I was thinking about the question of what would call me away from my time and place. In Octavia Butler’s Kindred, the main character, Dana, gets pulled into the past to rescue her own ancestor. Obviously, if he were to die, she would never have been born, so that sets up an interesting connection. In other time travel stories, the characters have been sent back to their own pasts to rectify a mistake that sent them down an alternative path, or they have been propelled into the future to convey some missing knowledge from their time.
There are many scenarios. But what would pull me away? Because I’m a writer, I create a strong bond with my characters and their world. When I am writing, I am often sucked into their world. I’m oblivious to time or even distractions in my everyday reality. Since I generally write contemporary stories, I wouldn’t be going into the past or the future, so my call wouldn’t be time travel but rather an escape to an alternative reality.
Since it’s a reality of my own making, I could operate freely with a lot of confidence. I picture the setting in sensory detail as I write, so I’d be familiar with the sights and the sounds. I could walk among the people who inhabit my stories and know everyone I see. I know how they talk and how they react. I know who I like and who’s not so nice.
My worlds are not without danger; in fact, I deliberately put my characters in danger. If they have a fear or a weakness, you can be sure I’ll make them face it, and I can imagine that I would also be put to the test there as well. My heroes and heroines face their trials with strength and integrity. I hope I would fare as well.
bridge photo by Ellen Vance, the road photo by Johnny Lucas