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30.7.08

Seduction Of The Senses

Welcome to the fifth and final installment in my series dedicated to exploring the five senses. This month we will be delving into the sense of hearing.

For those of you who missed the first four installments of Seduction Of The Senses Series, I’m not going to repeat the introduction, but instead give you the links to the previous 4 posts:

First Installment – The Sense of Touch http://totalebound.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

Second Installment – The Sense of Sight http://totalebound.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html

Third Installment - The Sense of Taste

Fourth Installment --The Sense of SMELL: http://totalebound.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

The Sense of Hearing
She was lost somewhere in semi-darkness, surrounded by lush vegetation, its scent exotic to the point of being intoxicating. The heat and oppressive humidity caused her clothing to cling to her body like a second skin. All around her were the sounds of jungle creatures preparing for night, animals calling to their mates ... and there was music. Not music exactly ... drums ... jungle drums. The evocative rhythm of the drums had an immediate effect on her senses, seeping through the pores of her overheated flesh and into her blood stream like an insidious drug. Her surroundings no longer seemed alien, the haunting call of the night creatures no longer frightening. She became one of them, another wild thing in search of its mate.

The blurb above is from a current WIP where the sound of jungle drums plays an important role. You have no idea how long it took me to find just the right CD of jungle drums with just the right sound to evoke the mood I was shooting for. When I’m working on a scene featuring the drums, that CD is playing in the background.

When writing a love scene, I play music to set the tone and the mood. I have a CD collection of Spanish love songs. I can’t understand a word but it doesn’t matter. The sexy voice and melody are all I need.

Music as well as specific sounds have the ability to influence mood either positively or negatively. How many listen to relaxation tapes? The sound of ocean waves, rain, etc?

I have a collection of various types of mood setting CD’s that I use when writing and if I don’t have just the right sound to fit a particular scene I’m creating, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll try to find it.

What sounds impact your mood? What sounds do you find soothing? What sounds have the ability to affect you in a negative fashion? We all have types of music that we don’t care for, but is there a particular sound that you have an unusual aversion to? What about an old favorite – the sound of the phone ringing in the middle of the night?

I admit it. I have a totally irrational aversion to the sound of wind chimes. Not all wind chimes, just the ones that have a tinkling crystal sound. I don’t have a clue why. I have no idea what or if any particular incident is behind my reaction to this particular sound, but I can tell you that when I hear that crystal tinkling, my heart rate kicks up and my fight or flight instincts kick in big time.

On the flip side, nothing has the ability to bring a smile to my lips or make me laugh outright like the sound of a child’s laughter. How many of you have seen clips on funniest videos of infants or toddlers laughing?

Exercise 1: LISTEN – This may sound easy but you might just be surprised. Go outside, maybe drive to someplace isolated in the country and park. Either get out of your vehicle or roll down the windows, close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Anything? Nothing? Does the wind make a sound as it blows through the trees? If you’re in the country, what about the wind blowing dried corn husks in a field. What about birds? Can you recognize the type of bird by its call? Try to isolate and identify individual sounds. You may think you hear nothing, yet there is sound all around you.

Which again brings us to the importance of utilizing the senses as a writing tool to add depth and realism to a scene.

As the sun concluded its fireball descent, turning the sky to crimson and the surrounding hills to darkened silhouettes against the horizon, Mara couldn’t bring herself to go inside. She remained on the deck watching the stars come out, listening to the sound of the waves lap against the shore, and the distant hum of motors on the boats of night fishermen, watching as the their running lights glided across the lake. Gradually her senses became attuned to other sounds: the “gurump, gurump” from a bull frog, the answering croak from some distance away; the hoot of an owl; and the persistent the chirping of crickets and tree frogs. There was the occasional splash as a fish jumped, and just what she didn’t need, the buzzing near her ear of a pesky mosquito, her signal to go inside. On top of everything else, she didn’t need to find herself covered with itchy welts.

The scene above is from Independence Day, one of the stories in my Holiday Fantasies collection. For this scene, I sat outside at night, on a deck overlooking a lake, closed my eyes and listened (and had a tape player running), taking note of the individual sounds.

I’ve said it in other posts and will say it again - we have become such a fast pace society that I personally believe we tune out a lot and in the process, miss out on more than we realize.
Exercise 2: LISTEN - At night while in your home, turn off the television, the music, all the lights, just sit and listen. You may think you hear nothing, but there is a sound to the silence. Do you hear subtle noises you’ve never noticed? Do you maybe hear a sound that a house makes when settling? Do you have a fireplace and enjoy listening to the popping and crackling sounds the logs make? Is there a bush or tree outside that brushes against the side of the house or window? What about the sound of rain upon the roof or window? The sounds are there. You just have to open yourself to hearing them.

I don’t think I need to elaborate how sound influences making love and if we’re shooting for primal excitement, who doesn’t love having sex turning a thunderstorm? Bottom line, the sense of hearing is one of our most erotic senses. In real life, or the written word, the sighs, soft whimpers, and moans from your lover as you give them pleasure serve as a natural aphrodisiac. What a turn on!

On the flip side, I once dated a man who was a groaner. From the first kiss to climax, the same groaning sound continued non-stop, sounding much like a worn out fog horn with the switch stuck in the on position. Needless to say, the experience was not repeated.

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the five senses with me during the series. As readers, I hope you discovered a few tips to heighten your senses and spice up your love life. As writers, I hope I’ve given you a few ideas you can use to add a bit more depth and realism to your writing by utilizing the senses. Please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Until same time next month while I struggle to figure out what to write next, “Listen to the sounds in the silence.”




Happy Birthday TEB!!!!

Kay



Now that you have all of the clues, follow what the sentence tells you to do, and get the answer! Send it to competitions@total-e-bound.com with 'blog contest' in the header. Good luck!!

5 comments:

Caffey said...

Hi Kay! I have to do some catching up here at the blog but so wanted to post on this one. As I'm deaf, I use my other senses more to not just take the place of hearing, but in some ways they are enhanced because I can't hear. Like I'll be reading and I'm more aware of any vibrations happening in the home and could mostly (not always) feel when the kids were like jumping on the bed or making noise because I could feel it. Sometimes I do get used to sound vibrations that I learn to ignore it, like cars going by. Some just can't feel, so I used a light that would flash around house when my kids were a baby.
I do love to read about what the characters here when they out like you explained here in the post. I get to get a sense of what it sounds like. My sense may interpret it differently but its still there. It was so great to read this! Hope I didn't add too much! Off to read the rest, this post was great!

Kay Wilde said...

Caffey,

What a wonderful response. I'm pleaed that you enjoyed my post. You are a perfect example of the imortance of using the five senses in description, allowing the readers to see, feel, taste, smell and in your case, hear what the characters are experiencing.

You also taught me a about the possibility of using sound vibrations. It's something that I hadn't considered.

Thank you!

Kay

Molly Daniels said...

I miss the sound of the crickets, locusts, and spring peepers every March or April. Here in our new town, the sound of the train whistle is the dominant sound!

Great posts, Kay:)

Kay Wilde said...

Hi Molly,

More often than not, we don't normally think of the sounds connected to where we live. We get so used to them that we tune them out, until they are no longer there. Then we miss them.

When I was growing up, we lived near a train track. And you know, to this day I can't really remember hearing the trains.

Yet, the mere thought of the sound of a train whistle spark all kinds of story possibilities in my mind.

Kay

Molly Daniels said...

Come on down. We get about 80 through here a day, and I only hear maybe 10 now, that we've been here 2 years??