Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rising Stories and Imaginary Worlds

Rising Stories began one Saturday morning in late 2010, when Maureen and I were reading The Globe and Mail in bed over coffee, as we do just about every Saturday morning. There was a letter to the editor about imaginary worlds, and we began to chat a bit about Alice in Wonderland and the Narnia Chronicles, and what imaginary worlds we might make for ourselves, and how we might get into them. In a moment or two a very simple idea had come to me—a child pushes some buttons in a skyscraper elevator, and suddenly numbers appear for a whole lot of floors at the top that weren’t there before.

At first I thought I might make that idea the basis for a very short children’s book—with pictures. I started to draft what is now Part 2 of Rising Stories, and gradually as I wrote the thing changed. The extra stories were discovered, and they seemed quite real, but at the base the whole story began to broaden and deepen—perhaps a larger foundation was needed to support all those extra stories.

It all ended up very differently—but I found myself still wanting there to be pictures. Hence the color insert of early postcards from roughly the time KP arrives in Chicago in the late 1930s.

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