birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Not an escape from reality

I have been good at pretending for longer than I can remember.

As a child, my imagination was my closest, best playmate. I grew up in the country, the oldest child and only boy. I played on my own most of the time, my imagination my only companion. With my imagination I could go anywhere and be anyone in the past, present, or future.

Together my imagination and I sorted out all the things we learned in books.

Some people think pretending is not being realistic, not sticking to the truth. There are even people who discourage others from pretending, telling them to pay attention to what they are doing.

For me, pretending is more a way of exploring or planning than dreaming. When I get an idea I need to pretend about it becoming real. Pretending is a way to see it from different sides. What would it be like? How would it feel? Is that really what I want to do? What if this or that happens?

Pretending is not an escape from reality, but a way to find out what reality could be like.

Before I went to law school I had almost no idea what becoming a lawyer would be like. I did not know any lawyers and had never been to court. The only idea I had was based on pretending.

Pretending is how I consider what life might be like.

A fraud

On a Continuum