E. B. Davis's "Ice Cream Allure" contained in the new anthology, Carolina Crimes: Tales of Lust, Love, and Longing is now available at http://www.amazon.com/Carolina-Crimes-Nineteen-Tales-Longing/dp/1479408832 Look for the trailer on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVkSYbgD7V0&feature=youtu.be Nineteen tales by SinC members!

James M. Jackson's
new Seamus mystery, Cabin Fever was released this week. Look for the WWK Interview on 4/9.
Check here for a list of online retailers or to order a signed copy from Jim.

Linda Rodriguez's
new Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear, is available for preorder at her website:

http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com/
Look for the WWK Interview on 4/30.

KM Rockwood's new Jesse Damon novel, Brothers in Crime, will be released on May 2. Look for the WWK interview on May 14th.

Gloria Alden's
short story, "The Body in the Red Dress," has been accepted by the Bethlehem Writers' Roundtable for publication in March/April. Look for the story under the section called "and more" at the top of the featured author of the month. Also look for her third Catherine Jewell Mystery, Ladies of the Garden Club available at all bookstores in print and ebook.

Welcome Wednesday guests for April: Kathleen Dalaney 4/2, Jim Jackson 4/9, Janet Evanovich 4/16, Teresa Ingle 4/23, Linda Rodrigues 4/30.

Paula Gail Benson's short story
"Confidence in the Family" is featured in the Mystery Times Ten 2013 anthology, which can be bought at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Times-2013-Linda-Browning/dp/0984203583/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1387240857&sr=8-2 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Nose is for more than colds

I think smell is a neglected sense in fiction. We know about the smell of copper for blood at crime scenes and that dead bodies don’t smell good but there’s a myriad of scents in the world that aren’t included in stories.

Is that because smell is a more primitive sense connected to the limbic system instead of to the higher parts of the brain? Smells connect directly to our emotions. I have friends who hate the scent of flowers because it reminds them of a funeral they didn’t want to attend. A person might dab on a perfume she loves and cause an outbreak of nausea in a crowded elevator. I dislike the smell of gasoline but an ex-alcoholic friend tells me she relishes the alcohol scent in gasoline.

Every summer I’m reminded of the variety of scents in the world. HEADDOWNNothing else smells like a growing tomato plant. An apple picked from a tree in the garden is a different species from the shiny object in the supermarket. Healthy earth doesn’t smell like dirt. The garden after rain has a different odor from the garden wilting under ninety degree temperatures. Freshly cut grass has a pleasant scent whereas rotting grass can make a person gag. No matter how many equality laws are passed, male and female locker rooms will never smell the same.

The smell of apples cooking or of beef stew simmering reminds me of happier moments in my natal family. If people can tell me I’m wrong about the lack of scents in fiction, I’ll welcome the correction and look forward to reading stories that evoke the sense of smell.

Next Tuesday, I’ll be having surgery. All the odors I recall from the many years I worked in hospitals, I’ll experience as a patient.

7 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Smell is a great immediate link to past memories. It is stronger than sight or touch. I will always remember the smell of my bone marrow transplant. I smelled like tomato soup for a couple of days. I hope you come out of your experience smelling like a rose.

Kara Cerise said...

I love the smell of vanilla since it reminds me of cozy nights making cookies...and then eating them in front of a fire. Thanks for reminding us to use the sense of smell in our stories.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks to reading this blog, I remembered to add the smells of the Pamlico Sound in my ms. Very few books or shorts that I've read include smell. We seem to be visually oriented. Wonder why there aren't more blind authors. I've always heard it said that when one sense is missing, others become more acute. A blind author's perspective would be quite interesting. Thanks for reminding us, Pauline.

Pauline Alldred said...

You're welcome for the reminder, Warren, Kara, and Elaine. Even cities have different smells.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I agree: we should be using all our senses in our descriptions.
That's why it's really a good idea to read and write poetry before becoming a prose writer--poetry evokes sense imagery.

Jacqueline Seewald
THE TRUTH SLEUTH--request it at your local library

Ruby Johnson said...

What a nice little reminder about getting in touch with our senses. After my husband died, gardening and watching the little green shoots of plants come up between the dead leaves was a reminder that life is renewed. As for food, the smells remind me of sitting on the porch during the lazy days of summer drinking sweet iced tea and eating short bread. Wonderful memories. If I close my eyes I can still feel the breeze off the ocean and hear the tinkle of the windchimes. When I open my eyes, it's only the air conditioner. I live in Texas and it's 105 degrees outside.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi Jacqueline, I wrote poetry first and you're right, the senses in poetry are key.

Hi Ruby, thank you for sharing your evocative memories.