December 13th, 2008

Images: Interior of Cylinder Tower with Windows

Setting: 2005-8, United States is the location, though an appropriate structure anywhere in the world will do.
Googled: Variations on "tower" "cylinder" "arches" "windows" followed by "Runcorn Watertower", "Norton tower", "Padua operating theater", "Leaning Tower" etc.

"Good Heavens, Why?": I am trying to visualize the appearance of a library; the room is shaped as an octagon and extends three storeys from the ground floor. On each of the two higher floors there is a projecting hall with a railing: think of a wrap-around arcade or balcony. Each face of the octagon is formed from an arch.

I feel as though this is exactly the sort of structure that one would find in a mall or a hotel, but I haven't found anything that suggests what the interior might look or feel like to a modern viewer, or evokes in me the reaction that I'm trying to evoke in my description.

I can give the architectural dimensions down to an inch, but I can't actually describe the structure I want --I'm trying to get a sense of how open- or closed-in it might feel, how the light would move through the structure.

Any suggestions of buildings I might search, or images that sort of fit the bill?

Addressing the Ard Rí

Googled: "ard rí" "ireland high king" "addressing irish high king" "addressing ard rí" "talking to ard rí" "style of address ard rí"

I need to know how you would address the High King of Ireland (Ard rí na hÉireann). Basically, if you met him face to face, what would you call him. Your Majesty? I'm not interested in the English translation but in the "original" honorific, so to speak.

For this, setting and time don't matter due to plot complications. As long as someone, somewhere, at sometime, addressed the High King by that honorific I'm satisfied. I would also be interested in knowing if anyone nowadays would recognize the honorific, since my readers happen to live at this time. And of course if the meaning has changed to a "chair" or something, do inform me.

Claiming An Abandoned Mansion

This aspect of my plot has been troubling me for way too long now - I could really use some help with it. It's not so much searching for details as a plausible scenario, so it's hard to research.

I am writing a story about two people exploring an abandoned mansion. I am having a hard time deciding to what extent it is abandoned though.

I've searched a lot of websites about urban exploration and most of the abandoned mansions therein are mostly stripped of their furniture, suffering from structural deficiencies or being guarded by at least one security guard with a dog. However, for the purposes of revealing information about the family who used to live in my mansion I want a lot of the furniture and paintings to be intact/still hanging. I don't want the mansion to be in danger of collapsing or being heavily guarded either, as it would interfere too much with the story.

I was thinking of doing something similiar to the game Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, which has a (semi) abandoned mansion being inhabited by the last remaining family member who is going a bit crazy. The only thing is, one of the major plot points of my story is that the family who used to live there are all dead and gone, but there is a lone crazy guy who hangs about and likes to think the place is his. I was wondering, then, what would happen to a mansion like that when the family line has been broken? Would it fall into the hands of the state? Would it be sold off?

Basically, I am trying to create a scenario in which the mansion and its valuables are still intact but no one is really around to live in it, guard it or claim it as their own. I'm not sure if it's possible/plausible or not, so if anyone could help me muddle through this huge gaping plot hole I would really appreciate it.

The mansion is in Massachusetts (Boston, most likely) and the family pretty much lost their fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The last of the family, a woman, moved to France where she went quite crazy and died in seclusion. The mansion has been standing since 1854.
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