Category Archives: Inspirations

In the time of William Shakespeare, the words “sense” and “wit” were synonyms, so the senses were known as the five outward wits. Extrasensory perception is often called the sixth sense.
I hope to engage your “wits” by sharing some of the inspirations to my descriptions.

Reflective Imagery

Alligator Sunning

Alligator Sunning

Amateur sleuth, Echo, is married to a photographer who once worked for National Geographic because if I could be anything when I grow up, that’s probably what I’d be!

The idea of Hawke’s Reflections exhibit was born from photos taken by my sister at Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge.  The rich sunset described in the Fleur deKey excerpt below is a memory of a vibrant horizon, with blazing purple and reds, which I witnessed during the burning of fields at the end of sugar cane season.

Excerpt, Chapter 8 – White Linen Night

Stained Air on the Bayou

Stained Air on the Bayou

The centerpiece of Hawke LeBauve’s Reflections Exhibit displayed in a double frame on a tripod and entitled Sunset, Sunrise was not for sale. A twelve year old Hawke had raised his camera, capturing a dancing nine year old Echo in the rich sunset reflected on the muddy water of the Bayou Teche. The setting sun stained the air a red-orange-purple slush causing Victoria’s messy curls to blaze with fiery highlights – a mini explosion of ginger and silver.

Eighteen years later while Echo sat barefoot in a canoe dressed only in a peach slip with tousled hair, Hawke photographed Sunrise. Yellows and pinks colored the air surrounding her as the sun nudged its way up from the riverbank.

…..”I had difficulty choosing between the Robin in the Iris and the Flower in the Raindrop.”

Aura by Crayon or Quantum Physics

The Crayon part of my story_a REAL Life Experience: Mike and I, who are spa junkies, visited the Lodge at Woodloch in the Pokonos. Gorgeous facility. That weekend the Lodge offered some unique activities – one being a private reading by a person who could see auras. It sounded like fun, but we asked her to ‘read’ us as a couple instead of individually.  She had never been asked that before, but was intrigued and game to try.

Neither of us had ever done this before or knew what to expect. The Reader had hundreds of tiny bottles of colored water. We individually selected those that “spoke” to us as she led us through a conversation. Throughout our session, the Reader was busy making notes on paper – or so we thought. She proceeded to tell us what she saw and we were impressed with how accurate she was. At the end of the session, she handed us the paper – which was, in reality, a crayon drawing. Mike and I had become a stick she and he. A simulation of the aura reading she gave us is below.

Unusual? Yes. Memorable? Absolutely…. So much that I included the stick figure drawing in my story. Sometimes you can’t make up things better than real life.  Excerpt Fleur deKey Chapter 7 – Poppy’s Perspective…. As she steeped a tea bag, she studied the frame with Poppy’s drawing

Aura Reading

Aura Reading

How is this related to Quantum Physics?_ If you wonder whether auras really exist, excerpt from a science article:  Mind Over Matter 

A Russian scientist has been studying the human energy field and is claiming that people can change the world simply by using their own energy. While this idea is not new, not many have taken the time to scientifically go about proving such ideas – although, the field of quantum physics has shed some powerful light on the topic over the years.

We cannot see energy very easily with the human eye and thus the world of unseen energy can be difficult for the mind to grasp without scientific measurements …To help create a bridge between our physical and unseen world, scientific experiments using a technique called bioelectrophotography are being carried out. In these experiments, an assumption must be made that states the human body and consciousness is constantly emitting energy. Following this assumption, Bioelectrophotography aims to capture these energy fields seen as a light around the body. In the metaphysical world this energy emission is known as a person’s aura, while in the scientific field, it is often referred to as our energy field.

Espaliered Perspective

Espalier Form

Espalier Form

The word espalier is French, and it comes from the Italian spalliera, meaning “something to rest the shoulder (spalla) against.”

Espalier is a gardening technique practiced in gardens of Egyptian Pharaohs, middle age monks, and French kings. One of the more famous locations where espalier is displayed is at Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France


EXCERPT – chapter 7, Poppy’s Perspective

Through the screen door she spotted her grandfather tending lemon, lime and orange trees which he had trained in espalier fashion along the western fence. Mastering espalier technique involves understanding how the plant responds to pruning cuts and shape manipulation. Poppy had chosen the buds he wanted to form into branches on a two rail fence like the one in Monet’s garden, cultivating them with a patient, curative touch.

The fragrant flowers of spring had bloomed into full-size fruit along the flat planes of branch. The citrus would mature over the next several months, their green skins ripening to yellow. It is said that Monet would not have become the painter he became if he wasn’t the gardener he was. Echo believed the reverse was true for Poppy. Poppy’s healing gift extended to vitalizing plants – evidenced by the exceptionally healthy trees bearing fruit in abundance on which fungus didn’t dare intrude.


Poppy lived in the other half of their shotgun house. Their shared back yard extended their living space. Personalized areas of sanctuary created a distinctive courtyard microcosm.

At the far end of the deep but narrow lot sat a shallow out building. Separate entrances gave Hawke and Poppy their own workshops. Glass paneled doors and skylights provided plenty of natural light.

Out the door and down the steps, past the last of summer’s tomatoes and peppers growing in above-ground vegetable garden squares, she plucked a cherry tomato still damp with morning dew, popped it into her mouth and smacked her lips, savoring the flavor. Steadying her mug of tea in her left hand, she leaned down to where her grandfather knelt in the garden, giving him a one arm hug. “Good morning, Poppy.”

The moss separating the pave stones felt cool to her bare feet. Crossing the yard, she sat at the edge of a small pond. She often practiced her tai chi in this refuge spot. The hypnotizing sound of the water spray and sight of gold fish swimming between rocks and bog plants invited reflection.

Poppy tilted his head back looking up from under the brim of his worn and stained plantation straw hat. He still wore his hair in a long plait, its red now faded to a lighter strawberry color. “Mornin’ Shă. What are you musing on today?”

Sunset Riff Jazz Club

Excerpt from Fleur deKey Chapter 5 – based on a real New Orleans locale

Orange evolved into mauve, changed into red, faded into purple, evolved back to orange. The continuously evolving colors backlit the stained glass wall behind the bar, evoking a sunset created by the pattern of cut glass. Echo swiveled her stool, glancing around the large room from where she and Hawke sat. The musicians on the small stage were already into their second set when they arrived and all of the club chairs surrounding low tables had been occupied. A favorite of locals and popular with tourists, the Sunset Riff Jazz Club, with its art deco theme, was an intimate upscale setting on the ground floor of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. At the heart of it all on Bourbon Street, the hotel encompassed the entire frontages of Bienville, Bourbon and Conti Streets.

Contented to wait until the musicians took their next break, she sipped her Pinot Noir and listened to the soulful voice of the female in the trio. Her raw passion put a gospel and R&B hurting on the song about bad news and not sleeping at night. 

Irvin Mayfield Jazz Club aka Sunset Riff

Irvin Mayfield Jazz Club aka Sunset Riff in Fleur deKey

Check out a YouTube clip of the real jazz club located in the Royal Sonesta.  Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse  – the backlight at the bar does change colors.

Beatnik and Ostrich Feathers

Fleur deKey Excerpt from Chapter 11: Riverfront: Promenading
Inspired by real life snippets from a Sunday stroll


Garbed all in black, sunglasses and a beatnik cap, a battered horn case sat open at his feet, seeded with tip money. His wiry grey hair and beard spoke of his age. He played another quick scale to keep the interest of the building crowd then paused to roll his long sleeves to his elbows.  A grandmother pushed a baby stroller up to his bench, sat and talked with the old guy while he oiled the keys on his horn, waiting for more people to join the crowd.  Finally he wet his whistle and raised the horn to his lip. Smiling at the grandmother, he played “Braham’s Lullaby”. The old man responded to the surprise applause with a dip of his head and shifted into a rousing, fun tune to keep the crowd’s interest.


Two benches farther, another street performer claimed his performance space along the walkway. His yellow painted grocery cart, decorated with Mardi Gras beads, ostrich feathers and a pink bra flying from a bamboo staff, also sported a multi-colored tire stretched around its frame as a bumper. The dark skinned, lanky boy arranged his instruments – a bongo drum, horn, Indian flute, maracas, tin can on the end of a stick – in and around his cart preparing to compete for attention and tips.

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