If You Could….


          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.

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About charliegreenberry

I grew up in the wilds of New Mexico in a strange combination of free and restricted. Now, as I stumble unwillingly into adulthood, I find memories resurfacing. So I dust them off, sand them, slap on a coat of paint and display them with the hopes that at some point they'll make sense and pull the room together. The blog is a space for writing, for sharing, someday sharing without worrying about who is reading it, and a place to practice. Virginia Woolf said, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Well, here's to having a room at least.
This entry was posted in day dreams, time travel, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to If You Could….

  1. Chris says:

    Based on purely superficial reasons, I’m going to Studio 54’s opening night.
    Or maybe 1930’s France. I promise I won’t actually do anything with Henry Miller…I’ll just flirt with him a little.

    Listen, can I go more than once?

    • Of course you can go more than once, but we’ll have to get you special permission to go to France. They’re awefully suspicious of the program. 😉 And I’m not sure time-traveling flirtations count anyway.

  2. Courtney says:

    Hmm…I think I’d have to go back to the ’30s, Chicago or New York or San Fransico, set up shop as a detective, and have a little fun. 🙂

  3. Caity says:

    Yay for the Lord of the Rings reference! Also, you’d look adorable with finger curls. Okay, where in American history would I go? Hmmm. I think I’d have to go with the 50s. The war is over, the men are home, and everyone is eager to relax and focus on what is important in life. I could have a lovely home with the trademark white picket fence and stay home all day baking delicious goodies.

    • The 50’s would suit you well. And I’m so glad you caught that! I knew you would. There would be a line around your house of people trying to get yummy treats.

      • Caity says:

        Hahaha. Yes there would be. I would totally make an awesome witch in a gingerbread house! Except that I’m not evil and all. But if I was, I’d be great at it! I totally loved your comment about what writers do to science. It made me giggle. I might use it sometime! (giving you the credit of course. Everyone would know it wasn’t me anyways.)

  4. Caitlin says:

    I would go back to 1870ish Lincoln, New Mexico and charm the heck out of William H. Bonney aka Billy the Kid. He would fall head over heels in love with me and we would live out our days as wanted criminals. Oh, and so help Pat Garrett if he tries to mess with my man.

    I swear we were together in a past life. I’m an old soul and Billy is a kindred spirit.
    Oh, Billy, my boy bandit King.

    • Having grown up in Billy the Kid country where everyone tries to psycho-analyze the kid, I’d have to agree that the two are you are meant for one another. In fact, you might have already gone back in time to woo him. I do believe he had a dark-haired, light-skinned senorita at some point. I promise to give you a lift on the time machine as soon as I build it. You’ll make a darling couple.

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