Monday, September 21, 2009

Please Take a Number

The other day at the deli, I elbowed my way in and knew to take a number.

Such is not always the case, especially if the place is new to me.

I step inside, look around, try to figure out what's what, where things are, where I need to be. I'm the one with the WTF? look on her face.

And as I'm looking around, I miss obvious things, like the number machine. So much so that my live-in handyman often says, "And you write mysteries?"

But I pick up on so much more. Like at the deli.

The woman shuffling her feet. The young mother cooing to her baby. The guy hiking up his jeans.

The way items are stacked on the shelves. Displayed in the cases. The combination of items people order. The way their eyes shine thinking about the taste. I smiled at the woman who licked her lips when she ordered one-third pound of sopressata.

So I become so engrossed in these little things - especially at new places - that someone usually taps my shoulder and says, "You gotta take a number."

But I'm trying to improve.

A vibrant manuscript includes all sorts of detail, large and small.

Next time I go to the deli, or into the garage, or wherever, I'm checking out the big-ticket items first.

It's time I look to see if a wall is missing or something major instead of what color the print is on the side of the paint can in the corner.

10 comments:

Angela said...

Great how many details you see!
But do you really have to get a number in a deli, like in an official building?!! Is it usually so crowded? Or what is this number business? I`m sure I`d bewilderded in any American shop these days! What is a sapri...(forgot the word)?
I`d like to send you a parcel with chocolate, but not if it is still hot! How hot is it? Max said he was so happy about his texas cards!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm glad Max liked his cards!

Lots of small shops have those little number machines on the counter. Keeps us customers happy knowing how long we have to wait. At the deli, they were working on 115 and I was 120 and there were two people behind the counter.

Sopressata is an Italian salami.

It's 2 p.m. here as I type this, and our temperature is 93F. Not as hot as July, but still a little warm for shipping chocolate. Give it another month or two and our weather will be lovely.

Angela said...

Thank you for your answers, Carol! I had not heard of these numbers in shops before! Learning something new every day! I asked Max if he had known about the Texas Longhorns before and he said, he looked Texas and especially San Antonio up on the internet after he got your cards, and NOW he knows all about them. I must ask him if he has a photo of himself, or maybe I can take one. Thanks again, Carol!

Carol Kilgore said...

You're most welcome. Max sounds like a great person.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I try to write the big picture first, then fill in the details. It's easy to lose the forest when you're concentrating on the trees! Not to mention the leaves..and was that a squirrel?

I certainly understand your dilemma. And thanks for becoming a follower of my blog! Greatly appreciated!

Elspeth

Carol Kilgore said...

Love your blog, Elspeth. Thanks for stopping by.

BTW, I saw that squirrel, too!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Personally, I think you're noticing all the right things! To me it's the small details that bring a story to life and therefore, they're more important than the obvious.

Carol Kilgore said...

I need to keep a better balance and perspective, I think, Jane. Not ignore the small things, but squeeze in some of the larger ones, too, and make them all work together. Thanks for commenting.

Jack W. Regan said...

Great details. Sometimes I have to force myself to slow down and notice those type of things.

Carol Kilgore said...

Maybe I need to speed up, Jack, to get the big picture.