07 April 2011

Every Picture Tells a Story

Ah, Stalwart Followers!

            You’ll likely want to flog me, but I veer off course again. Here’s the drift:
            This very mornin’, while readin’ over my latest Captain’s Log, I see I here promised a photo gallery escapade, the Key West sail with the proper English relatives.

What in Hades are you doin’? I say to meself. This isn’t Facebook, you dunce! This is about your writin’ life, you fish fodder.

            Aye, I could argue all is fodder for a writer, even the English relatives. But nay, this weren’t one of those times. I’d let me cutlass down, been caught in the moment of the fun, the partying, the being away from the desk and writin’. Am I daft for wantin’ more play?
            Returnin’ to the ship called home, I was, however, ready to write, thank Neptune! Bein’ self-employed, I had a few awaitin’ and a new one to boot. Late I was in approachin’ the blog, but I had greadily readied myself for the visuals of photos. Now I was going on gobsmacked. How the heck could I switch direction, again? Was I driving my readers crazy? Would they join me as I hopped like a frog from one lily pad to another? And where the bloody hell is that interview with Jessica Maxwell you may be asking? Ah, mateys, scheduling conflicts, and I won’t do an email interview. Live ones give the unexpected and are dammed good interesting. So stay on board!
            Aye, I could beg forgiveness, but you’re a good lot, and I expect I’m not the first to disappoint. Instead of floggin’ myself, I’ll move the bloody photos to FB.  Could it be simpler?
            But where to go, messmates?
            I sit, thump me head, drum fingers, drink tea. Check me last blog again.
            There I find the latest comment and sail over to Kirsten’s blogship.           
            A twinge! My gut’s a flutter. She’s followin’ “A Thousand Hands Clapping.” I do not know this ship, but I take a look. And blimey! Lookee what I find—


            E’er was this synchronicity squared? I write to Catherine, captain of the blogship and congratulate her on her first movie/slideshow. Watchin’ it, reminds me of the photos I’ve taken, and a thematic tide surges through me. Like a ship, a floating bit of wood and canvas upon the sea that contains all a buccaneer needs, these photos squeeze much into little, something I call artistry from confinement.

            Oh, me buckos! Visual arts feeds me. In Florida, I watched no movies, so stimulation came from the unexpected and humorous. Whether sailing to Key West with my brother or afterwards trawling South Beach with my sister, I looked for objects that that tell a story. That’s why we take photos—to remember our stories, to create our stories. As a storyteller, I try to find photos that speak to me. Here be a few. Imagine what they say, what stories they tell. What stories you spin from them.

            I know not how these “found objects” will surface in my writing. I’m followin’ this line of thinkin’, fellow seamen and women, ‘cause it has to do with “feeding the creative beast.” Or should I say “chumming the waters?” Perhaps, as in dreams, I am both the beast that I’m feeding and the feeder of said beast. As a writer, I don’t dismiss any of this crazy wandering of the mind. Not all needs to be purposefully followed. Like day dreamin’. If it surfaces, I pay attention or perish. It is, as one of my late compatriots at Hedgebrook Writers Colony said, all grist for the mill.
            And I think I’ll clatter on with this very same subject next week with more about “found objects” as a jumping off place for writers. Nay, this isn’t about catching ideas for a story like so many fish, but more about stimulatin’ the creative glands or filling the creative stomach. We need nourishment, all of us. Writers sometimes find it in the mundane, sometimes in the mysterious. It’s all part of the process.

And if you understand any of this prattle, if any of the photos strikes a story in you, join this blog with a comment. The wilder, the better.

All my duty to you,
Captain Val

"A Thousand Clapping Hands" blog can be found here:

Coming Up! (I hear ya laughin’, you scallywags!)
“Found Objects: a Launch for Creative Storytelling”
"The Fountain of Creative Ideas, or Why My Resume Wouldn't Land Me a Normal Job"
"Platform, Flatform"
"A View of My Writers Room Wall: What Inspires Me"
... and soon an interview with Jessica Maxwell of Roll Around Heaven