How My Imagination Gets Away From Me


Last week I posted about how a story idea came to me while sitting in church, how the extraordinary stood out from the ordinary. There’s plenty more where that came from too.

You see, I have what’s called an overactive imagination. I see stories in everything.

The little old lady walking her dog down a quiet street. The window salesman who I turn away on the front porch. The homeless man asking for help by the traffic light. The single guy who walks alone and takes pictures of other people’s homes (okay, that’s weird but true).

They’re all stories to me, or at least potential stories. It’s something I can’t turn off. My mind runs with even the most mundane activities and creates mayhem and mischief, suspense and surreality.

I consider this a blessing. It’s entertaining, it’s thought-provoking, it comes in great handy when conjuring up story lines and plots and characters and twists and turns.

But it can also be a curse.

Case in point. Last night I was sitting in the living room working on some things for the upcoming week and daughter #2 (D2) was on the front porch with daughter #4, our 2-year-old (D4).

I was really minding my own business, doing my thing, when my imagination kicked on. What if D2 came bursting through the front door: “Dad! Some guy grabbed the baby took off!” I jump up and run outside in time to see the car pull away. We live in a residential area so it’s difficult to pick up speed quickly. I tell D2 to call the cops and set off on foot after the car, running down the middle of the street in my slippers, pumping my arms, tears blurring my vision, willing my legs to move faster. The car is putting distance between us. I pray, “God, please just this once give me inhuman speed.” The car’s front windows are down. If I could just catch up I could cause it to run off the road, into someone’s yard. But the car continues to accelerate and my legs eventually fail. It’s gone. She’s gone. I collapse by the side of the road, panting, sweating, crying, cursing, praying.

And then I wonder how I would react to God. He could have given me strength, could have given me speed. What harm would have come of it? My baby girl would have been saved, she’d be all right. Instead, she’s gone and who knows if we’ll ever see her again? Would I trust him? Curse him for allowing it to happen? Would I question my ability to ever trust him again?

See what I mean? With me it’s not just a wondering . . . what would I do if the baby was taken? No, that’s not enough, it has to be a whole scenario, a story, complete with characters and tension and pivotal moments and questions. Complete with stress and anxiety.

I don’t know where this came from, and I don’t know how to fully use it yet. And I’m still trying to figure out how to control it. But it’s not always a blessing.

So how about you? Do you have an overactive imagination? Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on July 8, 2013, in Life in General, Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Justin Goodrich

    Yes, I have a very active imagination. It hasn’t gotten me into much trouble. At least none that I can remember, which is trouble in and of itself. I enjoy coming up with strange scenarios in my mind and playing them out. I also write them down on occasion, such as, what would happen if you were in a bookstore reading quietly and fifteen minutes before closing someone came over the intercom and announced that you have five minutes to exit the building. After that five minutes the store clerks will begin plugging the remaining patrons one at a time with a high powered rifle. How would I react if plunged into that situation? That is just ONE of many, many ideas that just jump out of my head at any given moment. Crazy stuff. Usually I keep it to myself, but I wonder if I could earn a living from my writing?

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    • Good one, Justin. People would laugh off the announcement at first, thinking it a joke . . . until the first customer got popped, then mayhem would follow.

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  2. My imagination gets me in trouble at night. If I can’t stop my imagination I am up all night.
    I’m trying to train my imagination to stop at a certain time. I am finding it takes about 2 hours of effort to get it to start slowing down. It rarely stops completely if I am really into a story. I’d be happy if stopped enough to get some sleep.

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  3. Yes, but I try to turn it off because I just don’t want it to take me there. I have tears in my eyes just reading this. In fact, I’m having trouble seeing what I’m typing because you know how dear D4 is to me (D1-3, for that matter). OK, I have to pull it together now. It’s just a thought. But, it could happen..and,.what if it did? OK, stop! OK, my DD just came over to give me a hug because she could see me visibly shaken. OK, I think I’m gonna go read my Bible now.

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