Picture Your Story

picture your story

Ever noticed how newspapers use photographs of public figures? If Obama scores a big one, we get smiling Obama, maybe with a fist pump. When the roof caves in, we get tight-lipped, greying, worry lines Obama. All underneath screaming headlines. If the paper has integrity, we are not disappointed with the text that follows, our minds having been conditioned for it. They say we see with our eyes and we see with our minds.

And yet after I left primary school, my books, whether novels or textbooks, were devoid of images except for academic (boring), charts, graphs, drawings, and photos illustrating the concept being taught, as if to say, now that you’ve mastered comprehension, you don’t need visual aids or we want you to concentrate, no mucking around!

The web changed everything. Of course, it had to since everyone became a (potential) content provider. The downside of information overload is digital ADD. Mixing text with pictures and videos means we might win the scramble for eight seconds of surfing attention. However, beyond this, I integrate photos with text because it breaks monotony and can say what words cannot, helping to build emotional connections. Moreover, we decipher meaning from images, adding to the reading experience.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it might not tell the whole story. Perhaps that’s why on the web, text continues to dominate information exchange and videos, which combine visuals and words, are on the rise.

Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all. Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating. – William S. Burroughs –

After writing an article, I hunt for images that complement it. During my search, I encounter photos that have nothing to do with the text, which haunt me and inspire me to manufacture a story, like this one.

Boy by Greyerbaby

The right story hasn’t come along for this image yet, but I can’t wait any longer. Let’s find the story together. You don’t need to be a writer, just human. Tell what the photo evokes in you. There is no right or wrong, because we see the sun at different times. Day for me may be night for you. You can write your headline (title) in sentence caps and/or a few lines of the story. Indulge me, please? I’ll start.

 

The Boy Who Stole Tomorrow

Truth did not have consequences when we were young, so we exchanged it freely as though playing Ping-Pong. Some days you won. Other days I won. We did not keep score but maintained equilibrium until she came. Then, you made me lose more than I should have.

————–

P.s. Like seriously? Of course there’s no prize, I’m not Oprah! Alright then, just comment on how multimedia content enhances online interaction. See? Told ya! The story option is easier 😉

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

Photo credit: Photo credit: ©Lisa Runnels/www.pixabay.com (used with permission)

http://pixabay.com/en/boy-walking-teddy-bear-child-walk-447701/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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73 thoughts on “Picture Your Story

  1. JOY.
    Her joy is her life and her life remains with her. To us, it might be funny or unseemly but she is a child and what does she care? Her joy remains with her, the simple things of life we cannot appreciate. The simple things of life we have learnt to ignore gives her joy and please, don’t deride it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pictures are persuassive, sometimes convincing. They always do the trick, as long as they are used accurately.

    My title…
    If you weren’t mine, and mine alone.

    Like

    1. . . . as long as they are used accurately. I find this interesting because we’ve all looked at the same picture and come up with different titles and I daresay that each is accurate. Is it that the title narrows the viewers understanding, making him meet the storyteller at least halfway?

      Intriguing title. I wonder if I shared you with the world, what would become of us?

      Thanks Christy for joining in and making me have fun all over again!

      Like

  3. I am not sure I can actually start a piece from just any picture. Usually, I have a topic/subject, then I go searching for a picture to match. It can be really frustrating when I can’t find the right picture.
    About the Picture: “We’ll soon be home…”

    Like

    1. Well, you just gave it a shot, way to go! I like your title, it fills me with warmth and reassurance.

      I know that feeling of frustration when you can’t find a picture to match. Take this post for example. I struggled with it until finally the idea came to make my own, and make it plain. So, what do you do when you can’t find a picture?

      Thanks for participating. I appreciate it!

      Like

  4. You had better credit the owner of that photo before some guy files a report to wordpress! lol ..Back to the matter, i think images – the right ones – connect with readers. Sometimes it gives a little insight about the post. The perfect (Ok not really perfect) title for me has to be “Leaving the World Behind”. *drops mic*

    Like

    1. Lol! Although the photo is in the public domain and has a CCO License, meaning it is free for commercial use and requires no attribution, I sought and received the owner’s permission to use it. In general, I use photos in the public domain. I attribute text from others’ work under “fair use”. I’ve been doing this since I started blogging, before the brouhaha that I think you’re referring to 🙂

      Aw, Leaving The World Behind, sounds like a fitting title. I’m curious about the story that follows . . .

      The right images, yes that’s the key word, ‘right’. Thanks Emeka for joining in and sharing what you see!

      Like

  5. And Timi writes microfiction. Yay! Lovely story that made me think of how new relationships that seem to be the answer to our deepest yearnings, end up changing lifelong friends or partners for the better or worse.

    This lovely article resonates with me. Why? Because I have been thinking about the place of description in narratives. I think the abundance of movies and videos have reduced the need for elaborate descriptions in literary works, the reason why I feel that more than ever, words must not be wasted. They must be set to do what images and videos cannot. And if they must describe elaborately, they must do so in ways that provide a superior or equal alternative to pictures or videos, or complement them.

    Well, let me give a short at a story:

    The Darkness From Heaven

    The jets kept at their noise in heaven and on earth, setting fires in the countryside. Susan kept dragging Ted, pleading with him to hang on, to not give up, because she, unlike Mom and James, kept promises. The playhouse was not far anymore, she encouraged. She said: “That noise and fire from yesterday will not come. We will play Teddy and The Princess soon. I promise.”

    But the playhouse liked the noise and fire. It waited patiently, kept waiting until girl and toy trudged into its embrace.

    It wasn’t long before darkness descended upon them all as Fire and Noise crashed through from the skies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” . . . words must not be wasted.” Sometimes, I feel as though writers have the toughest job, followed by musicians, and film makers have the easiest job, when it comes to communicating. But then I remember pantomime (wordless/soundless storytelling), games I played and how difficult it could be to interpret body and facial expressions. I guess the quote by Burroughs sums it up; different art forms have their usefulness. Our blogging platforms afford us the opportunity to blend video, visuals, and text in a way that enriches communication. Words remain my default setting and I like the challenge of conjuring word pictures.

      You are the king of microfiction! Oh oh, fire, noise, darkness, and broken promises! Your story is metaphorical not literal, I suppose?

      @” . . . made me think of how new relationships that seem to be the answer to our deepest yearnings, end up changing lifelong friends or partners for the better or worse.” Did you read my diary 😉

      Thank you Samuel, it’s almost as if I wrote this one for you!

      Like

  6. That’s a great cute photo of child with big teddy bear.

    “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it might not tell the whole story. Perhaps that’s why on the web, text continues to dominate information exchange and videos, which combine visuals and words, are on the rise.”

    +1
    For my personal blog, sometimes I get inspired by merely 1 photo or 1 scene where I’ve shot some photos on-site. Such as a few days ago where we went hiking in a large wilderness canyon area in the mountains. A forest fire had burnt part of the area with new bright tree saplings regenerating all over the place.

    Yes, wait for the blog post one day. 😀

    Like

    1. Jean, your words about the forest fire and new bright tree saplings regenerating all over the place transported me to the scene! The combination, your words and what I see in my mind’s eye, speak powerfully to me because it reminds me that we can rise from ashes. So, I get it when you say a photo or scene inspires you.

      “Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all.”

      Ah, you’re also waiting for ‘the’ story too? I make no promises 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      Like

  7. They said the picture tell the story first and in response I told them to stop using the pictures then cos I might just get the gist and loose interest in reading the narrative……..

    My tittle would be: “lonesome road of life: my untold tales.

    Maturity is not the accumulation of years but knowledge and the right use of it…………(Freeman).
    As I reminisce my walk down the lonesome road of life,… .. …… The rest is for you to figure out Timi.

    Like

    1. “I might just get the gist and loose interest in reading the narrative……..”
      I guess different strokes for different folks. The picture, if interesting, motivates me to read the narrative as I would be curious about the artist’s interpretation.

      An interesting title and story. I see you are heading down the memoir path. That’s where I was headed as well, perhaps because writing convincingly from a child’s POV might have been tasking? In any case, the photo evoked memories of an era gone by for both of us.

      Thanks Freeman for joining in, and giving me something to figure out 🙂

      Like

  8. It’s been a pleasure reading your blog almost every week. I like that quote from Goethe, and I’m sure it makes a lot of difference when we sieve out the doubts from the convictions of people and get the positive part(s) of it.

    Like

  9. I tend to see in words, I think- so for me, the photos aren’t a priority for me when I blog- except that I know I need to include one – although based on what you wrote I do think I will start thinking about them differently. I am someone who only has pictures from her life that other people took for her (which can you imagine has gotten less with all this digital/phone photo technology) . You are getting me to think a bit outside into a more visual box.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apart from those who stumble on our blogs while surfing or Google-searching, perhaps our other viewers are intentional readers, so images don’t matter much to them. Still, visuals can enhance a post. I suppose it doesn’t have to be photos of you alone 🙂

      If this post makes you “think a bit outside into a more visual box,” then I’m humbled. I like to use images and thought to share something along those lines . . .

      Thanks Diahann!

      Like

  10. My title would be: Story of My Longest Days with Furry Lonesome

    *******
    I think the person in this picture is a “She”-hints of a ponytail hair and earrings. I think she actually loves the teddy but it’s not a symbol of warmth and companionship to her anymore like it used to be. It’s more like she just drags him along when the days are long, dark and unsure and she knows that at least she’ll have the presence of something/someone she loves, even if not really needed.

    We all do it, so we can’t judge her as being selfish. We’ve all compelled our friends or family to support us at one time or the other on a journey we were really not sure of its end and which they really had no interest in (or visible influence on). At such points, our friends’ warmth feels nothing to us than just a lonesome warmth.

    I think I did mine when I started blogging…..lol.

    Timi, Cheers to You. It was a worthy challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, when I read your words, I think I can see what you see, although I did not see it before. There is something about the way the child is ‘dragging’ the teddy- tiredness? reluctance? familiarity? Who likes to walk alone into strange territory? Maybe some, but like you, I’ve ‘compelled’ others to journey with me. With hindsight I think it is better to journey alone rather than ‘drag’ lonesome warmth along. Sometimes this quote works: give me the benefit of your convictions if you have any, but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own – Goethe.

      Tobi, thank you so much for sharing your story, and taking me on the journey with you!

      Like

  11. I love great photos that paint a message. Or a great piece of artwork. For me, it’s like eye candy.
    Ok, my contribution:
    “She broke my heart”
    or
    “My first heart-break”
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with Timi.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great piece of artwork is like eye candy 🙂 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
      How did you come up with your title(s)? Did you see with your eyes or mind? I wasn’t going to write anything beyond the few lines that I did, hmmm. but now you tempt me. I’ll see how it goes.

      Thanks Staci, you’re such a good sport!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At first when I saw the photo, I thought it was a girl. Then I noticed something on it that mentioned it was a boy. With the big teddy bear and his head hanging low, it made me think that he maybe went to give the teddy to a little girl, but she rejected him. Hence, the head hanging low. Hehehe.
        REally? I thought you were actually going to write a story. You should go ahead and do it. I’m sure it would be awesome.
        🙂

        Like

  12. The Road Ahead

    It’s a long way home. But I don’t care. I’m hungry and thirsty. But I have Mr. Teddy to keep me company. I will miss my classmates. But the solitude and serenity of my room are my best friends.

    ******

    If that wasn’t cheesy I wonder what else is, lol! Oh it’s so good to take good breaks from life and get a reboost on livelytwist’s blog.

    On second thoughts, my mind is in search mode for whatever Timi is planning. I smell creativity brewing in your cauldron. Please don’t make us wait too long! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol, we aren’t writing to win the Nobel prize for literature! 🙂
      No cheesy or wrong here. I’m just curious about how we see and interpret meaning. The photo inspired me to want to write a memoir piece, but inspired you to write in the present. Fascinating stuff for me and yes, for my creativity.

      “But the solitude and serenity of my room are my best friends.” I can relate to this.
      Thank you for indulging me!

      I’m glad you’re here. Don’t tell me you missed my “Hair rant,” For Coloured Girls Only? No, I think not . . . I thought you’d enjoy it 😉

      Like

  13. Just so you know, answering the question would have been a lot easier than this.

    Do You See Me?

    Like shadows I see them looming; expectant faces for the hope I represent.
    Do they not see as I cower, scared as they are of what lies ahead, on this lonely trail?
    Tomorrow, they will march with sturdier steps, and I with what little comforts I can find.

    …………….

    Love this exercise, maybe I’ll try working from image to text, rather than the other way round, every now and then 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Uju for bumping your personal preference for me 🙂

      I like your title. Isn’t that a universal question? We start asking when we’re kids and never stop. So, who does the child see looming? I’m curious.

      From image to text, the way we’re doing, may task your creativity, but can be rewarding in the end. I’m glad you loved the exercise. Thanks again Uju!

      Like

    1. Lol, no you didn’t, I’d love to hear about it. 😀
      It seems that way when we’re young, that parents have lost touch with our reality, doesn’t it? An enchanted stuffed lion might make parents grey over storage space and dread washing days. But not us. Our eyes light up at the prospect of magic swords and mean poachers in the jungle!

      Thanks Eric, you’re always a good sport and you’ve made me laugh again. I hoped this post wouldn’t skip your radar.

      Like

  14. I find that I base a lot of my posts on images. So the pictures or the idea of the pictures usually come first and not the other way around. I just like pictures I guess. 🙂

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    1. And your images are unique. They speak a language of their own and complement your text, in my opinion. I guess we lean to one side or stand in the middle. I like text and images. You definitely like pictures . . . you avoided writing a story 😉

      Like

  15. …and then there were those days, when hope was faint, and all i could think of was the tomorrow that never came. With a tear-stained face, i would drag Lulu along, as if to tell him he had no other choice. Each lonely step brought even more tears to my eyes, and all i could remember were mama’s equally lonely words, ‘tomorrow never dies’..

    Like

    1. Aw, desperate times. It seems as though tomorrow stretches to infinity like the lonely road ahead of him and Lulu. But if mama’s words are true, where there is life, there is hope, no matter how faint.

      Your title and story strikes melancholic notes in my heart until I remember that after night comes day. Thank you so much Prissy! 🙂

      Like

  16. Pictures, videos and hyperlinks, when used properly, can make interacting with content online more engaging. They don’t necessarily compete with words as much as they amplify the things the meaning of the words. In this I agree with the William Burroughs quote: “Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all.”

    However, sometimes, the pictures amount to nothing more than a distraction. There are moments when I want to engage just the text and allow my mind form its images, but I guess there are e-books to cater to that need.

    I think it the usefulness (or otherwise) of multimedia content boils down to the skill of the content creator.

    Now to the picture…

    KNIGHT IN FLURRY ARMOUR

    “Don’t worry, Ted, I’ll get you home” she says.

    Well, once the sun sets and she sleeps, I’ll have to massage my shoulder to rid it of soreness, shake the sand off my tail and get ready for another night of battling the demons that hunt for her soul.

    This is how we keep future Nobel prize winners safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ife, you did both, yay!

      “There are moments when I want to engage just the text and allow my mind form its images, but I guess there are e-books to cater to that need.”

      I heard that we need to discourage kids from too much TV and PSP, so they could read text and develop their imagination. There’s truth in that right? Meanwhile, some multimedia content is plain annoying- doesn’t complement text, just drives you up the wall!

      “I think it the usefulness (or otherwise) of multimedia content boils down to the skill of the content creator.” Two thumbs up!

      Now to the picture . . . love the title 🙂 Ted has his work cut out for him doesn’t he? If you’ve seen the future, all the more reason to guard the present . . .

      Thanks Ife, you’re such a good sport!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. NOWHERE
    I like to take long walks that lead nowhere. The further I go, the farther away I am from the reality of mother being fisted and taken-in by strange men. I like to walk with Mr. Fluffy, he does not have a soul, and hence cannot be soiled or corrupted. And i need that as a kid, i need innocence. I like to take long walks that lead nowhere…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, my heart is breaking! Tender. Heart-rendering. Some children have the innocence of childhood stolen from them. Thank you Tomi for reminding us of this reality. Nowhere with Mr. Fluffy can be a safe place, at least temporarily. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Maurice Sendak is one of my favourite authors. This picture immediately put these words into my head;

    “The night Max wore his wolf suit
    And made mischief of one kind….and another,
    His mother called him ‘wild thing’
    And sent him to bed without any supper.”

    Do we think this boy could be the king of the Wild Things – who wants to go home where someone loves him best of all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chronicles of Narnia! 😀

      “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
      At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
      When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
      And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

      Like

    1. Lol, something about the way he appears to be dragging the teddy . . . Yes, we figure it will be a long trek home. I hope the safari was worth it.

      OluFemi, thank you for weaving a story and sharing. Did you see with your eyes or mind or both?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. THEY’RE GONNA MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE . . . AND I’M NOT LION!

    Mom is so bossy! I’m tired of being told what to do, what to eat, what to wear, and when to take a nap. I’m running away. Just me and my pal Leo.

    I just wish I had listened to mom when she suggested I pick a smaller prize at the fair.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, there’s something about the way he’s clutching the teddy that’s nearly half his size and looking down . . . It should make a good story. Thanks a mil for indulging me and sharing!

      Like

  20. LONESOME HIGHWAY

    It’s a big world out there, but I must find my way home. I am sure Mufasa will protect me as I search for my mother. I last saw her under the tree of forgetfulness…

    Like

    1. Your title captures that dejected feeling the empty road also evokes in me. I like the thread of determination woven in your story lines, and the mystery that the tree of forgetfulness adds. Thanks Benn! I hope this was as much fun for you as it was for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. HEAVIER THAN USUAL

    Down the boulevard, she trudges along, teddy bear in hand. For a reason she cannot quite place, her favorite stuffed toy feels heavier than usual.

    Beneath inches of fur and foam, inside the bear, the explosive’s timer counted down 4, 3, 2, 1…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, we can’t let her die! Captain America to the rescue I hope. 🙂

      Isn’t it interesting how the same picture, without words, draws different responses from different viewers? I thought it was a photo of a girl as well until the photographer told me it was a photo of her grandson, who only recently agreed to have his hair cut!

      What inspired your story choice please? Thanks Bunmi for being a good sport and joining in the fun!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Nothing to pardon Bunmi. Your story lines are just as valid as any other here. I just didn’t want the leading actor to die. I suppose a hero appears at the nick of time to enable us exhale? 🙂
          My stories sometimes have a twist and although the ending isn’t dark, it isn’t a fairy tale ending either 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  22. As you know, I don’t use photos on my posts, but enjoy people’s posts that include pictures. I also love the ‘art’ of photography. At any given time, if asked, I can show you my latest nature picture or family photo, on my cell phone.
    As far as this photograph goes, I will try…

    It is lonely being a child,
    I use my imagination and
    play with my lion.
    He is my King, I am his Queen.
    We wish for a kingdom to rule.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your story/poem choice, especially, “We wish for a kingdom to rule.” Aw. There’s something about the photo that makes me think of loneliness as well, perhaps it’s the road and the child looking down, the word forlorn comes to mind. But I can see a spark of hope in the way he’s clutching the teddy bear, if I look again.

      I don’t take many photographs, but enjoy sifting through them and finding something appropriate for my blog. Is there a reason you don’t use photos on your post?

      Thank you Robin, for jumping in and having a go!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read books before I go to sleep. I enjoyed picture books, while growing up. I have written and illustrated four unpublished children’s books. I love art and photography, but mainly as an adult, I love the power of words, trying to create pictures. I read everyone I can’s posts, sometimes so grateful for short ones. My youngest daughter says that many times she thinks that my blog is saving my brain from turning to mush at a very basic level job. So, hopefully, my words entertain, inspire and move people along with being part of a community where I feel valued for my thoughts. Thanks for asking, Timi!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “I love the power of words, trying to create pictures.” Me too!

          Robin, I’m grateful for short posts as well, what with all the reading, writing, and living we have to do? 1500 words is long for me, except it’s a story, and even then . . .
          I agree that it’s wonderful to unleash your creativity in a community that values it. Keep on trucking Robin, and thanks again.

          Liked by 1 person

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