Monday, October 10, 2011


Can you remember the sweet smell of cotton candy--does it take you back to the State Fair as a kid?
Smells are like that. We can be going along, doing fine, and then with one familiar smell, we're taking a trip down memory lane. Our other senses can do the same thing.

The sound of a train's whistle takes me back to my childhood. (I wanted to be a hobo as a kid.)

The taste of a good ice cream reminds me of my dad--he used to make ice cream regularly. He made fudge at Christmastime, and now that he's gone, these are precious memories for me.

So, how can we use our senses in our writing? Try to heighten our senses with exercize. (It's not as bad as it sounds.)

My husband loves to people-watch--airports, restaurants--anywhere there's people--and this is a good exercize. Close your eyes and listen. (See how easy this is?) Pay attention to what you hear. Open your eyes--what do you see? Pretend to be on one of those reality chef shows and eat something blindfolded. Savor it. Can you pick out several of the ingredients? The salty, the sweet, the textures? Pay attention to it all.

Write down your impressions; the things you see; the flavors you pick out of a recipe. The more often we exercize our senses, the better able we'll be able to access them when we're writing.


Anonymous said...

Mentally focusing on the senses. Yes, I agree, Tina. Such images energize our writing. I did this when I was young. I have to concentrate on doing this now: look, listen. Read. Then write.

Memories of cotton candy. Yes. This takes me back to my childhood. The ferris wheel and merry-go-round at Liberty Park. To the State Fair. And of course homemade ice cream.

Memories are awesome. Thanks for reminding me!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Naomi Buck said...

Lillie and I were looking at your blog and she noticed the book "when I grow up" and got really excited and said - "hey, we have that book" We love you and miss you Momma!"