The Wishing Map 1

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)


Bedtime is the time to stall. And asking for “a story” is the best way to do it. In response to such requests, many years ago I began improvising an ongoing story for my daughters about two princesses, who coincidentally happened to have the same names as them. Princesses Amanda and Elizabeth lived in a castle at the end of a cul-de-sac with Queen Mommy and King Daddy (hey, when you’re five years old this is great stuff). Wishing pix-Map

Their adventures at the end of the cul-de-sac continued until one night when the Princesses stumbled upon a fantastical world accessible via a mysterious map. This was an immediate box office smash. From now on, my daughters insisted that all of their namesake adventures be “Wishing Map stories!”

The epic continued into the middle of middle school when King Daddy, who happened  to be working in the movie biz, Wishing pix-Themeshad an offer from another magical kingdom to pitch ideas for an animated TV series. The first thing he/I thought was, “The Wishing Map!” Calling it “a modern American Chronicles of Narnia,” the Disney folks were enchanted. I worked on the storyline and characters—the two leads having morphed into a brother and sister named Zack and Gina Dore—while illustrators created the concept art.

Wishing pix-AviarEverything was magical until one day some mid-level minions said, “Holy bleep! This is going to cost a ton-a-money!” In computer animation, the more settings and characters a show has, the more it costs. And The Wishing Map had scads of both. So the animated series was put on hold until its creator (me) could create a book series that was successful enough to justify spending a bleeping ton-a-money!

Some years have passed. It took a while for this script writer to learn how to be a novelist. In the meantime the Disney offer cooled. Will it ever happen?  Don’t know.  Don’t care. I’ve fallen in love with writing fiction!  So I’ll keep on going either way.

Want to join me?  The journey begins now!

The Wishing Map

Prologue: The Unknown

“There’s magic in the world. And it’s waiting to be found.”

That was what Zack and Gina Dore’s Aunt Aloysia always said just before she left. She never told them what she meant. She never explained anything, ever.  Never told them when she was coming, either.  Just arrived, then left, a week later, an hour later, and never a word about when she’d be back. She was like one of those ultraviolet lights that lets you see things you didn’t know were there. When Aloysia was present you suddenly realized the world wasn’t the way you thought it was, and the things you thought you had control over, you didn’t. For example:

When Zack was seven years old, he noticed that the Centerburg Northern always took precisely eight minutes to pass Middleton. Always. So he’d come to think of Middleton as exactly eight minutes long. He’d taken comfort in this, secure in the fact that he lived in an eight minute long town. Then one day, right after one of Aunt Aloysia’s visits, the train hurtled past in four minutes.

Impossible. How did Middleton get to be four minutes long? It bugged him, really bugged him. If Middleton could change, what else could? Would he wake up one day and find his dad turned into a hippopotamus? His house into a lake? His sister into a bowl of ice cream? (Well, some change can be good.) Of course, he was older now, and understood about things like rate and motion. Still, he’d never felt quite as certain about anything since then. After all, if time and distance weren’t fixed, what was?

Nothing. Because, like ants in the pantry, the uncontrollable, the unknown, will always find a way in.


And for the Dore family, the way in was Aunt Aloysia.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

Thoughts: Is our concept of reality, like Zack’s “eight minute long town,” based on limited experience?  If there really is “magic in the world,” what needs to change before we can find it?

To read The Wishing Map 2, click here.

Wishing pix-Map

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Story Power, The Wishing Map and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

246 Responses to The Wishing Map 1

  1. Roo's Ruse says:

    Somebody help me, I can’t read fast enough. More tea and I’ll be on to the next chapter.

    Liked by 2 people

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  9. SonniQ says:

    You have a wonderful imagination. Disney lost out on making a ton of money with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. SonniQ says:

    Reblogged this on Watch and Whirl and commented:
    . . . .I’m posting this just to get you started. You are on your own to get from chapter to chapter. Let yourself be a kid again. the world today is too heavy, anyway. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

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  19. numrhood says:

    my favorite character gina dore

    Liked by 1 person

  20. gerrymackrell says:

    keep up the good work. You seem to have found the road MAP to success. (pardon the pun)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is great! Like if Lewis (C.S. and Carroll both) met Dickens.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. tinagk says:

    Loved it! I am officially hooked…and now a fan! Inspired even. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ahh, here’s the answer to my question! Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Anni Harry says:

    This is so great!! I may have to begin reading this aloud to my son as a bedtime story – I haven’t tried my hand at fiction for a 5 year old, but I bet he’d eat this up!

    Thank you for sharing this great concept, series, and inspiring me to consider creating my own stories for my children! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Viola Bleu says:

    What a treat! This is going to take some reading, but I’m delighted to have found the beginning! How exciting … love a story and a made up one for five year olds (as they were at the start) is more exciting than an existing tale to an older child! Bravo ..

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jacquie says:

    I am so glad to have stumbled upon this treasure! This is going to be fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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  28. I love this Mitch! ALL of this.

    My Dad was an amazing storyteller too. And he used to also, insert all four of our names into his stories. To this day – Mickey Mouse on the diving board taking turns with my siblings in me – lights up my brain, just by memory.

    Thank you for helping us all to wish for more.

    🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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