Saturday, December 23, 2006

Aim and Click

Here’s a suggestion for writers – carry a camera with you. You never know when you’ll come across something you’ll want to use in your book. Maybe a house that would be perfect as a restaurant in the small town where your book is set. Maybe a conglomeration of conflicting road signs all on one post. Maybe a wonderful river banked by large draping trees where your characters could sit for a picnic.

What brought this to mind was that yesterday while doing Christmas stuff I took a break and opened email. There was one there from a neighbor saying the shuttle would be flying directly overhead in a ten minute time period. And it was exactly that time. I grabbed my camera and raced outside. And, there it was. I got two pics before it disappeared. Now, those pictures are probably worthless since it was so far up and my camera is just an ordinary digital.

But it was a thrill to see it. And it made me think of the different ways a writer could use a camera to keep track of ideas inspired by our surroundings or to have a physical reminder of some image or place we might want to use in the future.

If you don’t want to lug a camera in your purse or pocket, consider putting a disposal camera in the glove compartment or suitcase. Once you print the pictures or put them on your computer, label them as to date and place. That way, if you want, you can go back to do more research.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a picture can also inspire those words.

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