I unearthed an ancient map today. No, it was not a real map. Not even a treasure map. It has no value to anyone else.

The map is one I drew when I was young (fourteen maybe?), when my imagination overflowed every minute of every day with a new wonderful idea to write about. The map was for a fantasy world I created, at the time called Gailla (essentially a misspelling or misunderstanding of the word Gaia, done on purpose). Lots of continents and oceans, small islands and larger land masses, each with a history.

So I dug around in a box which contains my my toys, diaries and other things I used in my childhood. I found my original writings from this fantasy world. And I could not believe what I found. I knew I had some ideas, but I have a massive amount of writings in my diaries, fleshing out so many stories about characters, events, objects . . . all interrelated and playing into a massive chronology that I had long forgotten about.

Where did my imagination go? Nowadays I sit at my computer, staring at the screen, grasping wildly for any idea that inspires me enough to put more than a few stray sentences on a page. That trend has been getting steadily worse for a while now. At one time I had eighty different ideas on the go, and that was for one (relatively) isolated story line!

What I wouldn’t give to see the world like that again. To see wonder in everything, to hold up a seemingly inanimate object and imagine a whole world. To move around a couple figures or play a video game and imagine the entire universe they exist in. To hear, nonstop, the dialogue of characters in my head, advancing complex story lines seamlessly.

I guess the best I can do is unearth those childhood scraps and try to pick up the pieces of my imagination. And hopefully I can put something together that will honour that kid and his amazing, limitless imagination.


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