Staff Notes

zoeyandnotes

Yesterday, I spent some time thinking about the Asylum staff. How many people work for the Asylum? I haven’t sort that all out and if you think of a position I forgot, please suggest it. So far I’ve got management (although I haven’t figured out how large management ought to be), maintenance (one person, I think, who might hire outside help from time to time for big jobs), security (again, number uncertain), two ambulance drivers, one physician, twelve nurses, kitchen staff (I should call my dad for help with this number. He was a cook in a hospital for about 50 years), and cleaning crew.

The trick is coming up with specific numbers. I mean, it is difficult to write a scene between the two teen boys sneaking around on the grounds and security if I’m not sure how many security guards are realistic. A security guard stands at the front and the back entrances and a few have to be able to chase down our protagonist and other characters.I suppose they could call in the town police if need be, but the Asylum likes to keep things quiet, which is harder to do the more people involved.

I’ve learned that the Asylum doctor is Giltine Diggs. As with most individuals the Asylum hires, she has no known family. She studied psychology before switching over to medicine. At the start of her career, Giltine believed she wanted to be head of surgery at a prestigious hospital. She soon learned that such positions confined her to hospital protocols and worries over lawsuits and profits. Asylum offered her freedoms mainstream institutions did not.

The patients say they hear the rustle of wings whenever she walks into a room and her hands are always cold. The patients do not wish for attention. The staff members do not question her decisions or invites her out for coffee or drinks. She hums this song as she works.

*

Thank you for reading.

Where is the Fairy Tale Asylum?

garden

I’m taking a lesson from JK Rowling. She wrote a massive amount about her fictional universe before (and while) writing the Harry Potter series. She said in an interview how she liked reading books where she felt the author knew everything about the world they were creating whether or not all that information made it into the books. I’ve tried keeping most backstory in my head, but, hey, my head isn’t what it used to be (thank you, chemo!) and I have got to write more down. Also, to be fair, my fictional universe keeps expanding, and even the healthiest brain would have a hard time keeping track.

So, all that said, I want to use this space for backstory and information I need to finish The Fairy Tale Asylum. One reason I’ve been stuck is that certain details are muddled in my mind. Maybe this will help.

Also, I remember an interview with Rowling in which she talked about a day she was at a coffee shop writing one of the later HP books, and she forgot a certain detail. She had to go to a bookshop, find one of her own HP books and look up that particular detail (something small, like eye color or some such) and how on other occasions she would go to an HP fan site (Muggle.net, I think) and remind herself of other details. Seven books is a remarkable amount of information to keep track of. You may not love Harry Potter as I do, but you have to admit that plotting a seven book story is a feat. It is amazing the seemingly minor things she drops in book one that come into play later.

Now for a few brief notes.

The Asylum stands on the edge of a small strange town off a length of desolate highway. A high stone wall surrounds the grounds, and shards of broken glass have been set into the top of this wall to help keep out prowlers. No one in town remembers the story of how the Asylum came to be.

The Asylum is six stories high, plus a basement and an attic. THere’s a shed, a storeroom, and a garage on the grounds. Guardhouses sit at the front and the back entrance. Each entrance has a wrought iron gate, the front gate being the more beautiful design.

The first floor has the admitting room, the head office, a visitor’s room, a staff room, doctor’s office and mortuary, a kitchen and a wide dining room (that has on rare occasions been used as a ballroom).

I think I need to draw a map. But I love books with maps.

The other five floors are rooms for patients. In the basement are lockers containing confiscated items and in the attic are trunks and suitcases and forgotten things.

This weekend I’m going to write about the staff. It takes a certain kind of personality to work at the Asylum. Individuals lacking family obligations are preferred.