(This blog article has been re-posted due to a website glitch.) There are photographs that I have taken—some recent, some years ago—that inform the way I imagine a certain fiction scene. One of the great examples of this was a photo that I shot when I was a teenager while on vacation with my parents in the Smoky Mountains. The image in question was of a staircase which led up the side of a hill. However, this was no ordinary staircase. It was one which was literally built out of the roots of trees as they wove their way through the earth.
Unfortunately I do not have the photograph anymore, but the memory of that image directly informed my vision of how the architecture would look on Mount Sol’ece in the Sylvan Cycle and Sylvan Prelude book series. I wanted to incorporate the tree root staircase into the dryads’ world because it really fits with their culture. In my books, dryads don’t build their buildings so much as grow them. Consequently, most of their infrastructure and architecture is based on tree roots and tree branches woven around rock.
There is only on other photograph that I’ve ever shot that comes close to capturing the feeling of that original root staircase. That image is “Root Lattice”—a photo I took two years ago while journeying with my husband through the temperate rain forest near Ketchikan, Alaska. While I have used this image to help me imagine some of my dryads’ dwellings, it mainly informs the look of the mysterious trees makes that make their appearance in my Musings short story “What Tendrils Echo”. I hope this photo provides others with as much writing inspiration as it has me.
Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!
The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with fine art, love, speculative fiction books, and tea suggestions for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!