Deconstructing Mindscapes

The Road Down Editing Lane went well last night.  Another chapter down and another to go tonight.  It’s relaxing to go over someone else’s work and think about how you can help make it better–but also, it allows you to see into the mind of another writer who is like you in some ways, but always different.  It’s a break from your own stuff–

Did I say a break from my stuff?  Surely I jest!

Yesterday was a slow morning at work, so I had time to think about–well, stories.  As I’ve said before, I’m always thinking about stories.  Even if I’m not working on anything, I’m thinking about my stories and my characters.  As I had time for thinking, I put it to good use.

There are future events in The Foundation Chronicles that happen in later school years.  One of the years I was thinking about is Annie and Kerry’s C Levels, which come in 2013/2014.  Hey, that’s right now, isn’t it?  Funny how that works out.  I’ve mentioned in another post that this year deals with a lot of loneliness.  You have both kids in the middle of almost all advanced classes, while taking a few new courses, and that’s keeping them apart and slightly stressed.  You have Kerry’s parents, who having discovered the truth about their darling little lad, are not happy to learn he’s another red headed bastard witch.  No, really:  they’re unhappy to the point where Kerry’s case worker pretty much threatens the parents with pulling Kerry out of the home if she feels he’s in any danger, or if she feels he’s being abused.  With this in mind the parents aren’t talking to him over Skype, and when they finally call, it’s to tell him they’re going to Australia for Yule holiday and he’ll have to stay at the school.

Then he has another near death experience, which makes him go all introvert.  A few weeks after that Annie–who’s under her own stress from being pushed to be a good little sorceress–flips out and attacks a student.  Kerry shows up to try and keep her from turning the student into black goo–which she can totally do–and they both have something close to a full breakdown–

But before that, they get to be lab rats.

The Foundation has some–let us say “interest” in my two kids.  And why not?  They’re some kick-ass witches.  So one weekend in February they get taken away for some examinations.  First they get a bit of a psychological test before they’re examined while they sleep.  The next day they’re awakened early–they’re on the West Coast–and sent to Georgia, home to hillbillies, zombies, and Foundation testing facilities:  in particular, a ten kilometer test course right in the middle of Deliverance country that Annie and Kerry have to negotiate before they can go home.

Don’t worry, it’s going to be an easy hike.  Sure it will.

Naturally I wanted to see this course, and naturally I have a tool:  I use the Daft Logic Advanced Google Maps Distance Calculator for creating routes.  I used this for creating the route of The Polar Express that Emma and Kerry fly, and I used it for creating a few other routes as well.  But, here, I switches Google Maps over to Map with Terrain, and began plotting out where my trail headed, up and down mountains and through the valleys.

"Over the river and through the woods, attacked by fireballs . . ."

“Over the river and through the woods, dodging fireballs . . .”

A Normal person wouldn’t make it through this hike, because there’s all sorts of nasty stuff along the way that can only be fought with magic and gifts–mutant powers, if you prefer.  But if you’re Annie and Kerry you’ll make it through–maybe.  No one said this was going to be simple . . .

This is what happens when I have a few hours to think and some characters in need of a story:  I give them one.

If only the rest of my life were like this.