Sensory Details


How to Write a Scene 11

 A good writer can conjure a landscape and its peoples to live inside you, and the best writers make you feel they’ve disclosed their soft underbellies. — Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir WHEN YOU READ A MEMOIR, what about that author’s story evokes emotion in you? What makes the […]


From Memories to Memoirs, Part 3 — Remembering Vividly 6

This is the third in a series on moving from memories to memoirs. Click here to read Memories to Memoirs, Part 1 and Memories to Memoirs, Part 2. In part two, we used map drawing to trigger memories about place and time in our lives. In this article I present another technique to release sensory […]


Journal Writing Tips: Re-Inspire Your Writing 2

If you struggle with journaling on a regular basis, or your journaling feels parched of life, as though instead of writing about your day you’re attempting to cross an entire desert, stop. Instead of pushing forward, filled with a thirst to do something “writerly,” break out of your routine by […]


Journaling Sensory Details: What We Hear 6

JOURNALING is a way of giving voice to our inner thoughts and feelings; in a very real sense, it’s a monologue for an audience of one. But journal writing can help us develop more than one voice and in more than one form. We can write in the child’s voice, […]


Sensory Details: Handwriting Trains the Brain 26

GIVEN my preference for journaling and writing on the computer rather than writing by hand, I thought a recent Wall Street Journal article, “How Handwriting Trains the Brain” (10/5/2010), was interesting. The gist of the article was that the practice of handwriting improves the ability to develop and express ideas. […]


Journaling the Sensory Details: Touch 2

THINK for a moment about the sense of touch (the ability to feel temperature, pressure, vibration, and texture) and how much it affects our lives. Now ask yourself, how much of your journal or memoir writing includes the wonderful details this sense offers us? If you’re like me, we don’t […]


Sensory Details: The sense of smell

THE SENSE OF SMELL has always been my weakest sense, and I have always envied writers whose sense of smell is strong and present in their storytelling. Writers who talk about the steamy, yeast-filled fragrance of a loaf of bread straight from the oven, who remember scents of lilacs and […]


Clover Heaven

ON A RECENT WALK, the afternoon light filtered softly through a thick web of oak branches and leaves, the tree branches forming an archway that beckoned me into nature’s hall and to some magical place beyond. Spider web  filaments, stretching from branch to branch, danced in the breeze. Beneath my […]