February 22nd, 2007

Starting a fire in the rain

My characters (after yesterday's hike) wake up to a down pour.

The main character will know how to start a campfire in the rain, but from what I can remember from my camping days we always used pine needles, small branches from pine trees, and pine sap covered pine bark to start fires in the rain. After some googling (starting fire rain fruit wood, in multiple combinations) I found that's how most people start fires in the rain.

So, if my character is in an old apple orchard rather than a pine forest, does that change how she starts her fire? There is plenty of bramble and undergrowth, but I'm not sure how much of it would be dry under fruit trees verses pine trees and how many dry smaller branches she'll be able to find on fruit trees.

Also, how realistic would it be for her to have put kindling and wood in the tent the night before? She can survive in a post-apocalyptic America (defending herself, getting from Point A to Point B alive, finding and killing food) but I don't want her to have Locke-esque super-power survival skills.

How I remember starting fires in the rain (which Google more or less confirmed) in case it's different with fruit trees.Collapse )

Thanks!

Heart Problems


I've been doing some research on heart conditions and now I'm confused on a much higher level.  :)  I'm looking for a specific heart problem and I think thre may be different conditions out there that can cover this, so I'll explain the situation and how I want it to inflict the character.  

  • Current Mood: thoughtful

looking for a keeper of secrets

I'm looking for a mythical creature/spirit/etc. that is a keeper of secrets, preferably female. The problem is, there's so much folklore and mythology out there that it's hard to sift through it all. I've been Googling, using my Wikipedia skills, and looking through this comm's tags for a few hours now, and I still haven't come up with anything usable.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. :)
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Everybody's Had The Blues – B.B. King & Joe Louis Walker

Unable to digest food?

I'm looking for a disease or disorder. All I know is:

1. the person is unable to digest food because the body lacks...whatever it is that removes nutrients.
2. the person has to consume pills containing...whatever it is the body is lacking (enzymes?) whenever s/he eats something. The example I heard was that, even for eating a piece of toast, these pills have to be eaten as well or the toast just passes straight through the body, no nutritional value gained at all.
3. I assume the person dies fairly young because of this - before their 30s, I think.

I've tried searching enzymes, pills, disease, stomach, "unable to digest food" and disorder in various combinations. I don't have any background in biology and I don't know the correct terminology.

It might be cystic fibrosis, but I'm not sure; this was the only part of the disease I could remember and I don't know if this was the only symptom.

Anybody know the name of what I'm looking for? Got it - it is cystic fibrosis. Thanks for all the replies, they really helped!

inpatient therapy sessions

Setting (worldwide location): Midwest America -- loosely based in Iowa, but there isn't any state outrightly stated ('scuse the pun) in the story.

Situation: I have a character who was put in a mid-level inpatient program because she was talking to things that weren't there but wouldn't communicate with anyone else, believed she was the Antichrist, and had cut everyone out of her life except for two friends -- both of which were penpals, therefore affording her no human contact aside from her foster parents. She's been in the inpatient program for a couple months, and while she will now engage in conversation with actual people (and not just the things only she sees), her opinions of what she is have not changed, nor has her willingness to make new friends. She's reasonably functional now, and is on the verge of being released when this story takes place. However, she's just had a relapse, in which she's started talking aloud to her invisible friendthings again, and has to talk about this during her weekly therapy session.

Research: I've googled and wiki'd quite a bit on various therapies, but I think this needs the voice of personal experience. I cleared up all my other questions on hospitalization through this research. I also checked the taglist for this community.

Question: How exactly would this therapist talk to her? She's been a generally difficult (reluctant to speak, really sarcastic, anti-authority-ish) patient, so would he be exasperated with her by now and be speaking with her harshly, or what? I really don't want to write the stereotypical stern/sarcastic/exasperated therapist if he wouldn't actually be exasperated with her. And would he, by this point, outright TELL her she's delusional and needs to stop, or would he repeat the same things he's been saying for the past couple months over again? Basically, how harsh would he be? I'd like knowledge on hospital therapists, as I can get info on regular outpatient therapy myself. Would the inpatient therapy be the same as outpatient? (I'm assuming not, but I could be totally wrong.)

underground camping

I've googled around a little bit, but nothing's really turned up anything useful... I've also tried reasoning through to figure out my answer of course, but I just want to be certain.

I've got this bit coming up in my (late renaissance-esque period fantasy) story where the three main characters will be going through this underground labrynth/catacombs/cavern system for a good few days straight. What didn't occur to me until just now is how well campfires would work out underground. What concerns me is the smoke. With nowhere to go, would the smoke become a problem and cause breathing problems, or what? How DO you camp out underground? I know it can get pretty cold, so of course fire would be preferable--especially if they have food rations they have to cook-- but I keep wondering about the fire's smoke and whether it would be a problem. Would they have to only have one in an open chamber rather than an enclosed tunnel (which is what the system mostly consists of)?

Neat as I think it would be to camp out underground to see for myself, unfortunately I don't have that experience.

[[EDIT]]And just as I posted this, the question of what to burn for fire occurred to me. So pretend they have something to burn, as I'll come up with something when the time comes. Then what? [[/EDIT]]
  • Current Mood: curious

Searching for setting

This won't be an integral part of the actual main plot--just some secondary character's backstory. Still, it's good to not just make up history.

I'm looking for a Latin-American country. Brazil and Chile would have been my first and second choices before I started researching, but now I'm open to input. The country in question needs to have had a problem with civil war/violence/strife that would have made it particularly hard for the common/lower classes to get by, during...say...some point between 1850 and 1900. Wikipedia is awesome for History in an abstract sense, discussing the top Generals and politicians and strategic maneuvers, but it is somewhat lacking in identifying the effects on the common citizens. It's always fun for trivia's sake to know that General Whoever overthrew President Blah in the year X, but how bad would it have been to be caught living there during that?

Ideally, I'm looking for a 1850-or-so setting in which it would not be unrealistic for a character to claim her family was poor from living in a war-torn area, tried to more or kess keep out of things, but got killed by random fighters anyway (probably for being accidental obstacles, like if the army just wanted their land or something.) She became immortal since then and the story is modern, so assume radical difference between then and now (both in time and in tone) isn't an issue. Bonus points if a setting can be found in which "Flores" is an acceptable last name, but if that's totally irreconcilable, I can probably come up with something else.