My NaNo project was a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It started with a bang and I churned out 3500 words in a week. It was a solid start, but I decided to go ahead and finish my semifinal draft of Snow White, so I can hopefully submit both of them in quick succession. So technically, my first foray into NaNoWriMo was an abject failure. But I DID get a finished manuscript by the time November was finished which, for me, was the important thing.
Anyway, for my B&tB story, I have been researching the medical impacts of invisibility.
(If you ever wondered why certain people become writers, then the above sentence should give you all the answer you need. What other useful thing could I do with this imagination of mine?)
First, some background. In the original version of Beauty and the Beast, all the servants were turned invisible as part of the same curse that turned the Beast into a beast. Now, imagine the servants fifteen years later. Surely, there would have been adverse effects from prolonged invisibility.The biggest, I think, would be problems from lack of sunlight. If the sun passes right through you, then you probably don’t absorb much of it.
The biggest problem, I’ve found so far, would be a vitamin D deficiency. This would pose a terrible problem for children, as they would probably develop rickets, a horrifying condition in which the bones soften and twist. Legs become either severely bowlegged or knock-kneed. Ankles turn in. Spines twist. Elbows misshapen. Rickets can also affect adults as their bones soften and warp under the influence of gravity.
Other problems, I think, would include depression and arthritis. In my research stack is a notation to research cabin fever. I will also be tapping the knowledge of my nurse sister, my niece who is studying nursing, and fellow RWA members in the medical field.
I am also brushing off some old research on the history of blood transfusions. B&tB is turning out to be a sort of medical steampunk story, and once, long ago, when I wrote for the Bathroom Reader series (seriously!), I wrote about blood types. So I know all about the long and tragic history of how we discovered blood types and the complexities of Rh factors. Way back when, a blood transfusion was only for the desperate, because there was always a chance you would get the wrong blood type, and then you die.
The young lady at the left is my Aunt Matilda (or actually, my great, great Aunt Matilda), and she was a nurse during the time period in which I am setting this story. Maybe she had personal knowledge of these risky transfusions. Maybe not. But the picture is cool, anyway.
So imagine, if you will, being invisible for fifteen years. Can you think of any adverse affects that I have not thought of?