Here's how it happened to me a couple of years ago, leading to this photograph:
I have a fully finished basement with two windows that face east. One morning, the sun slanted in on leather couch, a bright splash of light that seemed just right for staging, something I had already done a number of times before in other spots around the room with a variety of props. This time, I took pieces from a favorite chess set and arrayed them on the coffee table near the couch until I produced the shadows I was looking for. I photographed the result and played around with Pixlr until I had the desired result.
The title is a chess term that refers to the final stages of play in which the attacker moves in to block the king until he can no longer flee and his fate -- checkmate -- is decided.
The concept and execution were simple enough. All it took was for me to stay open to the possibilities in the next room.
While you're visiting, please consider my brother's debut thriller. It's terrific -- and that's not just a proud sibling saying so:
"Fantastic book, right up there with Dean Koontz." JS, Illinois
"I read three chapters and was completely gripped!" VB, London
"An amazing tale...that you cannot put down!" ML, Georgia
"A great read." LS, Arizona