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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Having a writer's imagination is both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing part comes in with the stories. As a kid, my parents dragged me to a lot of boring functions because we had to go as a family. I'd just slip off to some corner and daydream. You see, I've always had characters and stories in my head and I've always pulled them out whenever I get bored. Instant entertainment.

I still do it. I have "bedtime" stories. That's what I call the stories I'll never write, but are an entertaining way to send myself off to sleep. I test scenes in my books while I'm inputting data at work. I used to daydream while I drove, too, but traffic has become so hideous, I can't do that any longer.

Imagination combined with a lot of hard work and many, many hours has allowed me to share my stories with the world, something I've wanted to do since I first started writing when I was 14.

There are drawbacks to having this imagination, though.

Don't talk medical or injury stuff around me. Please. I can visualize everything no matter how horrible it is. Sometimes I can almost feel it happening to me. I've been known to cover my ears with both hands and go lalalala like a grade schooler to block out the conversation. I can't hear this stuff. Really. I feel stupid, believe me, but it's better than imagining some horrifying sensations happening to me.

Someone's late or I don't see them online when they're usually there. Instantly my imagination takes flight, picturing all kinds of dire things. Car accident, illness, home invasion--you name it, I can think of it. I'm already a worrier, this makes it worse.

Hypochondria. This is something I fight myself on a lot. Remember that episode of The Brady Bunch when two pages of a medical book stick together and Peter thinks he's dying? There's a line, something like: I thought my aches were from playing baseball without a mitt. I don't even need a medical book. Any ache, even one with a logical explanation, can incite images of dying from some dread disease.

And strange noises? Burglars or the refrigerator is going to explode or there's an animal in the house. Really, there's no limit to the options that come to mind. Especially at night.

Creating mountains out of molehills. Yeah, I'm good at this one. Give me bits and pieces of information and I'll embroider them with my imagination and come up with all kinds of wild things. This is good while writing, not so good when I'm coming up with conspiracy plots or coups and other stuff.

I probably forgot other things I can blame my imagination for, but the bottom line is I wouldn't trade it for the world. I like having stories whenever I want them and I like the voices in my head. And maybe someday I'll learn to control the more wild ravings of my mind.