When writing a story the five most important questions to consider are Who, What, Where, When and Why. And while I feel quite comfortable that I covered these questions, it seems many are getting “hung up” on the When.
Yes, Ticket to Ride takes place in the 70s but that has really very little to do with the What and Why. I originally attempted to make this story “timeless,” meaning, I didn’t want to anchor it in a time period for fear of diminishing the overall impact of the story. It was only in about the middle of the process that I realized that perhaps only poetry can be offered up in this way. Without the When Ticket to Ride would have been quite vague and, for lack of a better word, foundation-less.
In Ticket to Ride there are countless themes and “lessons,” if you will, that are timeless and therefore meaningful to any generation. So as you’re reading please bear in mind that the simple elements of the story like people and names are interchangeable (President Carter, can be substituted with President Obama) but the overriding themes like longing for connection and understanding are timeless. In the 10,000 or so years of “civilization” men and woman have faced the same questions about life and living that we do today. We may have cell phones and televisions and DVD players but our souls and our very existence on this planet remain almost entirely unchanged with respect to our search for meaning.