Maddy IS : a synaesthete


There is something satisfying about revisions. Just before I hit the send button to forward Maddy off into the world, I decided to read it one more time just to be sure. I’m glad I did. That little re-read turned into a big re-write and this is when the fun began. I have a small fascination with the detailed world of synaesthetes since finding out about the collaborative artist twins the Strutt Sisters.

There are many versions of it but quite simply, it is some kind of fusion of the senses. Some people hear or taste colour and some see colour in music or see numbers as visual codes. I decided to add another layer to Maddy's character and give her synaesthesia. She sees colour with certain sounds and on occasion can taste it. I can’t tell you how much fun this was to write and now that it’s scheduled for publication, I’m looking forward to starting the editing process and developing this even more.

It was a rustic looking shed from the outside with timber slabs and a corrugated tin roof. An ancient wysteria wound its way up the walls spilling a wave of purple flowers over the doorway. Inside was a different story. A single stainless steel bench spanned the middle of the room. On the walls were several large pictures. Maddy recognised one of her own and laughed. As soon as she registered the baby pink palette she could hear it clicking softly like a a metronome. The sweep of the paint looked like candy cake icing and she remembered the thrill of laying it on so thick it was beyond painterly, it was despite the colour, full of machismo. She remembered the colour thing coming on strong when she was mixing and it didn’t taste like meringue or cake. It filled her mouth with a bitter metallic tonic. And whenever she heard a sound like the whirr of a machine or the ticking of a clock, the air pulsated with that baby pink.