On the 10th day of Christmas, I went back in time.

Santa's rideOne thing about writers, we tend to research.  It doesn’t really matter what the genre is, there’s always something that requires more in-depth knowledge than we normally possess.  Therefore it should not be a surprise to learn that I did a bit of research into the physics of time-travel in the course of writing CHARMING THE PROFESSOR.  I read several books about time theories and it’s relation to space and gravity.  I watched endless videos to explain the basics of quantum physics.

So it is with some authority that I can state that… Santa Claus is a time-traveler.

It’s true.  Consider Einstein’s theory that says time slows as one approaches the speed of light.  It’s been said that in order for Santa to visit all the houses of good little children to deliver presents in the 32 hours available to him in this one night (that’s the true number ofAlbert_Einstein_Head hours given time zones and the earth’s rotation), Santa would have to travel three times the speed of light.  At that speed, time would reverse – didn’t the movie SUPERMAN show this to be true? (And isn’t there a clear resemblence between Santa and Einstein – hmmm?)

Also, it’s been proven that time slows as one moves away from a gravatational force.  Thus time goes by more slowly for those that live/work at the top of a skyscraper than for those at street level.  (Of course, those at the top have to wait for the elevators to take them down, causing them to waste their found seconds of time.)  Santa Claus travels at heights that would laugh at gravity thus giving him more than the necessary 32 hours to deliver gifts.

So the jolly old elf must be a time-traveler!

CharmingtheProfessorfinalAllow me to present an excerpt from CHARMING THE PROFESSOR to help explain time travel.  In this excerpt, Madeline is a French charm teacher who has been transported to modern day New Orleans.  She’s trying to get home and her best bet is Professor Grant Stewart who teaches quantum physics at Tulane University. She doesn’t come right out and tell him of her plight because telling the wrong person could land her in a straight-jacket.  So she’s feeling him out to see where he stands on the issue of time-travel.

“Every year,” he said. “My quantum students talk about building a H. G. Well’s time machine. Just climb aboard and select your year.”

          “A time machine?” Her disappointment lifted. “Where might I find this Mr. Wells?” Perhaps that gentleman could return her home.

          “In a library.” Grant frowned. “It was fiction, Madeline. Don’t you remember H. G. Wells and the Time Machine? Or The Island of Doctor Moreau, or The War of the Worlds?” He shook his head, returning his gaze to the road ahead. “So many people confuse actual science with science fiction.”

          Frustration extinguished her brief flare of hope. Now what was she to do? She’d been so certain that escaping from the iron gates into the company of a time professor was not just coincidence. Even Doc and his voodoo saints thought Professor Stewart held the answer. At least Doc and Cici believed that she had somehow stumbled into this period from the past. Professor Stewart clearly would not.

          “Right now there’s an experiment with entangled particles that holds promise,” he said. “A transporter may result from that discovery. Of course, a transportation device like the one on Star Trek is still decades away. It wouldn’t connect the strings of time, but a transporter…that would be a step into the future.”

          “Strings of time?” She dismissed the confusing combination of otherwise ordinary words, like entangled and particles, stars and trek. “What are strings of time?”

          “That’s right. You missed my lecture last night.” He glanced quickly her way. “Thank you for coming, by the way, you were a life saver. Sometimes Kimmy can be a handful, and if you hadn’t come when you did…”

          “Professor,” she urged softly. “Strings of time?”string theory research

          “Yes. There’s a theory that our existence occurs on a specific string of time, simultaneously with other strings that hold alternate existences. Thus, our medieval past might be occurring in real time on one string and our distant future on another string. Some scientists believe these strings to be an infinite number of bubbles on a plane in space called a brane, but the entire concept is still called string theory.”

          “That is astounding.” She felt her jaw might have unhinged at the discovery and dangled unattractively. She quickly composed herself. “This is what you spoke of yesterday?” she asked. “I would have liked to have heard your speech.”

          Perhaps his speech was the very reason fate had led her to this professor. She needed to hear his speech. And yet once again she’d managed to miss the opportunity. Still, she couldn’t dwell on her disappointment, not with a time professor with such valuable information seated next to her.

          “What happens if two strings were to touch,” she asked. “Say a string from the medieval past and our string of the present?”

          “Then it might be possible for an armor-clad knight to chase a dragon down Canal Street.” He laughed. “But the fact that such an occurrence only happens as playacting proves that such time collisions are not possible.”

          A time collision…could that have been what happened? She’d survived the colliding of strings? But if that were the case, why did the others touring the foundry not follow her in this collision? Why was she alone in this dilemma? She shook her head. None of that mattered now. What mattered was finding the way back.

ScotlandChristmasReunion B&NWe all know that Christmas is a magical night when miracles can occur.  If you could travel to any time past or future, where would you go?  Don’t worry, you’ll be back in time for the opening of presents on Christmas morning.  Let’s take a peek at a time-traveling Christmas (Hey, Scrooge did it – so can we!)  Someone leaving a comment will win a copy of the short story: Scotland Christmas Reunion.  Thank you to Think Geek for the string theory cartoon.

To add a little New Orleans to your holiday, add some creamy pralines 🙂 .     Creamy Pecan Pralines recipe

To add a little break from all the Christmas madness, consider a copy of Charming the Professor.  It’s bound to put a smile on your face.

Amazon     Nook    ibooks

Or for when you only have time for a short story, Scotland Christmas Reunion

Amazon        Nook      ibooks

Merry Christmas everyone!


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  • Jane says:

    I want hop all over the place. I definitely want to “visit” Ancient Egypt and see pyramids being built and go to Rapa Nui during the 1800s to find out what really happened to most of the population.

    • Merry Christmas Jane!

      I learn more information from your posts 🙂 . So what happened to the Easter Island population? (that is the Rapa Nui people right?)

      Going back in time to Egypt would be cool – thought not exactly a festive time at Christmas LOL. Hope you have a great one!

      • Jane says:

        Merry Christmas, Donna. Yes, it’s Easter Island and you’ve probably seen pics of the moai. Historians have been trying to figure out what cause the dramatic population decrease on the island. Probably a combination of the slave revolt, disease and depletion of natural resources.

        • Isn’t there a mystery as well about how the statues ended up on the Island – or their significance? I think they’re a guard of some sort – to warn off would be attackers. Guess I’ll have to travel back with you to find out 🙂

  • Amy Conley says:

    I totally believe on time travel. Not sure how it works, but I do believe. If I could go back in time I’d either go back to England during Queen Elizabeth’s time or to rigjt before the Civil War.

    • Merry Christmas, Amy!

      How else could he do it? Interesting to go back to Queen Elizabeth’s time with all those neck ruffles :-). I hadn’t thought about right before the Civil war, but that would be fun as well – all the hoop skirts. Not sure I could wear the corsets though, ouch! No room for Christmas cookies!
      Hope you have a great Christmas, Amy. Not long now 🙂

  • Pissenlit says:

    *GASP* Are you saying that Einstein is Santa therefore Einstein is a time traveller??

    I would go wherever the Doctor wants to go in his TARDIS. Seems to me, it’s the most interesting way to time travel 😀

    • Merry Christmas, Pissenlit –

      Einstein as a time-traveler…it would happen? All those folks that wonder how the guy in the patent office could come up with all those advanced physics theories – he came from the future 🙂

      I love the idea of traveling in the Tardis – and with Dr. Who…the original one who remains my favorite. There are travelers amongst us 🙂

      Have a great Christmas, Pissenlit!

  • flchen1 says:

    LOL, Donna! Love it!

    I think I’d love to go back to a time when my grandparents were still around, and spend a little more time with all of them 🙂 And back in time for Christmas! Woot!

    • Merry Christmas Fichen!

      THAT is a wonderful idea. You never really appreciate your grandparents as real people until it’s too late. I think that’s a wonderful idea – and then back in time for Christmas 🙂

      Hope you have a great one!

  • ki says:

    Merry Christmas Donna!I would so love to go back in time. Not too long of course but long enough to see places and talk to those I want to interact with.

    • Merry Christmas Ki –

      As long as I can get home for opening gifts, I might try time travel to the future 🙂 . I wonder what that would be like?

      Wishing you a great holiday!

  • Mary Preston says:

    My grandmother was the illegitimate child of an English Lord. That’s got to be worth a visit.

    Apparently once it was discovered that my great-grandmother was pregnant she was very quickly married off to a local farmer.

    Downton Abbey eat your heart out!!

    • Merry Christmas, Mary!

      Wow – now that’s an interessting bit of genealogy! I can believe, unfortunately, that “other arrangements” were made. So you’d like to travel back to that particular time? I’d go back and take names of half-brothers and sisters. Then come home and send Christmas cards that they’d never forget 🙂 Haha!

      Have a wonderful holiday, Mary!

  • Helen says:

    Woohoo Merry Christmas Donna

    I must say I have read Charming the Professor and loved it this one is so good 🙂

    You know I would love to visit either Medieval Scotland or Regency England two places I would love to visit 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Merry Christmas Helen!

      Thank you for the book love! I really enjoyed writing that one. I listened to a recording of a plotting session for the sequel and that one, if I work it right, should be a hoot as well. We’ll see!

      LOL – I’d go to Scotland any time – as long as the time travel included a warm jacket and an umbrella 🙂 . I’d prefer to visit England in Victorian times, the Regency was just too quiet for me 🙂 .

      Have a wonderful Holiday, Helen!

  • Minna says:

    I’d like to see the Stonehenge right after it was built.

    • Merry Christmas Minna!

      That would be interesting – and while you were there you could ask about it’s true purpose and bypass all the speculation 🙂 .

      I’d still like to go forward in time and see how the world had changed. Wouldn’t that be cool?

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Happy Christmas, Donna ! Charming the Professor is on my TBR stack and I hope to get to it in the next week or so. I am so looking forward to it!

    Of course I would love to go back to the Regency – perhaps the night of the ball before the Battle of Waterloo.

    I wouldn’t mind going back to nineteenth century Wales either so I might meet my ancestors. My father’s grandparents on both sides immigrated from Wales in 1892.

    And pralines in New Orleans? YUM !!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Louisa, if you went back in time, wouldn’t you be tempted to change something?

      I mean…that’s really, REALLY dangerous, but when you know a horrible outcome is going to happen (okay not Waterloo, but just sayin) wouldn’t you be tempted to tweak?

      • Donna, the scientist here. (LOL – if that isn’t improbable 🙂 ).

        There’s something in Physics called the “arrow of time,” that time can only move forward – not back. So my version of time travel, much like that of Scrooge himself, means that we can only go back as observers and are not able to change anything – as tempting as that might be.

        Actually, that gives me an idea for a book 🙂 , I’ll have to add it to the pile of “maybe someday” books.

      • Oh gosh yes, Cassondra! Especially the night of that ball, knowing so many of those young men would not return home after Waterloo. The do gooder in me would be so tempted to go back in time and change things. The fatalist would have to say everything happens for a reason, in spite of the fact so many awful things happen and I cannot see the reason at all !

    • Merry Christmas Louisa!

      1892 – That’s right about the time of my Rake Patrol series. Of course, no one has immigrated to America in that series…yet 🙂 .

      Whereas I’d prefer to visit a time when indoor plumbing was available 🙂 , man readers have mentioned visiting the Regency period. I think there’s a longing to return to a time of civility and good manners. It’s a shame we can’t seem to have that now. Maybe for the Christmas season we can have a little bit of that civility and good will toward men.

      Hope you have a wonderful peaceful holiday, Louisa!

      • You hit the nail on the head, Donna. The gentile manners and civility and slower pace appeal to me more and more these days and are in short supply, especially where I work !

        Wishing you and everyone in the Lair the very Happiest of Christmases and the Most Prosperous and Peaceful of New Years!

  • Donna, congrats on both your recent releases! I love both of these stories and already have my copies. Can’t wait to plow through these revisions and read them.

    You know I love so many periods that it’s tough to pick just one. I would enjoy seeing London before the Great Fire and then, some years later, the newly rebuilt city. There’s currently an exhibit about Samuel Pepys at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich that surely has material on London in this period. I doubt I would’ve liked the man, but visiting that exhibit would be kind of like time travel. Too bad it’s not in my budget!

    • Merry Christmas, Nancy!

      Nothing to take the “merry” out of the holiday like revisions. Sending hugs.

      Great pick! Would love to see London before the fire. Your knowledge of the various museum exhibits across an ocean astounds me. Maybe if we’re very, very good. Santa will bring us a ticket. Time travel goes into the future as well. Wouldn’t it be cool to see what’s to come?

      Wishing you a fantastic holiday!

  • Oberon Wonch says:

    Einstein=Santa. LOL!! Love this!

    All the best with your books, Donna!

    • Merry Christmas Oberon!

      Hey, it works! Check out the photos 🙂 . Thanks for the good wishes and let me return the same. Life as a published author is a bit different. May you love it.

      Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

  • Barb Heintz says:

    Hi Donna, Merry Christmas.
    What a fun post. All that technical stuff boggles me. It’s magic, that’s enough for me. What a wonderful idea. I don’t know where I would go. Certainly to some 17th or 18th century to visit my ancestors, to learn of my heritage.

  • Cassondra says:

    I think I’d go back to just after Thanksgiving. I need more time to get ready for Christmas! Gak!

    Love the excerpt Donna! I’m saving this for a moment when I can reward myself. So looking forward to it.

    • Merry Christmas Cassondra!

      I think I feel that way every year – and this year especially. I still haven’t gotten the house back to the way it was before the floor were refinished, much less decorating for the holidays. I’m looking forward to the new year for a new start.

      I think you might travel forward to see what the future holds. That’s allowed.

      Hope you enjoy Charming the Professor. It’s a fun book, as you well know, Now, on to the sequel 🙂

      Have a wonderful holiday, Cassondra with good food, good friends, and good times.

  • Colleen C. says:

    If I could time travel… I would like to go back a few years, so I could spend more time with my grandparents…
    Oh I enjoyed Charming The Professor… will write a review soon. Happy Holidays! 🙂

    • Merry Christmas Colleen!

      So glad you enjoy Charming the Professor and thank you for the gift of a review. Those reviews are so important these days.

      My grandparents have passed. I wish I knew them better. I never knew my grandparents that immigrated from Ireland so I can certainly appreciate your desire. Maybe on this special night we can go back and see them in their youth 🙂 . On Christmas, everything is possible.

      Wishing you a magical holiday!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Fascinating post, Donna! I know nothing about string theory or quantum physics, so thanks for the education.

    I’d travel to late 19th Century. I’ve always been fascinated by the major changes occurring in the world then.

    • Merry Christmas Jo!

      I agree that the late 19 century was a fascinating time. So many changes occuring at once – sort of like…today :-). Do you think someone will look back in the future and long to sneak a real-life peak at 2015-2016? Funny to think that we might be “historical” at some point in time.

      Have a wonderful holiday, Jo! See you in 2016.

  • Shannon says:

    There’s several times I’d like to visit.

    I just want to be there the day the two princes disappeared and/or died. It a historical mystery that I want solved.

    Since everyone has gone for the civilization of the Regency, I kind of want to see the dissipation of the court of Charles II.

    • Merry Christmas Shannon!

      I think Nancy would come with you for that! I don’t know, I sort of like the mystery. That way we can make up our own solutions which can be more intriguing than the real deal. 🙂 Perhaps the boys hooked a ride with Santa and traveled to the future. I’m told it happened in New Orleans 🙂 .

      Wishing you a fabulous holiday, Shannon.

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    Well, I’m sure there are a lot of serious places to visit, but truthfully the first thing that popped in to my mind was to go back and meet Cary Grant when he was about 30. I guess I’ve watched The Philadelphia Story, The Bishop’s Wife, and Penny Serenade one time too many this season ;-).

    Happy Holidays!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Sally, is there really such a thing as too much Cary Grant? I think not! I would tag along for that ride through time, for sure. 😀

    • Merry Christmas Sally!

      What? No relatives? No solving ancient mysteries? Just visiting a charming, handsome, incredible man in his prime? Sally – you are a woman after my heart! You go, girl 🙂 .

      WIshing you and Cary and Caren…hmmm…Cary and Caren – is it purely coincidental that their names are so similar 🙂 – a wonderful holiday and may all your wishes come true!

  • Caren Crane says:

    I am digging the Einstein-Santa Claus connections. Much to think about in this post. All I had was drunken snowmen! 😀

    I would love to go back to the early 1800s Appalachia to visit my ancestors, then back to the American Revolution to find my great-x-times-grandfather who was a Hessian hired to fight for the British, then was captured and ended up fighting for the Colonists. Then I would like to visit Pompeii before the devastating volcanic eruption and Vienna during Mozart’s heyday. So much cool stuff!

    • Merry Christmas Caren!

      Glad you added Mozart’s Vienna. I was beginning to wonder with all the fighting and fireworks (says she who just watched a bloody episode of Vikings) 🙂 . So cool that you already know so much of your ancestors.

      I can see you in the 18th century in those dresses with the huge panniers traisping about Vienna. I think you may have relatives back there. 🙂

      Wishing you a magical night to explore your history in the most delightful way possible (and I loved your drunken snowmen 🙂 )

  • Lianne says:

    I’d like to go back to the time of my convicts coming from Australia (to find how / where
    they came to NZ)

    • Merry Christmas Lianne!

      LOL. Good for you! Not too many people admit their relatives were convicts – but let’s face it – most of us have a need to come to where they settle, either poverty or criminal or working on the ship. It’s not the gentry that left the country.

      And what a fabulous person your ancestors generated. Wouldn’t they love to know that you exist :-). Very cool.

      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  • May says:

    The future! I want to see my kids all grown up.

    • Merry Christmas May!

      Love it! Yay, May! I think I would want to see the future and my children’s lives in it – as well. I’d want to see how the gradkids turned out and if I somehow “touched” them in some way.Then come home knowing what “seeds” I need to sow. LOL. 🙂

      Hope you have a great Christmas, May, surrounded by family!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Looks like someone will have to go back in time to the 11th Day of Christmas. Merry Christmas Banditas and Buddies!!!