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We can all admit that throughout our childhood we consistently surrendered to daydreaming- that time and space where nothing else seemed to matter but what was going on in our imagination. Our parents and teachers would tell us to “come back down to earth”, where we would have to resume a boring existence solving math problems and eating our veggies. It was our daily- scratch that- hourly dose of pure fiction that was an all-inclusive vacation to our favorite laboratory, beach, or distant star system.
Then came our teenage years, a point in our lives when we were introduced to harsh adult realities such as time and money. Where did those time machines and treasure chests full of gold run off to? A sad decade indeed. My first taste of adult reality came on my sixteenth birthday when I received an electric tooth brush from my parents. It was a thoughtful gift, but it wasn’t like the toys and games I was used to receiving. There wasn’t a Ferrari in the driveway either, and that’s when I was also told it was time to let go fiction and start facing fact. I almost let it go completely, but something stirred inside me and told me it wasn’t the end of fiction.
That’s when I picked up my trusty pen and paper- you caught me, it was a keyboard- and started putting my leftover fragments of imagination into powerful words on a page. I developed my own universe where humans co-existed with robots and aliens and travel to distant galaxies could be accomplished in seconds instead of light years. This fictional universe was not just a place I used to develop my writing skills, but also a place where my inner child could be free to play and create outside the confines of the real world.
As a fiction writer, that inner child is the catalyst that causes your creativity to explode and catapult you to another universe where all things that you write about do exist- just like daydreaming back in the day. Tolkien, Rowling, and Jacques- all exceptional authors who would probably admit that they never lost touch with that inner child while writing their amazing works. Sadly, many people chose to let go of their inner child and sunder the connection to the fictional universes they’ve created. Fortunately, that connection is never fully severed, and those universes can be revisited when the inner child finally returns.
Power is in the imagination, and that’s what we need to remind the children that will be building our future on this planet- they need to know that it’s okay to dream and embrace fiction. After all, everything has to be fiction before it becomes fact. Reading my latest children’s fiction novel, The Adventures of Nick and O-Zone: Protectors of the Universe, some would tell me that the idea of a twelve-year-old boy traveling across the universe is entertaining but unrealistic. A thousand years ago, they would have said the same thing about a man walking on the moon.