I have shot wooden arrows at cardboard boxes. I have stuck toy guns in my belt and tied plastic swords to my shoulder. I have, in essence, done what every child does — travel into fantasies.
All my cousins did the same but, as my mother recalls, I was very methodical about it. When the call for lunch came, I put the guns down, hung the sword up, took off the cloak, and sat down dutifully to eat. This was while, all around me, my cousins stayed in the fantasy, shooting imaginary laser beams at each other as their mothers stuffed food into their mouths.
My mother says I always knew the difference between fantasy and reality.
I bring this up because I feel it has a bearing on what drives me to create fantasies. If a child spends all his or her time inside his head, there will be no time for him to miss it. A good amount of my own creations come from my desire to return to imaginary places — places I value and wish to tell others about. More than the fantasy itself, it is my desire to experience it that brings it to life. Think of it as me starving myself a little to enjoy my food a little more.
As far as I know, there comes a time in every child’s life when he is asked to choose between the ‘real’ world and the fantastic places in his head. Most people abandon fantasy at this point. But I have found the choice to be a false one.
The mundane world serves a purpose, and that is to force us to seek out fantasy. That, at any rate, is what it has done for me.
You can’t experience the thrill of escape if you are not trapped in a prison.