One of the funny things that happened as I wrote SOME OTHER CHILD was that I had to see if an idea for a particular scene in the book would work. The main character had a neck injury and was wearing a foam cervical collar. I wondered if she could float, even if knocked unconscious. After a couple of falls into a pool with a foam cervical collar (under $20 at your local durable medical equipment store), it became clear that wasn't working. She was going to drown.
My next thought was what about inflatable swim wear? After all, my son had a swim suit with Styrofoam inserts when he was a little guy. Did they make them for adults? Well, no, not exactly. But they did make....drum roll please....INFLATABLE BIKINI TOPS! However, they were found only in collections of vintage swim wear.
What to do, what to do? I looked in the pantry, rummaging for a snack to stimulate my muse, and spotted a box of Ziploc baggies... EUREKA!
I blew two quart size bags up (yes, I wanted to be big big big) and stuffed them into the top of my bathing suit. My family and friends laughing the whole time, I repeated the plunge and FLOATED! Ta da! Problem solved.
Ahhhh, the things we authors do for authenticity! Oh, and just in case, you can get your own inflatable safety device! Happy floating!