Friday, January 27, 2012

A Thousand Words

There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is the case, then over the last year I have written over 15,000 words. Not quite a novel, but respectable. You see, I started a challenge on the first day of 2011 - a picture a day. Most days I took far more than one picture, although I usually only posted up one on my own blog. (there is a link to my blog on my homepage at

I have also joined a photo group at Live Journal and sometimes certain pictures just leap out at me. They demand a story be written. One such had a small boy, walking near a fence. There was a shadow of a huge deciduous tree on the fence, while other trees peered over the fence from an adjoining yard. It looked, to me, like the tree was reaching out to shelter and protect this wee warrior, encouraging him to begin his long journey into adulthood, but always there to protect against evil.

Another photo was of an elderly man watching a ball drop on New Years Eve. It was only a side view of the man, but so much emotion was in that view! He eyed that distant ball, somewhere off camera, his gaze holding hope, resignation, relief, disbelief...all of that. Was he happy that he had made it thus far? Was he saddened that he was alone, having lost most of friends and family to old age? Was he reflecting how much the world had changed since his youth? What were his thoughts?

There was a beautiful shot of a sunset in Hawaii. Some of the comments mentioned how lucky the person was to call Hawaii home. And then a short discussion ensued about how we sometimes overlook our own surroundings because we yearn to see what is in the distance. I was envious of a co-blogger planning her summer vacation in the south of France, while she was envious of me living in the USA. For her, France was a done deal. For me, it was exotic.

When I write, I try to transport my readers to another place, another time. I try to allow them to escape their own surroundings for a brief period of time, knowing that they can return to the safety of their own home at any given moment. Such is photography. We can experience another world through the eye of the lens, or through the pages of a book.

As I head into my second year of Photo A Day, I need to keep in mind the beauty that surrounds me right here, in my own world. I need to use my lens to create a world, just as I use my pen to do so. Either way, I hope it's exciting.


  1. Jenna, what an interesting post. I recently had such an experience of a story needing to be written from a picture (okay well several from the site) and that story keeps calling me away from my other more important writings. I found a creative writing prompt site right before the new year and one of the pages used pictures with mini prompts to get you started writing about the pictures. I scanned through the 50 pictures and 8 of them jumped off the page just because they looked like something I might write about later. Upon waking the next morning, I told my friend about the site and that I had a story going and told her about the idea of the story and she asked me if I had written the story yet. I promptly wrote a page and a half (a little less really) and shared with her. What happened was that 6 of those 8 pictures will be incorporated into my story. I don't know anything about the places I'm writing about and so I'm struggling to keep putting the story on the back burner until I get other stuff taken care because this story is screaming - learn more, write me -

    Thank you for posting this about your endeavor with the picture a day and the stories you can come up with. Good luck with the stories and the photography - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal novel
    "The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
    "The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal romance
    "Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal romance

    Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
    Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series and "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story and he predecessor to the JGDS series)
    Where will the adventure take you next?

  2. Best of luck with your photography. I love to take pictures, mostly of animals and clouds and wild flowers. And you're right. We live in a beautiful world and I try to enjoy with. The photos are a lovely reminder.