Give Me a Home

Yes, I know I said I was done, but . . . I lied.  Well, not lied, just stretched the truth a bit.

It seems if you get me to thinking about something concerning any of my stories, I’ll find something that I need to add.  For example–home.  Or better yet, homes.  Where do people live when they aren’t at the school sponging off The Foundation?  (Which, by the way, isn’t what one might think.  I figured out operating costs versus net revenues, and . . . no sponging.  And it’ll make a great line later.)  It’s also needed because when The Foundation is flying kids back and forth around the world, it’s a good idea to know which instructors are flying on which planes.  Instead of, you know, just pulling something out of my ass later.

To the maps, then, while pulling up my instructor’s list . . .

Now, a few of these were already done.  I knew one instructor lived in Chicago; another lived in Colorado; one lived outside Prague; another lived in Berlin, New Hampshire; two lived in Oregon and Hong Kong respectively; one lived in England while her partner sometimes lived in New Zealand; and one lived in the south of France.  As for the staff:  one in Salem, one somewhere in England, another in France, and as I’d established in my Camp Novel, one in Palm Springs, California.

Given all that, it wasn’t difficult to find places for everyone else.  I pulled up their card and wrote their homes in the Document Notes found in Scrivener’s Inspector, and like that I was finished.  On to the next, find a place, write it down, and . . . done.

That left just one person . . . one of my main characters.

I’ve always said that this particular character lives in Cardiff, Wales, and I even knew just about where in the city, because I’d seen the location on Google Maps.  But there was nothing ever concrete.  So time get to it, right?  Yes, I did.  I pulled up his card, found the location, and wrote it down in the document notes.  Then, just for the hell of it, I googled the address, because there is a method to my madness, and . . . wouldn’t you know it?  There are houses for sale in that area.  Besides telling you how much the homes are going for–in this case, £285,000 for the home I wanted–nearly all of the realtor sites show you–

Floor plans.

Ergo, rather than dream up what the inside of the house looked like, I just clicked on the Floor Plan tab, did a couple of quick cut and paste, and there you have it:  instant layout.  And just so I wouldn’t lose anything, I went into that card’s Document References–also found in the Inspector; the little set of books icon to the right of the notes–and set up three links:  one external to the home location link in Google Maps, and two internal for the ground and first floors.

With that my work is done–well, pretty much.  I need to come up with the names of seven people tonight, which is no big deal, and then I’m really though.

Until I come up with something else.  Probably today . . .

Designing the Unseen Imagined

Though the book is up, there are issues–things I should have seen, but didn’t take care of before hitting the “Upload” button.  Never fear; I’ll have everything sorted out this week.  I hope.

In the meantime I’m playing with other things:  concepts, story setups, that sort of thing.  I need to get a Scrivener project set up for my next story, but as one person told me, I should take it easy least I burn out.  Ha!  I laugh at burning out–don’t I?  Already I’m starting to feel like a lazy git because I’m not really working on anything.  That’s a bad habit to get into, because you end up beating yourself up for the silliest things, and before you know it you’re obsessing over every damn thing that comes your way.

One of the things I’ve been on about is trying to imagine a school I built for one story–a story that could be called fan fiction of a sort–and how I can bring it over into a new world that it completely mine.  There will be a number of changes to the layout and functionality of the joint, but the one thing I want to keep is a huge, grand building that sits somewhere between small castle and grand edifice.  For now we’ll call it the Grand Hall, and when it was originally conceived, it was part cathedral, part meeting place, part protected school.

It’s really big, is what I want to say.

I’ve always had this image in my head about the building, and the layout.  Entryway; central hall in the middle; Hospital on the second, third, and fourth floors on the left, administration on the right; library to the far end; basements below.  It’s a huge building, though probably not much bigger that most modern buildings.  It’s just that in my mind’s eye, I can see it being a very shadowy place, full of darkness and light beams, and during the evening, enduring silence.  (Not to be confused with The Silence, who may be there anyway.)

As much as I’ve seen this place in my head, I should be able to lay out the floor place, right?  Guess again, Gilbert.

I started a layout last night, starting with the central meeting hall.  That place it meant to be huge, about one hundred fifty feet by fifty. Then I moved outside that point of reference, and . . .


I got as far as laying out where the staircases are–and, now that I think about it, shouldn’t be–and then I looked at the plan on the screen before me and thought, “Shit, man, this place is huge.”  That was as true as anything gets, because it is a big building.  With all sorts of things hidden in its black corners.

And I’ve not even thought of what the basements look like.

Everyone gets those moments when they realize they have hold of something that might be a bit too much for them to control, and this is one of those moments.  It’s not that I won’t figure out the design, it’s just that it’s going to be something that takes a bit of time–just like when I was doing three dimensional designs of spaceships.  Or writing a huge novel.

Don’t rush the scale.  Like a mountain, you climb it slowly.

You’ll get to the summit eventually.