Creative Writing Exercise: Through the Senses (Step 3)

This is a continuation of a creative writing exercise (steps 1 and 2), in which a fictional character (first person point of view) wakes up in a familiar room.  The writing exercise is from the first chapter (“Through the Senses” by Robert Olen Butler) of Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers & Teachers, Edited by Sherry Ellis.  There are 7 steps to this exercise; this is the third step.

A Memory Evoked

As soon as I put the rock (if that’s what it was) back on the bookshelf, the lingering smell of honey caused an old memory to hit me with full force. I was transported to four years ago, on the morning my sister left for college.

I held my sister goodbye, willing myself not to cry. Her frizzy hair tickled the side of my face, but I wasn’t going to complain this time.  I could feel her practically bouncing with excitement as she said softly, “I’m going to miss you.”

“Sure you will,” I teased.  I inhaled deeply–enjoying her signature smell of milk and honey–and gave her one last squeeze. Her warm arms squeezed back, and we released. Within minutes, she was in her car, leaving our mom and I to wave goodbye to her as she drove away…

I shook my head in an attempt to shake off the memory, but I struggled to suppress the overwhelming desire to hug my sister.


By c. kennedy garrett [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

I hope you enjoyed this piece of writing, and if you want to offer more ideas or try it out yourself, let me know and post in the comment section below. ^_^

(P.S: Happy Father’s Day!)



  1. I could really identify with this. I found it really challenging when my sister went off to boarding school each semester (I went to a local boarding school instead). I was always the one left behind. It was even harder when she went off to college, and then when she moved 5 hours out west for a job…

    1. Hi, Milly, thanks for stopping by! I agree that it’s hard to say goodbye to a sister. I can’t imagine it growing up when you’re younger with every semester though! In my life, it’s been hard because I never know when I will see her again. [5 hours is nothing in our lives 😉 ] At least our goodbyes didn’t start until after high school.

      1. Yes I need to appreciate that she’s only 5 hours away, soon to be 3! When she went to college she was a 2 day drive away – it was really tough back then. Oh and yes very lucky you didn’t have to say goodbye until after High School! Argh I hate goodbyes 🙂 She was here this past weekend and as we were all watching her drive away, I felt the same pang I used to experience whenever she left for boarding school!

  2. John N · · Reply

    I’m going to know how this feels soon. NoOoOOoOOO~~~~

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