Have you heard of Ballet Parking? The World’s Largest Thong? Or celebrated Have a Bad Day Day? Maybe you’ve read Harry Potter, taken a Zip Car or tried the new Fare Share taxi app in NYC. Those are all figments of some one’s imagination gone terribly real.
I have had enough experience to believe that imagination rocks.
For many of us, we also have visions, but for whatever reason, we have failed to act, the time has passed or the critic within us won. I want to offer some encouragement not to let the dream die and to honor yourself and your creativity enough to take the time, energy and courage to develop whatever it is.
In the early 1980′s I had an idea to write a book about hosting unusual parties – The Ralph Kramden Bowling Classic, A Symphony Party where I supplied the “Instruments”, Alice’s Tea Party Birthday..you get the drift. So I sat down and wrote a synopsis with a chapter outline and sent it to a Chicago publisher. To my absolute shock, they responded, sent a contract, agreed on an advance and off I went to become an author.
1. That I wasn’t a writer was not a problem. I’d write, find an editor and she’d make it legible.
2. That I had no experience and no sense of the task wasn’t a problem either.
The plan was simple. Do it and figure it out along the way.
I did write my book and it was published. It has since gone on to make an excellent hot plate with sales skyrocketing to at least $1.25 per copy if you can find one. BUT what it DID do was embolden my imagination. (here comes the good part)
When it was time to release my dog of a book, Parties with Panache, I needed a really great party with panache to bring it to market. That’s when my imagination kicked into overdrive.
I imagined the party should be in the elevators of one of Chicago’s tallest buildings. It should be at rush hour, 5:00 for cocktails and have singers, violins and a serving cart with bubbly and appetizers on wheels so we could move from elevator to elevator.
I went home and developed the party plan with every detail my imagination could conjur and called the management office of the John Hancock Center and made an appointment to present it. Riding in the elevator to the meeting there was a moment I thought, “This is crazy!” It’s that silent place where you inhale and either decide to plant the flag on the summit or leap off the mountain.
The meeting went as planned to serious nodding heads. After the presentation, the first words said were, “We have a problem with this.” (smile, breathe, duh) ”We’d like to use our own caterer.”
“That can be arranged.” I said
“And we’d like to also have the party in the lobby so we can make sure everyone in the building can enjoy it. We’ve been looking for a great idea to host a holiday party and this is it. You can set up a table and sell your books and the band can be near the windows.”
The Elevator Party went off without a hitch. The management picked up the tab and a great time was had by all. The irony is, one of the singers in the elevator was from a group called Star Dust – and 20 years later she found me on the internet and became a Big Ooga member.
Here is a link to J.K. Rowling’s commencement address to Harvard on the importance of imagination. http://tinyurl.com/5wtgfa Dream on! Ooga on! You can do it!