Friday, September 22, 2006

Trees 'n' Time

Or Time 'n' Trees. Or Time-Traveling Trees. Trees through Time. Time and the Tree. I'm loopy.

I'm done with the Web site fixes. There's still work to be done, but it can wait. The stuff I felt was urgent is finished, and so am I, very much. Back to the book.

But first I took the time to put up this tribute to a tree we just lost: Big Beautiful Cottonwood.

The blue chunk that was facing me when I put the ms. aside deals with a time traveler from 2097 trying to insert herself into a top-secret research program around 1940. Think Manhattan Project, but private, and even more paranoid. The paranoia is the problem I have: how does she get in? I'm sure it was easier to get an ordinary job in 1940 than nowadays. Fewer checks, less concern with a paper trail, less obsession with credentials for most jobs, and so on. But the sort of place she's trying to crack is a different matter.

She's a science whiz by 2097 standards, so knowledge and ability aren't a problem. If anything, she'll have to be careful not to reveal that she knows the solution to the big problem the secret project is working on. But despite her qualifications, she can't walk up to the front gate and ask for a job. They would want a paper trail. They're also wacko killers.

So either she'll have to jump back far enough to establish a paper trail, which will slow things down badly, or I'll have to come up with some convincing scam for her to use. I'm not good at scams in real life or my fiction, and this character is not good at them, either.

I suppose all of this is why I convinced myself that that Web work simply had to be done right now.

3 comments:

Mitch said...

She assumes the identity of a German scientist. She escaped from a concentration camp. Of course she has no papers -- she arrived in the West empty-handed.

Depending on the needs of the story, she may have killed the person she's impersonating. Or the person she's impersonating may show up at some point.

David said...

mitch,

That's great! Thanks.

She's not the type to kill someone herself, but the protagonist, Tommy, the soldier of the title and the one who's sending her back might very well do so. He'll be sending some bully boys back with her to do nasty stuff, so that will fit in nicely, both with the plot and the tension of his being simultaneously coldblooded and admirable. (Assuming I can pull that characterization off, that is.)

And welcome. I'll add your blog to the links. I used to visit it when you first created it, but I'm lazy and found sff.net easier. I'll try to make up for that in the future by visiting and posting obsessively, until all your regular visitors beg you to make me leave again. Well, maybe not that extreme.

Mitch said...

Mi blog es su blog. Thanks for the link.