Have you ever considered how both reading and writing can transport you through time? As you read a book, you can jump casually across days, weeks, even centuries, simply by the author's declaration that you have done this very thing. It's why I invented the Legendbreakers' home of Outer Time, because that's what it feels like.
Writing, however, involves a different kind of time travel. Or rather, it's the same kind, but now you're active rather than passive. You choose what times to show your readers, to best tell the story. I thought about that a lot today, while I was writing a story entitled "With a Kiss", which will be part of In the Bleak Midwinter.
"With a Kiss" comes from the Glenscar universe, but if it were going to be in any of the books, it would be not Playing with Fire but Shadow's Dancing. While these books do cover the same period of time, jumping between books is its own kind of "time travel", because I will be a different person, and writer, by the time I write Shadow's.
Also, I left off in Playing with Fire in the early autumn of 1786. "With a Kiss" is set on New Year's Eve of that year, into New Year's Day 1787. So in that sense, I am time-traveling somewhat within the story, even though I do know what's happening with the Fire main characters at that point. (Drinking. And throwing rocks.)
Some writers consider time travel a useful tool, jumping way ahead in the time of their story to write a final, or even THE final, scene of their book before returning to the beginning. Others do a lot of jumping around (I suppose they have their TARDIS's parking brake off). Still others find it hard to do anything but strict chronological.
Which approach is correct? As I've said before: All of them. There is very little right and wrong in writing. If you come out with a product that tells a moving and interesting story, if you engage people and get them thinking, if they're willing to come back to your universe again, then that's all that matters. You're doing it right.
Here, then, is a snippet of "With A Kiss", for being such nice readers (and to get you excited about the Christmas special). There will, I hope, be an update of Surpassing Danger again this weekend, and blog posts Saturday and Sunday, and who knows? Maybe even a story on Fictionpress at some point, if you would like that. Cheers!