Having an imaginary friend as a child, is not a subject that many people will admit to in public. But here goes.. I had an imaginary friend and she was the start of a wonderful journey through my imagination.
As an infant, I was lonely. I was the youngest of four siblings, from a broken family, living in rural Australia. My two brothers and older sister were just that, older. There was 8 years difference between me and my sister. As my sister and two older brothers were only a year apart in age, they hung out together and were not around very often. Nor did they always enjoy playing the same games. So, I created a friend to enjoy my games with me.
She was beautiful. I created my very own angel with wings. The extraordinary thing about my imaginary friend was that she could fly. And because she could fly, I called her Flying Girl. (Yes, I have always been quite imaginative with names.)
My father was not too keen on Flying Girl. I recall him being very concerned about my imaginary friend and though he was not aware, I was aware that he was concerned. I was disappointed one Christmas morning, to discover the new (paper) wings I had created for her, still hanging on the Christmas tree. I expected Santa Claus to take them to her! My father tried to make amends while we were having breakfast by sneaking back to the Christmas tree to retrieve the wings, but it was obvious what he was doing and my imaginary world shattered.
Nearly forty years later, children psychologists have gained many new insights on children and their imaginary friends. Imaginary friends are a natural and healthy part of a child’s development and they help them to practice talking, gain confidence and role-play different scenarios.
Even though it felt like my imaginary friend had a short shelf life, I still have not forgotten the hours of enjoyment we had together. We went to many imaginary lands and created many imaginary stories. Just me, Flying Girl and my imagination.
Over the years, my imaginary friend has followed me into the school ground, where she became a character I would play in make-believe games with other children.
As I grew into an adult, she has accompanied me into chat roleplay rooms in Yahoo to become a popular character in a role-play game.
And now, as an author she plunges into the plot of my first epic fantasy to become one of my many intriguing characters.
Imaginary friends are cool. They are not just limited to our childhood but can journey with us through life, so long as we never forget them and the hours of imaginary fun they gave us. As an author, I hope to share that fun with you, through a great number of imaginary creatures which include my childhood friend, Flying Girl, who will be drawn from the pages of my story and into your imagination.