Friday, August 28, 2015

Vacation Day #9: When?

I've sold quite a number of books that use time travel as part of the plot.

Sean Ferrell's MAN IN THE EMPTY SUIT




Patrick Lee's GHOST COUNTRY







And a number of books that imagine a very interesting future:









You won't be surprised to learn that one of the questions we toss around when all these gents gather at the bar is "if you could travel in time, both forward and back where would you go, if you could go (and return!) to just one day."


My answer is pretty easy (remember of course that I'm a practicing Catholic): I'd go back to the time of Jesus and hang out with him and the fellas just as closely and for as long as I could.


When would you go?

92 comments:

AJ Blythe said...

I've never thought about that. It's a tricky one.

I think I'd like to take my kids back for a day to pre-technology time, when all we had was 2 stations on the tv (which is how I grew up) and no computers, mobiles (I think you guys call them cells?), tablets etc.

I'd love them to have that perspective on life.

french sojourn said...


Vienna 1900, to see Art Nouveau, the Wagner brothers, Richard and Otto (my favorite Architect) the food, the music, and the history taking place.

My second choice would be Rome, 1770 to see Giovani Battista Piranesi, the visionary artist. He sold etchng of fantastic buildings that never existed to tourists, as his insanity took hold. His prison series of etchings are to this day some of my favorite in terms of scale and depth.

Gotta go back to work in the Wine Chai. Be well.

Rakie said...

Dinosaurs.

Joyce Tremel said...

I like the hanging out with Jesus idea. I'm totally in love with the World War II era, so I'd pick the 1940s. One of these days I'm going to actually write something set back then.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Wine is great and all but I would love to have a beer with Jesus, and I hope to do that one day. I am an engineer as my day job. Created a time machine for schools. It was a bad idea. The children came back with the plague. And a dragon. We don't use the time machine anymore.

Kitty said...

I'm with Joyce; I'd like to go back to WWII, maybe even to Europe or England, to learn how people survived.

InkStainedWench said...

Assuming my trip back in time would allow me to affect history, and not just observe it:

I would go back to 1500 BC Mexico, bringing along a pair or two of oxen. They had wheeled toys, but never developed vehicles because they lacked draft animals. My gift would allow them to catch up with Eurasia, technologically, and defend against European invasions.

Beth said...

I'd be touring Greece with Lord Byron.

Marc P said...

It's a great show Beth but I didn't know he could sing as well!

Amanda Capper said...

Lol, Marc. Touring doesn't always include musical instruments.

But speaking of music, probably only as far back as Woodstock (I like modern bathroom facilities). I would have loved to slide in the mud in New York. I would have avoided the whole drug, psychedelic hogwash and just recorded it, in writing and pictures. Plus the protests. I would have written songs and sat on a corner with my guitar and an open case.

Holy crap, I'm a hippy wannabe.

S.D.King said...

Janet,
As a practicing Christian,also, your answer prompted me to think if there were a Biblical time that I would like to visit. So many! However, my favorite scene is II Kings 6:16-17, so I am going to pick that. I think I enjoy the idea that things are never as bleak as they seem - we just are not seeing the whole picture.

Kitty said...

In the movie Midnight In Paris, Owen Wilson's character travels back every night, in a vintage Peugot, to the time of Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald and Hemingway. He meets them and talks with them and others. We love this movie, if only for the music alone, i.e. Django Reinhardt.

Craig said...

Back to the day of my first marriage. Maybe I could talk myself out of it. If not I'd kick the shit out of myself.

Michael Seese said...

September 10, 2001. I'd place a very detailed call to the FBI.

Colin Smith said...

I, too, like Janet's suggestion, but given I'll be meeting the Lord the second time around (1 Thessalonians 4:16), two other possibilities jump to mind:

1) The BBC in the early 1970s. I'll offer to take all those copies of classic TV shows they are getting ready to dump--including over 100 episodes of Doctor Who--erroneously believing they have copies elsewhere. I'd probably need a truck, and to find some a suitable storage place to keep them for 20 or so years when they will be appreciated, but I'm sure we can work out those details. :)

2) There are various points in my life I would like to revisit, not to change anything, but to clarify my recollection, and recall those precious moments more vividly. The temptation to change events so the outcome might be more favorable would be great, but I can only hope that I would consider the consequences. For example, if I had spent more time hitting the books instead of my keyboard when I was in Sixth Form, I would have gone to Nottingham University (my first choice), I wouldn't have met my wife, my six precious children would not exist, and I probably wouldn't be here now typing this to you all.

Fun idea, though. :)

Donnaeve said...

As long as this time travel event allowed my memory to be "zapped" to remove my knowledge of modern amenities (a/c, plumbing, dishwashers, cars...you get the picture) then I'd actually like to go back to the Wild Wild West, and hang out with Doc Holliday (my father said we're related - my grandmother's maiden name was Holliday, but nobody's proven it)Wyatt Earp, and some of the other infamous folks of that time. I'd love to see Buffalo Bill Cody and I'd especially love to see Annie Oakley shoot.

Laura Mary said...

Forward - to The Restaurant At The End of The Universe :-)

I have spent a great deal of my childhood (who am I kidding - my whole life) with an ear out for the *whomp whomp* of the Doctors TARDIS... If I ever hear it, you won't see me for dust!

Elissa M said...

Can I admit I'd be afraid to go anywhere?

I'd be afraid to go to the past lest I inadvertently change something which would destroy the future from which I came.

I'd be afraid to go to the future because I don't want to feel it's locked into any particular path.

If I could be guaranteed that nothing I do could change anything, I'd do a bit of research and look up an intriguing historical mystery. Then I'd go back to whichever time and solve the mystery. (Jack the Ripper, maybe?)

LynnRodz said...

I would go back and be with my father. When he passed away I was halfway around the world. Back then, it took weeks and sometimes months to communicate with family and friends. The American Express was a lifeline back then. Anyway, I would spend the day with him. *tears*

On a different note. My goodness, Amanda, you want to go back in time to when I was a hippie. Now if that doesn't make me feel old, I don't know what would! My mum still calls me her hippie daughter. I prefer to think of myself now as a chic Parisian woman. ROTFL!

Janet, your answer brought to mind a dream I had eons ago. I was walking along a dirt road and in the distance I saw a man on a hill speaking to a crowd of people. I stopped and I realized it was Jesus giving his Sermon on the Mount. I listened as he spoke about, "Blessed are the....

Like in a film, his face zoomed into mine and our eyes locked. In a blink of an eye, he was there beside me and he began to walk with me. We continued down this dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I don't remember what we spoke about, but after awhile he told me he had to go back to the people. He hugged me and said it wasn't goodbye and in an instant he was back on the mount. I remember feeling wonderful when I awoke from that dream. That happened, as I said, years ago, but I remember it as though I had the dream this morning.

I went to the Holy Land a few years after that dream and retraced many of his steps from the Sea of Galilee to the Via Delorosa, but had nothing like the feeling I had in that dream. Sorry for going off topic.

S.D.King said...

Elissa M. - I like the idea of solving a mystery - it actually crossed my mind that I would like to spy on the Ramsey house and see what really happened to Jon Benet!

LynnRodz - wouldn't it be fun to be a guest at your parents wedding? I would love to see them that young and with their lives ahead of them (spoken as my dad goes to a nursing home today, and my mom grieves the end of their shared life). And your dream? I love it.

nightsmusic said...

@Amanda Capper

No, you don't. Woodstock was dirty, completely unsanitary, drug fueled and just plain...ugh. The only way people thought it was a great party was the drugs. If you were coherent, you realized how disgusting everything was. It was cool for the first few hours though.

Hmmm...I'm not sure I'd want to go back though the early 1800's strikes my fancy. But I'd want to take running water. And penicillin. And sanitation. And then that changes too much history and that's not a good thing. Definitely do NOT want to go forward.

D. B. Bates said...

I would also go back to the time of Jesus, but not exactly for the same reasons. I've long been fascinated with both Roman life and the development of early Christianity, but as a cranky atheist, I want to see, with my own eyes, the truth. Because I'll never have faith, but I'll believe it when I see it. And try to take pictures.

Alternate: the Kennedy assassination. Sure, I'd like to know the truth of that, too, but mainly I want to know what the story is with the guy playing with the umbrella. I don't think he was flashing CIA or KGB codes to the shooter, but there are still real questions: who carries around an umbrella on a sunny day in Dallas? What kind of idiot is obsessively focused on his umbrella when THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS DRIVING DOWN THE STREET RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM? I need answers, Janet.

nightsmusic said...

@D. B. Bates

There were two shooters. And it was a conspiracy. And nothing will convince me otherwise.

William Plante said...

I wouldn't change a thing. Except learn to enunciate and be as articulate as Will Smith.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

On June 7, 1837, I would have stolen Maria Schhicklgruber's illegitimate baby. Actually I might have killed the kid. He was an innocent child and I might have rotted in hell but it would have been small price to pay.

Kitty said...

2Ns, Paul Harvey touched on that very subject in one his "The Rest of the Story" episodes: For if you, as the hypothetical physician, have opted in both cases for abortion--then you have respectively denied the world the multifaceted genius of Leonardo da Vinci--and spared humanity the terror of Adolf Hitler.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Amanda, regarding Woodstock.
A few days after the crowd cleaned they took 22 giant snapping turtles out of the pond everybody was using as a watering hole. Those turtles were known to take off fingers and toes.

History tells us that no hippies were injured while swimming or pooping in the pond.

Yup, it was gross.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thank you Kitty. Interesting twist on history don't cha-know.

LynnRodz said...

S.D., sorry to hear about your parents being separated like that. A truly sad day, indeed.

But you're right, it would be great to go back in time and be a guest at their wedding. And Jon Benet, now that's a mystery; the same for Madeleine McCann.

@nightsmusic were you at Woodstock, or is this what you imagine it was? The music alone was incredible!

Adib Khorram said...

I think my choices would depend on the nature of the time travel involved, specifically if, going backwards, I would change my own relative present if I either accidentally or purposely changed something; or if, instead, it would create a splinter timeline, and when I returned to my relative present, nothing would have changed.

The idea of going back in time to 1973 and seeing Dark Side of the Moon performed live is very appealing. But truly, I most want to see the future: whether it's bright and we as a species fulfill our potential, or whether we wipe ourselves out.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Kitty my target wasn't actually Hitler, but Hitler's father. I wonder how the world would be different.

kaitlyn sage said...

The answers here are so interesting! I think I'd like to go back to the time of the Celts in Scotland. I have so many questions, and because there isn't a written record (that I know of), I haven't got any answers.

Karen McCoy said...

I also like Janet's idea. As a fellow practicing Christian, I'd probably try to see the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:25-34

If not that, I'd try to see my grandparents' wedding day on July 30, 1929. I inherited my grandmother's engraved ring and still wear it, and I miss her a lot. Since I was born kinda late, she's the only grandparent I really got to know. She was born in 1910 (my grandfather was born in 1897 and refused to fly).

nightsmusic said...

@LynnRodz

I 'ran away from home' to go with friends. It was really cool at first until I was cold at night and couldn't find a decent place to sit or stand that wasn't covered in poop and other...things (I didn't do the drugs like others did) and though the music was absolutely awesome, it wasn't what I'd hoped. Maybe if I'd been totally drugged out, it would have been different. By the end, I just wanted to get out and go home.

I tend to avoid crowds since then...

And yes, I'm old...older...not a spring chicken? Twenty-seven trapped in a social security eligible body? Ugh...

Panda in Chief said...

I have not thought a lot about this question, but now that you've brought it up, I would love to go to Paris or London of the 1890's and hang out with my favorite painters: Sargent, Whistler, Degas, Cassatt. Maybe pick up a few tips!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Interesting question. Great answers.

I'd go back to the day my dad was buried because I wasn't there. I should have been but it wasn't my choice.

I'd go to the future.

I'd go back in history to1925, destination a Speakeasy. Then travel to the 1970s before the invention of "politically correct" and the safety hysteria we live today. There I'd ride in the back of a pickup truck on a highway with a bunch of friends and dog barking it's head off at the wind.

Maggie Maxwell said...

I want to go back and see some of the ancient wonders of the world at their prime. Any one will do. Either one of them, or the Library of Alexandria. Maybe come back with a few "souvenirs" and a lot of photography.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Interesting, so few want to see the future. Is it because we like the mystery of what happens to us, our families and the world?
I'm the kind of person who likes to know what's going to happen next. I DO NOT like surprises. Having said that, the very BEST that has happened in my life were surprises, out of left field unknowns and man behind the curtain changes.
Although if I knew fifty years ago how my life would unfold I sure wouldn't have wasted so much time worrying. A glimpse would saved a lot of tears too.

Karen McCoy said...

Absolutely, S.D. My grandparents were happily married, but not always happy as people. Especially my grandfather.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Angie,

"Then travel to the 1970s before the invention of "politically correct" and the safety hysteria we live today. There I'd ride in the back of a pickup truck on a highway with a bunch of friends and dog barking it's head off at the wind."

Amen, but I'd hit before 1973.

Adele said...

I'm getting a kick out of the assumption that if only you lived in the right years you could go hang out with whatever famous people you wanted. But I digress...

I'd go way, way back and see places that have disappeared, like Doggerland and the rest of Santorini. I'd see the way they were and how the people lived. Just to be a witness. And I'd only do it if I knew nothing I did would have a lasting effect.

Donnaeve said...

Angie, your "safety hysteria" brought to mind a segment I saw on the news the other day that had to do with "making going back to school easier" for kids and parents.

What did this mean?

It meant a brightly colored container that sat in the middle of the backseat that held all sorts of "things" for kids to occupy themselves with, including special hinged arms they could mount their notepad/ipad/device on and not have to hold it. (eye roll) It was intended to organize crafty stuff, like paper, crayons, puzzles, and such. Then they showed all kinds of "cool" booster seats kids have to sit in till they're 8 or 80 lbs. And a curvy pillow so they don't get a crick in the neck. And on the back of each front seat was an organizer for snacks, drinks, sanitary wipes, and whatever else their little hearts desired.

When the camera backed up and captured ALL that, it looked so utterly ridiculous I wanted to stick my head through the TV and sneeze on them just to see what would happen.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Mulligan! I'm focusing in on day, as per instructions, but that puts a damper on things. I might not want to return.

I'm on the go back to the time of Jesus side. I would ask to be taken to his presence and trust God to take me to the time I needed to see most. I hope it wouldn't be to see Him die.

I've always had an affinity with the Victorian era, so that's my second choice, probably the Civil War. Yes, I know it's not romantic, but that's where my heart draws. The rout at the first Manassas or be with Stuart on his ride around McClellan.

Fast forward to the late 1800's and I'd be a lady bronc rider with a wild west show. One of the shows in Europe where they meet the queen of England.

Fast forward again to the 1930's and I'd be a lady bronc rider again. Maybe I'd bump into Hemingway in Spain, which would be awesome. Spain would be an interesting stop because the contract called for them to ride bulls also and the Spaniards gave the lady bronc riders fighting bulls to ride. They also got caught at the break out of the revolution and barely made it out of the country. Exciting times.

Maggie Maxwell said...

@Carolynn, It's not so much the mystery for me, not wanting to go to the future. It's that there's nothing really solid to grab onto. If we knew the future, then I see two options: 1) we have the power to change it, thus the future is constantly in flux as people adjust their own paths or 2) the future is stable, locked in, and the changes we make will not change what is coming. What if we see something we don't like and can't change it, only know it's coming, or what if we change something and make things worse? So me, I'd rather go to the past and see the things we lost or missed than spend my whole life stressing over or struggling for or against whatever future I saw. Let the future come. I'll be here waiting for it.

James Ticknor said...

I'm curious to know, Janet...what if you traveled back in time, but couildn't find him or anyone that knew of him?

bjmuntain said...

Great question! I was thinking as I read your post, Janet, and when I saw where you would go, I thought - of course!

Imagine. Just hearing his voice. Just being there, learning at his feet.

Elsewhere... well, assuming we're going beyond our lifetimes one way or another - I won't go into the 'I would have told myself' stuff...

1915, to meet my great-grandfather before the day that changed (and shortened) his life. I've got so many questions about him!

The end of the 12th Century, to meet St Hugh of Lincoln - a very interesting yet not well-known saint. He was Bishop of Lincoln during some of the most volatile times in England and under some of the most stubborn monarchs: King Henry II, King Richard I, and King John. All three kings respected this bishop who refused to give them money for war and who would rebuke them for their sins. It's said his sense of humour and general friendliness gained him this respect. His signature is on the Magna Carta. And all this happened between 1180 and 1200. I've always wanted to meet him.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Donna,

I'm laughing so hard. I wish you could sneeze on them.

Kate Larkindale said...

I've always felt like I would have been the perfect fit in the 1920s. So that's where I'd go. Probably not forever if that's possible, but for a while…. Either that or back to my late teens. I have a few things to tell that person that will make her life that much easier and better now.

Colin Smith said...

James: I know you directed your question to Janet, but just to clarify: you're asking what if she went back to the first century and discovered Jesus didn't exist? Or are you asking "what if you arrived in first century Galilee, but Jesus was in Jerusalem and you missed him by a few days?" If the former, that same question could be applied to any of the historical figures mentioned today for whose existence we depend on literary evidence (i.e., we have no photographs, birth certificates, wills, contracts, etc.). And as with these other historical figures, the historical data is pretty clear that Jesus of Nazareth existed. There are some who hold to the idea that he didn't, but it's a small, minority opinion even among theological liberals and skeptics.

Just want to be sure what you're asking before you get in trouble with the Shark. She might welcome a challenge to her faith. But there again... :)

John Frain said...

I'd go fishing with the Old Man. So painful, when I returned home, editing would be a Sunday picnic.

Tomorrow, heck later tonight, I bet my answer's different.

David Wolf said...

I'd take a video camera or my smartphone and record Beethoven as he does some of his legendary improvisations at the keyboard. While I'm at it, I may as well do the same with Bach. And it would be great if I could stop John Wilkes Booth. This is on topic, so I hope it won't be seen as self-promo: I have a short story on Amazon called Do-Over, in which a man wakes up in his pre-teen body and pre-teen time period, but retains all his adult memories. He sets out to fix his mistakes.

Donnaeve said...

Heeeheee, Julie W, can't you just imagine the looks of horror?

Joseph Snoe said...

When I fantasize about where and when I’d go in time travel, I think usually of a longer stay but return to the exact present. My past is the time of Christ. I would like to be there for his public ministry and death - three years or so. I’d take gold coins to pay my way; and either learn Latin, Greek or whatever I should learn (or I’d be perceived as demon possessed lunatic speaking English). I’d love to take a camera with video and audio capabilities.
I’d also like to go 100 years into the future. – not sure I could handle much further ahead than that – stay maybe three months.

If only for one day –and my time “capsule” was impregnable -- I’d like to see dinosaurs in action.

P.S. E.M. Goldsmith, I could have warned you about kids and time machines.

Donnaeve said...

OFF TOPIC:

@kdjames - FYI - backing up to your question late on yesterday's post about Julia H. I'm friends with her on FB, so here's the last update I saw just yesterday around 2:20 p.m.:

Briefly: 1) The long-term stent is OUT!!!
2) Yes, I have post-procedure pancreatitis.
3) therefore I'm being readmitted, but hopefully, it won't be for long.

nightsmusic said...

Not trying to be Miss Polly Practical here (and kudos to whoever knows which movie that comes from!) but for all of you wanting to take back electrical equipment, what are you going to do after a day when the batteries have died? Just sayin'...

Colin Smith said...

Donna: Thanks for the Julie H. update. :)

Colin Smith said...

nightsmusic: If we're doing the time travel thing properly, then we're going into the future and purchasing solar powered cameras, etc. then taking them back. Of course! ;)

LynnRodz said...

Nightsmusic, I know you won't agree, but you were one of the lucky ones that made it to Woodstock! I was headed there, but was one of many of the unlucky ones who couldn't get near enough to finish on foot. Besides, my cousin wouldn't abandon her car, so we turned back.

Then a year later I was headed to the Altamont Concert and didn't make it all the way there either. That one I don't regret missing.

Oh yeah, and I understand completely, I'm still 19 years old as long as I don't look in the mirror. Lol.

Alan Milner said...

I would go back to Berlin on the evening of January 30, 1933 with a high powered rifle. Unlike the doctor who didn't perform the abortion, I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and I'm an expert marksman.

Alan Milner said...

Carolynnwith2Ns: I would not have killed the kid, because there was no way to know whether someone else might have taken his place. By the time he reached the apex of power, he had become irreplaceable and his assassination would have set off a power struggle that would have killed off all of the contestants. His power came from the fact that they were all terrified of him, but they weren't so terrified of each other.

Colin Smith said...

Here's a slightly OT thought, but one pertinent to some of the discussion. My dad was a war child--the illegitimate offspring of a young lady and a pilot. Were it not for the war, that liaison wouldn't have happened. Thus, if you assassinate Hitler, I would cease to exist. Perhaps that only gives you further justification... ;)

Theresa said...

I couldn't bear to revisit anything, good or bad, in my personal life. But I'd absolutely go to Woodstock. Sure, it rained and a lot of people took drugs, but there was lots of good music and good feelings to make it worth the trip.

nightsmusic said...

@LynnRodz

HAH! Lucky...I came home with creepy crawlies, a staph infection, three days of no sleep, absolutely no desire to ever, ever do that again, and parents who were...less than pleased with me. If I'd known when we left what it would be like, music or not, I'd not have gone. I drank. Our booze, other people's booze, things that looked like booze because of no water (I had my standards!) no food, no cover, out in the open, everyone watching you do your business wherever you found a spot and whatever business it was...no. I would not have gone. The only way you could enjoy it at all is if you took so many drugs, you don't remember how bad it was. ;)

nightsmusic said...

@ Colin Smith

You really are being too practical. Then again, if I had unlimited travel possibilities...oh, the places I could go. And keep my batteries charged. However, I'd have to make sure no one in the past saw them. Don't want to get burned at the stake for witchcraft. ;)

Amanda Capper said...

Huh. Never really thought about hippie pooping and snapping turtles. Don't want to start either.

I agree with Craig. Putting a stop to my first marriage would have been appreciated by both me and the ex.

But knowing the answers to mysteries! That wins. J the R, black dahlia, even Marilyn Monroe.

Amanda Capper said...

Huh. Never really thought about hippie pooping and snapping turtles. Don't want to start either.

I agree with Craig. Putting a stop to my first marriage would have been appreciated by both me and the ex.

But knowing the answers to mysteries! That wins. J the R, black dahlia, even Marilyn Monroe.

LynnRodz said...

Nightsmusic, OMG, after 46 years of feeling sorry I didn't go all the way (to Woodstock, mind you!) it's the FIRST TIME I'm happy I watched the film from the comfort of a university auditorium instead. THANK YOU! LOL!!!

Yes, no apologies for screaming or those exclamation points. I would've put 46 of them, but I refrained, restrained - I stopped myself.

S.D.King said...

In one of my favorite stage plays, "Our Town", Emily is allowed to go back. She cooses a regular day. To me it is one of the most beautiful and poignant scenes in American literature.

Colin Smith said...

This has to be one of the few occasions when a clip from Doctor Who is completely ON TOPIC!! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PXdwqlJ19U

nightsmusic said...

@ LynnRodz

You're welcome, I think? Yeah, it didn't take but the first 24 hours to become completely disillusioned and sorry I'd gone. But yes, the music. Oh, the music! In hindsight, I'd have been better off staying home. Just wasn't enough of a druggie, I guess. (I posted this on the wrong day...)

PS, that darned reCAPTCHA for cabbage is the bane of my existence!!!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

@Julie I'm wordless you quoted me. Those pick up rides were so fantastic. I wrote a flash fiction about a ride in a pickup with dog barking set in Las Vegas. I read it at a workshop and almost everyone thought is was futuristic. Gripes.

@Donna the safety hysteria, it's over the top and starts in the womb. The rustic are survivors, look at sharks. Humanity wouldn't be here if our ancestors depended on antibiotic-gel dispensers in every doorway.

Thinking again on this question. I'd go to Pompei before Vesuvius exploded. I'd be a painter using encausto. Then I'd go see how they made the pyramids.

kdjames.com said...

Donna, thank you!

I wasn't going to answer this question, but as long as I'm here in this comment box...

I don't think I could go to the past without meddling, and probably that would be a disaster. And if I went to the future I'd most likely feel either grief or envy upon my return, depending on what I learned. I think I'll just continue to create the past and discover the future one day at a time. I'm relieved not to have the choice.

I would, however, very much like to be able to transport magically through space. Oh, all the places I'd go if it didn't involve the hassle of travel.

Donnaeve said...

Actually, I've decided b/c we're writers we CAN go into the past or the future, or both, and do what we want.

Go to Woodstock (note to self, leave out the pond pooping)
See Annie Oakley shoot.
Kill Hitler

Whatever we want.

:)

Donnaeve said...

@kdjames - you're welcome!

Donnaeve said...

Angie, totally agree. They're (doctors/et al) are finally realizing we're TOO clean.

Time to let the kids eat some dirt.

CynthiaMc said...

I love love love tome travel! One of my many manuscripts in progress is about a doctor from the past (born from a heated discussion involving 3 generations of doctors in our residency program).

I would go back to the American Revolution to see how it all began. I've read about it to death. I want to be there.

2nd trip would be to see the Battle of Mobile Bay. We used to play at Ft. Morgan. Mighty narrow channel between Ft. Morgan and Ft. Gaines for all that traffic. Must have been a sight.

CynthiaMc said...

Some day I will learn to type on my phone. Today is apparently not that day.

allierat said...

One of the big regrets of my life is that I wasn't with my mom when she passed. I missed it by about half an hour. I'd go back to that evening and tell her I loved her and thank her for all she gave me; some of which I'm still coming to appreciate 30 years later.

Going back to hear the world premier of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony would be TOTALLY AWESOME too.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I am going to selfishly take back what I said about killing Hitler's father.If there had been no WWII my mother and father would not have met. There would me no me, my kids and my granddaughter would not have been born. When I weigh us, and all the others born because so many others died, I think I'd rather join Michael Seese on a conference call to the FBI and CIA on Sept. 10. I rather mess with current history.

Pharosian said...

I started this post this morning, when there were only 15-20 comments. But I got interrupted (on home computer) and then had to go to work, so I'm posting exactly what I had written in the comment box up to that point:

~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are many points in the past that might be interesting, especially ones involving secrets or mysteries that we speculate about today, but have to be satisfied saying, "We'll never know." For example, it would be fascinating to learn positively the truth about the Kennedy shooting in Dallas. I'd take a seat on the grassy knoll and see what unfolded!

But as interesting as those would be, if I really had the chance to go into the future, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I'd choose to go to 2200 or 2215: I want to know whether our so-called modern medicine is viewed in the same light 200 years from now as the state of medical knowledge of the early 1800's is viewed by us.

I'd want to know how the temperature has changed 200 years from now (if it has). I'd want to see how the geopolitical landscape has changed.

And of course I'd want to see the cool inventions that arise in the next two centuries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having now read the other comments, I just want to say, @Maggie Maxwell: YES! I'd love to see the Library of Alexandria and have time (and the ability) to read some of what was lost in the fire.

Craig said...

In the still in the world building phase is the sci-fi book I will some day attempt to find a home for. In it there is time travel of a sort. The starship uses the doppler effect of getting close to the speed of light to go back two weeks. This however takes six months of the crew's life for the universe to go by enough to get a two week advantage, including two weeks of boost and two weeks of braking.

And, yes, I could have kicked the shit out of the me on the day of my first marriage. I was plastered on that day.It would be nice to say I would have had better sense if I was sober.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Cynthia,

I assume you're talking about this:

"I love love love tome travel!", which is one of the best typos ever. Tome travel is the best, Jules Verne, Gabaldon, Ferrell, Lee, etc.

And I agree, the library of Alexandria would be awesome if I read the languages archived there, but just to be surrounded by it would be thrilling.

I've always thought Ankhesenamun was a tragic figure. I'd like to see what happened to her after her forced marriage and disappearance.

Megan V said...

Laura Mary-- you would not be alone!!


Assuming that this wibbly wobbley timey wimey time travel is not done with the Doctor and that I would have to avoid changing history in a significant way and that I'd have to avoid my own time stream/ancestors, then I'd like to go back to 1904 and see Peter Pan on its opening night.

Colin Smith said...

2Ns: Of course, we can look back on WW2 with 70 years' hindsight. Would we say the same of 9/11 in 70 years? As tragic as that was, we're still too close to truly weigh the historical repercussions, and to know what we'd be tampering with if we tried to change it. I totally understand the temptation, though.

Sam Hawke said...

Anyone else follow the Serial/Undisclosed podcast? Since I am currently obsessed with that case, and allowing myself the frivolity of not choosing some immensely important and significant part of history, I would go back to the day Hae Min Lee was killed and follow her round (if I'm allowed to change history, I could stop her being killed, or if not I could at least ID the killer).

Marc P said...

I'd go back to visit with my parents, who have passed, before I was born. Hang out with them try and spend the day and get to know them as they were then. If the magic could make me in my twenties too so they don't think I am too weird that would be nice too.

CynthiaMc said...

Julie W - I looked at tome travel and laughed. One of the consequences of doing most of my blog reading on the phone before 5:30 a.m.

I like big books and I cannot lie...

Steph said...

A perfect question for my first day back after vacation in... the Holy Land! I'm also going along with Janet, meeting Jesus during His ministry on earth and getting to see one of the most beautiful countries again - not a difficult choice!

William Coleman said...

I find this topic interesting because my current project involves time travel.

For me, there is only one answer to this question. My parents were true soul mates. They were two of the happiest people on the planet I am told. Unfortunately my mother passed when I was an infant and it devastated my father. I would go back to a few years before that time so I could meet my mother and know my father the way he was when he was with her.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Here it is, the next day, and after reading the comments I have come to one conclusion - the only chance I will ever get to meet some of you guys, and especially our on line writing (cult) leader, is if I travel back to the time when Christ walked the sandy streets of the Holy land. I've decided I want to go back even further to when Mary was lactating. Rocking that baby and knowing what we know, if that isn't a path to eternity, I don't what is.

Ha...and I don't even go to church.

nightsmusic said...

@Carolynnwith2Ns

God isn't looking for your heart in church. He's looking for it in you!

Rocking that baby and knowing what we know, if that isn't a path to eternity, I don't what is.

I agree!

And I'm back to the cabbage again, in which this time, there wasn't any. Only lettuce! grrrrrrrrrr

bjmuntain said...

Colin and 2Ns:

With or without Hitler, there would have been a war. It may not have been as brutal or terrifying. It may not have led to genocide within a country or empire. But there would have been a second world war. The economics and politics put into place at the end of the first world war practically guaranteed another European war. Economics and power struggles elsewhere in the world - for example, Japan, the US - would have made it a world war.

CynthiaMc:

'Tome' travel is very relevant here. We are writers after all. :)