Wait, that's not the title of that movie...oh well. I like my title better. :P Today, we're continuing Sparkfest (which can be found at Christine's blog). As I mentioned before, my obssession with books began at a very young age. I was reading well above my grade level, so I encountered most books before my friends, a fact which was completely illustrated by my play.
I read a lot of adventure stories as a kid. My dad was in the military, so we moved around a lot and got to see lots of new places. I guess I always identified more with the adventurer types for that reason, even though I was incredibly shy and not particularly brave. My parents could always tell what I'd been reading by how I played.
The year that Island of the Blue Dolphins became my favorite, my brothers and I spent a lot of time climbing trees and hoarding the rocks from the little rock garden under our backyard hose (I didn't know what abalone looked like, but I thought the rocks were pretty close, and that was all we could eat when playing Island of the Blue Dolphins).
The year I read Treasure Island, we drew our own maps and hid "treasures" in the giant dirt pile in our backyard. I even insisted that we include a treasure hunt in the activities for my birthday party that year (much to the delight of all my friends).
As I got a little older, I started reading Harry Potter and Tamora Pierce's Tortall books. I still loved adventure, but fantasy was taking over my imagination. I started telling my brothers that I could do magic (which they believed in their little brother naivete), and spent a lot of time having conversations with myself in an English accent. Don't judge me. ;)
The moral of this story? Imagination is a very powerful thing, and the books we read as children have a huge impact on the kinds of stories we imagine. Most of the stories I write include a considerable amount of both magic and adventure, both of which I absorbed like a sponge in my formative years. Don't be afraid to play, even as an adult. Just look at it this way: you're building a life skill. :)