Out On the Town: Girl’s Talk

So here I am, and I have words.

Let’s get this straight: I’m not burning up any computers with my writing, but it’s getting done.  Also, I’m doing something I haven’t done in about a year: I’m writing early in the morning, like when I get up.  I’m only doing a few hundred words when I get up, but that’s a start to getting back into five hundred or more a day.  And three hundred in the morning is three hundred more than I’ve been writing.

And what’s been written is a little continuation from the last time we saw Annie and Kerry, which was at the east end of Essex Street in Salem.  And they’re finally getting around to walking–but Kerry is noticing a few changes around her:

 

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

 

“Like I am everything else in the body.” Kerry lifted her face a bit towards the sky. “That feels different, though.”

Annie was somewhat perplexed by Kerry’s comment. “What feels different?”

“The air on my skin. It feels like a thousand needles.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“That smell.” Kerry sniffed the air as they slowly strolled down Essex Street. “It smells like brine.”

“Oh, that.” Annie chuckled. “You’re smelling the marina off Congress Street. I often smell the water from there when we come to Salem.”

Kerry stopped and looked off to the southeast. “How far away is that?”

Annie shrugged. “About four hundred meters.”

Kerry turned slowly towards his soul mate. “You can smell something from that far away?”

She nodded. “When it’s strong, yes.” Annie took a tentative sniff of the air. “And it’s strong tonight.” She grinned at the ginger girl. “You know why you’re smelling it now, don’t you?”

There was as pause as Kerry considered a limited set of options. “My sense of smell has changed due to the estrogen in my system.” She began strolling slowly westward down Essex once more. “Just as my sense of touch has changed due to softer, thinner skin.”

“Correct on both accounts.”

“Yeah.” Kerry chuckled while looking around as the street began lighting up in the gathering gloom. “It’s one thing to know this stuff as a matter of intellectual knowledge, but it’s entirely another to experience it for the first time and realize it’s all true.”

They walked for about five seconds before Annie saw the blush spread across Kerry’s pale face. She began grinning. “What’s wrong?”

 

Kerry not only notices the air on her face feels different, but she’s smelling some of the brackish swill that passes for water coming from a marina almost a quarter of a mile away.  While it’s a bit of a stretch, it’s not impossible, particular if the wind is right, or it’s particularly brackish.

The thing here is that Kerry is smelling things she’s never smelled before, because–and this is true–having estrogen in your system changes your sense of smell.  It did mine and has done the same for a lot of trans women.  And since Kerry is swimming in those hormones right now, she’s feeling things differently and smelling different things as well.

Not only that, but something else is happening–

 

Kerry slid her hands into the pockets of her jacket as they walked. “My, um—” She pointed at her chest with her right hand. “Those. They just sorta—”

“Did you nipples harden?”

Kerry’s blush deepened. “Annie.”

Her grin broke into a chuckle. “Kerry.” She wrapped her arm through Kerry’s left. “Remember, it’s just us girls talking here, my love. And some times we talk about these things.”

“Really?” Kerry glanced at Annie without turning her head. “Did Alex and you talk about stuff like this when you guys met in Kiev?”

“We discussed all manner of things when we met over the summer. It wasn’t just about tutoring.” She leaned lightly against Kerry. “Girls talk about all sorts of things, not just clothes and significant others. Sometimes we talk about those things.” Annie stood straighter but kept her arm linked with Kerry’s. “Not always, but sometimes.”

“I see.” Kerry gave her head a couple of shakes. “It’s just strange that we started walking and all of a sudden—boom. It happened.”

Annie chuckled louder. “Welcome to puberty for girls.”

“Yeah.” Kerry looked towards Annie again, this time turning her head to do so. “I would love to hold hands with you.”

Annie looked back. “Why don’t we?”

“Because I don’t want people to think…”

“That we’re lesbians?” Annie shrugged. “If we were in Sofia we wouldn’t have a problem: girls in Bulgaria often walk together holding hands and no one thinks anything of it. Here, everything is sexualized.”

“Uh, huh.” Kerry scrunched her shoulders together. “Did Alex and you hold hands when you walked?”

Annie nodded. “We did at one point. It just happens.” She began to slow as she pulled Kerry a little to her left. “I want to look at something. Come on.”

 

A lot of things get covered here.  Annie isn’t afraid to talk about puberty; she admits there’s “girl talk”, which probably falls into a lot of areas boys would rather avoid; and she’d hold hands with Kerry, but she, like her, likely believes crazy Americans would sexualize the act, whereas back home in Bulgaria no one would think twice about it.  Of course, there is the question about whether or not Annie and Kerry are a lesbian couple now, but we’re not getting into that right now.

There are other things to discuss first–

Though Memories and Song

Let’s look at the history of a city–through dreams.

Wide Awake But Dreaming

Crazy things happening, yo.  One of the things I started doing the last couple of days is putting some song lists together of tunes I listen to on YouTube.  Part of this is so I can have something to listen to as I’m walking to and from work–yes, I’m like all the other girls now with my earbuds walking to my own soundtrack–but then I thought, “Hey, you know:  I have a lot of music in my novels:  A lot of it,” and since I am a bit scatterbrained at times I figured it might not be a bad idea to put them all together so I can jam out on them from time to time.

Therefore, if you are interested, I have compiled all the songs that I can think of that put in an appearance in the story so far, and–SPOILERS!–this includes songs that haven’t yet appeared.  They are also…

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Out On the Town: Let’s Walk

This post is all for Skye Hegyes, whose comment yesterday had me smiling because I knew what was coming and apparently, so did she.  I figured she guessed, but how did I know?  I write this mess, remember?

Yes, after being cooped up on the third floor of the hospital all day, Coraline had a dinner plan that she was certain would make Kerry feel better. As Annie pointed out, it was something sure to make her feel better.  And how would that be accomplished?

Maybe by getting some fresh air first?

 

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

 

Annie rounded the corner at New Liberty Street and looked westward down the Essex Street pedestrian mall. There were scattered clouds over Salem reflecting the glow of the setting sun. Though not completely dark, the lights were on everywhere due to the heavy shadows casts by the buildings, and in maybe another twenty minutes it would be dark enough for it to be considered night. Though the wind had finally dropped to 16 kilometers per hours, the 10 C temps keep it cool enough this close to the ocean that it was impossible to walk around comfortably without wearing a jacket over a sweater or sweatshirt.

She took a step on to Essex and realized she was semi-alone. Annie turned to her right and held out her hand. “Come on: there’s nothing to worry about.”

Kerry stepped from around the corner of the large manor house at the intersection of the two streets and looked down Essex. “No chance we’ll run into anyone at all—right?”

Annie shook her head. “Not at all. Everyone’s back from wherever they went today and sitting down to dinner. We have almost forty-five minutes before we meet everyone for our own dinner.” She held out her hand. “We’ll be okay. I can guaranty won’t run into anyone we know.”

“Okay.” Kerry drew in a breath and let it out slowly. “Okay, then. Let’s do this.”

Annie took her hand. “Let’s.”

Back on the third floor, the moment Annie told Kerry that Coraline had received approval for them to leave the ground and go into Salem to eat, she jumped at the opportunity. Coraline arrived with something for Kerry to wear a few minutes later and within ten minutes they were taking the lift to the lower level to meet Isis, who took them to the secure jaunt station in the sub-levels that was used to transport those guilty of malfeasances to Foundation correctional centers. From their they jaunted to the station located in the Church Street parking structure and told to meet Coraline, Deanna, Erywin, Jessica, and Mathilde at Turner’s in forty-five minutes.

Annie loved the ensemble Coraline put together for Kerry. Jeans, warm blue socks, and plum sneakers for her lower half, while a burgundy sweater and blue fleece jacket covered her torso. Coraline hadn’t forgotten Kerry’s extremities, either: she wore a wool cap the color of her sweater and her hands were encased in gray fingerless gloves. She was pleased that Kerry seemed so at ease wearing this in public. While nothing she wore appeared too overtly feminine, the cut of the jeans, the plum-colored shoes, and the matching jacket, seemed far better tailored for a girl.

Annie gave Kerry’s hand a squeeze before letting it go. “Are you cold?”

“Naw.” Kerry flashed her a smile. “No. The hat’s keeping my head warm; same with the sweater and jacket..” She looked down at her hands. “Getting used to these gloves is another thing, you know?”

“Are you fingers cold?”

“No, they’re not. It’s just that I’ve never had gloves where my fingertips are exposed.”

“In weather like this they’re not bad.” Annie leaned closer to Kerry. “I like to feel things when I’m touching them. But don’t worry: for colder weather I wear mittens.” She gave a quick nod. “You’ll get used to them.”

“Like I am everything else in the body.” Kerry lifted her face a bit towards the sky. “That feels different, though.”

 

There you have it: the next step in this long day of change is to get Kerry off the grounds and out into the public.  And have her walk around awhile and enjoy Salem at night.

As least now the chill is coming from the night air…

Third Floor and Chill: Fixing the Sad

Believe it or not, Chapter Eighteen is finished.

I wouldn’t lie about this.

 

It didn’t take much: almost 500 words to put this last short scene to rest.  As I knew it would: there wasn’t much to say in these scene.  So in a matter of about forty minutes I got it said and put it to rest.

Then I went and did a work out.

 

As was suggested I’ve begun doing cardio and strength training to build up my endurance and different areas of my body.  The first visit on Wednesday night was to improve my legs; today I worked on back and abdomen, which is otherwise known as your core.  Having better legs and core do help you maintain derby position and give you more speed and endurance on the track.  Which is what I need to do if I want to play.  So, as we say, there’s no off season, and I’m making the most of it.

But, the writing.

The first part of the scene saw Kerry feeling a little down at being confined all day, but as we’ve heard, she’s also got a touch of depression with which to deal with as well.  Annie and Coraline see this, but not all is lost:

 

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

 

“I know.” Coraline glanced to her right before speaking. “It’s become more evident in the past year.”

“When we met in dreams I never actually noticed his moods: he was always happy to see me.” Annie released a soft sigh. “I didn’t pay much attention to his moods during our A Levels since I was concentrating on other things…” She glanced down at the table top as she gathered her thoughts. “Later, though, I’d notice him being unhappy and he’s say things like he was ‘down’ or that he was ‘out of it’. It wasn’t until this last summer and the start of this school year that I understood he was depressed.”

“I noticed his moods last year and while I couldn’t give him an exact diagnosis, I suspected he had mild depression.” Coraline nodded towards the room beyond their location.

“Now that she’s filled with estrogen all the barriers are down and the depression’s hitting her hard.”

Annie hated having to watch Kerry suffer through confinement and disappointment. She knew it wasn’t her fault that she’d found it impossible to control her transitions yet, but in Kerry’s eyes she saw the self-blame her ginger girl lay upon herself. She knows it’s not her fault, but her depression is not allowing her to accept that conclusion. “Is there anything you can do for her?”

“I can give her something that will help it in the long run, but I can’t give it to her now as it’s not going to help her immediately.” A small smile began forming on Coraline’s face. “I have another idea for that, however…”

Kerry remained laying on her back, staring up at the ceiling at least six meters above her head. She felt herself shutting down: she was tired of laying around with nothing to do but watch movies. And talk to Annie. She didn’t mind talking to Annie—as always, she loved speaking with her soul mate—but on a normal Sunday they might be wandering about the grounds, or heading into Salem, or even flying off somewhere once Advanced Self Defense concluded.

That wasn’t happening today. She was stuck in bed in her night clothes, unable to leave the third floor because no one could risk seeing her with long, curly hair and boobs and—

“How are you, my love?”

Kerry turned to her right to see Annie, with a huge smile on her face, stretched across the bed, having flopped there after returning. “I’m okay.”

Annie began curling a strand of Kerry’s hair around one finger. “No, you’re not, but that’s besides the point.”

Kerry didn’t stop Annie from playing with her hair: in fact, she found it cute. “What did Coraline want?”

“She wanted to know if you were ready to eat.”

Kerry snorted. “Did you tell her I’m not hungry?”

“I did. But…” Annie slid closer. “You may be interested in hearing about what she has in mind for dinner…”

 

Coraline has a plan.

I should be able to show it soon…

Dreamin’ by the Gate

In dreams you can go anywhere–

Wide Awake But Dreaming

The state of the state of my condition is probably on the plate first thing this morning.  Last night was phone bank time and I was there for about ninety minutes.  I wasn’t feeling that well, however:  I was in a real funk of sorts likely due to the fact I’m at the bottom of my hormone cycle and I need my shot bad.

However, I did meet someone interesting:

Yes, I have women from fictional TV series sitting next to me.  And given that this woman’s hair was the same shade of white with blue streaks as won by Tuppence Middleton in Sense8, I’ll have to say I was either hallucinating or she’s a real person.  Or maybe she was like a huge fan.  I’ll never know.

The excerpt I’m presenting to day marks the point in the novel where I finally passed twenty-thousand words.  Last night I actually…

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