At first, I see pictures of a story in my mind. Then creating the story comes from asking questions of myself. I guess you might call it the ‘what if – what then’ approach to writing and illustration.—Chris Van Allsburg, children’s book author and illustrator
What do you see? Write it a memory. Find an image or take a picture of an image or an object, then use that image or object to trigger a memory. Try to think of something that evokes powerful emotion and will trigger words on the page. Think about what you see in the image or object, take a long look, think; reflect. Why or how does that particular image or object trigger your memory? Once you know, write it all down, careful to capture every piece of delicate detail from the memory. Have fun and leave a comment with passages, phrases you come up with. For those of you who dropped me a line last week, thank you for sharing!
Flaming red canal
Before my slippery tears, an hour in surgery, the anesthesia that stilled his tiny body, his ears had a red glow only the pinhole tunnel light could find. The doctor layered in a crisp white coat and sureness in his voice, advised us to wait. Surgery was not yet imminent; there were medicines, oils, heat, and hugs to try first. There were long nights holding his head, soothing his inner flame with hope and a cool remedy. But it was the loss of language, his food spewed and colorful in his lap, his tears drowned in a dull echo, that signaled trouble. As he tumbled over, a dizzy toddler walking, I could see his hearing and the medicine fail him. Still there was little we could do but wait and ease his suffering until it was safe—safe enough to open the swirl of infection, douse his flaming red canal a flood of relief.