Thirty Days Hath September

Which is another way of saying I have video!  Enjoy!

 

And the new helmet.

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200

Yesterday was post 100, and today is post 200.

Wide Awake But Dreaming

Hey, you should have seen this coming . . . it worked for Stargate SG-1, so it’ll work for me.

Today has been crazy.  I’ve been off to get the oil changed in my car, and we’re preparing to head out to see Tintin in about an hour.  I’ve been working on the edits to Kuntilanak, and I’m about 11 pages through . . . and, damn, man.  The edit is coming along, it’s coming along nice, and I hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow.  But it’s going to be loaded up nice and clean (fingers crossed!) when I’m done.

Also today: last chapter of the NaNo Novel.  3,200 or so words and I put that baby to bed.  I’ve learned a lot from doing the edit, and as I read what I created through the month of November, I’m still amazed by what I created.  It…

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Centenial

Believe it or not, six years ago today I wrote my 100th post.

Wide Awake But Dreaming

When I started fooling around with this blog a few months before, in the waning days of Spring (4/13/2011 was my first post, where I just had a few warnings for my dozens of readers), I never intended for it evolve into what it is today.

In fact it was almost dead on arrival: I had very little posting in April, not a bad May, and then I just died in June.  Too much personal bullshit hit me, depression set in, I didn’t feel like writing . . . yeah, it was all there.  I wanted to give up in many ways, and there are still days when I feel that way.

But I kept on, because I really, truly decided to not only write, but I was going to write about what I was writing–due in part to someone bitching at me to get my ass in gear and write!–and…

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On the Turning Back: Again and Again

The first scene of Chapter Eighteen is done.  Finished.  Over and in the bank.  There’s an interesting stat with this: it took six days to write this scene, but at no time save one did I write more than five hundred words at a sitting.  I had two other days where I hit four hundred plus, but the other three days were below that mark.  A lot of that was due to being tired when I wrote, and when I’m tired the brain doesn’t want to do its thing.

So let’s finish up this scene here.  Kerry’s about to give her transition another go, and she’s ready to rock and roll–

 

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

 

“No, I don’t.” Kerry rolled her shoulders as if she were about to take on a tremendous task. “Let’s do this.”

“Okay, then.” Once more she seemed to lean towards her holographic monitor. “This is Attempt Number Two. On my command use your Gift to transition back.” Coraline pointed at Kerry. “And three, two, one…” She flipper her finger at his as if to ensure she got the instruction. “Mark.”

Kerry clenched her fists as she stared off into the darkness of the third floor. After about five seconds she shook her head. “Nada. Same as before.”

Silence fell over the open space as everyone slowly began to realize that whatever Kerry was attempting at the moment wasn’t going to work. Jessica, however, had a question moments later. “Kerry, how clear is the image of your old self in your mind? Is there any ambiguity when you visualize yourself?”

Shifting her gaze off to the near-right for a moment, Kerry thought about what she was seeing during crafting. “You know…” She had a concerned look on her face. “If I think about the visualizing, it’s like I’m seeing myself through a filter. I mean, I can see the old me, but it’s not that clear.” She shrugged. “Does that make sense?”

“It does.” Jessica turned to Coraline. “Could we try one more time—” She quickly motioned to Kerry. “If you’re up for it.”

Kerry nodded. “Sure.”

“I think we need to give her a bit more time to get the image of her old self set in her mind.” Jessica faced everyone but Kerry as she explained. “It could be that is this present form is solidified in Kerry’s mind, her old male form is rendered indistinct until such a time both forms are a clear part of her being. Indistinct visualization will prevent transformation magic from working at all—”

“Just as it does with any magic.” Erywin nodded as she looked between Coraline, Deanna, and Annie. “I don’t see the harm.”

 

The first two times didn’t work.  So three time’s a charm, right?  Let’s see:

 

Kerry was eager to make this attempt. After the last couple of years in transformation class, she realized the truth of what Jessica was saying: perhaps she couldn’t transition back because she wasn’t seeing her old self clearly. “Do you want me to concentrate longer on how I did look before trying to transition?”

“That’s exactly what I want.” Jessica leaned in towards Coraline spoke in a soft voice. “Give her about fifteen seconds to get the image set in her head before you give her the command to continue.”

“Sure.” Coraline turned back to Kerry. “Did you get that?”

She gave one quick node. “Concentrate for about fifteen seconds?”

“Yes.”

“I got it.”

“Then let’s give his a go.” Coraline drew in a quick breath. “This is Attempt Number Three. Okay, Kerry, my command use your Gift to transition back. Ready? Then three, two, one—” She let the time before giving the command to draw out, counting down fifteen seconds on the monitor before her. “And… Mark.”

Kerry let out a loud sigh as she closed her eyes and seemed to concentrate hard. Five seconds later she opened her eyes. “Didn’t work.” She turned to Jessica. “The visualization still seemed like it wasn’t that sharp.”

“And I don’t imagine that’s going to change right away.” Jessica addressed everyone present. “I think we’re going to have to give this a few hours and let Kerry rest. I suspect that as the day wears on she’ll finally reach a point where everything comes to her crystal clear and she’ll transition with ease.”

Coraline let out a soft sigh. “Yeah, that sounds good.” She looked towards Kerry. “Sabrina, records off; Kerry, you can come down.” With that she turned to the other women. “Okay, since the first demonstration was a bust, we don’t we get together again after lunch? That way I can give Kerry her exams and go over her medical history while you prepare for your meeting with the Headmistress and the others.”

While the adults spoke Annie went to Kerry to comfort her. She took her left hand as she stepped in front of her. “I’m sorry it didn’t work the first time.”

Kerry exhaled a rather pained sigh. “I hoped it would, but part of me knew it wasn’t going to happen.” She looked up into Annie’s eyes. “I couldn’t get that lucky.”

“We’ll try after lunch. Meanwhile, you might want to relax before Coraline starts her examined.”

“Yeah—” Kerry chuckled dryly. “That can’t be nearly as bad as this—right?”

 

So, no joy on the third floor.  And what comes next is something I’m going to start writing tonight–

Something that is gonna be a bit hard for me to get through.

On the Turning Back: And It’s A…?

Today is a special day in my fictional world.  Today is the day that Annie Kirilova turns 18.  This means that, as of today, Annie is considered by The Foundation to be an adult.  She can now buy property through them, establish contracts, and generally do whatever it is that adults do.

Oh, and she can also get married.  She could even get married to someone who was a year younger than her if they had permission from their guardians–or if they somehow managed to get The Foundation to recognize them as emancipated, giving them the same rights as an adult.

And since getting married means she could finally get around to doing that, you know, thing that she’s waiting to do… well, maybe today is also her wedding day.  Probably not, because who wants to get married on their birthday?

Maybe she’ll wait until Samhain because it a good holiday for witches.

Speaking of that 17 year old who she’ll want to marry, let’s see what they may have to wear to the ceremony:

 

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

 

Kerry released a sigh and stepped upon the slightly raised circle before her. A moment later she saw the Spy Eyes encircle her body as they prepared to capture what happened to her from every conceivable position around her body. She flashed a smile at Annie before looking at Coraline. “I’m ready.”

Coraline moved closed to the holographic display before. “Good. Now, as we discussed, do not attempt to activate your Gift until I give the word, which will be ‘mark’. I will perform a countdown from three before issuing the command; during that time you are to visualize, but do not execute the spell until the command is given. Do you understand?”

There was another soft sigh as Kerry nodded. “Got it.”

“Then let’s do this.” She seemed to lean over her display. “This is Attempt Number One. On my command, use your Gift to transition back to your prior gender. And—” Coraline focused her attention upon Kerry. “Three, two, one… Mark.”

 

This is it.  Is Kerry gonna wear a tux to the wedding?

 

Kerry closed her eyes and seemed to fall deep into thought. A few seconds later she opened in eyes and spoke in a dejected voice. “Nothing.”

Jessica took a step forward. “Describe your crafting.”

“I imagined myself as—you know—a boy.” She glanced off to the right before turning back. “Like I was.”

“And then?”

“As soon as Coraline said Mark I applied my will power to transition.” Kerry pointed to herself. “Nothing happened.”

“Don’t take this as a setback.” Jessica moved until she was just outside the sphere of Spy Eyes. “We are all aware that your first attempt may not be successful and that you may require a few more hours before you have full control of the Gift.”

“Yeah.” She looked down as she nodded. “Still—”

Annie spoke before Kerry could dwell on her failure. “Don’t be discouraged, my love. This is but a minor setback. You’ll have plenty of opportunities today to develop control of this Gift.”

“Annie’s right.” Coraline knew the key today was doing whatever necessary to keep Kerry in a positive mindset. She was fully aware the moment she started getting down on herself about any lack of success her magic would suffer. “We can’t let one failure define the day. Why don’t we try a second attempt? Maybe this time things will be different.”

Though she felt like going off to sit somewhere by herself, Kerry affixed her gaze upon Annie and slowly raised her left eyebrow. “Okay, let’s try it again.” She chucked darkly as she focused upon Coraline. “The worst that can happen is nothing happens—right?”

“That about sums it up.” Coraline kept a certain amount of levity in her voice as she encouraged Kerry to continue. “Let’s give it another try. You have nothing to lose.”

 

Well, at the moment it looks like both girls are gonna wear white gowns.  Nothing wrong with that: I mean, if I get married again, it’s likely we’ll both wear wedding dresses.  Or dresses.  Or maybe we’ll just married wearing nothing.

But Kerry’s gonna give it another shot, so maybe this time she’ll get it right.

Anyway, she has a while before she turns 18 to know what to wear to the wedding…

 

Freshie 8: Pretty Great

It’s been a week, which means it’s time to talk about the last freshie practice, which was Tuesday, 19 September, 2017.  And as you’re gonna see, we had a whole lot happening.

First off, it’s not video time without me having something to say at the start:

 

Now, this skate around.  About the only reason I include this here is because we had a lot of people show up last Tuesday night. This is due to old and new freshies being together for the first time since recruitment night.  So suddenly your practice goes from sparse to looking like you’re working out in the middle of a bout.

 

Then comes the pyramid sprints.  My partner, Sarah, and I just happened to set up where you can clearly see us while we work together.  Sarah is one of the freshest of freshies, and I’m helping keep track of laps and stuff.  I’m getting better getting up speed and keeping it, so give me a few more weeks and I should start burning up the track.

 

At this point we start doing backwards skating.  Let me remind everyone that four months ago I had never skated backward, so I consider it an accomplishment to be able to do this now, if only for a short time. I’m also getting to where I can skate backwards and talk to someone to give them instruction, which is a great thing.

 

Ida decided to run a few 27/5s that night, and Ashly was one of those picked–maybe it has something to do with Blade saying the night before she’d tell Ida to put Ashly on the track.  Jackie was picked to fill out the other side of the track, so while Ida timed Ashly, I set up behind her and timed Jackie.

Both women actually did pretty well.  I’m not sure about Ashly’s exact numbers, but Jackie managed 24 laps in just a fraction of a second over five minutes and did 27 laps in 5:38.  Take away the few stumbles they both had and 27/5s are in their sights.

 

The other two 27/5s were performed by the freshest of freshies, so I’m not certain of their names.  Let’s just say that the woman I’m timing on the right side of the screen did one of the ugliest skates I’ve ever witnessed, and yet she did 24 laps in 5 minutes as well.  As Ida and I told her–and you can hear it near the end of this video–when she gets her form down she’s gonna kill her 27/5.

 

After that we did some side-to-side work, along with people coming up and talking into the camera, because that’s what we do from time to time.

 

And lastly we have the Scary Monster.  I’ll just let Ida explain:

 

There we are: more freshies, more fun.  And more work.  We’re always working.

Always.