Fear in Writing: Hear, see, feel...WRITE

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hear, see, feel...WRITE

Against a backdrop of constant cricket chirp, the marching band keeps time in the field beyond the woods. In my living room I sit, new jeans hugging curves and boosting confidence. They feel so crisp, so fresh. Above my head the fan breathes its continuous exhalation. Drums, horns, those standing chimes musicians hit with mallets—all come together to serenade the night. It's a lot of noise for a still house on a quiet night in a small sub-suburb. When the band music dies away, the thump of a car stereo's base is briefly heard, broken by a horn from the distant highway and the revving of a motor somewhere closer. I even hear my feet brush across the carpet, imagining the microscopic dust and fibers spraying into the air and settling down again, this time in a new place for a new adventure. A tiny bug crawls up the white baseboard beside me. It can't quite reach the top. At about halfway, it is suddenly gone--movement so quick it's like several bugs are dancing. But it's just one lonely guy trying so hard to reach the crest of the white wood, maybe hoping to touch the Pottery Barn 'Rattan'-painted wall.
Ice clinks. Cold tea slides down my throat. The glass hits the slate coaster a little too forcefully...And the band starts up again, this time led by the horns instead of the drums, a slower, more melodic tune to end my prose.

This piece is inspired by Jessica Carmen Bell (The Alliterative Allomorph), whom on Thursday wrote about writing with the senses.  She concentrated on the sense of touch, and this is what I wrote for her post:

I first wake up, usually with a small body nestled against mine. The soft toddler pajamas rustle as the little head snaps toward me. Soft, baby skin brushes my shoulder. Then she is gone--on to play now that Mommy has opened her eyes. And I roll over for the first time that morning. That first change of position in the breaking dawn is sooooooo good. I land on my husband's pillow and it is somehow softer, definitely cooler, and the risen puffs of the matress cushion me gently, inviting me to stay longer than I should.

Aaaah, I think I'll go to bed. :)

Do you write with your senses?  Can you write from them right now, spontaneously?
(By the way, I love pictures in my posts, but I'm intentionally not giving you any visuals today.  I hope the words paint their own picture.  Successful?)


  1. Excellent post Michele. And thanks so much for the mention :o) I especially oved the line about imagining the dust fibres spraying and settling. Wonderful imagery! :o)

  2. They are both excellent pieces of writing, Michele.

  3. Jessica- What was fun for me about that line is that I had to imagine it as well--it was a completely a surprise image for me! Thanks for inspiring.

    Rayna- Thank you. Ready to click over to your piece for the day!

  4. Michele - Such an evocative post! It's so important to convey those details to the reader, and place the reader in the scene, so to speak. That's part of what draws the reader into a story. Thanks for the important reminder: writing with the senses is a powerful tool.

  5. Currently, my biggest weakness is description and writing with my senses. I'm constantly thinking of ways to improve my work. This is a great post.


  6. Nice! Great job bringing words to life!

  7. This is something I try to constantly breathe into my writing. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you also for visiting my blog and for leaving such an awesome comment. I appreciate your support.

  8. Successful indeed! Nicely done :)