Her Idea by Rilla Alexander

Sozi has an idea, in fact she has hundreds of ideas but they are slippery and illusive and when she comes to turn her ideas into reality she finds it’s not so easy. Then a passerby offers some hope. The passerby is a book which looks very much like the one that you are holding in your hands (more so if you remove the dust jacket). It helps capture her ideas and keep them safe until she is ready to do something with them.

Alexander captures the trickiness of the process of turning ideas into art. And how it takes hard work (stretching and pulling and cutting) to transform ideas into something more tangible, in this case a picture book.  It very cleverly plays on the slippery notion of what is real and what is in your imagination and how ideas are transported from one person to another through the physical medium of the book.

Sozi demonstrates that you don’t have to know how things will end when you embark on a creative endeavour. As it turns out, her ending to the story turns out to be a beginning – the story of how Sozi got to be in the book you are holding in the first place. Like a Russian doll, Sozi becomes a character in the book within the book. Sozi is transformed from author/narrator to idea. Or was she always an idea that we, through reading, turned to something more tangible for a moment?

Can stories trick us? Is it the same as lying?

Are ideas real?

Are ideas better that reality?

Do we distort them when we make them tangible?

Is there a world of ideas more perfect than physical reality?

What is perfection?

Where do ideas come from?