on the Secret Lives of Bookstore Clerks for some humorous inspiration.

Did you write somewhere this week? Tell us about it.

Question: Do you have a favorite indie bookstore in your area?

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3 thoughts on “Write Anywhere #47

  1. Full Circle Bookstore on Northwest Highway in Oklahoma City has a helpful staff and a coffee shop. Book clubs meet there regularly. Readings and signings are commonplace.


  2. I LOVE bookstores. Of these, McHuston’s is my favorite. And I’m thrilled he has moved to a bigger, brighter, and better location. If my hubby would let me, I’d turn our house into a giant bookstore/coffee shop/cat refuge. Hey wait…it almost already is. Heh. 🙂

    Great post as usual, Kristin. One of these days, I’d love to go with you on one of your excursions.


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