Honoring the Periphery

Sometimes a photo is exactly as it seems. Bird shots 001In this case, an Eurasian Collared-Dove dipping its tail in a heated, slushy bird bath.

Other times, however, photos contain bonus details the viewer might miss. Take a look at this picture: Bird shots 007If you’re like me, you didn’t immediately notice the safflower seeds falling from the pointed beak of this Northern Flicker.

How about this photo? Bird shots 009Did you notice the incoming finch in the upper right-hand corner? Or how about the finch suspended in flight in this next one? Bird shots 015Pretty cool, huh?

I have gazillions of feeder photos taken over the years, and I’m loathe to delete any of them because it seems there’s a surprise hidden in each if I take the time to see what’s there. I’m having a similar experience in my writing life as I work with a fast-drafted manuscript I wrote and put away for four years. I’m creating a bookmap (an analysis/breakdown of each scene) and am tickled by the little gems hidden in the rough of that first draft. Granted, there’s a lot of not-so-good and, of course, the distractions of various plot and character possibilities. But I’m trying hard not to be blinded by the obvious so that I’m open to all possibilities. I want to honor everything: the written, the implied, and the subtle-yet-powerful details dancing on the periphery.