Sure it’s late, but at least I’m getting the post out.
That’s because it’s Thanksgiving here in the United States and there’s been a lot going on. I had to make phone calls and I had to get ready to go do things–though “do things” really involve little more than going out and drinking a lot of beer around noon today.
I took that picture at Zeroday Brewery, where I enjoyed for great classes of craft beer and a cold, fresh pressed apple cider. It was a good time and some good conversation, and when I walked home I was feeling the effects of the beer, though not as bad as I felt with others.
Anyway, I just came back from eating at Denny’s–steak and eggs for my Thanksgiving feast–and I’ve changed into the comfy pajamas I’m ready to write. Or ready to Dragon speak, whichever is more realistic. Either way there are things to say and posts to make, and fortunately for you I still have plenty of both.
One of the things I’m going to give you is an excerpt, but another thing I’m going to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming. Yes, I’m giving you spoilers. Probably not as much as you would expect, but they’re here. I’m going to give it to you after the excerpt–
Speaking of which, here’s the end of the last chapter.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie followed the direction of his arm down the gallery to his right. At the far end she could make out Anna and Elisha facing each other as they spoke. Anna was the more animated of the two: she shuffled about on her feet, her hands moved, her head twisted from left to right and down several times. Given the way Elisha stood there listening Annie didn’t need to hear the conversation between the two coven mates: it was obvious that Anna had finally found the courage to tell Elisha her thoughts and her feelings.
After a minute of saying what was on her mind Anna seemed to deflate slightly, as if she were waiting for her coven mate to unleash a furious rebuttal upon her. Elisha seemed slightly confused but didn’t appear angry. After maybe ten seconds she took a step forward, reached out, and took Anna’s hands in hers. As she spoke Anna’s head began to rise and she no longer seemed prepared for the worst.
After another minute of Elisha talking she wrapped her arms around Anna and gave her a long, comforting hug. When they were finished they separated and looked at each other or maybe another ten seconds before Anna took the initiative to step closer and give Elisha a short, tender kiss upon the lips.
I did a little checking this morning before heading out and discovered an interesting thing. There was a line near the end of B For Bewitching, when Annie and Kerry and Penny and Alex and their boyfriends all went out to lunch on Graduation Day, where Jario gave Penny a quick kiss, that became the first time any other students other than Annie and Kerry were seen kissing. We’ve seen Erywin and Helena kiss and we’ve seen Wednesday give Isis a quick peck, but those are adults and they don’t really count.
But Anna and Elisha are the closest we’ve come to seeing anyone kissing much the same way as Annie and Kerry kiss. It’s also the first time we’ve seen what looks like a same-sex student couple. We understand they do exists, but up until now we haven’t actually seen one. And before someone says, “Damn, Cassidy, you got way too many lesbians in this story,” Penny and Alex are in heteronormative relationships, Mathilde and Vicki both have husbands, Holoč Semplen has a wife, Coraline is getting married to a guy, and Deanna and Trevor seem to have something going on. So, you know, don’t start whingeing at me ’cause I’ll just look the other way and laugh.
Also, Annie and Kerry are healthy heterosexuals–for now. By the end of this novel who knows what’s going to happen? Well, I do, but I’m not talking…
Speaking of Annie and Kerry, what are they up to?
“That’s what I’m talking about. Looks like someone got their wishes answered.” Kerry turned towards Annie, her face illuminated by the lights of the city around them. “I know this level is going to be tough. We’ve got new classes; rather be doing a lot of minion work; bring to be doing a lot of work on our own; and were going to have special studies on top of all that.” He looked down and away for a moment and chuckled. “And who knows if the Guardians are going to have some for us to do this level?
“We’ll deal with all that when it happens. But what I want most of all is everything between us to stay as good, happy, and hopeful as possible.” He reached out and wipe the single tear from his left cheek, then touched it to Annie’s cheek. “There. Now now you feel my sadness—” He managed a slight smile and touched his fingers to his lips before touching them against Annie’s lips. “And now you feel my hope.”
Annie felt a familiar sensation wash over her: the lightheaded feeling that came over her when she felt she was about to swoon. So many times I’ve heard people say Kerry is too emotional, that at times he can be a crybaby. But they never see these moments where he opens his heart completely and tells me all. She rested against him and lay her head upon his shoulder. Even if I wasn’t bonded to him for life, I would never love another boy as I love my soul mate.
She waited until the sensation passed before she stood. Kerry picked up on her action immediately. “You’re not going to pass out, are you?”
Annie shook her head. “No, my love. I’m fine.” She pressed against his body and kissed him. “I was wondering if it’s possible I could love you more—then you do something as you did a moment ago and I know the answer.”
She turned so that they once were standing side by side. “I like your idea of our school year being happy and hopeful.”
Kerry spent a moment studying her profile bathed in the light of the Paris night. “I like it, too.” He rested his head against hers. “Let’s do this.”
Somewhere a belt tolled and Annie knew that midnight had come. “Let’s.”
He kissed her hand and let it drop to her side so he could wrap his arm around her body. “Okay then.”
They stood in silence as they welcomed the new day.
Deep down inside Kerry is a romantic dude. His comments in the second paragraph above relate back to something Annie told him in the bedroom after she found out about the way his parents treated him: when he hurts, she hurts. Passing his tear to her shows that he understands her feeling his pain, but passing his kiss to her as he did–he wants her to know that there is hope that he won’t suffer long. The chances are good, however, that Kerry is going to have problems with this parents all through this novel, and that means it might take a while before the suffering stops. How long will that take? Hmmm, I could tell you, but then I had to do something bad to you so you didn’t tell anyone else.
One of the things I did last night was figure out where all the new A Levels are coming from. It’s actually something that Erywen’s going to talk about in the scene I’m working on now, so keeping it hidden for too much longer makes no sense. Not only that, but as readers you’re never going to see all the new students are coming in unless I show them to you. So let me walk you through what I have so far and give you an idea of how the new year is shaping up.
First up for the shield maidens of Åsgårdsreia:
You’re going to see a couple of countries in this list that might make you think I’d make the names up, but I haven’t: every country in these list of the real deal. Åsgårdsreia gets nine new students, which is a bundle, and seven of them are girls. All of Åsgårdsreia’s students come from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and North and South America: I believe they are the only coven that did not receive a student from Europe.
Now comes the owls of Blodeuwedd:
These guys also got seven girls and nearly ran the board without any boys. Also, we add a major ginger to the school with a girl from Ireland, and we see they have a girl from Cuba as well. They are one of two covens that did not receive a student from South America. It should also be pointed out that six of their students come from island nations.
Up next are the Warthogs of Ceridwen:
Ceridwen had the most gender equal of all the covenants, with three boys and four girls. All the boys come from relatively small countries, while the girls cover a wide range of locales. Ceridwen is one of two covens that did not receive a student from Oceania. Should also be pointed out that for the second time three years witches have arrived from the Philippines. But this means something? No, not really.
Now, let’s check out that favored coven of mine, the Stags of Cernunnos:
Cernunnos did well this year: two boys and four girls, Of one student from last year and two hundred percent better than two years earlier. Cernunnos is strange in that it didn’t receive a single student from either North or South America, the only coven to do this. They are also the only coven to receive two Muslim students: the boy from Syria and the girl from India. I’ll bet you thought I was gonna say Egypt–you bet wrong. Cernunnos is also the coven that did the best in terms of numbers: they lost the fewest students–three–and gained six, whereas nearly all the other covens made back what they lost through graduation and attrition.
And lastly, we look at the blackbirds of Mórrígan:
Mórrígan also received nine students like Åsgårdsreia, but their attrition was greater than all of the other covens: they lost eleven students through graduation and attrition, which made them one of two covens–the other being Ceridwen–to suffer a net loss. Mórrígan did not receive a student from North America, but they did receive a student from the People’s Republic of China, which is something that rarely happens. Why is that? You’ll find out what time. Yes, Åsgårdsreia did receive a student from Macau, but Salem has received students from Macau and Hong Kong in the past and getting a student from there is not seen as being as big a deal as getting one from one of the major cities in China.
With one of the boys being from Belize, or the chances Kerry is going to make jokes about visiting there? Now I got to look up when a certain show ended…
So there you go: more writing without writing. Only this not writing was really needed, because you know at some point in the future these new students may be needed.
Now I have to figure out for what.