I went to see “Skyfall,” the new James Bond film, twice in two days. That is very unusual because I’m not a huge movie buff. My husband wanted to see it, so we went on Thursday night. I was riveted. I do love Daniel Craig as James Bond; there’s something wonderfully dashing and debonair about him that’s absolutely seductive. (My husband knows about this crush of mine and is okay with it.) But, as I sat there, something stronger took over. I could feel emotion welling up inside me as I cast off all concerns about daily life and parenting, and simply lost myself in a story that was as farfetched and exaggerated as it was dramatic and entertaining. I walked around in a daze all day Friday, then insisted we return on Saturday night for another viewing. Second time round, I enjoyed it differently — picking up more references and foreshadowing and enjoying the details because I wasn’t on the edge of my seat with suspense.
What was it that drew me in so intensely? I think it was a combination of factors. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about fiction and how much I’d like to start writing fiction but don’t know how or where to start. I want to reclaim my lost imagination, the vivid imagination that once dictated my childhood play from dawn until dusk, the imagination that drove me to write reams of fictional stories that disappeared on my dad’s old, broken Mac. I’ve also been reading a lot of fiction that’s been filling my head with wonderful stories that I can’t stop thinking about. They enter my mind during daytime housework and nighttime dreams.
So when I let myself go in “Skyfall,” I got thinking: “This emotion, this intense pleasure that I’m experiencing, is all because of pure imagination.” One man came up with a character who affected readers so deeply that a movie was made. It took another person’s imagination to come up with a script, then more imagination to create a film. Then we observers use our own imaginations to suspend reality for two hours and let ourselves be drawn into a fictional world.
I want to have left a mark on the world when I die. Sometimes I feel selfish and silly admitting that I crave a sort of immortality through literature, yet there’s something so beautiful about living on in the world through the channelling of imagination into a tangible work of art. It’s like leaving a piece of your soul behind — in a good way. Ian Fleming will live on eternally; Daniel Craig has preserved himself for years to come; both will continue to affect readers and viewers indefinitely. The desire to preserve a piece of my soul through writing, even if only my kids read it and care about it, fills me with longing.
Imagination is powerful; it can also be dangerous, I suppose, but usually it’s a wonderful, beautiful thing. I want to part of a world that uses imagination to bring people tremendous pleasure in life. I want to create worlds from my fingertips. I want to transport myself and others to a magical place that exists nowhere else on earth. As Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” I want to go everywhere. I want to write a novel.