Imagining Living in the Unreal

It’s been a strange sort of day.  I woke up ready to go and I’ve been in that mode ever since.  It’s a strange feeling as I haven’t had a lot of get up and go for a few months–could that be due to practice?  Not really:  I was feeling like that long before I strapped on some skates and became my own hero.  I’m sure it was due to something else.

Yesterday I spent time thinking about Kerry’s future, but not like long-term stuff; you know, more like what’s coming in the next few months.  It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before, but now that a few changes are coming into his life, I’ve had to refine that view a bit.  Before I started on the current novel everything was painted, more or less, in broad stokes.  Now the time has come to fill in some of the outlines and maybe turn a couple of mistakes into birds.

This goes for Annie, too.  As we saw way back in the beginning of this novel she’s breaking out of her “Ice Queen” shell and even venturing away from her home.  She spent time with Alex and even traveled to Cardiff to see Kerry, look around his parent’s house, and check out his room.  (She also said his bed would be a good place to conceive kids, but she was just clowning him.  Maybe.)  She’s growing as a person and a young woman, and given how these kids talk and act, it’s likely she’s already got a good grasp of her sexuality and is working with her soul mate on his.

It’s safe to say that in the next month or so there will be a few surprises tossed out here for everyone to see.  This is what happens when you dig into the lives of your fictional characters and look for the little nuggets that make up their personality and their experiences.  In the last few weeks I’ve actually had a lot more fun digging into areas I didn’t know existed so that I could bring a few new elements into this story.  It not only helped that I wanted to change things up a bit, but it’s actually helped set up things better for the future.

A future that is continuing to change.  Except for a few things, that is.

There was a time when I figured Kerry being dumped by his parent for the Yule holidays might be one of the worst things in the world for him.  Now…  I’m not so certain.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so this could be one of those things that keeps Kerry strong.  As for Annie–well, she has her own strength.  Which we’ll get to see on display soon.

Act One is nearly over:  one last chapter and I can move on to the act where all hell breaks loose.  I don’t want to say I’m gonna have fun torturing my kids–

But you know I will.

Samhain Racing: The Reckoning

And in the never-ending story of me doing roller derby, after a not-so-great practice last night I’ve decided to skip the next two practices in an effort to allow my foot to heal properly.  I was probably at 90% last night when I started, and I likely ended up at about 80% by the time I arrived home.  I figure a week of complete rest will get me back up to near 100% for next Monday night.  And while I may go and film tonight, I won’t be on skates.

Oh, and I almost passed out last night because–I don’t know.  Probably due to a lack of proper hydration and not eating enough.

Guess who almost passed out? #HARD #RollerGirl #TryingRealHard

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

My coach came over at one point and said I was as green as my tank top.  I have no reason to disbelieve her.

I also had a Facebook friend tell me last night that I’ve inspired her to sign up for a derby boot camp next month.  I say, “Put some skates on, be your own hero.”  Because hell yeah.

And speaking of being a hero, it’s time to see what’s going to happen to Kerry, as it’s time for Race Control to hand out the pain–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The silence in the diamond went on for about another fifteen seconds before Vicky’s voice spoke once more. “Your attention, please. This is Race Control. Penalties for individual racers have been assessed and we will now give you our results.

“Penelope Rigman: ten second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting.”

Penny shrugged. “I expected that; I threw the first punch.”

Vicky continued. “Alexandria Chorney: ten second penalty conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting.”

Alex looked from side to side. “Well, I did punch Lisa rather hard.”

As Kerry listen to the penalties being assessed it became obvious that everyone on both teams was being assessed some sort of penalty for their actions. Everyone was given a five or ten second penalty for fighting, with the exception of Rivânia and Manco were both given and second penalties due to their inabilities, as team captains, to control the teams.

He noticed something else as well: neither Lisa’s name nor his was mentioned as penalties were affixed. Kerry figured the worst was being saved for last, and that his actions on the track were going to involve a hefty penalty.

After just over a minute he heard his name mentioned. “Kerry Malibey: a two penalty assessment—”

 

It may sound like Race Control is being a little heartless, but hey, you get into a fight, you gotta pay the price.

Now it’s Kerry’s turn:

 

He hung his head. “Here it comes.”

“Penalty one: five second penalty, rough racing. Penalty two: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—striking another racer on course.”

He waited for more but it didn’t come and he gave both Penny and Alex a look of disbelief. “I thought it would be more.”

Alex tilted her head to one side. “Professor Semplen did say he was going to fight for us if anything happened out on the course.”

“Looks like he did.”

As Kerry had thought earlier, Race Control was saving the worst for last. “Lisa Glissandi: a four penalty assessment. Penalty one: five second penalty, rough racing. Penalty two: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—striking another racer on course. Penalty three: five second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—fighting. And penalty four: ten second penalty, conduct unbecoming a racer—attempting to deliberately wreck an opponent.”

But it appeared Race Control was not finished. “In addition to the aforementioned penalties, Ms. Glissandi is given a two position penalty to be applied during her next race.”  Lisa looked up at the scoreboard as Vicky continued speaking. “This penalty is being assessed due to the severity of her actions taken on the course today, and as a reminder to other racers that your actions toward others are noted and that Race Control will act when necessary.

“At the conclusion of the award ceremony for this race, all racers—with the exception of those needing to go to the hospital to receive immediate medical attention—to report to the Flight School Ready Room to speak with the members of Race Control.

 

So, Kerry had two penalties that weren’t, in the overall scheme, that bad.  But Lisa?  Twenty-five seconds total plus she’s getting docked two positions in her next race, which means the best finish she can hope for is a third.  And she was reminded that Race Control is always watching, making the likelihood of her doing this again slim.

And just to make sure what happened today sinks in, everyone that isn’t bound for the hospital has to sit in a room with Vicky and the coven leaders–the people who make up Race Control–and get a ream out.  Not a lot of fun.

Now that this drama has played out…

 

“With all penalties assessed, they are now applied to the unofficial race times.” The times on the scoreboard were adjusted in nearly all positions on the scoreboard shifted.

“Here are the official times for the the last heat. The days racing is completed and we will now move on to the final award ceremony. Thank you all for coming, and enjoy the rest of your day.”

The inside of The Diamond filled with considerable cheering and yelling. On the floor the Cernunnos team erupted in celebration, while the mood in Åsgårdsreia was less than jovial—and in a few cases, some team members appeared ready to take out their frustrations on one of their own.

Penny, Alex, and Kerry looked up at the scoreboard and began congratulating each other. Penny slapped Kerry on the shoulder twice. “You got it: you won the race.”

“Yeah, but—” he scanned the scoreboard one more time before addressing the two girls next to him. “You guys ain’t seeing it.”

Alex looked at him strangely. “Seeing want?”

He pointed at the scoreboard. “The three of us: we’re all on the podium. We swept it.”

Penny and Alex looked up simultaneously and broke into laughter nearly the same time. Alex pointed at the board. “Bozhe. We did it.” She turned to her friends. “I wonder when this last happened?”

“Probably about the time Annie’s father was racing here.” Penny wrapped an arm around Kerry’s shoulder and gave him a hug. “Way to make an impression, mate.”

“You know it.” Kerry slid off his jet ski, but the moment he tried to stand his left leg buckled from pain. He caught the handlebars of his PAV before going down. “I may need some help getting to the podium. And… You think you could call a nurse?”

 

Not only did Cernunnos have a good day, but in the end they took the top three positions, which is something they hadn’t done in a while.  They’ve taken two positions on the podium more than a few times, but now they’ve swept.  Like Penny said, way to make an impression, mate.

This was something I needed to figure out and it took about 40 minutes total to get it right.  Below you can see how it worked out.  On the left is the unofficial finish, then we have the penalties, the new times, and lastly the official finish with points earned.

 

As noted Lisa was knocked completely out of contention–if she’d just raced her race she’d have finished second–while Anna and Rezi Lahood moved up considerably.  Even so, Cernunnos was the big winner of the day, and Kerry managed a win in front of Annie’s family.

About what happens next…

Samhain Racing: The Aftermath

Another weekend down, a last full week in July to enjoy.  And as expected, I’m gonna be busy as hell.  I have things planed all the way through Thursday and I may even have something going down Friday.  Then it’s busy Saturday and busy Sunday, which means I could be rocking and rolling every day this week.

And a few months ago I complained I never got out of the house.

The Rumble Outside Rockport is over and The Race Powers That Be have ordered everyone back inside The Diamond.  But in order to get here, you have to go there…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Penny helped Kerry over to his jet ski.  “I imagine we’re in some pretty shite now.”

Kerry grunted as he retrieved his helmet and gloves and place them in his lap as he sat upon his PAV.  “You think?”  He gave Penny a quizzical look.  “Why’d you start the fight with Lisa?”

“Because she damn near wrecked me in Helter Skelter.”  She grunted.  “I wasn’t about to let that slide at all.”

 

I actually had to go back and add this part because when I originally wrote it I had nothing to say about why Penny did what she did.  Now you know:  she was one of the people who were almost wrecked by Lisa when she received her first “rough racing” time penalty.

 

Both teams returned to the interior of The Diamond, never saying a word or casting a glance at anyone on the other team.  As soon as I entered the enormous structure Kerry looked up at the holographic scoreboard and instantly noticed the two most dreaded words one could see at the end of a race: Unofficial Results.  He glanced over at Penny and Alex, who were on his right.  “That’s not good.”

Alex nodded.  “They’ve already assessed a penalty to Lisa and it’s not up there.”

“It’s because they’re busy assessing penalties to all of us—” Penny nodded over her left shoulder.  “For what happened back there.”

Kerry felt his heart sink.  He knew he likely get penalized for his actions on the track: it was just a matter of how severe those penalties would become.  After all, he not only reached over and struck Lisa while they were racing, but he deliberately hit her PAV in an attempt to gain an advantage over her.  When he added up everything in his head, he realized he could be looking at a fifteen or twenty-second penalty, which could move him far enough back standing that not only wouldn’t he get a podium, he might not even point for this race.

As both teams came to a stop in their respective tram areas Vicky’s voice boomed throughout The Diamond.  “Your attention please.  This is Race Control.  As the moment we have unofficial results posted for the race just concluded.  We are in the process of determining penalties to be assessed to individual racers.  Once all penalties are determined, we will announce those penalties and post the final results.  Please stand by.”

Penny came over and stood by Kerry, who remained seated on his PAV due to the pain in his left leg.  “Don’t worry, mate.  I don’t think they’re going to hit you up bad.  It wasn’t like you were involved in the fight.”

“That’s true.”  Alex nodded in agreement.  “You were trying to stop things out there.”

He sighed as his shoulders slumped.  “It’s not what happened in the fight; it’s what happened out on the track.  They’re liable to nail me for that.”

 

The calm before the oncoming storm.  Tomorrow you get to view the damage.

Samhain Racing: Let’s Get Ready–

Today am back to my old lighthearted self, which means were going to have a novel excerpt.  Let it be known that I started on the last scene of Chapter Fifteen and I have a feeling it won’t be all that long: maybe no longer than fifteen hundred words.  Which means I’ll be into Chapter Sixteen before you know it.

The last couple of days I’ve been sticking my GoPro up on the windshield of my car and giving people a driver’s-side view of what it looks like driving around Harrisburg.  Here’s the first video I did, where I left my apartment and headed off to the Panera where I used to write all the time.

 

But the big news here is the race, which if you were paying attention has just finished. But as the drama over?  Far from it–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

He didn’t bother to see where Lisa was as he came out of the chicane. He leaned over his handlebars and willed as much speed out of his Class 3 as he could muster. The moment he pass the flashing green lights of the Start/Finish Line he pulled his PAV skyward so that he could not only bleed off speed quickly, but prevent Lisa from running him down on the straightaway.

As the rest of the pack finish the race he sat down in the waiting area between the Start/Finish Line so that he could proceed inside with everyone else. He remained seated on his PAV as his left leg and shoulder were throbbing with pain from the on-course contact and he didn’t want to aggravate them. A few seconds later Lisa’s jet ski hit the ground hard about five meters from him. She jumped off her PAV, removed her helmet, and threw it at him. She motioned for Kerry to advance towards her. “Okay, fucker. Let’s have this out.”

Kerry removed his helmet and tossed it to the ground as he gingerly got to his feet. “Back off, Lisa.” He gave her a warning look as he pointed at her while favoring his right leg. “You do not want to do this.”

She nodded defiantly. “Oh yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.” Kerry wasn’t worried about the outcome of a fight between Lisa and him: just as he had done with Franky, he could disable her with a broken arm or a dislocated shoulder or knee in a matter of seconds, even while hurt. Unfortunately, he was unsure of his ability to do either of those, for he was fighting down an anger that he’d never felt before. He was aware of what was happening: with his hormones in flux they were messing with his ability to control the impulses he’d carefully developed over the last two years of learning Kali, and he was just enough aware of these feelings to know that if he fought Lisa now, there was a very good likelihood he do more than break her arm.

 

There you have it: Lisa’s ready to start shit and she wants Kerry to fight her.  For his part, Kerry doesn’t want to fight her mainly because he’s worried he’ll do more than just break her arm due to the hormonal rampage which is tearing him apart right now.  And given that Kerry could probably snap her neck without even a second thought, he showing remarkable restraint–but then again, he is a sorceress, and sorceresses are supposed to keep their head when everything is going to hell around them.

So this is the end of the drama, right?  Well…

 

Just then Penny came running up from his right side, helmet and gloves off, heading directly for Lisa. “You bloody stupid bitch.” She threw a powerful right-hand punch that struck Lisa in the cheek, knocking her to the ground.

The Cernunnos and Åsgårdsreia teams converged upon Lisa, Penny, and Kerry, and the fight was on.

 

Hey, I thought this fighting shit only happen in NASCAR?  Apparently not.  Which means helmets and gloves are off and fists are flying–

 

Rezi Lahood was the first to jump into the fray, running up and punching Penny in the side of her head near her right ear. As Penny fell away Alex stepped up, grabbed Rezi and threw her to the ground. Getasew Berhanu jumped over Lisa’s jet ski and threw a punch at Manco, who fell backwards as he blocked. Darius, who still wore his racing gloves, backhanded Getasew away before kicking the fallen Rezi.

Lisa jumped to her feet and, spotting Darius in front of her, pulled back her right foot and kicked him in the crotch. As Darius limped away she turned on Alex and grabbed a handful of her blonde hair. While she pulled Alex backwards Rivânia ran up and tried pulling her her teammate away. Lisa pushed her team captain away, which caused her to lose her grip on Alex’s hair. Alex took that moment to wheel around, grabed Lisa by the throat and punched her twice in the right eye.

Penny was on her feet a second later. She hit Getasew twice in the chest then wheeled around and threw a punch at Lisa, which the girl managed to block easily. Lisa, unfortunately, was bumped from behind by Anna Laskar, who was holding the left side of her mouth with bloodstained fingers. This knocked Lisa off balance just enough that Penny was able to step up to her and deliver a hard left-hand blow that knocked Lisa back against her jet ski.

Even though he was unable to move about well, Kerry could no longer stand side and watch everyone beat each other up. After a couple of limping steps he threw himself between Penny and Lisa and pushed his teammate away. “Penny: Penny.” He held on to her shoulders as he looked into her wild eyes. “Stop it, now. Let it go.”

Enough awareness creep back into her eyes that she understood what she was being stole. They then grew wide as she saw something behind him. “Kerry.”

He turned quickly enough to find Lisa swinging her helmet at his head. He managed to deflect it with his right arm then, while holding on to Penny to support his heart left leg, he used his right leg to sweep Lisa off her feet. The minute she landed on her back Kerry raised his right foot and chopped it down into her stomach. He hopped back on to his right foot as he pointed at the now-gasping girl. “Stay the hell down.”

 

There you have it: both teams letting go and punching the shit out of each other.  Oh, and if you notice, Lisa kicked Darius in the balls. Did that ever happened in Harry Potter?  No!  Sure, Draco took a blow to the testicles in the second movie when he slammed into the ground after falling off his broom, but did you ever see Hermione wheel around and kick somebody in the crotch?  No!  You only get that here.

As you see, even injured Kerry put Lisa down for the count rather quickly, by sweeping out her legs and kicking her in the stomach.  If Kerry had decided to fight Lisa in the earnest a minute or so before, he probably would’ve just blasted her once and sent her to the hospital in a coma.  So it was wise of him not to fight her.

So everything is over, right?  Well…

 

By now both Manco and Rivânia had managed to separate their teams and stop the fighting. Kerry noticed blood on Darius’ right hand and remembered Anna holding her mouth. He yelled at his teammate. “Did you punch Anna?”

Darius nodded. “Yeah. So?”

“What did you punch her for?”

He gave a weak shrug. “She was there.”

He was about to yell over to Anna and ask her how she felt when Vicky’s voice filled his and everyone else’s ears. “This is Race Control.” The annoyance in her voice was obvious. “All racers are to remount their vehicles now and proceed to the interior of The Diamond immediately without further incidences. There will be no further warnings.”

 

The first take away here is: Darius Roy is a shit.  He basically sucker punched Anna because he was pissed off and she was there.  And since Anna is a friend of Annie’s and Kerry’s, you can imagine they’ll both remember that.

And second: Vicky is also pissed.  It’s not like there have been fights before, but here you have two full teams going at it with the team captains seemingly unable to get their people under control.  Does this mean that certain racers are in trouble?

Oh, you better believe it–