We're a group of YA authors published by small presses, and we're getting the word out about our books, talking about writing, the world of kid lit, and anything else that pops into our pretty heads.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Imagine You Can't?
I woke up and my entire bedroom had gone gray. My bookshelves were empty and not a single CD or DVD could be found. My cat was looking for his favorite catnip stuffed rat but alas it was gone. There were no toys. Not even for Cosmo. I got up and prepared a cup of coffee and tried to clear my head for a few hours of writing. I sat down at my Mac and stared at the screen. My head was full of one thought. Raking leaves. Lots and lots of dead leaves that needed to be cleared from my driveway (we live in an apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan and do not have a driveway which made this all the more odd). This was just a desire but seemed like some sort of societal duty. A cultural need. What happened to the six legged, flying kumquats that were going to attack the poor octopods onGuribia 6? Where were the images of great space battles that had been filling my mind for weeks as my great science fiction epic tickled my synapses?
Splashed across my inner movie screen was nothing but piles of black and white leaves. My imagination was gone.
How would a society in which the imagination had never been imagined exist? Could it? Would it have formed in the first place?
In my soon to be published (by Zumaya Publications) Kidlit novel, Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst, I explore such a world. Rupert Dullz was born and raised in a land called Graysland. Its a world of muted colors and constantly falling leaves. The imagination has never even been imagined.
Can such a place exist? Of is the spark of Imaginings a natural part of what it means to be human? Like Scarecrow's brain- was it always there and it simply needed to be recognized? (After all, the Scarecrow was the one with all the ideas on Dorothy's adventure!)
When an ancient human primate first learned they could open a clam with the sharp edge of another clam shell that was a spark of imagination (though it would be a few years until some true genius learned to make Tabasco from little hot peppers) It was not a product to hang on museum walls but one that certainly moved humanity a step up in the world. When these ancient clam lovers stepped into a darkened cave and decorated the rock walls with colorful images that were dancing in their minds- it was the imagination burning bright again. This use of the imagination did not have the practical survival purpose that the clam-opener did. Or did it? Is transferring the inner pictures- the landscapes of worlds that the human mind create within- onto 3D, real world mediums, a necessary part of what it means to survive as a human? Like the writer who must write or suffer weeks of mood swings, depression and driving of their partner insane. Is it hard wired into our very being to not just USE the imagination but to create real world items (paintings, books, music) with it? Was that cave with its colorful murals the first museum or the first church? Or both? Is the creative act the most basic religious impulse of humanity?
In Rupert Starbright- Rupert is faced with a challenge from a colorful man who descends from the sky in a great balloon. There is a mysterious door whose key can only be created by the imaginings of a child. The door opens to Far-Myst - the stranger's home. The child who can open the door will travel to Far-Myst as the special guest of its Queen.
Will Rupert be able to summon this odd, mysterious force calledImagining to travel to a place that sounds so much better than his boring home? And if he does, what will really be in store for him there? Be careful what you wish for. Or what you imagine!
The human imagination is a double edged sword. The same magical force that can create Star Wars and Harry Potter can also make a person think he is being followed by black helicopters and crazy killers in every shadow! The imaginings of humans can create both the IPhone and the nuclear missile.
What would happen if you could wield the imagination like a super power? Just form an idea or an object in your mind and BAM! It appears in reality? Rupert will discover that this special ability is both wondrous and dangerous. He will step from a world where the imagination seems to have never have emerged and into a place where it is out of control.
How will Rupert fair? Stay tuned. How would you? Please reply with your thoughts!