Monday, December 23, 2013


I recently had the pleasure of reading a yet-to-be-published memoir in manuscript form. The story follows one young New Yorker (They later transplant to Fort Lauderdale, but once a New Yorker - always a New Yorker!) through the trials of semi-dysfuntional family issues and adolescence during the 70s and 80s. The writer, J.P. is clearly gifted and her narration (of herself in her younger years) is a breathless whirlwind. I enjoyed the read thoroughly.

Now, to my point. There was one vignette where young J.P. is playing with a friend and they've created an entire town out of food boxes and cartons. It got me thinking how joyously we use our imagination and the things we come up with when we are children.

My thing went deep. I didn't have many friends, so spent a lot of time alone. I spent much of that time reading, but I also delved into imaginary play often. In early elementary school, I began to draw up floorplans of dream homes. Hundreds of them. There were always nooks and secret passageways. Sure, they were never drawn to scale, but I really loved it. I wasn't content to stop there. I created entire maps (I've always loved maps and still do) of towns and cities with named streets that would wind and curve and meet up with drives and parks and avenues. Then I'd work on creating a school, complete with a roster of made-up names with addresses that would correspond to the maps I made of the imaginary town. THEN I'd go so far as to create school records for these students, giving them grades, placing them in extra curricular activities, and so on. I filled notebooks of these imaginary people. I'd tape paper together that would stretch across my entire apartment floor and follow roads and cul-de-sacs, lanes and highways. Looking back, it sounds both lame and endearing at the same time.

I still can't believe how far I went.
What about you?
Where did your imagination take you when you were young?

1 comment:

Joyce Polance said...

Thanks for the good words about my memoir, Jen. Yes, once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker!