Memory Triggers

"I've got this song stuck in my head!"

Whenever you read about using memory triggers in your writing, the author mentions smell and taste.  There’s no doubt about it.  Whenever I smell rose cologne I take a deep breath and relax.  That’s what my grandmother always wore.  Bread baking makes me smile.  My mother made homemade rolls for special occasions.

But music and songs really stick in our heads.  This weekend, my husband and I spent half an hour singing jingles for our son.  Oscar Meyer.  Armor hot dogs.  Alka Seltzer.  Chiquita Banana.  Almond Joy.  Klondike Bar.  We watch very little tv, and what we watch we tape to avoid the commercials, so I know these are OLD jingles.  Old.  But we remember them.

And have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head?  Maybe not even any of the words but just the melody.  My son sat in the hall while I was in choir rehearsal Sunday.  Later in the day, he walked by humming a few bars from Sunday’s anthem.  “I think we sang it in choir last year,” he said, referring to his school choir.  Nope.  He’d only heard it a few times that day, but it stuck.

All of this said, I’m not sure how to use music in my work.  Sure, I get a few bars here and there stuck in my head.  I can even remember songs that I learned in Girl Scouts 30 years ago.  But I can’t write the melody into a story.

So far, its just something to hum, and noodle over, as I go through my day.


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