Monday, October 4, 2010

A Snoring Imagination

During this morning’s frenzy to get the kids up and off to school, I happened to see my son sprawled on the couch, arm folded over his eyes, snoring. As in ‘sawing a log’. He had some volume going there. Pretty impressive.

Now this might not seem abnormal, except for the fact that not ten seconds earlier, he was bouncing around like a super-ball on Red Bull. This kid was NOT asleep.

So, intelligent mother that I am, I asked, “What are you doing?”

He sat up grinning and said, “I just wanted to know what it felt like to snore.”

That cracked me up.

And then I stopped and thought about it. You know what? I don’t know what it feels like either. I don’t think any of us really know.

Yes, we may snore. Yes, we may live in the same house with some one who snores (or if you’re lucky enough – multiple some ones), but we really don’t know what it feels like. After all, the second you wake up, the snoring is over.

Is it a belly tingling rumble that shakes walls? An ear piercing mosquito whine? A painful, racking buzz? A sputtering death rattle? What does that feel like?

All right, all right. I know I’m going waaaaaaaaay out in left field here, but that’s what writers do. We try to imagine everything—snoring included—and then translate the sights, sounds, sensations and smells into the written word.

So, I have a question for you. Do you REALLY know what it feels like to snore?


  1. so true!!! of course not!- i've NEVER snored *cough, cough*
    that is weird though!
    so much like trying to write completely fictional elements of the story- things not based on past experiences or things that have ever actually been experienced. it is a funny thing we do.
    btw, your kid is too cute! :)
    (my son would have said, "practicing for school" i'm afraid.)

  2. Thanks, my son's a keeper! And it's a lot of fun writing about things we haven't personally experienced, isn't it?

  3. I've woken myself up snoring. Does that count?

  4. I don't know what it feels like to snore, but one time I was writing a story where my character was stranded in a cave with a broken ankle. I'd never had that happen to me, but I imagined it so hard my ankle started to hurt.

    No kidding.

    Hours later, it still hurt. That night, I had a hard time falling asleep because my ankle hurt. Has that ever happened to anyone else?

  5. Jolene, if you can remember what it felt like, it totally counts!

    Rebecca, I've heard of sympathy pain. My older sisters are twins, and when they were small and at school, one hit her head. The other went home with the headache. True story! (The one with bump stayed at school.) You have a hidden talent.

  6. Having to KNOW what something really feels like - that's part of what makes writing difficult, painful even. Because whatever our characters are doing, we have to live through it too.

  7. Susan, so true. It's a lot more fun guessing.

  8. In an interesting coincidence, the podcast at this week is on writing what you don't know.

  9. I'll have to check that out. Thanks!!

  10. It's true. I don't have any idea what it feels like to snore, but I know the feeling if you hear someone snores.

  11. snoring mouthpiece (love the name), it's sure one of life's pleasures listening, isn't it?


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