San Francisco is break-your-heart gorgeous today, and I’m not talking just about
the 75-degree November weather, or the feather clouds dusting the blue sky, or the
sailboats flirting with the Bay Bridge.
I’m talking about the Farmer’s Market barker shouting, “Dark chocolate and
almonds! Don’t worry, you can eat it with false teeth! I take my false teeth out to
I’m talking about Bucket Man banging on every manner of pot and pan, his beats
letting up out of Justin Herman Plaza like a flock of iridescent pigeons.
I’m talking about the Caffé Trieste barista telling a customer, “You were a pain in
my a** the other night,” and the regulars nodding their heads like back-up
singers: “Yeah, you called him a douchebag.” “Yeah, you did.”
I’m talking about the barefooted jazz guitarist busking on Grant Street and the
octogenarian selling watercolors on a shady landing of the Filbert Street steps,
three bucks each. I pressed a five-dollar bill in his hand because “these are too
beautiful for three.”
Today North Beach smells like patchouli incense, damp gutters, cigarette smoke,
the trays of focaccia delivered to the Caffé, just in time for me to order a slice.
Today my favorite table is open—the one next to the defunct wood stove and the
FireBall jukebox filled with arias, jazz standards, and—if it’s still in there—
Today I am thinking of all the other days I’ve sat at this table—to pen a love
letter, to journal my way through a break-up, to celebrate a pregnancy, to map the
grief of miscarriage, to read a student’s stunning essay, to edit a poetry
manuscript, to write a book proposal (then another, and another), to copyedit an
anthology, to mastermind the next big step in my next grand plan.
I don’t live in San Francisco anymore, but on the (rare, since I became a parent)
occasion that I lace up my Chuck Taylors, sling my messenger bag over my shoulder,
and head into The City alone, I feel like I’m coming home, returning to the
epicenter of my creativity.
Today, I’m here to write the “About Page” for my website. But instead, I am thinking
What’s YOUR next big step in YOUR next grand plan?
Where are the epicenters of YOUR creativity? The places that break you open
and show you what’s inside? How often do you go there?
What are YOU writing at your café table, or kitchen table, or break room table,
or bus stop bench?
What are YOU envisioning for your business venture or non-profit or career?
What promises have YOU made to your creative self? Are you keeping them?
What do YOU most want to create? A memoir? A chapbook? A blog? A website? An
artist’s statement? An essay? A business plan? A manifesto declaring your wildest
My name is Cheryl Dumesnil. I help people—writers, poets, bloggers,
entrepreneurs, non-profits, healers, artists, businesses—put the right words
in the right order. I help people turn their dreams into actions and their
visions into realities.
But enough about me. How can I help you? Click here to start a conversation.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Cheryl Dumesnil's books include two collection of poems, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes and In Praise of Falling (winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and the Golden Crown Literary Society Prize for Poetry); a memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood; and the anthology Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, co-edited with Kim Addonizio. For more about her literary pursuits, click here.
A regular contributor to Huffington Post and ESME.com, for over twenty years Cheryl has taught writers of all ages, at universities (grad and undergrad), creative writing festivals, blogging conferences, community centers, high schools, and elementary schools. For more about her workshops and coaching services, click here.
Cheryl ghost writes and edits blog posts, articles, op ed pieces, books, and more for businesses leaders, artists, designers, healers, and anyone else who needs help launching their words into the world. For more about her writing and editing services, click here.