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Researching real places . . . (1 Viewer)

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Anita M Shaw

Friends of WF
Anyone out there live in RI, and been to the Newport Hospital at some point? The more recent the better. It'd help my stories if I could know at least on what floors the ICU, the birthing center and one floor where regular patients stay are. I'd hate to say a particular floor for each when they aren't anywhere near where I say. I've so far gotten away with things like, once they reached their floor, or punching the button for the desired floor . . . but it'd be nice to say a specific one. Although, I took a chance and specified fourth floor for where Thomi was after her riding accident. No flack from that yet, but then, it's doubtful that anyone from that area has read it.

I did contact someone in the hospital sometime ago, but her reply made me feel like a jerk for asking. Actually, more like a person of questionable character. Pervert, terrorist . . . my claim of being an author some trumped up excuse to ferret out information.

I know I could build a fictional place, but I was hoping to avoid that.

Didn't bother me so much not knowing anything in the first two stories. But, now that I'm writing about newborns, I dug a little deeper, or they actually have more stuff online than before, and I see that they're set up differently from what I've experienced. Although, my first was a home birth at the house of a couple in our birthing class. And my second was born in the back seat of our two door Dodge Dart. But the hospitals we eventually ended up at had nurseries. (Third son was at a hospital.) Newport Hospital is one where the baby is with Mom most of the time. No nursery. If Mom needs a break the nurses come and take them back to their station and they rock and cuddle them there.

Which is nice, but the Mom in my story is a wack job who's just tried to kill herself. More than once. So . . . I can't believe they'd leave the poor babe with her. And they can't hold her all day long!

Hmmmm . . . as I explain all this some possibilities present themselves . . . Still it would be nice to know a little more of the layout.

If anyone can help me with a little more of the details, I'd be so grateful. Meanwhile, I'm going to go try out my ideas before I forget them!
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
How about trying to use google maps and google earth? You can look around the area. Admittedly I haven't used it but spotted the advice online. Supposedly, Orson Scott card consulted google maps when writing Ender's Game.
 

Anita M Shaw

Friends of WF
Actually, I did that. But it doesn't show enough of what I need. Lots of outside views. Some inside, but many not detailed enough. Rooms but not any idea of what floor they might be on. On the plus side, I know what colors they use inside! Also watched a couple videos about Newport Hospital's birthing center and Women and Infants Hospital in Providence. That was sort of helpful, but again, not quite enough.

With mom on another floor because of her mental issues, and no nursery for the baby to be in in the meantime, kinda makes my creating life a headache for this part. But I shall persevere!
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Pin interest and youtube are some other resources writers sometimes use to help write their settings. I admit to describe the interior setting can be a challenge. Look up some history websites especially if the hospital is of historical significance. (history channel)(A and E)

I don't know if the below is the hospital, but this looks like a beautiful video since the hospital looks to be an interesting place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7_xdm_CJ_k

http://newporthistory.org/collections-resources/digital-resources/

http://newporthistory.org

(you can always mail a letter and or email them).
 
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Jack of all trades

Senior Member
I'm sure the hospital has a location for babies needing intensive care. If not, they would be sent to a nearby hospital with such.

You can try Googling a map of the hospital, but for security reasons it probably won't be out there.
 

Anita M Shaw

Friends of WF
Hey Jack and TGH,

I'm good for the overall setting as we often vacation there. I did find Google maps street view helpful in exploring streets we haven't had the chance to when we're there. Or helping me recall what buildings are near a business I reference. There never seems to be enough time to see all I want to see. And if we go with my youngest son and his family, then likely, I'm not going to be checking out much of what I want/need to. Boring, you know. Gotta be doing something fun and interesting each second. If things aren't strictly structured my daughter in law's head explodes! And, I'm afraid, that's not me or my husband. My other two sons are happy to just go with the flow as well. We do something fun, then we eat and do research for my books.

I have tons of pictures from past visits there. :)

The video seemed to be more of a tour of the city than of the hospital. I have looked at a couple videos about the hospital and neither mentions a neonatal unit. Seems if a baby needs critical care, it's sent to Providence. So, I guess I have to suck it up and send her to Providence. Or devise a different scenario. Just have to force my brain to give up on what I've done so far. I hate when that happens! Makes it hard to find a new solution and move forward. I have 400+ pages done, and so have to stop and fix this before I go on.

As I mentioned, I did email someone in the hospital a year or so ago. No help at all. Maybe a letter would be better. I'd call, but I'm afraid of sounding stupid, so . . . yeah, letters. Another thought is I could pretend to be looking for the ideal birthing experience and pose some questions in the comments section on the blogs that have articles about which ones offer the best experience. Think I may do that first.

Thanks for the suggestions!!
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
Actually, I did that. But it doesn't show enough of what I need. Lots of outside views. Some inside, but many not detailed enough. Rooms but not any idea of what floor they might be on. On the plus side, I know what colors they use inside! Also watched a couple videos about Newport Hospital's birthing center and Women and Infants Hospital in Providence. That was sort of helpful, but again, not quite enough.

With mom on another floor because of her mental issues, and no nursery for the baby to be in in the meantime, kinda makes my creating life a headache for this part. But I shall persevere!

Just get as close as you can and don't worry about it. It's called artistic license. A few well chosen details will give your book a sense of verisimilitude and that's enough. Your story isn't about the layout of the hospital, is it? You can get so hung-up on these sorts of details that you never actually tell the story. How many people who know the hospital well enough to contradict you will be reading it? Over-researching a location can be a good excuse for not writing the story.
 

Jack of all trades

Senior Member
Actually, I did that. But it doesn't show enough of what I need. Lots of outside views. Some inside, but many not detailed enough. Rooms but not any idea of what floor they might be on. On the plus side, I know what colors they use inside! Also watched a couple videos about Newport Hospital's birthing center and Women and Infants Hospital in Providence. That was sort of helpful, but again, not quite enough.

With mom on another floor because of her mental issues, and no nursery for the baby to be in in the meantime, kinda makes my creating life a headache for this part. But I shall persevere!

Keep going! Truth is stranger than fiction.

I stumbled across an article the other day about an old Disney movie, Iron Will. It seems the movie was more inspired by actual events than based on them. There was a lot in the article about how much Disney changed of the real events. Ironically, the one thing viewers found most unbelievable was an actual, real event. The person Will was based on really risked his chances of winning the dog sled race by stopping to help a fellow competitor who had become ill. He made sure the man got to a doctor. That was a moment that pulls at the audience's heart strings.

So you never know. Your story may be all the better by having to deal with the extra challenge.
 

Anita M Shaw

Friends of WF
Thanks everyone for the advice and encouragement! And for the images of the floor plans.

I didn't worry much about any of that in the first two books. Although the woman I wrote to finally did write back and say that my little character with the heart problem would be sent to Providence as Newport wasn't equipped to handle that sort of thing.

Normally, I wouldn't obsess over it, but finding out there's no nursery in the birthing center and no apparent neonatal ICU did throw me for a bit. I know I could take creative license, which I did for the towns and the island I built for this, but the no nursery thing seemed an obstacle because this baby's mother is a wack job and isn't going to want her in the same room with her 24/7. I wanted her to not even want to see her at all after she recovered a bit from her suicide attempt.

I have since reconciled myself with all this, and spent yesterday fixing the story so that now, the babe is a premie, her early birth due to her mother's attempt at suicide. Slits her wrists in the bathroom and faints. Figured a fall worked for Cora's miscarriage in Downton Abbey, I'll borrow from that. And sent them both off to Providence where there are a number of hospitals. I just won't name any specifically. And I can do what I want.

I am about to introduce that child to her future adoptive momma and her real daddy. But--happy endings are not yet!

Maybe I'll post chapters for people to peek at and get feedback. I tend to write complicated stories with several subplots going on. Some of which are plants for a future book. As this one was. I just can't seem to be happy writing a simple story with one or none subplots. Thought this one would be shorter than the first one, but nope. Going to be as long. Only the second one is shorter, although I've lengthened it a bit with the last rewrite. Now that I've written the parts of this story that intertwine with the second, I'll be doing yet another bit of rewriting because I've figured out more clearly why Matt is killed, and why Irvy walks away from Joleigh. So I have to go explain that. As it's not sold a copy in a year or more, I'm not worried about making changes. Especially since it'll make the book much better.

Ah! And in this third story, I found the perfect place to feature one of my poems. I'm thinking of adding it to the beginning of each of the romances. It's called Dream Wind Whispers and is the inspiration for the name of my little publishing entity and romance series title, plus the equestrian center in the books although I did change the spelling for those last things to DreamWynd as I discovered another place in Canada using a similar name.

The story should go along quicker now. I hope. I'd like to have it done before fall. Maybe launch it by the end of the year. I'm planning to bundle the three and sell as a boxed set.

Thanks again for all the help! You're all awesome!!
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
If she had tried to kill herself then she would be considered a threat to herself, and would be immediately committed involuntarily for a minimum of 72hrs for a psyche eval. I used to score extra cash doing these transport runs. It always amazed me how many of them objected to the trip. I remember one guy who had serious rope burns on his neck who objected to being evaluated. I was like "what do you care? You just tried to kill yerself, so your afternoon woulda been free either way."
 

Anita M Shaw

Friends of WF
Jack - I saw that movie! Saw it a couple of times, actually. Yeah, Disney does take liberties! I found that scene to be the most believable. Not everyone is out for himself. I liked that in him. Maybe I'll watch it again next movie night. Challenge is what I'm looking for Geoffrey at this point. He didn't really have any until now.



Ralph - Lol! Exactly!

So, not having a nursery - where would that baby go? So, I let her be a premie and took them both to Providence. The baby's in a neonatal ICU and Mom is on the psych ward.

Good to know about the involuntary commitment thing. I will have to go address that. Just have her in ICU right now in bad condition for the blood loss.

When I started this as a subplot in the first book, I had her termed a flake brain by Geoffrey's family, the sort of person who doesn't want a real commitment but will take whatever she can get out of it for as long as she can. Which has been a long long time.

Hadn't any idea she would turn out this way until I wrote the scene where he breaks up with her. And it's working well for what I needed for conflict better than what I'd originally planned.
 
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