It’s a horrible spring day. The second one in a row. Rain has come down in transparent sheets for over 24 hours. The temperatures are only in the 30’s. Flood warnings are out. Basements are flooding–so far, not mine. According to the television, we’re on “weather watch” — whatever that is. There are crashes on the roadways and many delays. Thank God, I don’t have to fight that good fight any more.
Ernie woke up barking at a crack of thunder at 4 a.m. Needless to say, the rest of us were awakened, too. I shoved his little furry body under the covers to soften the blow of the weather outside, and we both went back to sleep for a couple of hours. I got up at six, took the trash out in between the raindrops, and then drove to a friend’s house to take him and his wife to the hospital. Today’s he’s facing surgery, and of course, he grumbled about having to get up so early on such a day just to have surgery. The dreary, no-let-up weather makes it seem like nothing is right with the world.
But if you’ll keep a secret, I’ll tell you I kind of like the sound of the rain hitting the roof. I find it soothing. It reminds me of when I was a little girl sleeping in a tent for the first time when I was eleven years old. The sound lulled me to sleep then, and it has the same effect on me now. Trains rumbling down the tracks have the same effect because I lived less than a block away from the railroad tracks when I was growing up.
Describing the feelings specific sounds, smells, and touches can have is a tough thing to describe when writing. But like in real life, these experiences have a keen effect on us, so using sensory images is an important skill to show in your story; it is an essential element of good writing of any kind.
So the next time you’re kept in the house like Ken and I have been for the past couple of days due to horrendous downpours, darkness, cold temperatures, or a dog barking at thunder, catalog your feelings for use on a good writing day. You’ll be glad you did.
Happy writing everyone!