At Home With the Malibeys, Button Pushing

Before we get to the fun with our favorite Cardiff Kid, a side track into my life, and how crazy I can get at times.

Last night, after work, I went out for a nice, thirty minute drive, to see a wonderful lady who proceeded to shoot electricity into my face.  Yes, I started on electrolysis last night, and it was an experience, having your facial hairs shocked out of your body one at a time.  Actually, more like shocked until they are dead, and then plucked away.

I was in the chair for two hours, and there was pain.  I spent most of the time tense and clutching an armrest in one hand and a grounding bar in the other.  (Yeah, you gotta let that juice flow through you, baby.)  And when the two hours were over, most of the left side of my face and parts of my chin were swollen and numb, and stayed that way for a while–like, for the rest of the night–and I looked like I was attacked by bees.

I mean, it wasn't that bad . . .

I mean, it wasn’t that bad . . .

I’m going back for my next session next Monday after letting everything grow out for two days, which will make getting all the gray hairs easier.

So then the right side of my face will look like this.

So then the right side of my face will look like this.

There’s a lot of redness and just a bit of puffiness this morning, but as Cosima Niehaus once told one of her clone sisters, “Thank god for concealer.”  And it will be getting a workout today.

The personal horror show is over, let’s get back to the one starting up in my story.

Kerry is starting to get a bit of shit from him folks–and, yes, I did write after all the stuff I’ve shown you above.  Almost a thousand words of stuff, actually.  Kerry’s parents–well, his mother mostly, it seems–find it a little hard to believe their baby we-still-don’t-know-he’s-a-witch boy would have friends who are girls instead of hanging with the boys.  And that gets addressed.

 

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

Kerry slowly turned towards his mother, unsure if he’d heard her question. “What?”

“Do you have any friends at school who are boys?”

“Well, there’s a guy in the advanced class I’m taking who we hang with a little after class, and a couple of others we know in other classes, but—” He looked down at his fish and chips while clearing this throat. “Not really.”

His mother’s fingers lightly tapped against the table top. “Not really what?”

“I mean, I don’t really hang out with them.” He shrugged. “Not like, you know, close friends.”

His father decided to join the conversation. “So almost all your friends are girls?”

Kerry half-turned his head in his father’s direction. “Yeah, I guess.” He shrugged. “Is there anything wrong with that?”

Louise wrapped her hand around her glass of mineral water. “It might not be a bad idea if you had some male friends—” She looked across the table at her husband. “And not just this Girl Who Writes.”

Kerry heard the capital letters on each of the last three works, and he did his best to push any nasty comebacks aside. “I don’t know why it’s a big deal I don’t have any close friends who are guys—”

 

There’s that slam again, and this time, as I point out, Kerry’s hearing Mom capitalizing those words.  Again, wait for what happens there, and you’ll find out Mom is using some of Kerry’s geekness against him.

 

His mother shook her head. “You did when you were at school here.”

“No, I didn’t, Mom.” He scoffed loudly. “I didn’t have any friends here; everyone thought I was a strange American kid with a funny accent—remember? The only reason you think I had friends is ‘cause I told you the moment people found out you worked for the BBC, they wanted to know if I could get them tee shirts and stuff.” He pushed his half-eaten wrapper of food away. “Jeez.”

 

Kerry’s usually pretty calm and cool–when he’s not crying, yeah–but now he’s getting a bit flustered.  And kids from California have a funny accent?  Dude . . .

 

“I agree with your mother—” Davyn seemed to lean a little further forward, if that were possible. “Having some boys your age as friends—”

“Is boring.” Kerry couldn’t understand what the big deal was about his choice of friends. They were never like this when I was going to school here. “Besides, Salem is mostly girls anyway—it used to be an all-girls school, you know.” He turned from his father to his mother, and back. “Since it’s mostly girls, it makes sense that I’d make friends with them, right?”

“All the more reason I’d think you’d want to hang out with some boys.” He father sat back, chuckling. “There’s safety in numbers, isn’t there?”

 

Yeah, watch out, Kerry!  Those girls have cooties, and if you’re not careful, before you know it they’ll wanna do stuff like hold hands and kiss and sleep with you, and tell you all about how they’re going to marry you and . . .

Oops.  Too late.

Kerry starts asking his own questions, and . . .

 

“Only if you think the girls are out to get you.” Kerry decided to try and push the conversation back on his parent. “Didn’t you have any girls as friends, Dad?”

Davyn’s response was immediate. “No.”

Kerry needed a few seconds to comprehend his father’s answer. “You’re kidding.”

“He’s not.” Louise smiled at her husband. “Your father was quite popular with the women before we met.”

His father smiled back.  “The women I knew loved the accent.”

Kerry stared straight ahead through half-closed eyes. “I don’t want to know.” He turned back to his mother. “What about you, Mom? Didn’t you have any guys who you were just friends with?”

Unlike with his father, his mother didn’t answer for almost ten seconds. “Well, yes, there were a couple—”

Kerry raised his right hand as if he were celebrating a victory. “There you go—”

“They were gay.”

“Oh.” Kerry pursed his lips and blew out a raspberry. “I see.”

 

As I was told yesterday, the implications that his parents could be forming are (1) Kerry is a playa, or (2) Kerry is gay.  How do his parents get those ideas?  Well . . . they pretty much were that before they found each other and got married.  Makes you wonder if Louise figured she was getting the Bay Catch of the Day when she landed Davyn, because he’s got that Richard Burton accent thing going.  As Kerry says, I don’t want to know.

But, you know, moms being moms, she wants to know all about these . . . girls.  And now the uncomfort level is about to get cranked, and if you pay close attention, Kerry sort of gives away a little of the game in the process before–

 

His mother wanted to know more about Kerry’s choice of friends. “So, how do you know these girls?”

He looked up and nearly rolled his eyes. “Mom.”

“Mom, what? Don’t I have a right to know about your friends?”

Kerry wanted to tell her it was none of her business, but figured he would tell his parent as much of the truth as they wanted to know, then head for his room. “Nadine’s in the advanced class we’re in—”

“We’re?”

“Annie and I: we’re in an advanced class together, and Nadine’s there.”

“I see. Go on.”

He cleared his throat. “Nadine is also my keyboard tutor—”

“Wait?” Davyn cocked his head to one say. “A keyboard tutor?”

“Yeah. First day of school I found the school’s collection of keyboards, and the head of the Arts and Music Department, Professor Ellison, and I started talking. He found out I like a lot of old music, and asked me if I wanted to learn how to play better.” He nodded slowly, turning back to his mother. “He got Nadine to tutor me on different technologies and things like that, on top of learning to be a better player.”

For the first time during the conversation Louise seemed impressed. “I didn’t know that.”

Kerry shrugged. “All you had to do was ask about some of the stuff I do there.”

His mother didn’t care for the implication that she was uninterested in her son. “And Emma?”

“We’re in almost all the same classes, and she likes racing.” There’s a few other things that you don’t need to know about her, though . . . “Also, there aren’t a lot of Americans in our level, and she still sort of thinks of me as one.”

Davyn almost laughed. “Must be strange being an ex-pat in your own country.”

Kerry chuckled. “There’s so many kids from everywhere that you start thinking at times like we’re in our own little country.”

His mother snorted. “I can imagine—” She wasn’t interested in all the students at Kerry’s school—just one more in particular. “Now about The Girl Who Writes—”

Kerry had finally reached the point where he wasn’t about to take any more of his mother’s passive-aggressive attacks. “She’s not a Doctor Who episode, Mom. She has a name: it’s Annie. Okay?” It was only after he uttered the last word that he realized he had started breathing hard due to his anger.

 

–He starts to lose it on his mother.  You’re picking on the woman he loves, Louise–not that she knows that, or, as you will discover, she’d give much of a shit about.

Louise is referencing the Doctor Who episode The Girl Who Waited, which dealt with Amy being split into two parts, with one of them living alone through just over thirty years.  Given what his parents do at the BeeBee, it’s possible his father probably managed some of the sound effects processes for the episode, and his mother may have help on the visual effects.  Needless to say, the episode doesn’t end on a completely happy note, and Louise is likely jerking her son around a little, playing on his love of the show while at the same time kinda pointing out, without really knowing, that they both are waiting for this summer to end.  This was what Kerry meant when he said to Annie in London, “Better than The Girl Who Waits,” though Annie replied she does wait, and that eventually led to a tear running down her cheek . . .

Yeah:  Mother of the Year here.  I wonder what she’d say if she knew her son could blast her across the room?

Hey, how about a look at my novel so we end on a happy note?

Hey, how about a look at my novel so we end on a happy note?

Along the Scenic Dreamways

Trying morning today because stupid computer is being a pain in the butt, but I may have tamed the beast.  Maybe.  I’ll find out in a bit, I guess, but it’s likely it’ll keep frustrating me for another hour or so.

This was so unlike yesterday, which was nice and sunny and warranted getting out of the apartment and doing a little shopping.  The shopping part sucked a lot when it came to finding shoes, as none of these damn stores carry anything in an woman’s 11 wide, so I’m pretty much wasting my time going in there to look.  Note to DSW:  you lost out on about a hundred dollars of sales yesterday because you continue to think everyone has a narrow foot.  Get with the times, loser.

But the trip out to Lancaster was fantastic, and it was the first time in a long time I was flying down the road with the windows down–

And I actually had hair for the wind to blow through.

And I actually had hair for the wind to blow through.

'It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win."  Now all I gotta do is find my Mary.

‘It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win.” Now all I gotta do is find my Mary.

I should point out that those pictures above were taken with a mobile phone while I was traveling  at 70 mph/110 kph, while traveling in a straight line with no one near me.  Don’t try that at home, kids, unless you’re professional.  Like me.

I also managed to catch the first episode of Season 3 of Orphan Black, which was amazing as always, and made me feel sad for some of the seestras.  Why do they torture my poor clone girls?  Oh, wait:  I do that to my characters, too.

Speaking of which . . . I wrote.  I ended up producing fifteen hundred and fifty words, and finished the dream scene I’d started the other day.  Remember how I said I’d likely end up with ten thousand words written after the first week?

Yes, I believe I said I'd do that.

Yes, I believe I said I’d do that.

I believe I left my kids in a hotel room in dreamland, and . . . well, let’s see what happened next.

 

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

“Obviously.” Annie swung her legs to the floor, stood, and made her way to the red curtains on Kerry’s side of the room. She spread the curtains, exposing the balcony beyond the closed French doors. “Look out here.” She opened the doors and stepped out on to the open space beyond the bedroom.

The balcony was large enough for two people to sit close using one of the small chairs set in the far corners. The space between allowed that same couple to stand close together—something that Annie and Kerry were used to doing. The both leaned upon the railing and examined their surroundings.

They were on the second floor of their hotel; there was another floor above them. Their balcony overlooked a large, enclosed courtyard mostly covered in shadow at the moment. The courtyard was empty, as were all the remaining balconies for the other rooms. All of the balcony doors were closed and the curtains drawn.

They were the only ones here; the only ones present within their private universe.

 

Most of the time they are alone, but like a lot of dreams, they also get instances where they are in a crowd with other people.  Not this time, however.  And there’s something else–

 

Annie looked up to the cloudless, slate gray sky. “This feels like we’re in Europe.”

“I think so, too.” Kerry laid his hand over Annie’s. “It’s the way this place looks. It doesn’t seem like it’s in England, though—” He looked to the girl at his left. “Probably mainland.”

“I agree.” She twisted her right hand around and grasped Kerry’s. “It’s lovely, wherever we are.”

“It does feel like a real place—” He smiled. “Doesn’t it?”

“It does. It also feels—”

“Like it’s not a real dream?”

“Yes.”

Kerry searched his memory for any mention of instances where more than one person shared a dream vision. The books he’d read all thought his A Levels were thorough, but given that after his own experiences with dream visions, he’d gone over those chapters again before returning the books to the library . . .

He looked around as he sighed. “This is not happened before.” He looked over his shoulder into the room. “But you’re right: it feels more like something that’s going to happen to us instead of the last couple of dreams.”

Annie turned around, leaning against the railing as she peered into the room. “We should leave the room and see if there’s anything there.”

 

We know they’ve had the same vision, but they weren’t in it together at the same time–which may have been a bit strange if they had, and . . . we won’t go there.  Oh, and as an aside:  one day I will explain what Kerry’s first vision means, and why they had the same vision months apart.  Because I always figure those things out.

Eventually they leave the room, but what they find isn’t what they expect . . .

 

“Thank you.” She headed straight for the door with Kerry close behind. She designed an image in her mind of walking through the door and out onto the south deck of her lake house, a place Kerry had yet to see in their dreams. She opened the door, but rather than finding a hallway—or the deck she visualized—there was a sunny, tree-lined yard beyond. She stepped through the door and into the yard, walking about four meters before she stopped to examined their surroundings. “This was not what I wanted—or what I expected.”

Kerry began walking around in circles, looking at everything. “What did you want?”

“The deck of my lake house.”

“I don’t see a lake—” He pointed from where they’d just entered this area. “—and given what you’ve told me, I don’t think this is your house.”

Annie turned and gave a slight gasp when she saw the house. “No, it’s not, but . . . I know this place.” She turned to Kerry. “It’s my grandparent’s house in France.”

Kerry well remembered Annie describing her time this house, located outside the town of Pocancy, in the Champagne region. She’d told him about her time there during a lull in their Guardian field operation, as well as telling him of another dream of hers . . . “This is pretty nice. I like the yard.”

“I love having trees around a house.” She did a slow pirouette, taking in the grounds. “I haven’t thought about this in some time.”

 

Some of us remember the discussion about the house in France, which sort of morphed into a discussion about Annie wanting to live there one day–and not by herself.  As they walk through their dreamscape out to the dreamroad, the conversation turns back to that discussion, and the implications of what it means, and Kerry has to state the obvious . . .

 

Kerry noticed the use of the plural right away. “So this is where our house will be after we marry?”

Annie glanced out of the corner of her eye. “No: this is where we’ll make our home.” They stopped a couple of meters short of the road, with the gray, sunless sky beaming down on them. “Do you remember what else I said to you when we were on our field operation?”

There were a number of things Kerry recalled discussing while they were in Kansas City, but given their location, and Annie’s references, it wasn’t difficult to understand what she wanted him to remember. “What we talked about in our dream.”

“Yes. What we discussed outside your house in California.” She turned to him, never letting go of his hand. “You’ve lived in two houses, but you’ve never had a home.” She glanced at the ground for a moment. “That’s not completely true: you’ve had one near home—”

He was curious about this last statement. “Where?”

 

Yeah, where Annie?

 

“At the school—at Salem.” She slipped closer. “Do you know why? Because there you find love.” Annie held Kerry’s hand tight. “There is Vicky and Wednesday; there is Deanna and Coraline; there is Erywin and Helena.” She pressed herself against Kerry. “And I am there, above them all: your soul mate, the one who loves you most.

“I told you in our dream that a home is made of love, which is why you’ve never had a home. You have lived in California and you live in Cardiff, and while you have had some love in your live, you’ve never found in where you live. Your parents say they love you, but they don’t show it, they don’t offer the affection you require.

“I know this because I’ve been with you almost as long as they, and I know your wants, your dreams, your desires.” She kissed him, holding it for what seemed like forever. “We will marry—” Annie pressed her fingers against Kerry’s lips. “I know we are not supposed to speak of this, but here we are allowed to dream, are we not?

“We will marry, and we have a home. Maybe here, maybe in America, maybe in Bulgaria. I don’t care, as long as we are together. We will make that our home, because we will find love there. And we will say that to each other, every day, as I said I would do to you—and as I know you do for me.” She told both of his hands in hers and pressed them between their bodies. “Even when I can’t hear the words, I know you say them.”

He nodded slowly. “Every morning, and every evening. From now—”

“—Until the day you die?”

Kerry took a slight breath, ready to say the truth he’d held inside for many months now. “Until the day one of us dies.” He pressed his head against her shoulder. “That’s my promise.”

Annie held him against her. “I’ll hold you to that, love.”

 

Annie is not scared that talking about The Big M might be jinxing them in some way.  She doesn’t care;  she’s twelve, she’s a witch, she’s a hell of a sorceress who’s already racked up a body count, and she wants to give Kerry the love and affection tell him his parent are incapable of giving.  It’s likely she understands this last because she’s heard Kerry speak of it enough that it’s become as much a part of here as it is him.

And Kerry is right there, promising to tell his Sweetie that he loves her every day . . . until one of them die.  Yeah, a few people are going to read that line and say, “That could be tomorrow!” and start clutching pearls.  He’s also twelve, just a quarter year into that age, hanging out in a dream with a girl he’s known most of his life, and while he admitted last year that it’s possible they could die at any time, he’s now pushing that thought aside.  After all, Kerry’s been in the “I’ve cheated death” position three time in the last year, so he’s also developing that feeling kids his age get where they think nothing is going to happen to them.

Besides, His Dark Witch is gonna teach him to get those Morte spells up to speed while he teaches her to be a shapeshifter.  These kids got life by the ass right now–

Then again, if anyone believes that, they’re likely in the market to buy a bridge.

Back In the Dream Time

Semi-rainy, somewhat foggy, overcast morning here in The Burg, but there is so much going on.  Mostly due to the fact that last night was not all about writing, but rather about getting zapped with a laser.  That’s right:  I’ve started the process of getting the facial hair removed, and session one involved having someone who knows what she’s doing go over my face with a laser.  So it was a half hour drive out to where I needed to be, I waited a half hour to get in, an hour of zapping, and a half hour home with a slightly numb face and the smell of burning hair lingering in my memory.

I don't look none the worse for it, either.

I don’t look none the worse for it, either.

This morning there was almost nothing to shave away, and once I did my face was smoother than ever before.  Monday I go back for some electrolysis to burn away the dark hairs on my upper lip, and we see how I handle that to know how much more is needed.

And what did I do once I was home–other than hope the feeling returned to my cheeks and upper lip?  Wrote.  What else?

It’s on into Chapter Two now, and while I’m still with Kerry, Annie comes back–not for lunch, but for something . . . well, you have to see for yourself.  Which you will.  Below.

 

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

Kerry opened his eyes and realized he wasn’t in his bed—or his bedroom. For one, the bed was far larger than his. For another, there wasn’t a window over the head of his bed, so no sunlight coming from that direction.

And lastly, Annie was lying in bed next to him, slowly opening her eyes.

She blinked a few times before slowly looking about room without moving her head. She finally settled her gaze upon the boy next to her. “Kerry.”

“Annie.” He grinned and slipped closer to her. “Did you do this?”

“Put us here?” She barely shook her head. “I’ve tried to dreamwalk to you, but haven’t managed it yet. This was—” She smiled. “It happened.”

 

Those crazy dream are at it again.  Are you wondering a time frame?  Don’t worry:  Kerry has you covered–

 

“I’m glad it did; it’s been two weeks since we had lunch and I was missing you.” Remaining under the covers, he moved until they were close enough to kiss. “Strange to wake up in bed while still in bed.”

“I know.” Annie leaned into the kiss, making it sweet and tender. “I could get used to this.”

Kerry chuckled. “I’ve heard that somewhere before.”

She laid her hand upon the side of his arm and slowly side it towards his waist and hip. “If I remember correctly, it’ll be in a couple of—”

The second Annie touched Kerry’s hip her hand stopped, and he knew why, for he had reached for her waist at the same time. Both stared at each other in disbelief.

 

Okay, so the kids are in bed dreaming that they’re in bed, and . . . what would make them stare like that?

 

Annie was the first to find her voice. “Did you wear pajamas to bed?”

“I always do.”

She chuckled. “Always?”

He swallowed before speaking. “What about you?”

“I always wear pajamas or a night gown to bed—”

“Except for—”

“Let’s not go there.” Annie lifted her side of the covers enough to stare down at her body. “Didn’t expect that.”

Kerry caught a quick peak of himself as well. “Yeah, um . . .” He had a hard time keeping the smile away. “Maybe we should think about getting dressed.”

 

Yeah, maybe you should, kids!  It would really be embarrassing if someone dreamwalked their butts right now and found them in flagrante delicto–though they’re not actually doing anything except dream blushing.  And making jokes about being naked in a dream.  It’s just that when we have dreams like that, the other person we’re dreaming about usually isn’t really there.  It would sort of be like the time Jean Grey caught her scumbag husband Scott fooling around with Emma Frost in his mind.  The dumb was strong in those mutants . . .

But they’re rectifying the problem pronto–

 

“Some night clothes at the least.” The spaghetti strap of a night gown appeared on Annie’s shoulder as she visualized a proper night garment to wear. “There: much better.” She sat up and began to pull the covers back.

Hey.” Kerry quickly visualized a sleep shirt and lounging pants—his normal sleep attire—around his body before Annie exposed him.

Now she was laughing. “Remember, I’ve seen you, my love.” She fell along side and kissed him once again. “Or did you forget?”

“I do remember—” How can I not remember something like a wedding night that won’t happen for years? “That doesn’t mean you get to see the goods tonight.”

“Prude.” She stuck out her tongue, then looked about the room. “Is this anything you know?”

“I was going to ask you the same.” He sat up gave the room some scrutiny. It wasn’t a large room, but the lock on the door, the instructions next to the door, no visible closet, a door to his right behind Annie, and the large red window curtains to his left told him all he needed. “We’re in a hotel.”

 

I guess this means when they’re back at school and they start locking lips at the Midnight Madness, when they’re told, “Get a room!” they can yell back, “We already have!”  Oh, and if you’re wondering about there being some meaning to this place . . . maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe could be?  Room me maybe?

Anyway, that’s the start of the scene, and you’ll see where it leads tomorrow, because I’ll get to writing once I’m home and I’ve eaten and I’m ready to go.

It's easier to put these things together when I've not let people use ray guns on my face.

It’s easier to put these things together when I’ve not let people use ray guns on my face.

Also, I’ve put up a poll that I would love everyone to fill out.  If you can.  Please.  With sugar on top.

That would be great.

 


Talking on the Town

There is this thing called “Real Life” that gets in the way of what writers do for either a living or for free.  That was pretty much me yesterday, as I spent most of my time out on the road until about seven PM, at which point I was completely out of it in terms of having creative juice left to stir.

First off, I walked into work in a pair of shoes I shouldn’t have.  This means I was in pain by the time I got there, because of really large blisters on my heels.  Which I popped at work, which came back as I walked home.  Which means by the time I treated them at the apartment before heading off for my appointment means I was in a lot of pain and having trouble walking.  Like I am this morning.  They’re sort and tender and . . . yeah, you get the idea.

But I have good news on the medical front.  My prolactin count has peaked–that’s one of the new hormones I’ve got stored inside my body–so no need for an MRI, my blood pressure was down about twenty points, and “the girls”, as the doctor calls them, are still growing and firming up nicely.  It’s good news all around.

The drive out to see my doctor is long; the drive back, longer.  Which means by the time I reached The Burg I was pretty burned out as far as getting anything done was concerned, and I didn’t get into the novel until after eight PM.  Closer to eight-thirty, actually.  I didn’t feel much like writing, but I wanted to keep going as I’ve been going because, well, writing.  You want to get back into that grove, that rhythm, that pops up when you’re starting a project.  You get to writing, not making excusing.

I managed a little over five hundred and eighty words, and here they are:  my kids back together again.

 

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

After lunch the urge existed to find things to do, but as Annie said, “We have plenty of time in the future to sightsee—I’d rather be with you.” That was what happened: they left the Pret a Manger and headed to Russell Square park and wandered about there for a while before returning to the tube station and taking the Underground to Lancaster Gate, across Bayswater Road from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

They headed over to the Kensington Gardens side of the park and walked hand-in-hand. They walked south past the Italian Gardens and along the west side of the Long Water. They stopped at the Peter Pan statue and lingered there for close to twenty minute nearly alone. The cool, rainy weather kept people indoors, and there were few pedestrians to cast wondering glances at the young couple walking close together, their hands intertwined.

They deviated for the lake’s shore and headed inland, standing for a while inside the Queen’s Temple when a light rain began to fall. Kerry finally chose this moment to ask Annie about how she ended up coming to London for Lunch.

“She visited Sunday.” Annie leaned against the wall catty-corner from where Kerry stood. “My mother and her spoke for about two hours while I was out at the Lake House; Helena made a point of insisting they speak alone.” She set her hands behind her back and shook her head. “I should have realized she was planning something.”

“I watched your dad race Sunday.” Kerry had streamed the British Grand Prix from Silverstone that day.

“Yes, he came in fifth. I watched it later after he returned home.”

Kerry couldn’t imagine Annie sitting with her father watching a race, but he had no reason to believe she’d lie. “You think your mom and Helena were talking about lunch the other day?”

“I’m not sure. Mama said they talked about what I’ve done in sorcery and some of the thing Helena planed for our B Level, but that was probably just a small part of what they discussed.”

Kerry thought that was likely true as well. He couldn’t see why Helena would discuss sorcery with Annie’s mother and not have her present as well; it was completely unlike her. “I take it she showed up today?”

“Yes, right after lunch. She spoke with my mother for a few minutes, then came up to my room and said she was taking me to lunch, and told me I didn’t need to change my clothes, because where we were going the weather was similar, and that she’d return later.” She repositioned her hands before her. “So I only nibbled until she returned.”

He nodded. “Was your dad there?”

“Yes, he was.” Annie grinned. “He knows Helena by reputation, and was cordial to her. I think having three sorceresses in the house made him nervous.”

He almost laughed thinking about her father—whom he’d never met—trying to remain casual while Helena and Annie’s mother chatted before Annie joined them. He has to know just how great a sorceress she is by now. “Hope he wasn’t too scared.”

She looked down at the ground for a moment. “He survived the experience.” Annie reached out and took Kerry’s hand. “It’s turned to mist; I want to walk.” He followed, a large grin stretched across his face, as he loved walking in cool mist as well.

And he liked it even better walking along with Annie.

 

I should mention that I also spent about half an hour looking though Google Maps and checking out Underground routes just to get those first three paragraphs right.  I could have spent less time, I admit, but I was tired, and it was a nice diversion to keep the mind semi-sharp.  And I like maps.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed.  Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed. Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day and you’re not wearing makeup.

What will today be like?  I’ll find out soon enough.

So will my kids.

Annie of a Thousand Loves

According to the countdown clock on my blog I have twenty-four days left before I’m supposed to start writing my next novel.  Of course, “start” is an arbitrary word, because I started writing this novel the moment I began time lining out parts of it back in 2013.  I guess I should say, “Putting words into the Scrivener project.”  That’s more like it.

In the last few weeks since I decided to get back into this project I’ve been going over some of my last novel so I can remember where certain things happened, as well as how they happened.  A lot of that has to do with the developing relationship between Annie and Kerry, which we all know now actually started back when they were young and finally blossomed after Kerry moved to Wales, which placed him in a time zone better equipped to handle a girl coming into his dreams almost nightly.

Did she come at him across a field of flowers?  Now that would be interesting.

Did she come at him across a field of flowers? Now that would be interesting.

When it came to the relationship in A For Advanced, Annie was the Go To Girl For Love.  That’s because she was the only one of the pairing who remembered that they were a loveteam due to Ser Clueless screwing things up in his mind and their dreamspace–though, to clarify matters, neither of them knew he was a witch at the time.  Maybe things would have went a little better if that memo had been sent out, Foundation.

One of the scenes I’ve been laying out in my head of late deals with them discussing those early days at school, when they were together but still sort of apart.  And in thinking over those days, and their upcoming discussion, I fixed upon something that happened in the last novel, something right here . . .

 

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

“Ah—” Kerry’s head shook from side to side. “I’m lucky; I have one of those metabolisms that burns off everything I eat.” He didn’t care to have the focus of the conversation off him and pushed it in another direction. “I like your accent—may I ask where you’re from? I know you’re not from the UK.”

A light chuckle slipped from the girl’s lips. “Oh? You know this, hum?”

“Well . . .” Kerry was on the spot once more. “If you do live here I’m gonna say you weren’t born here.”

She sat upright and locked her hands across her waist. “No, you’re right: I’m not from here. I’m from Pamporovo, Bulgaria”

“Oh, the ski resort.”

Her chuckle was soft yet flat. “Now how do you know that?”

“I did a paper on Romania last year—” His audience raised an eyebrow. “Hold on, hold on . . . and while I was looking around on Google Maps I sort of went south into Bulgaria and saw a bunch of ski slopes. Zoomed in and . . . there it was.” He looked down for just a moment and chuckled. “Plus, the name sorta sounds, you know, easy to remember—”

The girl’s expression told Kerry a far different story. “It’s not that easy to remember.”

“Well . . .” He kept his eyes on his toes as he shuffled his feet. “I know a lot of strange things. I’m sorta like that.”

“Uh, huh.” Kerry though that perhaps the girl would maybe smile, but no, she continued her quiet examination of him standing before her. She slowly crossed her legs. “And what of your accent? You’re not from the UK, either.”

“No, you’re right.” He stopped casting glances at his feet and looked directly at the girl. “I was born in the U.S.—California, actually—but a couple of years ago my family moved to Cardiff . . .”

“Cardiff?” The girl spoke the word with a heavy whisper.

“Yeah.” Kerry was pretty sure he hadn’t misspoken the name of his adopted home. “I’ve been there a couple of year.”

Silence returned, and it seemed to Kerry as if the shadows around the girl had almost thickened. She set her book aside and slowly stood. “I’m sorry; I’ve been so rude.” She stepped out of the shadow and for the first time Kerry saw her in better light. She held out her right hand. “Annie Kirilova.”

“Kerry Malibey.” He hesitated before shaking her hand lightly. It was the first time he’d shook hands with a girl his age. He’d shook hands with women before—like with Ms. Rutherford at the house—but he’d never done this with a girl, and it made him feel sort of funny inside.

Annie’s eyes lingering upon Kerry, seeing him up close for the first time in the dim confines of the bookstore, but the way they darted about it was almost as if she didn’t actually see him. She tilted her head slightly to one side as her eyes finally examined his head of red hair. Her eyes seemed to grow a tiny bit wider before they met his own stare. “Kerry?”

“Yeah . . .” He didn’t know what to make of her reaction; it wasn’t as if he’d a great deal of experience with girls from other countries. “That’s me.”

Her lips pursed and her nostrils flared twice. Her hazel seemed to know nothing but the boy before her, and her intense focus made Kerry incredibly uneasy. She seemed to slide toward him without actually moving, closing the space between them until they were almost touching. Her words came out as a tortured gasp. “Don’t you know me?”

Kerry didn’t know how to respond. He’d never found himself in a situation where someone he didn’t know had mistaken him for another person. “No, I don’t.” He wasn’t sure if he should say more, but he also wasn’t certain if he’d said enough. “I mean, I just met you now—right?” He shrugged. “Sorry.”

Annie pulled back a half-step as a slight redness came to her cheeks. “I’m sorry, too. I thought maybe—”

“I was someone you knew?”

Her head bobbed slightly. “Yes.”

“Yeah.” He offered a smile, trying to lighten the mood. “It happens, you know?”

 

Their first meeting in the bookstore in London, and also the first mystery.  Because if you read the scene, it seems as if Annie doesn’t really know who this boy is standing before her.  Keep in mind, Annie’s in shadow and Kerry’s in light, so she has a far better look at him than he at her.  Knowing what we know now, Annie shouldn’t have come off as surprised when she heard, “Cardiff,” and she seemed to snap out of that when Kerry told her his name.

What was happening there to The Girl in Love?

If this picture is any indication, she was neglecting her manicure.

If this picture is any indication, she was neglecting her manicure.

That’s one of the questions I’m going to answer in the next novel, because part of the next novel gets deeper into their relationship, talks about some of the things that happens to them, and–yes–shows a bit more of their future together.  Will there be a crystal ball into which they will gaze and see the horrors that await?  You gotta be kidding:  Deanna would probably come close to slapping someone if they asked her to read their future that way.  She’s not a crystal ball sort of girl, that one.

With the first novel I knew where I was going with great certainty, but here, this one coming up, it’s a little more daunting, due to now having to move this relationship forward while dealing with other issues that are going to pull the kids in different directions.  One of the things I’m playing with is that, even among the Aware, these two are Different.  That started with the last story, but it’s going to become far more evident here as well.

And a big part of that difference will be in their relationship, and their love.  And, as always, Annie’s heart is gonna get tugged at the most–

Or will it?

That’s gonna to be the interesting to write, to see if she will, once more, be the final arbitrator of their love.  I know for a fact she will say one thing that’s going to set the tone for everything that happens to them in the future . . .

And then she'll run off to Lake Lovecraft and show Kerry her cute little heart hands, and his heart will melt--or he'll smirk, in which case Annie will probably Dark Witch his ass.

And then she’ll run off to Lake Lovecraft and show Kerry her cute little heart hands, and his heart will melt–or he’ll smirk, in which case Annie will likely Dark Witch his ass all the way back to The Pentagram.

Loveteams Sailing On the Midnight Tide

As a writer, part of your job is to create good characters to carry your story.  A good writer will try to make great characters, and a great writer will probably spend a great deal of time climbing into the skins of their creations and walk around in them to get a good feel for what they’re doing.

Sort of like The Whisperers from The Walking Dead, only writers usually smell better.  Usually.

Sort of like being one of The Whisperers from The Walking Dead, only writers usually smell better. Usually.

It’s no secrets I’ve spent a lot of time with my characters–with two in particular for the last four years–and after a while you get so deep into their skins that they become a part of you.  Or is that you, because they’re not real; they exist only as an extension of your imagination.  As the majority of your know, I’m not a believer in the concept that my characters write the story for me, because if that were true, the lazy little witch jerks aren’t doing their job.  I mean, would it kill them to get off their butts and write a few hundred words while I’m sleeping?  No, it wouldn’t.

One of the great things about not only writing a novel, but then blogging about it, is getting feedback about what was written.  I’ve gotten a lot comments about the excerpted scenes, the world I’ve created, and about the characters.  Boy, have I gotten comments about the characters . . .

The one person I’ve had the most interaction with in terms of my characters has been with Renxkyoko Iglesias, who has her own blog over by der, as we say in Chicago.  She has an exceptionally active interest in my kids, and we’ve had some long discussions about their likes, their wants, and their battles.  I mean, we’re talking about kids who’ve fought monsters and Deconstructors, which is a lot more than most twelve year old kid are doing.  I seem to recall my daughter playing Pokemon on here Nintendo DS when she was twelve, and there wasn’t an Abomination in sight that she needed to save a wingmate from.

Oh, and we’ve discussed their love.  Especially their love.  We’ve talked about their struggles in that area, their romantic advances, and their “overnights” that tend to happen in the school hospital, but they’d had at least one in their tower commons, and a three others that occurred when the kids were away from the school.  (We won’t count the two times that we can infer from their dream visions, because, well, they haven’t happened.  Yet.)

They’re a cuddly couple, that’s for sure, but we know from reading their romance isn’t perfect.  For one, there’s a certain redhead from Colorado who made perhaps the most clumsy play for the affections of another, but only because Kerry never made a first move on Annie.  Emma’s somewhat loathed by a few people, only because she (a) wouldn’t listen to Kerry when she should have, (b) almost got him killed because she wasn’t taking precautions when she should have been watching her ass, and (c) told The Ginger Hair Boy that Annie was a bitchy ice queen who wasn’t worth his time.  Batting a thousand there, Emma.

But a lot of discussion revolves around Kerry, and his love for Annie.  Or should I say, “apparent love”?  Maybe even say, “kinda, sorta love”?  Of all the conversations we’re have, Kerry’s feelings for Annie have been some of the most intense.  (When we’re not discussing Emma, but that’s another story.)  A lot of this discussion revolved around whether or not Kerry really did love Annie during the time between the first night they entered Salem, and the morning after the Day of the Dead attacks and announced his love for Annie–or did he?  Because there was something that happened in March where he seemed to figure out how much he really loved her, and for how long, and in the current rewrite of the scene I just did, he seemed to profess that he’d loved her for a long time, but, you know, he’s forgotten all about that . . .

Some of what we’ve batted back and forth is whether or not Annie and Kerry are really OTP.

Right now most of you are going, “Wait?  They’re a one time password?  I don’t get it.”  Here, OTP means One True Pairing, and that means the characters are meant to be together and they are totally a ship, which is another way of saying they are a couple who have formed the deepest bonds of love, and no one will ever pull them apart.  “Shipping”, as it’s called, are where couples are bound together, usually by fans, and there will likely be a multitude of arguments over this pairing until word has been given that the ship has sailed–that is to say, the romance is canonical and becomes official.

Korasami is a ship that sailed.  Believe that.

Korasami is a sailed ship. You can bet Kerry will take notes.

It’s actually a combination of fun, excitement, and frustration having these discussions.  Fun, because I love talking about my characters, and who else around me can I speak to about them?  Exciting, because I like to hear what other people think about the direction in which I’m taking all my characters–not just Annie and Kerry, but others in my Foundation World as well–and frustrating, because, as the writers, I know things, and it’s impossible for me to refute or confirm certain discussions and arguments because if I do, I give away future plot elements.  And you know I know stuff and things, ’cause I’ve plotted everything out for like–decades.

Do I know if the things that Annie told Erywin about in the glen are true?  Do I know if Kerry really did love Annie during the time before he knew he loved her that first night in the hospital, the next day in the garden, and that third time by Lake Lovecraft?  What did Kerry mean when he said, “Like I did this time?” when he remembered when he totally, completely told Annie he loved her?  Who is the girl in Kerry’s rune dream?  Who was the girl in his first vision at Memory’s End?  And . . . why did his vision of what might be his wedding night with Annie take six months to manifest?

Most importantly, were those visions real?  Are they going to happen?  Is this ChestnutGinger ship ever gonna sail?

Oh, believe me, I know.  In the next novel some of these things will get addressed, and a couple will even get answered.  Which ones, you ask?

Come aboard:  I’ll serve drinks later, and then we can talk.

Songs of The Foundation

I mentioned just yesterday that I’ve a bit of music in my novel A For Advanced–well, not actual music, but you know what I mean:  it shows up here and there in the form of various songs that play here and there.  That’s because I like music, certain kinds I should say, and the love of music has rubbed off on my characters.  When Kerry says he gets his love of music from his father, he may as well say he’s getting it from me.

The first time there’s any music of note comes in The Keyboard Room scene, where Annie and Kerry visit Professor Ellison to check out all the musical device and discover the school has a ton of famous equipment that they’ve had “donated” to them over the years.  They saw the old organs that were first used at the school, then they got into the more-or-less modern equipment.  Which leads to this:

 

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

She didn’t expect what the professor did next. He looked Kerry up and down while he tapped his left index finger against the top of the organ. “Tell me—” He pointed at an instrument about three meters away. “Do you know what that is?”

Kerry answered right away. “Mellotron Mark IV.”

“And the one to the left?”

“That’s a Mellotron Mark II.”

“And you know that because . . ?”

Kerry took a few steps back from Professor Ellison. “The Mark IV has had that same sort of case for most of the time it’s been produced. The Mark II . . .” He look over his shoulder, then back. “Two manuals, side-by-side.”

“Correct.” Professor Ellison move slowly towards the instruments. “This Mark II is a bit famous: it originally belonged to the band King Crimson—” He powered up the machine. As soon it was ready, he began playing.

Kerry’s face broke into an enormous smile as the professor held the first chords, then progressed to the second set. “No. You’re kidding.”

Professor Ellison played another ten seconds before stopping. “Oh, yeah. It’s, uh, a gift to the school.”

Though the two males in the room knew this music, Annie certainly didn’t. “What was that you played?”

 

What the professor played was Watcher of the Skies, more precisely the intro:

The intro, which is played on the lowers cords of the Mark II, is so iconic that the Memotron system–which is a modern version of the Mellotron–as well as the modern Mellotrons, offer a “Watcher of the Skies sound package” so you can rock the same sound.

I should point out a bit of history:  the Mellotron they’re playing is known as “The Black Bitch” because it was notoriously prone to breaking down, and apparently Tony Banks of Genesis was ready to set it on fire more than a few times–something that Rick Wakeman of Yes actually did to one of his.  1974 tech was not that best in the world.

After that Ellison plays another short piece:

That’s part of the keyboard bridge to Firth of Fifth, from Selling England by the Pound.  Of course Kerry knows this right away–is it because I do?  It helps that it’s one of my favorite songs.

And when Ellison talks Kerry into showing what he knows, they get into this song, Burning Rope:

They play about a minute of the intro, but I’ll give you a sneak peak of the next novel:  this is Kerry’s performance piece for the 2013 Ostara Show.  He won’t sing, but he’ll play the keyboard parts with a band that can be considered a “house band” of former students that comes in for these shows.  Kerry even managed to get them to use two drummers . . .

The next day, when Annie is at Memory’s End speaking with Deanna, Kerry and Vicky are off flying so the latter can get a feel for what she thinks some of her “promising kids” can handle.  As the tool around Selena’s Meadow, this goes down:

 

She snapped left when they reached the west side of the meadow and made for the Flight School. As she pulled even with the building Vicky didn’t slow, but rather headed into a long, slow left turn that skirted the south tree line. “Yo, Starbuck—”

“Yo, Nightwitch.”

“I’m gonna put on some tunes, but not so loud you can’t hear me. I’m coming around; watch and follow.”

Kerry saw the professor slow, then snap her broom around in a near one-eighty before waving him on. He pulled the nose of his broom around and chased her onto an path he’d never seen before. A few meters inside the tree line and it was obvious this wasn’t a path but an old, unimproved road. They maintained the same pace they’d set on the meadow course, but the big different here was no pylons, no gates—and there were trees a few meters away on both sides.

There was a rhythmic tapping in his ears as the music started. By the second bar he recognized the song: Zoo Station from U2’s Achtung Baby. He smiled while keeping his eyes on Professor Salomon, for he would have never guessed her to be a fan of this kind of music, but since he could see her head bobbing in time to the beat, he realized he’d guessed completely wrong.

Then she lifted the nose of her broom, put on a little speed, and left the road for the sky overhead.

Kerry followed.

 

And this played as they soared into the sky:

For me this was sort of a natural song to play as they flew around the school with Kerry getting a feel for his broom as he let the beat flow around him.  Really, as they flew over The Diamond and then buzzed The Pentagram, shooting between the coven towers and the Great Hall, it’s way too easy to hear the song as a soundtrack to a never-made movie.

Then we come to the Samhain Dance, and there’s music galore played, only one song is ever mentioned:  Kerry’s dedication to Annie.  And while I’ve played it before, it’s never a bad thing to play Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights:

A few days later is the Day of the Dead attack on the school, and while Kerry is in his room early in the morning, he’s listening to a little more Genesis:  this time the instrumental pair Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers . . . and . . . In That Quiet Earth.  There’s actually a bit of symmetry here going back to the previous song, since the song titles come from Chapter 34 of Wuthering Heights, and are the finals words of the story:

 

I sought, and soon discovered, the three headstones on the slope next the moor: the middle one grey, and half buried in the heath; Edgar Linton’s only harmonised by the turf and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff’s still bare.

I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

 

So the song Kerry dedicated to Annie a few nights before related to finding each other, and then on a day that he almost dies–and eventually ends up killing someone–he’s listing to songs taken from a paragraph relating to the removal of evil through death.  Ooh, spooky . . .

There are only two other songs in the novel, but these are probably the most personal for both the kids, because these are the only songs they sing.  First up is Kerry’s Ostara 2012 performance that he did with Nadine, which he also dedicated to Annie.  I’m speaking of the Osaka Sun Mix of Coldplay’s Lovers in Japan, with Kerry on tack piano and additional keyboard, and Nadine on keyboards, synth pad, and drum samplers:

And a month later we get this:

 

“Would you mind if I put on some music?”

“Not at all.” Kerry held his left hand over the remote on the nightstand next to him and levitated it to Annie. “Put on whatever you like.”

Annie plucked the remote out of the air and brought up the cable guide. She found a music channel and brought it up before levitating the remote to a spot next to the television. She stepped back as she listened to the song that was finishing. “Can I turn it up a little?”

Kerry nodded. “Go ahead.”

Annie waved at the television: the sound bar illuminated and went up five point. A new song began, and Annie bounced with joy. “Oh, I love this.” She moved into the open space between the bed and the bathroom and began dancing as she removed her bathrobe and set it on a nearby chair, humming and singing along with the tune the whole time.

As the song segued into the chorus Annie faced Kerry and sang along. “Hey I just met you/And this is crazy/But here’s my number/So call me maybe.” She performed a quick spin and pointed at him. “It’s hard to look/Right at you baby/But here’s my number/So call me maybe.” She laughed as she sprinted and leapt at the bad, turning in mid-air so that when she landed, she fell backwards against Kerry’s right side. She pushed herself straight back into the space between his right arm and torso and got comfortable. “Are you gonna call me?”

I think we know this song:  the question is, will Kerry call?

Somehow I don’t see Annie letting all the other boys chase her, though–or Kerry not throwing death spells at them . . .

The very last song I know they played came from, once more, the album Wind and Wuthering, and was played as Annie and Kerry flew away from the school on their way to Pearl Hill State Park the day of Salem graduations.  Though not mentioned by name, the song is the first track of the album, the song The Eleventh Earl of Mar:

And that’s it for our A Level tunes.  Which means it’s time to look to the future . . .

For the next novel and the future I have songs jumping around in my head.  There’s one scene in the next novel where this next song will fit in with a scene–I just have to figure out how to get it into the story.  Trust me, I’ll get it in there.  The song in question is–don’t laugh–The Rain, the Park, and Other Things, by the Cowsills:

Give me time, though:  I’m certain I’ll get more songs into the B Mix as I go along . . .

Now, we already know what Kerry will play at Ostara 2013, but what about Ostara 2014?  Oh, yeah:  I’m already thinking about that–or I should say, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, maybe three years.  Where as the first time he played and sang, and the second time he played with a band but didn’t sing, in this performance he’ll sing but be backed up by the house band.  And Annie will right there in the front row, sitting with Helena and Erywin, as this song is performed.  Why have I thought about this scene so much?  Because . . . wait, you thought I was going to tell you?  Ah, hahahaha!  I had you going for a moment.

Anyway, the song is Distant Sun, originally performed by Helena’s fellow Kiwis, Crowded House:

The last two songs that I know actually get played happen in the period I’ve called Annie and Kerry’s Euro Broom Tour.  Actually, the first song comes during a period just before that tour starts, and happens with Kerry flying through the mountains early in the morning with just his broom, his computer, and his thoughts to keep him company.  Oh, yeah, and Jesus and Mary Chain blasting out of his Foundation-modified computer speakers:

And the last comes as Annie and Kerry say their farewells, and as they fly away Kerry slams this into the system as they fly off away from the rising sun:

There you have it:  some of the music which makes my world go ’round, and as I write the next novel I’ll probably have more music come into play.  The thing I really need to work on is the Soundtrack of Annie’s Life, because she has some music in here soul as well, and there are a couple of scenes where she needs some of her own tunes to shine.

Maybe it’s time to hire a musical consultant.