Sunday, December 13, 2009


As has been happening for so many people in these tough economic times, I sometimes feel my world has been crumbling around me. Will I manage to keep my job, will we be able to pay our bills, will we stop sniping at each other long enough to remember we love each other?

I mention this not because I want to veer into my personal life, but because I find myself wondering how all those other people manage to deal with these pressures, when they don't have imaginary universes to retreat to. I have lots of dreamt-up universes, and I visit them regularly. It's my form of 'escaping'.

If I've had a bad day at work, I spend the evening exploring the universe with Kandi, who spent decades trying to figure out why she didn't fit in anywhere before she discovered she was an alien – by finding her parents' abandoned spaceship. Feeling torn about something? Tay slept through centuries and now has to reconcile what she was taught with the universe as it has become. Had a fight with hubby? Visit with Hank and Bob, two young men I've placed in my imaginary version of Belgrade, Nebraska, as they try to figure out how to win the women they've chosen to love.

At times, my husband has turned to me and asked, "Is your main character angry in the scene you're working on?" Why, yes. Yes, she is. How astute he is. He knows that a little bit of me resides in each and every one of my characters, especially the protagonists. It helps me figure out their motives, their fears, their reactions. In some ways, that bond with my imaginary characters is stronger than the bond with my own family.

So many people say that writing is a lonely pursuit. How can it be lonely when I have so many close friends who can understand everything I go through? Maybe they aren't real, but they're mine. Their worlds are the worlds I've made for them. Why wouldn't I want to visit them frequently and often? They make the real world a little easier to take.

See ya next week. Trudy

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