Once I read Lisabet's entry, I had a better idea of what the topic was about, but I'd already written mine, so that's what you get to read.
I’m not to the point where I wander down Venice Boulevard and scream “What did I ever do to you?” at parking meters, so I think I’m good on the reality check level. I mean, once upon a time I saw a woman walk past a laundry mat in Santa Monica wearing nothing but flip-flops, but didn’t pinch myself to check if I was dreaming. I’ve also attended a wedding ceremony that was conducted entirely in Klingon. I might have imbibed a bit heavily from the blood ale before the event, but I swear that it happened.
So are we talking sex? I’ve done a lot of things I’ve written about, many I’d gladly repeat, and look forward to doing more. Have I done them all? No.
Or are we talking about worlds we’ve created that we’d rather live in?
Do you remember back when past life regression was a big thing? Did you ever notice that no one was a poor peasant who died in a puddle of his/her own diarrhea during a diphtheria epidemic? Nope. Sometimes, the people who
paid dearly for this ego fluffing went through the regression were “mere” nobility or a high priestess or some whatnot that wasn’t as cool as being the ruler, but had a pivotal role in history. Usually though, they were some kind of king or queen. Looking at the sheer volume of living people on this planet at this time (more, I think, than lived on earth during the entire reign of the Roman Empire, combined), odds are that the recycle bin for king/queen/high priestess souls emptied out pretty darn fast and god had to dip into the “huddled masses yearning to be free” vault just to keep up with the birthrate. At last, I assume so. Maybe we’re getting homogenized souls at this point: 99.9% miserable peasant, with a soupcon of nobility so that we can live in a world where, in the words of the Prairie Home Companion, “Every child is above normal.”
In other words, if the worlds I create for my stories are as complete as I hope they are, chances are that if I lived in one of them, I wouldn’t be one of the three people off on the grand adventure. I’d be the dung farmer living half a continent away. And even if I were lucky enough to head out on the grand adventure, I know that I wouldn’t be the fit, fast, smart main character. More likely, I’d be the comic relief who, before the third chapter, would toss down her sword/magic talisman/ruby slippers and scream, “Damn it, that Nazgul got acid snot on my best tunic. I’ll be smelling that for days, and you’re telling me that the hardships haven’t even begun? This is fucked up, Dude. Tell the love interest/your mother/the king that the quest for the golden fleece/to destroy the ring/the Maltese Falcon is totally off and to just accept that life sucks. Why am I suffering to break a curse put on someone who was too damn mean to give a crust of bread to a starving crone?Tell the one suffering from the curse to fix their own problems, and to stop being such a jerk. I’m going back to my dung farm.”
After all, I’m a writer. I can dish it out to my characters, but I can’t take it. That’s reality, and I’m more comfortable there.