Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Power of Sharing

Sharing is nice, as kindergarten teachers have been informing the population for years. Also, as parents have been begging siblings to do for even longer.

Well, my sister and I share. Well, we share one thing. Maybe a few, if you count certain pairs of shoes and bathroom-cleaning responsibilities. But mostly we share fictional worlds.

When we were little we played pretend, and our awesome imagined stories (that we kept running for weeks, and sometimes years) are definitely something I attribute my love of writing to. It's my own version of "playing pretend"--because the actual playing is, unfortunately, not on the agenda anymore. We also swap books (of course) and she's my Partner in TV. (A play off of Partner in Crime, in case you didn't pick up on my on-the-fly wordplay.) There have been a few series so far that we've watched every episode of, (somewhat) in order, together: Chuck (NBC), the Nine Lives of Chloe King (ABC, and yes, it was a guilty pleasure show), and most recently Doctor Who (BBC).

Honestly, these shows wouldn't be half as fun without my sister. We're not just watching a random TV show, we're engaged, talking, trying to work out the minute plot points and come up with our own future scenarios. (Okay, this is mostly for Doctor Who and the early seasons of Chuck. Chloe King wasn't that complicated. But at least it was fun.) "Watching"--I use quotation marks because we do so much more than watch--with her makes those worlds more than images on a screen (or, in the book version, words on a page). The other day I dragged my sister on a run with me and we spent the entire time discussing Doctor Who. (Which, incidentally, distracted her from the run enough for her not to hate me for bringing her along in the first place.)

As I've just illustrated, even if we don't play pretend anymore, my sister and I share fiction. She's still the one I turn to if I need to talk out a new story idea--maybe because she's willing to sit and listen as I babble past midnight, or maybe because she actually follows along and throws in suggestions, just like we're planning out another world to play pretend in. Either way, it works, and I suggest everyone find someone to share their fictional worlds with.

What are some of your favorite fictional worlds?