My critique partner (and friend) Pamela Hammonds got me thinking about gifts. With the holidays prancing toward me, my online research has taken the form of shopping on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Bordersstores.com. I love gift giving, so it’s no sacrifice, but it does cut down on the writing time.
I struggle with picking the perfect gift because, for me, it’s always a book or a movie. Nothing makes me happier than unwrapping a familiar shape and discovering either a novel on my to-read list, another book on my craft, or a chick-flick DVD.
I was always convinced that shopping online was a quicker, more streamlined way to make holiday purchases. But after two hours online with only two items in my shopping bag, I questioned my logic. Maybe a quick trip to B&N, Kohl’s, Costco, Macy’s or Nordstrom Rack would land me a real-life cart full of gifts, and a checked off Christmas (Chanukah) list.
But how will I advance my story if I’m gallivanting across Plano? Well, I do keep a small notebook in my purse, so when a brilliant idea whispers in my ear, I can write it down. It happened yesterday at Whole Foods, while I was purchasing my family some good health. I had bagged and dropped fresh produce in my cart, including gorgeous purple cabbage and garnet yams, that one or both of my guys would refuse to eat, and maneuvered through the cheese section, plucking Kalamatas from the olive bar, that both of my guys would refuse to eat and would prompt my husband to say, “Are you sure they won’t be better off in the garage?”
As I sealed the container of olives, I heard humming, along the lines of an Italian chef serenading lovers in one of my chick-flick movies. The cheese steward (I’m sure they have a real title, but I don’t know it) was busy chopping blocks of Parmesian-Regianno and wrapping them in cellophane as if he were swaddling an infant. I jotted down his mannerisms, the timbre of his hum and the aged grin on his face. A warm rush spread through my chest and I smiled.
So I lied, it’s not always a book or a movie. Some gifts you just can’t purchase.