Saturday, May 18, 2013

Every Photograph Tells a Story

Every Photograph Tells a Story

Creative Concepts # 10

             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.”

Visit the “Power of Photos to Inspire Writing” Archives 
        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 past 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 accompany the photos. At other times, suggested first lines serve as motivation for writing. Occasionally, specific suggestions present challenges. From time to time, keywords stimulate ideas.
            For 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.

Finding Your Muse

          Student writer Becky Brown uses a photo of an incandescent light bulb as motivation for writing a six-paragraph poem dealing with finding inspiration for writing. In her poem she concludes that the writing process is a solitary one.

“You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”
                                                      –Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith


So cheerful
Yet so grim
The inspiration hits
And the pencil caresses the paper
Turning dreams to realities.

The words flow freely
Unhindered by the conscious mind
Simply written as thought
As fragments piecing themselves together
From disorganization to art.

The pencil writes
As if it has a mind of its own.
The words keep coming
And you sit, helpless to stem the flow
Like a mouse versus a mountain.

You keep your head down
Oblivious to the world
Until the poem is done
And the inspiration trickles away
Like a stream in the desert.

Keywords: writing, poetry, create, author

Questions to Consider: (1) When you write, do you find the words “flow freely” until the inspiration trickles away? (2) Do you often find yourself inspired to write? (3) How does it feel when you do? (4) How does it feel when you don’t? Think of imagery and metaphors to describe these sensations.

Possible Opening Lines:  (1) I really enjoy writing. When my ideas flow freely, I…
                                          (2) I’d rather play video games that try to write just about anything.

And Don’t Miss…

         English teacher Mara Dukats and writer-photographer Cynthia Staples’ poems “White and White” and “The Absence of Color.” They’re in Part Four of my twelve-part series USING PHOTOS TO INSPIRE WRITING at,  as well as Anna J. Small’s writing assignment in "Viewing and Writing about Photos from Around the World"
          Also, read more about Reflect and Write in the SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

New Book Presents Recollections of a Boy’s Childhood During World War II

Growing up in the fictional town of Meadowview, young Willie Watson objects to being required to play the part of an orange in the school play when he is nine and in the fourth grade. But that's just the beginning of his problems. As he continues through elementary school, Willie has to deal with the town bully; Christmas with his relatives; the death of a schoolmate; the loss of his girlfriend; the theft of a fountain pen; his broken eyeglasses, and much more.
Included in this book are such chapters as "There Is No Santa Claus," "Oh Captain, My Captain," "The Dog in the Rhinestone Collar," "A Bird's Just a Bird," and "Hey Brucie, Your Sister Wears Long Underwear."
Readers will enjoy these humorous and often touching descriptions of a young boy's experiences as he grows up in a small town many years ago. See sample pages and buy this eBook at

Exciting, Spine-Tingling, and Difficult, to Put Down

       For a psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages long after everyone else has fallen asleep, don't miss Terror at Mirror Lake.
        Terror lurks in the shadows of Mirror Lake. Secrets of sex, lies, and death are all patiently waiting to surface from its murky depths.
       The small, sleepy town of Hamptonville seems the last place you would find sadistic sex, drugs, blackmail, and murder. But that's exactly what Bruce Orum and his girlfriend Cindy Garvey encounter when they flee from New York City after having killed another girl.
       In Hamptonville they meet Luke Downing, a psychopath who soon uses drugs to control Cindy and make her his sex slave. A cruel, vicious character, Downing showed all the classic symptoms of a cold-blooded killer from the time he was a boy growing up with an imaginary friend who encourages him in his perversions until he became and adult.
       Having dominated Cindy, Downing uses her to seduce two fishermen, Pete Engstrom and Hal Bonnacker, when they visit Mirror Lake, after which he plans to blackmail them. Although Cindy seduces the men, she double crosses Downing, disappears, and the men get away.
       For the next few months Engstrom and Bonnacker express guilt over what happened at the lake. They decide to return to the scene to find Cindy. Sensing a problem, their wives decide to accompany them.
       At Mirror Lake Downing takes the two couples prisoner and plans to torture and humiliate them before killing them. But he does not know that Sheriff Jeff Parker and Molly Hutchison are on his trail and determined to stop him.
       From page one all the way to the breathtaking ending, you will find yourself on pins and needles waiting to see what happens on the next page.
        See sample pages and buy this eBook at 

Two Books That Will Help to Inspire Writing

         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 Students” section; a special “Internet Resources” section, and more. This collection will help stimulate discussion that will trigger meaningful writing at many levels.  Includes CD with photos and poems from the book.
        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 

          Write What You See: 99 Photos to Inspire Writing is a collection of photographs and writing prompts designed to inspire writing. In addition to the many photos and ideas it presents, this collection includes a section that cites “Ten Ways to Use Reflect and Write” as well as a second section titled “How Some Teachers Use Photos to Inspire Writing” An added bonus is a CD with photos and writing prompts.
        Write What You See: 99 Photos to Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner, Prufrock Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-877673-83-2, 118 pages, includes CD, $24.95.  See more and order at

1 comment:

Nirupama said...

This is amazing post...very informative..
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