I love a lot of things about writing, but probably my favorite part is I get to create realities where anything can happen. In the kind of books I write, good prevails (usually) and life is very, very exciting. It’s a good thing I write, because a high need for control and drama are destructive qualities when not channeled properly (or so I hear…from everyone who knows me…). It’s okay in fiction, because I can control the variables, but I am grateful that I never got a magic wand to grant my deepest wishes because I would have sold myself exceedingly short. That’s the funny thing about imagination. It really is like a muscle and if you don’t use it, it atrophies. At one point in my life I needed to redecorate an empty apartment, and I realized I had been living for other people for so long I didn’t even know what COLOR I liked. Now, I have a home full of beautiful family pictures and lots of red. It turned out I like red. For me, living in fear of looking or sounding stupid is an imagination killer and certainly shuts down any chance of writing.
So imagination is a good thing, in my opinion. When I am shopping with Bisky, she will often ask for something I can’t or don’t want to give her. Lately it’s stickers. She’ll be riding around in her little car (the best part about grocery shopping with a Toddler EVER is car shaped carts. Thank you powers that be for coming up with that one!) and she’ll ask for a sticker. So I tell her she has to use her imagination and we imagine the sticker she has. Now, she’s only two and change, so she pretty much imagines the same one every time (blue Humpty Dumpty or pink Dora) but still, I’m impressed. I am happy that my daughter has an imagination and knows how to use it. Except the other day, I told her we had to stop playing and go downstairs and have lunch. She told me that she already had lunch; that Daddy gave her turkey and cheese before she came upstairs. She said this very convincingly, but not quite convincingly enough. I asked my husband if he fed Grace lunch. Just as I suspected, NO. So now I get to figure out how to start explaining the difference between ‘imagining’ something and ‘lying’.
Give it a try, it’s not as easy as you’d think, especially when you try to factor in whatever it is that writers do into the mix! I know we’ll get there and I figure for now my main job is not to let her see me laugh when she comes up with an outrageous falsehood. Sigh.