12 February 2009

It was all started by

There are days when, like all writers of any sort, I stare for hours at a blank sheet of paper. I get up and stretch, watch a movie, read a non-Disney book, go for a walk, listen to some music from my younger years, anything to take my mind off of writing. Then I will return to my office, peruse various memorabilia, scan some magazine articles or Disney text books, or even file through my large collection of Walt Disney World photographs I have collected over the past several years. But there are rare days when even that is not enough to find inspiration to write something related to Disney. On those days I turn to The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

In my Meet Our Neighbor segment for Imaginerding I cited the set of Imagineering Field Guides as some of my favorite Disney books because, “these books are full of fascinating stories and features, but they don't give so much information that the average guest would be overwhelmed. Instead, for the Disney geeks out there, I look at the guides as starting point. If a particular aspect is of interest to a reader, there are plenty of resources available to further your edu-mouse-cation.” But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Magic Kingdom Field Guide was the first book I picked up when I began my serious study into the world of Walt Disney World. Sure, I had collected other books and pictorial souvenirs over the years, but I hadn’t really scratched beneath the veneers and varnishes. Part of me wanted to keep up the illusion and remain ignorant of what gave Walt Disney World the air of magic, but another piece of me, the questioning and academic child, wanted to know why, how, when, who, what, and where about everything that fell under the auspice of Walt Disney World. Then I found this book.

The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom has been quoted many times on the Main Street Gazette, along with the other volumes in the series, though not as much as of late. I don’t use it as a resource in my writing or as guide book to my adventures like I did just a few short years ago. I have since found more detailed accounts of the histories, more in depth explanations of methods, and larger pieces of the concept art found within its pages. And yet, it is always the book I seek out when I am frustrated. After a few pages, I can start writing again, usually about something unconnected to what I read (like the stone plates that sit along the wall outside of Expedition Everest).

The book shows signs of how loved it is: the corners of the cover are unrecognizable and fraying, the pages have begun to whiten around all of their edges, and when it rests upright the spine opens to treasured passages. It should probably be put away upon a shelf, in a place of reverence for what is has given to me, in order to make room for a fresher copy to hold its place years from now after the book is no longer available in print, but still it stays. The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is, in all senses, my blanket. I will carry it, as Linus did his own blue blanket, for security, for comfort, and as a reminder of the good times long beyond the time that it is fashionable.

Blank pages should tremble.


Princess Fee said...

I love these Imagineering Field Guide books - they are great for any Disney fan! And yes, they are certainly good for those 'blank page' days.
I am thankful for them because then we get so many more Main Street Gazette articles!

Disneyana World said...

Wonderful insight into your creative process.

These books are a lot of fun and I can't wait to complete the series.