Where to begin? Probably with something that I feel is a breakthrough for me, and trust me when I say this, because I never speak lightly of breakthroughs. Okay, sometimes . . .
Yesterday I mentioned that my HRT doctor said I was suffering from hypertension, and that I felt I needed to do something. True, I do, and I’m planing on taking steps to bring it under control without having to resort to drugs first. I spoke about this on Facebook with some friends, and I wrote something down that, at the time, didn’t strike me as strange, unusual, or even noteworthy. But after some reflection, I realized I’d admitted something that, obviously, marked a change in my behavior.
What was it I said?
“I don’t want to die. I’m happy and I want to stay that way.”
That, after much reflection, came as a bit of a shock, because I don’t think I’ve ever said either of those statements, individually or combined, at any time in my life. Happy was always relative, and death–that’s something I knew would come one day, and so what, right? But here I was, in an open forum in front of hundreds of people who knew me, saying that I didn’t want to die.
I think I’ve finally turned a corner.
Also: writing. I got through that last night, though not as far as I wanted, but you do what you do. And I still managed nearly five hundred words, so I’m chugging along.
Now we reach the part, after Isis has thought about how hard it is to keep death out of the school, the tell the Headmistress the current count after the breach of their defenses:
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Isis stared into the monitor, directly into the Headmistress’ eyes. “Right now we have, from the flyer’s group, eight missing and one confirmed death. Because we don’t have access to the detection grid, anyone who didn’t report in after the go to ground command is being listed as ‘missing’ until we can confirm they’re alive or . . .” She looked down as she cleared her throat. “Otherwise.”
Mathilde seemed to consider Isis’ report. “What was the situation surrounding this confirmed death?”
“Flier from Ceridwen was snatched off her broom about twenty-five meters from Laputa—the Observatory—by an Abomination and dragged into the forest. As they were in the process of locking down no one could go after her. Three people saw what happened; two were able to identify her.”
“You say she was from Ceridwen?”
“Yeah.” Isis checked a nearby monitor, but she already knew the covens of the missing and dead fliers. “Three from Mórrígan; two each from Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos; one each from Ceridwen and Blodeuwedd.” She turned back to the monitor. “That’s the toll so far.”
Of course we know that two of those fliers–one from Mórrígan and one from Cernunnos Covens–aren’t dead, but since I can’t tap my characters on the shoulder and tell them that, this part of the story continues to believe that. As for the others: we know Kerry saw people falling from the sky, and Emma did as well, so it’s reasonable to say that some of those missing aren’t coming back to classes.
And we haven’t even touched upon the people on the ground . . .
What of the state of defenses, you ask? The Headmistress asked, too, and Isis answered:
“We have two nodes coming up. Wednesday’s been on Sunset for about eight minutes now, and it looks as if we’ll be able to activate it in another five to seven. We have a second node in the southeast coming up; Wends was hoping to run into Erywin, and it looks like she did.”
“How is that coming along?”
“We started charging that node a couple of minutes ago. It should be ready to go in ten or so minutes.”
The Headmistress nodded. “What’s your estimation for bring both grids on-line again?”
Isis had those numbers all figured out. “There’s some staggering in the charging times, but it’s not significant. I figure to have both these nodes charged by 17:50. Give them time to move to the next location and start charging, that’s probably fifteen to seventeen minutes each to finish the next one. Looking at those numbers—” Isis scratched the side of her face a couple of times. “We’ll be operational between 18:20 and 18:30. Though I expect the comms to be up before then, only because those nodes require less energy.”
Given the time of the conversation–around 17:45–it’s another forty-five minutes before some serious ass-beating can take place. The next part of the scene–which I’m doing during my “I’m Out Having Dinner and Writing Night” tonight–will mention what Isis believed the Deconstructor’s plan all along. That and something else concerning a certain couple . . .
Looking over the remainder of Act Two, there are still a lot of things to write, but it’s nothing insurmountable. It’s just a matter of time, and getting words down on the paper. It’s slow going at the moment . . .
But it’s getting there. Maybe by the time the next NaNo rolls around, I can spend that time getting a novel ready for publication . . .