Michelle Levigne Advises You to Dream Carefully...
In high school and college, I started buying books instead of basically being content with what I could find in the library. Of course, it helped to have money, and there was the wonderful world of possibilities and frustration known as the used bookstore--combining the joys of discovering new writers with the agony of finding books 2 and 3 in a series, but not books 1 and 4... Know what I'm talking about? (Of course, this was back before ebooks, when you could snag the entire series at the flick of a fingertip.)
I discovered a book called The Incredible Umbrella. The basic premise was that this bizarre umbrella sent its unsuspecting owner into different worlds. Not alien worlds, but literary ones.
These worlds were the basis for imaginary worlds in books. Sounds fun on the surface, right? Gilbert & Sullivan land, where everyone sings instead of talks. Or with a real Willy Wonka and his amazing chocolate factory. But there's the other end of the spectrum...like, how comfortable would you feel knowing there is a world where Dracula is real? And Cthulhu? Or all those alternate history stories where Hitler won?
Not so great, thinking that every book has a real world behind it, huh?
How about this? Let's go a step further and really turn the idea around.
How about the idea that for every book that is written...a new world is born?
And maybe not even limit it to books, but for every movie, every short story, every novella, every role playing game scenario...a new world comes into being.
Just how carefully would we dream if we knew that the children of our imaginations lived in flesh and blood, and not just in our imaginations? That when we stopped dreaming, when we closed the book and put it away, when we stopped writing the story (and that's a horrid thought, too: characters left in limbo, their adventure or romance or peril unresolved, their torture unending, their quest unfulfilled, their questions unanswered, their...you get the picture)--well, when we returned to the so-called real world, our characters and the situations we put them into...continued. They grew up, they lived and died, they won and failed, they celebrated and sorrowed...outside our control.
Kind of scary? Did you get that shiver that most parents get at some point when they realize their adorable little bundle has a mind of its own? Just how responsible would you feel toward that made-up world you've been playing in for years?
Dream carefully, because you have no idea whose reality you might be, not just affecting, but creating.