Fiction, Imagination, Memory, Writing

Remember imagining aloud?

Was there any time we made better use of imagination than during childhood? Hours, the whole day, spent pretending with friends, or siblings, or alone. I remember what I requested for my sixth Christmas: a cowboy hat, guns and holster, and doll dishes. Boys or girls, I was ready to play with anyone.

I think I must have been the chief “imaginer” in my circle, the director of play. I might have been bossy. 😉 I remember using the phrase “Now you say …” quite a lot. Sometimes I preferred to play alone with my dolls, probably because they always did what I said.

One of my favorite things to do was to clothespin one side of an old quilt to the backyard fence to make a tent—excuse me, covered wagon. This was during the era I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. What adventures my children and I had as pioneers.

Baby dolls turned to Barbie’s, played with alone or with friends. And favorite movies had to be reenacted, with or without dolls. Oh, and then there was school! Not real school, which I loved, but play school, which I also loved. One particular friend and I played this until junior high—yes, this was back in the dark ages, when children were children.

We had an elaborate set up in her basement, with books, and notebooks, and real school papers we’d saved. In our schoolroom, we had a world map and a globe, fancy. Even better, we had a chalkboard, a real slate one, and fairly large! Her father hung it on one wall for us. We took turns being the teacher and the student. This was serious stuff.

As children, we were actors. We were writers. Some of us still are. Using my imagination, I play. Only now, I do it on paper, and I’m still saying, “Now you say …”

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After I wrote this, it sounded familiar to me, so I checked my blog archives, Sure enough, I’m repeating myself. 😳  Here’s a link to my earlier post about childhood play, if you care to read it: https://lindacassidylewis.com/2009/11/07/cultivating-a-fiction-writer/

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