Guest Post by Elinor Young – July 31, 2019

Have you noticed that it was just a week ago that the crickets started chirping? The first time this summer. I love hearing their weather reports and was so glad the morning I heard they are finally back.

So what does that have to do with writing? Sue asked me to contribute a post for her blog, so I write about … crickets?!

No, not about crickets but about observing all – even the little things — that your senses tell you all the time. Have you noticed that the hotter it is outside, the higher and faster the crickets chirp? That’s their weather report. Have you noticed that in winter, popcorn clouds signal the approach of snow?

Whether you write fiction as Sue does, or non-fiction as I do, adding these sensory details can be the difference between writing that falls flat or writing that sparkles. A piece or a book that is rich and full.

So, now, get away from your writing spot, go outside, and notice. What do you feel in the breeze? What are the scents that this spot sends to your nose? Are there any so strong you can almost taste them? What do you see about how the plants and insects react to what the breeze brings? Can you hear the small things among the loud? – The buzz of insects, the flap of bird wings, or the soft landing of a leaf when it hits the ground? What can you tell from the footfalls of someone passing by? One day you’ll want to add details like those to your piece of writing. It will go from blah to fantastic.

When Elinor was five, polio nearly killed her. At thirteen, though profoundly disabled in a limited-access world, she declared that she would work overseas one day. Few except her parents supported the wild goal that eventually led Elinor to improbable places and adventures. Now retired, Elinor writes, speaks, mentors, and anticipates the day her memoir will be published.

Here is a short trailer of a YouTube video of Elinor “Bad Legs.”

You may contact Elinor at

Note: Elinor was the guest speaker at the July 11 meeting of SASP (Spokane Authors & Self-Publishers), and is an amazing lady with whom I reconnected after many years .

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