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A Hundred at the End

I said I was going to do it and yesterday I did.  Somewhere around six-thirty P.M., I not only crossed the one hundred thousand word mark, but ended up a hundred and fifty words beyond that point before stopping for the evening.  It took about two and one half hours of writing to get to that point, but get there I did.

So in 169 days, or five months and sixteen days, I wrote 100,150 words, for an average of five hundred and ninety-two words per day.

Not a bad five and a half months of writing.

Not a bad five and a half months of writing.

The majority of what I wrote yesterday was part of a thousand word monologue performed by Professor Ellison–who we are still excerpting today.  Funny how that happens.

Oh, and after I finished with this part of the novel, I got dressed up, put on makeup, put on my over the knee boots, and headed down to the local restaurant that usually frequent where I got a ricotta cheese plate and the cannoli to accompany the three glasses of champagne I drink to celebrate the end of 2016.

I wanted to feel good today, not like I'm dying.

I wanted to feel good today, not like I’m dying.

All in all it was a good evening, and I didn’t end up going to bed until about one o’clock in the morning, which allow the fireworks which go off near my apartment to finish.  The first New Year’s Eve I spent in my apartment I went to bed about a quarter to midnight, not realizing that a tremendous fuselage of fireworks was about to go off, and continue going off, for nearly ten minutes.  I don’t make that mistake anymore.

So what remains of this visit to the Keyboard Room?  Not a lot, which is why am going to dump out the rest of the scene today, my first gift of 2017 to you.  Also, as of right now I’m eight thousand words ahead of this point, so I have plenty of room to maneuver.  So let’s finish this part and see what sort of satisfaction Kerry gets:

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry looked down as he smiled. “I guess I knew the piece better than I thought.”

“I’d say.” Matthias returned to his place at the right side of the KRONOS. “So, do I have you sold on this?”

“Oh, man—” Kerry started laughing. “This and the KROME are what I want to work with. They’ll fit right in with what I want to do.”

Matthias picked up on the wistful look that momentarily crossed Kerry’s face. “I take it you have plans for beyond this next Ostara?”

Annie squeezed between Kerry and the keyboard and took his hand. “He told me he has a plan for when he performs that Ostara during our D Levels.”

He nodded. “This year I want to learn the equipment and see how I can use it to play simple stuff. Then the following Ostara—” He looked toward Annie once again before turning back to Matthias. “That’s when I want to play something impressive.”

Matthias nodded. “It certainly won’t go wrong with this equipment.” He gently rested his hand on the instrument panel of the KRONOS. “Now, when it comes to this particular instrument I have good news and I have bad news.”

 

So Kerry can get his keyboards, but there’s that old “good news/bad news” thing going on.  So just like Annie and Kerry, let’s find out what the professor’s going to tell them–

 

Annie sensed Kerry starting to wilt, but she knew Professor Ellison wasn’t the sort of person who would string them along and then disappoint at the end. “Perhaps you should get the bad news out of the way first, Professor.”

“That’s a good idea. The bad news is both the 88 key version of the KRONOS are reserved.”

“What?” Kerry’s eyebrows shot upward in disbelief. “So what’s the good news?”

“The good news is Nadine was in first thing this morning and reserved both keyboards.” Matthias pointed at Kerry. “She specifically said that I needed to set one of these aside for you, along with one of the KROME workstation. She will use three keyboards in her performance and two of them are the ones we just looked at.”

Kerry let out a sigh of relief. “I should’ve figured Nadine would be looking out for me.”

“Well, you two have rehearsed together the last two Ostaras.” Matthias cleared his throat. “She also mentioned she was the one to put the bug in your butt about starting to work with keyboard workstation.”

Annie gave Kerry a playful look. “I was wondering when you would get around to mentioning her.”

“Yeah.” He allowed a sheepish look to vanish from his face before continuing. “She emailed me at the end of June and we started corresponding back and forth for a couple of weeks. Since she wanted to use a workstation for this Ostara, she thought it would be a good idea if we both worked on them at the same time.”

Matthias nodded. “It’s a good idea. It’s also probably why she reserved both the 88s.”

“She probably figured we get the basics down on the keyboard and then work off the same set up when we knew we wanted to do.”

“Exactly.” Matthias motioned at both keyboards he’d shown. “I’ll get these two set aside for each of you, then get you a couple of MIDI servers and a monitor to cable into the keyboards.” He pointed at another instrument further down the row. “She’s gonna use one of the keyboards down there, too.”

Kerry leaned to his right so he could look around Professor Ellison. “What’s that?”

“A Roland Jupiter-80. It’s a digital synthesizer with analog modeling capabilities. Really a nice instrument.”

“Ah, yeah. She used one of those the first time we performed.” Kerry knew that Nadine was a fan of Roland equipment and that was all they used them for their first performance. He got to pick the equipment for last year’s performance thought she worked hard to have him use a Roland keyboard in place of the Yamaha piano. “You know what she’s going to perform?”

“She’s going to do three songs, but the only one she told me about was Foreigner’s That Was Yesterday: she said she was going to do the old twelve inch remix version.” He placed his hands in his pants pockets as he smiled. “You familiar with that?”

For the first time Kerry was stumped. “I don’t think I know that.”

Both Annie and Professor Ellison looked at Kerry with mock shock, though Matthias was the one to speak. “Really? Look it up when you get the time: I think you be impressed.”

 

That Nadine, she likes to look after the kids she used to tutor.  It seems when it comes to music Nadine has been a great influence on Kerry–not because she has better insight into his musical stylings, but when it comes to equipment she seems to be a bit more knowledgeable.  One has to wonder if Kerry would’ve considered using keyboard workstations this time around if Nadine had emailed him over the summer and said, “Hey, you need to look at this.”  Either way, Nadine is a good influence on Kerry when it comes to the technical aspects–even if she can’t always get him to use what she likes.

Though she's using this for her performance no matter what this year.

Though she’ll use this for her performance this year no matter what.

And if you were ever wondering what Roland equipment Nadine and Kerry used during his A Level performance, his keyboards were a RD-700nx piano for the lower keyboard and a V-Synth GT for the upper keyboard, while Nadine used the Jupiter-8o for her lower keyboard and a Juno-Gi for her upper keyboard and synth pad.  All this equipment is legitimate and based upon a Roland catalog for 2011.  Yes, I do my homework.

And for the first time we see Kerry stumped by a song title.  Yes, there is some old music he has never heard, but you can be assured that once he had a few minutes alone with his computer he probably looked up the song that Nadine had chosen the play–at least the only one she mentioned was going to play.  Don’t worry, I know what both of these kids are playing for the next Ostara.

It looks like were almost done with getting the equipment, but there’s one more question…

 

He removed his hands in his pockets and interlaced his fingers together. “Anything else you want to discuss?”

Kerry shook his head. “I’m covered.”

Annie answered before Matthias could ask her. “I have nothing, Professor.”

“I have something for you before I returned to my office.” He lowered his voice just a little. “Since you’re already a little advanced for this class, would you be willing to help a few students if I ask you to give them assistance?”

By now Annie was so used to being asked to be a minion that she didn’t question the request. “I wouldn’t mind helping if necessary, Professor, but you should know that our levelmates aren’t always receptive to us helping out during labs.”

“I’ll worry about their feelings: that way you can concentrate on helping.” Matthias chuckled as he waved everyone toward the doorway. “I need to get back to my office—”

Annie nodded. “It’s quite all right, Professor.”

Once in the hall Matthias closed the door to the Keyboard Room and took a couple of steps back from his soon-to-the students. “Thanks for coming by; I’ll see you in class next week.”

Annie and Kerry said their farewells and headed toward the stairs leading to the ground floor, with Annie holding Kerry’s hand tight. “Now that you have all that out of the way, how do you feel?

He let out a long sigh. “Excited and relieved.” He glanced at Annie out of the corner of his left eye. “We should meet with Nadine after dinner and tell her we met with Professor Ellison.”

Annie knew how eager Kerry was to discuss the work Nadine and he would do together preparing for Ostara, and sitting down with her after dinner would also give Annie a chance to sit and talk with her friend. “I would like that.” She pulled Kerry to a stop a few steps short of the ground floor landing. “You’re certain you want to keep this year’s Ostara performance simple?”

Kerry gave a slight nod as he smiled. “Trust me, Darling. This year I just want to do a great performance of a few songs. The last thing I want are any surprises.”

 

So there you go: Kerry is ready for his 2014 Ostara performance.  Well, ready in the sense he has his equipment set aside; there’s still matter of rehearsing songs, but that’s a trifling matter.  By the time November rolls around Nadine and he will probably have a pretty good handle on playing their parts, which means they’ll have January and February of the next year to start the rehearsals with the house band.

When you think about it, there’s a crazy amount of work that goes into getting up on stage at Ostara and performing for ten minutes.  And Nadine and Kerry are like your normal performers: they seem to be their own worst enemies in that they’ll just want to play well, they want to play great.  In reality, these two kids do their best not to play but to perform, and if it ain’t perfect, they ain’t gonna be happy.

Just like Annie says, now that that’s out of the way…

We’re going to go and spend some time with our favorite witchy doctor–

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2 thoughts on “A Hundred at the End

    • Yes, they are. One of the things that was kind of glossed over in the first novel is that Kerry taught himself how to play keyboards; he did it on an old Casio that his parents had. And he also mentioned that he “figured out” how to play some musical numbers by watching YouTube videos. All that right there indicates that he had the talent, all he needed was for someone to bring it out.

      And Nadine was the someone who did that. She recognized it right away as the Professor Ellison, which is why he likely asked her to tutor Kerry during his A Levels.

      And now they’re not only going to become musically competent, but they can start getting into the technical end of performing as well. If there’s one thing Salem does, it’s push you to bring out all that hidden talent.

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