Catching Up on the Magical Small Talk

So last night I was a snowflake–

That’s right:  when I went to my Planned Parenthood dinner I went as a Snowflake Supporter, so I can say that besides being a card carrying member of the ACLU, I’m also a snowflake.  Boom.  Suck it, haters.

The funny thing last night was running into people who are doing some of the same political stuff I’m doing, and even one person who worked with me on the Clinton campaign.  We’re all over the place.  Obviously I’m in good company.

Now, something interesting before getting into the story.  An article was posted on Avclub about rules that writers follow, and after reading the article I realize I violated Elmore Leonard’s rule about never starting a novel where you talk about the weather–I did that twice.  But in the article someone suggested that all novels could be improved if the second line of the book was, “And then the murders began.”

So, just to show you how improved my work is by following this rule, here are the first and second lines of my last three novels:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015, by Cassidy Frazee)

 

The mountains were bright under the morning sun, though the light had yet reached many of the surrounding valley floors. Within the hour every valley in and around Pamporovo, Bulgaria, would bathe in sunshine, but for now most were enveloped in quiet shadows.

And then the murders began.

 

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“ . . . Half the summer gone, and another half to go, and I miss you more every day. I can’t wait until the travel packages come, cause that means I’ll only have to wait another two week before I see you again. And then I can be happy once more.

“And then the murders began…

 

 

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

 

What bothered Annie Kirilova the most this morning was the weather. She had hoped for a bright sunshine, but what she received instead was light rain and low cloud cover. The rain also left the temperatures hovering in the low teens Celsius, which kept her out of shorts and forced her into leggings to wear with her long, flowing top and black ballet flats.

And then the murders began.

 

As you can see, all three books are drastically improved!  So much so I may leave them that way.  Though…  probably not.  I don’t think Annie wants to read about murders in the Malibey household.  Also, any of your writers out there reading this:  do the same in the comments with your books and I’ll post them.

What she does want, however, is some quality time in the Witch House with the Head Sorceress and the Chief of Security–

 

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

 

Annie opened her hand and the baston vanished. “With the testing I’ve encountered this evening I had to wonder if you were going to attack me after I left myself defenseless.”

Isis chuckled. “You, defenseless? Please.” She shook her head. “No way in hell is that true. I know better than that.”

Annie’s right eyebrow arched upward. “The why did you just say you didn’t know I could create a weapon so quickly?”

Isis and Helena exchanged looks for about three seconds before Isis sighed and nodded her head slowly. “I should know better than open my mouth.”

Helena finally stepped away from the table and slowly approached. “I thought you were supposed to be good at keeping secrets?” Helena moved alongside Isis and looked at Annie. “How are you feeling tonight?”

“Are you asking to make conversation?” The right corner of Annie’s mouth curled upward into a grin. “Or is this another test?”

“I’m asking as a friend.” Helena turned toward Isis. “God, what a suspicious little bitch.”

Isis crossed her arms. “Can’t imagine where she would have learned that from.”

“You can piss right off, too.” Helena’s expression softened as a slight smile came to her face when she turned back towards Annie. “No more tests like what you’ve already went through. From this point we get on to serious business. But I would like to know if you’re feeling well.”

 

You can probably imagine that Isis was going to do something to Annie and then tried to blow it off when she was caught before she had a chance.  You know Isis knows just how good Annie is when it cones to sorcery, ’cause it’s her job to know.  Not only is Annie good, but after all the shit she went through to make it up to that room, she figures that anything about to come her way is a test.  Yes, she is a suspicious little bitch. ’cause that’s how her instructor made her.

But there is a soft side to Helena as well…

 

Though Annie was aware that to the school’s general population considered Helena to be an unapproachable bitch with a hair-trigger temper, the two years she had spent in her presence taught her that the head sorceress could be a warm and affable person in the right situations. She has to come across as mean when were in class, for just like here, everything that happens in the classrooms below are part of the test. “I feel great. Though I have to admit I felt a bit of trepidation when I learned I was reporting to the first floor.”

“I wanted to make certain we weren’t bothered by any pain in the arse students.” Helena gazed off to her right for a moment as she spoke. “They don’t normally come out here this time of night, but it would be our luck that tonight was the night someone decided to come out here and look for book they suddenly want to read in the main library.”

“Why not meet in the lower levels then?”

“It was time for a change of venue.” Helena cocked a thumb at the woman to her left. “Besides, I didn’t want her to think we spend all our time under the ground like a bunch of moles.”

By now Annie at figured out why Isis was here, so rather than ask she address the security chief directly. “You’re going to teach me Blend with Shadows, aren’t you?”

Now it was Isis’ turn to grin. “You’re quick on that assumption.”

Annie shrugged. “Not so much, actually. It’s my understanding you’re one of the only people at school, or the only person, who knows the Blend with Shadow spell, and since I’ve expressed an interest in learning the spell, it makes sense that Helena has asked you to come and teach me.” She crossed her arms as she shifted her weight to her left leg. “After all, that’s exactly the same thing you did with me last year once it was discovered I possessed the Flight Gift.”

 

So there we are:  Isis is probably going to instruct Annie in the Blend with Shadow, which means if Annie learns this spell and masters it, she’ll become just a little more dangerous.  Good thing Isis is aware of that–

I wonder when she’ll get her Licence to Kill?

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Grabbing The REINS

The GOP can’t wait for a Dystopia to get here…

Mike the Mad Biologist

So this bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by Il Trumpe, will be a disaster–and it went virtually unoticed (boldface mine):

Last week, under the cover of a media bliss-out except among Koch funded right-wing channels, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would effectively repeal future standard setting under every important environmental, public health, consumer protection, labor standards, occupational safety and civil rights law on the books.

The bill, called the REINS Act, requires that any future major regulation adopted by an Executive Agency — say a new toxic chemical standard required by the recently enacted Chemical Safety Act, or a new consumer protection rule about some innovative but untested kind of food additive — must be approved by a specific resolution in each House of Congress within 70 days to take effect.

To give a sense of the scale of this road-block, in…

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