"Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared."
From J.K. Rowling's Speech from Harvard Graduation Ceremony
I'm thinking about why it is I've chosen to write fiction. Or have I? Perhaps our genre's choose us. And maybe it isn't done cognitively. Maybe it's pre-destined. Like your hair color, your height, your political affiliation. Um - scratch that last one. I can recall being just a kid and considering how it might be to belong to a different family, one from the opposite end of the world, who spoke another language. Then I remember writing those very scenes, starring some girl who wasn't really me (or was she?) and sending her to all the places I might never really get to go. One of my first stories involved a trip to the moon. It's safe to say in spite of Virgin Galactic's generous offering of suborbital spaceflights, I'll remain ever-earthbound.
Fiction gives me a chance to visit that nation, the one J.K. made a desperately delicious living from. And for that, this little dreamer, is grateful. I wonder if one day I will venture beyond fiction's door, maybe crank out a lovely memoir, coin a catchy catch-phrase for some commercial product, perhaps try my hand at penning a textbook - (okay, I kid.)
Yet, in the nation of Imagine we never say never.