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Imaginary Friends

   Do any of you other writers out there think about your characters as though they're real? Notice I said as though. I don't actually think they're real, sometimes they just seem real. I really don't think I'm the only one. I mean, we spend a lot of time thinking about these characters, finding out their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, their trials and triumphs. It's only natural that they begin to feel real to us.
   For instance, anytime I see something purple I think of Stephanie. It's similar to seeing one of your friend's favorite things and thinking of them.
   And then there are those moments when you see people that look like your characters and that's always interesting. It's kind of surreal, in a way. Like the other day, I saw a girl with curly red hair and blue eyes and I immediately thought of Amy from Stephanie's Story. She just reminded me so much of the way I envisioned that character. I nudged my mom and told her, and she looked at me as though I were growing a second head. But that's just part of being a writer; sometimes people think you're crazy.
   There are times when I start to miss some of my old characters. Yesterday I looked through the Misfit Like Me document and as I scrolled, nostalgia washed over me. It made me miss Madeline, and sometimes I wonder what she's up to. Maybe she and Alice have been visiting during school vacations, Madeline making arrangements to go to art school while Alice still dreams of Cosmetology College.
   Sometimes when thinking of past stories I wonder if there needs to be a sequel. Sometimes the answer to that is no. This makes me wonder if that would hurt the characters feelings. I know they aren't real, it's just that I have an attachment to them. And maybe it's partly due to the fact that these characters are pictures of real life people. There really are girls like Stephanie, Madeline, Hayley, Amy, Alice, Leah, Reagan, Breanna, Karen, etc... out there and they all need Jesus and to be told that they're beautiful and loved.
   I don't know if reading this post helped you relate to me, or if I only managed to make you think I really am nuts, but either way I hope you enjoyed it.

-Miranda Atchley

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