Writers – you can’t take them anywhere, really. At some point – no matter how much fun they might be having – their eyes start to glaze over and when you ask them where they’ve gone, they just mumble something about thinking.
This happened to me when camping this weekend. We had a very rainy day, our campsite flooded and once the rain was over, we had to move campsites so that we weren’t camped in the middle of a buggy marsh. As we were setting up in our new spot, I did it – my eyes glazed over – and though I continued to work with my hands my mind was solid gone.
I had started thinking about a particular novel I’ve been trying to flesh out in my head before I start writing it. In this story the main character is responsible for the well-being of a once diseased planet which is now starting to come back to life. As he flits about the planet, checking on the health of certain bio-systems, my main character needs to make camp wherever he goes. My mind had disappeared into the realm of inventing high tech camping gear for my dude.
Here’s what I came up with: his tent puts itself up with just a touch on a remote. It’s completely watertight. Rain falling on the tent is steered into a water catchment system, which immediately treats the water, making it potable. The tent has a built-in heating, lighting and cooling system. It emanates a high frequency sound that serves as a deterrent to all flying and biting insects, as well as carnivorous and scavenger animals. The tent is solar-powered and needs no other external power source in order to operate. He can communicate with the tent from far away, instructing it to warm up, cool down, set up the cozy sleeping nook or even get dinner started.
When I got home from the camping trip I started looking up high tech camping gear and wouldn’t you know it – “my” fabulous tent is almost a reality. Ain’t it pretty?