Massaging the Dreamspaces

A couple of hundred words here, a few under there, and before you know it you’re almost two thousand words into a scene.

Time flies where you're sorta not paying attention to it.

Time flies where you’re sorta not paying attention to it.

This was a tough scene to get through.  Not only was I trying to figure out what this little dreamscape thing looked like, but I’ve been working through some heavy depression of late, and it hasn’t made writing fun, let me tell you.  There are times when you don’t want to get out of bed, and yet you need to go off and do the adult things, but when you come home and have time to yourself, the last thing you want to do is write–you sort of want to lay down and do nothing.

And yet, you have to write.  Well, I do.  Even if it’s only a few hundred words here and there.

My progress has been like this:


Words 09/02/2015: 678
Words 09/03/2015: 512
Words 09/05/2015: 342
Works 09/06/2015: 465


Seriously, that’s not my norm, but then nothing been of normal lately.  But I’m working through it as best I can.  However . . .

There is writing.  And something else:


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

This is the space Kerry and I share. This is our dreamspace.

This new space was larger than hers and the color was different: the green remained, but there was pink instead of blue, and the chiffon was darker, much like the color of blooming goldenrods. The surface was solid and unmoving: Annie wondered if that was due to their not using the space. She floated around to the other side and found an identical corridor shooting down and away at an angle: right away she saw this as the path to Kerry’s dreamspace.

Before she departed she ran her hand over the frozen surface. It was body-temperature warm, soft and comfortable and familiar. It’s like touching Kerry. She floated her dream fingers across unyielding substance. This is the same sensation I have when I slide my hand down his arm. She pushed back from before turning towards the other corridor and following it down. I wonder: if he could dreamwalk, would that surface feel like me?

It didn’t take her long to reach his dreamspace. Right away she felt him in every segment of astral energy that made up the space: she could tell it was Kerry just by being in the presence of this construct. Annie believed that the familiarity was brought on by her being more or less in his mind, and she was really sensing all his unconscious thoughts. There wasn’t any time to ponder this matter: she sailed close enough to the pinkish-blue sphere interspersed with gold and hovered.


Playing around in Blender a little, I came with this:

Background needs to be brighter, but that's it.

Background needs to be brighter, but that’s it.

Colors are a tricky thing, because I’m limited to what I can do so far–which is to say, I don’t know how to do a lot of fancy stuff in Blender yet.  Also, I did this over the last twenty minutes prior to posting this image, which is some pretty flying-by-the-pants shit if there ever was any.  Give me time and I can probably come up with something nicer.

But that’s how I see these things.  It’s taking what I see above and converting it into words.  I mean, that’s what a writer is supposed to do, but it isn’t always being the smith of words.  If Annie could realize it, she’d know writing is a little like being in a dream:


The moment she did that sparks of light shot through the sphere, and Annie stopped her activity. She watched for a few seconds as she made the connection with the events occurring before her. He’s dreaming. He’s in there now, living through a fantasy . . .

She patted her hand against the surface several times before pressing her fingertips into the foam. This time they sank about two centimeters in before meeting resistant, and after a few moments of applying pressure Annie gave up. There wasn’t any reason to continue: while she could dreamwalk this far, trying to reach his this way wasn’t going to work.

She glanced up at their shared space floating off in the distance. For a moment she considered using the connection they shared to access Kerry directly, then discarded the idea as soon as her head began spinning. I’m pushing myself too hard. She took a deep dream breath of something that wasn’t air. I’ll snap myself awake if I’m not careful, and that will hurt. She looked up at the shared space once more. Now that I can get here, there’s plenty of time to explore.


Annie is smart enough to understand Backlash and Snapping, a couple of things that will pop up from time-to-time.  They aren’t good, and it was mentioned in the last book that backlash killed a student during Isis’ stint as chief of security.  Snapping out of a dream is a little like being cracked with a whip, so you don’t want that to happen, either.

Before she leaves, however, she catches something:


There was nothing to hear the astral breeze and a faint thrumming emanating from the dream sphere. Annie was about to turn away when she heard Kerry’s voice, faint and muffled, through the foam. She concentrated, hoping to catch something—

There were only a few words: Walk. No. I don’t— But there was something else: Annie swore he wasn’t alone in his dream. There’s someone else there. She closed her eyes though he caught a phrase spoken in another person’s voice.  Is it her? Is it that girl?

Annie floated back from his dreamspace, a puzzled look upon her face. She replayed the moment again where she thought she heard the other person—the girl—speak, and she was convinced she wasn’t mistaken. What did she mean? She began to fade as she returned to her own sleeping mind. Why did she say, “It won’t be much longer”? Annie’s last image before darkness returned was of Kerry glowing, active dreamspace. What is she doing with him?


Annie has questions, and while she’s certain she heard something, could it be her own imagination playing tricks on her?  After all, she is dreaming, and does she have full control of her own dream?  Well, I have exactly a thousand words to write to reach one hundred and thirty thousand, so perhaps . . . I’ll find out.

Floating in the Domain of Dreams

Before all gets started, major mistake that I’m dealing with today.  Yesterday I mentioned that I was heading off that evening for electrolysis and that today I’d have a messy, swollen face.  Guess what?  That’s tonight!  Yep, I screwed up my dates, and now I’ve got cactus face that I have to carry around at work all day, and walk around in public, so I’ll have the whole “Don’t look at me!” thing going on today.

Then tomorrow I deal with all the pain and swollen face stuff, and won’t that be fun?  Booyah.

Annie’s still off in her dreamwalk, and let me tell you:  writing about this stuff is hard.  Really.  Trying to come up with descriptions of something that I’ve known was coming, but only had a rough idea of what it would look like.  And then, in the body of the work below, I set up some new rules:


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

Annie appeared to hover a meter from the outer surface of her dreamspace, but she was aware this was the way her mind interpreted her surroundings. This wasn’t the real Astral Realm, but rather the small portion that filtered through and powered her aura. It wouldn’t matter how far she traveled from her dreamspace to another, dreamwalking would never reveal the real realm to her. In order to see the Astral Realm as it really was, Annie needed to learn Astral Projection—or better yet, master the ability to pull back the Curtain and Astral Walk.

The outer surface of her dreamscape seemed to flow and pulse. She wondered if it was reacting to her own heartbeat, but since she couldn’t tell how her heart was beating at the moment, everything was conjecture. The surface of the space was a combination of blueish-green interlaced with ribbons of pale chiffon flowing through the mass. A smile began to slowly etch upon her face as she realized her dreamspace was nearly the same color as her hair during the Samhain Dance a month before. She wondered if that meant something, if perhaps her subconscious retained the memory and held on to it as something favored and loved. Given what she’d read about dreamwalking, it was entirely possible.

She spun around and looked off in the direction of where she felt Kerry’s dreamspace lay. Normally finding another person’s dreamspace required being in close contact with that individual, or have something of theirs that possessed and astral impression that one could use a guide. The best way to dreamwalk another person was to have a close relationship with the individual, and use the impression left upon you to home in on their presence. Given her love for Kerry, Annie believed she’d find Kerry’s dreamspace without a problem. And if her feelings were correct, it was off that way—

Annie was no more that ten meters from her dreamspace when she caught another structure out of the corner of her mind. She wasn’t exactly certain what she’d seen here besides colored mist and floating dreamspaces, but she didn’t expect to see what looked like a corridor of shimmering golden light. As eager as she was to reach Kerry, she needed to investigate. She changed course and shot off to her left.

No, not this kind of dream corridor. Try again--

No, not this kind of dream corridor. Try again–

What she found was less a corridor and more a tube about a meter across. It sat fixed against her dreamspace and angled up and away to her right. Annie moved her head closer and followed the direction of the tube—

About thirty meters away was another dreamspace. But Annie already knew it wasn’t Kerry’s: it felt wrong. She pushed herself off in its direction, moving slowly upward. Two-thirds of the way to the new space she looked back at hers and saw how much smaller it appeared compared to this new space. It was only as she was about to touch the surface of this new space that the realization hit her:

This is the space Kerry and I share. This is our dreamspace.

Maybe there's a tree in there, too. We'll see.

Maybe there’s a tree in there, too. We’ll see.

Here we are now, with Annie just outside their shared dreamspace.  She still hasn’t found Kerry’s, but she’s found something that indicates their dreams together have a place where they happen.

Also, Astral Projection, Astral Walk, and The Curtain:  completely new spells and terms.  The Curtain is gonna come up again in this story, just to let you know, but not for a while.  What is it?

You’ll just have to wait and see.

Through the Foam

First off, a bit of strange news.  Because of some things–and, of course, stuff–said on this blog of late, I’ve told my friend Skye Hegyes, whose blog I’ve followed for a while and whom I verbally joust with now and then, that I would do a post on Genesis concerts and where the recordings, bootleg and otherwise, can be found on YouTube.  I’m going to do that Saturday morning, because why not?  It’ll give me a break from having to dream stuff up, and you can see where Kerry gets his knowledge.  In fact, one of the shows I’ll mention became a driving reason for him wanting to get out and about with Annie the first time they were alone in London . . .

Depression wasn’t that bad last night, but it’s still there.  This has been the longest stretch I’ve had, going on about two weeks now, but I think I’m getting out of it.  Think.  It doesn’t make for a good time of things at home, let me tell you.  And tonight I need to run out and get my face zapped, so I imagine this evening’s session isn’t going to go  well.  I may just opt for ninety minutes and ask to have my brows cleaned up.  We’ll see.  I am not dreading the moment tonight, but I’m not looking forward to it, either.

And so there was writing . . . just under seven hundred words, because I’m making up stuff like crazy now, and finding the correct descriptive words is a pain in the butt.  It all came out pretty much correct, and so we find out how Annie did with her art crafting–not to be confused with arts and crafts . . .


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

Continue reading

Somnolence at the Bequest

There are more than a few things going on in my life at the moment, and depression is one of them.  It’s been weighing sort of heavy on me the last couple of weeks, and yesterday, after returning from work, it was on of the first times that I fell asleep in my recliner for about thirty minutes, and when I awoke I sort of lay there staring out the window for another twenty minutes.  Really sucky, let me tell you.

And when that happens in your life, it’s sort of hard to kick start the writing engine and get your butt in gear.  Last night I had a bit of cleanup work to do, changing what I knew to be an incorrect work into the correct phrase.  How long does something like that take?  Well, I went through a seven minute song twice before I’d completed the task, so there you are.  Then I set about changing the names of some of the scene in Chapter Fifteen, because after a while they aren’t making any sense, so you gotta switch thing up, right?

And you try to come up with something that seems a little more realistic for your fantasy world.

And you try to come up with something that seems a little more realistic for your fantasy world.

That was done and out of the way.

As you can probably see if you’re examining the above graphic, I didn’t write a lot.  In fact, this scene is short, really short.  Probably not the shortest I’ve ever written for a story–in my story Echoes there is a chapter that runs right around seven hundred and fifty words–but this has to be one of the shortest scenes ever written in this series.  But, you know, that’s okay, because you write what’s needed and move on.

And what is happening?  Annie’s trying to dreamwalk.  Let me tell you, when you’re trying to image how something that’s never happened before in real life actually works, it’s a pain in the butt.  That’s one of the reasons one, it took me about two hours to write five hundred and twenty words, and two, why the scene is so short.  What is there to say?  You imagine how Annie is crafting the spell and you put that down in the document.

Simple.  Kinda.

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

She understood the concept: in order to dreamwalk one needed to place themselves in a proper meditative state of mind and then, visualizing their surroundings within the dream realm, use magic to fall asleep and transport their consciousness to this tiny subsection of the Astral Realm.

Like all magic the process, as described, appeared simple. The practice was something completely different. Not only was Annie trying to perform magic designed to make her fall into sleep, but she was attempting to project her magical essence into a realm which she’d never seen. She’d read a much as possible about the Astral Realm, but imagining herself there was difficult, and it was one of the reasons Dreamwalking wasn’t taught until students were at least D Levels and had found some success with Astral Projection.

Only Annie had never performed Astral Projection, so trying to craft the spell for something she’d never seen made visualization that much more difficult. Not that this dissuaded her from doing her best . . .


Yepper Prepper, Annie doing her best is usually a hell of a lot better than nearly everyone else at school.  After all, she’s a very methodical girl . . .


She took one final breath and held it for a few seconds before releasing it, purging it and her thoughts from her body. Annie’s eyes shifted behind now-closed lids as she concentrated her willpower upon the image and sensations in her mind. As her body relaxed she wrapped her willpower around the other two elements of her spell and pushed with the last remnants of her consciousness mind as she slipped away into peaceful sleep . . .


And where does this lead us?  Well . . .

Here perhaps?

Here perhaps?

The first image has most of the answers.

It’s like searching for something in a dream, let me tell you.

Dreams of My Summer Holiday

I was, for sure, in a better mood last night, attention-wise and health-wise.  I didn’t feel as tired, that’s a fact, Jack, and that meant I could write with almost minimal distractions–well, almost.  Last night Zero Hour! was playing on TCM, and if you aren’t familiar with this movie, it’s about a Air Canada flight going to Vancouver that sees the passengers and crew coming down with ptomaine poising because of bad beef and fish, leaving the only person on the plane to fly a former pilot who hasn’t been back in the cockpit since a disastrous mission at the end of World War II.

If the plot sounds like you may have seen this movie somewhere before, this was the story spoofed by the movie Airplane!, and the spoofing went so far that actually lines of dialog were taken straight from Zero Hour!, and the character who has to fly the plane while still suffering from the lingering effect of his last mission–probably not over Nacho Grande–is named Ted Stryker.  Surely I jest?  I don’t.  And . . . you know the rest.

Still, I wrote–if only because Sterling Hayden was on my TV yelling at me.  I wrote a lot more than the night before, probably two-and-a-half times more.  It was sit down time with Deanna, and once the greetings were out of the way, she got right to business:

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

The setup was much as it was last year: pillows on the floor, most of them up front where Deanna had created a nice spot for her to sit and converse with several students at once. Annie sat on one of the pillows facing Deanna’s seat, and Kerry waited until she was comfortable before taking the pillow to her right.

Deanna smoothed out her loose, cream colored slacks and sat cross-legged facing her friends. “How was your summer?”

Annie smiled, knowing this question was coming. “Good.”

Kerry mimicked her. “It was good.”

Deanna nodded. “I see. Did you manage to keep in touch?”

“Yes. We wrote.” Annie reached for Kerry’s hand. “He wrote by hand, just as he promised.”

Kerry couldn’t keep from blushing. “Well, yeah.”

“Good for you Kerry.” A faint grin began forming upon Deanna’s face. “I heard you had a small rendezvous for lunch in London.” She caught the surprised looks. “Erywin told me last night during the coven leader’s meeting.”

“Oh; okay.” Kerry looked at Annie out of the corner of his eye. “Yeah, we met. But . . .” He turned to Annie, his grin fading.

Annie squeezed Kerry’s hand. “It wasn’t long enough. We didn’t want to part.”

“I can understand you feeling that way.” The seer glanced from one child to the other. “Love does that to you: it makes it so you never want to let go.”

Annie nodded. “I didn’t.”

Kerry stared at a space on the floor between Deanna and him. “I didn’t, either.”

Yes, never let go, even when you look like you're going to get turned into marketing material.

Yes, never let go, even when you find yourself having to let go.

Deanna doesn’t have quite the line on love that, say, Coraline or Erywin have, but she knows it when she sees it, and she sees it a lot in these two kids.  She also knows a few of their intimate secrets–something you really don’t want to have at twelve, and even less want to talk about at that age–but who can guess at what our Salem Seer really knows.  Speculate all you like, ’cause I know, and I’m not talking.  Not for a while, anyway . . .

With the “Hey, have a good time?” out of the way, Deanna gets serious:

“No need to worry about that now; you’re back here.” Deanna waved the door shut. “There, more privacy. Now . . .” Even with no one else in the room, the seer lowered her voice. “Did you share any dreams?”

The couple exchanged looks before Annie chose to speak. “Yes. There were . . . two.”

Deanna couldn’t help but notice the pause. “Only two?”

“Yes. Over the summer.”

“Were there others before the summer? Say—while you two were away one weekend in April?”

The two exchanged hurried glances. “We didn’t say—” Kerry looked over his shoulder, confirming they were alone.

Deanna put their fears at rest. “You need not worry: I figured the stories given for your absences that weekend were fabricated.” She shrugged. “Annie was home for ‘personal reason’, and you, Kerry: you were in New York for ‘testing’. And at the same time Erywin was home for personal reasons as well, and Helena was off somewhere on ‘Guardian business’.” The was one soft chuckle. “It didn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to figure out the four of you were off somewhere together—and given that you both were working with Helena and Erywin for most of the month—and when you came back and had to spend the night in the hospital . . .”

“I suppose it wasn’t much of a cover story.” Annie had thought at the time that the reasons given for their being away, but since the Guardians demanded they stick to those particular stories, Kerry and she felt that had no choice.

Deanna shook her head. “People here always suspect Guardian business when Helena runs off for a weekend. And if she should disappear with Erywin and two students in tow . . .” She shrugged. “Did you believe someone would come up and ask you if your story was legitimate?”

Annie had never considered the question before, but now it made complete sense. She’s right; who would question us? If Deanna knew we were lying, others must have figured it out as well. No one wanted to say anything, likely because they knew we were doing something for the Guardians that weekend, and they were worried if they asked questions they’d end up getting into trouble . . .

There is a completely valid point here:  who the hell is going to come out and ask, “Were you guys doing something with the Guardians last weekend?”  Besides getting a “No” and a cold stare from a certain Chestnut Girl, that person would set themselves up as just being too damn snoopy.  Deanna pretty much indicates no one ever pestered Helena over her weekends away from the school, and now that it seems she’s taken a couple of students under her wing–one for sure, Skippy–one can bet they’ve learned at the leather-clad knee of the Dark Mistress, so why would any student–or even instructor, for that matter–set themselves up that way?  Going there puts one at risk, and who wants that?

They tell Deanna about their first two dreams, and she loves how they interact while discussing them–

Deanna loved watching their interaction together. They are so unlike the children their age: so mature in their affection . . . “And the third dream?”

“In that dream we were mature, and . . . sparkly? Does that seem right? And emo? I’m sorry: I don’t do emo.”

No, nothing like that:

 Kerry sat up and appeared embarrassed, while a slight flush appeared in Annie’s cheeks. Words stumbled from Kerry’s mouth. “We were, um, in a hotel room, and—”

Annie decided to get the matter out in the open so they wouldn’t be more embarrassed than they’d already been. “We were in bed together—naked.”

“That is—” Deanna wasn’t worried about what might have happened in the dream: as in real life, she trusted their actions—at least for now. “I take it that’s never happened before.”

Kerry shook his head. “No. We always show up in our pajamas first, then usually change after.”

“And did you dress?”

“Yes. We got our pajamas on, and then . . .”

Annie picked up the thread. “We left the room and went to my grandparent’s villa in France.”

This was something Deanna had never heard mentioned before. “Your grandparents live there?”

“No. They have a villa there they visit once in a while. I’ve stayed there with my mother, but not in a while.”

“And why do you think you went there.”

Annie half turned towards Kerry before explaining. “We’ve spoken about living there—”

Kerry took Annie’s hand. “We talked about it when we—” He shrugged. “When we were away last school year, and we talked about it when we were in the dream.” He looked directly at Deanna. “We want to have a home there—later. You know.”

“Yes, I do.” The seer watched Annie’s face as Kerry finished his statement. She’s proud of him for saying that. Deanna realized this was a far different Kerry than who’d left here at the end of last year—at least when it came to speaking about Annie. She remembered Erywin telling her about their meeting in Perquat’s Grove, and how after Annie had spoken of her desire at an earlier age to marry Kerry, he’d accepted Annie’s feelings, and ignored her concerns, even arguing that she couldn’t have influenced his feelings with hers.

Deanna didn’t find this unusual: all the times she’d seen Kerry with Annie, even through the periods where he didn’t remember their full history, he never had issues showing his affection. Learning to show his love was more difficult—it always is, I know—but affection was never a problem. And now the boy was talking of making a home with his Bulgarian sweetheart—

And riding bikes--though Kerry would kill himself before wearing those shorts.

And riding bikes–though Kerry would kill himself before wearing those shorts.

Bulgarian sweetheart–I like that.  She’s more than that, but we’ll take it for now.  But it’s fairly serious now, particularly when twelve year old kids–almost thirteen in Annie’s case–are suddenly talking about making a home for themselves–and you better believe Deanna knows what they mean when they say “home”.

How does this end?  Like so–

She believed now was the time to move on to another subject. “I’m glad you showed up, because there’s something I’d like to discuss.”

Kerry glanced to his right. “Does it involve tea?”

Deanna’s laugh was quite loud. “You noticed, huh?”

“I did as well.” Annie was looking in the direction of the set out tea set, the same one Deanna had used with them the year before. “What do you have in mind?”

“Have a spot of tea?”  Don’t mind if I do.  I’m supposed to go to dinner with friends tonight, but I should be back in time to write some of what’s coming next–

Which could be . . .


Love’s Long Laments

I make no secret that I tend to write about relationships.  I can’t tell you how many times I received a response from a blog fan concerning The Foundation Chronicles:  A For Advanced, that stated, “I thought this would be about magic, but it’s really about love,” and I just smiled because that’s so true.  Anyone can write about casting magic:  it’s happened a lot since a certain boy wizard appeared on the literary scene.  But what about relationships?  What about love?  And what about putting them in usual locations and circumstances that could affect the outcome of that relationship?

I do that.  A lot.

I thought about this last night when I was editing Kolor Ijo.  My main characters, Indri and Buaua, come from different cultures and religions, they come from different backgrounds, and when it comes to the paranormal, they come from far different experiences.  Long ago I laid out a series of stories around these two, because if there’s something that’s not lacking in Indonesia–where the stories take place–it’s the supernatural, and the supernatural there would pretty much kick the asses of the Winchester Brothers without so much as working up a sweat.

Sure, she looks harmless, but you'll think differently when she's ripping your heart from your body.

Sure, she looks harmless, but you’ll think differently when she’s ripping your heart from your body.

But though all their trials and tribulations, Indri and Buaua will never be anything but great friends and colleagues.  And it’s not their religion that keeps them apart:  it’s that they recognize they each have their own lives, and there isn’t any interest in getting the waters muddy with a lot of face hugging of the good kind.  I like that, because it means I can concentrate on the investigation of the horror and not get bogged down with a lot of stupid, “By doing this, I’m putting him/her in danger!” tropes that should die out faster than certain ghosts and goblins.

But when it comes to some of my other characters, however . . .

There’s Couples Dance, where the married couple in the story learn about the twisted romance of the people who owned their house, and there’s Suggestive Amusements, where a writer and his muse become something of a couple when he realizes mythical beings need love, too, even though they know they shouldn’t become involved in the romantic affairs of mortals.  In the end things go wrong for both couples, but that’s the breaks, right?

And then there’s Echoes.

Behold the Old!

Behold the Old!

Echoes was written at the very end of 2011 and through the month of January, 2012, and last edited December, 2012, right after I finished writing Kolor Ijo.  As my stories go it’s one of my shortest:  just under twenty-one thousand words.  It’s also one of my more personal stories, because it was written at a time when I was starting a new job I hated, I found myself moving to a new location, and I was dealing with separation anxiety of the worst kind.  In short, I was more of a mess that ever before.

It deals with characters from my novel Transporting, and it’s a strange world.  For one, it’s twelve hundred years in our future.  For another, it takes place in a parallel universe that’s like ours, but it’s not.  This was where I started working on the idea of The Multiverse, which is something you’ll hear a lot of in The Foundation Chronicles, because my witches know there are a billion different universes out there, and while be can’t visit them, that doesn’t mean things can’t slip through to here.

Albert Dahl is also something of a transgender character, because though various handwavium and not a little technobabble, he becomes Audrey Dahl, who is just as nutty and crazy as him, but also the beloved of her lesbian partner in crime and duty to the Crown, Cytheria Warington, a planetary duchess from this future with access to a time machine who originally kidnaps Albert from 1986 because she thought there was something different about him.

Already you can see this is an unusual relationship.

Echoes is about Albert and a love that could have been.  He dreams now and then of a woman he knew when he worked in Chicago, Marissa, which whom he had a brief affair that left an enormous, lasting impact upon him.  The relationship was so intense that, in the course of the story, the reader realizes that while he loves Cytheria, he still loves this Marissa, who, however you cut it, has been dead a long time.

Which leads to the main gist of this story:  did Albert and Marissa ever get together in the universe in which the current future Albert now lives?  See, not only did he come from the past, but from the past of another of these multiple universes, and that means that an identical Marissa and Albert could have lived at the same time in his current universe, and they could have been . . . happy.

Really?  You believe that?  You don’t know me well, do you?

In a nutshell, after an order from the Crown–in this world everything is ruled by various aristocracies, and they all pledge fealty to the Queen–the reader learns the truth:  he did exist in this work, and he did not only get together with Marissa, but they married, had kids, and were happy–

For a short time, for it did all go to hell at some point.  Such was Albert’s luck, that another version of him couldn’t even find true happiness.

I just reread the last chapter of that story, and it still affects me.  I cried when I wrote it; I cried when I edited it, and I’ve cried a little reading over it now.  Like I said it’s a personal story, and reading it brings back those times in all their horrid glory.  In the last chapter of Echoes, Albert and Marissa meet in a dream, though Marissa knows it’s a dream and that she’s deal, and she puts forth the question that perhaps she’s really the remnant of what Albert’s Marissa had been, that somehow jumps from on universe to another, found the Marissa living in the universe where her Albert–her love, as she calls him–and took up residence there and found a way to pass from one of their generations to another until she found her Albert living in the future.  It’s a hell of a twist, you have to admit.

But that story reminds me of another couple . . .

Albert Dahl is sort of an older, far more screwed up version of a certain Ginger Hair Boy (you gotta trust me on that one, but yeah, he is), and Marissa is a less stuffy and controlled version of a well-known Chestnut Girl.  Marissa even calls Albert “love”, which is a whole lot like “my love” when you think about it.  And the last line from Dream Marissa is, “Sweat dreams, my beautiful Albert.  Sweet dreams . . . of us.”  Hummm.  Now who have I heard say that before?  Oh, yeah:  this girl.


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

Annie saw Kerry’s eyes flutter, and in that moment she wasn’t an almost seven year old girl sitting in the crook of the arm of a six year old boy with whom she was sharing a dream—she was back in Bay #1, cuddled up next to her soul mate. “Kerry?”

“I’m tired, Annie.” He turned his head enough that he could see her lying snuggled next to him. “I feel so tired.”

“Then you need to sleep.” She laid her hand part-way across his chest and circled it over his heart. “I won’t go anyway. You’ll be safe.”

“Okay.” He rubbed his check against the top of her head. “Good night, Annie—”

She was about to tell him the same when Kerry finished his thought:

“I love you.”

Annie gasped in a near-silent voice. “Good night, Kerry. I love you.”

“No.” He chuckled as he fought to keep his eyes open. “You’d say it in Bulgarian.”

She chuckled as well. He would know that. “Yes, I would . . .” She leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Leka nosht, Kerry. I az te obicham.”

“Um, hum.” His eyes closed and his breathing slowed as she sunk back into sleep.

Annie made herself comfortable against Kerry’s torso. She only now realized that his right arm was draped over her torso, making sure she was secure against him. “That’s it, my love.” She stopped rubbing his chest and left her hand there. “Sleep and dream. And remember it so you can tell me in the morning.”

Sleep began to take her as she wished her soul mate into dreamland. “Dream of your tree in California.” Her eyelids fluttered. “Dream of reading to your Chestnut Girl.”

Her eyes closed as she sunk into the same sleep that was claiming Kerry. There was only one thought left that needed saying before she joined him in unconscious bliss . . .

“Dream of us.”


Yes, I went there with that, and I make no apologies for that last line, because I was going to use it no matter what.  Does that mean Annie and Kerry are Marissa and Albert.  No–but maybe a little yes as well.

A writer does remember all the things that made them what they are–to somewhat paraphrase Harlan Ellison, they are all of the lies that are your life.  A little of Kerry came from Albert, though Albert is far more messed up where love is concerned, and while Kerry is now confident in his love for Annie, Albert never finds that contentment because the one true love of his life whom he can never forget was taken away.  And since you know I time lined out the lives of those characters, a reader would eventually discover that Cytheria also lost the one great love of her life, and as much as she may love Audrey, she is forever reminded of what she could have had, but couldn’t because, as the movie Roman Holiday reminded me last night, the aristocracy has its duties they must uphold.  And because of that, Cytheria spends her life silently suffering.

Cytheria and Albert/Audrey are broken people, they really are.  They do love each other in their own way, but it’s never going to be the love they could have had, so they instead settle for the love they have.  That will never be Annie and Kerry.  While life may never be completely fair to my witchy couple–and if you think it will, again, you don’t know the stories I spin–they will love each other, and that love will grow more intense over the years.  Annie and Kerry heal each other–in another story, one might say they complete each other, and in a way that is true, because they are far better together than apart.  And in the opening chapters of the next novel, you’ll even see Annie do something that she never did in the first novel.  Why?  Because of Kerry.

And, no:  it’s not kill Emma.

Not yet.

They’re not a perfect couple, but they do represent something I long for, and it’s one of the reasons I sometimes found myself having a difficult time telling the tale of my kids, because what they have is something I’ve always wanted.  One of the reasons I developed Albert is because he did represent my outlook on love at the time:  you can’t always get what you want, and that means you settle for what you can get–and in doing that, you’ll never truly be happy.  You may believe you are, but in time you see it for the lie it represents.

Annie and Kerry are my current outlook on life and love:  sometimes you do find your soul mate, your moyata polovinka, and when you do you work your ass off to try and make it happen.  It may not happen, because life sucks like that, but don’t give up hope, because as I said yesterday, hope is sometimes all we have.

And why would you want to give up on that?

The New Office Lady

In case you hadn’t heard, something happened to me yesterday.  Something . . . well, few things don’t get bigger.

Besides being Imbolc (in some parts of the world, that is) and the celebration of an oversized squirrel somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania, it was also my coming out day at work.  They’ve known about this for three weeks, and from what I’d understood the higher ups had already told their people this was coming, and that people should be ready.

So . . . that said, I’d been waiting, and–no lie–dreading the moment just a little.  Waiting for it because something like this only comes around once in your lifetime, and dreading it because it was something that wasn’t quite what you see every day, particularly in an office environment.

Like it or not, it had been affecting me.  I had a bit more in the way of nerves than I wanted to admit, and it was affecting my sleeping, my ability to do things correctly, and even my writing, because as I wasn’t sleeping well, then I was coming home and crashing out hard at night, and remaining sleepy throughout the evening.

But this was something that needed to get done, and done it would become.

I didn’t sleep well the night before, which meant I was dragging a bit when I got up yesterday.  And up I was at five-fifteen.  I tried to write my post the best I could, then checked the weather, looked outside and saw it was a mess, looked over the outfit I was going to wear . . . yeah, everything was ready, so all I had to do was get ready as well.  Cleanup, change, put on my makeup–all the good things.

And take pictures before I walk out the front door.  Always be taking pictures.

And take pictures before I walk out the front door. Always be taking pictures.

With everything out of the way in my morning routine, it was time to start walking and head into work.  I threw on my walking shoes–no way I’m trying to cover a mile in heeled pumps–and headed out into the cold.  Along the way I passed three people who greeted me with a “Good Morning”, which is something I never got when I was in male mode.  I half expected someone to tell me to smile . . .

Since I’m usually one of the first ones in the office, I just entered an went to my office, which is actually an oversized cubical–sort of like the groundhog, only it doesn’t pretend to predict the weather.  I got my jacket off, changed my shoes, and then snapped a picture to prove I really was in the office and not fooling with people.

Who doesn't look their best in the harsh lights of the early morning office?

Who doesn’t look their best in the harsh lights of the early morning office?

I got my coffee, stomping all the way to the break room at the other side of the building, because when you wear a size 11 women’s wedge heeled shoe, and the floor is covered without insulated padding between the pull-up carpet squares above and the concrete below, you’re gonna make some noise when you walk.  Then it was back to the office cube and another picture.

Much better now that I'm just about to mainline java.

Much better now that I’m about to put down my first cup of the morning.

People came down to see me a few times during the day to tell me they had my back.  People who spoke with me that day were kind and curious–and you can’t help but be curious, can you?  I wa in a couple of meetings that day, and no one thought it strange.  Everyone addressed me by my chosen name after I told them what it was, and I expect that to continue.

In short, by the time I got home last night I was pretty high on myself.  I felt great, although I was tired:  not getting a lot of sleep the night before took its told, and I was nodding on and off from about eight-thirty on.  I had the story ready to go, but there was no way I was going to write anything worthwhile:  I was simply too tired.

But I’m better now, and I expect to do some writing when I get home from work tonight.  I’ll get right to that after I eat.

There you have it:  the tale of a new office lady.  One who I believe will be around for while.

Now that I've had my close up, I should get back to writing.

Now that I’ve had my close up, I should get back to writing.