INTRODUCTION Morgan Thomas daydreams. And now, thanks to Quantum Leap, she writes, too. I've made up 'movies in my mind' ever since I was a child and first discovered that wonderful thing called 'imagination', but I didn't begin to write down my 'movies' until 1997. I'd always used other peoples' characters from books, movies or tv for my character to interact with, so when I began to watch Quantum Leap in 1989 I immediately started to weave my own stories around the two wonderful leads. It was clear to me from very early on that Sam would not be able to Leap indefinitely. No-one, however heroic, could continue to live that confusing, whirlwind existence without a break, not even with help from a great pal like Al. This idea formed the basis of what I now call 'Vacation'. Over the next eight years I added to and embellished my 'movie' until it was the most complex I'd ever imagined. I need you to know I had the basic plot well before the screening of the end of the first series. This is very important or you'll think I've simply re-hashed ideas from some of the later episodes. Not true, I thought of 'em first! I remember being both amused and annoyed when certain episodes bore some similarities to my 'movie'. When I finally began to write in 1997 I watched every episode of Quantum Leap again (research has never been so much fun) and decided I could not simply ignore those similarities, so I added bits to the story to deal with them. So what was so special about 1997? 1. the internet arrived at my local library. 2. Over 6,000 web sites popped up when I typed 'Bakula'. 3. There was actually a fan club here in Oz. 4. People wrote stories which were published in the club magazine (Maybe I could do that). 5. Husband and I decided to invest in a pc for the kids. 6. To pay for pc husband started new job where he worked away from home. 7. I became a couch potato. 8. I finally switched my gaze to the other screen in our lounge. 9. I sat at the keyboard and typed, 'Sam watched the dust dance in the late afternoon sunlight that streamed through the high windows...' 10. Two years, 110,000 words and endless caffeine-injected nights later, I stopped. I love the writing. I'm still at it, but not Quantum Leap. I can make up all my own characters now and I've learned so much about HOW to write, though I need to learn heaps more. I'm so grateful to all involved with Quantum Leap for givng me this, I'd never have started if it hadn't been for Sam and Al. 'Vacation' takes place some time after 'Mirror Image'(the biggest thing I had to 'deal' with when I began to write. Until then, I'd ignored the events it depicted altogether). The story takes into account events from the tv series' ONLY, not any subsequent publications. The writing improves the further you read, so hang on in there! Chapters 11 & 12 were written last (there was one heck of 'sag in the middle')and it shows. Some scenes and dialogue are there simply because of Al. They probably should have been cut once I'd learned about pace and plot, but I couldn't bear to. I loved writing his stuff. I must acknowledge my debt to Keith Donnelly for his kind permission to ascribe the song 'Thanks' to Sam. I must also acknowledge that 'Quantum Leap', Dr Sam Beckett, Admiral Al Calavicci and the other minor characters from the TV series are the creation of Donald P. Bellisario and Bellisarius Productions. No infringement of their or Universal Studios' copyright is intended. No infringement of any copyrights held by other writers or lyricists quoted is intended. Finally, I doff my cap before Donald P. Bellisario, who created such wonderful characters, and Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, who brought them to life with such zest. I had such fun playing with Sam and Al!