June 3rd, 2006

  • ajora

In Soviet Russia, television watches you!

Hi all. I googled this a while back, once found a decent page on the subject, but it went down a few years ago.

Basically, I have an expat Russian character who moved to Japan in the early '80's (had it bad for a Japanese mathematician). I have it set up so that was born about 3 years before Stalin croaked (1950), but I'd like good, solid post-Stalinist anecdotes of the social climate shortly after Stalin's death (particularly in and around Leningrad Saint Petersburg). I'm especially interested in what would shape a young girl into the paranoid, sarcastic (and funny when she wants to be), closed-off-to-everyone-but-her-family woman she ends up as in 2000.

Oh, and any tips on how to write a Russian accent without being obnoxious about it would be lovely.*

Thanks in advance!

* Edit: What I mean in this is grammatical construction tips that'll convey the sense of an accent, not the spelling out of phonetics that is ever so obnoxious in written accents.

Waiting tables; obtaining lost identification

Questions for a couple of different stories, since I've never waited tables but some of my characters might be:

1) How much in tips, at what kind of place, would it be realistic for a character to earn in these two scenarios? I can find information on base salary, but I'm not so sure about what the tips would really be like.

- Lunch shift, moderately nice restaurant frequented by local businesspeople, mid-sized city.
- Dinner shift at a local small-town diner.

2) Would it be realistically possible for the small-town diner waitress to get away with NOT reporting some of her tips, and conceal, say, 5 or 10 dollars a night? (This character having money that nobody knows about is fairly critical to the plot, but I don't want her doing anything like prostitution or dealing drugs, and she cannot just steal it from her family. Being a tipped employee who didn't report some of her tips seemed like the best solution.)

3) If you're changing jobs because, say, you've moved, would you look to work for the same sort of restaurant you had before, or would it be possible to "move up" to a different/nicer place or whatever?

And now for something completely different:

4) This character is 18 (thus a legal adult) and running away from home. She does NOT have a driver's license or learner's permit, because her parents would not allow it. She also has no passport and no access to her birth certificate or her Social Security card. What are some things she could reasonably have when she leaves home that would help her get her hands on those identifying doucments so she can do things like work?
autum fae

saxitoxin: acquiring, dosage and skin contact

Weird question this and for the record i am not an insane killing machine bent on revenge...really I'm not.

my character is killing of people by dipping a piece of jewelry in saxitoxin and scratching them with it. I need to know three things

one: how could my character viably get her hands on some saxitoxin (she is a university student if that helps)
two: is it lethal if placed on the skin or does it need a cut to get transmitted (my character is wearing a piece of jewelery dipped in the stuff, i don't want her to die)
and three how much of a dosage would i need to kill a healthy person.

I did try googleing this but my googlefu has failed me

16th century Irish Names

First, my apologies for asking another "names" question again, and so soon. This time the focus is on Ireland, 16th century.

I have a character who must be given a traditional Irish name but under unusual circumstances. Her mother is full-blooded Irish married to an English king. Their names are Isibél inghean Uí Ruairc and King Luke of Ardagh. This is a loose historical fantasy

How would I form the daughter's byname? Usually, you go by the clan name or a patronymic name...but these both depend on the father, who is not Irish. So then, do I name her after the mother's clan? If so, how?

Thank you, so much!
Red Sag

Fake claws?

So, in this fic I am working on, one of the characters who is a pro monster costume maker promises to make anoither cgharacter a set of claws - namely, the sort that are sheats that fit on wach individual finger rather than anything glove-like.

Google has yet to help me about this - I think I either have thre wrong search terms or there just isnpt anything about how to make SHARP fake claws and more precisely, how long does it take to make a full set - and if they need fittings before they are finished?

also: how long do this sort of thing stay on? Say, during hot clingy claw-y sex , would some of them go missing or would they stick?

(and if you know something I should take into account and appear to not to have any idaea about, please tell me)


I'm thinking of a story centered around a young woman's relationship with a mentor. I'm trying to think of ways this mentor could appear in her life.

She's college age - 18-22 ish. She doesn't actually have to be in college, just fall around that age. I'd rather the mentor not be a schoolteacher/professor nor be someone from an official mentoring program; I'm trying to look for situations where she encounters someone that becomes her mentor, but she's not expecting it at the time. (Their mentor/protege relationship develops over time, but it's not the basis for their first interactions.)

The story's kinda based around experiences with my own mentors - one was the program manager of a study abroad program I was in, another was a media personality that I was first a fan of, another's a school teacher. If I put any of those situations in, though, it would be VERY obvious who they are, so I want to obscure it a bit ;)

Where else could she find this mentor without knowing it at the time?

Also, besides college, jobs, study abroad programs, and travel, what could my protagonist be doing between ages 18-22 that takes up most of her time?