As a writer, I often depend upon visuals to compose my ideas and words. I especially employ this method with my novel’s corresponding blog (joannedemaio.blogspot.com). Each post is inspired by an everyday photograph. My view through the camera lens provides a clear perspective on examining how we live our passions and dreams, the theme of the blog. A boat marina becomes a post asking when the reader’s ship will come in. A crumbling stone wall parallels building the lives we seek one stone at a time. I’m never at a loss for a post; yet, without my photographs, the blog would not exist. Photographs provide my written vision.
The same can be said for my novel Whole Latte Life’s main character, Sara Beth. She sees circumstances in her days through the lens of her art background. Her art history education and a love for antiques provide her with a perspective that serves her well in understanding life and the choices she is to make. Words and family and feelings become the shapes and forms and brush strokes that comprise her life like a work of art. I’ve written passages where she sees her family through the idea of a Tonalist painting; others where she feels a personal longing through the fleeting colors of the summer evening light falling upon an historic carriage house; she understands the woman she wants to become through imagining sketched images of herself in others’ eyes.
And it works. When we bring a passion, be it art history or photography or song, to our inquiring thoughts, we often find a richer answer than we might have without that lens.
She dares to consider her reflection and study the woman, who, at forty, had to walk out of her life to find her way back. The eyes are less assured than she had imagined, her skin drawn. Instead of a small thrill, now there’s this nagging doubt. Did she do the right thing? They say that in an oil painting, colors can be painted over each other, changing the nuance of light. So maybe this is what she’ll do. Change just the nuance of Sara Beth.Excerpt Page 14 ~ Whole Latte Life
This is a room from Paris’ Hotel de Varengeville, reconstructed in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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