Today I sacrificed the right to ever complain about a lack of time. I took the non-existent ticket and, with nary a match, lit it ablaze. I must confess, though, that it was kind of fun.
As regular readers know, except for when it comes to “commentary” I use fictional locations. Deseret, Delosa, and so on. The rationale is half-heartedly explained here. The long and short of it being that I want to give the casual reader as few identifiers as possible in regards to where I am, who I work for, and so on. Regular readers will be able to sort out most of it, I figure. Anyhow, up till now I’ve had a two-tiered existence, explained here, where both Deseret and Utah theoretically exist just as Gotham City and New York City do in the DC Universe.
Well today I sorted it all out and I spent my afternoon creating a map. The Trumanverse version of the United States of America. Fifty states, some real, some fictionalized, and a whole lot of thought put in to most (though not all) of them. I am now intimately familiar with the regional history, geographical landmarks, the most apparent lattitudinal and longitudinal spots for state boundaries, and rivers that would make sufficient boundaries. I shouldn’t have been so anal and just made it arbitrary. Heck, I shouldn’t have really spent my time on this at all. But truthfully I got a little kick out of it, which speaks volumes of my lack of success with the opposite sex in my younger years. Regardless of whatever enjoyment I may have received, having wasted my entire afternoon in this endeavor, I have relinquished my right to complain.
For those of you interested in what I’ve come up with, a couple disclaimers: This is a rough draft. I didn’t have the energy (or interest) to really conquer the midwest as thoroughly as I did everywhere else. I may go back and do it right some day, but all considered I’m proud of the final product, however unutilitarian the endeavor may have been.
Things to take note of:
1. Most borders are derived from either (a) landmarks, such as rivers or mountain ranges, or (b) lines of lattitude and longitude, preferably those divisible by five. I was probably more anal about this than the people that actually made the maps were.
2. Every fictional state name had relevance. Mountain ranges and prominant rivers were more obvious choices, but in some cases I looked up the region’s history in regards to native Americans and whatnot, since that too was often used. Some decent state names that didn’t involve either of these actually didn’t even end up getting used. Only in two cases did I actually name something that wasn’t either geographical or historical (Delosa and New Troy).
3. New York Island is it’s own state (the burroughs being cities within that state). Washington DC is as well, bringing the number of states up to 50.
4. With the exception of the upper midwest, the state names I left as-is were relevent. Either the history is too rich or the state too large to completely ignore it. In cases of the larger states, they were downsized, though.
5. Some things I did because I always wanted to. I thought Michigan’s two-peninsula thing was silly, so I did away with that. I also really question the need for a Rhode Island and Delaware with Connecticut and Maryland so near by, so I took some pleasure in knocking those out.
6. Disclaimer: This is fun. Locations of states here are not meant as any indication of where they actually exist. To put some city on the map exactly where it is would be a pretty big give-away, even if it’s a fictional city name in a fictional state. One need only look at a map. There aren’t any cities on the map yet, but I thought I would go ahead and say-so anyway.
7. I did still do this from the point-of-view from my writing, though. You’ll note that there is at least one real and one fictional state in every region. That allows me to make a quick reference to the south, for instance, without having to explain my fictional state set-up. It also allows me to have a plant in any region if I’m trying to talk about a city or state without actually talking about it. A nice, if WAY OVER-ELABORATE, set up.
8. If you looked at the history of our country, you’d be surprised how many near-insurrections there have been. Out east at the founding of the country and out west later on. I consider myself reasonably well-informed in US history, but even I was surprised. The self-declared territories were the source of multiple state names.
9. I really, really have no life.
Click on the partial map below to get the whole map.
If you want to see a superimposed map to see where the shifts are, here you go.
Note: My home state’s name was formerly “Dixona” but was changed.