An Important Exercise for Keeping Imagination Alive


“What if?”

Kids are great at coming up with explanations. No, computer cords don’t actually work because little people sprint through them carrying bits of energy reminiscent of gumballs, but that’s a much more engaging thought than the reality, don’t you think?

Now we know too much; we aren’t forced to come up with as many explanations, and we certainly don’t give ourselves the same kind of creative liberties. So ideas get harder and harder to come by.

So let’s forget for a day or maybe just an hour and ask “what if…?” without any judgment on the thoughts that follow.

I’m serious, no judgment.

Look around and jot down whatever questions or thoughts come to mind. Be playful! I did this today and came out with some weird and cool stuff. If you want to peek at my brainstorming sheet and see my full list– email me. I will gladly share it.

As for my own foray into asking “what if?”, I don’t know if any of my observing/brainstorming will become a story in its own right or even enter as an element in something else (I mean, drinking out of lilies?), but it got me looking, wondering, imagining and that is invaluable because “what if” is the question at the core of every story. Plus, it made me excited to write. I felt like I had ideas and that there were quirky concepts still to be discovered and explored.

Is your pen and paper ready and your eyes roaming the world with wonder yet?


I’d love to see some of your brainstorming too– the crazier the better! Comment or email me at and happy imagining!


Abigail signing off.


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