Inspiration in the grocery aisle

Today I took a cartload of groceries through the self check-out aisle at Cub Foods. I had a coupon for most every item. Now, I’ve used this lane before, but only for small purchases. If you have a cartload of groceries like I did, do not use the self check-out lane. It will be the longest, most-grueling experience you’ll ever put yourself through. The system is counter-intuitive to the mass purchase. I’m faster than the machine, so I was constantly waiting for the “blipper” to ring up items. Coupons wouldn’t work. Items couldn’t be taken off the bagging area and put in the cart until they “weighed in,” or something. I stepped into the aisle to save time. I added at least ten minutes for my trouble.

What does this have to do with a blog on writing and creativity? Halfway through scanning the items that added up to the longest receipt I’ve ever had, I had to chuckle to myself. I couldn’t wait for this moment, and the emotion behind it, to find its way into a story. The idea of someone going through the painstaking process of ringing up their own groceries and the ridiculous process which ensues is interesting, but the emotion that goes with it inspires me even more. To feel such frustration, to feel all eyes on me as people wait behind me in line. That emotion is what drove the moment, and that’s the important thing to capture in a story. I wonder what would happen if I let more stories lead with emotion than plot.

Inspiration will find you, if you let it.

-nm

[tags]grocery store, self check-out, writing and creativity, finding inspiration, inspiration finding you[/tags]

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