Music and Pictures
By Cait Collins
I enjoy looking through old photo albums especially when I do not know the persons or places involved. It provides me with the opportunity to draft a story idea based on the photo. A snapshot of a meadow leading into an aspen forest might bring thoughts of a mystery. The protagonist finds a backpack on a hike through the meadow. Blood spatters stain the pack and the surrounding plants. As he follows the blood trail, he finds a hiking boot. Entering the forest he notes a fabric scrap clinging to a branch. Should he hike deeper into the woods? Or would it be more prudent to back off and call for help?
The story could take a different turn. Our man follows a trail into the forest. Birds sing and small woodland creatures scamper out of his sight. He steps into a clearing. A blanket is spread on the leaf-covered ground. A picnic basket rests on the edge of the blanket. His wife emerges from the trees. She smiles and holds out her hand.
One photograph; two story ideas.
Music is equally thought provoking. A song can help set the mood for a scene. Certain songs can set a romantic mood or be the contrast to a horrific scene. Imagine a thunder storm. The power has been knocked out by a lightning strike. The house is dark. No candle light softens the blackness. Strains of a romantic aria can be heard from a car radio. A bolt of lightning splits the night. From the picture window, we see the shadow of a knife plunging into a human form. The music rises and falls with the slashes of the blade. As the music dies, so does the woman.
Or the aria might be the background for a really erotic love scene. Either way, a good selection of tunes can get the creative juices flowing.