Image from Amersham Museum website
Friday, 8 April 2011
Magic Moments by Lynda Waterhouse
The story I am working on is called ‘Magic Moments and the Dull Bits in Between.’ I have no publishing contract as yet but this story has been lurking in my imagination for some time itching to make a break for it. In these difficult and uncertain times I have got nothing to lose. Instead of giving in to despair about the state of the publishing world I am recklessly writing from my heart and giving my publisher-pleasing- grateful-to- be- published- persona a rest in order to allow my rebel voice free rein. And what a feisty dame she is turning out to be. Yesterday she rewarded me with a Magic Moment. I was writing a scene where one of my characters is opening up an old suitcase from 1976. I thought I knew what was inside it but as the character opened the case something else happened. The case clicked open on cue and my character reacted as I'd planned but then I noticed something else. There was the faint smell of a perfume. My character breathed in and so did I and KAPOW a name was summoned up from the back catalogue of my life and that name was…..Aqua Manda.
I hadn’t consciously being trying to write about anything olfactory. I had been too taken up with the objects inside the case; the Phoom dress, the copy of Jonathon Livingston Seagull and the journal. But there was now the distinctive orange smell of Aqua Manda to deal with. A fragrance I had not thought of in decades but which had returned to my memory at exactly the right moment that it was needed. After the smell came the memory of the bright art nouveau style packaging and the small blue bottle. One Christmas I had received a bottle of Aqua Manda talc and felt that I was truly grown up. My character had glimpsed the past and it smelled of oranges and spices. The hopes and dreams of a sixteen year old girl, the smell of Aqua Manda, the sound of the Real Thing singing ‘You to Me are Everything’ and the long hot summer of 1976. Here’s wishing you all a magic moment in your writing today. Would love to hear all about it...