Yesterday I woke up thinking about a story idea. It was unlike anything I've written before, and it was so exciting and different
, it grabbed me by the throat. While I showered and got dressed, The Big Idea teased me with movie-like snippets of scene and character and dialogue. Everything was right there
--so real and vivid, I could practically touch it. If you're a writer, you've no doubt had these flashes of inspiration as well. You know what I'm talking about. The details come at you fast and furious, and if you don't jot them down immediately, they are liable to float away on the ether of your subconscious.
I grabbed a scratchpad and scribbled hasty notes. I really wanted to sit down and knock out a quick synopsis, or maybe sketch out the scenes that were coming at me rapid-fire. But I had been promising the hub (and the cats) that I would not let them starve a day longer than I already had. Grocery shopping, a duty I loathe almost as much as swabbing bathrooms, awaited. So, I dragged myself out of my office and headed out to Shaw's.
While I shopped, The Big Idea stayed with me. I put my mind on auto-pilot and loaded up with necessary supplies. Too many carbs and sugar, but who had time to look at labels? I headed for the checkout lanes, and, seeing the mile-long lines at the human cashiers, I opted for the nearly empty do-it-yourself scanners. Nobody ever uses them. Me, I prefer them. It's like the choice between sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway, or taking a side road to avoid the tangles. I'd rather be moving, even if I have to do so at a slower pace. So I begin scanning my cart full of groceries, still mentally working on TBI.
A small line begins to form behind me. One of my produce items confuses the scanner and I need store assistance. It only takes a second to clear it, yet I am beginning to sense some agitation behind me--animosity, even. Whatever
, I think, and forge on, wondering if my agent will think I'm crazy to want to write this other book that I'm not even sure fits a specific genre.
Finally, as I'm nearing the bottom of the cart, a man comes up beside me with his small bag of self-scanned groceries. He doesn't look friendly. "You do realize you're in the express lane, don't you?" he snarls at me. I feel my face flame as I look up and see the 15 Items or Less
sign taped above the scanner. Mortified, I murmur apologies and wonder aloud if the store has recently converted the scanners to express lanes. He doesn't care; he's already storming off with his beer and chips. I finished scanning my $130 worth of groceries and wheel out of the store feeling like an utter idiot. At least the hub and kitties were happy to see me. :-/