Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cook's Diner

Your arrival is announced by the tinkle of a bell, as you push the door into smells of fried chicken and fresh-baked pies. Diners' voices fall; their eyes find you. But curiosity does not linger, for their interest is more heavily weighted by deep conversation and common gossip.

You spy your booth in the corner, set off from those already occupied, and approach its solitary offering. The vinyl seat welcomes you with worn comfort as you settle, tucking away thoughts of distraction.

Cook catches your attention from his square kitchen window and you nod. Yes, you'll have the usual. No hurry.

With the touch of a finger, your laptop comes to life. You sip from the cup Suzette just delivered with a quiet smile, access the file and...

What do you write?

39 comments:

Kara said...

Not anything as good as that! What a wonderful passage.

I'm just trying to write anything these days, but I love a good romantic story!

JLC said...

A tale of two star crossed lovers (no really, they are from opposite ends of the universe) who are desperately in love with each other. They have no other way to meet except through teleporting. Unfortunately every time they use the teleporter, a piece of them disappears. Will their love endure or will they be half the couple they used to be?

ChristaCarol said...

JLC, I laughed but whether it's a real story or not I'd read it!

I'd be writing my new YA...and great passage! Put some of those skillz on the prompt! http://christacarol.blogspot.com/2009/07/writing-prompt-july-1.html

scarlethue said...

Very nice... Can I have an order of pancakes and a coffee too? :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'd pull up my ms and look at it...then I'd open a new Word doc and start on some poetry featuring the sensory details oozing around me in the diner.

Good stuff, Janna!

Janet said...

Ironically enough, tonight it was a flash fiction piece that took place in a restaurant for the AW Flash Fiction Challenge.

And what did you write?

Janna Qualman said...

Kara - I appreciate your compliment, thank you. Sometimes getting something, anything, down is hard, don't you think? I think it's something we all go through.

JLC - That is one great blurb!

Christacarol - Good luck with the new WIP! And I know I expressed initial interest in the prompt, but my focus has shifted. I'll try, no promises. ;)

scarlethue - I'd love for you to join me!

Angie - You'd make the diner come to life on "paper," no doubt!

Janet - You're kidding! Great minds, Janet, great minds.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I was there with you and didn't want to leave! So many stories there...watching and listening to lives unfolding. I would want to capture the customers' and workers'words, actions, descriptions and interactions on my computer before they were lost.

Jessica said...

Very nice.

I don't write like that, not as good either. I write very commercial but your voice sounds more literary to me. Only my opinion though, I don't know for sure. LOL

Great post. :-)

Lori said...

Oh, this fragment creates the atmosphere perfectly. I am there. Beautifully written.

Stina Rose said...

I open a new Word document and start typing a flash fiction piece about a murder mystery that takes place in a 1950's dinner. I am only half way through the intense action and suspence when my plate comes...now is not the time to stop and eat...the cook might be the murderer...or is it the waitress?

Love the second person POV! You did a great job with it!

Terri Tiffany said...

That was a great opening! I want to be there. I don't know that I would write anything. I might just look all around and watch the people.

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. You really set the stage well. I can "see" it all!

Hopefully I'd be working on my next novel...

Janet said...

I can't claim any great mind in this case. The prompt for the Flash Fiction Challenge this week was The Restaurant. Hardly anybody there this week. Turn up next week, folks, Sunday at 9:00 Eastern.

Melanie Avila said...

Lovely start, Janna! Sadly, I'd probably write a couple emails, then update my status, then maybe after I finished my meal and dessert and ten glasses of water I'd open my wip.

Joanne said...

Since I'm not one to write much in public places, I'd send off a quick email to you, saying Hey, meet me at Cook's for a coffee! I need to talk through this plot point, and need to get a think-tank going. The coffee's on me :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Beautiful writing. I find it hard to write in a public place like that. I've tried but I feel distracted by all the people. I write better holed up in my office, listening to music to tune the world out. Or sitting somewhere scenic with my notepad and a pen.

Sharla said...

Wow! I just like that intro!! That could be a story right there.
I have trouble with the distraction, too. Also, I feel too conspicuous with the laptop. I can do long hand like that, though. I'd probably have to write a cafe scene, taking in the ambience while I had it.

thedomesticfringe said...

I think I'd probably have to write about all the other people sitting in the diner and the goofy things they're doing. :-)
-FringeGirl

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Very cool! It's a great jumping off point for a short story.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Janna Qualman said...

Donna - So much could happen in a diner, don't you think?

Jessica - Hmm. I never thought of myself as a literary writer. But I think I see what you mean about this piece.

Lori - Thank you, lady! That's a great compliment.

Stina - I LOVE that!

Terri - Yeah, you may have point. People-watching often wins for me, too. :)

Thank you, Melissa! (And I bet you will.)

Janna Qualman said...

Janet - Nonsense.

Melanie - LOL! I can imagine that. :)

Joanne - Let's do it!

Stephanie - Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. And I think when it comes down to it, I'm too distractable in public.

Sharla - That'd be the smart thing to do; take advantage of the ambience and write about it.

FringeGirl - Would you be doing goofy stuff, too? ;)

Thanks, Susan! Good to see you here.

Pink Ink said...

I would be writing my WIP-horror story.

Except I'd probably be too distracted people-watching.

(I need me a good cafe to write in)

Janna Qualman said...

Pink - People-watching seems a common distraction among us.

Tess said...

I can never think off the cuff for exercises like this...sure wish I could! I guess my answer would be either some pages in my WIP or a letter to my grandma...that's been on the 'to do' list far too long :D

Deb Shucka said...

This is yummy! And makes me want more of whatever story it begins.

Janna Qualman said...

Tess - Oh, I need to write my husband's grandma. Thanks for reminding me! :)

Well thank ya, Deb!

septembermom said...

After reading your wonderful passage, I feel like I'm transported to that "writer friendly" atmosphere. Since I like to write poetry, I would try to get into the mind of one of the diners and see what emerges on my laptop.

Janna Qualman said...

septembermom - Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Share your poem when it's finished? ;)

Kathy said...

I think I'll have to try writing in a diner. Nice descriptions!

I get very distracted at home.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, what a sensory post this is - beautifully done!

What would I write - Vk2! *laugh* - but, now I want some of that pie and a cup of coffee - ahhhhh....

be back on Sunday to catch up - I've designated Sunday as catching up on blogs day! *smiling*

colbymarshall said...

right now, anything I can get onto paper (or screen, as the case may be) I've been slow writing-wise here lately...

Jun Bullan said...

Hello. For me I love to write about anything but many times I am lost thinking about correct grammar and style.

Janna Qualman said...

Kathy - Maybe it will work wonders for you!

Kat - Thanks! How goes VK2?

Colby - You've been busy, no?

Jun - Thanks for stopping by! And I know what you mean; I get hung up on that stuff, too. :)

The Unbreakable Child said...

*waves hi and gives a hug*

The Hat Chick said...

Are you kidding me?! I was totally sucked in. You have to finish this.

In real life, I would have spilled the coffee in the keyboard and fried my laptop.

Janna Qualman said...

Back atcha, Kimmi!

Hat Chick - Doh! I'm so sorry to disappoint!

Lazy Writer said...

That was great! Things like that might explain why I passed an award on to you. Come see!

Janna Qualman said...

Thank you so much, Lazy Writer!