Promises to imaginary people

There they were again, the characters whose stories I’ve left in limbo while life gives me other tasks. “I’m coming, friends, I’m coming,” I wrote, “I —”

I almost wrote “I promise,” but my promises can mean nothing. To paraphrase the Jedi master, “Do, or do not; there is no promise.”

A promise is a placeholder: I will do this thing, perhaps not here and now (unless the promise is to love you forever, and then of course it’s here and now and always). A promise to do something is an IOU, and sometimes — some agonizing and embarrassing times — you can’t deliver what you owe.

I hope I can use the memory of those broken promises — the pain of letting someone else down — to motivate my follow-through for my stranded characters, and all the rest. I hate disappointing other people and myself, even when — or perhaps especially when — the people are imaginary. Does that make sense?

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, a golden retriever named Dejah Thoris Princess of Mars, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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