Mini-Series — The Senses — Sight

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

EyeWelcome back to my mini-series on the five senses.  Last weekend’s post on the sense of hearing was so well received that I am happy to do the second installment — Sight. 

Originally when I asked you for a few words about “what you heard” I expected simply words or phrases, similar to what we did for the Three Things serials. I was delighted to see that everyone left little stories! You’re all so creative.

You’d think sight would be the easiest of the five senses for this mini-series.  I guess it’s too simple.  I think everyone primarily writes, paints, or photographs based on what they see.  Any of you chefs might be the exception.  I expect the senses of smell and taste tend to propel your creations.

Yes, maybe it’s too simple.  Or maybe I can’t see how to do this post because I’m blind as a bat!  (Sorry bats, no offense.) So here goes…

The obvious way to handle a post about “sight” might be to suggest ways of vividly describing the details of a setting.  But let’s look at it a different way.  I want to get you to visualize the setting in a way that influences how you see a character.  That’s right; the way the setting is described influences how the reader/viewer sees the character or the situation.

Early Lucille 3 copy

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

I might see something perfectly clearly in my imagination.  However, subtitles in describing what I see can have a big impact on your overall perception.  For instance how do you see a setting where a ghost was about to appear?

You’re most likely thinking of something eerie, seeing shadows, hearing creepy music, maybe even feeling goosebumps on your arms.  Ah, but what if my ghost story was lighthearted, almost a comedy?  How can I get my reader to see that without giving up all the spookiness?  I want to lend some spine-tingling suspense, but I also want the contrast and irony of a not so threatening poltergeist.

For this I’m using one of the “interactive” serials I’ve provided here at this blog. Click the button at the top of the page if you want to know more about this serial.  This tidbit is from episode-1 of A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients, Cookbook-2. All the episodes are together and in chronological order on the serial homepage.

This serial is a culinary mystery-fantasy set in the 1920s. It’s narrated by Pip, the young woman who is central to the story.  In this scene Pip and her friend Andy first encounter the ghost of the cursed chef.  I try to help you meet the ghost in a way that hints at his personality through the thing Pip sees.  Here is my humble attempt with the sense of sight.

***

Skull Ghost Bottle

I didn’t realize that I was humming as I carefully cleaned the bottle, until Andy asked me what I as singing.  Suddenly puzzled, I stopped because I had no idea what the song was.  It was a tune I wasn’t even aware of knowing.  I hummed it louder for Andy, but he didn’t recognize it either.  I shrugged it off.  Obviously I must have heard the tune somewhere.

Turning the bottle this way and that, I admired my handiwork, as well as the beautiful design.  Only then did I notice that the top of the bottle’s neck was shaped like a skull with two swords beneath it.  I made a face and showed Andy.

“You don’t think that means it’s poison do you?” he asked.  “I’m sure the label doesn’t say that. And the seal hasn’t been broken.”

I had really been excited about that gorgeous bottle of wine.  I didn’t want to think it was anything other than what the label said. 

“Wait.  For poison they use a skull and crossbones.  Those things look like swords — not bones.  Isn’t that the pirate symbol?” I commented and Andy nodded and grinned.

Andy_Willie Garson_Hat

Willie Garson as Andy

“Maybe that means it really is a pirate’s bottle!” he offered.  “This wine could have been made before the Civil War.  Or even before that.  It could date back to the American Revolution — or who knows how far!”

I handed Andy the corkscrew and told him to do the honors.  However, the cork was stubborn.  Finally I held the bottle with both hands, while he removed the cork.  It came loose with a reverberating pop, which I felt inside my teeth and eardrums.  The harmonic sound shifted into the melody I was humming a moment before.

“Holy Hannah,” Andy commented quietly.

For a moment I thought the bottle must have been mislabeled.  I thought it must contain Champagne rather than marsala.  A sort of fizzy purple vapor filled the air, expanding wider and taller.  I started waving a napkin, trying to clear the air.  Then I sneezed.  It was a big bend your neck, eye-squinting, bless-you-and-everybody-around-you sneeze.  Like I said, the vapor was weirdly fizzy.

I was about to make a smart-alecky remark to Andy about the fact that he didn’t say “Bless you.”  But as I raised my head and opened my eyes I saw a man standing where the vapors had been.  He wore a white apron, but his clothes were from an era long past.  When I looked closely, I realized that he wasn’t particularly… well… solid.

He bowed quite formally.  “At your service, Signorina,” the ghost said.

Vintage kitchen bouquet ad

***

Your Turn!

Now it’s your turn.  Look closely at the image below.  How you see it is unique to you. On what special element in the photo would you focus to bring out the setting you see (or want others to see), or the personality you see for one of the people (or even the horse, buggy, or building!)?  Now, with only a few words, leave a comment and tell me what you see.

Olde Pink House

Olde Pink House — Savannah, GA

 

What did you see?   

Open Invitation:  If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Thanks for visiting.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.——

106 thoughts on “Mini-Series — The Senses — Sight

    • Indeed, Lavinia. Savannah and its buildings have inspired many stories. In fact, the story from which this snippet came is set there in the 1920s.
      Tomorrow I’ll launch part-3 of this mini-series — Smell. Let’s hope it is not a stinker! Hugs.

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  1. So enjoyed your story here Teagan and the ghostly apparition. Those of us who ‘See’ are blessed.. And we are all blessed with the senses we possess.. What do I see in the photo.. Apart from the obvious.. 🙂 I see a tired horse whose plodding past the twin flags yet again to the babble of the chatter of excitement behind him is saying.. ” Only two more rides and I get my well deserved dinner and rest in the stable” 😉

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  2. I see this house as being a haunted house, Teagan. Because it’s pink, the ghosts are gay. How do we know that? Well, the two male ghosts that I see in one of the top windows are holding hands and are both wearing matching wedding bands. The tourists about to enter the house will learn that the house was once a place where people could get married, but that no Weddings have taken place since all have ended in divorce (apart from the Gay marriage).
    Have a great week. Hope all that snow has now departed the steps up to your house?
    Hugs,
    xx

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    • Hi Hugh. I still have a good deal of snow, but we are to get temperatures above freezing all week, so it is noticeably melting. Thank all that’s holy!
      In my imagination what you see could take a comical turn to a fun romp, with a satirical jab at the stereotypes. Thanks so much for taking a moment to come out and play! Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a delightful tale you shared here Teag. My first impression of your photo seemed to be a tourist trolley about to go and have some lunch in what used to be a historical home of someone famous, now a tourist restaurant. 🙂 ❤

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    • Ah, I like the idea, Debby. It’s a magical (like old Hollywood cinema magic) setting for a story. Forgive me for selecting you as my participant in this magic show. Now… what detail in the photo would you describe to your readers — the description of which would help your reader *see* the tone of the story you were about to tell?
      You don’t have to answer — I’m just in professor mode. 😉
      Thanks so very much for coming out to play! Mega hugs. 🙂 ❤

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      • The clang of the trolley bell echoed in the village as it came to a halt. A new group of tourists had arrived in front of the grand, historic tavern. One by one the hungry travelers exited the trolley with their hungry appetites. Before entering they took in the beautiful structure with their eyes. The stately looking tavern, with its pink hued washed walls and covered porch, erect with stoic white pillars, stirred the imagination of the guests and left them salivating with delight as they anticipated the delectable goodies awaiting them inside.

        Did I make you hungry? LOL ❤

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  4. Teagan, I see tired, uninterested people touring the city in horse-drawn cart number 975. The Olde Pink House passed by with a glance or two from the people facing it. There are just too many sites like this one to pay attention to another pastel house. The driver focuses on the route ahead. The horse plods on. No one sees this as a Savannah feature. The mystery of long ago events lost. Elegant state dinners. Brandy & cigar drawing room debates. Beautiful ladies in flowing gowns and summer fans. And so much more! Happy week ahead. Hugs, 💛 Elizabeth

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  5. I see a stately beautiful restored mansion that once housed a spirited young woman that was forced into an unhappy marriage and sometimes you can hear her crying at night.

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  6. I see from the horse-drawn tourist car this is a city of people who treasure their past. They welcome visitors to come, feast with their eyes and absorb the atmosphere Savannah has to offer.

    For this reason, the buildings radiate the past. They stand in the original condition they enjoyed a century or more ago.

    History lives in Savannah. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  7. I see the driver – he lives alone and though he spends lots of time chit-chatting with tourists, his only real friendship is with his horse – they’re both getting old and they have a special bond clip-clopping around the city all day! It was great to get all nostalgic and visit with Pip and Andy again 🙂

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    • Hi Andrea. Thanks for coming out to play! 😀 I enjoyed what you “see.” I had been curious to learn what everyone might see and interpret from the people, because they were all in shadows. I’m glad you enjoyed this. It made me happy to revive Pip and Andy for a bit. Mega hugs my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful white horse, majestic animal reduced to pulling a bunch of tourists past faded glory yet it tries to attract. Pink the colour stands sharply against the true green of the leafy trees which try to cover its nakedness. Sad building, treasures you hide should be the only glamour you wear.

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    • That’s partly my fault, David. Lately I’ve tried to use the “scheduling” thingie so that my posts go out to you and my other friends in the UK (and other earlier time zones) around 12 or 1AM my time. But WP’s latest improvement is not compatible with the “zoom” I use to make my screen readable to my blind-as-a-bat eyes. So I have to do a lot of fiddling to make the calendar show up — and then I can barely see the thing. The short of this long story going nowhere is that I scheduled this post for the wrong month! LOL. So I spend an hour yesterday morning looking for it… finally finding it in the pending area for next month…. So it did reach you later than my current “usual.”
      I’m flattered that you were looking for it. 🙂 ❤

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  9. The first thing I focused on besides the bright pink house was the confederate and American Flags flying prominently next to each other. We have a family deeply rooted in the culture of the South, very proper with “help” that has been with that family for many years, they live in a small house in back of the pink house. There is a lot of history and many things both good and not so good that have happened within the walls of this house and the house itself is alive with spirits. Well, thats it but have to say I love this and so glad to see Andy and Pip again..

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  10. I’m focusing on the man in the front row beside the lady with the white top. He’s wearing sunglasses. Maybe he’s blind. He isn’t observing his surroundings like the others. The only thing he can see is in his own mind, visualized only by what the others on the wagon describe. He has no problem with the color on the house, for he remembers his mother had a favorite pink dress he often saw her wear before he became blind.

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  11. Great prompt! Safely obscured by the curtain and leafy branches, I see a young lady peeking out of a one of the second story windows. She is very interested in the street scene below. She is feeling confused and excited at the same time… she recognizes the horse and carriage going by, but what are those horseless carriages in front of her house? And who are those people? Are they coming to visit? She hopes so because it has been so lonely and boring since her family went away.

    I really like the idea of a fun ghost- I remember watching Topper and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on tv as a kid, probably on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Oh, and we can’t forget Casper, the Friendly Ghost.

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  12. Without having read any of the other comments yet, I “see” a weathered and grizzled Diva who’s long past her prime, thick black mascara and overdone makeup with bright red lipstick, peeking out from behind the curtains of the “asylum” she’s held in to last out her final days, longing for her days of glory and just hoping and wishing for one last chance to show her talents to the world. But…. what ARE those talents? Something mystical and magical? A mystery indeed…

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  13. I see a man shocked to find a familiar face in the buggy, someone from a past that he had thought buried. It’s a look that speaks of fear and a smidgen of hope, hope that he has not yet been recognised and that he may yet slip away yet again, avoiding capture. A witness on a protection programme, an undercover cop and errant husband whose fortunes were hidden before the acrimonious divorce. Only the horse, sensitised to the surrounding emotions, sees the man’s fear despite its blinkers, his ‘sight’ being a sense that we humans have long lost.

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  14. I see a horse tired of ferrying people to and fro , the blinkers stopping him from even a glimpse of the colonial pink building that stands as an eatery for his heavy load.
    The fire extinguisher on the footplate reminds him of the heat from the road warming his tired hooves. The endless chattering and fidgeting of passengers, the oohs and ahhs but, not for him, he is only a fine specimen ignored by the crowd as he shakes his mane to be noticed. Pulling the buggy brings attention to hooves on cobbles, eyes front he concentrates on the modern traffic and he continues amongst the engines of the grand tourers the trucks and tractors filling his sight. 😇

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    • Welcome Ellen! Thanks for coming out to play. 😀 Ah… you’ve set the stage for a sad, misused, horse who wants attention. Does he seek revenge? Or does a magic wand get waved allowing him to live his wildest dreams? Or perhaps he is the Pink Panther and goes after Cheryl’s peeping painters! 😀 Huge hugs

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  15. I see present day people in the buggy yearning for an era that the pink house represents….a technology free, time gone by. By the way Savannah is one of my favourite American cities…only not at the height of summer:) Love this concept….you are wonderful….Janet. xxx

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    • Dear Janet thanks for sharing what you “see.” Now I can imagine the yearning people you saw with their various hopes and dreams and a story behind each.
      Anywhere in the southeast is not my favorite place to be in the height of summer! It’s very humid. Yes, Savannah is a fine city. Mega hugs! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Perfect casting for Andy. I wish my ‘friend’ from “Sex & The City” would get more roles. He did such a great job in “Friends”, too.
    Looking at the pink house I hear a little girl scream: “See Mamma, we could paint our house pink and it would look fabulous. Let’s do it!”
    Her mother sighs and worries what will become of that silly girl.
    Twenty years later, a young woman would graduate from art school and become a well-sought interior designer in New York.
    Hugs!

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    • Tee-hee! I love what you “saw” Christoph. I could see her all through her growing up years.
      I love Willie Garson in “White Collar” too. I think that’s my favorite role of his. That show wouldn’t be the same at all without him.
      Many thanks for visiting and commenting, my friend. I truly appreciate your support. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So interesting. When I look at the picture I see a tour carriage about to be cut off by several black SUVs arriving is a rush. The diplomat inside is hustled into the pink house by several FBI agents to meet with the governor of Georga to negotiate his resignation and arrest for treason. Great post and enjoyed the idea of friendly ghosts. (my fourth book has one)

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  18. The pink house got me thinking about a doll’s house. What if is it were a doll’s house, an antique’s doll house… Perhaps with a secret (I like D Parker’s suggestion too!)

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    • Oooh… Now my mind has combined both the things you two saw… You’ve set the stage well by telling me what you saw! But I’d expect no less from you Olga. 😀 Congrats on the radio show. Is it weekly? Right? Leave a link for everyone here if you get a chance. Mega hugs!

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  19. Teagan, thank you for this lovely posts and challenge…and for inviting us into your archives, especially wise since today is #ArchiveDay on Twitter. 🙂
    As much as I love words, I tend to be a very visual person and my glasses help me be slightly less blind than a bat. 😉
    When I looked at your image I thought of a tall, casually dressed woman, jeans and a blue T-shirt, in her forties, on a tour of these regal vintage home, but when she wanders away from her tour group into a small, dimly lit room she’s transported back in time…there’s more to it, but I’ll leave that for another day or book – my brain is a little fried from the blog party I’ve been hosting, well still hosting, but once again, dear friend you have inspired me and I think I’ll take some time off today and write a bit of my book. Thank you.
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly, dear one. 🙂
    Megahugs xo

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    • Oh Donna — you deserve to take time for yourself, so I do hope you will! And I’m looking forward to your book… not that I have any ulterior motive. 😉
      I had forgotten all about #ArchiveDay on Twitter. I just don’t have the time to do social media right. :/ but I do what I can.
      Thank you so much for the wonderful blog party. I hope everyone will click the link on your lovely picture and pay a visit. Kudos on the ton of comments you received! (Oh your poor typing fingers… don’t get carpal tunnel or anything. Yeesh! You need a rest!) Be well. Mega hugs, dear friend. ❤ 🙂 ⭐

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  20. I see spring and summer, with the people in the carriage longing for a quiet, peaceful time which they want to believe existed in the past. They are about to discover those beliefs may not be true.
    Many hugs back – fun post!

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  21. OK Teagan, in case you want a word, “exclusive” is my offering. I see an exclusive retreat for men of means. Yes, sorry, men, women haven’t even been allowed to work in this establishment. Planning and plotting are common pastimes behind those walls.

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