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Weathering Race

Something that wasn’t mentioned yesterday, probably because I was too busy going on about my awesome track layout, is that on 12 December–two days ago now–I hit two hundred and twenty-five thousand words.  That’s pretty major, and it means the next goal is a quarter of a million words, and that is coming.  More and more I’m looking at this sucker like it’s going to be three hundred thousand words, and that may not be an accurate estimate, but it’s probably close.

Close.  Everything is close, right?

Close. Everything is close, right?  Everything with this novel is close.

There was a certain amount of running around last night that didn’t get me back to the apartment until about seven-thirty, and by the time I got myself situated it was well after eight.  This means I didn’t actually get to writing until about eight-thirty or a quarter to nine, and since I was going to write up to about ten this didn’t leave me a lot of time.  Also, I got into a couple of discussions, and that took away from my writing time as well . . .

The upshot of all this is that I managed about five hundred and forty words (the picture above shows me a little over three hundred words into that writing), and the results of that effort appear below.  Since I didn’t want to end the scene with everyone getting up and filing out of the Ready Room, I stopped where I did so I could write that just-mentioned part tonight.  Which I will do.  And probably start the next scene as well, since I know what I want to say.

Get ready:  this starts out with some exciting weather–


All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The Astronomy instructor—who also served as the school’s meteorologist for local and outlying events—stepped up to the podium and set her tablet in front of her. “As is normal this time of year, the conditions from one section of the track to another will vary. The area to the northwest of Cut Slide will see temperatures between 2 to 3 Celsius, with wind out of the north at eighteen kilometers per hours. The winds will remain light, but will keep the wind chill around a constant -2 Celsius.

“However, the sky will heavy overcast with scattered light snow below seven hundred meters. Between seven hundred and nine hundred meters the temps will hover between 0 and -3 Celsius and the light snow will turn steady. Between nine hundred and a thousand meters the light snow will become heavy, and above a thousand there is a ninety percent probably you will encounter white-out conditions.”

Vicky stepped up next to Harpreet, keeping her hands clutched before her. “Because of these conditions the elevation gates will appear a bright orange, with everything above a thousand meters glowing red whether it’s snowing hard or not, and your processors will glow a bright orange any time you’re above seven hundred meters so the fliers behind can see you easier.

“All this means that track segments five and six—from Fade Away to Pop Up—are likely to experience heavy snow, and from Harvey through North Brother and Slip, it’s likely that you may not be able to see more than a half dozen meters in any direction. It’s safe to say that the highest portions of the course are going to suck, and you need to be extra vigilant as you’re doing your best to push a hundred and seventy while discovering it’s damn near impossible to see more than a few meters ahead of you.


I decided to take the sections I put together for myself and you and use those as the track sections to monitor.  So when Race Control says, “Dangerous conditions in Section Three,” they mean the third section of track I showed here on the blog.  Simple, huh?

The good news here is when the racers are heading down a half a kilometer from the top of a mountain, it’s quite possible they won’t be able to see anything worth a damn.  Which has got to be fun, right?  Meanwhile the normal thirteen year old back in Wherever in the World are bitching about taking out the trash in the cold.  Oh, well; Kerry signed up for this shit.  Gonna be fun, right?


“When you are out there today you are to be cognizant of your surroundings at all times. You’re all aware that we have hundreds of Spyeyes covering the course, and if we see someone acting in a blatantly unsafe manner you will first get a warning, and then you’ll get yanked. No one had died on this course since 1973, and I’m not about to break that string today.”

Vicky set her hands on her hips and looked around the room. “I know you’ll do your best, all of you. A word of warning for you new people, however: don’t be surprised by how quickly the track spreads out. You likely watched the race last year, so you know quickly people fan out, and how a quarter of a second off on a kilometer here and there can mean putting a couple of minutes between one flier and another. Out there you’re really racing the track and not each other.

“Knowing that, the best way to handle that place—” She slowly nodded as she moved her gaze from left to right. “Stay focused and don’t allow yourself to be distracted or intimidated. There, more so than on any of the courses on the school’s ground, it is necessary to run your own race.”


Nice to know that no one had died on the course since 1973, and that’s something that’s not discussed, but people have died racing at school.  What was it Deanna told Annie?  “This place is drenched in blood–” and over time you discover that people have died for a number of various reasons.  I mean, we know ten were added to that count during the last novel, and it could have been more–thought getting killed in Kansas City would have been covered up hard and fast.

Tonight I finish this and start onward.  In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about that snow . . .

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