Mixing Fantasy and Reality

When I was little, I hated those squat, rainbow-hued My Little Pony toys. I was a huge fan of horses (yeah, what twelve-year-old girl isn’t?) and I had a collection of sixty-odd Breyer horses. You know those horses–prancing Morgans, preening Tennessee Walkers and galloping Arabians, each perfectly detailed and accurate down to the grooves in its hooves. I used to play with them by the hour, using Barbie as an accessory. In most little girls’ worlds Barbie was the main character and the horses would have been pets. But not me. Barbs was second-string, there to advance the plot, if at all. Most of the time my horses had human-free adventures. My pretend Mustang herd galloped across the open plain (the green shag carpeting of my bedroom floor), made friendships, were hunted, trapped and escaped back to freedom. And there was no place in that scenario for short-legged pink ponies with purple hair and stars on their asses. As much as I enjoyed fantasy, it had no place among my “reality.”

And yet that kid eventually grew up into the chick who digs blending modern life with the fantastical. I’m not sure how or when it happened. Maybe it had something to do with overdosing on too many sword and sorcery tales. Quite possibly Joss Whedon had a significant hand in the deal. Then again, maybe it was growing up to discover the enticing mysteries of adulthood were nothing more than chains which would tether me to a daily reality that was far less than mythic. In the midst of work, finances, housecleaning and insipid routines, I think I realized everyday life lacked the mystical quality my childhood held. Toadstools were only a sign of a fungus in my lawn, rainbows meant that it had finally stopped raining, and lightening bugs were just insects trying to get their freak on. And that loss of the “what-if” portion of my imagination must have had an impact, because somewhere in my mid-twenties I ditched the mainstream novels I had been planning and went genre.

While the mundane details of my daily life still exist on a grand scale, I now have an alter-existence where the strange, wondrous and mystical happens in the modern world. It’s like gaining back a lost bit of my childhood, a forgotten piece of me.

My horse collection is in my niece’s possession, now. But, I can still see every one of my old friends in my mind. And the next time I let the herd roam free, you can bet there’ll be some pink, yellow, and blue rumps mixed in with the rest.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

12 responses to “Mixing Fantasy and Reality

  • Jay

    And this is why you’re such an interesting person today!!

  • Avery DeBow

    Lauren — The room used to be blue, too. So I had sky for a while. Then, as little girl’s rooms do, it turned lavender. Still close enough to sky for me, though.Lana — Interesting comment on both paganism and fantasy. Are you a cold-hard science/fact person now?

  • Lana Gramlich

    I must admit having given up entirely on fantasy. I even entertained it for a while in the form of paganism, but I had to give that up, too.

  • Lauren

    Green shag carpet is the perfect carpet for a horse loving little girl to play on ๐Ÿ™‚ Hah! I love your comment about lightning bugs…lol.

  • Avery DeBow

    Yeah, Sqt. We all know where you stand, blue girl. ; )

  • SQT

    I think my blog pretty much sums me, and my fixation on all things fantasy, up pretty well.

  • Avery DeBow

    Christina — I gave them up with serious reluctance and not a little bit of regret. But, I keep telling myself they’re only things, and I’ll eventually have to part with them, anyway. Plus, their plastic was getting all messed up in the heat of the attic.Laughingwolf — A world full of people who only want to play? That would solve many issues–as long as everyone’s definition of “play” was as innocent as we’re hoping.PIrate — What was with the naked dolls? The first thing I did whenever I got a new doll was to take its clothes off. Like you said, it seemed crucial at the time.

  • Steve Malley

    As a wee boy, I sat deep into the gloaming, shadows growing deeper and longer about us as the little girl next store married her Barbie to my GI Joe…Looking down their pants seemed important at the time.

  • laughingwolf

    i keep telling anyone who’ll lissen: if’n yer NOT here to play, get OFF the planet… so those of us who DO can have more space ๐Ÿ˜‰ lolgreat post, av ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christina

    I got a kick out of this post. I was the fan of My Little Pony and McDonald toys. I hardly played with Barbie unless it was to trap the ponies, but most of the time, my world existed with only animals. That’s really nice that you gave your collection up. I’m still debating if I can do the same.

  • Avery DeBow

    Charles — I still play them, too. I think it’s one of the underlying symptoms/side-effects of our chosen craft.

  • Charles Gramlich

    Great post. You hit the nail on the head about the sad discoveries of adulthood. Man I loved childhood and childhood’s games so much. I still play them in my head, just with a bit more sophistication. though not always a lot of that.

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