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May 4, 2010 / Chersti Nieveen

the mice in heaven are throwing snowballs at us

"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground." Theodore Roosevelt

I’ll admit, I never had an imaginary friend. When my little sister was three, Disney’s Pocahontas came out, and suddenly John Smith was her new best (though very much invisible) friend. Once, she jumped out from under the table and shot me with a snorkle (yes, the thing you go swimming with) and shouted: ZAPP! JOHN SMITH SAYS YOU’RE BLUE!

So it went with each of my siblings.

Imagination. Something so vital to any writer, and I think to people as a whole. Imagination is the place where dreams come from. Dreams and stories.

A few weeks ago, I went with one of my sisters to tour a college campus. My ten-year-old brother and fourteen-year-old sister were with me, along with the high school grad. And while the soon to be college student looked around campus, the three of us tracked down zombies.

Yes. Zombies.

The ultimate quest. We had invisible guns and grenades (though we did debate the merits of a sword). We had to avoid fires of death and pools of lava, and of course, the snow that started hitting us in big, hard clumps.

And you know what my ten-year-old brother said? “The mice in heaven are throwing snowballs at us.” Then later, when the snow turned into rain, he said, “The mice feel bad about the snowballs. Now they’re crying in shame.”

And even though I knew that wasn’t true, it was so hard not to believe him. He said it with such certainty and knowledge, that I wanted to believe.

That’s the power of imagination. So how do we as adults incorporate that into our lives?

For me, I love playing pretend with my siblings. Of course, I get strange looks every now and then. But those are some of my best memories. Books also open up my imagination. And let me tell you that it’s the hardest thing to write when my imagination is turned off.

What do you think? How do you get your imagination working?

(for those who are interested, my brother — being who he is — ended up turning on us in the end and killing my sister and I so he could steal our extra lives and claim the prize for himself. So we became ghosts and haunted him on the rest of his quest. Until we found the regeneration chairs. Then said brother killed us again. Moral of the story: brother will not inherit anything the NEXT time I die.)

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8 Comments

  1. shalleemcarthur / May 4 2010 9:30 am

    Chersti this made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the reminder to keep imagining. 🙂

  2. Karen / May 4 2010 10:15 am

    Tee hee. That’s fun. I remember quite a few years ago when my family went to visit some of our family friends. Together, we older kids had the younger ones convinced we were vampires. (This is pre-Twilight, just for the record.) Good times.

    I just watched the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I LOVE that movie. While my adult, nonimagination self sits there thinking it’s cheesy, the imagination-filled kid in me catches the sparkle. It captures the magic of imagination.

    I think I keep my imagination going just by reading YA & children’s literature. And by watching kid movies. The Peter Pan part of me refuses to grow up and so it keeps my imagination alive and kicking. 🙂

    • Chersti Nieveen / May 4 2010 11:23 am

      That is so funny! It’s amazing what you can convince your brothers and sisters. I once told them the scary house down the street was a cheese factory, and they bought it for years — even after we moved!

  3. Jenilyn / May 4 2010 2:47 pm

    My next door neighbor convinced me that one of the houses behind ours was haunted. I’m still creeped out by the place, even though it’s been gorgeously remodeled. At least the outside…

    • Chersti Nieveen / May 4 2010 6:55 pm

      I always wanted a haunted house next door!

  4. LCD / May 13 2010 10:23 pm

    I had imaginary animals, an invisible squirrel, horses…. It was an invisible zoo that followed me around. 😄 And your post made me laugh, hunting zombies would be pretty awesome. And I like the idea of regeneration chairs, think it works for board games? 😛 To get my imagination working… I think I just start reading a book or thinking about fantasy creatures. That, or I talk to one of my friends. 😛

  5. amie borst / Aug 16 2010 1:22 pm

    what a cute post!

    when i was little i used to tell my mom that there was something in the woods watching me. she believed me so much that she’d take me in the house and lock the door!

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