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Tripping the City of Lights Fantastic

Lots of crazy last night.  I went off for my GOTV training and was at the HQ until about nine PM.  During that time I learned where I’ll be working the next three weekends and part of election day–yes, I stepped up to help the ground game–told everyone in the building about being a transwoman voting for Hillary because I’m fighting for everyone else, and discovered that for GOTV I’m gonna kinda be a sorta location captain helping out the real captains ’cause I’m that good.

You know what this means?  Two nights a week for the next two weeks doing phone banks, two Sundays doing GOTV dry runs, working both Saturday and Sunday before the election, and working five to eight the night of the election.  Yeah…  I’ll be busy.

But you know what?  I still wrote and did research last night.  And here’s what developed–

 

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

 

Getting to Paris was easy. Ms. Rutherford jaunted them both from the house in Cardiff to a staging area for those Foundation people who knew of its location. From their they took the international jaunt station to de Gaulle Airport outside Paris, followed by a local jaunt to the station serving the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est train stations. They headed up into the Gare de l’Est and exited to find a Citroën C6 executive saloon waiting for them. A minute later Kerry’s bags were in the trunk and they were on their way.

After a few blocks Kerry felt how different Paris seemed from the other cities he’d visited so far. London came the closest in feel, but even that paled. While both cities were huge, London so often felt as if it was simply thrown together. Here, everything looked and felt orderly, fit together as if someone had constructed the city from Lego blocks, and that made him feel a sense or enormity all around.

Bernice glanced over from her side of the car, grinning. “Impressive, isn’t it?”

Kerry stopped looking out the window and turned to his right. “The city?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah, it is.” He turned his attention back to the street as he chuckled. “I can see why Annie loves this place.”

“Oh, you haven’t even begun to see it.” Bernice folded her hands in her lap. “This is just a taste.”

Something in his case worker’s tone made Kerry believe she wanted to talk. “Were you here as a student?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“When?”

“Believe it or not for my C Levels.” Bernice gave a soft laugh. “My A and B Levels were nothing like yours, though. My A Level departure was Stockholm and my B Level departure was London. Go to Rome for my D Levels and Amsterdam for my Es. Just like they always do, I finished my F Levels in Stockholm.” She turned to Kerry again. “You always end where you started.”

 

Now, let’s look at what I’ve had to do just to get these three hundred and thirty-three words.

First:  I’ve known the jaunt path for some time.  That was the easiest part, as I’ve already established there is an international jaunt station under the main terminal at Heathrow, so it goes without saying there’s one in Paris as well.  Now we know there’s a local jaunt to the big train stations in the city as well–

That gives us this.

That gives us this.

Gare du Nord is the busiest train station in Europe and one that I’ve visited–yes, more on that in a moment.  Since I knew where Kerry is staying, finding his route to the hotel is easy.

In city terms it's just down the street.

In city terms it’s just down the street.

As for Kerry’s current position, this is pretty much what he’s seeing in the above excerpt.

The clouds are even there, as it's cloudy in the city during this time frame.

The clouds are even there, as it’s cloudy in the city during this time frame.

Now, I know the Gare du Nord and the hotel where Annie and Kerry are staying because I’ve stayed in the same hotel, rode down the same street that Kerry is on right now, and boarded the Thalys train to Brussels at Gare du Nord.  Yeah, I’m cheating a bit because, well, I can write from personal experience in this case.  And the four days I spent in Paris ten years ago are still among the most memorable I’ve ever had.  Expect Annie and Kerry to hit some of the same spots I did in the next few days.

That last paragraph where Bernice Rutherford speaks of her time at school and the cities from which she departed–that required about thirty minutes of timeline work last night, and it was something I did as soon as I was out of my work clothes and into my pajamas.  Some time back I put in her time at school, so with that in place I could take the cities I’ve already mentioned for my kids–Amsterdam, Berlin, and now Paris–and work backwards, substituting Stockholm and London for Berlin and, as you’ll find out, Madrid.  Here’s what that looks like:

So much craziness just for a paragraph.

So much craziness just for a paragraph.

And what Bernice said is true:  The Foundation puts the kids on a five-city rotation, so the city you depart from as an A Level becomes the same departure city for your F Levels.  You end where you started, which could be seen as some heavy philosophical shit were one to look at it that way.  Bernice will discuss this a little more in the next excerpt–

Which may not come out until Friday as it looks as if I’ll be busy tonight.  I’ve been invited to a debate party and I was asked again last night by my group leader to come on over and hang with the girls–and it is true, the majority of our volunteers are women.

So if various live video pop up here tomorrow, you’ll know I was probably out of my mind for most of the evening.

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4 thoughts on “Tripping the City of Lights Fantastic

  1. This is awesome! I love how you’re combining real places you’ve visited and stayed into your novels. I may do that in the future, but for now, my teens are all in a made-up town in the smack-dab middle of three other small towns close to where I live, one of which actually shows up in book 2 because… well… because flashbacks.

    There’s also the metaphor of ending up where you started. As I’m seeing it now, it’s a way to have students reflect back on everything that’s happened to them in the past, and see how they’ve grown. I’m sure this will be especially necessary for Kerry. In three years, he’s already changed so much – in a good way – and I think it will be important for him to notice exactly how far he’s come when he finishes his F levels.

    • That’s one of the things I’m going for without saying it. There is a point of reflection in going back over all those things you did before you headed off to school for the first time and realizing how you’ve changed and grown. You have to wonder how they’ll feel when they walk down the same canal they did back in the day when Kerry didn’t remember Annie, knowing they are closer to their wedding at that point.

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