Let’s get this out of the way first thing: a couple of days ago I passed sixty thousand words. It took eighteen days to get there, but there was probably less actual writing since during those two and a half weeks I was kind of preoccupied with real-life.
But I got it done. And I got a feel good about that.
I think it’s really funny that if you look at the picture above, you see that the word count I ended with last night was exactly two thousand words less than the word count from the previous scene. Since then–which is to say this morning–I’ve added a few more words so that counts don’t jibe, but still: I love little coincidences like that.
Also last night, I wrote a total of twelve hundred and sixty-four words. That is probably the biggest amount I have written in a long time, though all that writing was done with the help of Dragon software. It took me exactly two hours and forty-seven minutes to finish the scene–how do I know that? I’ll tell you in a bit.
And one last thing before we get to the excerpt: I noticed when I begin speaking Annie’s dialogue, I speak in “her” voice. Which is to say, I soften my tone and try to speak with just a bit of an accent. Not much, but there’s a little bit there. I guess you could say I’m getting into her character what I’m speaking as her, and I do think about what she would actually say as opposed to what I am going to write.
Then again, I caught myself speaking of slightly English accent when I was doing Penny’s voice. But just like with Annie, I speak of slightly softer tone when speaking is Penny or Alex, and I’ll probably do the same with him speaking as Anna or Elisha. Funny how that works out.
Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s look at part of what I wrote. I’m not going to give you everything today, you’ll just have to do with what I’m giving you here. I assure you, it’s going to be enough.
And it should be good.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
“He’s fine.” Annie look back toward Penny and Alex before turning toward Anna and Elisha. “Could you give us a few moments alone, please?” Alex nodded and turned away with Penny doing the same. Anna and Elisha did the same and headed off in the opposite direction from the other two girls.
The moment everyone was out of sight Annie began gently pulling on Kerry’s arm. She moved close to him so no one else could hear her speak. “Let’s sit, my love. Please?”
Kerry nodded just enough to acknowledge that he heard Annie. They sat on the floor between two of van Gogh’s paintings while still keeping Starry Night Over the Rhône before them. Annie was about to ask Kerry something when he suddenly leaned forward, closed his eyes, and began sobbing aloud.
She was unsure of what to do beyond wrapping her arm around him. Annie had never seen Kerry act like this before—no, that wasn’t entirely true. Kerry had experienced a number of sobbing breakdown for, but all of them had occurred at school and in private. While she had seen him shed a few tears in public before, this was the first time she’d ever seen him break down completely with other people around.
Annie pulled him into her, holding him close. “What is it, my love? Please tell me what’s wrong.”
It goes without saying that Kerry is something of an emotional mess right now, the comforting of the soul mate not withstanding. His worst fears came true and he’s dealing with them with varying degrees of success.
However, this is something different: this is something that’s overwhelming him, ’cause Annie knows, he’s not one to up and breakdown like this in public. She’s good at getting him to open up to her, and this time is no different:
It took a few more seconds for Kerry can bring himself under control. He held his head up and back, drawing in deep breaths, and after the third one he was ready to speak. “I don’t want you to think this strange—”
Annie chuckled. “I won’t think it’s strange, I promise.”
Kerry pressed is fingertips against his forehead. I really like van Gogh’s paintings. I don’t know why, I just saw them on-line one day and I thought about how fantastic they looked. I know it seems strange that I would like art—”
“I don’t think it’s strange at all. You’re intelligent and creative. Look how you enjoy my artwork; look how you enjoy playing music.”
“I know.” He looked across the enclosure at the painting on the far wall. “It was when Elisha asked where van Gogh was when he painted the other Starry Night, and I said he was in an insane asylum—” He rested his head against Annie shoulder. “Have you ever heard the song Vincent?”
She stroked his hair. “No, my love. I haven’t.”
He drew in a long, slow breath and exhale completely. “It’s an old song by Don McLean. He wrote about Vincent van Gogh and it’s a really…” Kerry’s voice caught as he tried to control his emotions. “It’s a beautiful song. I don’t listen to it much because it makes me feel sad.”
Annie knew there was more to what Kerry was feeling now than just being sad about a particular song. But she couldn’t come right out and say that: it wasn’t the way to get through to him. However, having known Kerry all her life, she knew how to pull information out of him. “I’d like to hear the song one day. But something else must have occurred, something even more sad, that is connected to this painting. Is there?”
He looked off into the distance for a moment then turned back and focused on the painting. “I was looking at this painting and the other Starry Night on-line one day—it was like a month before I was invited to Salem. I had Vincent on a playlist shuffle and it started playing while I was looking at the pictures. I started thinking about what it must’ve been like—” He looked down and closed his eyes for a second. “What it must be like to go mad. And I got all, you know—” He turned to Annie with tears in his eyes. “You know.”
She brushed the tears from his left cheek. “I do indeed know, my love.”
He nodded. “Some sitting there, trying to get control of myself, and my mom walks into my bedroom without knocking or anything. And she sees me there, crying, with the music playing, and she’s like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And I told her I heard a sad song and made me cry. And she—” He closed his eyes as he fought to keep from sobbing again. “She says, ‘What the hell is wrong with you? You’re worse—’ He shook as he strained to get out the last few words. “‘Sometimes you’re worse than a girl’.”
And here’s where it was a good thing I had a few glasses of wine inside me when I wrote those last few paragraphs, ’cause something like what happened to Kerry happened to me. Only it happened while the aforementioned song was being performed live at the Grammys and I started crying in the living room in front of both parents, and I ended up getting a disgusted look from my father and pretty much the same last statement from my mother. Yeah, thanks a lot, guys, for knocking me down with that burn.
Needless to say, Annie’s got some choice thoughts for her future mother-in-law, and while she calls her something that sounds like “witch”, it ain’t. Louise Malibey doesn’t know it yet, but she’s shaping the life of another person she’s never met–and she’s doing as shitty a job with her as she has with her son. Having an emotionally traumatized witch who knows Morte spells in the house is one thing: having his cool and collected Dark Witch girlfriend who can River Tam your ass in a fast second is another, and that’s one that could come back to bite one on the ass at some point.
Now, for the song in question: I picked this version because of the slideshow of van Gogh’s artwork the presenter put together. Enjoy.
Now, as to my claim that I finished the current scene in exactly two hours and forty-seven minutes–yeah, I got this backed up. Last night I also modified my YouTube Music From San Junipero playlist based upon an extended playlist that Black Mirror creator and writer Charlie Booker put together on Spotify. He says that his playlist has all the music that was in the episode, all the music he tried to get into the episode but couldn’t because of licensing issues, and a couple of songs “that inspired”. The time it takes to play all the songs? Two hours and forty-seven minutes. I started writing as the first song began and finished as the last song ended–which is a nice bookend in a way as the first and last songs are bookends to both the playlist and the TV episode.
So here you go, some great music coming from one of the best hours of television ever written: not just my opinion–one I gave when I recapped this episode a short time back and you should read if you haven’t–but the opinion of many others who enjoyed great TV.
Now, what’s Annie gonna do to help Kerry out of his current mindset?
Guess you’ll find out tomorrow.