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Following my imagination wherever it leads...

My mother would comfort, "It's just your overactive imagination."

But I conjured up more than monsters hiding in my closets. Creatures breathed next to my door, and footsteps mounted the stairs.

"Come home," I'd whisper into the phone, interrupting her bridge game.

I'd create the situations and then plot my way out of them. When I was a teen, I imagined love in the blue eyes of the most popular boy in school. I imagined romance with my fix-up date for my junior prom.

From the age of twelve, I filled journal after journal with dialogue, lengthy scenes, descriptions of long kisses--veritable teen romances, in fact. Reading those journals now, I can measure my growing maturity with the change in my handwriting.

Today, that imagination chides me on--pulling me into diverse worlds like fantasy, historical fiction, and magic realism.

And the stories are everywhere-- flowing from the robes of desert Moroccan women, in the angry mother's voice on my street corner, in my dreams.

I write furiously to imagine them to life.