Find the Story before You Snap
Okay, I’m a word person. But today’s work-a-day world demands multiple skills. Hence, I acquired an upgraded iPhone to join billions of snap-happy amateurs overloading libraries with pictorial mediocrity.
Then a friend who is a professional photographer thumb-slid through my latest floral collection. “It’s okay to kill any of these darlings–unless you see a story in the picture.”
That immediately appealed to the fierce editor within. I now shoot fast but delete 99.9 percent of the images if “there is no there there” (thank you, Gertrude Stein).
Moreover, this topsy-turvy thinking pushed me in a fresh creative direction: look for the story in the picture and dare to pen it. That launched my second shot at poetry–decades after studying with a protégé of James Dickey. What’s more, dabbling in poetry sharpened my storytelling.
Two selections from my chapbook in progress–Skipping through Gardens–follow:
“magnolia (never a moonlit lie)”
“shadow of death on a sidewalk”
Catherine Hamrick is a communications manager. She blogs at Random Storyteller, which features creative nonfiction (often with a Southern twist), poetry, musings, and writing tips. You can also find poetry and social media commentary at Catherine Hamrick.
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