Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It Smells Like Switzerland in Here

...whatever that means. What does it mean? I imagine, perhaps, that Switzerland (my favorite place in the world, I think) smells most like chocolate, and snow.

But what does snow smell like? We all have an idea of the scent of snow, I think, but can we actually describe it, put it into words?

Consider how Madeleine L'Engle had her character, Meg, in A Wrinkle in Time explain what fire is to a creature who couldn't perceive that element and had never experienced it. L'Engle did the seemingly impossible (I will send candy to the person who finds the precise passage and comments about it).

Could you do the same? Could you try?

In my creative writing class today, we were discussing strange, overheard lines--and "It smells like Switzerland in here" is something I heard in the halls of my school recently. I think a junior schooler said it.

I quickly scribbled the line on a scrap of paper, and I've been thinking about it since.

What interesting sentences have you heard that piqued your imagination? Please share.

Also, consider challenging yourself to put ideas into sentences, to truly explain concepts, using rich sensory details. It's a good writing exercise, I think. It's a meaningful, creative activity.

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