Thursday, March 20, 2008

Had your daily fantasy yet?

Dani Harper, Devourer of Books -- that should have been my title as a child. Between the ages of 4 and 14, I read my way through most of the titles in my small town's library. I was the darling of the librarian ladies --- and the terror of my teachers, who had to deal with the epic fantasies that I insisted on writing about, talking about and sometimes acting out, often in the middle of class.

While I feel marginally sorry for my teachers, who had no self-defense training against an imagination the size of a small country, I'm not a bit sorry for all the time I "wasted" in class or out. I fantasized whole worlds where anything was possible -- it kept my spirit from imploding in the real world, where very little seemed possible at the time.

I truly believe that human beings NEED fantasy, even -- or especially -- the ones who think they don't. A fantasy world provides a safe place to explore and vent emotions, struggle with issues and choices, try out relationships and beliefs, practice being both hero and villain -- and to have fun, that vital link between our adult selves and our inner child. We need fantasy in order to discover and then BE who we really are.

And that includes romantic fantasy – there’s an even greater opportunity to explore and challenge our own feelings. A story that moves us often teaches us too. Stretching the imagination is an exercise that keeps both mind and heart flexible, readying us to move forward in our lives.

Albert Einstein was a great believer in the importance of imagination. “The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” Einstein, who dubbed reality a “persistent illusion”, recommended this: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Why on earth would we stop needing fairy tales when we grow up?

Of course nobody chooses to read a romance book because they’re hoping to learn something about themselves or anything else. We do it because it’s FUN. But isn’t it great to know that it could actually be good for you too?

Dani Harper

Dani Harper is a newspaper editor turned paranormal romance writer.
Check out her stories at

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Keep up the good work.