Thursday, May 12, 2011

Murder in the aisles

I've been in Tesco's a lot lately. Not shopping. That's waaaaaay too boring.

No instead, I've given up a child for adoption, had a couple of affairs, abseiled down a mountain, murdered a woman on a cruise ship, talked a man out of killing himself, joined a mother and toddler group and made a scarecrow.

Okay, not literally. I've been hunched over my netbook in the cafe there, writing stories, fuelled by tea and cake. It's become an addiction. (Not the cake - that was already an addiction.)

In spite of the noise I seem much more focused than at home, where a starling darting past the window can distract me into cutting the grass, or a hint of cobweb can lure me into hoovering the curtains. Or opening an email can lead to hours on the interweb, laughing manically at a moonwalking hamster on You Tube.

I think the staff are puzzled. They slip round corner where I sit out of sight and sneak looks at me while wiping down tables. I make sure I buy a cauliflower or a chicken pasty or something when I've finished, to show I'm actually a perfectly normal housewife. The family still has to eat.

Anyway, they should be careful or they might end up in my next story, battered around the head with a courgette in the veg aisle.

Of course if I was ever invited to do one of those 'Writing Room' features in a magazine, it would look a bit odd. None of the ones I've ever seen has featured a scowling waiter and a dishcloth, or a man in a vest with a trolley filled entirely with beer.

The novel still has to be edited and I'm working on that too. In between mowing the grass, sucking up cobwebs and laughing at moonwalking hamsters.

29 comments:

Bernadette said...

Any place with cake on demand is a good place for writing.

And I like the idea of the trolley filled with beer (how doesn't it leak through the mesh? :) ), though not so much the man-in-vest.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Amusing post, Karen, and I completely get the whole writing in a cafe thing. I try to go to my favourite Costa at a local mall once a week and I often get more creative writing done there in half an hour than I do at home.

I think it's the buzz, and the lack of domestic distractions... and the lovely coffee and cake, of course.

kerryhudson said...

I am doing exactly the same in the spectator section of our local pool Karen. I just find it so soothing. Luckily partner is training for triathlon so have an excuse...when the training finished may have to cheer strangers on to get my fix! x

Madeleine said...

LOL! Great post. I can imagine you now. Good for you I'm npt sure I'd have the courage. :O)

Patsy said...

Well done for finding somewhere you can write without interuptions. I'm wondering if cakes helps with concentration. Must conduct an experiment or two.

Anna Scott Graham said...

Oh I miss Tesco!!! No grocery stores here have a cafe, and I don't count the Starbucks at some Safeways as such. Enjoy that tea and cake, and keeping writing!!!

Pat Posner said...

Very visual post, Karen.
Writing in a cafe seems a good addicition to me.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Clarkey :) Tommox

Debs Carr said...

It sounds like you're in the perfect place to write with all that food, drink and interesting characters all around you.

Dumdad said...

Writing in a café worked for JK Rowling so why not for you? Maybe I should go to a bistro to write....

Caroline said...

'Flippin' heck Karen! I've got to go to YouTube and look for that hamster! Bad Karen. Like you, any excuse not to write... lol Caroline ;o)

suzy doodling said...

Hi Karen,
Bet they think you're someone from head office reporting on them. Maybe they are wondering whether they should offer you free cake?

Denise said...

I go to Starbucks every weekday lunch and the staff have long accepted me as part of the furniture. They don't wonder about me being a bit odd, they know it's true now!

Colette McCormick said...

I remember being in a Tesco cafe once while the car was being serviced nearby and coming up with all sorts of ideas for stories. Must be something in the air.

joanne fox said...

Glad your 'shopping' trips are so productive! Perhaps you could offer to be Tesco's Writer In Residence, then maybe you'll get free coffee.

Sarah said...

I agree it's easier to focus more outside of the house even in a noisy atmosphere like a cafe. I think it's because in my head I've 'paid' for the time (in tea and cake) so I'm going to get my money's worth!

Suzanne Jones said...

I've never written in a Tesco cafe, but I did get my notebook out in a local tea shop once. Unfortunately, someone I knew came in and I ended up chatting instead of writing.

Must try to stay focused.

XX

Jen said...

I love Joanne's suggestion that you become Tesco's Writer in Residence. I don't think anyone would have me. Not even the bloke in his vest with a trolley of beer. Ho hum.

Anna May said...

Karen,
You should get Clubcard points for all those good ideas you're having in store!
Anna May x

Bernadette said...

I was having lunch at the pub on the river near my house yesterday and thinking about you.

No, not like that. I was thinking that I could try writing there, in the sunshine with a coffee and the ducks for company.

So thanks for the inspiration!

Amanda said...

Supermarkets are great places for ideas - glad they are coming thick and fast! x

Karen said...

There were a more comments before Blogger crashed last week, and I'm sorry I didn't get round to replying.

colette - We'd better not let Tesco know or they'll find a new way to make money out of it!

joanne - I LOVE that idea! Free cake would be even better :o)

sarah - That's probably what it is - though the cake side of things probably isn't doing me any favours!

suzanne - Well at least you got it out, as it were. Maybe you could write that situation into a story? (Must stop doing that ...)

jen - I love the idea too, but they'd have to stock up on cake and I'd probably become so hefty over time I'd have to be winched out, and would end up on the news.

anna may - Ooh, I never thought of that! Then I could cash them in for more ideas when I run out.

bernadette - That's very kind of you! Oh - I see. Now I'm not sure I'd be as good with ducks and sunshine, I'd end up falling asleep.

amanda - Not so much at the moment - have HAD to get on with the editing this week!

Lydia said...

Glad you're full of ideas for stories. Funny how outside places can inspire isn't it? Hope the editng is going O.K. too. x

Karen said...

Thanks Lydia - I think I'm getting there with it now :o)

Debs Riccio said...

OOoh the brooding, swarthy image of a man in a vest pushing a trolley-full of beer - I'm going to have to re-invent my daydreams of Heathcliff I can see!

Karen said...

He certainly made my heart beat faster, Debs ... as I ran away!

Susie Vereker said...

That's amazing. I can barely concentrate here, let alone in Tesco's. Maybe I should try it. Every little helps. Buy one writer, get one free. Are you in the RNA, btw?

Karen said...

Susie - I did join the RNA a few years back but let my membership lapse. I wish I hadn't now :o(

Karen said...

Ooh the other comments have come back - it's like magic!

bernadette - Ha ha! A trolly full of beer doesn't sound like it would be full very long :o)

rosemary - Costa's my favourite as their cake is to die for. And I probably will if I don't stop stuffing my face every time I go there!

kerry - It really does help to be somewhere with a background buzz, though I'd be hopeless at the swimming pool - I can't bear the smell of chlorine! Hope it's going well x

madeleine - I did worry I might look a bit poncy, but I'm sure no one takes any notice!

patsy - Cake definitely helps - with most things actually :o))

anna - I can't imagine ever saying 'I miss Tesco' but I get your point! Mind you I wouldn't visit half as frequently if it wasn't for the tea and cake :o)

pat - There are definitely worse addictions I guess. As long as I'm writing as well as eating cake!

tommo - I can't seem to stop. Whether it's good or not is another matter :o) Hope you're well x

debs - I've actually written two stories from ideas I got while waiting in the queue for my cake and tea!

dumdad - I wonder if it's the quality of cafe that counts? If so, maybe Tesco's ain't the right place to be writing!

caroline - I bet there actually is a moonwalking hamster on You Tube. I might have to go and check now!

suzy - Ooh I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should look round disapprovingly now and then? :o)

denise - I'm definitely at the odd stage. And the willowy blonde at the till still smirks when she clocks the wodge of cake I've ordered.

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