The Proprioception of Christmas

Johnny Mathis reminds me of my childhood.

My mother would play songs such as The Sounds of Christmas, It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas and Christmas is a Feeling in Your Heart as we decorated the Christmas tree. His singing makes me think of bowls of satsumas on the sideboard, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and soaking wet gloves from throwing snowballs.

Looking at those songs now, it occurs to me that – just like the advice given to beginning writers – the lyricists were trying to engage the senses with regards to Christmas. They’ve covered three of them.

But what about the others? I’m not just talking about the taste and smell of Christmas. It’s reckoned there are between 9 and 21 senses (Google it if you don’t believe me.)

So why not write a songs about an exteroceptive sense like flavour, a sense put together by the brain from taste and smell? It should be quite easy to write about the Flavours of Christmas.

It might be harder to write about interoceptive senses such as feeling your stomach gurgling. Harder, but not impossible.

Here’s a Christmas Challenge for my song writer friends.

Write The Proprioception of Christmas.

Proprioception refers to the way you can tell the position of your body. It’s proprioception that allows you to touch your nose with your eyes closed. If that doesn’t say Christmas I don’t know what does.

Entries in by the 24th December.

The best song wins a Chocolate Orange.

Inspiration Thursday

Looking for story inspiration?

I was walking through the cellar of my school recently when I came across a trolley full of half used containers of hand sanitiser. It occurred to me that this image would have meant something very different three years ago, before Covid 19.

And that got me thinking, what might it have meant three years ago?  Why would someone be throwing away so much hand sanitiser? What would have happened in a school in, say 2012, that meant they had over ordered hand sanitiser?

And that gave me an idea for a story. Maybe the image has inspired you.  Maybe not.

But what if the trolley wasn’t in a school, but a police station? Or a football stadium? Or on board a submarine?  What if the year was 1957, or 2140? What if the containers were empty, or had never been opened?

I have files of half completed stories based on chance encounters like this one. I never know when I’m going to meet the next image or person that will collide with an existing idea and cause it to burst into life.

That’s part of the fun of being a writer.