This week I was reminded of how powerful scents are, how they can trigger memories or inspiration.
A couple of weeks ago I was given a scarf by a friend. The scarf belonged to her daughter. Her daughter died in a tragic way back in February. It was their only child. I cannot imagine the sorrow she felt as she sorted through her things... the grief she feels every day... the sadness she'll feel forever.
I felt honored.
A few days later, I unfolded the scarf to see how I could drape it around my shoulders to best display the gorgeous colors. As the scarf leaped up into the air, I caught an unmistakable odor from the fabric.
Sunscreen. Her daughter had used this scarf as a pool or beach cover-up. And with just that smell, it triggered the need to write.
How many trips to the pool, to a sandy beach, will this woman miss out on, now that she's no longer here? How many experiences will never be enjoyed, now that she's gone?
They say that our sense of smell is the most powerful one... the one that can evoke the most memories.
For me--when I smelled all that lost potential embodied in the scarf--it certainly brought up memories that will never be...
And now onto something a bit lighter--looking at how writing an imaginary book blurb can prepare us for when we really need to write a real one:
Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book on tiny dogs who menace the community? Is it a photo collection of wiener dogs? You decide.
Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.
Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. Check out her blog, along with her books. Time and time again, she's proven herself to be encouraging--when it comes to both personal and professional things.
Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:
Wiener Dogs Gone Wild
Their legs were short, but these were powerful dogs. The dachshund was bred to ferret out badgers, after all… which made them logical partners for Madge.
Madge would sashay into the bank, her pack of furry thugs trotting in front of her as she dismissed the insistent cries of, “No dogs allowed.” The lead dog: Libby the Tiny Terror. She looked sweet, but could bend people to her will with just a look… or a snarl.
Once Madge let the leash loose, the dogs would swarm around one teller. After they attacked the bank employee’s ankles, Madge handed over the note demanding money, a bag of cash would exchange hands… and they’d scurry out, too quick to get caught.
But then Libby the Tiny Terror screwed up--threatening to end their crime spree. Will they be end up in prison and crates forever? Read Wiener Dogs Gone Wild to find out. (150 words)
(Note: This story was inspired by the recent news story about a woman mauled by a pack of dachshunds. Here is the link if you'd like to read about the incident. And, since I don't want anyone to leave with a negative opinion of dachshunds, here is a video of dachshunds to make you smile.)
And for those who want some time to think ahead, here is the photo for next week: