Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Guest Post: Sandra Cormier

Sandra Cormier writes women's fiction and romantic suspense.
Her most recent releases are The Toast Bitches from Ravenous Romance and Bad Ice from Champagne Books.

Painting withWords

I first "met" Rachael (as Sha'el, Princess of Pixies) while toddling around the blogosphere, learning from writers, agents and editors. Her brand of humour always brought a smile to my face, and I was genuinely thrilled when her first novel was released.

I'm happy to visit today!

When I hear the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words," I see it from both ends. As a writer, I love to take a single scene and weave a tale around it. As a painter, I like to wrap a myriad of emotions into a single scene, hoping to elicit a similar response from those who view my creations.

Many writing forums and blogs feature exercises or prompts, inviting the writer to interpret a picture. The results are surprisingly diverse, from horrors to poignant stories of redemption. Sometimes they're hilariously funny.

Watching a scene from a distance can trigger a story, too. A writer could watch a man walk toward a lighthouse and wonder, "Who is that man? Does he keep the lighthouse? What makes a person choose such a life?"

I won't confuse this exercise with moving the plot forward – sometimesyou need to stop and smell the roses (so to speak). Many novels need a short break from breakneck action to allow the reader to take a little breather.It also allows the reader to connect with the main character, in my opinion.

When I painted "Dominique" I felt the breeze, heard the distant whinny of wild horses and remembered the long and leisurely ride through the Okanagan Valley with my father. I hoped others would feel the saddle leather and smell the sagebrush like I did.


That day had such an impact on me that I included a similar scene in my first novel, The Space Between. It seemed too magical to exist only in my memories.

When I wrote the family pond hockey scene in Bad Ice, I used my memory of our own Canadian winters and tried to illustrate the the constant twilight of a midwinter day. I hope my readers are able to see it just like a painting.

What story would you tell

Sandra Cormier

The Toast Bitches from Ravenous Romance

Bad Ice from Champagne Books

The Space Between from The Wild Rose Press


  1. nice post Sandra,i envy your talent being able to write and paint successfully.as i am no good at either ,i have to rely on memories or photographs.the memories are the most important and can be triggered by the slightest silly thing.good luck with your work,i wish you all success.

  2. That's a lovely painting!

  3. Gary Inbinder10:06 AM

    I enjoyed the post and the painting! Painters were protagonist/narrators in my last two novels and I've used paintings to help me visualize and describe scenes in my stories.



  4. Thank you all for your kind words. I started painting much earlier in my life, and I hope the writing catches up!

  5. That's a great painting.

  6. Dominique was a student from Quebec, working to earn her tuition. Can anyone tell a story about her based on the painting?

  7. oh! you called my book "enchanting" over on your blog! how nice!