July 17th, 2006

dragon, little boy blue, announcement
  • ebugle

Question about scars over eyelids.

Um, hi! I signed up here because a friend who's also a writer has directed me here a couple of times and I finally took his advice.

My question is a bit complicated and I really don't know how to go about answering it, which is why I'm hoping someone here can help me. I have a character who gets into a fight with a bully on his first day of school and suffers two major injuries, the removal of his left ear and a scar spanning from the center of his forehead, down over his left eye, and ending on his left cheek. Yeah, it was a bad fight, and it helps that he's a wolf and the other kid was a badger, which would hopefully explain the severity of the damage that a first grader could cause. Anyway, having an eye injury like that kind of fuse the eyelid shut an unusable, right? Which would mean that my character would lose his depth perception, which is something I hadn't immediately thought of when I imagined his injuries, and is something I don't want him to have, as it'd add a bit of unneeded complexity to his character.

So, we get to my question. Is it possible for the eyelid to be functional again after a few years (or any time frame, really, as long as it's not more than a few years), allowing the boy to regain his depth perception? Also, what effects would this have on his other eye after having not been used for so long, assuming it would take a long time for him to finally regain the use of his left eye, if possible at all. I guess, as I side question, would the eye be injuried from the badger's claw, or would the eyelid do its job in protecting the eye from harm?

This is important because I really do not want him to suffer from lack of depth perception for his entire life as I intend to use him as a central character in a lot of stories, and I'd rather he not have to stumble around his entire life not knowing how far that low branch is in front of him. If his eye can't be used again after receiving this injury, I'd have to slightly change his scar's path so that it would go around his eye instead, which isn't as cool in my opinion, as well as the opinion of those who admire his battle scars.

Any help that anyone could give on the subject would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Tarot, Princess

17th Century London: Spyglasses and Livrey Companies and Christmas

How's that for a subject line?

I'm in the preliminary research stages of a story about the Great Fire of London, so for all of the below questions, the context is December 1665 through September 1666.

The story has four main characters from two families. Edward and Agnes are husband and wife. Robert and Thomas are brothers. All are shop proprietors living in East Cheap. (Ringside seats!)

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Now, I have been to Wikipedia on this, as well as to a handful of other sites. I here admit (*dance of shame*) that I haven't done much book research. The Wikipedia entry in particular confused me more than it helped me on the Corporation of London and the various livery companies (though the order of precedence may come in handy). So here's what I'm still left wondering:

1. Robert and Thomas are brothers in the stationer business. Robert is the master, Thomas the apprentice. Would they actually use the terms "master" and "apprentice" as titles?

2. About what age would Robert have to be--or how long at master status--to be a freeman? A liveryman?

3a. Assuming the above, would it be unusual for Thomas to still be an apprentice at around 18 or 19 years old? Would the fact that they're the second generation owning this shop factor into any of it?

3b. Edward is a scrivener. The first female freemen were admitted to the scriveners in 1665. (Whew!) Assuming that Agnes was also his apprentice, how old would she have to be/how many years' training would she need to be a master? To take over her husband's practice once he died? Would she have to be accepted as a freeman for her business to survive?

3c. Would Edward have an office-ish setup, or would he just hang a shingle and do his work wherever the client(s) were?

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I know that's a lot of little details, but any and all help would be much appreciated, including the names of useful books. Thanks in advance!
Saiyaloid Raditz
  • kahteh

Creating/acquiring a Familiar

OK, so I have a character who is a very Lovecraft-influenced daemonologist, and I want him to have a Familiar.

From my searches online, I've managed to find out what exactly a Familiar was, but nothing more helpful than that. The traditional view of a Familiar being given to the witch by Satan doesn't cut it here, and pretty much the only other stuff I can find is about Wicca, which also doesn't help me.

So, what I want to know is, how could he have acquired or created this Familiar? Any mythology/folklore will do, and I'm prepared to bastardise things if I have to. If there's anything in any of the Lovecraftian/Cthulhu mythoses (mythi?), that would be even better, but like I said, I'm open to suggestions.

One thing I should probably mention now is that "magic" in the typical fantasy sense is pretty much completely nonexistant in my story. This character can't just wave a wand or say some magic words and have a Familiar appear.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I'm getting some fantastic suggestions- thanks so much! I should have enough to work with now, but I'm certainly not going to reject any more ideas.
IW bear

Reporting a crime to the police in the 1850s

I'm writing a fantasy story with a setting that is similar to England in the 1850s. My MC has just discovered that her brother is missing from his house and goes to report it to the police. What would be the procedure for doing this? And who would take the report? What sort of questions might they ask her? (Other than the obvious ones). Would they contact her if they made any progress on the case, even if it was slight? And if so, how often? By mail or would they send someone? Or does she have to go to them for updates?

I'm willing to take any modern day procedures and adapt them for my purposes as well.

Thanks in advance for any help!
  • eelpot

HIV testing

Is it possible to see indications on HIV in a normal blood test when that person is already on medication against the virus? If not, is there any situation besides donating blood or semen that a person would get tested for HIV?

I have tried googleing, but can't seem to find anything, so if anyone has a search phrase I can work from or an answer, I would really appreciate it.

ETA: Thank you for your answers, I got what I needed. Sorry for being unclear, my English isn't the best... It's a good thing I'm not writing this thing in English, no? :P
Mark Luca

Gunshot to the neck

My MC is shot in the back of the neck with a rifle. The bullet has traveled quite ways and strikes him at a low velocity penetrating into his neck and lodging against his spine without fracturing any bones.
Would he bleed a great deal from this injury?
If the swelling resulting from the injury were great enough to cause temporary paralysis, how long might this last?

Wow! Thank you for the replies, they are very helpful. The link you gave me had information I didn't find during my google research.