Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve been hard at work since about six this morning. Yesterday I bought a program that will allow me to do videos of what is on my computer screen while I’m working, so this means that video I’ve wanted to do on Dragon will become that much easier to create and put up on the blog. You can expect to see that sometime soon–and you going to get a little treat along with that, because I’m actually going to write in the novel as I’m demonstrating Dragon. Call it spoilers if you will.
Speaking of the novel and the current scene… When I said during the yesterday’s video that I expected to current scene run maybe two thousand words or so, I lied. I’m already past two thousand words and I’m now expecting it to run maybe another thousand before I’m finished. I also checked the timeline on Chapter Ten for the novel and found that I started five weeks ago, back in the middle of February. Based on these dates, it’s likely this is the longest I’ve worked on a chapter in any of these three novels.
In Friday’s post we had Kerry getting ready to teach Advanced Spells all about time. Well, he’s up in front of the class having a few last thoughts…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
He rolled his eyes as he faced his audience. On his far left sat the two new B Levels, Naomi and Subhan. To Subhan’s left sat Pang, and on his left was Kerry’s empty chair. Though Naomi had the option to cluster herself with the rest of the girls, she stated that she felt more comfortable sitting with someone from her own level.
To the left of his empty chair sat Annie, looking at him with friendly intensity. Nadine sat next to her, and to the ginger girls left sat Regina and Serafina respectively. Kerry knew he didn’t have to worry about any of these girls, though last year Serafina made it known that she wasn’t all that interested in time spells and he half expected her to ignore him for most of this class.
What Kerry is doing is very similar to something I used to do when I taught. Yes, way back in the early 1980s I actually taught computer classes. Let me tell you, it can be a bit intimidating getting up in front of a bunch of students who are looking to you for the answers–or who really don’t give a shit if you have anything to say. And I was far older than Kerry at the time, so you can imagine how he’s feeling.
Fortunately, he knows most everybody there, so getting started doesn’t seem to be much of a problem–
He stared at the floor in front of his empty seat for a few moments before looking up. “I find time to be an interesting concept. Not just from the point of view of someone who enjoys reading stories about time travel and time manipulation, but also from the point of view of someone who has come to somewhat understand how it can be manipulated.” A smile crossed his face as he scanned his fellow classmates. “Also, given how long all of us will live, I guess you could say we’re already cheating time before we even learn how to cheat time.
“What makes time spells so tricky, at least to my way of thinking, is that it’s difficult to visualize how to craft the spells necessary to pull off various effects. I mean, it’s difficult enough for some people to pull off what we now consider simple spells and even some of us have trouble with crafting the more difficult spells due to their concepts, so it’s not completely out of the question that understanding time is going to be an easy thing.
“As all of us now know, time is not always a simple progression of cause to affect—and, no: I’m not going to tell you what I think it is because all of you’ve already heard my explanation.” He flashed a quick smile around the room at the relieved looks of students who didn’t want to hear about timey whimy balls of stuff. “Though right now I know how to accelerate and slow down time, I’m not quite as good as those witches who have actually learned how to stop and reverse it. But, I think slowing it down and speeding it up are more important to us right now.
“One of the really interesting things about time spells is that they can have an introvert effect on objects in physical space—and those effects can be harmful. Let me show you something.” He turned towards Wednesday. “You ready to be my handy assistant?”
Wednesday conjured a small box of yellow tennis balls that popped into existence near her right waist and floated alongside. “I’m all set, Teach.”
I’m sure there was a point in Kerry’s life where he was lying on his bed in his dorm in the coven tower, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Man, all those years of watching Doctor Who have finally paid off.” Though it probably wasn’t just this show they got them started on the concepts of working with and bending time; I’m sure he got a bit of an education reading ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein, a story he wrote in one day on 11 July, 1958. That story, along with another, By His Bootstraps, were full of quirky paradoxes which shouldn’t happen, but did within the stories. Heinlein love playing with time paradoxes, and these two create some of the most fantastic paradoxes ever.
And in terms of how time can be affected at the School of Salem, these are likely paradoxes that one would not want to have happen to them. Helena learned the hard way that one needs to avoid paradoxes, and through geek culture Kerry is probably quite aware of how poorly things turn out when you go back in time to inform your past self of something they should or shouldn’t do. It’s quite likely he knows that playing with time that way is quite similar to what happens when you try to manipulate the present to either bring about or prevent a future vision you’ve had. As Dan has pointed out, without a frame of reference from which to work, it’s highly likely that whatever you are setting out to do will never happen.
Now, comes the obligatory warning: the excerpt you get tomorrow is going to be full of science. Sure, there’s magic, but sometimes that magic comes with a sprinkling of science–
So says the writer who has a girl who can fly.