The FruitBats were born in the fall of 2013, but didn’t truly come to life until the spring of the following year, when I started to develop them into characters instead of just a collection of fun plushies.
This habit started when I was very young. My older brother and I had vast universes and layers of stories we would spend hours playing in. Toys had their own cultures, planets, and solar systems. We drew maps, and what their civilizations would look like. A Barbie doll could marry a plush crab who was a drummer in a classic rock band. A tribe of blankets could live like traditional Mongolians in a sprawling desert inhabited by giant Dune-esqe sand worms. It was, as someone told me once- like growing up in Narnia.
When I was in school, starting in about 7th grade, I would write novels, all with human characters averaging around 30 years old. I find it funny that at age 30, I am now returning to the roots of childhood. I will be picking up some plushies, and creating a world for them and maybe, one day, some other kids will be inspired to play on Willowyk Island.