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.
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.)