Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 90,082 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Are You One Of Four Book Winners This Week?
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. We would like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:Caryl Macadoo, who offered her Christian Romance Novel The Preacher’s Faith. Nicola Furlong, who offered her Mystery  A Hemorrahaging of Souls. Je […]
    • New York Author Carol McClain
      Welcome to the Book Loft, Carol! Is there a story behind your book DWF: Divorced White Female?There are several stories connected with my novel. I met my husband of nearly eleven years online. He was a Methodist minister. I was an evangelical Christian. When we married, I discovered only two things could we not talk about: politics and religion. The twelve y […]
    • DWF: Divorced White Female by Carol McClain
      If you think you’ve experienced a mid-life crisis, Cheryl Chandler will prove you wrong. Ditched by a philandering husband, rearing three weird teens (and a toddler—her failed attempt  to save her marriage), she knows only one thing will redeem her life: a man—any man so long as he’s hot.But how does a forty-something divorcé do that?The kids have the answer […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • Olympia Finalists!
      by Michelle MassaroHello, hello! Today is a big day!I am very excited to announce this year’s Olympia Finalists!! Please congratulate:*Kelly Goshorn*Madelyn Herbert*Mary Vaitkevicius-VeeAll three authors’ entries will go to our Round 3 judges: Karen Ball, Becky Philpott, and Becky Wade (links below)Acquisitions Editor Becky Philpott of Harper Collins Publish […]
    • The Winner of the February 2015 Clash of the Titles
      A big thank you to all four authors for sharing news of their wonderful new releases! One voter sums it up"All of these books sound so good. I would really like to take a vacation where I could just read, read, eat, read, eat, and did I mention read some more? Well, all of your books sound amazing like you! May God bless each of you as you endeavor to d […]
    • January New Releases Clash
      Hostess: Gail PallottaJanuary 2015, brought us many great fiction books. Contemporary, historical, young adult futuristic and a suspense novel round out this month’s Clash. Which of these will you put at the top of your to-be-read list?***During the 1960s, Henry Youngblood feels the call to plant a new church. Meanwhile, his wife wonders how to pay the bills […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Grammar Day QUIZ 4 U
      It's grammar day, March 4. But you knew that already, didn't you?Enjoy the following quiz from Grammerly.comJoy,http://LisaLickel.com
    • Celebrating Grammar!
      Awesome Quiz Tomorrow...today: one of my pettish-most peeves:This graphic courtesy of Grammarly. Visit and Use GrammarlyJoy,http://LisaLickel.com
    • New Book in the Sweet Briar series by Carol Heilman
      Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding: neither can tolerate living with the other. So o […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued by Anna Elliot and Laura Masselos
      I'm a big Austen fan and I love Pride and Prejudice so my fear was this would be a feeble attempt at sequel. I was pleasantly surprised. Georgiana Darcey, Mr. Darcey's younger sister, is now 18 years old and in love with her co-guardian Colonel Fitzwilliams. Elliot and Masselos do a great job fleshing out some of the peripheral characters from the […]
    • Book Review: Standing Stones by Beth Camp
      This first book in a promising series, takes place in 19th century Scotland in the Orkney islands at the time of the Clearances. It was a time when wealthy landowners were changing their mode of land management and ruthlessly throwing tenants off the land.When Lord McDonald takes over the estate of Westland and its holdings, he's determined to make impr […]
    • Book Review: Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings
      Anne Tillerton is similar to Annie Oakley. She's a dead shot  with a gun and for the past few years has made her living as a buffalo hunter. But when Nick Lovelace comes to the aid of a passenger on a train during a hold up, Anne ends up saving Nick's life.Anne's sordid history includes killing her husband. We learn later it was a kill or be k […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Using our sense in writing – the sense of smell

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 19, 2012

Smell vs. Aroma

A part of your brain touches the atmosphere.

Let’s see a show of hands: how many of you already knew this?

Where, you ask? Does my brain leave the confines of my skull?

Well, it’s like this: Way back in our nasal passages we have about a square-inch-sized area of olfactory receptors. As we inhale we breathe in dissolved particles wash over these receptors which have millions of cilia extending from a little projection of bone at the tip of the neuron – and thus, a part of the brain extends into the your nasal passage to detect emulsions, send the information to the brain which then analyses the scent according to our experience, and tells us how to identify it.

The sense of smell is one of two senses, along with taste, humans are most willing to do without. Yet smell is often the most evocative of our senses. It is a powerful link to memories since we rely on our past experiences to recognize a particular odor. The sense of smell and the sense of taste are not exactly related, yet are closely tied due to the types and placement of physical sensor receptors in our bodies – namely that of mouth/tongue/nostrils/sinuses.

I’m separating this sense, as I have the others, into two aspects: the physical ability – to smell; and the layered reaction to that ability: categorizing the aroma. Even the word “aroma” is so much more elegant than others we might use, don’t you think? You are trained to react to words: when you read “smell” what goes through your mind? How about “scent?” Or “odor?” You react negatively or positively, depending on your experience, and the words we generally associate with them. A remembered scent can take us to an associated experience often more quickly than sight, sound, or even touch.

The human sense of smell is a complex chemical process, trainable, begins at birth and peaks somewhere in the teens when we have learned and categorized the scents in our world. How does a writer use this sense when layering a scene? Using a particular aroma can bridge flashbacks, when used sparingly; a particular scent can generate new information or a repressed memory. An odor can introduce a sense of dread or danger. A bouquet can tell your reader much about the personality of a discerning character. One of my favs is Steven James’s Patrick Bowers who is a coffee snob; he has trained himself, much like a connoisseur of fine wines, to tell where a coffee bean came from and how it was prepared. Just kind of cool.

If you’re going to introduce a memorable quirk in a character, the ability to detect a certain scent might be intriguing. Conversely, the lack of ability to smell, either at all (anosmia) or the loss of ability to detect particular scents can be just as revealing. A change or loss in the sense of smell also may indicate a genetic condition, a disease or injury that can affect a character’s life/health, as well as that of his or her environment and family, work, choices, and so forth. Women have a different and more acute sense of smell than men. Babies can detect their own mothers. Lots and lots of possibilities.  In two weeks we finish this series with the sense of taste.

Our scene, then, with the added layer of scent, continues below. What else might you do in your work to add in this sense?

The story continues:

 A one layered version:

Selena left their dog at the house so she and Justin could take a quiet walk on the Circle Path before dinner.

A multi-layered, visual, tactile, auditory and sensory scene:

Selena put the oven on simmer for the roast beef in mushroom and port sauce so they wouldn’t have to rush. She wanted to take her time on the Circle – the path around town, to enjoy the late summer afternoon and the first of the asters. The drip of the faucet reminded her of the new washer still in the bag from the hardware store. Later—after the walk. She pulled the door closed behind her and turned the key. Selena stalled a bit as she looked at her husband. Justin stood in the driveway, still as the light post, while he waited for her. She sighed. His hands were firmly stuck in his pockets.

Cicadas whirred from across the yard. Chloe barked and scratched at the door. Justin cocked his head in the direction of his English setter’s begging. Next time, baby, Selena thought. This time is just for us.

“Clockwise or counter?” she asked. His smile reassured her as he reached for her hand. His rough palm caressed hers and his warm fingers held tight, like a lifeline. Selena moved close enough to feel his body heat. The last of his mother’s tea roses bloomed in pink showers of petals along the front porch, reminding her of their wedding day.

“I’ll follow you,” he said.

Selena brushed her cheek against his line-dried cotton t-shirt where the rumble of his voice faded before leading him down the driveway. With one hand in hers he rarely tapped the cane in his other hand against the asphalt. Soon they’d be on the path, piney woodchips muffling their steps and taking her back to their honeymoon at Jackson Hole, before all the hurts and defeats of the last two years.

About these ads

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: