Archived Blogspot Blog Posts

Friday, October 9, 2009

Five on Friday: A Sound Idea

My Maggie Medallion arrived in the mail yesterday, and I've worn this beautiful piece of jewelry ever since. A former Maggie winner said of this impressive silver oval, "I like the way it feels kind of heavy." She said the weight of the handmade disc
serves as a reminder of a special event.

I hung my Medallion on a rope-style necklace because it's so heavy. I wouldn't want to lose my prize, so I didn't trust a delicate link-style chain. As my writer friend noted, I can feel it resting on my chest.

After I clasped the beautiful bit of bling around my neck and went about my day, I heard a faint ringing noise when I moved. It took me a little while to figure out the source: the Medallion sliding along the chain. Each time I hear the soft sound, I'm reminded of the huge blessing bestowed on me last Saturday night and enjoy the thrill all over again.

Sounds, like smells and tastes, can trigger emotional responses. Some sounds, like a babbling brook or the ring of a bell for a touchdown, make us feel good. Others, like the wail of a siren or a child's fearful cry, can elicit the opposite response. Those of us who are writers work to add sounds to our stories, knowing they can being about reactions in our characters as well as enhance our readers' experience.

Here are five sounds that are special to me.

1) The tone telling me I received a text message from our daughter, who is away at college. I hunger for her updates and race for my cell phone when I hear that sound.

2) The hum of our pellet stove in winter. I run cold, and when I wake to that familiar sound I know heat is close at hand.

3) The sound of our cats purring as they come into my office to visit me when I'm writing. The house is mighty quiet in these Empty Nest days, and the visits from my feline friends help ease my loneliness.

4) The rich throaty roar of my husband's classic 1968 MGB roadster when it pulls into the garage after his day of work. I look forward to seeing my guy again and hearing how his day went.

5) The rush of hot water into the tub at day's end. I know relaxation, warmth and a good read are soon to come as I partake of my nightly ritual: soaking in my Calgon-scented bath as I enjoy a few chapters of a great story.

• • • • •

What are some sounds you like to hear, and why?


Jessica said...

Awww, great details and major congrats on your win! :-)

Sounds are so important. They really do affect us. I like the sound of a train. Just makes me think of history and people who used to ride them. It makes me wonder where the train is going, etc.

I don't like the sound of ambulances or fire trucks. Makes me sad.

Diane said...

Such a beautiful reminder and keepsake for your win. I love each one of your sounds and what it triggers. I have noticed that certain sounds make me tense up. I think I'm more of a feeler, with the sun on my shoulders kind of thing. :O)

Anne Barton said...

Keli, I love the picture of you wearing your medallion!

Sounds I love: the crock pot gurgling on a cold day . . . the shouts and grunts as kids play football in the backyard . . . the rumble of the garage door opening when my husband comes home . . . the beeping of the UPS truck as it backs into our driveway with our latest purchase. :)

Thanks for sharing--this is a great post.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessica, the alluring sound of a train whistle or the rhythmic rumble as a train races down the track are great fun, aren't they? Are you perhaps a person who enjoys travel and thinks of possible destinations when you hear such sounds? If so, where would you like the train to take you?

When my daughter was a toddler, the wail of a siren scared her. I searched for a way to calm her. Finally it dawned on me. If I could give the shrill scream of the siren a positive spin, maybe she would be less afraid. I told her about the firemen and policemen who were helping others. When I heard a siren after that I'd say, "Help is on the way." She understood and was no longer as afraid.

(But don't ask about the jet engine roar of automatic flush toilets. Lol. Never did figure out how to help her on that one.)

Keli Gwyn said...

Diane, I love the feel of sun on my shoulders. Back in my days working outside the home, I'd sometimes eat lunch in my car just so I could soak up the warmth of the sun-baked interior.

What are some other tactile experiences that are special to you? I like the feel of satin between my fingers and a fluffy down pillow under my head.

Keli Gwyn said...

Anne, sounds that make us think of family are very special.

And the beeping of a UPS truck? Yes! Can you imagine how that particular sound will send our hearts into overdrive the day we hear it and know it signals the delivery of our first boxes of author copies? I've had several debut author blog guests at Romance Writers on the Journey mention that incredible experience.

Cindy said...

Keli, congratulations on your win. Those are wonderful sounds. Mine are a little more simple. I love the sounds of my daughters voices in the morning. I love the sounds of rain and the grumble of thunder. I love the sounds of music when I'm cleaning.

Keli Gwyn said...

Cindy, I'm looking forward to the sound of rain. Here in the Sierra Foothills of California, we often go without precipitation from May to October. We've had one brief storm this fall, but another is predicted this coming week. I'll venture out of my writing cocoon when I hear the patter of drops on the roof and run outside because I love the musty dusty smell when the rain first begins to fall and the feel of the drops on my face.

I'll admit that the "grumble of thunder" (love that description) isn't a favorite of mine. I hear it and race to my computer to shut it and my modem down. I was in a building struck by lightning years ago, and it fried my employer's computer system. (This was a very long time ago. The main computer took up the better part of an entire room. Yeah. I'm a relic. I actually took a college class in which I learned to program on punched cards. Can you say dinosaur?)

I love your idea of playing music while housecleaning. Anything I could do to lift my spirits during that dreaded chore would be welcome.

Katie Ganshert said...

Love your sounds! I definitely feel like taking a bath now. That sounds heavenly, especially since I'm very cold right now, and a hot bath would warm me right up!

Sounds I love:
- My eleven-month old son's belly laugh. There is no greater sound in the universe.

- The sound of my husband's voice when I lay my head on his chest and he talks

- the sound of our dog, Bubba shaking off in the wee morning hours, because I know he's getting off the couch and will be creeping into our room to snuggle any second

- a crackling fire

Katie Ganshert said...

oh, and one more: a teakettle's whistle, because I LOVE hot tea!

Keli Gwyn said...


I enjoyed hearing about some of your favorite sounds. I noticed all have to do with warming body and/or soul, which makes it easy to see why they're so special to you.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and that it includes time with your hubby, son and furry friend along with a nice cup of tea and a soak in a tub filled with plenty of hot water--and perhaps some Calgon, which I highly recommend.

sherrinda said...

Oh, I am so excited about your win! What a lovely keepsake!

I laughed when I read number 4! I thought you were going to say..."the rich throaty roar of my husband's snore"!!!! I suppose it is because MY husband's throaty roar kept me up last night! lol

Well, one of my favorite sounds is rain against the window. So soothing and calming. Another one of my favorite sounds is the laughter of my children, especially when they are all together and cracking each other up. They really are each other's best friends. I just love that!

Keli Gwyn said...

Sherrinda, I love Gwynly dearly, but I wouldn't refer to his snoring in such complimentary terms I'm afraid. :-)

Children's laughter is a wonderful sound. And I'm eager for the drumming of rain on the roof after our long, dry summer here in the Sierra Foothills of California. A huge storm is predicted Tuesday and Wednesday with two or three inches of rain expected to fall in one day. WooWhee!