When I was a Kid and Fantasy was Real!

The beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa

(Written 30th May, 2012) As I sit here in the Drakensberg (the Dragon Mountains, a literal translation) in Kwa-zulu Natal, South Africa, my beautiful home, and admire the grandeur of nature, I recall the hundreds of times I did the same as a kid but with the unfettered, unfiltered eyes of innocence, with eyes that saw beyond reality and believed, truly believed, that what I imagined could, in fact, be true. I used to look out over the rolling hills and ‘see’ warriors galloping across the green and gold knee-high grasses on a quest to accomplish evil or good, and I was usually along for the ride with a sword strapped across my back, riding a pitch black, obnoxious stallion, with a tattoo on my face that warned everyone I was dangerous and powerful and a preternaturally skilled fighter! I used to ‘see’ creatures of legend appearing out of mist-shrouded mountains flying towards me and soaring above the majestic peaks of a land that could never possibly exist, but did!

As an adult I miss those feelings of mysticism and magic that quickened my heart rate almost instantaneously; that heightened excitement that came so easily to me when my imagination ran rampant. I can still imagine all those scenarios, sure, but it takes conscious effort now; it is rarely born from a place of childlike wonder.

Fortunately all is not lost. As an adult I have the ability to understand where those feelings came from and how to emulate them. And it all happens the moment I sit down at my computer and write! Like a wizard who falls into a trance to conjure, my mind and emotions meld, and like golden rays of pure energy and power leaves my fingertips and guides my hands to create the magic! It’s like I revert to being ten again and I can see and understand and feel like I did then. My fingers fly across the keyboard as I rush to put down what my heart-mind-soul-fusion brings forth; once again I live and breathe that excitement, those emotions, that wonder that adults, tainted by life’s experiences, struggle to see unless they can escape the world, lock themselves away in their closets, and dream!

I write Fantasy because there are no limits to what I can say, as I have mentioned in a previous blog. There are no boundaries for my characters or my surroundings, and I can address any issue whether social or political without being obvious yet still exact and powerful. Fantasy is a very efficacious genre evoking enormous amounts of emotion, and that’s where I live when I write. I do not limit myself as I would need to do if I was writing other fiction which has to stick to the rules of reality. I hate being fettered! I hate being told I can’t write this or that because it’s too far-fetched – the eternal chants of my English teachers when I was at school! What did they know, so stuck in their closed-minded, adult views of the world? I had the knack to turn anything into a fantasy or sci-fi tale, even when given a sentence as mundane as this with which to begin for an English writing exam: “On a cold Sunday morning a father drove his son to Sunday School . . .” I inevitably turned it into a story about a church that’s run by aliens in disguise looking to turn children into mindless puppets, kidnap them, and take them to their home-world through a portal in the basement! Seriously! I didn’t want to write about a family’s ordinary day of going to church and then having a braai (sorry, barbeque for the Brits, Americans and Aussies) at their house afterwards and the normal, every-day conversations that took place there. Bleh! How boring for me and my readers! There is nothing wrong with writing about that, but it just isn’t moi! Fantasy is the way my mind works. Without it I’d just die! (A bit too dramatic? Nah, don’t think so!)

The view from our Chalet

So in my heart, and ultimately in my work, Fantasy rules!!! It is powerful, thought-provoking, endless in its possibilities, and unfettered! Yeah, baby! I include my sci-fi friends in this, too, naturally, as with any genre that defies reality. Even when I read romance or stories that have unexpected twists, especially otherworldly, the story changes for me immediately and my interest piques. It excites me to write what my wild, fantasy-driven imagination ‘sees’, and as a kid I did the same; I was never, ever normal! I lived out every superhero/hero in every movie, book, and comic I could get my hands on, and to this day I cannot remember a day when I was ‘normal’. I always pushed the boundaries – of life, of my parents, my friends, and my teachers – and as a result I am what I am: a Fantasy writer, dangerously addicted and proud of it!

Again, I am amazed at my fellow writers’ talent. I love reading their blogs and what they have to say, because every time we write, as you all very well know, we expose our very souls. I see such enormous ability and skill with ‘pen and sword’, brilliant, passionate, diverse stories, and wonderful, moving expressions through their characters’ lives and experiences. As a race we are magical, don’t you agree? And because I can look at the beautiful ‘Dragon’ mountains outside my window (sitting beside a cosy, crackling log fire) and remember who I was as a kid, I am so thrilled that whenever I sit at my laptop and open my current work in progress, I return to those days of childhood bliss when magic was the norm and reality sucked!

(PS I’m still waiting for that portal to another world to open in the darkness where my walk-in closet is at home! Will I go through it now as an adult with responsibilities, a husband, and two clingy cats? Dunno. But, boy, if I was still a kid there would be no room in my mind for any kind of hesitation!)

Autumn Beauty in the Mountains

Tell me about your childhood fantasies. Do they still exist? Can you still feel the way you did then? Would you go through the portal if it appeared before you right now? Would love to know! Comment below!

PPS Thanks to Mythic Scribes for being the inspiration for this blog, especially Dave Robison who wrote “The Power of the Genre – Why write Fantasy”.

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About SwordBearer

I am a fantasy and science fiction author. I have published three epic fantasy novels in a tetralogy with Xlibris Publishing, and a sci-fi short story, The Door. All are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major online retailers. The Door is also available on Smashwords. I love reading everything from King to Koontz, Cussler to Brooks and Feist, to name but a few. Before writing became my life I was a professional ballet, jazz/contemporary dancer in South Africa. Writing and storytelling have always been passions since childhood, and I want to share them with the world!!

Posted on June 6, 2012, in Believe in Your Writing Abilities, You are a Creator! Believe it! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Another great post, Monique! I expect most fantasy writers started that way, seeing the world with limitless possibilities. I recall truly believing I had the ability to fly if I could learn to channel my energy correctly. I felt the currents of my energy surge within me and knew flight was so close. And today, I still look for portals around every turn along a hiking trail. I’m certain that fantasy writers aren’t normal and wouldn’t ever want to be!

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  2. Thanks, Marsha. I, too, believed (and I think I still do) that I could fly if I concentrated hard enough! I wish I could take a look inside people’s imaginations and see what goes on when they imagine. I think there will be a vast difference between Fantasy writers and writers of other ‘normal’ genres! That energy you mentioned I believe roils around inside us when we create our Otherworlds, and that as Fantasy writers we have way more of the magic at our fingertips! It’s that No Limits thing going on inside us!

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  1. Pingback: So busy seeking enlightenment, that I forgot I was human….. | mindscapes and galactic travels

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