I've been doing exercises for scene setting lately, just because enough with the talking heads. Scene! Setting!
So for this exercise I draw on memories of specific spots and listing the sensory details from my memories.
So far I've got: tropical beach at night (St Barts mmmm), outside the Washington Cathedral on a Wednesday evening listening to the bagpipes, sitting on a porch at a lake, walking up a steep hill, driving on the NJ Turnpike, drinking tea in the garden of Dairy Cottage. Just a list of the words of what I saw, felt, smelled, yada yada....
and here's what I'm learning.
--Memories established alone are more powerful. Apparently when someone else is there, I don't do much in the way of observation.
--Memories evoke far too much emotion to be entirely useful. I get sucked into the regrets and the sense of loss instead of What Was Happening. Every one of them has sorrow attached which is kind of ....odd. After all, I got to live through pleasant experiences. That should be enough for anyone. But it stops being about that time and all about how I'll never see those places again. Which is useless.
--I'm apparently much clearer on the sensory details of the memories from when I was a teenager than the more recent stuff.
IN other words, I'm sucking at this exercise. Maybe I'll go outside and write the details of what I'm feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting in the front yard. My guess is "Wet" will be emphasized in the description.