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This Week – 31st July 2017

 

How fast this year has gone, it’s only 21 weeks till Christmas appears again. Never mind that though, let’s concern ourselves with this last week and what’s been going on.

The Bragging Stool.  Laura is still on a roll and had another story published in an online journal called Spelk Fiction.  https://spelkfiction.com/2017/07/28/breaking-the-seal/

Well done, Laura.

Five of us are in Ad Hoc again, the five being, Sue, Angela, Laura, Chris N and me. Congratulations all and come on team – lets up the quota of Writers Abroad in this weekly competition. Why not give it a go? 150 words and written to a chosen word. Until August 2nd the word is Drag.

http://adhocfiction.com/submit/

The Blog    Alyson has written a very inspiring blog on smells and the various emotions they evoke. She reminds us of how we can use smells to denote a change in the story we are writing. Plenty to think about here.

The Monday Muse.     Laura will be writing this and will no doubt provide us with plenty of interesting topics.

The Formal Meeting of 30/7/17      It was an interesting meeting yesterday & Jill has provided us with some excellent minutes. Those unable to attend will find them perfect for catching up on all the discussion.

August Opportunities & Challenges   Several competitions have been listed by Jill in the minutes of yesterday’s meeting and please, feel free to add if you find another competition somewhere.

That appears to be all but if I have forgotten something please let me know.

In conclusion, I leave you with this lovely quote. Have a great writing week.

Smelling of Roses Tags: writing tips

We all know that good stories engage the senses, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves how we can achieve this.

            Our sense of smell is one area we often don’t consider as much as the other senses. It is a more intrinsic part of us and not one we are always explicit about. But think of the ways that smell can add to a story.

            Firstly, smells can help with setting. Consider coconut sunscreen, fish and chips frying, ozone, rotting seaweed and candyfloss and you will have conjured up a seaside landscape without expressly saying so. Likewise antiseptic, boiled cabbage, urine, floor polish and fear might evoke a hospital or old people’s home.

            Smells can also help set an emotion. The sour odour of sweat can show a character is fearful, or a chemical smell might evoke danger and worry. The sweet smell of chocolate can bring happiness and (for me) that first coffee waft of the day brings relief and awakening.

            Other smells bring to mind a familiarity or history with a person: lavender for a grandmother or aftershave for a boyfriend; or with an activity like gingerbread at Christmas or pine with cleaning.

            A quick search on the internet told me that we react to different types of smell. Different websites offered varied lists but several agreed on the following: fragrant (florals and perfumes), citrus (lemon, lime etc), fruity (non citrus fruits), woody (pine and fresh cut grass), chemical (ammonia, bleach), sweet (chocolate, vanilla), minty (eucalyptus or camphor), toasted and nutty (popcorn, peanut butter), pungent (blue cheese, cigar smoke) and finally decay (rotting meat, sour milk). How many of these do I or you ever think to use in our writing?

            A poll by the Daily Mail printed in 2015 recorded the (British) nation’s favourite smells as fresh bread baking, cooking bacon and freshly cut grass. At the other end of the scale were bins, drains and body odour. Smelling from either category might determine your character’s mood at any point in time.

            But some smells are not static and can reflect a change happening in your story as well. Think of a couple arguing while the toast goes from that nice breakfast smell to the acrid odour of burning, or a cake cooking that turns to carbon while someone sleeps or forgets, or as happens where I live, a farmer starts spreading muck.

            And finally the act of smelling has entered our daily language. Will your detective smell something fishy, sniff out the truth or be put off the scent? Can your heroine perceive the sweet smell of success?

            As you write your next story, poem or nonfiction piece remember that a smell can offer the reader a short cut to a person, a place or a feeling and tell them something without you necessarily having to explain it.

            And you’ll be smelling of roses. 

Life is sometimes the excuse...
Category: Writing

Having read everyone's writing visions, I am encouraged by seeing some common ground. There are points put forward that resonate with me, some on the negative, others on the positive.

I will be posting my vision later tomorrow, after morning Spanish with a friend, followed by a widowed neighbour's trip for coffee and shopping.

That last sentence feels less of an excuse not to get more writing done than it would have previously. I now see how other members have things going on in their lives which impede the desire to put pen to paper or tap away at the keyboard. The impracticality of dropping everything and creating that masterpiece seems to be shared by most of us.

I have been away for a few days - enjoyable but tiring - so I decided to ignore today's chores and that has proven quite productive in other ways. I began the process of printing paper copies, some for the first time, of all my poetry. I intend to start blogging this week and will begin by posting a weekly poem. My flash fiction is next on the agenda, then a move to my short stories, and so on. It will take some time but I desperately need such order in my writing life.

At this point, all I require to do is keep my motivation high. It's a bit like yoga - one is always tranquil and stress-free during each session - all that's needed is to maintain that wonderful feeling!

       Images courtesy of pinterest.com

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