Thursday, April 20, 2006

FANtasy by Diane Perkins

Candy’s question about whether we would say yes to one night of passion with our fantasy guy started me to think about fantasy and its usefulness in our lives. I can’t remember a time when I did not fantasize. When I was three years old, I remember having a crush on Tex Ritter (That’s John Ritter’s father, in case you are too young to know). I must have spun stories about him in my head. I know by third grade, I was making up romantic stories about the latest TV heartthrob. I have a clear memory of being age seven and riding in the car and looking at a full moon, thinking somewhere in the world there was a little boy staring at the moon and that boy would grow up to be the man who loved me.

It was not that I lacked for love. I really came from a loving--albeit very quiet--family. I didn’t need to invent love for myself. Maybe I needed to create excitement, though. My family, including me, were pretty timid…But that doesn’t explain why I’m writing romance instead of action adventure books.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve made up stories to help me fall asleep at night. There was always plenty of excitement in the stories, but mainly there was romance. Here are some of the fantasy men who helped me “get through the night” over the years.

When I was studying for my masters in psychology, I learned that people who fantasized had better tolerance for stress. Sometimes, though, I think imagination creates stress, in that I can imagine all sorts of scary things that could happen when I take the trash out to the garbage can at night.

This capacity to fantasize certainly is an essential part of writing a novel. I feel lucky that I can recreate that feeling of first falling in love, and I can do it over and over. What is even more wonderful is I can create that happy ending. Over and over.

There is so much of real life that is unpleasant, stressful, scary, enraging, despairing that fantasy provides a needed respite. I think reading provides a similar respite, more so than other entertainment, such as TV or the movies. My friend Julie says that in reading a book the reader engages in a partnership with the author. The author’s words spark the reader’s imagination and a fantasy of the sights, sounds, and smells is created in the reader’s mind.

So, thank you, readers, for sharing your imagination with mine and for letting us both have the experience of falling in love again. Especially with those hunky guys above!



Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Okay, Diane, fess up. Where are you getting all these bare-chest shots of Gerard Butler? Do you belong to a Gerard Butler Beefcake Photo of the Day club? Because if you do, I want to join . . .

Lori Wilde said...

My first television crush was on the guy who played Sandy on Flipper. LOL. Then after I saw Houdini, I developed a real thing for Tony Curtis and I ended up seeing every movie he ever made.(although now he looks like a woman and it makes me wonder if he was gay all along.)

I liked the guy who played Dann-o on Hawaii Five O. And I had my David Cassidy phase.

I had to keep my crushes hidden because my family made mercilessly fun of me and I was very sensitive about it.

Diana Holquist said...

My first fantasy crush was on Robin, as in Batman and Robin. The animated Robin. Oh, God...I better stop. This is already too much information, isn't it?

Diane Perkins said...

I'm a card-carrying member of and if a photo exists of dear Gerry, has it. I'm Romance Author Tart on, although my friend Katie has dubbed me RARFT which means Romance Author Rita Finalist Tart, but I think it sounds more like Rare Fart.
(Talk about too much information, Diana!....But I must say, having a crush on an animated figure is pretty funny)

Lori, You are a woman after my own heart! I had to hide my crushes too, although when my sister and I played dolls with our friends, the romantic hero was always whoever was the latest crush.
I think James MacArtur, Helen Hayes' son, played Dann-O.


Michelle Rowen said...

My first fantasy crush was... and this brings back mega memories... Meeno Peluce from the 80s show VOYAGERS!

I was eleven. He was twelve. Good times.

Candy Halliday said...

My very first fantasy crush (telling my age here) was Michael Landon in his role as "Little Joe" on the TV western, Bonanza. I was twelve.

I dreamed about him. Slept with a framed autographed picture of him (that I sent off for) on the night stand beside my bed. And pretended Little Joe loved only me.

wondering what I ever did with that autographed picture. . . .hmmmmm