The Checkout Line
This is the twenty-fourth installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
Because express lanes limit purchases to 10 items, usually the people standing in them have a specific purpose to which they will soon tend to, and might even be in a hurry. They are not out for their normal once-a-week grocery shopping. This is a context ripe for creative exploration!
- The next time you go shopping this week, linger by the cash register line. This works best in a supermarket, drugstore, or hardware store.
- Observe and jot down the bizarre and unusual combinations people purchase.
- At home, choose the most interesting combination. Brainstorm what that person’s life is like from the items s/he placed on the checkout belt. Where is s/he going next? What is s/he going to do with those items?
- Draft a piece –poem, story, or essay - in which you incorporate your findings and imaginings.
How did you do? Did it feel playful, like solving a puzzle? Were you able to make some creative inferences about the combination of objects you observed?
To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment boxes below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing!
Inspired by: Smith, Michael C. and Suzanne Greenberg. “Checking Out the Checkout Line.” Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, 2nd ed. NCT Publishing Group, 2000, p. 112-113.