At the coffee shop this morning, my friend Eve, a barista there, noticed the crickets at the front of the shop near the door were making a terrible racket. She was right; the loudest insect was only a few feet from my corner table, in fact. But I hadn't heard it, somehow, until she pointed it out. Now the thing sounded as if it had found a megaphone.
While Eve lunged for the crickets between potted plants on the windowsill, I thought about how ambient noise in a place like that is often exactly what I need to concentrate. Maybe that portion of the 'chattering mind' that otherwise distracts me during a writing session finds itself distracted by the sounds and sights of a public cafe.
I don't worry so much about teasing out how or why certain locations promote productive writing sessions. I just go where the momentum is and move when it leaves. I don't ask questions. This morning I settled into a groove after two hours' scratching around, and found the elusive entrance to the scene I was writing about the same time as Eve trapped the last of her cricket tormentors in a paper cup and set it loose on Hickory Street.