One-Stop Shopping For Character Ideas; or A Visit To The Big Blue Store

(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 2)

I know what I’m going to do the next time I have a free day — or even just several hours — to spend on brainstorming for writing.

I’m going to Ikea.

Colorado just got an Ikea this past summer, and for a lot of us, it’s still new and novel.  Beloved Husband and I were there today, and I discovered that it’s a great place to go shopping…for character ideas.  And stories.  And scenes.  And dialogue.

We discovered this when we sat down to test drive a couple of ottomans in the sofa section, and inertia set in for ten minutes or so.  It was fascinating to sit and watch people to go by.

One thing I noticed was that there were a higher-than-average proportion of obviously pregnant women shopping there.  It must be a great place to be if you’re in nesting mode!

So after that, I got to thinking that the next time I have a “use-it-or-lose-it” PTO day from work, I should take my netbook and just go sit at Ikea for a while.  It’d be a great place to spend the day — free parking, places to sit, and if I get hungry, I only need to scrape together three bucks and change to get a plate of meatballs and mashed potatoes.

I think my favorite place to hang out was at the exit of the showroom floor, right at the entrance to the warehouse section.  You could tell who had been in before and who hadn’t.  I heard more than one “Holy sh*t!” as people who thought they were near the end of the very very long path through the store suddenly discovered that there was still a lot of walking left to do.  (The good news is that there are cinnamon rolls and frozen yogurt cones at the end of the trail!)

But also, there at what is essentially the exit to the store, you get to see what people came out with (besides furniture).  You see single men sheepishly slinking out with a vase or a packet of dish towels under their arms.  You see people who really should have gotten a cart struggling along under the weight of their big yellow bag.  You see teenagers doing their best to look bored, but sometimes failing.  You see hipsters with artwork and older couples with lamps and young couples with cartons of wine glasses and henpecked husbands wishing they were home watching The Game.

There have to be a bazillion stories there.  One day, I’m going to go back and find some of them and jot them down.


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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