halcyon days with yumi takahashi: day 3

Your photos of those beautiful chalk drawings reminded me of idyllic childhood days.

Here are some of my earliest short stories.

This is Brent the community-minded ice-cream truck.

And here’s a story about a very, very nice transexual wizard with great self-esteem.

I lived in some of my imaginary worlds. This is a map I drew up for the Polar Tropic Expedition. The expedition was a highlight of my career as Captain of the Dawn Treader.

A diary entry from that period (surprisingly not in semaphore characters) indicates that it was not all plain sailing:

When on dry land, I loved meeting trees. This is a photo I took in primary school. I developed it in the dark room and remember watching the image appear before my eyes.

Looking back on my childhood for this blog post has reminded me of some wise words from a book I’m reading right now called Letters to a Young Novelist, which is by the Nobel Prize-winning writer Mario Vargas Llosa. (I’m reading the English translation by Natasha Wimmer.)
I’m only on page 25 at the moment but I think this book is destined to become a favourite of mine because, so far, it has articulated for me my own feelings about the nature of fiction writing.
In the first letter of the book, entitled The Parable of the Tapeworm, Vargas Llosa writes:
If I’m not mistaken in my supposition (though I very well may be), a man or a woman develops precociously in childhood or early in his or her teenage years a penchant for dreaming up people, situations, anecdotes, worlds different from the world in which he or she lives, and that inclination is the first sign of what may later be termed literary vocation. … What is the origin of this early inclination, the source of the literary vocation, for inventing beings and stories? The answer, I think, is rebellion. I’m convinced that those who immerse themselves in the lucubration of lives different from their own demonstrate indirectly their rejection and criticism of life as it is, of the real world, and manifest their desire to substitute for it the creations of their imagination and dreams. Why would anyone who is deeply satisfied with reality, with real life as it is lived, dedicate himself to something as insubstantial and fanciful as the creation of fictional realities?
If this is true, could my childhood really have been as idyllic as I remember it?

P.S. Thanks for reading The Fantastic Breasts!

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