writer wednesdays: smelling


For a while, I will be writing a piece weekly according to a prompt I choose. This is so I can fulfill my resolution to write more. Writing club is still around, so if you would like to participate, post your work on your blog, on our forum, or in a personal place. No matter where you write, I hope you do it.

Today's prompt: the smell of a place you love

There is a place that I go when I feel sad or angry or happy. On free-flying helium-filled balloon days where nothing can go wrong and the sun is shining, the place beckons to me as a place of peace and old friends. It is a place filled with smells of the impossible and the familiar at the same exact moment. I get whiffs of my childhood and faint puffs of angst from my teenage years. Sometimes I smell a waft of summertime spent in the cool grass under a hot sun. I smell the freedom of jumping in sprinklers and plopping down on sun-warmed cement. I magically inhale my mom's old perfume infused in my favorite stuffed bear and I think of all the things that I could, should and would be.

On dark, lonesome days of sadness, The place comforts me. I smell the familiar and loved. Scents curl around me like blankets, shielding me from the cold and inevitable loneliness that some days will bring. We crouch into each other, the smell and I, getting lost in the tides of words and aroma of far away places. Even on sad days, that place can bring me back again to the place I am the happiest and things are possible and shiny and good.

My place is in a book. Books encompass the world. The scents of everything imagined originate from the musty smell emanating from the pages of books. They flap and flutter, wafting essence of adventures and trials, deepest despairs and highest elation. Somehow, the smell of pages captures the fragrance of the world before it was, as it is and how it will be. They trap the smell of childhood, and with the crisp turn of a page, can throw the memory of life into your face where it dances along behind your lids like a meteor; flashing bright, streaking quickly and fading before you know what's happening.

The smell of a book is a cloak-covered dream. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of your brain, a memory stirs. A flicker there, a face here. Notes of laughter strung together like a garland along the outside of your consciousness. The smells are fleeting, as are the memories.

A book. The smell. It does all of these things for me and more. The smell takes me back and forward, sideways and below. I remember the things that were forgotten, and inspiration is there sometimes, too. A book is my haven, and its smell is my time machine.

No matter where my life is, the smell of a book can always bring me back to where I want to be.


  1. Beautifully written, Elyse!! I've made a resolution to read more this year and I am loving it. It feels so good to get lost in a book like I used to as a kid.

    PS: Just read The Great Gatsby for t the first time last week (i know, right?) and it was seriously amazing.

  2. Awesome! The Smell, feel, and sound of a book is why I am currently boycotting electronic reading...

  3. So glad you are writing again. This was beautiful and so descriptive. I loved it. Keep it coming!



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