Do you believe in make believe?

The Christmas Eve I was five, I woke my little sister, took her by the hand, and made her sit at the top of the stairs to watch our parents take our Christmas gifts out of the closet below the staircase. My objective? To prove to her that Santa wasn’t real. Why I don’t know. I don’t think I was a particularly mean sister. I can’t even remember how I knew Santa was make believe.

The Christmas Eve I was five, I woke my little sister, took her by the hand, and made her sit at the top of the stairs to watch our parents take our Christmas gifts out of the closet below the staircase. My objective? To prove to her that Santa wasn’t real. Why I don’t know. I don’t think I was a particularly mean sister. I can’t even remember how I knew Santa was make believe.

My  parents didn’t discover us peeking, and my sister didn’t rat me out, so I went along with the Santa story for years after that night. Why? Because I believe in make believe.

Science can’t explain everything. Religion tries. Children simply believe. As we get older, we lose some of that capacity for hope against all odds, the certainty that, if we wish hard enough, it will be so. Star light, star bright …

I reserve room in my imagination for the magic of fairies, and elves, and unicorns, of ghosts, and Nessie, and Bigfoot. As a fiction writer, I think that’s only fair. When I offer you my writing, I ask you to enter a world of imaginary people, in imaginary places, doing imaginary things. I ask you to believe in my make believe.

And I’ll do my best to write it well, so no big sister will whisper in your ear and destroy the illusion.


Endnote: If you read this post and took any comment as a slight to your religious beliefs, please know that I had no such intent.

The why of want

I want to be published. I really want to be published. I talk about it. I dream about it. I fantasize about it. I hope, pray, and wish on stars for it. Below is what I wrote in the small notebook I carry in my purse:

“It is 2:49 pm on Wednesday, 21 April, 2010 and as I sit in a McDonald’s Playland full of squealing children I feel certain I will be a published author.”

Yes, I want to be published. I don’t care about fame, in fact I’d just as soon not have that. Money would be nice, but that’s not my motivation. I want validation. I want to know that all the time I spend writing has a better purpose than avoidance of housework. I want my words to mean something to someone besides me.

I have no illusions of grandeur. I’m fully aware that nothing I write is important. It has no power to change the world. It will never be studied in a classroom. Yet it could transport readers into a time, place, or circumstance other than their own for a while, and there is worth in that. To see through another’s eyes, feel through another’s heart, think through another’s mind has purpose. I want someone to experience this through my words. I want to share the stories given to me.

I want to be published.

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Morning Meditation

Hush. Night fades to silver, holding its breath, waiting, waiting. Pink rises from the mountaintops, trailing gold from its toes, lighter, lighter. You hear it in your soul, feel it, see it, the rising chorus, the symbol crash, the sun breaking, glorious, as dawn arrives triumphant. Sing.

Most of my days, I rise before dawn. It’s a magical time. Still. Quiet … a few bird twitters. I am awake, yet not. If possible, I would spend the first few hours of my day silent. It seems appropriate. Listen before I speak.

Summer sunrises are my favorite. A pastel wash over dewy grass. A cool appetizer before a sizzling day. A promise. For even when you despair of life, dawn offers you the possibility that today will be different. Today will be a new beginning.

Today.

This day.

Take it and fly.

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Do you believe in make believe?

The Christmas Eve I was five, I woke my little sister, took her by the hand, and made her sit at the top of the stairs to watch our parents take our Christmas gifts out of the closet below the staircase. My objective? To prove to her that Santa wasn’t real. I don’t know why I did that. I don’t think I was a particularly mean sister. I can’t even remember how I knew Santa was make believe.

The odd thing is that I believe in make believe. My  parents didn’t discover us peeking, apparently my sister didn’t rat me out, and I went along with the Santa storywishstar for years after that night. Science can’t explain everything. Religion tries. Children simply believe. As we get older, we lose some of that capacity for hope against all odds, the certainty that, if we wish hard enough, it will be so. Star light, star bright …

I reserve room in my imagination for the magic of fairies, and elves, and unicorns, of ghosts, and Nessie, and Bigfoot. I think that’s only fair. When I offer you my writing, I ask you to enter a world of imaginary people, in imaginary places, doing imaginary things. I ask you to believe in my make believe.

And I’ll do my best to write it well, so no big sister will whisper in your ear and destroy the illusion.

Endnote: If you read this post and took any comment as a slight to your religious beliefs, please know that I had no such intent.

If wishes were novels …

On her blog, Cynthia Newberry Martin recently spoke of wishful thinking and my comment to her was this:

Wishes are hopes, and hope is the carrot on the stick that keeps us moving forward in life. Hope is what keeps us alive. So my answer to the question: what would we do without wishful thinking? is that–emotionally, spiritually or physically–we would die.

Wishful thinking is the impetus of creativity. There are numerous ways to create, including: in6keyboard a studio, workshop, kitchen, garden … and with a keyboard. For what other reason do we write fiction than to give life to our wishful thinking?

Love is perfect, crimes are solved, new worlds emerge, the meek triumph, fears are faced and survived, the human condition revealed and explored, these are our hopes, our dreams, our wishes composed of words.

We ask, “What if?” and the story begins. Life goes on.