What do you see?

Do you ever decide to make a few changes, switch things up a bit, and then run into a snag? With writing, we all know altering one word or one sentence can have a ripple effect throughout the paragraph or page or story … which leads to more changes.

I just experienced the ripple effect with this blog page. Let me explain. Its appearance had been the same for too long. So … I changed the header image.

I caught an early morning picture of the moon, slightly after Super Moon 2013. I thought its image would be a good choice for a blog about writing, inspiration, and the arts.

After all, the moon often appears in a scene or story, whether a werewolf is howling at it or lovers are meeting beneath it or a thief is cursing its brightness. It has mystery, inspiration, lore. It often appears in titles. You’ve probably seen the play Dark of the Moon by Howard Richardson and William Berney. It  had a ten-month run on Broadway in 1945 and is often performed by theater groups. The moon lurks over the scene.


Scene from Dark of the Moon

But back to the blog. I switched the page color to blue-gray to compliment the new picture’s background. Caught in the moment, I added two widgets. The first needed a picture and, the second, a piece of poetry. I went on the hunt for same. Then I retired a page called “Bio Bits.” Was I having fun or what?!

With all of that, the blog now clamored for a new title. (The title at that point was my name, Carol S. Mann. ‘Nuff said.)

And no pearls were dropping.

I jotted down ideas and gradually filled several pages of an Office Max spiral notebook with lists of words, phrases, categories, doodles, water bottle rings, and chocolate stains. Words and phrases about the moon, the sky, light, shadow, darkness, glow, shimmer, shine.

I entered the regret phase, wondering why I’d even begun this change thing. When I started, I wasn’t thinking about a new title and now it was what I  wanted most. A friend told me to relax. Just leave it alone for a while.

So I did.

One morning when I opened the blog, I glanced at the header image and the title just slid into my head. There it was. I noticed the frame of trees. I live in the desert. Obviously, this is where I do my writing. Aha!

Trees. Palm trees. The new title: Written Beneath the Palms. (These were the very same trees I’d cursed because at certain angles, they’d blocked my picture taking of the moon.)

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, What do I see? What am I looking at? What am I missing? Sometimes, you need to shift your focus, not go with the obvious. Not go with the preconceived idea.


About cmwriter

I'm a writer ... of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I blog about writing, short stories, poetry, books, plays, and thoughts on life. Love reading and travel and being with friends!
This entry was posted in Creativity, fiction writing, Finding Ideas: The Creative Process, Inspiration, Looking for Inspiration, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to What do you see?

  1. kathybjork says:

    I like your new picture. They are definitely a part of this desert and both a curse and a blessing. The last big windstorm we had the trees “rained” palm bark all over our yard and the neighbor’s. We filled 5 large trash bags full of them! But they do make a beautiful backdrop to the landscape.

    • cmwriter says:

      Glad you stopped by! Yes, palm bark can be dangerous and plentiful stuff in a desert wind. Interestingly, I have a friend who also creates art pieces from that very same flying bark. It always amazes me how the palms achieve such great height but have so small a root structure.

  2. Lynne Spreen says:

    That moon is gorgeous!! And I am chortling as I read your descriptions of tinkering with the blog. I am proud of you. Glad you’re enjoying yourself.

  3. Susan says:

    I love the moon and the palms ~

  4. Elizabeth says:

    You are making me homesick for Palm Desert, PSWG and of course, my beloved palm trees. Now that we are back in Maryland, we are raking and blowing leaves!

    • cmwriter says:

      Hi Elizabeth … I’m originally from the Buffalo area, so I’m familiar with raking leaves. We’ll keep the palm trees safe and beautiful for when you see them again! Thank you for stopping by.

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