June 23rd, 2008

Underage lesbians.

The setting is present day, New York urban fantasy. One of my main characters is a sixteen year old lesbian. This isn't a problem. But her new girlfriend is twenty seven. My main character told her new girlfriend two lies: A). That she lives with a roommate, not her father. B). That she's twenty.

There is a scene in the story in which the father finds them together and reveals that not is he her father not her roommate, but that she's sixteen. The new girlfriend storms out of the house angry because of the lies and scared because she was boffing a sixteen year old and could get arrested for statutory rape. I have to know in reality how important is age in lesbian relationships. Is 'age just a number' or is it more then that?

Insurance Rates after DWI

I am trying to put together a character whose luck has gone down, through no small amount of fault on his own. His final straw after breaking up with a partner he cheated on was getting sloshed and driving into a telephone pole. He was far, far over the limit at the time (I'm using .26 as a reference, as such high BAC is commonly an aggravating factor). He was released into police custody once sober enough to be booked, charged, and convicted with a first offense (no other criminal history). For my sake of argument, I'm assuming he's getting a year's revocation on his license along with community service and three years probation. He is 23 at the time of the crash (and single).

Six months in I intend for him to be able to get a conditional license (the sort that lets you go to work, school, medical and legal appointment, run errands once a week, but that's all). What sorts of insurance rates can he expect to pay at this point, and at points after this (a year when he gets his full license back and three years after when his probation expires, as well as how long this will take to clear off his record). He is driving a later model Toyota truck and nobody shares his insurance.

Story is set in rural upstate New York at present day, however I can be flexible on this for the right details (I may adjust numbers for as much as 10 years back in my story). Insurance is handled quite differently here than in most states (mainly that all drivers have in effect an electronic SR-22, and we pay for the service). No small part of his difficulty is being rural and not having ready access to transportation. I realize there's no way to be comprehensively accurate because many many more details would be needed, but I'm trying to get some ballpark idea.

Searches tried: Ask.com and Google for various forms of the subject line (auto insurance rates after DWI being the common variant), and checked community history. Insurance websites won't give me this information without putting in personal details that fortunately don't apply to me!

Haunted House

Hey, guys!

Working on a novel about a haunted house, and had a few questions.

Situation: House was built in 1860s San Fernando valley. Horrible Thing happened in 1935 or thereabouts. Heroine acquires house in 2005 or so.


1) How long could the house be expected to stand empty before someone had it demolished? Would any sort of public-health or community standards ordnance commonly come into play?

2) Can anyone recommend books on local myths and legends of the area, particularly from the Spanish colonists or Native Americans?

3) Any good books out there on the house-renovation process?


ETA: Due to helpful comments below (thanks, guys!) I've moved the house's building date to sometime in the late 1920s, and the Thing of Suck to around 1950.

I'm thinking that I'll have occupancies of a year or two, with three to eight years in between, before Heroine comes in. Would that work with building stuff?

Hyphenated last names and remarriage

Hi there everyone! First of all, let me apologize for any idiocy: I fear that this is probably a very stupid question and that I might be missing obvious, but I’m not entirely sure how to even go about Googling this and, my first attempts (basically a combination things about hyphenated last names and remarriage) have come up entirely unsuccessful.

I have a new character who I’ll call Jane, who was born to then-engaged parents and given a hyphenated last name: Jane Smith-Jones. The details are unimportant, but the father passes away before their marriage and the mother ultimately marries someone else when Jane is about four/five or so. I realize that it’s pretty much a personal decision on the mother’s part, but what would be the best way to handle the daughter’s hyphenated surname and that of her new husband, which the mother will be taking? Also, the mother and stepfather will go on to have a daughter of their own, and she will have his last name only.

If it matters whatsoever, the family is pretty much your typical American family, and my story is set in the modern US. Thank you all so much and again, sorry if any of this is just plain ignorant!

ETA: You guys are absolutely fantastic! Thank you all so much for the super fast (not to mention super amazing) answers. I've decided to go with the majority, and Jane is going to keep her birth name -- mostly as a homage to her biological father, and so her mother doesn't look like she's trying to erase his existence, or anything. Again, thank you!! This community is incredible.