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Writing with all five senses august2010   ifbc Writing with all five senses august2010 ifbc Presentation Transcript

  • Writing with all five senses
    Kathleen Flinn
    Author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry
  • Using all five senses
    Most writers rely too much on visuals
    Food writers tend to focus on taste and sight, but neglect smell, sound and the tactile/texture of food yet these are important pieces of information
    The goal of this exercise is to challenge yourself to work harder, to express yourself more fully by considering the impact of a situation or a food with all your senses.
  • Consider the lemon
  • The exercises
    Sight: Describe a lemon to someone who has never seen one before, but without using the word “lemon”
    Texture: Describe the exterior or a slice of lemon. What does it feel like? How would you describe it if you had no sight?
    Sound: Cut the onion in half, then chop it into pieces. Concentrate on the sound. Don’t use the word “knife” or “chopping.” How else would you describe the sound?
    Smell: Bring one of the chopped pieces to your nose. Sniff. Without using the word “lemony” or “citrus”
    Taste: Truly contemplate the flavor. What parts of your tongue are affected? How do you feel after tasting it? What does it remind you of?
  • You can do this exercise on your own.
    Spend three to five minutes on each sense.
    Time yourself.
    The following slides include some of the descriptions captured during this session at IFBC in August 2010.
  • Sight
    From the IFBC participants:
    Dimpled saffron sphere, it[s oval, it’s squashed, it’s nature definition of yellow
    Elongated
    Acne-scarred
    Cheerful yellow globe
    An outie for a belly button
    A handful of sunshine
    Bright yellow
    Profusions in each hole
    Stem end, blossom end
    Spongy
    White pith
  • Smell
    The ocean rushes through my nose, bright crisp
    My hair vibrates from the tart backwash as the wave of aroma leaves my body
    Cleaning crew released on a frat house, and all the smells are scrubbed out
    Tangy acidic floral, softly on the tongue
    Candy-coated tarts
    Bracing, cool
    Nearly tactile
    Cold morning mist
    Astringent
    Spring
    Medicinal
    Clean – more polish than elbow grease
    Freshness like sparkling sailcloth
    Perfume that I always wear that reminds me of Greece, Turkey & home
    Fresh young tender
    Bright vanilla overtones
    Tropical fruit
    Reminded of the scent of fresh sweet peas,
    Sweet captviating determined
  • Taste
    The softest needles that I’ve felt on my tongue
    Pucker shock
    The cleanse leaves me feeling like I just tasted a young beam of sunshine
    The sharp acidity
    Like licking a battery
    Can’t help but to taste it again
    A cool juicy burst of tartness
    Forces my eyes ot squeeze shut
    Aggressive like food bloggers tweeting
    Far from shy
    Sharp bright character
    Makes my nose tingle
    Lips pucker
    Tongue assaulted
    Crisp coolness
    From last night’s red wine marathon
  • Then, consider a recent moment
    and use at least three senses
    Give yourself five minutes.
  • All 5 (or at least three)
    Reeling from the panic of driving into Seattle the first time; the sounds of honking
    Glimpses of people’s faces I recognized from Twitter, vague memory
    After the sip of the cosmo, the heat of the vodka, all was better
    Sweaty forehead
    Regal restrooms with no expectations
    Individually wrapped mints
    Sour fumes
    Quiet
    A plate of gleaming peanut brittle, round taste of caramel, smell hint of sea spray yet tart, the crunch of peanut
    and then shock – smoke!
    Bacon – it’s a cliché, everything is better with bacon
    The lamb cave was in a dark corner of the room
    Stung by blatant display of
    Reduced to caveman status by a rack of lamb, herb garlic meat, pink
    No longer elegant –elemental.
    Clutching my swag, heavy shoulders
    Glass clanking, slippery limes
    Stomach implodes
  • Gone with the Wind – (Margaret Mitchell)“When the twins left Scarlett standing on the porch of Tara and the last sound of flying hooves had died away, she went back to her chair like a sleepwalker. Her face felt stiff as from pain and her mouth actually hurt from having stretch it, unwillingly, in smiles to prevent the twins from learning her secret. She sat down wearily, tucking one weary, throbbing foot under her, and her heart swelled up with misery until it felt too large for her bosom. She could it beat with odd jerks, her hands went cold, and a feeling of disaster oppressed her. She dug her fingernails into the wood of the chair, trying to break through the wood and thankful for its solid nature, reminding her that some things could not change. “No, no, no…” she heard herself gasp repeatedly. Ashley to marry Melanie Hamilton! It can’t be so.”
  • This exercise is from a weekend-long food writing class called “Hungry for Words.” Find out more at kathleenflinn.com
    “Hungry for Words on Whidbey”Food Writing Retreat Nov. 5th-7th 2010
    Whidbey Island, Washington