This is not about Alice, this is about how my imagination takes flight in my writing. I view myself as a somewhat chaotic/creative in that I can live in a chaotic environment, with external/internal stimuli, and work efficiently. I have always been an imagination [is that a word?], from the time I was small, it was the thing I used to live in a world that was better than my reality. My imagination would carry me to worlds unknown. It was what pushed me in English class when assigned a writing project and getting stuck, my teacher said, “Write it as if your writing a diary”, and my brain interpreted as “Ok then, let us write like we are onboard the Enterprise”. My summer trip with my family turned into an adventure that was deeply twined into my love of Star Trek. Yes, I was a Trekkie. My imagination made it easy for me to accept that Fraggles were living in my back yard…and that I could see a folding landscape appear before me.
“The author must not allow the rules of her craft to shackle her endeavors. Learn them, yes. Then, once they have become an integral part of one’s unconscious, allow one’s imagination to soar beyond them without restraint. Trust that they, the rules, will know when to exercise their rightful place in the universe of the author’s process.”
This makes me somewhat of a whirlwind to work with because yes, my imagination runs faster than my hands. I see it before I write it. I can create worlds that don’t exist and accidentally create living beings that occupy that world. I find myself lost in fantasy like Carol, and in wonder like Lewis, I see the world through a strange lense like many other strange authors out there, I take my queues from the greats like Pratchett, Gaiman and the like, I enjoy the macabre like Poe, I find myself living in between light and dark and embrace both.
I am not sure how you teach others to occupy two brains, two views, to be able to be both in the head of the sensible mother and the strange weird artist, it’s something I believe that happens when you are like me, drawn to having to cope in two worlds, because you had to, to survive. I find the ability to hold both happiness and sadness all at once is both mad and impossible and yet possible and sane. It’s like being in an upside-down universe in which nothing makes sense. I believe that authors can be both, they can use their imagination, let it go, embrace it, create like you are about to live your last day. Within a book are the aspects of yourself that you are sharing, painfully and openly, you are laid bare for all to see. This leaves you vulnerable, to others, and makes you subject to the critics, you have to learn how to compartmentalize and walk away from the things that impair you. “Compartmentalization is a subconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person’s having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.” It’s hard to do, but you have to create space between yourself and your work, its the only way you can let what’s in you out. You have to trust yourself, and allow yourself to be naked to the reader. When you do, its freeing, its therapy, and it is a moment of which you can finally place that insane wonderland out into the world and visit it occasionally as a guest instead of its creator.