As part of my ongoing rehab I have been walking laps on our overly long porch. Although the days have been cool here in Nevada, we haven’t been subjected to the winter storms or freezing temperatures as in the rest of the country. This has given me the opportunity to get out and exercise my new knee.
The valley in which I live is normally very quiet. But today, with each lap a new sound came my way. The lonely bay of the donkey that lives in the barn near the river, the mournful howl of my neighbor’s Irish Wolfhound, the flutter of Quail wings as I come into sight and startle them from their hiding places, the sound of a truck on a distant highway, the squawk of a hawk overhead, the cheerful music drifting from a neighbor’s garage, the laughter of children playing in their yard, and the thump of my cane as it taps against the wooden floor of the porch.
As a writer, each sound means something to a plot. Each sound can invoke a different emotion. Much like the sound of nails on a chalkboard can make a majority of us cringe, the sound of a baby’s laughter can lift our spirits. Put in the right place in our story it can bring the reader closer to the emotions of our characters.
Your turn: When was the last time you closed your eyes and just listened? What did you hear?