A funny thing happened on the way to finishing up my writing last night–I was reading. That’s not really that funny, but it points out that research can sometime mean going back and finding new . . . things.
I was reading over some scenes from the last novel, a scene that I knew pretty well, or at least thought I did. It’s a good scene, explained more than I remembered–and then I saw it. A single line, maybe eight or night words–but the moment I read it I thought, “Well, damn: I’m going to need to change that.”
Why, you may ask? Because it was something stated that will affect a scene I haven’t written yet, and the moment I saw what I had written, it hit me that I’d have to, at the very least, modify the line to allow something that would be said in, oh, maybe another thirty thousand or so words. So I need to do a little rectoning–not much, just change the line a bit–but since that novel isn’t out, no harm, no foul.
Though I also found two other students who I hadn’t accounted for, and I had to do a little retconing on one of them so they’d fit in with my attendance these days. Look, I’m only a half a million words away from where I started two years ago, give me a break.
Speaking of breaks, Kerry’s up, and it looks like something’s happening–
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Hello, Annie; Kerry.”
Professor Semplen approached the table, appearing relaxed and friendly. Annie hadn’t seen much of him since their time in Berlin, though he did stop by and wish her an happy birthday as he had the year before. She through they could were missing each other—save during his class—because Kerry’s and her schedule was so different from the rest of the B Levels. “Hello, Professor.”
Kerry set his hand in his lap. “Hello, Professor.”
“I hope I’m not interrupting—” Professor Semplen approached the table and stood opposite his covenmates for a few seconds. “May I join you for a moment?”
The children exchanged glances before Kerry nodded. “Please, have a seat.”
The professor chose the chair across from Kerry. “I won’t stay long: I just wanted to catch you before you headed to the Flight School. I saw your name on the tryout sheet for today.”
Kerry and racing sign-up sheets. Annie had a few thoughts on that, and all along she’s said he’s going to do it, so why act like he’s not? Because he’s Kerry, that’s why. But here he’s got this coven leader–and I should mentioned, one of the coven racing managers and the head of their coven team–coming to him, so it much be something important, right?
Kerry didn’t appear nervous or self-conscious about the question, though. “Yeah, I signed up for the seventeen-fifteen slot so I can get down to The Diamond after class.” He set his elbows against the table top and leaned forward. “Should I come down earlier?”
“Actually . . .” Professor Semplen shook his head. “You don’t need to come down at all.”
Kerry went from appearing concerned to looking worried. “Is—is there something wrong? What’s going on?”
Sitting where she was between them, Annie easily read Kerry’s and Professor Semplen’s expressions and body language. She saw the answer before Kerry because she was a bystander. “Kerry . . . I think the professor is saying you don’t need to try out for the team.”
Kerry stared at his girlfriend for about three seconds before the her statement made sense. He slowly turned to his coven leader. “Is that true, Professor?”
Professor Semplen adjusted his glasses. “Only four people signed up for try-outs, and I’d already decided that you were going to get one of the B Team slots.” He shrugged. “Based upon everything we’ve seen from last year, and everything you’ve done, I’ve no doubt you’ll do well.”
“But I’ve never competed before—”
“No? What about the test races you were in on the Green Line and The Diamond? What about your accident last October?” The professor looked away for a moment. “What about the flying you did during the Day of the Dead?”
As Kerry was about to respond to the professor’s questions, Annie spoke to him instead. “This has been on your mind for a while, and the closer you get to the moment of proving yourself, the more you feel you’re not going to do well.” Her grin turned into a near smirk. “Once you wrapped your mind around magic you never had a problem. And you won’t have a problem with racing. Do you know what my father says?”
The fact that Annie was bringing up her father told Kerry all he needed to know about what she was going to say. “What?”
“Don’t worry about racing: just race.” She reached over and lightly touched his arm. “Professor Semplen is right: he doesn’t need to see you try out, my love. The moment the track lights turn green, you’ll know what to do.”
Annie never brings up her father unless it’s important, and here she’s quoting him to put his mind at ease. But she’s known all along that he’d make the team–and given there are so few people in their coven to try out for those three slots, and Kerry is one of the best up and coming fliers, that it was ridiculous to believe he wouldn’t. So after that all that remains is to tell him to show up Sunday to get fitted for his racing gear and get checked out on a Class 2–which he already has–and be ready to race in two weeks–
All that remains now is for Annie and Kerry to have a small, quiet moment together . . .
Once Professor Semplen was out of hearing range, Annie moved her chair closer to Kerry so that she didn’t have lean in order to touch his arm. “Well . . .”
Kerry looked down, full well knowing what was coming. “Yes?”
“Do I get to say I told you so?”
He lifted her hand from his arm. “Sweetie—” He kissed her hand tenderly. “You’ve been telling me that since I said I may go out.”
Annie chuckled. “You know I’m always right, my love.”
He laughed along with her. “I know, Sweetie. You’d think I’d get that by now.”
. . . and bring about the end of the chapter.
Now on to nine, and we’re going see some crazy here, because you can probably guess what Dark Witch Instruction is about–or maybe not. You’ll just have to tune in and hope I write after my face burning tonight.