When I wrote yesterday that I didn’t do a lot of writing on Sunday that was true in one sense: I didn’t get a lot in the word bank that night ’cause of reasons. But as I’ve mentioned before not all writing is “writing”, if you know what I mean. Sometimes you gotta sit and look at things and figure out where you want your scene to take place, and if there’s something else you want your character doing after that.
And that was how I spent about ninety minute: looking up stuff for the excerpt below. The majority of what I researched went into the first paragraph, but you know how that is with the whole research thing: sometimes only a little is needed out of a lot of looking up.
What is said in that paragraph? And what does it have to do with Annie? All this:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie stared down ul. Yuri Venelin as her mother paid the cab driver that had brought them from the Sofia airport to the city. The residential street was crowed with parked cars while the sidewalks were empty—all save for the corner behind her, where ul. Yuri Venelin intersected ul. Lyuben Karavelov. The trees lining the street were full of leaves that blocked her view of the Vasil Levski stadium a couple of hundred meters away.
She closed her eyes and looked towards the sky and felt warm light on her face. The sky was clear and temperatures were approaching 30 Celsius. No jacket or leggings needed today: a v-neck tee, black skater skirt, and sandals were all she needed and wanted. Summer wasn’t ready to vanish from Sofia—
But for Annie, only three weeks remained before she vanished from Bulgaria for almost the remainder of 2013. Only three weeks remained before she was reunited with Kerry for the rest of the year and they returned home…
“What are you dreaming about?”
Annie turned to her mother who was looking at her with a half-grin on her face and a curious look in her eye. “Just thinking about how nice it is, Mama.”
“Um, hum.” She patted her daughter on the shoulder as they walked the short distance towards Annie’s destination. “How long do you think your lunch will take?”
“I don’t imagine long.” She walked as slow as possible because she was certain her mother had a few things to say and the remaining distance was about a dozen meters. “Maybe two hours at the most.” Annie stopped just short of her destination. “Are you coming to get me?”
“I wasn’t planing on it: I had a different idea…” Pavlina Kirilova removed her mobile phone from her purse and handed it to Annie. “When you’re finished, or about to finish up, text my work mobile and let me know. The number’s in the contacts; you’ll see it.” She adjusted her purse upon her shoulder. “You still want to go to Paradise Center, yes?”
“Yes.” Annie had told her mother before leaving for Sofia that she wanted to stop at the large shopping center and pick up a few items before returning to Pamporovo.
“Okay. After you text me hail a cab and take it to the mall: I’ll meet you at the main entrance.” She eyed Annie’s purse. “I know you have enough for cab fare.”
Annie remained expressionless though she so wanted to raise a brow. Her mother had given her €500 before leaving the house, so she was fully aware that Annie had plenty for a cab. “I do, Mama.”
“Well, then—” She kissed her daughter on the cheek. “You have a good time, Nini. I’ll wait for your text.”
Annie felt the rush of heat in her cheeks as she always did whenever her mother used her nickname in public. “Okay, Mama.”
“I’ll see you in a bit.” Pavlina stepped back a few meters into the entrance of a courtyard and slowly made herself invisible, followed a few seconds after she vanished from sight by the slight pop of her jaunt.
Annie slipped her mother’s mobile into her purse, checked her hair to make sure to was okay, and strode confidently into the restaurant.
Here’s that Annie out having a lunch and shopping date. Only the shopping is with her mother: which means the lunch is with someone else. Who is this mystery guest who’s come all the way to Bulgaria?
Let’s take a look at the areas. This is where Annie is at the start of the scene:
There is a restaurant in this view, though you have to know where to look to find it. And it had to be a particular restaurant for–reasons. You’ll see. That took a while to figure out in of itself, but that’s what comes of research.
And then we have the shopping mall:
Paradise Center is not only the largest shopping mall in Sofia, it’s the largest in Bulgaria and the Balken States. There are a lot of high-end stores here, making it the sort of place the wife and daughter of a Formula One driver with lots of money would shop if, you know, they didn’t have the ability to jaunt off to Paris and shop there. And it’s only six kilometers from where Annie is having lunch, so taking a cab there isn’t a huge deal. And we know Annie knows how to hail a cab.
An interesting line in the excerpt is the remark about money: Annie thought it was strange that since her mother had given her the money she felt it necessary to remind her daughter that she had enough for a cab ride. The thing I find interesting is that Pavlina hands Annie five hundred Euro and doesn’t worry if too much. Sure, there will be shopping after, but… it would have been a cold day in hell before I handed $500 to my thirteen year old daughter and said, “This should be enough for lunch and shopping–yes?” And Annie probably didn’t bat an eye: “Yes, that will do, Mama,” and stuffed it in her wallet. The Rich: it’s a different way of life.
And in case you’re wondering €500 is equal to $563. That’s a pretty good afternoon.
Now all that’s needed is for the lunch date to show up. I wonder who it could be?