Time Travel

Time travel…earth-11015_640

In 1895 H.G. Wells wrote of it in The Time Machine and it still piques our interest more than one hundred years later. The Time Traveler’s Wife is a recent addition to the genre and even became a movie.

Waiting for Dusk slowly grew and changed into a time travel novel in my mind. My original idea included a dream world and reality. As I continued on, I thought, “Why not make this real?”

The first thing I discovered was that time travel needs rules. You definitely need them and have to stick by them. There can be amendments and add-ons but the mainframe has to be set in stone–how the character gets there and how they return.

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers but since my second book is named, Call of the Canyon, I can tell you that Katie goes back to the Grand Canyon in 1927.

Since Waiting for Dusk is a young adult romance novel, time travel becomes an important part of the story. It’s the only way she can get to see the boy she loves.

In the beginning, she doesn’t know she’s time traveling and it becomes one of the major plot points of the book. Katie slowly begins to realize she’s not dreaming and that this world she visits could be real.

Call of the Canyon continues the story of Katie and Drew.  It explores more in depth the affects of time travel on people’s lives. Their biggest worry is not to change history; just be observers. Somehow that doesn’t quite work out. It’s difficult to go somewhere and not interfere, participate or make suggestions. As soon as that happens, history changes.

Questions also arise about age and returning to the same time period over and over again. Will there be multiples of one person? Do people remember you if they met you before? Do you stay the same age? Since my characters return to only one period in time, these questions needed to be addressed.

With the resurgence of the “Doctor Who” BBC television show, time travel is becoming popular again. In my third and final book of the series, Stealing Time, there’s a shout out to the show. Fans, I hope, will chuckle at the subtle reference.

Many people wish they could travel through time. Some would choose the past and others the distant future. Although we realize this could never happen, we can’t help wonder if there’s a slight possibility. And that’s why we read. To escape. To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before. To go back in time. To see the future. To time travel.

 

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Turn Left

Donna-Noble

If you’re a fan of Doctor Who you may recognize the title of my post today.  During the 10th Doctor’s reign one of the episodes was given this title. Donna Noble was his companion at the time. For those of you unfamiliar with the BBC series, the Doctor is a Time Lord, a time-travelling humanoid alien, and rarely travels through time and space alone. He always has a companion or two come along for his adventures.

In “Turn Left”, Donna is the star of the show. Everything focuses on her and the choices she makes.  She’s sitting at a stoplight and her mother’s in the passenger seat. They’re arguing over which way to turn. If Donna went left, she would take a job as a temp at a security firm. Right would take her to a job at a friend’s business.

Watching the episode, you already know that Donna’s job is a temp. That’s when she meets back up with the Doctor—who she met once before. They’re separately investigating a revolutionary diet pill at the firm she’s working at. She’s been looking into strange occurrences hoping to run into the Doctor again, and to her delight, she does.

As you watch her sit at the stoplight, you assume you know the answer. She will turn left. Not in this episode. Her mother wins out and Donna turns right.

The course of history is now altered because of that move. Donna never meets up with the Doctor. She doesn’t even know him.  She never convinces him to leave an area that’s flooding and he drowns. The Doctor is not around to save the world anymore. Her decision creates an alternate universe with major changes in history.

The changes aren’t pretty. A dsytopian society is created after the destruction of London. Things keep going from bad to worse all because of making the wrong turn…or choice.

Think of your own life. Do you ever wish you turned right instead of left? It could create a whole new timeline and wipe out the existing one. Your life as you know it wouldn’t even be a distant memory. Would you be glad you did? Or have regrets?

Fun and somewhat crazy to think about. Left? Right? Which will it be? Well, Donna knew. She made the ultimate sacrifice to make things right again.

As I watched the show, it got me to thinking…and comparing. This story was very much like part of the plot in my second book. I asked the same questions. What would Kate’s life be like if her parents never met? Or her father stayed in the past? What happens to everyone’s lives? Would she even be born?

Philosophical questions. No one has the answers. That’s what makes it fun. Pondering over the “what ifs” in life make it interesting. With a bit of luck, we all make the right choices in the end. If not, maybe you’ll be at that stoplight one day, debating which way to turn. When you make the final decision, there may be no going back, no second chance. You’ll be on a new path in life’s journey. And hopefully, while you sat at that light, you made the right decision and turned left.

 

Dr.Seuss vs. Doctor Who

cat in hatdoctor who

Bow ties are cool. I think the Cat in the Hat and the eleventh Doctor would agree on that. The eleventh doctor, you ask? I’m talking about the character on the BBC television show  Doctor Who. Until recently, I didn’t know much about him except that a few family members watched and had long, private discussions about him.

Doctor Who, you see, time travels. He travels through space and time, seeking out new adventures. Since my book is about that very subject, time travel, I thought I should investigate. After watching a few episodes, I felt the show was not for me. It was a little bit goofy, a little bit strange and a lot of very fast talking. A funny thing happened though. After being away from it, I wanted to know what was going on in the world of Doctor Who. I told my husband we had to finish the first season to see the Doctor regenerate if nothing else. That’s what he does, transforms into a new Doctor but he’s still the same person. I wanted to watch the new Doctor (David Tennant would now play the part of the tenth Doctor) and see how he embraced the role.

Then my son cancelled Netflix and that was the end of the Doctor…until we found him on the BBC America channel. We somehow got started watching Season Four right up to the current episode and now we’re hooked.

I’m going to tell you why I love Doctor Who. He’s very much like the great writer, Dr. Seuss, who I loved as a child and still do to this very day. They both can be silly and not make sense but in the end they tell a great story. Sometimes there’s even a lesson thrown in for good measure. They have a very unusual way with prose and can state the obvious in very interesting ways.

Some of their quotes are silly and fun. Some of them make you think a ton.
So now it’s time for the great quote-off!  And you can choose the ones for you.
There may be some you’ll like or there may be some you’ll boo.
(Just thought I’d try my hand at a little Seuss prose.)
So let’s begin!

The Great Quote-Off
Dr. Seuss: You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
VS.
Doctor Who: You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!

Dr. Seuss: Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small.
VS.
Doctor Who: You know in 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.

Dr. Seuss: Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.
VS.
Doctor Who: Time isn’t a straight line. It’s all… bumpy-wumpy. There’s loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays.

Dr. Seuss: I box in yellow Gox box socks.
VS.
Doctor Who: It’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey…stuff.

Dr. Seuss: All those Nupboards in the Cupboards they’re good fun to have about. But that Nooth gush on my tooth brush…..Him I could do without.
VS.
Doctor Who: I’m the clever one. You’re the potato one. Now go away.

So there you have it, some really great quotes to help you through life.
What have we learned here today? Well, these two things…
Doctor Who: One blue box, some companions and he’s on his way.
Doctor Seuss: Many great books, a multitude of characters and he’s off and writing.
What’s not to like?

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”

From Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by the great Dr. Seuss