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L. J. LaBarthe: inspiration in photos

Today's second guest is fellow author L. J. LaBarthe, talking about the inspiration that comes from photo blogs.

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Happy birthday, Clare, and thanks for letting me be a part of your celebrations!

I thought long and hard about what to blog about, and it hit me when I was doing research to check some facts for book three of my Archangels in love series. A picture is worth a thousand words. So is music, for that matter, but for the purposes of this post, I'm going to be talking about images.

Photo blogs are one of my favourite kind of blogs. Seeing the world as it's captured through the lens of a camera belonging to one of many photographers gives an enormous variety of images of the world. Places that I know I'll never get to see for myself are captured in photographs and shared on the internet for all to see. These photographs captivate me – and not just because I'm a visual reader/writer and see images in my mind's eye when I read a book or write a scene. In addition, some of the places on photo blogs end up being used as locations for scenes in my books.

Years ago, there was a writing prompt community on LJ that gave a prompt every week – either a phrase, a quote, a word or an image. The participants would then write a short piece based on that prompt from the point of view of one character. This community was for original characters only and I've since lost the name of it, alas. However, I've found that photographs can give me an idea for a scene or a plot.

A picture really is worth a thousand words – just take a look at this small selection. (Click the thumbnail to embiggen.)



1. Egypt. 2. Japanese Garden, Portland, USA. 3. Lantern Festival, Hawaii. 4. Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Range, Chile. 5. Mongolia. 6. Pamakkule, Turkey. 7. Temple of Poseidon, Greece.

Does that spark the imagination? I love these images and I love to imagine what might be happening in and around them. Is the rider of the horse meeting his lover at the pyramids for a secret assignation? Is the bright pink blossoms the colour of a kimono of a geisha, dancing for her master? Does one of those lanterns contain a scrap of parchment with the name of a lost lover inside? Is that lightning storm what it looks like when Archangels fight demons? (In my opinion, in terms of my forthcoming novel, very much yes!) After a long day, will lovers meet at these warm pools and enjoy an afternoon of languid passion in the mineral waters? As the sun sets, will the priest of Poseidon gather his followers and set out towards the Temple or away from it? So many potential stories! (Personally, I love the photo of the little girl laughing with the camel in Mongolia. It's one of the most pure expressions of joy I've seen. As a friend said to me, I like to believe that she and the camel are laughing their joy into the wind.)

Of course, there are other photographs that speak to me . . . like this one, the first still released for the forthcoming James Bond movie, "Skyfall." Yes, Mr. Bond's back definitely speaks to me.



Alternative link:

What photos or images light the spark in your imagination?


Find me at:
Blog: [personal profile] misslj_author
Web: http://www.ljlabarthe.com
Twitter: @brbsiberia

Bio: L.J. LaBarthe is an Australian woman living with disabilities and her cat. As a young child, she won a competition for drawing a picture of Australian Humpty Dumpty, complete with Aussie hat, corks hanging from strings dangling from the brim to keep the flies away. The drawing was accompanied by an adventure story with Humpty Dumpty she wrote set in Australia. From that moment on, she has not looked back. She spends her free time watching television, reads newspapers online for fun, and enjoys a good novel. She loves to cook and enjoys a snifter of absinthe from time to time.

Current release: "Long Road Back" : Yoo Lee Shin had great hopes for his new life studying engineering in Australia, but nothing could have prepared him for the wonder of falling in love. His roommate’s brother, Craig, is beautiful, kind, and brave—and, very shortly after they meet, he’s deployed. As Christmas nears, can Shin keep hope for a happy ending bright enough to guide Craig to him on the long road back?

Coming soon: "No Quarter," book one of The Archangel Chronicles, coming in March/April with Dreamspinner Press.




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From Clare: Catch up with the fiction and links on my FREE FICTION DAY through THIS TAG.

Don't forget the PRIZE DRAW for the (in)famous GRL bracelet **OPEN TO JAN 31**

FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:

Jan 29: Jaime Samms asks, on the occasion of her new release, what is real life?
Jan 30: J. B Lynn and a love of soundtracks


Jan 23: J.L. Merrow and Josephine Myles discuss the better part of UST :)
Jan 24: Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan on their Cup-o-Porn Blog's birthday celebrations.:)
Jan 25: Mickie B. Ashling on the pictures that have inspired her Muse.
Jan 25: Chrissy Munder on finding Twitter a whole new experience!
Jan 26: Isabelle Rowan on the meaning of home, on Australia Day.
Jan 26: Ellis Carrington on seeing the world through perv-coloured glasses :)
Jan 27: Cornelia Grey on matching the best music to her writing mood.
Jan 28: Bookmark the posts on this tag for links to free fiction :)
Jan 29: S. A. Garcia on the art of obsession.


Jan 16: Sasha L. Miller making magic happen.
Jan 17: H. B. Pattskyn shares a free short story.
Jan 17: Becky Black on what can really happen after publishing.
Jan 18: Blaine D. Arden on keeping it close to her heart.
Jan 18: Tam battles with IKEA - and wins!
Jan 19: Toni Anderson shares her love of romance novels.
Jan 19: Poppy Dennison introduces the Boxer Falls m/m serial, plus a PRIZE DRAW for the (in)famous GRL bracelet **OPEN TO JAN 31**
Jan 20: Erastes shows us life from a horse's-eye view.
Jan 21: Anna Martin shares a beautiful and provocative ballet.
Jan 21: Andrea Speed shares snippets from Diary of the Damned.
Jan 22: Anne Barwell introduces her new WW2 m/m romance drama.

 


Jan 09: Lee Rowan shares her healthy resolution.
Jan 10: Rowena Sudbury and the beauty of a blue moon.
Jan 10: Sandra Lindsay and her WIP characters.
Jan 11: Shelley Munro and a tour of bedrooms through the ages.
Jan 11: Dany Sirene and her love of Goth characters.
Jan 12: Sarah Madison and her decision to stop competing.
Jan 13: Alix Bekins shares her love of kink.
Jan 14: Janis Susan May on writing one word at a time.
Jan 14: Charlie Cochrane watches movies with hankies at hand.
Jan 15: Megan Derr and the inspiration in fairytales.


 

Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?
Jan 04: Jen shares her favourite Rom Com movies.
Jan 05: Karenna Colcroft introduces her unusual werewolf.
Jan 06: Stevie Carroll takes us on a pictorial tour of her favourite locations.
Jan 07: Tinnean quotes Jack Benny on age.
Jan 07: Josie makes a brave leap into a scary sport.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory finds inspiration at every turn.

 

Check up on: Prior years fun HERE
and The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.


Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space


NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

****All my posts are being mirrored at Dreamwidth, please feel free to friend me over there as well****

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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
I always make playlists for my writing - music really is a fabulous inspiration. :)
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Exactly! There's some music that fits a story so much better than others. I do have a generic 'writing music' playlist, which, my iPod informs me has 759 songs in it! But I do make myself little soundtracks for my books in between writing chapters/scenes. Something about finding the music that fits a character/scene/story line leads to learning more about that particular thing. :)
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
I'm a classically trained pianist, so I often find myself "playing" out music - fingers on the sheets or something like that. I also grew up with punk rock bands, my mum was the manager of a local band back in the 80s, so there was always music and musicians in my house. It was a great way to grow up.
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Feb. 1st, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
I don't know how other writers who play an instrument feel, but for me, there's never a time without music in my head. Whether it's the song I last heard on the radio or the theme of a movie/tv show or a song I like that I haven't listened to for a while, it's always there. Like a constant soundtrack in the background, if that makes sense? When I'm writing, focusing on the words and getting them down, the music isn't so blatant, or I'm just so used to it, I don't hear it, hahaha.

Aw, thank you! I would say it's probably book two of my forthcoming Archangel series. Book one, No Quarter (title taken from a song, natch!) is out in March/April and book two, No Surrender, No Retreat is out in July/August. Book two introduces the angel Israfel, who is the angel of music.

I like that paragraph a lot. I think you've nailed the pain that composing can sometimes be. I know some of my friends *cannot* do anything until they've finished getting down the basic structure of a new song, the music won't let them concentrate on anything else.

Also, as a pianist, I was taught that we don't just play the piano with our hands. We use our whole arm, from shoulder down. If you want to talk more about it and how I was taught, please do feel free to send me a pm or comment on my LJ. (And I'm friending you. :D)
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Feb. 1st, 2012 05:26 am (UTC)
I've just got to finish book three - I've had a RL roadbump, so things have been a little slower because of that, but I'm impatient to get back into it. The books will be out with Dreamspinner Press, and I'll be talking about them a lot on my LJ (my flist will probably be sick of hearing me squee about them, hahaha!). I'm not sure about preordering, but I don't see why not, I can ask Elizabeth about that if you like.

I know what you mean about exchange rates - the Australian dollar is pretty high right now, which is such a rarity, I'm so used to things costing an arm and a leg and now, suddenly, they're reasonably priced! I accepted your invite to your comm, thanks for that. :)

*Nodnod* I think that's very similar. I loved horseback riding, the riding school I went to as a kid was English riding style. That hand-to-mouth method so the rider is more sensitive to the horse is basically what I was taught with the piano - to play the stylistic notations, like addagio or crescendo or staccato, etc, properly, without bashing on the keys, to use the force of the arm from the shoulder down rather than smash with the hands. So it was like coaxing or stroking the tone out of the piano to get the piece to sound the way it was composed.
(Deleted comment)
misslj_author
Feb. 2nd, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
Yup, DSP is a US house. I thought you were in the UK! :) It's been a period of migraines for me, so I'm feeling pretty fragile today. Back to bed very soon.
eglantine_br
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
I love the little girl one. The camel and she are great friends, obviously. Wish I could be in on their joke.
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
So do I. That photo always makes me smile.
elin_gregory
Jan. 31st, 2012 07:58 am (UTC)
Gorgeous pictures and boy do they give me a kick in the plot bunnies! Writing something about the Temple of Poseidon during a solar eclipse, no less, is very enticing. Also that fleabitten grey with the pyramids in the background - just super.

I don't think one can look at the picture of that Mongolian toddler and not smile. :D
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
I loved that one of the pyramids, too. It's such a beautiful photo. And the Mongolian child and her camel is such a feel good photo. I'd love to know what they were giggling at together!
stevie_carroll
Jan. 31st, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
I use photos for inspiration, but mostly to remind myaelf of places I've been. I took these two sets on Sunday and will go back to them when I need story inspiration.
misslj_author
Jan. 31st, 2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
Ooh, those steps look intriguing. I'm already coming up with thoughts of what they could have been witness to.
chrissymunder
Feb. 3rd, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Photos and music both are wonderful ways to spark the imagination! Wishing you well with book 3.
misslj_author
Feb. 4th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
They really are, aren't they? :D And thank you so much. I'm having a great time with these characters.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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