Another chapter started, and another thousand words burned through pretty well. I won’t say quickly, because it still took about ninety minutes to get to my nightly quota. Part of that was from being tired as hell, and part of it came from . . .
Well, looking things up.
After my post about The Story of Albert and his love for The Duchess, I started thinking about that as part of a story I’d actually started putting notes to maybe a week before. That story arose out of another idea, but it dealt with two of my characters going out to enjoy their birthday. Yes, in my worlds, even if you are born twelve hundred years apart, you’ll share a birthday if you’re special—and if the author thinks there’s a good reason for it to happen.
As it is, given the date upon which their birthdays fall, getting them back in time to see one of the Genesis concerts held at the Lyceum in May, 1980, is something that can actually happen—and would put them in the ballroom for their birthdays. Yeah, it’s a strange thing, because I never realized any of this when I was putting the character together twenty year ago—nor did I realize the significance of the dates, because, when I was finishing Transporting, I actually change the date of birth.
Strange, I know.
So, for the hell of it I started looking up things around that location—the theater is still there, running The Lion King pretty much non-stop—and began imagining the location in the 1980’s, with my character there wandering the streets of Westminster after the show was over. It was a nice picture, and one that I can imagine even better once I know what the weather was like that night. (Note: it was cool, about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and dry. And Sky View Café tells me the moon didn’t rise until a little after midnight, and it was just past full.)
But I had other things bothering me as well, this time for another story for the same characters. One of them buys some land—and by “land”, I mean they end up with enough property to start their own state. It’s stated that they land will be managed as a natural preserve, and that most of it will be open to the public, with a “small” portion that will be kept completely private as their estate.
And how “small” a portion are we talking? A parcel eighty by one hundred kilometers—or for those not completely into the metric thing, fifty by sixty-two miles.
That’s big; it’s pretty huge, actually. The public land is even bigger, if you can believe that. So I started wondering: what does that look like in today’s terms? If I overlay those dimensions over a map, how much of, say, where I live, will this estate take up.
Answer: a lot.
The private land would cover something like five or six counties in Northwest Indiana; we’re talking the sort of estate that only third-world dictators get to enjoy. As for the whole estate, the natural preserve that can be visited by people if they like themselves some wilderness? Pretty much an area the size of the state of Indiana.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to move all the people out of my home state and turn it into a park for all to enjoy.
Now I don’t have to wonder any more.