Skip to main content

Do Not Touch

As I’ve been combing the streets of Paris I’ve been keeping all my senses at attention, as every good writer should.  Except, there's one missing… touch.  It’s interesting as I evaluate my experiences I realize I’m very good at seeing, smelling, tasting and hearing but I always forget to include the tactile experience (unless I come across an animal that needs patting).  I guess that’s a good thing in the city I am currently exploring since everywhere we go (I’m referring to the dozens of museums we’ve visited) there are signs that say “Ne Touchez Pas!”  It’s okay, really, since the sites, sounds and smells of Paris are spectacular enough.  

Fresco on the ceiling in Opera Garnier...not sure who the artist is

Absorbing Aromas and Art

Yesterday, I commented to my mother-in-law, with whom I’m traveling, that we’ve savored crepes in the gardens at Versailles, sipped wine on the Left Bank and swilled beer in a pub on the Grand Boulevard.  So, we had taste totally covered.  Any time I'm writing about eating in the future, I'll have loads of memories from which to pull.  We’ve inhaled the smells of the patisseries and boulangeries as we’ve meandered down cobblestoned streets and have paused appreciatively to absorb the works of the masters.  I haven’t really felt the need to touch the Rembrandt at the Jacquemart Andre or the many Monet murals at the Orangerie.  I've been happy to get drawn into them visually, which I did especially with one particular Monet.   As I gazed at the panels stretched across the width of the room, I was sure a floor to ceiling image of a face leaped out at me from the canvass! 

Describing Touch

But, where does touch come in?  As a writer I always pride myself in being able to experience things with all the senses in order to draw on vibrant, multi dimensional memories when sitting down to write descriptive prose.  Now I know that I must concentrate on including touch as I wander through life and, as I go through yet another edit of my novel, I must remember to add some tactile descriptions.  Not to mention, noticing good examples of descriptions of how something ‘feels’ on the finger tips when I'm reading for pleasure!


Expat Forever said…
Lucky you to be in Paris. So long time I haven't been in my homecountry and especially Paris.
Happy to learn you are working on a novel ...
Yes, it's been very exciting. Every day brings a new adventure. Sadly, we are leaving today but I do have a good start on an outline!
Katie Foster said…
Ah Paris! Roger has promised we will go there next spring. Your descriptions are so vivid I can see and smell the city already. Touching? Well, we will just have to wait and see. Travel safe.
Yes Katie, you guys must go. It was a sensory horn of plenty! If you want warmth though, go in June. The day we visited the Jacquemart-Andre Museum (a must) we looked out the window and it was hailing. It did help us decide to stay and have lunch in the museum's cafe, which was to die for!!! I reminded myself that "He" does work in mysterious ways :)
Zvezdana said…
Hi Anne,
Your trip sounds wonderful. I am so glad you had a lovely time with your mom and mom in law.
That's so precious. I love the descriptions of Paris, especially the food:)) Hope to make it there one day too...
How is the novel coming along?
Hi Zvezdana,
Glad you enjoyed it! I've had to take a break from the novel to do some paid client work but I am still adding the detail we talked about while simultaneously sending queries to agents.
Fingers crossed!

Popular posts from this blog

Virtual Book Tour for The Healing Begins April 23

As we approach launch day for Lynda Faye Schmidt's novel, The Healing , a women's fiction/family drama based on the author's life, we're excited to announce the blog tour schedule and introduce you to the bloggers and book reviewers who have joined the tour. The tour begins on launch day, April 23rd. Take a look, follow these bloggers and make sure you visit on the tour dates indicated (check back regularly for updates): Pre-Tour - March 2 - Thrive Global - pre-launch announcement  April 16 - Fit for Joy - pre-launch podcast interview with Lynda April 23 - IndieView - author Q&A with Lynda April 24 -  Canadian Bookworm  - featuring a guest blog by Lynda, "What Inspired Me" April 26 - Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight April 29 - Storybook Reviews - review May 4 -  Help Me Sara  - podcast interview May 13 -  My Question Life  - review and author interview June 30 - Reader's Favorite - review  Date TBD - Maryse's Book Blog - review Date

By the Light of the Cresent Moon Virtual Book Tour

On August 26th, we will launch Ailsa Keppie's much awaited memoir, By the Light of the Crescent Moon . On the same day we will launch her virtual book tour, featuring the blogs below joining the tour with reviews, author Q&As and guest posts. Visit and follow these blogs and make sure you follow the tour. As the posts go live we will update the links here to go direct to the tour post. Thanks to the following bloggers & podcasters who have joined the tour: Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight - August 23-26 The IndieView - author Q&A - August 26 Sarah Butland's Imagination Captured - book review - August 26 The Author Journey with OC Publishing - author interview - August 26 Canadian Bookworm - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, Why I Wrote My Memoir - August 27 Just Reviews - book review - August 28 Storeybook Reviews - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, The Voice in My Head - August 29 Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews - author Q&A - August 31 Laura&

Holiday Launch Planned for Late Author's Second Children's Book

 We are saddened by the recent passing of the very vivacious, funny, gorgeous, and talented author, Jackie Arnason. Last year, at the age of 87, we published her first Children's book, Hambone-Why Pigs Have Curly Tails . After a brief illness, Jackie passed away in September of this year, while we were well-underway in the publishing process for her second book, Timothy Titus Terrance O'Toole and the Dragon. With the support of her family, we pressed on and will launch her book in December.  Jackie Arnason A beloved story-teller to all those who knew and loved her, with the publishing of her first book, and now her second, a lifelong dream has been fulfilled. Her legacy will live on in the lessons and magical stories she shared through the years. A prairie girl, born in a small town in Saskatchewan, Jackie's childhood years in the 'Dirty Thirties' were hard but the local library became her haven where she escaped into worlds she could only dream of growing up in Reg