As a fantasy author, I often have flights of fancy. I have an imagination that often runs wild, creating scenarios in my head that play out countless times throughout the day. Some I write down, but a vast majority end up just filtering into my head again, settling amongst the dust into thoughts that get forgotten until the next time that particular area of my brain is stirred anew. Sometimes, they are lost to time or merged with new flights of fancy.
Imagination is such a powerful tool.
“Come with me and you’ll be / In a world of pure imagination / Take a look and you’ll see / Into your imagination.”~ Gene Wilder “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
I can look at a set of clouds and see a multitude of different things. Sometimes, I see shapes, often like the cloud-watching games others have played as children. Other times, I see things like the sky castles of flying unicorns or dragon lords. A certain set of purple-pink clouds one afternoon sparked my imagination and became part of the kingdom of Skyam in Little Sprite, whereas the looming dark clouds of a storm system many years ago helped inspire the Necromancer’s advancing nebulae army in The Keeper of the Key.
But to others, the same clouds in which all of this takes place are just clouds. They are mundane. They are ordinary. Some don’t even bother to look at them at all.
All natural phenomena seem to spark my inspiration. A summer sunset makes me wonder what worlds and histories have been touched by the same light. The hawk flying across the cerulean sky has a story to tell. The snowflakes falling right now outside my little abode in this swath of the Midwest dance on the wind as they make their way to the ground.
There’s a certain trick to imagination. Kids have got a good grasp on it. Ask a young child to tell you their favorite story and you’re instantly transported into a realm of make believe. I have spent hours listening to kids over the years tell me what captures their dreams and their imaginations. I have never once been bored. Their flights of fancy amuse me and help to spark my own, which is why I enjoy talking to the little children in my circle. The land of make-believe is theirs to rule.
“All children are artists, and it is an indictment of our culture that so many of them lose their creativity, their unfettered imaginations, as they grow older.”~ Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
But as we grow older, some seem to lose that imagination. Imagining up things is not something grown ups are supposed to do in the “real world” and so many seem to lose their spark. They leave the island of make-believe behind, never to touch the shores again.
Some of us though, we seem to keep a bit of that imagination. Or at least, we learn to re-hone it, as it were.
As a writer of fantasy stories, I love to try to remember the stories I told as a child and dream them up into bigger things. The flying unicorn game I played with elementary school friends at recess became part of the aforementioned story Little Sprite. The dragons of my dreams became a part of Halfling. The fairies and dryads I imagined in the local park near my childhood home were inspiration for Of Tree and Of Iron. Bits and pieces of stories I read and imagined throughout my life have helped to intertwine the fascinating into the mundane that make up a large part of all of my Portals Series. I have allowed it to be rekindled, reimagined if you will, as part of the magic I am trying to do in this world.
What captures your imagination? What inspires you to use it? Or have you let your imagination freeze up as adulthood was thrust upon you? Can you find a way to perhaps rekindle even a small spark of that daydream believer you once were?
Stay magical, my dear readers.
Write your own story.
This is post 8 of 13 for the Name Your Number Writing Challenge I am partaking in this month. Want to know more? Just click the hyperlink!
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