Monday, August 1, 2011

Favorite Smells--a writing exercise

Coffee: makes me think of waking up at my parents', hearing the coffee maker burbling and smelling that scent as it worked its way through the house. It makes me think of coffee shops and writing and chocolate and being with nerdy friends who love to talk for hours and hours about anything and nothing. It makes me think of being hyper on a storm-chase, so hyper during a brainstorming session that my friends tell me to sit still or they'll never allow me a latte again.

Lilacs: make me think of summer. Our neighbor when we first moved to Missouri had a whole hedge of lilac bushes. I'd forgotten about that heady, flowery smell until a week ago when I rode past a whole flock of them on the bike path here in Marquette. It took me back to those hours spent underneath and in the old crabapple tree, building a fort with my siblings, ruining my white t-shirt with red Missouri mud, swimming in the motel pool that, to this day, makes me dissatisfied with swimming in anything but the ocean, a lake, or a huge pool. Getting my ears pierced. Playing at archeologist after seeing Indiana Jones for the first time. Reading The Lord of the Rings and Narnia for the first time.

Old Leather: makes me think of Justin, because he has a black leather jacket that he looks absolutely fabulous in. Red sweater, jeans, and that jacket...and my heart thinks we're back to the day when he first asked permission to court me. It's the little things in marriage that count. :) Old leather also makes me think of antique mall shopping with my family. Sometimes we'd take an entire Saturday and just ramble through flea markets and antique malls, not necessarily buying anything, but always on the lookout for a bargain or a treasure. Old clothes, books, purses, furniture, castoffs other people didn't want. There's something almost sad in antique malls.

Old Books: makes me think of the massive library I'd like some day. E-books are fine and dandy, but they can't beat print books. And print books today can't beat those old cloth hardbacks. That musty, inky, dusty smell--It's the smell of a new world to explore, the smell of adventure, the smell of writers tapping away furiously on typewriters.

Car heat:That very precise smell of dust and a warm car engine that blasts your face until it's dry. It makes me think of winter in Marquette, getting all bundled up to go sliding down a huge slope with nothing but two sticks in your hands and flat waxed boards on your feet. Of hot chocolate, linking arms with your friends and hurtling in a tube down an icy hill onto a frozen lake. Of riding a snowmobile, going 60 miles an hour with no car walls protecting you, feeling the wind whip your biker-look-alike jacket.

What are your favorite smells, and what do they make you think of?

*Don't forget, Falls the Shadow posts a new chapter today!!*

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