Learn how Anne of Green Gables has changed my life!

Recently, I tried to get started on a children’s story of a girl sleeping in an elegant dollhouse, an image I had in a dream awhile back that has stayed with me. But I felt extremely critical of what I wrote. I had to stop and let it breathe. Let the criticalness soften—fall away.

A Canadian by birth, I’ve long been fascinated by the creator of Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery, also a Canadian. This morning I picked up the novel and began re-reading it. Hearing the narrator talk about Green Gables itself as well as Anne’s imaginativeness and pluck made me realize how important the imagination is to us all, how we need places like Green Gables to visit, not just an escape but an extension of everyday reality. In this context, Green Gables represents an innocent ideal that also exists in this world.

I have a great need to write such stories for others and myself. I must keep alive this possibility of going beyond the everyday. The potholes we get stuck in. The bumps in the road. Without the imagination, we’re nothing. I don’t think courage, will, or insight mean much without the imagination, by which I mean the capacity to dream of better worlds, to allow other worlds to enter us. To create out of our own imaginations something no one has seen before. New vistas. Unlimited possibilities.

I also was moved by Anne’s feistiness and the way she used her imagination to survive. This ability allowed her to endure awful circumstances as an orphan. And it’s what allows me to face the challenges of aging. We need that kind of spunk to survive.

Imagination: A Necessity for a Successful Life

“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking more about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities to be realized, and, to be fully creative, we need imagination. Continue reading “Imagination: A Necessity for a Successful Life”

The Imagination = Fountain of Youth

“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities to be realized, and, to be fully creative, one needs imagination. Continue reading “The Imagination = Fountain of Youth”

What’s the big deal about the Imagination?

Imagination is such an important part of our work as creators, whether we’re writers, visual artists, musicians, and more. However, it isn’t enough just to have imagination, but it also needs to be educated, refined, and developed, like any faculty.  I could have a bent for playing the piano or singing, but nothing much will come of it without practice, lessons, and moving up through the levels. Continue reading “What’s the big deal about the Imagination?”

Language and its mysterious relationship to us

5d9cf373-e31c-400e-9fe0-1655625ab9b2My husband and I got into a discussion of poetry and our different approaches to it. His training is in new criticism. Mine embraces more contemporary work, though I’m eclectic and like many different styles, including John Ashbery’s method of disjointed narrative. My husband recognizes I’m onto something that Melville was alluding to in Moby Dick—the gap between language and what it tries to depict…how language organizes and creates our way of seeing. Continue reading “Language and its mysterious relationship to us”

Is Imagination the central pivot of human life?

I’m realizing that we take the imagination for granted. It isn’t enough to have imagination, but it needs to be recognized, educated, refined, and developed, just like any faculty.  I could have a bent for playing the piano or singing, but nothing much will come of it without practice, lessons, and traversing the various levels involved in becoming a skilled musician. These musings have led to today’s blog post on this subject. Continue reading “Is Imagination the central pivot of human life?”

In Defense of Fiction: Is It Appropriate to Appropriate?

typewriter-801921_1920During a radio interview with Kate Raphael of KPFA’s Women’s Magazine, she asked me if I worried about being accused of appropriation because I’m writing about cultures/characters that aren’t my own. We were discussing my novel, Curva Peligrosa. Curva is originally from Southern Mexico. Another character, Billie One Eye, is half Blackfoot and half Scottish. They feature prominently in this book. Continue reading “In Defense of Fiction: Is It Appropriate to Appropriate?”

The Imagination = Fountain of Youth

“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but alsthe-background-1911648_1920o as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities in order to be realized, and to be fullycreative, one needs imagination. Continue reading “The Imagination = Fountain of Youth”

An ode to the imagination!

the-background-1911648_1920I tried to get started today on a children’s story of a girl sleeping in an elegant dollhouse, an image I had in a dream awhile back that has stayed with me.  But I felt extremely critical of what I wrote.  I had to stop…for now.  Let it breathe. Let the criticalness soften—fall away. Continue reading “An ode to the imagination!”

Fairy tales rock!

narrative-794978_1920From the time I learned how to read, fairy tales, the world of mythos, nourished me and fed my curiosity about life and the world. My parents had purchased a set of the Books of Knowledge, wonderful, fat red volumes that I browsed whenever I had the chance.  At the center of each book was a special section of nursery rhymes, folk, and fairy tales.  They were the heart of each encyclopedia, and I believe they continue to be the heart of literature.  The heart of civilization.  All of the archetypes show up there: the good/bad mother; the helpful/deceitful trickster; the caring/unfeeling king. And so many more. Continue reading “Fairy tales rock!”

Letting the Imagination Lead

supernova-1183663_1920In addition to writing adult fiction and non-fiction, I also create pieces for children. Today, I tried to start a children’s story of a girl sleeping in an elegant dollhouse based on a dream image that has stayed with me.  But after a few sentences, I felt extremely critical of what I had written.  I had to stop…for now.  Let it breathe, I said to myself. Let the criticalness soften—fall away. Continue reading “Letting the Imagination Lead”

In Defense of Fiction: Is It Appropriate to Appropriate?

typewriter-801921_1920During a recent radio interview with Kate Raphael of KPFA’s Women’s Magazine, she asked me if I worried about being accused of appropriation because I’m writing about cultures/characters that aren’t my own. We were discussing my latest novel, Curva Peligrosa. Curva is originally from Southern Mexico. Another character, Billie One Eye, is half Blackfoot and half Scottish. They feature prominently in this book. Continue reading “In Defense of Fiction: Is It Appropriate to Appropriate?”

Transiting the Real

sofa-749629_1920Recently, my reading group selected Rachel Cusk’s novel Transit as our next book, and I recalled reading a review by Elaine Blair of Cusk’s novel Outline in the January 2015 New Yorker. Blair claims “Cusk has written admiringly about Karl Ove Knausgaard, and her proposed cure for the trouble with fiction sounds like a gloss of his. ‘Autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts,’ she told the Guardian.” Blair goes on to say that some writers are hewing closer to the author’s subjective experiences, of effacing the difference between fiction and their own personal lives.

Continue reading “Transiting the Real”

The Imagination = Fountain of Youth

“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities in order to be realized, and to be fully creative, one needs imagination.

imagination copy

Kant, apparently, believed that the “faculty which takes pleasure in the contemplation of both beautiful and sublime objects is that which forms images” (The Critique of Judgment). Forming images is one aspect of inventiveness. Images have many components, usually based on something that we can name in the inner or outer world, like tree or bird or dragonfly. These entities then not only name something we can visualize, but they also can be metaphors or symbols that signify something more. In this sense, imagination really is an image-nation, inhabiting its own sphere.

The ability to dream and fantasize and discover has its foundations in our imaginative faculty. Think of how bland and one-dimensional this world would be if we couldn’t envision something more, something that hasn’t been considered before. This is what inspires me to write. Writing offers me an opportunity to exercise my own imagination and create something totally new in the process. I feel my all novels are a celebration of the imagination and where it can take us. For me, it is the fountain of youth. As long as we can imagine, we are young in spirit and able to transcend even this decaying body.