Samhain Racing: The Day So Far

So here we are, one year since the start of Book Three of The Foundation Chronicles: C For Continuing.  As I stated in my video yesterday I don’t have anything special planned for today.  If I was a good author who actually had things published, I would probably have giveaways of the previous two novels in the series.  But I’m not like that: I spend too much time writing and not enough time publishing.  I could say maybe next year, but we know next year will probably be a lot like this year.

The one thing I do hope for is that if this novel isn’t completed I’ll be close to the end.  Maybe I’ll even be over four hundred thousand words.

It has been a good day of writing, with just a little over one thousand, one hundred, and fifty words written.  I even have photographic proof:

It’s all right here.

And as you can see, in the process of writing over eleven hundred words today, I also managed to pass one hundred and ninety thousand words total.  So here I am crossing my fingers, hoping that by the end of the month I’ll have passed two hundred thousand words.  Actually I’d need to write five thousand words a week for the next two weeks to do that, so I have a goal.

And as a way of remembering, I went back and looked at the first scene I wrote today in 2016.  I wrote exactly five oh one words, followed the next day by little over six hundred words.  As you can see, I’ve not changed my habits much in the last three hundred and sixty-five days.

So what’s up for today on the blog?  As you may have guessed from the title were getting into the race.  You know what race I’m talking about–the Samhain Races in which Kerry is participating.  So below I have the first seven hundred or so words of the scene which discuss everything that has happened up to a certain point in the races.  It may seem a bit technical, but if I can follow it, I’m sure you can follow it as well.

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

Kerry came flying off the Red Line and rode the air brakes just long enough to make the tight, sweeping left-hand turn on to the Blue Line. He came within less than half a meter of the elevation gate as he straightened his Class 3 PAV and turned on the speed entering Woodland Path.

He didn’t check his rear view monitors as he headed toward Selena’s Meadow at high speed. He didn’t need to see if there was anyone behind him: he had a considerable lead in with less than two laps to go, he intended it to stay that way.

This was his last shot at a podium today and he wasn’t about to mess things up.

Today’s Samhain races had been brutal. The course was Green to Blue to Red and Back For Two, which on even a good day was a hard course to master. Ten laps, four each on the Green and Blue Lines and two on the Red Line, which tested even the best racer’s skill. There were few people on any of the race team’s who enjoyed participating in this course layout. The only positive thing everyone could agree upon was it was a beautiful day for racing, with clear skies and temperatures in the low teens.

While there were a few instances of race teams acting as a normally acted, there were also quite a few surprises—and they began with the Stage 1 heat.

Let’s remember we have three race courses at Salem: the Green Line, which is an easy course that pretty much follows the outlines of the wall; the Blue Line, which is a slightly more technical course that allows the racers to actually get a bit airborne; and the Red Line, which is a fully technical course full of twists, turns, climbs, and dives, the centerpiece of which is the notorious 1K, eight turn which is centered one kilometer directly above the Great Hall, and requires the racers to fly almost straight upward, go through the turn, and then drop straight down. It’s not for the faint of heart.  In the next novel there will actually be a scene showing what it’s like to negotiate this turn.

Just to prove that you’re not the only ones who are confused by this racing stuff from time to time, when I was putting together all of the information below I started the layout the winners and losers of each stage based upon notes I had from the B Level novel.  I was halfway through the process when I looked at what I had written and went, “That’s not right.”  It turned out that, even with my notes, I had somewhat forgotten how these Round Robin Races were determined.

So I took a few moments to go back to the B Level novel and look at what I had written there, and was able to figure out how to proceed with the races in this novel.  See?  Even the author is sometimes confused by her own work.

So don’t worry if you don’t get this right away: I had to go over it a couple of times before I got it right.  Oh, in case you need some reminding, here the nicknames for the various teams:

Åsgårdsreia:  The Stags
Blodeuwedd:  The Owls
Ceridwen:  The Warthogs
Mórrígan:  The Blackbirds
Cernunnos:  The Snakes

In the first stage Cernunnos was paired with Mórrígan and Ceridwen was paired with Blodeuwedd. While Nadine won their race, Penny and Alex took the remaining two positions on the podium and Cernunnos beat them on points. However, the Blodeuwedd/Ceridwen matchup saw The Owls taking the first and third positions of the podium and scoring fifteen points overall, the most for any team four that stage and assuring they would face Åsgårdsreia in the next stage.

Cernunnos sat out Stage 2 as they had come in second overall in Stage 1. Åsgårdsreia, who would set out Stage 1 by virtue of being the first place coven, faced off against The Owls, while Mórrígan and Ceridwen faced off. Mórrígan did as expected, crushing Ceridwen with Nadine and Emma taking the first and second positions of the podium and scoring eighteen points overall to The Warthogs’ eight.

But Åsgårdsreia conquest of Blodeuwedd did not go off as planned. The Owls raced hard against The Stags, and while Rivânia won the race, Soroushi Amouzegar and Maritza Iglesias took the second and third place positions for Blodeuwedd and forced a tie on points with Åsgårdsreia. Race Control awarded the match to The Stags by virtue of their individual win.

Stage 3 so the single match up between the best from Stage 2 and the second best from Stage 1, pitting Cernunnos against Mórrígan. Though The Blackbirds were pumped up from their Stage 2 victory, The Snakes were even more pumped up and put everything they had on the track, giving Mórrígan the hardest Samhain race in a long time. It what ended up becoming an extremely hard-fought finish, Alex and Penny took first and second respectively, with Emma Nelson from Mórrígan rounding out the podium. Overall, however, Cernunnos crushed Mórrígan nineteen points to their seven, with Cernunnos scoring the highest number of points for any team that day.

The Battle Royale between Åsgårdsreia, Ceridwen, and Blodeuwedd, did not go as planed for The Stags. All teams raced hard and while Åsgårdsreia won Stage 4—with Riv taking her second win of the day—Ceridwen took the second podium position and Blodeuwedd took the third, marking the first time in almost twenty years that each of the three teams stood upon the podium together. Åsgårdsreia picked up seventeen points, but did not score the knockout they expected.

With all but two teams finish for the day of racing, the point standing showed an incredible shakeup. Ceridwen found themselves deep in a hole, fifteen points behind blow to weld. While Mórrígan scored a considerable number of points, they actually lost ground to The Owls and were now only four points ahead of fourth place.

But the real shakeup remained between first, second, and third place. Åsgårdsreia, Cernunnos, and Mórrígan each had eighty-seven points, making a tie for first place. As Mórrígan was finished racing for the day they would remain in third, while the Stage 5 race between The Stags and The Snakes would determine who would finish the day in first.

And this is how the standings looked before Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos started the last race:

Åsgårdsreia: (1/57[+3]/+30/87[+0])
Cernunnos: (2/54[+4]/+33/87[+0])
Mórrígan: (3/50[+6]/+37/87[+4])
Blodeuwedd: (4/44[+5]/+39/83[+15])
Ceridwen: (5/39/+29/68)

The first number is their overall position at the start of the day, with the second number being their total point and the third being how many points they are ahead of the team behind them–this number does not exist for the last place team, however.  The fourth number is the total number of points gained during the races discussed in this scene, with the fifth number being their new overall point total and the sixth number being how many points they are ahead of the team behind him.  So as Kerry points out, going into the last stage of the day, there is a three-way tie for first place. Most importantly, Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos are tied for first, so whomever scores the most points in this race will end up taking first place in the Overall Coven Championship.

And as you can imagine, both teams are racing hard…