A couple of weeks ago I went to an evening event for adults at the National Museum. It was the latest in their Night at the Museum series, and this one had a Heroes and Villains theme.
We were encouraged to dress up, make masks, shoot Nerf bullets at the ninja balloon targets, and ‘fly’ against the green screen, as well as learn a bunch of stuff about historical heroes and villains, forensics, and much more. I had a whole packet of fun.
Mmm – see my fake scar!
The next weekend, I was hanging out with the lovely CSFG peeps, at the Noted writing festival. We were making bespoke flash fiction for anyone who wandered up and wanted it, or passers-by could grab one of the pre-prepared stories. I had a great time, escaping off into tiny little stories, and so did everyone else.
Thoughts on escapism have been fermenting in my brain ever since. They keep rising to the surface, executing Kraken-esque rolls, only to sink back into the abyssal depths. What keeps throwing me off, is all the memes on the theme of ‘to hell with this adulting gig’ which flit across my social media awareness.
I don’t want to talk about unicorn frappes, and fidget spinners, and the trend for immature behaviours in adults. I don’t want to discuss man-child tantrums from people in the public eye. I don’t even want to consider how sitting in the dirt making mud pies is arguably more fun than doing the dishes. Those aren’t my preferred method of escape from the trials, tribulations, slings and arrows of day-to-day life.
I like fiction.
Made-up story worlds are my access-all-areas pass for fun.
Now, that can spill over into real life with a little villainous cosplay.
But, I’m happiest reading or writing fiction. And, if I could judge from the delight on people’s faces, as they received stories written just for them, I’m not alone in that.
Of course I’m not alone in that.
Even better, reading isn’t just harmless fun – it’s good for me. It makes me smarter, gives me better problem-solving and lateral thinking skills, and helps me develop empathy. My reading is practically a public service.
It’s so good in fact, that it kind of makes me a superhero.
Which doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun, and play the villain.