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14 September 2014 @ 06:36 pm
Lighthouses  
Any Forever Knight fans who are also lighthouse lovers reading this?

I read an essay/article in the New York Times today about lighthouses, which reminded me of an FK flashback story idea that I had ages ago — Nick as a nineteenth-century lighthouse keeper on a particularly fog-ridden stretch of the west coast of North America — but, though I did the research (and even visited the model RL lighthouse!), never got around to writing.

In part, the story never getting written was because because I could never seem to pair it with a present-day plot, and back at the particular vintage of this idea (years and years and years ago) it seemed vital to follow canonical episode structure whenever feasible. At this distance, I remember much of what Nick and the human OCs were up to, but though I remember Lacroix dropping in, his action has slipped my mind entirely... something dastardly, of course!

And in larger part... I remember fretting about whether to adapt one particular real historical incident to the fiction. Would it be immoral to have Nick fictionally do what a real person once really did? They couldn't both be there and have it happen; what made it a heroic lighthouse keeper action was that there was no one else, no relief, no back-up. On one hand, probably hundreds of lighthouse keepers did similar things across all of history, so it would probably be okay to adapt it. On the other hand, the specific historical story in which I encountered the action was... a woman's. And it's generally extra bad to obscure a woman's historical contribution by ascribing it to a man (even so utterly fictional a man as an 800-year-old vampire cop crusader).

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apsisapsis on September 15th, 2014 01:50 am (UTC)
I wouldn't call myself a light house lover but I think I've seen most of the lighthouses on the west coast from San Diego up to Point Reyes. It took tough people to do that job.

Did you ever consider it as a flashback for Jeannette? She wasn't as gung ho about dong good deeds as Nick, but I seem t recall her attempting to help some women, mostly by making them vampires, but still . . . I have no clue about the modern story you wanted to write, or the circumstances of the historical incident but if you're still thinking about the story, perhaps you should make an attempt it.

Amy R.: Janettebrightknightie on September 15th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed, that was a hard, hard job. (I imagine Point Reyes before the steps... and the BC and Alaska lighthouses!) As you've seen that far up the coast, did you observe any particular differences between the southern and more northerly CA lighthouses?

I'm no longer imagining trying to hitch the flashback to a modern incident (though I will if one occurs to me). This many years from cancellation... I feel more free to please just myself, when I'm writing outside a ficathon, I think...

I'm afraid that Janette, as I imagine her, would not have done this particular thing. It would have meant risking her life -- at length, not at impulse -- for people she didn't know. That would be a very different story, for certain!
greerwatsongreerwatson on September 15th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC)
How about Urs? Or one of our less written-about female vampires, such as Serena or Alexandra?
Amy R.: Ursbrightknightie on September 15th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for the kind ideas!

My particular story idea is about Nick being a lonely, brave, nineteenth-century lighthouse keeper while grappling with his quest and character development. It's not about any of FK's women characters.

I apologize for giving the wrong impression.
greerwatsongreerwatson on September 15th, 2014 05:48 am (UTC)
Ah, a character-oriented piece. That does restrict your protagonist to the person you want to introspect.
apsisapsis on September 20th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Hmmm, the impression that comes to mind is that the northern lighthouses seem to be in more isolated areas. I don't think that was deliberate though. The southern coast is just more developed. I saw most of them in the company of a friend who was a science teacher and a photographer and she got really excited about the optics of the various lenses. Oddly enough, I don't really remember the lighthouse exteriors. Or not nearly so clearly as the stairs and the views. (Plus the glee brought on someone being able to shoot photographs through the Point Reyes lens, not an approved activity BTW.) Sorry I can't be more helpful, I guess we were a little tightly focused.
apsisapsis on September 20th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
Hmmm, the impression that comes to mind is that the northern lighthouses seem to be in more isolated areas. I don't think that was deliberate though. The southern coast is just more developed. I saw most of them in the company of a friend who was a science teacher and a photographer and she got really excited about the optics of the various lenses. Oddly enough, I don't really remember the lighthouse exteriors. Or not nearly so clearly as the stairs and the views. (Plus the glee brought on someone being able to shoot photographs through the Point Reyes lens, not an approved activity BTW.) Sorry I can't be more helpful, I guess we were a little tightly focused.
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on September 20th, 2014 03:07 pm (UTC)
The stairs and the views, rather than the exteriors, are what the lighthouse keepers would remember, too! :-)

I learned about the various lenses when I was researching this years ago, but I'm afraid that I've forgotten everything of the technical details, and retain only a few key words ("Fresnel").
waltdwaltd on September 18th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
Lighthouse Keeper
Seems like a good idea to me.
Basically, you could have Nick in any sort of situation where he is afraid that he'll have to move on . . . again, and reminisce (i.e., the flashback) about the time he tried to completely isolate himself by tending a lighthouse. Ha! Of course, LC wouldn't let him be alone for long.
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on September 20th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Lighthouse Keeper
Thanks!

I've thought of setting the story after Nick's murder of Sylvaine in the flashbacks of "Love You to Death," which was a time that he would very likely have wanted to withdraw from everything for a while, but that might be too deeply emotional and fraught a period. There is also the 20-year gap between the last US Civil War flashback ("Unreality TV") and the resumption of flashbacks across the Atlantic ("Blind Faith"); that might be a promising time in Nick's history for this adventure.