Capturing Two Worlds
I’ve been on a treasure hunt the last several weeks, and oh, yes, I can get use to this kind of adventure! Minutes turn into hours. Daylight transitions to darkness. My backside is numb and my stomach rumbles–all in the pursuit of digging up and collecting a treasure trove of images to share in my blogs and social media posts as I prepare for the release of my latest historical fiction.
When I stumbled upon this gem, my heart leapt–a priceless image capturing two of my favorite worlds into one — the poppy-infused fields of southern France in my debut novel, Chasing the Butterfly, and the wheat-filled, grassy plains of Oklahoma in RUSH, (releasing November 1, 2017). Photographer, Luca Pallanda, captured the image and was kind enough to share it on FreeImages.
Not only will this visual image remain sealed in the photo album of my mind, it harmonizes the words I penned in separate books. Alone, carefully crafted, sensory words evoke images, allowing the reader to create within his or her own imagination. Imagery … a writer’s most powerful tool to authentically invite the reader to join the journey.
Excerpt from Chasing the Butterfly:
I still imagine myself walking through shoulder-high fields of intense, fire-orange poppies. I move slowly, unscratched from their twisted, prickly stems. Their tissue-soft petals flutter like millions of crimson butterflies around my face, as they’re about to take flight. The force of so many beating wings lifts me high above the fields. An enormous satin lake appears to move below, fluctuating its hues between ginger orange and blood red. The waves ripple as I’m carried by the wind to some faraway place.
Excerpt from RUSH:
Determined to make an imprint on my memory, I walked to the top of the small mound to survey the land. Each cluster of trees and bushes grew thicker as my eye traveled toward the creek. Extending my arm and squinting one eye, I turned in a circle, following the curves and plateaus of the land with my hand. Patches of brilliant goldenrod, mixed with swaths of bluish-green, hazy sage and pink prairie rose spotted the landscape as though an artist had taken a brush to canvas, adding dabs of vibrant color. Tipping my face toward the wide-open sky, the prettiest blue, marbled with subtle swipes of white, greeted me. Brushstrokes by the hand of God.
Words and Images – The Perfect Palette
Indulgence. Not a word that always conjures the best image. But let’s give ourselves permission to indulge our imaginations when a particular sentence, paragraph, or entire book plays a movie across our minds, releasing a torrent of emotions, memories, and even dreams. It’s in those moments that our senses arouse, words stir and concoct delicious images, and we become the artist of our imaginations. We are fully alive!
Let’s Mix the Palette Together
Do you have a photograph, painting, object … some sort of visual that is begging to be accompanied by words? What excerpt from a story, poem, song … is so powerful that you may as well have a master artist setting up life-long residence in your brain? Share it in the comments below or on the provided links. Note: Be careful to attribute who created the work and only share images that are allowed.
Imagery … a writer’s most powerful tool to authentically invite the reader to join the journey. ~ Tweet This!
Jayme H. Mansfield is an author, artist, and educator—and feels a bit incomplete when she’s not juggling all three balls. An award-winning author, her debut book Chasing the Butterfly, is a book club favorite and Amazon bestseller.
Jayme lives in Lakewood, Colorado, where she and her husband have survived raising three hungry, hockey-playing sons. Currently, a very needy Golden Retriever runs the roost. When Jayme isn’t writing, she teaches art to children and adults at her long-time art studio, Piggy Toes. Visit Jayme at on her website and sign up for her newsletter. She’d love to have you along for the ride! www.jaymehmansfield.com