They Don’t Fight Crime

17 03 2010

I don’t know if you’re familiar with They Fight Crime, but I have always admired the art of creating an intriguing character premise with brevity.  Today, I’ve spent a lot of time developing the three child characters from the “Hideaway” excerpt of my repurposed missile silo brainstorms.  I’m not prepared to present and discuss everything I’ve written today, partially because I would like some of the reveals to retain their effect when I first print them on my blog.  I will, however, leave you with a They Fight Crime-inspired glimpse of the characters:

Bert is a bull-headed action-taking boy who witnessed the apex of his parents’ breakup; Trini is a strong-willed leader who, as an “accident”, was unwanted by her parents; Stewart is a natural healer/peacemaker who knows death first hand.  They are on the run.

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Brainstorm: Repurposed Missile Silo – Poll

6 03 2010

On 25 February and 2 March, I brainstormed about living in a repurposed missile silo.  I am now attempting to branch out and develop my ideas, but I have three premises I’m currently exploring.  Vote to let me know which interests you the most.  Feel free to leave comments discussing your vote.

Possible Excerpt A:  Home

Chopping the red onion finely, Faye looked up to see Felix walking in with his arms full of fresh tomatoes.  She laughed.  “Where’s Theo?  I thought he was going to help you make the salsa.”

Gently laying the tomatoes on the table, Felix grinned.  “He’s downstairs unpacking all the books, of course.  I think he finally decided on the Library of Congress classification system.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves his bed down there so he can feel like he’s living in the middle of a library.  Of course, once he remembers he’s about five stories below the kitchen, he might change his mind.”

Faye grabbed a tomato and began dicing.  “Alright, well come over here and get to work.  Everyone will be hungry by dinner time, whether they are five stories down filling bookshelves, or up top checking the greenhouse seals.”  Faye showed Felix the size to which she wanted the tomato diced, then stepped to the sink to drain and rinse the beans.  She was already bustling around the concrete room, checking on the dough and stove as Felix took over dicing tomatoes.  Fresh food is a fantastic way to celebrate a new home.

Possible Excerpt B:  Retirement

The bus pulled away, dust billowing behind it.  Rika sighed, and turned toward the hatch.  She easily navigated the descent into the silo.  As the hatch closed, blocking out the sun, Rika mused to herself.  Perhaps it would have been better if she were ill or debilitated.  Family members would visit the hospital, the sick.

Sure, here she could continue to be active and healthy.  She could socialize with other people her age.  There were gardening, game, food, relaxation, and exercise opportunities in abundance, but it hurt her heart to be hidden away beneath the earth. No one wanted to see the aged.

Possible Excerpt C:  Hideaway

Bert had excitedly whispered to his friends that he thought he’d found a place.  It was far from any cities and appeared to have been abandoned for years.  Trini couldn’t believe there was any place that could be safe for any length of time.  Stuart was able to convince her that it sounded safe enough to at least evaluate, so they walked five miles with Bert, and arrived at the hatch.

They first descended through two levels.  Hulking in the middle of the first room, with a staircase spiraling down from its foot, was an intimidating column that sloped outward toward the ceiling.  They descended silently, and then went padding through the dark rooms with flashlights bobbing.  Passing through what looked like a kitchen, the children found it seemed cold and merely ornamental without power running the appliances.

After struggling with a large, heavy door in the lower level, the group discovered a hall leading away from the module they had been exploring.  Rather than exploring the extent of each level in this section, they headed down, trying to take in the vastness of the structure.  After descending 9 stories, they finally reached the bottom of the silo.

“It’s perfect.”





Brainstorm: Repurposed Missile Silo – Farming

2 03 2010

On 25 February I brainstormed about living in a repurposed missile silo.

This is a continuation of that brainstorming process, with a focus on where food would come from if the silo were cut off from any outside contact.
Instead of a generic bubble dome on top of to missile silo structure, it seems it would be useful to have a geodesic greenhouse for growing grains and vegetables.

Possible crops:
wheat
tomatoes
peppers
beans
corn
potatoes
broccoli
garlic
carrots

Making tortillas and other flat breads would probably be more useful than trying to make breads, and even pastas that would need yeast, eggs, etc. that might be difficult to get in a closed system (sans raising chickens for the eggs).

It seems as though it would be difficult/impossible to have salt unless it was previously hoarded or unless they somehow had access to salt water.  Having access to salt water from a repurposed missile silo seems unlikely.

Growing peppers and spices (which could work easily even in the silo as opposed to the greenhouse) seems like it would be a worthy endeavor regarding seasoning food, especially with an absence of salt.

What would be a good way to preserve food other than salting it?  Dehydration seems like one good option; possibly canning in reusable jars as well.

Something else to think about:  I think a life in a repurposed missile silo would be most interesting if the silo were secluded.  In what situations would the silo be forcibly secluded, but the greenhouse would still work?  What would it be like if outside life were relatively normal, but a family (or a few families) lived in this silo.  What would kids at school think?  Would the parents work at home as scientists/researchers?





Brainstorm: repurposed missile silo

25 02 2010

What would it be like to live in a re-purposed missile silo?

Brainstorming:

I like the article author’s idea of replacing the house with a bubble/dome
Lower levels of silo: catacombs? library archives? I like a giant library
How far in the future is this?  No more than 20 years
Is there anything growing inside? Hydroponics? –> Is there any reason to go outside
How do bathrooms work?
Is it a family or community living there? No more than 4 families
Did they re-purpose it, or did they get it that way?
A constant 55 degrees sounds cold





Borrowing

24 02 2010

I’m borrowing old sentence starters from Colony of Gamers to try to get my creative juices flowing.
This sentence starter can be found here in its original form, and the word count goal is 150.

He overturned tables, smashed furniture, bringing to a boil the full extent of his fury.

Dennis threw down his mouse in disgust.  Creating a home for his avatar wasn’t going very well.

Why wouldn’t the walls line up properly?  All he wanted to do was build a snug virtual cabin to retreat to when he was tired of gaming for awhile.  There was no way he could relax when he could see simulated sunlight streaming in every place walls met floor or ceiling.

Perhaps he should just go with one of the templates.  None were as unique as he wanted, but at least snippets of the outdoors wouldn’t be streaming into his avatar’s home.  He considered the possibility of a chrome cube as his relaxation retreat.  Interior touches would make it his own; perhaps he could even add a unique texture to the exterior.

No, that wouldn’t do.  Sighing, Dennis settled down, his avatar now sitting amongst the furniture debris, for another hour of trying to line up his southwest wall with the floor.  Maybe he should have built the exterior before adding furniture to his floor plan.

(Word count: 188)

I’m still finding it rough to write much, especially fiction, so bear with me.