The New Baby

Here’s a poignant portrait of grandson Augustus Reid Arnold from the camera of  Grandpa (and marvelous sci-fi writer) Mark Arnold. He snapped this masterful portrait of the parents and siblings holding their new addition to the family. (Check out Mark’s great sci-fi novella at:

When we put on our writer’s thinking cap, lots of questions come to mind. Who is this child? Where is he? (Or she, we really can’t tell the baby’s gender from the photograph.) Who is holding him? Is it someone trying to spirit him away? Are those fairy hands touching him, or merely other children? Are they siblings, cousins, children of a commune? Perhaps this child is the fulfillment of a prophecy and enemies are tyring to carry him away. Or the forces of good are trying to keep him safe. Or he is being anointed into a secret society to fulfill an arcane destiny.

Look closely at the background. Is it simply a drape set to make the composition more dramatic? It could be soil, seen in the dark of night. Perhaps hills surround the baby, and these are the hands of creatures from the underworld rising to the surface of the earth or the ocean, come to steal him away. Just how many people are holding/touching him? Are they humans? Alien? Magical? Is the child human, or perhaps a hybrid being?

The possibilities are endless once you really start imagining.

Susan Tuttle

Comments? Your ideas from this picture…

On Writing: “I like density, not volume. I like to leave something to the imagination. The reader must fit the pieces together, with the author’s discreet help.”  ~Maureen Howard

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.