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Archive for February, 2016

Photo Essay

Monday, February 15th, 2016


On my early morning walk today I came across a few visual sights I just had to capture on my iphone. In the first one I was struck by the vibrant sunshine orange of the vintage car and couldn’t stop thinking about who owned such a succulent car.


I was so busy taking the photo that it was only when I walked back up the same street that I discovered that perhaps the owner of the car or someone who they lived with had also adorned the hedge of their home. I was very intrigued by what the adornment was for. In my mind it looked like some kind of Hindu celebration. Again the visual imagery got my creative juices flowing. Who, why, what did it all mean?


Then as I was heading toward the final ten minutes of my walk I looked down to find this beautiful, huggy teddy bear someone had left outside their home, I’m assuming for someone to take and give it a good home. It was gorgeous and in very good condition. I wondered about the child who it no longer had a home with. Or was I wrong to assume it was a child and maybe had a home with an adult? Again, if I were a fiction writer and maybe I am, I would have been writing about the family who orphaned the giant teddy bear and why. Also penning a short story about the new home it would soon, I was sure, be welcomed into.

Sometimes a photo essay becomes your journal entry like mine did today. My captured photos told the stories of the start to my day. How about capturing photo’s of your day and see what intrigues you?

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Intimacy With Trees

Monday, February 15th, 2016


I have a scanner built into my mind that picks up on quotes about trees. I came across this tree quote recently in the memoir, Devotion by Dani Shapiro. Shapiro is currently one of my  favourite writers. I am really enjoying reading her memoir. Despite the differences in our cultural backgrounds and faiths, she’s Jewish and I’m African Caribbean and raised Christian, we share so much in common.

I really enjoyed how she describes the trees in her meadow and how she brings the whole scene to life on the page. Here’s what she had to say:

“I have become intimate with a stand of trees in our front meadow. Grouped together near a crumbling walk, they are old and stately. On a sturdy branch of a maple extending out toward the driveway, Jacob’s rope swing hangs, swaying in the slightest breeze.”

She then goes onto write later in the piece as she completes her yoga practice, “All the while, I keep my eyes on the trees. My fixed gaze softens. The stone wall, the sky, the sweep of meadow, go slightly out of focus. This is how I most vividly see the seasons change: in winter the branches are stark, like charcoal slashes against the gray-white sky; in spring, the reddish cast before the buds appear; in fall, the distracting riot of colour; in summer; the lush, verdant thicket. No matter what the season, the trees are bending. They are indifferent to the people who come and go. They were here long before we arrived with our SUV’s, our bicycles and rope swings. Their branches are gnarled, knotted, twisted, but still reaching out.

Here’s a writing assignment for you.

Describe a tree or group of trees in your locality.

Write about what the trees represent and any relationship you may have or wish to have with the trees. This doesn’t need to be a hefty piece. A few lines or combination of words will suffice. Build on the piece over the next week. Elaborate on colours, textures and shapes as ideas come to you.
Bring your tree or trees into glorious life on the page.

Devotion: a memoir by Dani Shapiro click here for more  details:

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