Mini-Series — The Senses — Touch

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

Welcome back everyone.  This is the final installment of my mini-series on the five senses.  I’ve been having a great time with this and I’m happy to see you again.  I’m sincerely touched that this series has been so well received. But that’s a different kind of touch than the sense of touch.  Working the sense of touch into your writing can bring your words to life.  It helps make it relatable.  Are you ready?  Today we reach out and — Touch

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of touch is texture.  (Granted, “smooth” is a texture, but I think you know what I mean.)  Texture is pleasing to my eye.  If I decorate a room or put together an outfit, I like to have elements with texture.  Descriptions of a tactile experience can enhance your writing.  Place your hand on your sleeve and think about how you would describe what your sense of touch tells you.

The sense of touch doesn’t have to come as something that your character literally reaches out to touch.  It can include elements that come into contact with us, like fog or sunlight.

Hand-TouchAs I searched through the body of my work to find an example to share with you, I became painfully aware of two things.  Applesauce!  First – I have a lot of stories awaiting the final touches that I’d love to publish.  If only I had time for those touches. (Yes, I know — not the right kind of touch, but I can’t help myself.)

Second – I really need practice working the sense of touch into my writing!  I’m sure there must be something somewhere in all those files; in all those thousands and thousands of words… 

Okay, this isn’t a good example of using the sense of touch but here’s a tidbit anyway.  Beira the Crone is one of the new characters in Atonement in Bloom.  Lilith the cat meets her early in the story.  (Which I hope to someday finish…)

Lilith looked apprehensively toward the east, where sharp eyes could discern the tip of the eastern gate of Sunhold.

“No, little heart.  That protector, the Guardian of the Gate of the East Winds, is not present.  But he would not care to keep me out, even were he here.  I’m only Beira the Crone.  Some call me Cailleach Bheur, but Beira will do nicely in this place,” she said running her pale bluish hand down the silky fur of the cat’s back.

I’m curious to know your reactions to this snippet.  When Beira touches the cat, I describe the fur’s silky texture.  Does that tiny detail lead you to think one way or the other of Beira?  Nah… Like I said, it’s not a good example.  Without further ado, here’s your writing prompt.

Your Turn!

Okay, now it’s your turn.  This image of a luxury passenger train of yesteryear could relate to many types of writing, not just fiction.  So as before, gaze at this image.  Really focus and put yourself into it.  Put your suitcase away.  Adjust the window shade.  Sit down on the neatly made bed.  Turn on the lamp.  Pour some water into the glass.  Now describe something that involves your sense of touch.

Orient Express Bed

What did you touch?   Leave a comment with just a few words about your sense of touch, based on this photo.

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.

Thank you from my heart for “coming out to play” during these five posts.  I’ve had a great time doing this, so I hope you have as well.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2016 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.

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

  1. Always a lovely treat to read your clever posts Teag. I dropped by (finally) to have a read. Sorry, I’ve no time to participate, as I’m barely getting through the blogs I ‘must read’ lol. Life is overwhelming right now since I’ve taken off my ‘rainbow shades’.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend. ❤ xo

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  2. The stolen ticket crumpled in a fist, Natashia leaned against the slammed door. Breathless, but away from preying eyes. What luck! One hand caressed the cool decanter and the other the starched pillow. Someone had made a mistake and left a shepherd’s blanket on the bed. Even her coarse hands were insulted by the texture.

    Late. Late. Something I hate. Can’t have you think I wasn’t coming. 😀
    😀 ❤

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  3. Loved this photo, Tegan. I could picture myself here. A long way from home, traveling afar as a young governess where tots awaited me. Tired at the prospect of the long journey ahead. Crisp cotton pillowcases beckoned as I lay me down to sleep. A moment’s nap, perhaps? Gently, the smooth softness of a blanket under my threadbare slip felt good to the bare of my gangly legs. Gliding motion of the train helped soothe my soul, closing two creamy lids. Suddenly, a jolt at the station! Quickly, I arose to get dressed, gather my things, and grasp one last glass of tepid liquid from the beautiful decanter sitting on the sterling silver bedside tray. A day of luxury lost for many moons to come.

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  4. That carriage room looks very small and stuffy to me, Teagan, so I immediately touch the window with my wrists rather than my fingers so I can cool down a little. The window pane is cool and it helps cool the blood that passes through the veins of my wrists. I then turn to the decanter of water and splash some of the cold water on my face. As the water touches my face it helps to refresh me. I then strip and strip the bed of the blanket and lay on the cool crisp sheets which make me shiver slightly as they touch my skin.

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  5. The car was beautifully decorated and no expense was spared when it came to the furnishings. Weary from my long drive to the station, I reclined on the bed, It was hard, stiff as a board, and when I pressed down with my fingers, they didn’t make any sort of indentation. Oh, well. A board is better than no bed. I turned to put my cheek against the pillow, which, though stiffly starched, was rough and prickly.

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  6. I have really enjoyed this series….and so here’s my offering for the sense of touch.
    I can imagine my face touching the clean, cool, pillow… I love beautiful bed linens..very simple and white….and to put one’s head onto a fresh pillow is my idea of heaven. Even during periods of ‘famine’ I always try to make sure that my bed linens are lovely:) It’s also where I dream about magical hummingbirds……hope you are enjoying a lovely and very creative weekend…Janet. xxx

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  7. Pingback: FIRST CLASS ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS | Musings on Life & Experience

  8. My eyes are drawn to that cold glass of water: rolling it across my forehead to douse my searing despair; sipping a mouthful of desperate rehydration that turns to the ice cream agony of sensitised teeth inside the pursing of the lips.
    And reading Christoph’s comment about his dogs reminds me that I’ve always wondered why someone doesn’t invent artificial dog’s ears: there is nothing more soothing than fondling dog’s ears, the ultimate stress reliever!

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    • Hi Carol — it’s nice to see you. That is so kind of you. Thank you. 😀 I’m pleased you read some of the comments. I think they are the best part of the posts in this mini series. Something new next time. Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I would like to know Liliths reachtion to the crone touching her silky fur with her cold hand. Is her hand cold, thats how I think of it, bony and cold. Anyway to the train berth or room, I immediately sit on the bed and there is a stark contrast between the clean silky cotton sheets and rough wool blanket, I would run my fingers on the lamp shade and feel the silky shade,when you touch the lampshade there is dust particles that fly into the air and are visible as the sun streams in the window. I also love the feel of the crystal decanter as I pour a glass of water. I love touch, it is what brings the senses to life.

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    • Hi Suzanne! The photo inspired such wonderful things for you. I love the idea of the dust motes in the sunlight. That is vivid.

      As for Beira… I don’t want to give spoilers. But to be honest, I think Beira is a character whose thinking and morality is not the same as ours. She might be “good” (as opposed to evil), but her sense of justice could make her frightening.
      She is the Queen of Winter, so her hand may or may not be cold… it doesn’t really matter. However, no, not a bony hand. She is uniquely beautiful in my mind. The word “crone” nowadays people think of a wretched old hag. But it’s my understanding that it meant something closer to “wise woman.” Think of the three stages of womanhood: maid, mother, and crone. Post menopausal doesn’t mean hag. It’s just one example of how language has changed.
      I think I’m rambling. Sorry. ^^’
      Thank you so very much for taking time to read and comment — and for coming out to play! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I closed the door and sat down on the bed, my hand touched the smooth linen pillow. Soon, my tired head would rest on this soft pillow and my dreams would take away all the sorrows of yesterday.

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  11. I think it is very warm in the carriage – it is why they served that chilled water, not tea or coffee. The pillowcases are crisp, but warm; the warm desk is polished by thousands of hands. I would love to take a ride and never come back.

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  12. Teagan, enjoying this series so much, sad to see, hear, feel, taste, touch that it is over, but I’m ok because I know you’ll give us something just as wonderful, but different.
    Adding the sense of touch does work, especially with the cat because it makes me think of stroking the silky fur, brings us further into the moment.
    I can feel the cool smoothness of the glass against my fingers as I turn off the lamp before snuggling into the welcoming warmth of the bed, the pillows swaying beneath my cheek with the gentle rocking of the train.
    Thank you so much for this delightful treat, dear one, and I’ll patiently (yeah right) wait for whatever comes next.
    Mega old timey train hugs xo

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    • Donna I always look forward to your visits. Thanks for coming out to play! I’m so glad you brought in the motion of the train. I’m delighted that you’ve enjoyed this mini-series.
      Indeed — what’s next? I have no idea… Throughout this series, I’ve been tossing a few ideas around in my head. I have a glimmer… maybe it will grow into an idea.
      Mega hugs right back my friend. 😀

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        • LOL. Thank you from my heart for saying that, Donna.
          It’s been good. I got one high-stress item off my to-do list, and as soon as it was over, I was exhausted. Apparently I was even more stressed than I realized.

          Okay… the glimmer has been solidifying in the past few minutes.
          Serial, but it will have to be shorter episodes than the past ones. “Interactive” again.
          Bring back the culinary element.
          Think “Atomic” era but not necessarily real world. And bring in some quirky stuff.

          The down side is that if i do this, I won’t be novel writing. But “life keeps getting in the way” of noveling anyway….. I can’t write when I’m stressed out. :/

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  13. I would love to be on that train, I have a thing about trains, particularly the golden era ones like this, I can feel the silk of the lampshade as my hand brushes it, the cotton of the pillows, the cool wood of the carriage and oh, that blanket is a little rough 🙂

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    • I agree, Andrea. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful adventure! LOL everyone seems to agree about the blanket. Oddly I didn’t even think of that. I was busy figuring out what I eventually realized was a net for stowing things above the bed. I assume it could be pulled up higher after your things were put there. At first I thought it was an engraving on the mirror. I get so caught up in details… o_O
      Thanks so much for coming out to play at this final installment about the senses. Not sure what lies ahead next weekend. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Then there are involuntary touches experienced in busy places. When we were in Madrid, I taught an early morning class in the SE part of Madrid. The metro line that got me out there was deep in the depths of Hell, as the sets of stairs seemed like they would never end every time I descended to the platform. One morning was particularly busy. At each stop more people crammed onto the Metro cars. One shorter woman got her face smushed into my left arm that I was holding across my stomach. I held onto a pole with my right hand, and I carefully moved my left arm to my side, so that it hung straight down against my left side, that way the poor woman had her face against the fabric on my shirt instead of my bony forearm. The next stop more people piled into the car, and the woman standing at a right angle on my left side got smashed up against me. Her crotch was pressed up tightly against the back of my hand, and her face rested against my left shoulder. I heard her saying “Psst, Psst”, so bent my ear close to her lips. She whispered “Please don’t try to remove your hand. It’s hot enough in here already!” At least we got a laugh out of an awkward situation.

    As the doors of the car tried to close, unsuccessfully, we all got pressed more tightly together, until the doors finally closed and the train started moving. As the train was moving up to speed, all went dark, and the train came to a quick stop. We were packed in so tightly that we hardly moved with the sudden stop. We stood in pitch blackness for a good ten minutes, the temperature rising, as we were as close to Hell as anyone could be, but everyone remained calm, and a few people told jokes until the lights came back on and the train got to the stop where 90% of us got off a bit disheveled and much relieved to be in free space again.

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  15. Hotel, train, stateroom, wherever the bed is the first thing I need to do is get those corners un-tucked. Sometimes I forget to do it before I get in and I feel the constricting tug of those sheets against my legs and feet. I kick and wiggle and I feel the cloth, aided by my own weight, fighting to hold me to the mattress. Finally, I’m free, at which point I lift the covers with my feet to let the blankets fold under me so that I can sleep in the soft cocoon formed around me.

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  16. These are so fun, Teagan. Here’ my tidbit:
    To catch the fleeting view, I leaned over the dainty table and pressed my forehead to the cool glass. My palms rested on the polished window frame, the wood rubbed to an oily patina by the hundreds of hands that traveled these iron tracks through time.

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  17. One thing certain Lilith allowed the person to touch her and, therefore, the person is good deep down. Here is mine “The inspector picked up the glass from the table. his gloved hand prevented him from feeling the texture completely, but he could feel the etching in the fine crystal and it made him smile.”

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    • Good observation, John. Between you and me (and anyone taking time to read the comments) I would say that Beira is one of the good guys in “Bloom.” However, she just might be the most powerful of all the “supernaturals” to come to Atonement, TN. That combined with her strong sense of right, wrong, and justice spell trouble for some characters.
      I love the scene you created for “Touch.” Awesome! Mega hugs. 🙂

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  18. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    As I pressed the water decanter against my fevered brow, it’s icy coolness sent a jolt of pain through my brain. The malaria I had contracted will probably object and make me pay for that later, but for now I needed to pain to help me concentrate on what I had to do. The relieving darkness offered by lowering the rough canvas window shades followed by the tempting warm softness promised by the bed will have to wait. 😎🐵
    Call over to Teagan’s blog and participate as well 👍

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  19. Thanks, Teagan. Love the pic and the song. I’m with David on the name of your character. You’ve made me realise I don’t think I use touch near enough in my writing (I’m not terribly descriptive at best)…

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    • Olga, I very much enjoy your writing style. But since I was the one doing this series… and didn’t even realize that I didn’t have a good example already done to offer… well let’s just say it was humbling! 😀 (Granted, I only searched four of my books, but that was all the time I had. Yet again — 4 books and no good example… Quadruple the humility.)
      I think the romance writers are probably best at this sense. 🙂 Thanks so very much for taking time to read and comment. Happy Saturday. Great big hug.

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  20. I pressed my hand to the icy cold glass of the carriage window and watched the platform disappear; leaving my childhood behind. I withdrew it and sat on the bed, reaching out to touch the comforting warmth of the woollen blanket. It was all going to be alright. Thanks for the Diana Ross Teagan and have a lovely weekend. hugsXX

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  21. My dry lips cracked into a painful smile as I spotted the crystal decanter awaiting my touch. With shaking hands, I poured the cool water into the glass, taking my time to sip the glorious liquid. Ten days out on the dusty trail would make anyone appreciate the offer of a secluded upper-class cabin with its fluffy, white pillows and a counter pane which, at first, looked rough and uninviting, but surprised my senses with its soft, furry texture. As soon as my tired head hit the pillows, my hands stroked the warm blanket, finding comfort and a sense of well being as its warmth enveloped me. My once aching body relaxed and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
    😀

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  22. “I couldn’t wait to rest my weary head after catching my last train of three on my last leg of the journey to the southern-most reaches of Africa. I set my bags down in the room, then quaffed a good amount of water in the decanter. I touched the soft pillowcases which I couldn’t wait to plop down on. But then I moved them aside and grabbed the throw underneath to fold back to get into the comfortable-looking bed. How completely aghast I was to find out the throw was like grabbing a piece of sandpaper, and folded over with the consistency of cardboard! This would just not do. I immediately rung the bell for assistance on this dreadful matter.”

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    • Hi Cheryl. Now, that’s exactly what I mean. Someone might have said “the blanket was rough.” However, adding that you felt the roughness with your hand makes it so much more real. I really did feel it against my hand.
      I’m still waiting for it to be purple flip-flop time here. There are many weeks to go before that! Have a great time on your getaway. Mega hugs.

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  23. After lighting the lamp I sat upon the bed. Right hand resting upon the pillows of smooth , starched cotton so that my fingers glided over them. Left hand upon the contrasting counterpane with it’s rough texture a little like fingering braille.It gave a whole new meaning to reading in bed.
    Your little introduction to Beira the Crone is exquisite. The mere bringing in of her Gaelic name lends a whole new feeling to the piece. A feeling of great age and antiquity. That great truth from the distant past that man now labels a fiction.
    xxx Hugs Galore Dear Teagan xxx

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    • LOL… “a whole new meaning to reading in bed.” I love your sense of humor, David. I’m delighted that you found time to come out to play.
      And thank you for the beautiful, eloquent comment. What a lovely thought to begin my day. ❤ Mega hugs my friend. 🙂

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  24. When reading the piece, my hands automatically reached down to touch the lovely coat of my labradoodles, soft, curly and velvety, as they gather around me, waiting for their morning walk.
    Thanks for kicking off my day with Diana Ross.
    Have a great weekend and reach across that Atlantic ❤

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    • Thank you Christoph — wishing you a wonder-filled weekend as well. Oh, those Labradoodles! I remember the photos you posted of them out on the gorgeous beach. I became infatuated with “puggles” when I saw one, but after seeing your furry family members, I’d want a labradoodle. 😀 (Unfortunately, I’m allergic to dogs…)
      Thanks for taking a moment to read and comment. Mega hugs.

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