Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I is for Imaginary Voyage

Still scrambling at the last minute to get a post out, but we did manage to do the shopping and scrub the kitchen. How many words is that worth?


From A to Z

Imaginary voyage was difficult. I didn’t even know what it was when I found it on a list of genres and subgenres. A quick Google led me to the sad realization that it was more popular genre when there were still many uncharted areas of the globe. Making my story fit either meant making up a fake land and “putting” in our world or imagining how it would have been when people didn’t know what really was further than current maps where the cartographer had placed the sea monsters. I am not sure I did it correctly, but it was fun after I finally found inspiration.

The long journey across the seven seas was coming to an end. As I looked out over the railing I could see fish swimming along the boat. Before us was a castle in the distance along with many other mismatched buildings. When we docked there were horn cleats to tie our vessel to like they were visited often.

We disembarked and headed toward the castle. The people in this land were friendly and appeared similar to us, except many of them near the entrance had one giant white hand with only 4 digits on it. As we made our way through the land it was like they were herding us toward the castle. I felt distinctly like cattle being tended. There were flowers and shaped topiaries placed every few feet offering some shade from the intense sun and something pretty to look at.

We moved forward and passed by enormous pillars with a small stone road that couldn’t be much wider than 2 feet, suspended in the air. We were herded under it and separated into lines. The people searched our things all while smiling and making polite conversation. We moved forward and there were several trees in cages with stone benches around them.

A large clock tower was the main focal point with two tunnels on either side leading into the main street of the kingdom. We were moving toward the castle, but no one seemed to really know what was going on. So many things were going on around us that trying to take it all in was overwhelming. There was music that appeared to come from nowhere. Could the rocks sing in this strange place? On the other side of the tunnel we wandered into the city hall and spoke to a lovely and helpful woman who arranged a meeting with the nobility of this kingdom for us. The only times left for the day were close to our arrival, but it was what we had come here to do so that fit our desires well. It would be unwise to travel to a kingdom as grand as this and not make ourselves known to the local nobility.

There was quite a commotion in the center of the town square. People seemed to be lining up to meet or maybe worship a giant yellow dog that walked on it's two hind legs and a white cat almost the same size. The crowd in line looked excited and possibly hypnotized.

Choosing to avoid the throng as well as worshiping the strange animals we headed down the main street. This kingdom had a bustling trade going. The shoppers scurried in and out of the many stores that all had open doors. The smells drifting from some of them were amazing. Incredible confections stacked to the ceiling in one and royal garb in another, with everything in between. Traveling performers stopped to entertain us. My favorite was the striped quartet of singing men.

There were rail tracks embedded in the roads, but all traffic in the kingdom gates I had seen were on foot or tiny blue carts for children. I only had a short time to wonder how they could safely move a train through the thickness of bodies packed on the street when a team of horses came slowly through the streets drawing a trolley on the tracks. The trolley was full of smiling and waving young people. It was drawing a lot of attention so we paused to see what was going on. Right in the middle of the road the trolley stopped and the everyone clambered out and began singing and dancing. The inhabitants of this place were a joyful and vocally talented lot, but we had a goal and the castle was close now.

Before us was a central plaza with an elevated statue of a man and a rodent of unusual size holding hands and surveying the street in the center. The large anthropomorphic animal theme was beginning to worry me, but I seemed to be the only person who looked concerned in the least. Our guide reminded us we had an appointment at the royal table and we certainly didn’t want to keep the royalty waiting. They generally had little patience for such things.

Just before the castle there was an immense stage probably for addressing the populace. Two sweeping inclined bridges formed twin ramps over a stream and up to the castle’s tunnel entrance. The ramps were packed with people coming and going. We walked up to the castle and found a sign for the royal table. We were ushered inside they said the princess was awaiting our arrival.

The first step into the impressive grand hall stopped me in my tracks. The reception room was filled with plush rugs, fine draperies and the crafting on the carvings were gorgeous. However, the most breathtaking feature of this room was the stunning princess awaiting us. She stood regally in her light blue dress with her golden hair done up in a loose bun exposing her elegant neck. Her eyes sparkled with warmth and kindness. Her smile was captivating, she had my devotion and she hadn’t even asked for it yet. This truly is a magic kingdom.

Thomas More's Utopia is a classic example of imaginary voyage, along with Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. I am not finding any modern examples because imaginary voyage has greatly fallen out of favor while science fiction has taken it’s place. Space being the final frontier and all. Do you know of any more modern imaginary voyage books? Let me know in the comments.

Camp Nano Update

I am at 6,711 and should be at 8,000. I am 1,289 words behind and only averaging 559 words per day. Though I did over 800 for the I story.

Photos by Pixabay.


  1. Stopping by during the #Challenge. Love finding new blogs. Congratulations on an ambitious theme. Finding a fellow writer makes me smile because I have some idea what it takes to participate. While you have been busy at work, my theme this year was hotels and inns. It was great fun to research and write about. If you have time or interest, join me for some arm chair travel.

    1. I certainly will. I love reading about travel, especially if there are great pictures to go along with it.