Friday, May 9, 2014

Setting Inspiration - Saturday Snapshot

When writing BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY, some of the settings in the book came from memories of my years in Texas, but I also did in-person research. The book takes place near Lake Texoma, close to the Texas-Oklahoma border. While visiting Sandra Allen, my friend and co-author for my first book who lives in that part of the world, I took the following pictures. They inspired some of the settings in my second book. (Click on photos to enlarge.)


This dirt road runs through my brother's property.
You expected cattle with an oil well pumping in the background,
didn't you?
I believe this small town is in southern Oklahoma. 
I erased the town's name from the City Hall sign. I love Photoshop.

Couldn't resist this! I played with Photoshop a little bit on this one 
to make it a little softer and grainier.

Actually, this photo of  a mobile home neighborhood for people over 55 
was taken in Washington State, not too far from my home. One of the characters
 in BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY lives in a similar neighborhood. 
I played with Photoshop on this one too, attempting to make it look 
more like a drawing than a photograph.



To see more gorgeous photos, visit West Metro Mommy Reads: HERE.

West Metro Mommy Reads

19 comments:

  1. Very nice inspiration. I love photoshop too :)

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    1. Digital photography combined with Photoshop has sure provided more control of photographs. I especially like the cropping feature.

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  3. I love finding scenes for my characters, too, and since most of mine live in towns or cities where I have lived, too, it is easy enough to do. Thanks for sharing! That mobile home park looks like some around these parts, too.

    Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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    1. Photos act as reminders of details for me. Besides, I enjoy taking pictures!

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  4. I love seeing these visual inspirations for your writing!

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    1. Thank you, Joy. I'll probably post more.

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  5. My friend Sandra Allen just reminded me that the pictures of "City Hall" and the truck/tractor were taken in Celeste, Texas. Thanks for keeping me honest, Sandra!

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  6. Like others, I enjoyed seeing the photos which were part of the research for some of your books. Although the setting in my novel-in-progress is my hometown of childhood, I find myself taking photos each time I visit to help me remember the locale.

    Have you used Light Room? My husband loves it for organizing his photos and doing basic modifications. He also recommended Pinterest to me for collecting online inspirations for characters and settings.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations, Allison. I've never heard of Light Room, but I'll look into it. I LOVE Pinterest but hadn't thought of using it for inspiration for characters and settings. What a good idea.

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  7. I've never written anything, and don't expect I ever will, but it's wonderful to see some of your inspirations.

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    1. I've enjoyed reading your Saturday Snapshot blog posts, and I count that as writing!

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  8. Nice photos and editing. Never used photoshop but I used similar programs in the past and enjoyed them. I have thought about getting photoshop or a comparable programs but I take way too many photos and would spend too much time perfecting every shot. :(

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

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    1. You are so right, Sean! I can spend hours tinkering with photos -- trying different filter, croppings, etc. It's fun but takes away from other things I should be doing.

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  9. Nice taking real things and fictionalizing them. I find people are more likely to say something is too unrealistic if it actually comes from real life. These pictures definitely tell a story.

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    1. Thank you, Paulita! Generally, these pictures served as reminders and inspiration although the mobile home neighborhood in my book was definitely based on the one pictured.

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  10. Love your photos, Sandra! I like to visit settings in person, too, if possible. While writing my Texas Devlins series, I visited Bosque County three times, getting a feel for the land where the characters would end up. I also drove up to Nocona, north and west of where I live in Fort Worth, to interview an elderly gentleman whose father lived during the trail driving days. He gave me some invaluable information that I incorporated in Dashing Irish, which features a trail drive.

    Thanks for sharing your pics and reminding me of fun research trips!

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    1. That sounds like a fun (and productive!) trip. I've never been to Nocona. Now I'll have to look it up on a Texas map.

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