November 7th, 2006


Does anyone know of any literature at all that involves/references/describes the plant belladonna? Or even something Italian that uses the phrase "bella donna"...anything at all. Even a metaphor or something vaguely literary will help. Thanks! I realize this might be a bit of a stretch, as I haven't been able to discover anything about it until now.
We are all destiny we are all choice

Men's reactions to infertile women

**EDIT** The poll link has been fixed! Click right here to access said entry and poll. Sorry for the delay!**

Okay, men. This is your time to shine.

The following poll is for my personal intents and purposes only and will help me shape both my own thoughts and the thoughts of my characters. The poll results, while not anonymous, are ONLY VIEWABLE TO ME. This means that if you love a good rack of baby, only I will know that secret about you - nobody else will. Unless, of course, you become a clergyman and run for a conservative political position, in which case every altar boy you ever "took to the rectory" will be your downfall.

But for now, here's another hand-crafted LJ poll. Please be honest!

track marks: permanent?

I've been googling this, but it's not giving me quite what I'm looking for. I've got a character who at the age of seventeen was a heroin junkie; at the time of the story she's recovered and been clean for fourteen years. My question is about track marks -- if someone were looking for them would there be noticeable scars, or would they be all but gone by then?

Thanks for your time!
  • Current Music
    Tarkan - Bounce
Kev Noir

The Mafia in '40s America

For the benefit of those who may not remember my last post, I am writing a crime
novel set in New York during the Second World War.

One of my characters is a crime kingpin of Italian extraction, but he's not
Sicilian, he's Tuscan - his surname is de Medici - and deliberately so because
he sees himself as having a legacy to uphold, convinced that he is a descendant
of the de Medicis of Florence, who were rather powerful and influential in 15th
and 16th centuries (members of this family included at least two Popes and one
Queen of France, the formidable Catherine de Medici, wife of Henri II). I have
been informed that your typical Tuscan is very proud, and would never stoop to
pay tribute to a Boss of All Bosses. Therefore, I suspect that for this concept
to work, my crime boss would have to be non-Mafia, or at least the only Boss of
All Bosses he would acknowledge would be himself. Also, I understand that in
those days the Cosa Nostra only allowed Sicilians - and maybe Calabrians and
Neopolitans - to be Made Men, or at least that was not open to northern Italians
and non-Italians.

What I was primarily meaning to ask, though, was whether the phrases "Mafia" or
"Cosa Nostra" were in use in 1940s America. (I don't remember hearing either
once in the 1932 version of Scarface). This is so I can distinguish this
particular Boss as non-Cosa Nostra. Or should I simply re-write him as
  • Current Music
    "Misty Mornin'", Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra
  • Tags
sn // impala - thunder road

guide dogs, colleges with art programs

Two totally unrelated questions. Oh, Nano, how I love you.

First question is about guide dogs. I have a character who wants to adopt a guide dog, but I'm a little unclear on the process - most of the information I've been able to find is for people who are interested in fostering the dog as a puppy and/or helping to train it. It seems that she would go to the organization and practice with various dogs to see which one she gets along with well. But what happens before that? Does she call the organization and say that she's interested in getting a dog? Is it a complicated process? Do they come check her out to make sure she's a suitable dog owner? When she finds a dog that is compatible with her is there anything else or does she just pay the fee and take it home? If anyone has any good websites for this, link me- I've looked through several guide dog sites and they mostly seem to have the same information. Also, would someone else have named the dog already?

My second question is regarding colleges with good art programs. The situation is that I have a character who plays women's basketball and a character who is an artist and they met in college. I'd like her to attend a good women's basketball school and him to be in a good art program. I have a pretty good idea where the good WBB programs are located but I'm more clueless on the art schools issue. I only found one top 25 list and it wasn't particularly helpful (and it looked kinda sketchy...). So I guess what I'm wondering is about the top 25 women's basketball schools (and the "others receiving votes") and what kinds of reputations their programs have. And specifically, how is Tennessee's art program? I would be very happy if they went there.

Thanks much to everyone who responds!

Colleges in Texas

I've got a character, a star high-school football star from a small town in Texas. He's not the sort of character who thinks about college on his own, but just does what his parents and coach suggest. Thus, I'm wondering what college he would be applying to. It's entirely for a small gag about how he wants to major in football, so I don't need to know too much about the college, just what colleges would be suggested to this sort of character (ie, great at football, dim-witted in just about everything else). And we can assume that he's excellent at football, perhaps even good enough for the pros, since right before he mentions his college aspirations, he outruns an alien rooster and falls off a cliff into some trees without getting seriously injured.

Regency Finishing Schools

I'm having trouble coming up with the names of finishing schools that young ladies in Regency England might have been sent to. I need a fairly high profile one; I can just make one up, but among other things, I'm not sure if a Baron's daughter would have been sent abroad for finishing or at home.


Edited to add: I wasn't thinking. The novel is Regency, but the boarding/finishing school would have been attended by a character's mother, so we're talking Georgian. 1780s or early 90s.

Edited further to say: Thank you all! I'm going with tutoring because that seems to be the most appropriate choice for her station.

registration of ocean-going vessels?

A truly odd question:

If I had a 15 year-old boy somehow find himself deeded an oil tanker in a will, how would he go about re-registering this ship in the United States? I know smaller craft are registered at the state level, but who assigns hull numbers and tracks larger ocean-going ships?