March 20, 2012

IDEAS ON TUESDAYS 55

Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: whistle-blower averts scientific disaster

The essence of this story is that the Klamath has four dams on it. For some time (and, I might point out, under an EeeeeVil RePUBliCan Administration) this river was intently studied. Just before GW Bush left office, an agreement was reached in principal; Obama et al made a detailed scientific study and from what I gather, the decision that has to be made by March 31, 2012 is contentious, bitter and filled with lots of angry people pointing their fingers and shouting obscenities and invective.

Republicans and Democrats BOTH!

Into this little story, how about we toss two teenagers and stir in Shakespeare; in particular Romeo and Juliet?

Let’s make it interesting, too:

Torina Lawvor is a smart and sassy high school senior who plans on leaving the Klamath Basin, going to UCLA and becoming a lawyer to return and practice in the area. Strong-willed, sharp-humored, she’s driven away more boys than she can count. She’s OK with that – she plans on getting the letters JD after her name BEFORE she gets the letters MRS in front of it. Her dad is an artist and Mom is on the Klamath Tribal Council; she’s the youngest of five kids. The only girl, all of her brothers have been fishing guides, computer programmers or farmers.

Sander Baine is a smart and argumentative high school senior who plans on going to New York to go to film school at Ithaca College. He believes that life on Earth needs to be documented in a format that doesn’t depend on delicate electronic and digital storage technologies. His dad is probably going to be the dam destruction Project Supervisor, and he’s there to scope things out and check out the living situation. Tom├ís’ mom died of a particularly nasty and fast-growing breast cancer when he was twelve. He was an only child.

They meet – and they are on opposite sides of the controversy. Mom Lawvor and Dad Baine do NOT like each other and they both think the other is arrogant and narrow-minded.

Threats. Counter-threats.

And Torina and Sander both love running long distance – and literally bump into each other on a running trail. They eventually laugh – and then part “enemies” when they find out their parents on opposite sides of the Klamath Basin controversy. Then they meet again. Then another time. Then they end up helping to find and rescue a lost child...and nearly die when extremists set off what panicked residents call bombs, but the police say they were “fireworks out of control”. They find out the truth and even though they sometimes can’t stand each other, they...

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