Realistic Fantasy

So it’s Easter.

To everyone who celebrates Easter…Happy Easter!

Today, I thought I’d write about my history with creative writing and how it shapes my life. Or…about my life history and how it shapes my creative writing. Or…both.

My mom loves bunnies. She loves them. Like, she’d never want to ever have a PET rabbit (because, care, time, and attention), but she likes looking at them. She thinks they’re cute, and Easter/the beginning of spring is her favorite time of year, because she can decorate her house with bunnies, and she can buy things with bunnies on them for other people.

When I was a little girl, my mom took me to Breakfast With the Easter Bunny every year. She complained about the food, and she doesn’t drink coffee (which is the only drink option they offered adults at this event), but she took me every year. Even though she also puzzled (and sort of complained) that I never engaged the Easter Bunny at these events.

I never asked to go, though. Mom wanted to go. Because Mom loves Easter. Mom loves bunnies. Mom loves the Easter Bunny. I didn’t like the Easter Bunny (and I’m still not too fond of him, to be honest). I was sort of afraid of him. I did like Santa. And I was never afraid of him. Something about that rabbit…

bunny1

Now don’t get me wrong…as a kid, I had a whole bunch of fantasies about talking animals. I wanted to talk to animals. My friends’ and family members’ pets; animals on farms; horses at the race track; animals at the zoo. I pretended my plush animals were real, and I sometimes gave them human qualities like voices and intellect and senses of humor. I loved Disney movies like Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Don Bluth’s An American Tail. I loved Scooby Doo and Jabberjaw and Yogi Bear on TV and Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes in comics. My favorite book was Charlotte’s Web. But see…those were real toys a kid could have…I had toys like them I could literally hold in my hands. Those were real animals having a secret life and language we didn’t know about. They weren’t a big, silent, anthropomorphic rabbit who wanted to touch me at Easter breakfast. Or break into my house to leave me candy I didn’t even want to eat. (I like chocolate…but when it comes shaped as adorable little ducks and lambs and bunnies…I mean…I don’t want to eat those sculptures NOW…I definitely didn’t when I was five).

The fantasy I liked consuming as a kid always had a strong element of realism to it, and the fantasy I like now is the same way. And it’s probably why I usually don’t have or attempt high concept ideas like future space travel to visit life on other planets or hidden magic second worlds or vampires and werewolves or whatever when I write. The stories I create ARE fantasy, as in, not real. I made them up. They aren’t my life events written down (I’m a pathological introvert…if I did that, there’s no way I could have made 12 books worth of stuff and still be working). But they are almost totally realistic in nature. They COULD really be SOMEBODY’S life. It COULD be how things really happen. Just like we don’t know for sure the animals who live on a farm together or the pets that live in a house together DON’T talk to each other. I write realistic fantasies. I think.

Anyway…I hope all of you have a good Sunday, whether Easter is a part of your life or not. And that your candy looks like candy and you get to eat it in peace.

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