This image says it all...I used a similar one on the cover of Book 1 of my Dark Goddess series, ECHOES. Stepping through into another world, either past, future or parallel, doesn't matter. Knowing there are other worlds out there, whether imagined or real--they exist. Magic exists. When I was around six I was sure I saw a fairy in the corner of my bedroom--she was blue and nearly see-through. I had an imaginary sister named Patricia and a very real woodchuck that slept under the covers in my bed. I spent time in the fields around our farm, my imagination growing with each passing day. We had no electronic devices in those days, not even T.V. --I'm sure it's hard to imagine what this was like in our device-filled world of today. Imagination took the place of cartoons, anime and video games. Daydreaming and staring at the clouds are important.
Despite the emotional turbulence I experienced, I am so grateful for my childhood when I was allowed to roam on my own. No worries about kidnapping or crazy people with guns. The world was different back then....maybe because it was less populated. I don't know for sure. Or even possibly because our news and social media is so immediate now and we are frightened by what we read. Is it really more dangerous or do we just think it is? All I know is that I would never pick up a hitchhiker now, but back then I was always picking people up, even with my little kiddos in the car. I could space out, run out of gas and know that I would be fine. I drove from Michigan to Maryland on my own at sixteen--without a cell phone. But I'm certainly dependent on mine now.
My writing comes from those early days. And I've lately noticed that if I look carefully at what I'm writing I find out more about myself. It's the unconscious flowing to the surface and arriving on the page. I could never write to market. By nature I'm not a planner (plotter)--even the idea of an outline gives me the heebie jeebies. When I sit down to write I have only a vague idea of what it will be. I may have a name, a sex, a general story line, but other than that my writing is like reading a book. I don't know what's coming next and my characters have a mind of their own. If they don't take control by the end of the first chapter there is something wrong. I sometimes dream the story and wake up with a conversation going on in my head. When I'm deep into a book I do plan at night, thinking about what happens next, and how to get from point A to point B, but many times those plans do not come to fruition. For instance in my current book I had the ending all figured out--until I got there and my character gave me the proverbial middle finger and did her own thing.
So to summarize: I write to learn about myself and to explore other worlds where magic really exists. I also write to explore issues I'm concerned about. To me the natural world is the only REAL world. I see the redwoods and I think, this is what's real, the politics of the day is not real, nor is the chaos of the social media world. Many will disagree, but I think that electronic devices are hindering us more than helping--yes, it's great to stay in touch and to have the library of google at our fingertips, but to be blind to the world around us is not a good thing.
Thanks for reading!!!