A picture prompts a thousand(ish) words…

Last month, I attended a haiku workshop organised by Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC, and was delighted to come away with thirteen of the little gems! Well, gems in the sense that they were written and made me happy – I am passing no comment on the actual quality of them as poetry…

On Thursday last week, I was back at Boo Boo and Ted, in Whitley Bay, for the second in the series of workshops currently being run by local writer Elaine Cusack. This time, we were “writing the unwritten”, taking inspiration from a range of photographs, books and other items, prompted further by Elaine’s guidance. We thought first about what “writing the unwritten” actually meant, and from the five of us in the workshop, got five very different responses.

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For me, writing the unwritten, especially where images are concerned, would be about finding the stories ‘behind’ what we can see. As Elaine prompted us to think – what happened just before the photo was taken, or what might happen as soon as the photographer turns away? We also thought about what the people in the photo might be thinking – this seems especially interesting when looking at older photos, where people had to sit so still for what must have felt like an eternity. With digital cameras today, and almost everyone having the ability to snap away on their mobile phones, perhaps we can read much more from photos today?

Of all the items and images we had to choose from, I found myself naturally drawn to a set which made me think of Paris, and the art culture that exists there, from perfectly-honed sculptures to classic paintings (albeit with a twist – see image below). I did produce the start of something during the workshop, but it’s not quite up for sharing just yet. Hopefully it will turn into something more during the upcoming month of NaPoWriMo…

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