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Try This Writing Exercise

Story ID:4907
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Things to do
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Year:2008
Person:Nancy J. Kopp
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Writers often spend time with writing exercises. They flex your writing muscles, bring some creativity to the surface, and often trigger ideas for a new story. I thought I'd share one with you. This one helps with sensory details which are so important in a story or essay. The sense of smell is the topic. I have listed words, and you are to write a sentence or two telling what smell the word brings to you. Below the list I added my own interpretation of each word. Have fun with this one. It will bring back a few memories for you.

WORD LIST
What is the smell of:

1. the moon
2. sadness
3. a child's joy in watching a soap bubble
4. grief
5. cowardice
6. snow
7. velcro
8. a nasty letter
9. silver
10. mystery
11. sand
12. a sidewalk in summer
13. the middle of the earth
14. purple
15. a contented dog napping
16. a cloudless spring sky
17. a dollar bill

Nancy's Exercise on Smell
What is the smell of:

the moon: The heady aroma of a strong cheese, for tis said the
moon is made of green cheese, and I believed it as a child.

sadness: The antiseptic smell of a hospital for it was there
where my greatest sadness occurred with a child who never came home.

a child's joy in watching a soap bubble: A sweet, clean smell.
Not the bleach odor of a laundry day, just that feel-good-because-you're-clean smell.

grief: the cloying sweetness of funeral flowers that can be
overwhelming

cowardice: sweat, because the coward lacks confidence and would
sweat up a storm

snow: Ah, this one comes up smelling like ice cream with all it's cold goodness.

velcro: surely velcro brings to mind the big jar of school paste
that resided in the supply closet at my grade school. How I loved the
smooth, sweet smell of the paste.

a nasty letter: the vile odor of tar

silver: this brings to mind the aroma of tea when served from a
silver tea set, soothing, satisfying, and appealing

mystery: for some reason, mothballs come to mind with this word.
Old clothes stored in mothballs and used in a mystery drama

sand: Sand brings back waves of baby oil and iodine, the suntan
lotion of choice in the 50's when I frequented beaches.

a sidewalk in summer: Kool-aid stands the kids in my
neighborhood set up on hot, summer days. Fruity aromas.

the middle of the earth: I think of mushrooms growing in groups,
pungent with clinging soil

purple: for me purple smells like barbecue grills set up in the
stadium parking lot, purple flags waving in the Kansas breeze, and
also popcorn and cotton candy at the concession stands in the
football stadium at K-State. Purple is definitely all the aromas
found at a K-State football game

a contented dog napping: the comforting scent of cedar, which is
what our Irish Setter's bed was filled with. Every morning he was our
own walking, barking cedar chest.

a cloudless spring sky: Lilacs come to mind, their sweet and
fresh scent goes well with a cloudless spring sky.

a dollar bill: Musty, dirty, and oily