Do you experience this too? Or is it just crazy me? As I was talking with a friend the other day and describing something that had happened to me, I noticed how I could not seem to resist setting the scene in a colourful way, commenting on exactly where I had been standing, expressing my feelings about it all with great emotion and generally taking much longer to tell the whole story than others would! But then I stopped short and apologised.‘Sorry!’ I told my friend. ‘I know my husband would tell me to hurry up and get to the point, but I’m a storyteller. I can’t seem to help myself!’
Several years ago, during a wonderful week-long writing course I attended, our group was led in a guided imagery exercise. We were asked to imagine a large room, to picture the dimensions of it and where the doors and windows might be. Next, we were asked what else might be in that room—perhaps a fireplace or a particular item of furniture. Then we were led to wonder who might be in that room. Was there more than one person? If so, what was their relationship like? On it went in this way—until I was almost bursting to want to write it all down! From the moment our course facilitator had started, I was off, lost in my imaginary room. For some odd reason, I had pictured a large dining room in an old, English manor, complete with fireplace, huge dining table and heavy chandelier. And in my room were two people—a mother and an adult son, come together for the first time in many years. There was no love lost between these two, I knew. The mother was stubborn and autocratic—and also ill. And the son, a doctor, was equally stubborn, but also very angry and bitter. I was fascinated with the whole scenario—and I wanted to find out more.
By the time that course was over, this scene had become a long Chapter One of what I hoped would be a future novel. I put it away until around eighteen months ago—and now that chapter has become the first chapter of my sixth novel, The Inheritance, due for release next year.
I never cease to be amazed at the power of imagination and at our ability to see those 3D images in all their glory inside our heads. But then, why should I be? After all, we are created in God’s image. And we only have to look around us to see God’s awesome creativity and imagination at work in nature. How blessed we are to have such an amazing, God-given resource at our disposal!Jo-Anne Berthelsen grew up in Brisbane, Australia, and holds an Arts degree from Queensland University. She has also studied Education and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher and editor, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word and currently has five published novels – ‘Heléna’, ‘All the Days of My Life’, ‘Laura’, ‘Jenna’ and ‘Heléna’s Legacy’. She is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com.