Every morning, still in pajamas, with coffee mug in hand, I wake up my computer to check e-mail. This is always a thrill, as New York is three hours ahead, and I have query letters out. I ready my index finger above the delete key, punch through a number of advertisements––and yes, I admit, I often trash my own cousin Dick’s daily e-greetings, without opening them.

Dickey likes to send/forward chain e-mail greetings to everyone in his universe of cyber friends. I’m sure you have received one of these. They often have cartoon drawings in them or funny jokes. Dick makes sure I know they are funny because he tells me so at the start of every e-mail by using a little animated emoticon. Sometimes these chain letters are made up of fantasy billboards or bumper stickers, which often involve Viagra jokes and loads of cornball sexual innuendo, or they can be political and offensive in nature––you know the ones. Anyway, these e-greetings circulate all over the internet. I hesitate to use the word viral, because I refuse to forward any of them……..except…….for this one e-greeting I happened to open and read the other day.

This one actually had some relevance to my daily writerly workload. When the e-mail came, I had received two requests for a new manuscript, one from a contest judge and one from a QL, which caused a week of furious edits/rewrites. Arrrgggh!!! Generally, one of the last things I do, is take a look at how I have used the senses––sound, sight, smell, taste, touch. Which brings me back around to the humorous (?) e-mail of the day. In a way, this odd little piece of prose reinforced the importance of using all the senses. Here is the unedited, (dreadful amount of tell) unexpurgated version, compliments of my cousin Dick:

A new Supermarket opened in Elk Grove, California. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the distant sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh cut hay.

In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks and brauts.

In the liquor department, the fresh, clean, crisp smell of tapped Miller Lite.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The bakery department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cookies.

I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.


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