The Walk Between Bonfires

It was four years ago that I wrote what is likely my most revealing post…

Wide Awake But Dreaming

Here we are:  sixteen hours and thirty-eight minutes, and we get the NaNo Party started.  I went to my kick off party last night, said hello, got my goody bag, spoke with some of the people who are going to try this.  Everyone there was new:  I was the only hold over, save for our area leader, from last year.  Is this good or bad?  Yes.  Go with it.

The time to write is approaching, as are The Witching Hours.  Time to run the kidlettes around for trick-or-treat, then find something to play at 12:01 AM, when NaNo kicks in and makes life crazy for the next thirty days.

This post isn’t so much about NaNoWriMo as it is about the person writing the NaNo Novel for 2012.  Or what they’ve learned from their writing.  Because we do learn from writing, and from the experiences it brings us.

I’ve got to…

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HBO’s ‘Westworld,’ Season 1, Episode 5, “Contrapasso” Recap

It’s HBO, so you knew it was only a matter of time before we got into the female nudity in a big way…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 5, Dolores and William [Image via John P. Johnson/HBO] Welcome to my recap of HBO’s latest offering, Westworld. Here’s what I thought of Episode 5 of Season 1.

Episode 5 of Westworld takes us to Pariah, a town HBO were obviously very eager to get the viewer to because it makes their gratuitous sex scene loving audience shut up and watch.

As has been explained in earlier episodes, Westworld has varying levels of content. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was involved in the Sweetwater experience. While adult content still occurred here, it was mostly hidden away. It was like your standard cable package; there is talk about sex but no boobies. Violence is totally okay though. Pariah is your classic HBO cable package. There is full frontal nudity and plenty of it, all wrapped up with a convenient sexposition bow.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 5, sexposition [Image via HBO] But, while we are there, let’s talk about the mission William…

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‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 7, Episode 2: “The Well”

It’s time to dip into “The Well” and see if the show is going to make us even more depressed–

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Episode 2 (entitled “The Well”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead slows the pace considerably from the Season 7 premiere. Here’s what I thought about Morgan and Carol’s involvement with the new group, the Kingdom.

This episode of The Walking Dead starts with Morgan (Lennie James) carving a cross into a letterbox and Carol (Melissa McBride) waking up. Right away Morgan introduces her to Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his badly CGI-ed tiger, Shiva. Carol does what she does best, which is play dumb and we finally get to see this line in context:

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7 Comic Con trailer Crazy Carol text [Image via AMC] CF:  I have to be honest:  Carol’s act was really easy to see thought ’cause I felt like she was turning it on too much.  Though it was funny to watch her revert back to the Carol we all know with her, “Are you shitting me?” comment to Morgan.

Khary Payton nailed Ezekiel.  I loved…

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Le Parti des Cinq: The Great and Secret News

Today is last day of October, so blessed Samhain to all of you out there. If we were in a fictional world instead of this real one, a couple of kids I know would have finished the last Samhain celebration they were ever going to have at their school. Well, I should say the last one they would have as regular students: no one save me can say for sure if they’ll ever be involved in additional classes once they graduate.

But their last Samhain dance over. Kerry’s last Samhain race is over. And my kid’s last walk between the bonfires is now a memory. Assuming this was a fictional. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and these things aren’t actually happening.

Or are they?

So yesterday, even with all the work I had put in during the afternoon–and trust me, I did some crazy stuff yesterday–I managed to have a rather successful writing experience. The Dragon software has increased my output considerably. Saturday I wrote in nearly two thousand word recap on top of everything else I wrote. And last night… I wrote three hundred and five words to finish the current scene, then turned around and wrote eight hundred and seventy words to start the next scene. That is nearly twelve hundred words in one evening, and that’s something I’ve not done it a long time.

Right here's all the proof you need.

Right here’s all the proof you need.

This is why you’re able to get a look at all of the end of the last scene, and you be able to get a good portion of the next scene tomorrow. Because now, I have writing software that is allowing me to be more productive. It doesn’t mean I’m always right, because going through my work this morning I discovered that even when you’re speaking your words, you’re going to make a mistake or two along the way. And that means needing to be more observant before I copy and paste what I’ve “written” back to Scrivener. Hey, I can’t always be perfect even though I try.

So, we’ve learned that Anna came out–not just once but twice. And it seems that second coming out had more of an effect on her parents than the first one did:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“No kidding.” Kerry was actually somewhat surprised by this news. “You told your parents or a lesbian?”

“I figured it was best I tell them now, before they started to suspect something later.” Anna looked around the table and shrugged. “I mean, I was already questioning my sexuality when I arrived at school as an A Level. I mean—” she turned to carry and chuckled. “You sort of broke that subject open in Beginning Sorcery.”

Kerry looked down for a moment, slightly embarrassed. “Yeah, um, I really didn’t mean to do that—”

“It’s okay, Kerry.” Anna began chuckling due to his discomfort. “When I look back on that period now, I wonder how I was able to go so long without Lisa saying something.”

He nodded.” Still, I felt kind of bad about outing—well, Lisa at the time. None of us had any idea you were involved—”

“That’s all beside the point now.” Annie leaned forward just a bit. “I’m glad you were able to not only tell your parents about being a witch and your orientation, but that they were accepting of both.” She turned her head a little to the side. “They were accepting, weren’t they?”

 

Let’s face it: it is not unusual for kids eleven, twelve, thirteen, to understand their sexual orientation and gender identity. This happened before many times in the pass, only kids weren’t allowed to act upon it: that’s why we have a closet. And that’s why we had kids who were in pain, suffering, because they couldn’t express themselves the way they wanted to express themselves.

Now this is gone by the wayside: trans kids are coming out at ages as early as six and many have determined their sexual orientation well before they become teenagers. Erywin was one of those kids who, by the time she was finishing up her A Levels, knew she was a lesbian. Only when she came out she got an ass beating for her troubles. It’s a lot different for Anna: she’s coming out to a bunch of people who she’s now thinking of as her friends, and they wish her well and hope her parents were understanding. Like I said, it’s a hell of a lot different period of time. And as far as her parents are concerned–

 

Anna pause for a moment to stare across the street at the scenery beyond the Seine. “Everything is fine now, but…” She sighed as she looked up, pressing her hands against her thighs. “I got all of the usual arguments: I’m too young to understand my sexuality, I’m too young to make this kind of decision, I have no idea that I’m not going like boys as I get older.” She half-rolled her eyes. “I’ve known for a couple of years now that I’m not interested in boys that way. Fortunately, it only took a couple of months to convince my parents of the same.”

“I’m glad they chose to understand you.” Annie reached across the table holding out her hand.

Anna picked up on the gesture and placed her hand in Annie’s. “Thank you so much.”

The appetizers arrived and everyone dug in. Another minute of silence passed while everyone satisfied their hunger. Alex once again broke the silence. “Just curious, but is there anyone now that you would like to know better?”

Penny lightly smacked her roommates right arm. “What’s wrong with you?”

Alex did her best not to look offended. “I thought it would be nice to ask.”

“It’s quite all right, Penny.” Anna waved her hand as if to show there was no harm in the question. “People get asked all the time if there is someone they like; I have to accept the fact I’m going to get asked who I like, and the fact I like a girl shouldn’t dissuade someone from asking.”

Kerry twisted his head slightly to the left and gave Anna a quizzical look. “Did you just say there’s a girl you like?”

Anna blushed. “Scheisse. I did just say that, didn’t I?”

“And I think it should be left at that.” Annie turned to Kerry and placed her hand over his. “When Anna is ready to tell us about her personal life, she will. Until then—” She looked at her friends across the table. “She doesn’t need to say anything.”

“Yeah.” Kerry turned to Anna and gave saw, apologetic smile. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to pry.”

Anna returned the smile. “Danke.” She drew in a short breath. “How did your coming out go, Kerry?”

 

So, yeah: there is someone who Anna likes. And you’ll actually see who it is in this novel; I’m not going to keep that a secret for too long.

But notice the easy deflection. Anna takes questions of being asked of her and turns it around so that she is asking Kerry pretty much the same thing he was asking her. Kerry, however, isn’t quite as forthcoming as this German girl was…

 

He glanced downward for a moment, not meeting Anna’s gaze. “It didn’t go quite as well as yours.”

“Oh? What happened?”

“Yeah—” Penny scrutinized her friend from across the table. “Things didn’t get any better?”

He shook his head. “Naw, they didn’t.” He half looked at Anna from the corner of his eyes. “The coming out could have been better. My parents—” Kerry shrugged. “They’re still kind of getting used to it.”

“I understand.” Anna gave a slight nod. “Did they give you any indication when you left this morning that they were going to try to understand you better?”

Annie had begun watching Kerry as soon as Anna asked about his parents and his coming out. She was already aware that the relationship between his parents and him concerning his being a witch was strained, but she wasn’t prepared for his reaction when she asked about leaving his parents this morning. He doesn’t appear to want to speak about what happened; it almost seems as if thinking about it is bringing him pain.

She leaned close to him and spoke in a low, soft voice. “Is everything okay?”

Kerry turned toward Annie. “Yeah, it’s fine.”

“Are you positive?”

He looked as if he was about to nod before giving a slight shrug. “Yeah, I’m fine.” He leaned close to Annie’s ear and whispered so only she could hear. “I’ll tell you when we get back to the hotel. Okay?”

“Okay, good.” Annie didn’t want to begin a conversation that she knew would involve only him and her: speaking about this in public would involve the other three at the table, and she did not want them included in this discussion.

But not wanting to discuss his departure from Cardiff now didn’t mean his departure wouldn’t be discussed the moment they returned to their room…

 

“Okay, good.” You know, there are certain keywords that women say that is supposed to let you know that you’ve done something wrong. Fine is one of those words. It stated that when a woman tells you “Fine”, you’d better watch out for what comes next. Annie didn’t say “fine”, but “Okay, good” is right up there with, “You better watch out for the shit this Bulgarian girl is going to give you when you’re alone. And it’s safe to say that Kerry is likely to get said shit when he returns to his hotel room.

One last thing: except for the excerpts, all of this post was written using Dragon voice recognition software. WordPress allows Dragon to be used when creating new blog post, and everything written here was done with me speaking into the mic and watching it get transcribed on to the page. Yeah, what amount of public writing, and I have to learn to use my fingers or get a really good Bluetooth mic. But for now, speaking out everything seems to be the way to go.

And if you don’t know by now, I’m all about the new things.

Le Parti des Cinq: Catching Up With the New Girl

So much to do today and so little time in which to get it all done.  Get the post out of the way, head home, go do the phone bank, come home and do laundry, get dinner, write some…  Just another manic Sunday that’s making me sleepy just thinking about it.

Now, something a little different today.  This last week I’ve went on about how I was playing with voice recognition software and how I was beginning to enjoy the way it helped me be a bit more productive.  Yesterday I took the plunge and bought Dragon software and after a short learning curve I ended up writing almost eight hundred and fifty words for this scene and nearly twenty-one hundred words for my Black Mirror recap.  Total time spent on both projects was about three hours, so if I can come home and write a thousand words in about ninety minute, I’ll be happy.

In this excerpt part of it was written by hand and transcribed through VRS.  I can even show you where the split happens:

 

Penny took a sip of her drink before speaking. “I had to as well.”

Alex nodded in agreement. “Same here. But then I guess it’s our parents natural inclination to think we’re lying when we say we’re witches.”

 

How do I know the first line was written by hand and the second was done in Dragon?  Because when I write by hand I stick to the old habit of putting two spaces after the period, whereas Dragon sticks with the modern habit of using one.  And since I can see the change in Scrivener–where everything still goes–it’s easy to spot.

Now, this doesn’t work well in a noisy pubic place, and even at home there’s issues when I’ve got music playing.  So now I’m considering investing in a bluetooth headset to help with noisy backgrounds–

"This will help so much--wait, I didn't want to type--dammit, stop. No, I mean don't type--stop, stop! Oh, Mic Off! I thought this would be easy..."

“This will help so much–wait, I didn’t want to type–dammit, stop. No, I mean don’t type–stop, stop! Oh, Mic Off! I thought this would be easy…”

Don’t worry:  I got this.

Now that my kids are ready for lunch, what’s happening?  Well–this:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The drinks came and Penny immediately took a long sip from hers. “Oh, this is so good. I didn’t know if I was gonna ever enjoy dining on a Paris sidewalk.”

Alex reached over and patted her roommate’s hand. “When you hadn’t arrived by eleven we began to wonder if you were coming.”

“I was beginning to wonder myself.” Penny slid her glass to one side and sat back. “Sodding case worker showed right before ten my time, told me she got caught up in some shite in London and couldn’t break away.” She folded her arms across her chest. “I’d of been pissed if I’d missed this.”

“We weren’t about to leave without you.” Kerry had discussed the matter with Annie and Alex and all decided they’d wait for their covenmate. “You should have given me a call:  I’d have asked my case worker if she could have picked you up instead.”

“I didn’t think about that; I was kinda in a panic.” She smiled across the table. “Thanks for the offer, though.”

“No problem.” He took Annie’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Anytime.”

Penny glanced from Kerry to Annie and back before deciding whatever she was going to ask could be saved for another time. She looked down to the girl at her far right. “How’d your summer go, Sabb?”

Anna Lasker—whose nickname “Sabb” was a diminutive of Sabine, her middle name—smiled and gave a quick nodded before answering. “It went well. Better than I hoped for at the end of our last level.”

Kerry stared down into his drink. “I hear that. How’d the coming out go?”

 

Now we’re seeing Anna starting to fit into the group which is something of an interesting fit as she’s really the first person it Annie’s and Kerry’s school level they’ve allowed into their Inner Circle.  Sure, she was aligned with the Evil Lisa as an A Level, but come the B Levels she turned into a trusted racer who decided to stop being played for a fool and look for new friends.  Also, she was the one who witnessed the Emma/Kerry collision during the Katahdin Race and said it looked to her as if Emma didn’t try to avoid a collision, which finally led to Annie and Kerry calling out the Bolder Ginger.

Sure, she has a way to go before she can be trusted with some of the Party of Six’s secrets, but she’s starting off on the right foot.  And it helps that she’s went through an experience that Kerry also went though…

 

“It went fairly well.” Anna ran her finger around the rim of her glass. “At first, my parents weren’t sure if I was telling the truth or not.  I had to craft a couple of spells for them to show them it was all true.”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Yeah, I had to do the same thing.”

Penny took a sip of her drink before speaking. “I had to as well.”

Alex nodded in agreement. “Same here. But then I guess it’s our parents natural inclination to think we’re lying when we say we’re witches.”

“And that’s perfectly understandable.” Anna sat back and stared across the street for a few seconds. “As soon as they saw me craft spells, however, they grew a little tense. It’s one thing to have someone in your family say they can do magic, and something completely different when they can.”

Annie had remained silent up to this point, for this was, once again, an area where she had no expertise. She was, however, curious as to the outcome of Anna’s ordeal. “Then I take it everything at home is good?”

“Yes, all is good right now.” Anna curled her fingers around the glass and looked down at the table for a moment. A slight grin played upon her face for just a moment. “You could say my first coming out was better received than my second.”

Silence fell over the table as Anna’s last statement was comprehended. Penny was the first to break the silence. “What you mean, Anna? Did you come out, come out?”

The German girl nodded slowly as she looked up, smiling. “Yes.”

 

…Okay, maybe Kerry didn’t have the same experiences.  Given that she sort of hinted during the goodbye in Boston that her romantic interest might not be heterosexual, it now seems like she confirmed to her parents that the possibility of future boyfriend is likely non-existence.

The only way to know for sure is to check back tomorrow and see what was actually said.

“Black Mirror”, Season 3, Episode 4, “San Junipero”

In this seaside town, there’s a lot more going on beyond what is seen–

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via Netflix] [Image via Netflix] We’re into the final three episodes of season three of Black Mirror, and this next episode is probably the one that is the most unusual of all the Black Mirror episodes. Why is that? Because you’re going to see something happen in this episode that has never happened in any other episode of Black Mirror.

Until we get into that, let’s see what happens in a party town somewhere in California in 1987:

Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis, AKA Cameron from the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire) is visiting the resort town of San Junipero the first time. It’s 1987, an era of big hair, loud clothes, and lots of dance music. Yorkie’s drawn to a club where she encounters Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, AKA Tish, the sister of Martha Jones, from Doctor Who), a young woman of color out having a good time. Looking…

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