It actually is a word. It means, depending upon where you look, something along the lines of seeming more appropriate to a fairy tale than to reality. Every now and again, I stumble across an image, either a photo or a work of art, sometimes that’s completely fantasy or speculative, or sometimes a photograph that artfully twists the light as it captures its subject, that causes my mind to spring into the “what-ifs?” What if…that were a girl teleporting? An alien hovering above the ground in a globe? A man who can breathe fire? All of the things that we read about as being beyond the realm of reality, that we refuse to believe in on the surface, yet thrill at reading or watching on a weekend.
Sometimes I read a book that takes me to that place, an inventive way to take on a genre or two and meld them together. These books have the same effect.
And, honestly, sometimes it isn’t even about whether or not the novel or painting or photograph is of some stunning degree of excellence I’ve never encountered before. While they have to be subjectively good to take me to that place, they don’t have to be the best…just imaginative.
That, to me, is the fantastical. I cling to those moments of the fantastical because they take me out of the rational, the technological, the gravity-bound rules and parameters of daily life, which can sometimes sink to doldrums, and take me away to a different galaxy, a different dimension, with different people. That, in turn, inspires me to write different galaxies and dimensions and people in the hopes of saying something important.
I hope that you have a great weekend, and that you find ways to achieve some sort of imaginative escape velocity to launch yourself beyond the day-to-day and into a place that will feed you with the fantastical.