Today is do-over day!

Katie Mills, Nicole Ducleroir, Lydia Kang and D.L. Hammon are hosting the Deja Vu Blogfest:


The blogosphere will be chock full of past writing brilliance!  Encouragement, enlightenment, knowledge, bared souls, stimulation, hilarity, insecurities, success stories!  All on display…the very same day…like no other time before.  Some of them will no doubt be familiar, well-deserving a second read, but a good many will be the first time you’ve seen them.  And it couldn’t be any easier to take part…no writing necessary!”


So here’s mine:

Imagination is the Preview of Life’s Coming Attractions

Do you ever have one of those days where you just cannot think?

You read the same sentence over and over, but it just doesn’t compute. You walk into a room only to forget why you went there. You sit through an entire lecture or conversation only to realize it’s over and you don’t know what happened.

That was me this past week. My brain was zombified mush.

I felt a little like this kid:

For instance, I picked up a book at the library yesterday– How Pleasure Works: the New Science of Why We Like What We Like by Paul Bloom.  However, I could not remember why I’d put the book on hold.

Sometimes I think my brain just needs to reboot every now and then.

Luckily there was something sparkly in the book to get my attention–chapter six.


You gotta love it, whether it’s daydreaming or spending time in worlds created by other people’s imaginations, it can offer our tired minds a chance to start over.

According to the author:


Imagination is Reality Lite — a useful substitute when the real pleasure is inaccessible, too risky, or too much work.


Why not?  In an instant we can get caught up in a romance with a vampire, sing along with a high school glee club or run around virtual worlds shooting aliens.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of gray matter. . .or something like that.

Books, TV, movies and video games allow us to tag along on the journey.  We experience the story.


We enjoy imaginative experiences because at some level we don’t distinguish them from real ones.”


In fact the best ones are the stories that we get so engrossed in that we forget for the moment that they aren’t real.

And the fact that we can cry or laugh at a story, simply because our brains recognizes the emotion?  Well, it shows how powerful those mushy brains can turn out to be.

Imagine what we can accomplish when we simply put our minds on it.

“Imagination is everything.

It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

–Albert Einstein


What stories are you imagining for your life?

Happy Friday!

45 thoughts on “Deja Vu Blogfest: Imagination

  1. Louise Behiel

    glad you re-shared this post. I am listening to Wayne Dyer who maintains that everything starts in imagination. He asserts that we should hold our goals in our imagination and feel their completion.

    It’s an interesting concept and one that I’m trying to understand.

  2. SJ Driscoll

    Not so sure I agree that imagination is little more than a toy! It’s a toy. Without it, there’s no creativity of any kind–technological as well as artistic.
    I hope your brain firms up soon, Coleen. I know mine has to.

  3. August McLaughlin

    Terrific post and blog fest theme! A therapist once led me in the “magic wand” game… You close your eyes, imagine you hold a magic wand and describer your perfect day. Ever so Harry Potter, right? 😉 It’s remarkable what can happen if we simply allow ourselves to dream. Lately I’ve been imagining a happy Christmas and the outcome of my WIPs…

  4. SJ Driscoll

    Not so sure I agree about this view of imagination. It’s a tool. Without it there’d be no creativity at all–technological, medical, etc., as well as artistic and personal.
    I hope your brain firms up soon, Coleen. I know mine has to.

    1. Coleen Patrick

      Ok now I get it! I was reading your comments in my email and “imagination is a toy” came thru first. I was confused until I finally saw this one–“imagination is a tool.”
      Then again toy, tool– I suppose they both work. 🙂

  5. Wendy Terrien

    I love this, Coleen. Imagination is kind of like magic and, crazy enough, sometimes the things you imagine really come true. (Thankfully all those zombies people dream up haven’t come true…yet…) 😉

    Right now I’m imagining you having a wonderful year in 2012!

  6. Catherine Johnson

    Brilliant! I think especially for writers our minds and heads in general have SO much going on that we need a creativity break. Christmas is a good time for that. I have lots of days like that boy lol. Take care.

  7. April Plummer

    Great post to re-post! I have so had those days and weeks where your head just can’t focus on anything. As Catherine says, Christmas is a great time to let your imagination run wild. I love it when I wake up from some sort of day dream, my head all fuzzy, and I’m wondering what was just real and what wasn’t. I think it freaks my husband out a bit, but I love it. I think I sort of live in a world between real and imagined. 🙂

  8. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    My brain is zombified mush today, Coleen. I’ll daydream while ticking off tasks today, and will lose myself in a book for at least a half hour tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll remember your post as the sparkly something that propelled me through an unfun Friday.

  9. Julie Dao

    Colleen, what a great post! Imagination is everything to me. When I was younger, I’d see monsters and other scary things in the shadowy shapes around my bedroom. But now, having an imagination keeps me loving life and feeling fulfilled in my writing. Being completely practical is so boring 🙂 Great to meet you and your blog!

  10. Lynn Kelley

    I LOVE this post, Coleen. It’s great. I often have those zombie days. I’d say maybe 4 out of 7 days a week, that’s me! That video clip is too precious! Great quote about imagination. The blogfest rocks!

  11. Laurel G

    Nice to meet you, Colleen. (I’d Deja vu-er 158). I love the quotes you found about imagination–and that reseaching it helped you kick start it.

  12. Anonymous

    Sometimes I think my brain just needs to reboot every now and then.

    This is me more and more these days and I think it’s due to my active imagination. I’m forever in the zone.

    Great post! And so nice to meet you through the blogfest!

  13. L.G. Smith

    I can so relate to this. Could be age (I admit to nothing) but it’s getting tougher to find the car keys in the morning. Love the imagination quote by Einstein, too.

  14. Margo Berendsen

    LOve this: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of gray matter. . .or something like that.” And twice now in the past week, I’ve discovered a new Einstein quote! Wonderful post.

  15. Jennifer Hillier

    Great re-post! I have strange dreams and daydreams, and a crazy imagination (as all of us writers do!), and if I wasn’t writing, I shudder to think what would happen. It would all get… clogged.

    Happy to be a new follower!

  16. Sophia Chang

    So I’m curious when you posted this originally? 🙂

    My imagination was too active as a child – the monsters in my curtains made it impossible to sleep. 🙁

  17. Connie Keller

    It’s great to meet you and check out your blog. I really enjoyed the post. What would we do without imagination? Though sometimes mine gets so intense that it takes me a moment to realize that what I’ve dreamt isn’t what actually happened.

  18. marcy

    Ah, imagination. It has allowed me to feel like I’m actually with Frodo and his companions as they make their way to Rivendell or like I’m stepping into a shop in Prague in winter where a demon awaits. Imagination lets me picture and write about the places of my own stories in vivid detail. Master Lu-tsu said, “One cannot be without imaginings. Should one not breathe? One cannot do without breathing.”

  19. Emma Burcart

    That video was great! I feel like that a lot. And then I get embarrassed because I feel like as a writer, I should never be at a loss for words. Ooops. It happens. At least I can be happy that no one is recording it and posting it to YouTube. I love books, TV, and movies for the exact reason that they take us into those worlds. We feel like we get to know the characters as real people. Sometimes it’s way more fun than real life.

  20. Em

    This is a great post. And I loved the vid and the Einstein quote.

    I think as writers, we need pretty active imaginations. (Thanks, also, for the book name … now I’m curious about it.)

  21. Gloria Richard

    LOVE the topic for this post, Coleen.

    In my imaginary world… <==== I often start sentences this way. Thankfully, most of those are self-talk-in-the-bubble. Otherwise, this message would post during scheduled and monitored computer time in an institutional environment.

    LOVED your wordplay with "…huddled grey matter." Can I steal it? No? Rats. (In my imaginary world, you said "sure!")

    I believe in the Power of Expectation–The Power of Imagination. Will we achieve all the great things we imagine? Visit all the places we imagine? Get that HUGE book contract we imagine? There are no guarantees that our dreams will come true. But, there is one way to guarantee they won't. Fail to dream, imagine and pursue them.

    The name of my Bucket List changes today to IMAGINE!

  22. Leigh Moore

    LOL! I love that kid. That’s terrible… 😀 But yes, I have those days when I”m like, “What? What?” I think of Pee Wee Herman with the big ear. ;p

    But I do like that Einstein quote. Imagination is the reality of the… what was it again? j/k

    good stuff!

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