Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

RTW – The Senses


Off-topic, but when I typed “the senses,” I thought of that cat food commercial where the feline is traipsing through the creepy on-acid world, while the happy jingle insists we “feed the senses!”

But, back to reality!

This week’s YA Highway RTW topic is:

The Five Senses. How you use them in your writing, how you are inspired by them, pictorial essays, that character with smelly socks, books that have used them well, the ones that are currently missing from your work, etc.

I just finished reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis and there was a passage that described the “food” and it sounded so disgusting that I never want to go on this ship:

It’s a meat pie, filled with gravy and some vegetables I can recognize.  But the round green things that look like peas are larger and chewier than any peas I’ve ever had.  And the chunks I took for potatoes aren’t potatoes at all.  They’re something like tofu, but thicker, and when I suck the gravy off a chunk, it feels like rubber on my tongue and tastes about as appealing.  There is very little spice in this meat pie – definitely salt, and something sort of sweet, like cinnamon, but no pepper, nothing with a kick.

And the meat…it’s not any meat I know.  Red meat, but no fat on it at all.  Each piece is a perfect cube, and I can’t help but wonder – is it that way because of some skillful cook who cut it, or is it that way because it’s not really meat?  I imagine ice trays filled not with water, but red gooey meat-like substitute…


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

11 thoughts on “RTW – The Senses

  1. I totally thought of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE when I was pondering books that describe the sense of taste well. That meat pie… ick.

  2. Good description, but it doesn’t gross me out like I think it’s meant to. I eat a lot of meat substitutes, maybe that’s why, lol. I also hate pepper and love cinnamon. Perhaps I’m meant to live in that world.

  3. Oh, goodness. That’s… very sensual. And very disgusting. 😛

  4. Excellent example–the prompt made me think of “positive” sensory descriptions, but negative or gross ones are so much more entertaining to read. (For me, at least. Maybe I’m weird that way.)

  5. That’s a well-done description (pun intended). The substitutes part didn’t so much bother me, but the squares and the rubber gravy . . . ew!

  6. Yeah, this is the only description of taste on a RTW blog that doesn’t have me salivating. I remember that description and thinking the same thing: Yuck.

  7. Um…ew. I am sad to say that I have not read Across the Universe yet, but I know when I finally do, this passage will stand out. 🙂

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