Wednesday, July 6, 2022

#IWSG: Escaping to the World of Fiction


Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

When I was a little, I used to ask my mom repeatedly (as young children tend to do!) if we’d ever go back to living like they did in the “Little House” books. I imagined with glee the thought of electricity disappearing, growing all our own food, and cooking over a fire. I even liked to pretend our wood stove was the stove in Laura’s log cabin. Alas it never happened, and now, all grown up, I couldn’t do without electricity, thank you very much.

Me at 8, reading with my Grammie and longing for life in Little House land

But I still long for simpler times. Of course, the world in books is often a glorified rendition of another age, the hard parts smoothed over, but these are the books that I long to live in:

Anne of Green Gables


I can identify with Anne, because I flub big words and idioms just as much--and she's a writer too. My childhood was much like hers: playing pretend in the abandoned lots and creek near our house. I have a childhood friend, like Diana, who is like a sister, even though she lives too far away for me to see her often. Maybe I’m not longing for the world of the book, but to continue that carefree world of my childhood.

Jane Austen


I love this world because of the manners. I like how the characters don’t engage in TMI, and there’s a challenge to figure out about what people are saying behind their words. And people are always spending time together: house parties, balls, and teas. Unlike the Bennetts, we probably dine with less than four-and-twenty families.😀 But I still I long for a time when seeing people in person is more common than social media.


Moosepath League novels

I recently discovered this wonderful series set in Maine in the 1890s. Imagine a cross between P.G.Wodehouse, Garrison Keiller, and Dickens. There is always tons of word play (Sundry Moss and Capital Gaines are names of characters) and high jinx. The Moosepath league members are  kind to a fault, eager for adventure, and willing to help others. In the afterward, the author says he bases his characters on people he knows. It's nice to know that people like the Moosepath League still exist today. Perhaps I just need to look harder to find the good in others or aspire to be more like the Moosepath League myself.

As I look over this list, I am reminded of one of my goals as a writer: to write books that I want to read. 

I want to create a world where readers want to live. 

And as we’ve had more than our fair share of darkness in the last few years, I would like to be more like Van Reid of the Moosepath League and remind readers of what is good and true.

What fictional world would you like to live in? If you're a writer, how does that impact your writing?

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