Beryl’s Boys or, Wicked Hammered at the Stage Door Canteen

world war II men drinking

Story ideas can come from anywhere, a dream, a memory, a random comment overheard in a coffee shop. As for my romance-y WWII-set time travel mystery, BERYL BLUE, TIME COP, the idea came from this picture I found in an antiques shop.

Now, it’s no secret I’m a WWII history buff, so when I saw the picture above, I had to buy it (two dollars!). My first thought was, what would it be like to be there with these guys? Well, no, that was my second thought, my first thought was, these dudes are totally wasted. Except maybe Floyd Floodpants there on the left, who looks to be drinking Coke.

A lot of other questions cropped up, but since there’s no identifying info on the back of this 5×7, those questions were—and still are—unanswered. Where was this photo taken? Who were these guys? Were they friends (or the local chapter of the Prominent Forehead Club) meeting up one last time before they were shipped out? Or just a bunch of guys on leave who grabbed an open chair at the local dive and met a bunch of new friends?

Another not-so-secret thing about me is I’m obsessed with the time travel genre. I love to read, watch movies & TV shows, and especially write time travel (and especially, especially if it’s set in WWII). So, seeing this picture, a time travel story popped into my mind: What would happen if a contemporary woman, a fresh and feisty wannabe librarian, maybe, time traveled into this world, and fell for one of these guys?

Interesting, but needed more spice.

What if she’s plucked out of her own time by a cop from the future, who sends her to 1943 with a mission to protect the soldier she falls for?

Yeah, almost there.

And what if the cop from the future tells her a time traveling madman is after the soldier she falls for and her job is to stop the bad guy by killing him, or the future is screwed? Wannabe librarian as unwilling assassin? Now we’re talking.

And so, BERYL BLUE, TIME COP was born (or written, rather).

Took me a while to get going. There were a lot of who, what, where, and especially why questions to answer before the story came together. Beryl’s backstory got complicated. So did her love life life. That picture, with “Beryl’s Boys,” a bunch of wasted GIs gathered around a tiny, beer-bottle studded table, became a pivotal scene. A wicked funny, romantic but kind of sad and bittersweet scene that set the tone for the rest of story.

BERYL ends on a cliffhanger that sets up two action packed sequels, in which the big question is, will Beryl wear her hair like this (and how much will she complain about it?).


Take a Trip in The Time Tunnel

time tunnel

It’s no secret I love time travel. It’s a lifelong addiction – I first got hooked on the genre as a kid, and my gateway drug was a show called The Time Tunnel.

It was a smart show, with great special effects for the era. Two scientists, one a level-headed pencil-pusher, the other a hot-headed hottie, are flung into the past when they enter an experimental time machine (the tunnel of the title). The guys get bounced around in time (to, conveniently, all the major events we learn about in history class), while the team at central command try diligently to bring them back home.

A kind of mash-up between Quantum Leap (earnest time travelers try to set right what once went wrong) and Gilligan’s Island (no matter what they do, the poor dopes can’t get off that island), it was a show 10-year-old me simply adored, and I watched it whenever I could catch it in reruns. Sadly, the show had only one season of 30 episodes before it was cancelled.

Now I’m all growed up, and not only decided to do a re-watch of the show, but also recap each episode for Time Travel Nexus, the place for all things timey-wimey. I recapped an episode each month for 30 months, beginning with a fun and funny look at the pilot, Rendezvous With Yesterday.

So, why not take some time and head over to Time Travel Nexus for a look – maybe you’ll get hooked the genre too!

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