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Magically Distractive

Last night I sort of fell off the wagon.  I was a squirrel running about the yard, and I simply couldn’t find my nuts.  There are so many other examples I could use, but why–oh, look!  Nuts!

What this means is I didn’t write as well as I could have, and I didn’t hit my numbers.  Well, I came close to five hundred words, but that’s not my numbers–at least not the numbers I’ve had for the last week and a half.  I know:  I shouldn’t get down on myself.  I had stuff I was doing in a book club, I had problem with my computer lagging last night, and I found myself jumping into chats at the most inopportune moments.  None of those are conducive to a great writing experience.

"No, I need to finish this scene; I don't want to hear about your Nutella smoothie resepie."

“Please, I need to finish this scene; I don’t want to hear about your Nutella smoothie recipes.”

That said, I managed some words–enough that I didn’t feel like a complete failure.  The kids are doing spells:  you know, the real magic?  And how is that working for them?


(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

He took a few deep breaths to clear his mind. The idea behind the spell was simple, but he was worried about getting the visualization right. No V, No T: that was a mantra he’d started saying to himself during transformation class when he found himself facing some doubt about pulling off some transformation magic. He was had similar sayings in spell class and Formulistic Magic, though he’d yet to come up with a saying for Sorcery, since all Professor Lovecraft had done since the start of school was lecture—

You’re wasting time, dude. He smoothed his hair out and smiled at Annie. “Okay, so magic time, yeah?”

Annie smiled back, but the look in her eyes urged him on. “Yes, it is.”

“Then . . .”

Kerry positioned himself between the fire pit full of wood and the block of hickory. The idea was simple: use one item as a pattern to copy, then transfer that pattern to other items. It was like a magical cut and paste, only he wasn’t using Word here, and he was taking a hunk or wood and transforming a lot of other hunks of wood.

There was nothing wrong with the visualization: he had that down. And there will—Annie was right here, he didn’t want to look bad in front of her, he wanted to do this.

Power. He needed power.

The books told him the same: larger, complex spells require more power. Not huge amounts, but the harder these things get, the more of that magical manna you had to yank out of the aether. He knew where it was—he just had to get it . . .

The energy was there: he felt his neck hairs tingling, standing up. He glanced at the single log, then back to the wood in the fire pit. He could see the pattern shifting from the one to the many in his mind, but nothing for real yet. He narrowed his eyes to slits and reached down for something more—

He felt something pushing at his back, between his shoulder blades. He tensed his fingers, shooting the force into the wood, pulling the pattern from one to the others. He visualized it, he felt it—

He heard Annie’s whisper. “Kerry . . .”

Kerry opened his eyes and he saw it happening.


Power:  we all need it, be it for magic or keeping your phone on.

But Kerry pulled it off.  So Step One:  turn all your work into hickory.  Step Two:  that’s Annie’s part to play . . .


He stepped back from the fire pit rubbing his hands together. “Okay, then—your turn.”

Annie tilted her head to the right, keeping her eyes fixed on the fire pit, and sighed. “Yes, it is.” Now it was time for her to be nervous. Though she’d read many times about what she was going to do—and knew all the theories behind the crafting—she’d never actually performed the spell.

There was also the fact that what she was doing was about as dark as sorcery got without getting into Morte spells—which she knew this spell could be used for in a pinch. That meant she absolutely needed to used Dark Energy, and—

“What’s the matter?”

Kerry’s question broke Annie’s train of thought. She turned and saw the strange look on his face, a combination of puzzlement and concern. “What do you mean?”

“I mean you look like something’s bothering you.” He shuffled his weight from one foot to the other. “I just wondered what it was.”

Annie debated telling him, then decided there was nothing to hide. “This is a tricky bit of sorcery, and it’s something I’ve never done.”

Kerry shrugged. “You can do it.”

Annie laid her right hand upon her hip. “Why do you always think so? And don’t say it’s because I’m your ‘Dark Witch’.”


Okay, he won’t tell you that, because that was as far as I got.  Tired, distracted, and just not feeling the words, but we can’t be Hemingway every night–or we can if we just drink a lot and peck words into our computers.  It’s that editing part that he was good at, however, and that seems to confound some writers . . .

Even so, the scene is up to thirteen hundred words, and the act just limped over the twenty-one thousand, three hundred word mark.  Which means somewhere in the next scene I’m at one hundred seventy-five thousand words for the story.  Yay, me?

Pace yourself; there's a ways to go.

Pace yourself; there’s a ways to go.

11 thoughts on “Magically Distractive

  1. Cassidy, first let me say, Nice to meet you! This is my first time seeing your picture. Secondly, at least you wrote something. I haven’t written anything but blogs in the last two days. I have a screenplay and a novel to write. If you want, my writing and I are having a 30 day writing challenge where we are doing sprints daily for 30 days for an hour. One in the morning, noon, and night. We are writing for an hour each time, so that’s 3 hours a day, everyday. You’re welcome to join us! https://www.facebook.com/groups/592846174098081/

  2. Good for writing, even if it wasn’t as much as usual or as much as you’d like. You have words on paper. I am in a slump right now myself. I have scenes fluttering around in my head for four different novellas – two of which I’d like to tackle for Camp NaNoWriMo in July – but nothing concrete for any of them. So I have just been outlining and planning and gathering courage to edit the 2013 NaNo novel I recently printed out for such purposes. It’s a daunting task it seems.

    I love the realism you put into the spells. It makes it easier to see how spells would work if they exist in real life. I like the chemical and scientific approach to magic rather than the *POOF* it’s there magic.

    • And that was one of the things I had to work up for this: how would magic work? I did something similar in “Her Demonic Majesty”, where magic could be right rote-driven (based upon set functions that had to be memorized), or completely free-form (which my main character can do). Someone pointed out on another post they liked that my characters–and by extension, me–actually figured out how to make charcoal, so there’s even a bit more realism there. You had a foundation for how spells come off, not just chanting an incantation and there it is–magic. Even my brooms have some scientific basis and a modern feel, but as my flight instructor says, you can enchant a real broom and fly it, but who the hell wants that sticking between your legs?

    • What Kerry did is transformation magic: you’ll find out that what he did is known as a “pattern transformation,” and how it works. No wands in this school, though: Wednesday already peed on that trope. But magic be magic, and some people might see it as being like something out of HP–which, by the way, are novels in this world I’ve created. There’s already been three references to the stories in this novel.

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