Thursday, September 5, 2019

Vacation Time Slipping

We often talk of combining research trips and writing inspiration, so today I want to share a trip with you that was a very cool experience for me. But I also have a question. They're connected. Bear with me and you'll see how.

Do you read time slip/dual timeline or time travel stories?

I'm assuming if you do, you enjoy them, but I wonder, do you feel like a story needs to have a deeper moral question or lesson if it's going to extend across multiple eras?

I've been dabbling in timeslip/dual timeline stories since way before they became a thing. I fell in love with the subgenre when reading two of Barbara Michael's books - Ammie, Come Home and Patriot Dreams.

I have several of them I have worked on over the years, but when I sold to LIS, I tried to keep my focus on suspense.

But sometimes those voices from the past beckon.

I had that happen this summer.  We thought it would be too painful to go back to the place we had vacationed when my husband was alive, so my daughters, cats, dog and I vacationed in York, ME.  We rented a pet-friendly home within walking distance of 2 beaches.
It was gorgeous.









The pets all got along!





As lovely as it was...

I confess, I had an ulterior motive for choosing York Beach. Last winter, I read this article about a Revolutionary War ship being unearthed during a storm.


The ship was first uncovered during a storm  in 1958. Enough sand was washed away to reveal the skeleton of the sloop. A spring nor'easter uncovered it again in 1980, and it has resurfaced in major storms since in 2007, and most recently in 2018.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20130313/NEWS/303130401

CNN did a story on it too, with a video.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/06/us/maine-shipwreck-revealed-trnd/index.html

This is what the beach looks like on a lovely summer day.

But this was what the storm unearthed.





This story totally captured my imagination, and since no one knows the origin of the ship, I want to write a timeslip book about it. I want to imagine the people who sailed it, and maybe the families who were waiting for them to come home. My imagination is having fun with all the "what if" questions.

Which brings me back to my original question - if you're a fan of timeslip/dual timeline books, do you want them to have a deeper meaning, carry more of a message, or just be entertaining.



Here are some lovely ocean waves to watch while you contemplate the question.



Of course, while you're looking at these photos, I'll be back in school. Today is our first dull day with the students, so I'll only be able to check in at lunch and then after school.

8 comments:

  1. Cate, though I haven't read any timeslip/dual timeline books, I have to admit your story has me interested. I can definitely see the story unfolding and I hope you write it, though I am torn. My first answer would be, yes, I would like to see stories with more deeper meanings. Love the photos. I'm so glad you and your family had a good vacation.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I suspect dual timeline stories appeal to me in part because I started out writing historicals. This is a chance to dabble in both.

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  2. Hi Cate! What a fantastic blog post. Now you've got me thinking. The discovery of the war ship is fascinating. I haven't really read many time slip stories other than Outlander. It's really an intriguing premise to have time slips in a story. I love your pictures of Maine. We used to spend time in York when we lived in Massachusetts. I seem to remember a carnival and a zoo. Thanks for the ocean waves. Simply beautiful.

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    1. Belle, yes. York has a Wild Animal Kingdom right in the middle of town. We didn't go, but I don't think it was very big. I'm not sure about the carnival part. Maybe that depends on the time of year? York Beach did have some sort of indoor hall on the boardwalk that might have been carnival-like.

      I take lots of videos of ocean waves. They keep me going the rest of the year.

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  3. Cate, hope you have a great first day of the new school year. Kids in our area of Georgia started the first week in AUG. :( My grands, who live north of ATL, will have a fall break in three weeks. Plus, the temp is going to hit 97 degrees today. YIKES!

    Love your pictures of York Beach. I'm a water person so you had me at the first mention of a beach!

    And that photo of the ship is haunting. Oh, the stories it could tell. Hope you'll tell one of them. YES, do it! I've enjoyed the few time slips I've read. I have had a story in mind for a number of years. Must write it. Especially now when the genre is so popular!

    I always like finding a deeper message in the stories I read. Right now, I'm reading our book club selection, Sue Monk Kidd's THE INVENTION OF WINGS. Not a time slip but well written and insightful.

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    1. It was crazy as first days go, Debby. Two nearby schools closed last June, so our enrollment doubled. The logistics were kind of nuts, but I'm sure it will all work out - eventually.

      I've meant to read some of Sue Monk Kidd's so I'll take the recommendation. Thanks!

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  4. Hi Cate, I'm not sure exactly what a time slip story is. I don't think I've read one unless The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen counts. The photos of York are beautiful. There's so much of this country I haven't seen and would like to.

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    1. Terri, time slip is a name Christian publishing seems to have given to dual timeline stories. You know the ones that have a historical story woven in with a contemporary? That's what seems to be known as a time slip these days.

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