Ever seen that commercial of the “man-cold”? The guy gets a sniffle and he is bed-ridden as if he is dying. Well, though I am a girl, which means I’m tougher than a laundromat washing machine, can multi-task like Data on steroids, and hold the entire world on my shoulders (lol), I spent before/during/after New Years down with a bug. I begged my kids to let the dog in, to feed the cat, and close the door after them. Well, two outta three ain’t bad… They ARE teenagers, after all. The other half was very good about taking the garbage out.

So what, you say. Everybody gets sick, you say.

True. But, those days on the couch (I cannot be in my bed during the day. The universe is wrong for me when that happens) made me think. It hurt my head to read, and for one day it hurt my eyes to watch TV, so there was not much else to do but think. About life. About work. About writing. About the fact that no matter how well one does the housecleaning, there is ALWAYS one hairball that escapes. I decided that is ultimate proof that humans can survive anything they throw at themselves. Even the flu.

Then I could watch TV again. Joy. Christmas sported a Doctor Who marathon, and I was happily healthy enough to enjoy that. This time it was the Star Trek marathon, specifically The Next Generation. Gosh that was a good series. Some of the early stories don’t age too well, but overall, in true Star Trek form, the stories were very good and thought-provoking.

Which made me think of something else.

Fiction, in one form or another, is way more important to humanity than we often give it credit for. In this industrialized world, it makes up a surprisingly large part of our lives: books, television, video games, mobile games and many of the apps, even operating systems incorporate neat “skins” which, basically, promote a fictional environment. The news is sometimes given in the form of a story, even if it is (supposed to be) non-fiction.

So, I thought, in this so-called “developed world”, are we lazy enough to just be immersed in fiction much of our waking time? I don’t think so. When I look at the news, read the paper, go to the grocery store, life is – as we already know – often much more curious and wonderful and utterly horrible than any piece of fiction could make it. How else are we to try and understand any of it without a story of some sort to put it together?

Even in isolated countries, stories exist in the form of legends and tales. In countries we consider oppressed, there are tales to keep hope alive, and I speculate that they are “underground” stories, and suspect that they would rival any heroic story we have ever heard. Maybe one day we will see/hear/read them.

Even non-fiction and biographies often have the feel of the fantastic, for better or worse.

Storytelling is an essential part of humanity, a main ingredient in the recipe for Active Imaginations (with red wine sauce). And once in a while, a little fluff in the form of whipped cream for dessert is not such a bad thing, either. Everything in moderation, even moderation.

And it helps keep the brain busy when the body won’t work. 🙂

* * * *

I’m hoping to get my Flash Fiction piece done in time for the deadline, and have just finished a series of painted cards for an upcoming set. Now working on galaxies and quasars for a Space set, and another topic for a different set – all painted. In between, I will catch up on a number of commissions I have fallen a bit behind on, because of the above-mentioned flu…


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