Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Power of Photos to Inspire Writing # 3

Creative Concepts # 3 

Words and pictures can work together to communicate more powerfully than either alone.
William Albert Allard
American Photographer

            What do you do when your brain becomes oatmeal, your fingers become lead, and you watch the cursor on your monitor blink endlessly without moving even one millimeter? Brew another cup of coffee? Vacuum the rugs? Take the dog out for a walk? Pray for inspiration?
            “I wasn’t born to vacuum rugs,” writes Elizabeth Guy, poet, storyteller, and co-author of Reflect and Write.  “That’s why, when my brain turns to stone while I struggle for new ideas, I use photographs for inspiration.”
A New Photo Every Week

            Whether you’re a teacher, a student, an aspiring writer, a professional writer, or a poet, you’ll discover that the photos and ideas posted here during the coming weeks will help you overcome the dreaded “writer’s block,” while at the same time inspiring you to create new and exciting works of prose and poetry.
            Sometimes direct quotations will accompany the photos. At other times, suggested first lines will serve as motivation for writing. Occasionally, specific suggestions will present challenges. From time to time, keywords will stimulate ideas.
            For even more information about using photos to inspire writing, click on these links: and
            Please note: feel free to download the photos for your personal use as inspiration; for use in classrooms or workshops; or, for use in your blog with credit to Hank Kellner and a link to For commercial use please contact the author for rates. For information about and to purchase Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing, please visit at Photos by the author.

Descriptive Writing 

     In one of these photos a woman dressed in white stands before an outdoor bulletin board, her back to the camera. In a second photo a woman dressed in jeans sits on a fence. Both women appear to be engrossed in something they’re reading.
      Who are these two women? What are they like? What are the similarities/differences between them? What would they say to each other if they were to meet? What are their families like? Their occupations? Their hopes and dreams? What is the man in the background of the second photo thinking? Those are but a few of the many questions that can serve as inspiration for writing.

 Possible Writing Assignment:  The two women shown in the photos meet by chance in a coffee shop and discover that they are distant relatives. Write a composition in which you reveal the conversation that takes place between them.

Keywords: isolate, reading, women, onlooker

Suggested Opening Lines: When I looked across the coffee shop and saw the woman hunched over her laptop, I was sure I knew her.

Coming Next Week 
A Stone Wall and a Guitar Player
               Another Helpful Source for Inspiration 

         Reflect and Write contains more than 300 poems and photos; keywords; quotations; either “Inspiration” or “Challenge” prompts; a “Themes to Explore” section; a “Twelve Ways to Inspire Your   Includes CD with photos and poems from the book.
Students” section; a special “Internet Resources” section, and more. This collection will help stimulate discussion that will trigger meaningful writing at many levels.
    Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner and Elizabeth Guy , ISBN 978-1-61821-023-4, Prufrock Press, 2013, 153 pages, $24.95. See more and order at

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