As you may have figured out by now, I like stories. Hearing them, reading them, writing them, telling them, even eavesdropping on strangers in public places to hear theirs (I ain’t droppin’ no eaves, sir!). My problem with writing them is that I tend to have a lot of one-night stands with stories. Ok, yeah, some of them turn into 500 Days of Summer-esque love affairs, but I certainly have a bad case of story OCD for anything longer than about ten pages. One thing that keeps me going on a project is making sure I have to do a lot of research, which is precisely why my most recent project is so much fun for me.
It’s a story about time-traveling drug dealers, so I get to do a bit of research into the period I’m sending them to and also, and this is what most excites me, I get to decide how time travel works. Obviously I realize I’m not going to figure it out, really, but it’s fun to decide what bit of physics I’m going to steal, stick in a literary blender, and spit out on the page. That is a pretty good explanation of what writers do to science. They gang up on it in blind alleyways, beat it with clubs, and send it home limping and swollen. In writers’ favor though, they rarely mangle it as badly as politicians do.
Anyway, this has got me thinking about where I would go if I travelled back in time. In my story, they are only able to travel backward and only on American soil (as of 2011) for political reasons. It’s got me thinking, where would I go if I could travel back anywhen in American history. While my characters are headed to the NM of 1870, I personally don’t feel qualified to do the kinds professions open for women in that time period and would hate to get stuck. I’d personally avoid the wars because I’m not keen on gangrene, and the revolutionary period is right out because the risk of running into Ben Franklin is just too darn high. If I could go anywhen, I guess it’d be the 20’s. Perhaps I’m wrapped up in romantic notions about Gatsby, but I think I could use a good dose of devil-may-care, and, vanity warning, I think I’d look good with finger curls.
So here’s the challenge: I’ve just given you the keys to my shiny new time machine. Rules are the same for the characters, you can only go backward and only on American soil as it is now. where are you going? Tell me where and why in the comments.