“That was not a story,” said the Elder Mother,
“but now it comes; but of truth the strangest 
stories are formed, otherwise my beautiful elder tree could not have sprouted forth
out of the tea-pot.”

 Hans Christian Andersen,  “The ElderTree Mother”


The Elder Tree Mother


 A visual image acting as a prompt is one of the easiest ways to stimulate the imagination and create a story.  To combine image and word as a therapeutic tool, a good way to start is to choose a  “symbolic” object a figure, an animal, a flower, a tree, or anything you feel comfortable using to represent yourself. Below are some free illustrations and photos to download, or choose an image from a convenient source such as an old magazine. 

One of my favorite ways to add words to my image is to search through already-written text. If you would like to use a fairy tale, SurLaLune Fairy Tales is a fantastic source for all folk and fairy tales annotated tales, discussion boards, essays and links. To begin, sit in a quiet place for 5-10 minutes with your chosen image and flip through the pages of your text source letting your eyes wander over the words quickly in free association. Let thoughts and ideas flow without any interpretive restrictions. On a blank piece of paper, write down any words or phrases that randomly pop to your attention. If it's a disposable source, tear the text out. This is a process embracing your decisions and your choices without judgement. When you are happy with your text choice, write it or glue torn text onto the image much like creating a page for a journal. (Sentences under some of the illustrations are only suggestions)


They bid the sun a pleasant journey.