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How Not to Control Your Student

It should be pointed out that yesterday was not a good day.  The morning was dragging–or, really, I was.  And it wasn’t just your normal morning dragging; this was something brought on by depression.  I have it; I’ve suffered through it for decades.  It’s usually manageable these days, though when I saw my doctor a couple of weeks bad she told me it’s pretty obvious I’m dealing with it right now.

This isn’t a lot of fun.  Yesterday–and, realistically, the night before–I felt like I had zero motivation to do anything.  Just sit there and try not to cry.  It was happening, I knew it.  I told a few of my online friends about it, and some suggested it’s related to going off hormones before getting back on in a few days, and I didn’t argue with the logic.

Needless to say I found a way out, and by the afternoon I was better, though I still felt like I didn’t have much of an urge to get out and get anything done.

And yet, somehow I did.

"Just remember:  in the end your characters are gonna have it worse than you."

“Just remember: in the end your characters are gonna have it worse than you.”

I hinted a few days back that when it came time for my sorcery students to try out their new dominating po–I mean, “mixtures”–it was going to be necessary to try them out on each other.  That would never happen, would it?  Of course it would:  you should know me by now, and understand that at this school, the only way you know of stuff works is to use it.  And since this is sorcery class, and you’re trying to dominate another student–well, you know how it goes.

At the start five pair, ten students out of thirty-two, tried this, and the most excitement so far was two girls getting into a fight when one of the girls ask the other if anyone in her family were terrorists.  Good thing those two are coven mates . . .

And then we come to the sixth pair, Annie and Emma Nielson.  And you get a good idea of what a not-so-good sorceress looks like . . .


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

Helena handed Annie Emma’s potion. “A before E.” She winked as Annie sipped a third of the vial and handed it back. Then she returned to staring at Emma, who shifted slowly from one foot to the other.

Helena stopped next to Emma before returning to her chair. “She’s all yours.”

“Thanks . . . Professor.” Emma didn’t stare back at the staring Annie. She looked about the room, turned her eyes up at the ceiling, gazed at the floor—

Helena cleared her throat.  “Emma.” The girl turned towards Helena. “You can start asking questions.”

“Sure, Professor.” She faced Annie, who stood with her arms crossed over her chest. “Your name is Annie Kirilova?”


“Okay.” Emma tapped her fingers against her right forearm. “You’re in Cernunnos Cover.”


Emma nodded slowly, then looked towards the rest of the class with a slight, uncomfortable grin on her face. “Um . . . Where do you live?”

Annie sighed loud and long. “Pamporovo, Bulgaria.”

“Do you like it there?”

“Yessssss.” She turned to Helena. “I’m ready for submission any time she’d like to try.”

Helena forced herself to keep from laughing. “Emma, ask a question you feel Annie might not want to answer truthfully.”

“O—okay.” She drew a deep breath before looking straight at Annie. “Have you ever killed anyone?”

Annie paused for exactly three seconds. “Not yet.”

Emma straightened and immediately took a step back. “Um . . .” She turned to Helena. “I don’t think my mixture is working.”

Annie chimed in. “No, it isn’t.”

“That’s pretty obvious.” Helena got up and retrieved Annie’s mixture from the work table where they were kept. “Well, then, Emma . . .” She handed the vial over. “You get to be Annie’s subject.”

“Right . . .” She quickly sipped the mixture, looking a bit apprehensive the whole while.

Helena backed away slowly from Emma. “Have at her, Annie.”


It looks like Annie’s been hanging around Wednesday some . . .

I was surprised to discover I’d written seven hundred words.  That brings the last two nights of writing to a little over a thousand, but I was also working out scenes in my head, and came across something that I don’t know if I want to develop it as the kid’s history or not.  Because when I look at what is coming it’s all logical, but it’s also scary.

Then again, I have a ways to go before I ever get to that point.

Right now I'm on like B, and the scary part is like part O.  I have a ways to go.

Right now I’m on Part B, and the scary part is like Part O. I have a ways to go.

14 thoughts on “How Not to Control Your Student

  1. I’m glad you managed to write something. I know when my “bad days” hit I can’t do. . . anything. All I seem to want to do is sleep. It’s hard to make yourself push through it and actually do something.

  2. i went through this for much of the time I was in college, and like you I only understood what was happening long afterwards; but it must have been emotional rather than chemical–a change of scenery, a change of pace, a change of firends, of girlfriends (ouch), and the symptoms went away–very slowly. I’m very lucky, because as great as it would be to say that I bucked up and got my head straight, that’s not something I had the strength to do from within. You seem to have a much better grip on things than I did–you’ve certainly got a lot more fans rooting for you.

    • I’ve suffered through depression for as long as I’ve suffered through GID–which is to say, my whole life. And with both, I didn’t start doing anything about them until a few years ago. Therapy helps a lot, and I fall back on that instead of meds to get through.

  3. I’ve been chasing that black dog away for decades as well, so i feel your struggle. Use your tools you’ve learnt in therapy and remember you are truly valued here. any time you need to chat send me a message. 🙂

  4. That had me hooked … when I ran out of your words something kicked in and I found I was running with it myself.
    And that’s how I write, I never plan—I just let ’em do their own thing while I watch and record, frantically trying to keep up on the keyboard.

    The ‘writing’ part comes in later with the revisions. And trimming.
    “Genius,” the Sage is too fond of knowingly quoting, “lies in the ability to take infinite pains.”
    Which is one reason why no-one could ever justifiably call me a genius—not only can I not take pains (much less infinitely so) I’m an impatient old ratbag; I don’t want it now—I want it yesterday, and give it wings.

    As for depression, I’ve never had it clinically so (thank the gods~!) but if ever feeling horribly down I try to force myself to achieve something. Anything. Scratching things off the ‘To Do’ list can lift the jaded soul more than anything in the world.

      • All I can offer is my very best wishes. I just a couple of days ago gave a local charity shop a copy of a book I’d picked up somewhere ‘Taming The Black Dog’ and now have a better handle on the subject.

        My own father was a depressive; he was a very strong character and fought his way through by building boats in the garage. We had lots of boats … if good wishes are any help, Cass, you have all of mine. And never stop writing.

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