Throwback Tuesday: Synesthesia and the Taste of Purple

I hope you guys will indulge me, as I’ve decided from time to time I’m going to share old non-fiction writings of mine. These “Throwback Tuesdays” will feature essays and articles I’ve written over the years from various sources. It won’t be every week, because let’s be honest, when it comes to regular blogging, I am as flaky as a gluten free biscuit.

About five years ago, I wrote freelance for a few different feminist magazines and publications (under a different name). One article in particular garnered a lot of views and was actually picked up by NBC’s “The Body Odd” blog. I was kind of surprised by how many people shared it and offered me feedback – after all, synesthesia is by no means a new thing, and as far as groundbreaking viral articles go, mine was hardly anything special. Of course, I’m looking at it from a different perspective, five years on, where we now have fascinating sciencey posts regularly shared on our Facebook feed thanks to pages like “I Fucking Love Science” and the like.


Convergence, 1952 by Jackson Pollock

This article was also my first case of actual, real-live plagiarism. At one point I had to send a cease and desist letter to a blogger who had posted it on her site as her own work. That was surreal. For a writer with imposter syndrome (where y’all at?), being plagiarized is a whole other level of weirdness.

Anyway. I am posting this as my contribution for Throwback Tuesday this week, simply because it’s an old article and I don’t want it to disappear from the ether. It’s not my best work, but it was a cute little essay I wrote once that details how my strange brain works. I’ve always been proud of it, and people seem to like it. One day I may write a follow up and explore it further; for instance, I am now very curious about how synesthesia and other brain disorders relate to things like Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. I’d also like to delve into the correlation between those who choose writing or other creative arts outlets and synesthesia. Basically, I still have a lot of thoughts and I’m nowhere near done yet.

(And in case you’re wondering, yes, I did choose the color scheme for both the covers of Aroha and Ka Kite based on my synesthesia and how the stories “appeared” in my head.)


I stumbled upon a blog that had referenced my article, where people were complaining about my choice of title: “Your Name Tastes Like Purple”. They complained that to them purple tastes like Dimetapp so it was a bad association. I cackled, because purple tastes like Dimetapp to me, too.

Previously, this article has appeared on both Persephone Magazine (who published it originally) and MSNBC’s “The Body Odd” blog.

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