Do You See What I See?

I once told a group of “creatives”—graphic designers and writers—that I see the world in words.  Readers often ask me not so much about the inspiration for my stories but about how I come up with the words in my descriptions. The answer is simple, the world around me is what I describe in my writing, and I see the world in words.

When it comes to personality types , I am ESFP (Extravert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving) which means I look at things and I see what they could be, which explains why we bought two old houses. Actually, now that I think about it, it also explains quite a few ex-boyfriends; I saw possibilities, I saw what they could become given enough time and money, though in the case of the aforementioned ex-boyfriends, there wasn’t enough time or money in the world to rehab that group of losers. But I digress…

This ability to see possibilities also figures into my writing because when I see something that inspires me, I see not always what is physically in front of me but what it becomes set loose in my imagination.  In this blog post are excerpts from my writing alongside pictures of what inspired the descriptions in the excerpts.

Church in Barbados, which became the setting
for the storybook wedding in "What Binds Us."
“…I saw it, partly hidden behind a gray stone wall.

“Stop,” I said suddenly. “Stop.”

I pointed to a steepled building the color of wet concrete with an orange-painted galvanized roof. “What’s that?”

“It looks like a church,” Dondi said, getting out of the buggy and walking up to the iron gates, which were open and falling off their hinges.

We walked up the wide, graveled drive and into the church. Inside was a gymnasium of white space. Arched windows without glass stretched toward the roof. There were no doors, no altar, nothing of religious significance. If this had ever been God’s house, He had most certainly moved.

―What Binds Us

Rowhouses, "Sahel"
Waiting for the light to change so I could cross, I stared at the row of dilapidated houses—some with porches newly painted bright colors, others, lacking hope, were shrouded in their original dusty brick and crumbling brownstone—all squeezed together and leaning to the left as if in defiance of the hill on which they sat, which leaned to the right.


The beloved who became Val
Caught in a rectangle of lilac light, Val sat in a black leather and chrome chair.  Sandy hair, sable soft, crawled like moss over the white rock of his body.  He sprawled in the chair, a giant like Gulliver, too large for the room.  His legs were crossed at the ankles.  His feet were shapely—broad across the instep, with high graceful arches and ending in small flat toes.  His hands capped his knees.  He had thick spatulate fingers with broad flat cuticles.

―”Intermezzo,” Damaged Angels
So, did  you see what I see? Tell me in the comments.


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