As For the Rest of the Travel–

I am home.

I finally flew into Harrisburg about midnight last night and made it home about twenty-five minutes later.  I finally made it to bed about about 1 AM so I could get up about four-and-a-half hours later.

Needless to say I’m kinda wrecked.

So what was up this weekend?  Most of you know I was doing something for Planned Parenthood, yeah?  I think this picture sort of gave that away:

What I'm up to this weekend. #IStandWithPP

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Here’s the complete lowdown:  I was in Oklahoma City, OK, attending a PP Organizing Summit, where people like me learned about the tools needed to put together a successful campaign needed to affect change, as well as learning how to use those tools to make your actions work.  While we could post pictures of ourselves at the summit, we were not allowed to tell anyone where we where or give out our location by tagging a picture.

This was the reason I could identify my position up to Atlanta, where we boarded our connecting flight to OKC, but once on the ground in the Sooner State we had to pretend we didn’t know where we were, even though we did.

Needless to say it was a lot of workshops and role playing and breakout groups working on getting our protesting know-how down pat.  Oh, and we had a rally just down the street on early Saturday–while a wind whipped up that made me think of a certain song from a certain musical about a certain state–and we were on the local news.  Below is a clip from the broadcast and at top center you might recognize a certain blond from the state of Pennsylvania…

 

So I was in a room way up at the top of a hotel:

A view from near my room.

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And we had elevators that looked out over the atrium:

Let's take a ride–

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And I had a roommate, a lovely woman from a nearby state:

My PP roomie. So long, Jordan. Hope to see you soon. @mojojojojohnson

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And we flew out of Oklahoma yesterday:

Drizle, Drazle, Drozle, Drone, time for this one to come home.

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And while in the Atlanta airport all the women with whom I was traveling and I stopped in Chicken + Beer in Terminal D, a place owned by Ludacris, and had a fantastic meal.  Also, the woman on my left, Sara, turned 21 that very day and we celebrated by having a drink with her.

Time for a drink in ATL. #ATL #StillNoZombies

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There you are:  I was out being a good little feminist, enjoying the company of other women and men who helped us learn how to make the world a better place.  And I know I’ll have people telling me I’m wrong, probably while mansplaning how I’m oh, so wrong (fun fact: do you know where mansplaniners get their fact?  From a Well, Actually…), but I don’t care.

I’m guessing this is just the start of another part of my life.

I don’t believe I’m guessing wrong…

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Activism on the Sly

Last night was not a night of writing.  I mean, I did write, but it was only another three hundred and fifty words because by the time I arrived home I was tired.

No, I was out with people I know who work for Planned Parenthood and we were doing the political thing.

I’ve maybe mentioned before that I know a few people who work for Planned Parenthood.  One of them I meet during our time campaigning in 2016–while they did some help on the Clinton Campaign they were mostly working to election a new state senator–and we became social friends.  I’ve let her know that when it comes to PP (which is how I’ll spell it out from here) I’ll help out where I can, and I’ve attended a couple of their functions since then.

I was invited to late night’s event a few days before and I RSVPed right away.  I was sent a link to where we would meet and was asked to keep the location private because lunatics out there might decide to crash the party in the worst way.  I will say it wasn’t in Harrisburg, but that’s all the information you’re getting.  (I will mention now that I did not take any pictures while there, nor will I mention people by name.  I’m keeping this all on the low.)

If you follow what’s going on in D.C. you know defunding PP is a priority among certain conservative white guys who’ve never had a period in their lives.  Of course I’ve never had a period, either, but some women don’t.  Regardless, I stand behind all women who need health care and PP fills the position of providing health care for hundreds of thousands of women, including pap smears, breast exams, pregnancy testing, and STD screening and treatment.  Also, last year PP began running pilot programs to provide Hormone Replacement Therapy for trans women and men, which is something I could use should I need that service.

And yes, they do offer abortions.  I know it’s a touchy subject with a lot of people, but my feelings are such:  if you don’t need one, don’t get one.  If you don’t want others getting them, piss off and find a hobby to file your time.  Being a person who finds herself in a position where people I don’t know suddenly feel as if they have a voice when it comes to whether or not I should exist, it’s easy to say if you have no intention of getting an abortion, then shush, you.  It’s none of your business.  (And yes, I’ve always felt that way.)

We discussed what sort of steps we need to take to help PP through these dark times and I’m certain I’ll find myself helping out somewhere to help out the organization.  Because I do feel they are an important health provider for untold numbers of women and they are under assault by know-nothing idiots.  Does that seem like harsh language?  Yep.  And I mean every word.

Of late I’ve had to back away from a lot of the political stuff I was doing simply because it was becoming overwhelming.  But when it comes to helping Planned Parenthood–I’ll be there to help whenever it’s possible.

Because you know I love to wear pink…

Saturday At The Shop

It’s time to get this party started.  So kick back and enjoy the show.

 

And here’s the outfit I mentioned:

Casual in my new maxi. Black and white, baby. #diaandco

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Join the Club: The Final Piece

It’s snowing today and there was the possibility I would have to go into work late, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.  There doesn’t appear to be any news about office delays, while at the same time there doesn’t appear to be a lot of cars on the highway.  I guess this means I’m going into work and I’ll just roll the dice on whether or not there will be anybody in the office, since I can’t seem to find any good news.

I did my get-together with my political woman’s group last night and were still in the process of figuring out what is going to do.  We don’t have to meet again for another three weeks, which is good for me: do give me a chance to rest up and looked at my other options for what I need to do in the political fight.  There’s plenty to do and plenty of action go around: in fact, I’m actually going to a political action group this Saturday before heading off to the Harrisburg LGBT Center for a viewing of the National Geographic episode on gender.  I’m such a busy girl…

But not so busy that I couldn’t write last night.  It wasn’t nearly 1000 words this time, but more like closer to five hundred and fifty.  The inspiration simply wasn’t flowing and I had a difficult conversation to write.  I will say this much, however: in the scene I was working on last night Annie does something that she’s never done before, and it may be a bit of a surprise.  But you’ll probably have to wait about a week and a half to find out what that is, because right now she’s sixty-three hundred words ahead of you.

After this excerpt is printed, of course.

 

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

 

Ramona smiled as she looked at Helena. “Do you think she’s going to be angry?”

“I don’t believe so.” Helena turned to Annie. “We spoke to her last night about this and she didn’t voice any reservations about you coming over to our side. The other thing she said, though, was she’ll miss not having a real sorceress inside the Rotunda.”

Annie cocked her head to one side. “If I’m hunting down Deconstructors outside the Pentagram, then that means there won’t be any inside the Rotunda.” She glanced between the two instructors. “Isn’t that so?”

Ramona set up and leaned against the arm of her chair. “It is. And we think if it should come to needing to get rid of Deconstructors inside the walls, you’re going to be a great addition to our team.” A slight smile formed on her face. “I take it you’re going to accept?”

“I do.”

“Be careful with that phrase.” Helena laughed. “There’s another person to whom you are supposed to say that.”

A deep blush filled Annie’s cheeks. “I mean, I accept your invitation. I want to be part of the Rapid Response team.”

“Good.” Ramona thrice slapped the surface of her desk. “I’ll set you up with a schedule of when you can meet the others on the team and let you know when we’ll get together for our infrequent training sessions. As we’ve already indicated, most of the members are either on the fight team or are sorceresses in good standing, so the only times we really need to get together is when we need to see how we work as a team.”

“And given what I know about you—” Helena arched an eyebrow. “I know you’re capable of working well in the team environment.”

Annie was somewhat surprised to hear Helena say this as she knew the Head Sorceress was alluding to the Kansas City field operation. Even though she didn’t give any detail, saying this in front of Ramona more or less confirmed the rumor that Annie was doing Guardian work. “All I can say is I’ll do my best.” She sat back in her chair and sighed.  “Won’t Kerry be surprised when he gets out of class.”

This time Helena smiled at Ramona. “I don’t believe he’ll be too surprised.”

Before Annie could ask what the sorceress meant Ramona spoke. “Before he left on his class mission Vicky asked Kerry if he would join Air Assault. We got the answer just before you arrived: he accepted.”

“And—” Helena leaned a bit toward Annie. “Vicky let him know that you were being summoned here to be asked to join Rapid Response, and apparently he felt that you were going to accept the invitation.”

Annie’s eyebrows arched upward as she nodded slowly. “My love knows me all too well.” She looked at Ramona. “He was sent on a class mission? Do you know where?”

Ramona scratched her neck. “Vicky said something about New York…”

 

Coraline’s gonna miss Annie, but she also knows that if Annie’s outside killing Deconstructor she’s making her Triage Team safe and there isn’t a possibility she’ll killed a patient because she was angry.  And Coraline’s going to show Annie a bit more in the area of first aid and maybe even healing, so it’s an even bigger win-win.

At the same time we discover that Vicky has asked Kerry to become part of Air Assault, because he is a good example of Death From Above.  You can almost see him zipping in on some poor bastard and lighting them up for a trip Beyond the Veil.  And smiling all the while he’s doing it.

And now he’s in New York.  City?  State?  Where?

Glad you asked…

Join the Club: Remembering the Romance

Before getting to the writing portion of our program, will start off with the protesting part of our program.  As in, I went to a protest march yesterday in the afternoon.  There was a chance to stand in solidarity against the current immigration policies and in favor of not only refugees, but all people of different ethnicities and faiths.  I was a bit surprised that we were actually able to march without having a permanent, though we didn’t really march far.  Harrisburg is not Washington D.C., so we don’t take over all of Second Street and march for two miles.  We did, however, shut off a couple of the main roads in Harrisburg, and apparently it’s something that happens quite often.

I didn’t get a lot of shots.  I was actually there to engage in conversation and hear what was being said, and I did both.  But I did get a few shots:

Walking down the street.

Walking down the street.

 

Doing my part.

Doing my part.

 

Having dinner after.

Having dinner after.

My friend who sent me the hijab said she was so happy to see such a great turnout, as well as me wearing my hijab all day.  Not only that, but one of my other Muslim friends saw pictures of me–because these are all over my Facebook wall and in the group I’m in–and she actually put on one of hers, one that she hasn’t worn in years because of where she lives in the US–she doesn’t wear a hijab for fear that she’ll be assaulted–and offered to send me a few of hers.

See?  Making inroads everywhere.

Now on to the writing part…

I finished last night scene, the penultimate of Chapter Nine.  Right now, that puts me about sixty-seven hundred words up ahead of you, though with today’s excerpt that reduces it to about sixty-two hundred.  Finishing up the scene finishes up Emma’s Summer Story, which is what this scene was all about.  Now on to the Midnight Madness and bringing my Lovey Dovey Couple together for the first Friday night in their pajamas relaxing and enjoying the end of the long week.

Just so you know I'm not lying...

Just so you know I’m not lying…

Oh, and I should point out that Chapter Eleven is the chapter where we get to see Annie and Kerry do their big Kali test.  Yes, they get an entire chapter to themselves for it, because it’s going to be a very big deal.  I like very big deals.  Especially when it’s my kids getting ready to lay the pain on–well, you’ll just have to see.

In the meantime, the next scene to be excerpt is all about Annie, and it starts with her discovering something unusual moments after she said goodbye to Kerry…

 

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

 

After dropping Kerry off at the Flight School she flew back to the Pentagram and was there less than a minute later. It had been her intention to use the bathroom and then go out to the Witch House, but she’d taken only four steps into the Great Hall’s Atrium when Sabrina, the school’s AI, informed her that professors Lovecraft and Chai wanted to see her in Gwydion Manor at eight thirty.

She was surprised that she was being called by Helena, but the inclusion of Ramona Chai and the location of Gwydion Manor peaked Annie’s interest. Though Ramona was aware that she was involved in Guardian training, Annie couldn’t imagine her sitting in on a meeting between Helena and her.

There was only one way to figure out is going on…

Since she had plenty of time Annie walked the paths from the Pentagram to Gwydion Manor because she wanted to be alone with her thoughts. She decided against trying to figure out what this meeting was about and and thought more about the coming year while enjoying the quiet morning.

After the first week of school she’d fallen right back into the habits she developed over the last two years, though some of the things she did hear were no different than what she did back home in Bulgaria. She didn’t know that she was going to love the two new classes, and she felt a slight relief in the fact that Kerry and she were no longer the youngest students in the advanced classes any longer.

What she enjoyed even more, however, was seen the change that came over Kerry once all the prodding and testing of the weekend was over and he was finally able to get back into a normal class schedule. During their last lunch and their week in Paris his anxiety was obvious, but once they began the reintegration into the student structure he more or less reverted back to the boy he’d been during their B Levels.

At night, once they were through with their classes, was when Annie noticed his changed the most. Though their moments in Paris together were filled with love, distress Kerry was under seemed to hold him back from being romantic soul mate she knew. By last Sunday night that had all changed, and the romantic young man whom Annie had known her entire life had not only returned, but did not want her to leave his side for even a second. There was even a moment, when they were spending time alone in the private lab in the lower levels of the coven tower, when Kerry held her in an embrace that was so long and so passionate that she swooned and nearly passed out.

She told Kerry after that kiss, she was going to demand at least one like it a week.

Upon reaching Gwydion Manor Annie entered the building at through the main entrance and proceeded directly to the large open area where they practice their forms on Sunday. Since no one was waiting for her here, she assumed they might be in Professor Chai’s office. She called out just to be certain. “Hello?”

 

That Kerry:  Making Annie Swoon Since 2011.  It’s not strange that he lost a little of his romantic edge and if we want to get technical, we could say he was suffering from performance anxiety, and now that he’s out of a dark place where he had lots of worry, he can get back to being Soul Mate Special and show Annie all the love she needs and wants.

And if that causes her emotions to build up to the point where she can no longer take it and it makes her light headed, so be it.

But now we need to get into the why of Annie being out to Gwydion Manor, and the answer to that is…

Marching With the Women

21 January, 2017.  By now most people in the world have a pretty good idea what happened that day.  Not only was the Woman’s March on Washington the single greatest demonstration event in this country, but it ranks as one of the largest worldwide events ever.  Not bad for something that started out as a Facebook post the day after the US presidential elections.

Given that I worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign beginning in August of 2016, I felt that in the aftermath of the election I could do one of two things: sit back and piss and moan, or get involved.  I decided on the former.  I registered with the Woman’s March knew the end of November, and a few weeks later I volunteered to be a bus captain, which meant I would be responsible for 50 to 60 people traveling on a caravan of buses leaving Harrisburg the day of the march.

So through most of January I prepared myself for what was to come.  I bought a battery charger for my phone as I would need my phone on most of the day.  (Though that proved to be unnecessary as you will soon see.)  I bought wool socks in case it was cold.  I bought new insoles for my mukluks in case I needed to wear them.  I bought thermal undergarments in case I was going to have to deal with near zero temperatures.  When I discovered the temperatures were expected to be in the mid-50s, I bought a fleece jacket to go over the sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes I was going to wear.

Last of all, I had my pussy hat: the ubiquitous pink hat that was made in such a way that the corners would look like cat ears.  Mine was crocheted by a member of the crocheting group I belong to and send to me all the way from Illinois.  And with all of that in place I was ready to go–

The night before the March–which happened to be the inauguration of Darth Orange–I expected to be in bed before ten and up at four so that I could be out the door a little after five.  As usually happens with me my plans blow up in my face: I really didn’t get to bed until about eleven-thirty and I was up at three, with maybe two hours of good sleep found during that time.  I got up, did my business, loaded up on some cashews and beef jerky, and got dressed.  I also took some antidiarrhea medication because only a couple of days earlier I’d been sick as a dog and I was completely unsure of whether or not it actually be a will to make the March.  By mid-Friday I was certain: sick or not, I was going to go to DC.  Nothing was going to stop me–not even lo0se bowels.

Here I am, ready to leave the apt at 4:50 AM.

Here I am, ready to leave the apt at 4:50 AM.

Believe it or not even though I arrived at the parking lot at 5:10 in the morning, I was not the first one there.  There were already close to a dozen cars in the parking lot and only a few of us were bus captains.  It didn’t take long for that to change, and well before the first bus arrived there were hundreds of people waiting to board.

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201702

My early morning people.

The process was simple: as soon as the buses arrived we began loading people on, first come first serve.  I was on the third bus to arrive and left in a group of six, all from the same carrier.  My job was to see that everybody was aboard was supposed to be there and keep them informed of what we expected to do once we were on the ground in Washington.

As you can see I was dressed the part.

As you can see I was dressed the part.

I should point out that we had an app our phones that was supposed to allow us to select a bus and checking passengers.  Needless to say, the app didn’t work for shit, and at no time during the day was I ever able to get it to do anything.  Not that it really mattered, because we discovered that once we were in DC we basically shut down the phone service: it was nearly impossible to get a signal to call out, and data and Wi-Fi were impossible to come by.  I managed a couple of live broadcasts, coming while I was back-boning off of the Wi-Fi from the National Archives.  This last part we had been warned about by people who had been in DC during large gatherings and who said it was impossible to use your mobiles.

With everybody aboard we left Harrisburg a little after 6:35 and we were soon on our way to Washington. I was soon on my feet explaining to my group what we expected to do and to beware of anyone who might be trying to get them to fill out questionnaires as they might have been people working to make us look bad, or others who were trying to track us.  Once my spiel was done I kicked back and enjoyed the ride.

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201704

The buses were parked at RFK Stadium, on the far east side of the downtown area.  While I had a Metro card which would allow me to take the subway into the center of the city, I decided to do something else: walked for two miles from RFK to the Capital.  And I wasn’t walking alone:

Leaving Buses.

Leaving Buses.

 

Leaving RFK.

Leaving RFK.

 

Waking down the road.

Waking down the road.

 

Pussy hats ahoy!

Pussy hats ahoy!

It took about forty minutes for the capital to come and view and this was probably the first moment I started to feel real excitement.  Because when you see a structure like this you know you’re right downtown in the middle of the nation’s capital and you’re about to engage in something historic.

Close--

Close–

 

Closer--

Closer–

 

Closest.

Closest.

Let’s keep in mind that we were coming in from the east and all of the action was going to be happening on the west side of the capital, in the area of The Mall stretching all the way out to the Washington Monument and the White House.  So it this point in the above photos, we couldn’t see what waited for us.  Not only that but there’s a reason they call the Capital “The Hill”: it sits on top of the hill and from there you’re actually looking down on the city.  So as were walking towards the crown we start hearing this now that would begin low and rise in intensity before sweeping over us like a wave.  The first time we heard it was somewhat indistinct, the second time we heard it it hit everyone walking in the group like a hammer.  I turned to the woman on my right and said, “That is chilling as hell.”  She told me that chilling was the appropriate word: she said it gave her goosebumps.

It was only a few minutes later that we saw what was causing the sound, and upon seeing the crowd I actually gasped.

And this is just a small part of the crowd.

And this is just a small part of the crowd.

On the right is the US Botanical Gardens, and if you look all the way down the street at what looks like a white barricade–that’s the stage where all the festivities were taking place.  The closest we got to the stage was about a block; you couldn’t get any closer because of the crush of people.  So slowly I made my way towards The Mall, as I was caught in a mob and my anxiety level was going right off the scale.

The scene at The Mall wasn’t much better: it was just there was more space for more people. There were also port-a-potties, which I had to use.  The one good thing was that there was some space in which one can catch their breath.

I could almost build a house here.

I could almost build a house here there’s so much room.

Here’s a video I made of my time on The Mall and it gives you some idea not only of the crowds, but how uncomfortable I was feeling in them.

After a while it got to be too much and I had to leave the crowds. It wasn’t anything personal, just a matter of anxiety and feeling a bit claustrophobic.  So I made my way off The Mall and headed up 4th Street towards Pennsylvania Avenue.  Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off and people were marching there, with most of them going around in a two block circle.  There were still a lot of people in this area the city: tens of thousands at least stretching down to The Mall and a block further north past the Canadian Embassy and up toward the federal courthouses.

Out of The Mall and heading towards Penn Ave.

Out of The Mall and heading towards Penn Ave.

 

Penn Ave looking west.

Penn Ave looking west.

 

Penn Ave looking east.

Penn Ave looking east.

 

Just north of the Canadian Embasy looking towards the stage which is about 2/3rds of a mile away.

Just north of the Canadian Embassy looking towards the stage are which is about two-thirds of a mile away.

It was while I was here that I cut another video, this time sitting in front of the Canadian Embassy.  It’s not long video, but at this point you could see that I was starting to get a little tired–mostly because at this point I had only two hours of sleep in the last thirty-six and I was quickly approaching nine hours awake.

I grabbed a quick bite and a quick rest as well. As I pointed out in the video I was feeling more dehydrated than I was hungry and I was in the process of trying to fill up on as many fluids as possible.  My appetite had vanished since Thursday, so it seemed as if I was living off fat reserves, a bit of beef jerky, and cashew nuts.  But I drank two large bottles of water on the bus trip down, another bottle of water and a power bar on the walk to the capital from RFK Stadium, and during lunch I had a Gatorade and a ginger ale.  I knew the fluids would get absorbed into my body and the less solids I ate, the less I would need to go to a port-a-potty.  I also wanted to get back to Pennsylvania Avenue before one PM, as that was the time the march started.

Only thing was, no one really knew where the march was starting.

Given the size of the crowd getting information out was sketchy as hell.  At eleven-thirty I’d spoken to a person who would just been in a conversation with a New York Times stringer and she was told that at that time, they were estimating the size of the crowd at between four hundred and fifty and five hundred thousand people.  As 1 o’clock approached I was hearing various rumors that the numbers were actually closer to six hundred thousand, and a few people had heard that we might be close to seven hundred thousand.  All of this was totally believable: at this point there were way too many people in the downtown Washington area, and people were walking the streets without any fear that we were going to encounter vehicle traffic.

It was just before one that the word came out that the march was starting.  What we were hearing was that we would not be allowed to march to the front of the White House, and that Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off a few blocks from where we were marching.  So right near the IRS Building on 10th, everyone hung a left and marched a block down to Constitution Avenue.  What we didn’t know at the time was that this still wasn’t the actual march: these people were actually the spillover from The Mall, whereas the true march was coming up 14th Street from Independence Avenue.  Essentially what was happening was three separate marches going on at the same time, which was similar to the situation they had in Los Angeles.

It didn’t matter: we were marching and doing so with a purpose.  Here are some of the shots I took on Constitution Avenue as we headed east.

Checking out the Washington Monument in the mist.

Checking out the Washington Monument in the mist.

 

womans-march-on-washington-walk-0121201722

The building on the left is the African-American History building, which looks incredible.

I also managed to pick up about a minute and a half of video footage as we were marching.  One thing I need the stress is that while the crowd doesn’t sound that loud on the recording, there was constant noise at all times, as well as a constant background on.  At no time did ever get completely quiet, and after a while you just sort of tuned it out.  But it never, ever went away

As we walked I had no sense of time; I was charging my phone during much of the march and since I couldn’t get a data connection there wasn’t any point in checking for updates from people.  And given the crowd I was in, it would’ve been ridiculous to try texting or reading a text while walking along.  They were far more important things going on which needed my attention.

I walked all the way down to 20th Street and headed north to C Street and headed back east towards the Ellipse, the park just to the south of the White House.  While I was still marching on Constitution I’d taken the time to speak with a few of the volunteers near the entrance to the Eclipse, and they had informed me that area was the closest anyone would be allowed to the White House proper.  It made sense as it’s a huge park, but what no one knew was it was already twenty minutes after two PM in the march was supposed to have ended at two.

And it was still going on.

So I snapped a few pictures while in the Ellipse before heading across the street to the Washington Monument, where I hope to be able get a better perspective by getting a little elevation on top of everyone.

People coming into the Ellipse.

People coming into the Ellipse.

 

People gathering on the Ellipse.

People gathering on the Ellipse.

 

Me more or less flipping el Presidente off...

Me more or less flipping el Presidente off…

And when I say “more or less”, we discovered that the new Pussy Grabber in Chief had decided to begin from the White House earlier in the day and didn’t return until late afternoon, were leaks report he was extremely furious about the coverage the march was getting.  One of the reports that’s been publicized is that he flew into a rage at one point and screamed, “Don’t these people know I’m the fucking president?”  Yeah, Donnie: we know you’re the president. That’s why we were marching.

I finally headed up towards the Washington Monument and got one more picture as well as a final bit of video trying to capture the last of the marchers coming it–or, I should say what I thought were the last of the marchers.  Because it was about three-thirty in the afternoon when I shot this last video and there was no sign that the people in the march were sending out.

Looking down on the Ellipse from the Washington Monument.

Looking down on the Ellipse from the Washington Monument.

When you watch this video pay no attention to the fact that my nose piercing and sticking way out, something I didn’t realize at the time.  Normally I keep it flush against the outer skin, but at some point I must’ve wiped my nose and pushed it outward, which is why it sticking up when you see the one shot of me.

After a good rest where I spent about twenty minutes speaking with another woman from North Carolina, I headed over by the World War II Monument and did some walking along reflecting, as well as using a port-a-potty for the last time.  I walked back up to the Washington Monument about four-thirty and the march was still continuing.  I discovered much later that the police had actually closed the parade route at four o’clock and turned away tens of thousands of people who were still waiting to march.  I continued to watch people filing into the Ellipse for about another ten minutes, then began making my way back to the Washington Metro system, where I boarded the train at the Smithsonian station.

I didn’t get any pictures on the train because they were packed: people were standing shoulder to shoulder in every car, and there were stories from different people in my car saying that lines and been shut down at least three or four times during the day because of all the problems they had with people overcrowding the cars.  The Washington Metro office reported that by 11 AM that day, they had serviced 275,000 transit passes, where’s the day before, during the inauguration, they said during the same time period they had serviced 192,000 passes.  Needless to say we were far bigger party, and a lot more jovial.

There were several people in the car with me were actually heading back to Harrisburg: it turned out there was right next to mine, so I helped lead them back to the parking lot.  One of the women in the group was in a walker, and she was growing rapidly exhausted as she had walked the entire march using her walker.  We took our time getting back and after only a few minutes of looking I found our buses and got everyone where they were supposed to be.  I came on board mine and begin making certain that everyone who is returning on the bus was there, as well as finally getting off my feet and having another water.

Oh, and I also took a picture of the buses getting ready to leave.

Oh, and I also took a picture of the buses getting ready to leave.

About twenty minutes after I sat down someone came around and gave us the news: AP and CNN were reporting that unofficial totals for our march showed nearly 1 million participants, and CNN said there were as many as 1.3 million.  I got on the loudspeaker and reported the news, which got everyone applauding. And throughout the time before we left, and while we were departing Washington, I kept giving as many updates as I could get on the numbers coming back from the sister marchers in cities around the country and the world.  It was while I was reading this information that everyone, myself included, realize just what a huge offense had taken place today.  It’s one thing to say half a million marchers showed up in Washington DC, but it’s entirely something else to hear there were maybe a million marchers in Washington, and 275,000 in New York City, and possibly 750,000 in Los Angeles, and that the Chicago march was officially stopped when the number of participants reached 300,000, but everyone going on and by the time they reached Grant Park it was estimated the crowd had reached a half a million.

When we heard that news, it became evident we had started something important.

That was the question I kept asking myself on the ride home: did we do something important?  Was our efforts worthwhile?  More importantly, did we start something that was going to continue onward and not just be some one-time, flash in the pan event that people would feel good about doing but wouldn’t amount to much in the end?

That was all answered for me last week.  Scientists are now planning a march in mid-March, and at last check there were nearly 800,000 people interested in the event in Washington.  There is also talk of another march on April 15 which will end in front of the IRS Building, and this will focus on the fact that the Liar in Chief refuses to release his tax forms.  Lastly, the Pride parade which is supposed to take place on 11 June is apparently going to become a rather huge event, and given that I’m hearing that there’s going to be an executive order which is basically going to allow legalized discrimination against anyone LGBTQIA, I imagine that is going to grow into something far bigger than just everyone parading and having a good time.  I feel is going to turn into something hugely political.

And seeing how people turned out to protest at airports this last weekend concerning the restrictions on travel for Muslim countries, it’s apparent that people are not letting up the pressure.  With the exception of those were comfortable with fascism, most people seem upset over what is occurring and they’re prepared to take action.

So what’s in store for me?  What actions am I going to take?  This Sunday I’ll be marching in Harrisburg in support of immigration and sanctuary cities for refugees, particularly those coming from Syria.  I’m already making arrangements to go to the Science March and I fully intend to participate in the Pride March in June, though that one is going to be tricky because I’m going to drive to Indiana on 8 June, attend my daughter’s high school graduation on 9 June, then drive to Washington on 10 June and do the march the next day.  Needless to say, exhaustion is probably going to set in somewhere around the night of 10 June and I’m going to sleep like a rock somewhere in a hotel on the outskirts of Washington.

It’s time to get political; it’s time to get active. I’ve always been somewhat active politically, but ever since working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year I seem to have found a need to actually put myself on the line and get things done.  As a trans-woman it’s easy to say, well sure, we know why you’re doing this.  But as I’ve said to others, it’s not just me on marching for.  Part of it is I’m marching for my daughter, who is likely to start growing up in a world radically different than she’s known for the last eighteen years.  I’m marching for my Muslim friends who suddenly have a reason to fear living in the US.  I’m marching for all my women friends who are about to watch all the rights safe for the last fifty years vanish.

I can’t just march for myself.  I have maybe 10 to 15 years left after which I really won’t much care if things are further going to shit, or if they’re getting better, or we successfully fought off the darkness.  But there will be so many other people I know will still be here, and they will care about these things.

One doesn’t march for the present: they march to make a better future.

And while I can, I will do my damnedest to make that future a better one for those I leave behind.

 

As a last note to the March, I worked out the route I walk that Saturday so that I could see how many miles I traveled.  The numbers are pretty impressive: I was on my feet for 11.67 miles/18.78 kilometers, of which I walked 8.67 miles/13.95 kilometers.  This was the reason I spent most of the following Sunday wine about taking aspirin so that my legs wouldn’t hurt.  Pretty impressive for someone who two days earlier was thinking about going to the hospital because they were so dehydrated.

My March in all its glory.

My March in all its glory.

Minioning the Dark Way: The Last Shocking Thoughts

Last night I started on my post for the Women’s March and out about thirteen hundred and fifty words into it before coming to a stopping point.  Tonight I’m going to finish up the rest of it so I can have it ready to post tomorrow, and given that today’s excerpt is the last full of Chapter Eight, the last day of January will be a good point to reminiscent what happened ten days before.

It will also allow me to remain about seven thousand words ahead of you, and given that I’ll be out Tuesday night doing postcard signing to send off to our elected officials, it will be good to get both things done and out of the way.  I’m looking ahead to Chapter Ten, and realize that will be the first chapter where we get to see kids engaging in some rather advanced stuff.  We’ll get to see the super lab; we get see Jessica teaching how to do compression and expansion not just to inanimate objects but the real, live living things; will get to see any learning how to use Blend With Shadows; will get to see how time spells work; and lastly, we get our first taste of what it looks like to move about in the Astral Realm.

It is for sure going to be fun.  Believe me on that.

So lastly, let’s find out what happened after Helena delivered her one last lesson about the worst thing that can happen to you, or to someone else, if you’re a Guardian.

 

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

 

Kerry slowly made his way to his feet. He didn’t appear to have shaken off the full effects of Annie’s shock, but he could at least walk—something he was unable to do two years earlier when Helena had done the same thing to him. “I only speak for myself, but I’m in this to the end.”

Annie nodded. “As am I.”

All she never had any doubts about Annie, Helena was pleasantly surprised to not only see Kerry say he was sticking it out, but that he’d said so before Annie spoke. “So does this mean you’ve both learned something from this lesson?”

“It means I don’t want to hurt Kerry if it isn’t necessary—” Annie reached out for Kerry as he approached. “But I have to accept the fact that as a Guardian he could be hurt or even killed because of an order I give.”

He took Annie’s hand. “And the same thing could happen to you because of me.” He wrapped both hands around hers, raised it to his lips, and kissed the back. “It’s the life we’re choosing to lead and you gotta take the bad with the good.”

Annie wrapped her arm around Kerry’s neck and kissed him on the lips. “Absolutely, my love.”

“Do you think you’re able to walk back to the Pentagram?” Helena crossed her arms, looking pleased. “And can you still craft magic?”

Kerry spent a few moments gauging his abilities. “Yes on the second one; can’t really tell yet on the first.”

“Well, if you can craft, and you can walk—you can walk, can’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I’m going to want you to go back in there.” Helena nodded toward the classroom. “There’s something I need you to do.”

Annie already knew what Helena was going to say. “You want him shocked me, don’t you?”

Helena shrugged. “Gotta show those doubtful A Levels that you two can handle your spells.” She moved to open the door. “After he’s done you can both head off to the hospital and rest up this evening.” She waved the door open and entered, leaving them behind.

Annie and Kerry exchanged glances for about five seconds before she spoke. “You won’t shock me too bad, will you, my love?”

He gave a low chuckle. “No worse than you did me, my Darling.”

“And you’re going to hate yourself for doing that?”

“All through this night.”

Annie took his hand. “We should get in there, then. The sooner you shocked me, my love, the sooner we can spend time recuperating together.”

 

There was never any doubt of Annie continuing down this path.  She’s wanted to be a Guardian for a long time and nothing is going to dissuade her at this point–not even the possibility of her soul mate being killed due to something that she might order.  As Helena says, the biggest surprise is Kerry saying he’s going to continue and saying it before Annie has a chance to speak.  He’s always been seen as someone who follows Annie, and Helena has always been somewhat concerned that his only reason for wanting to be a Guardian is because of Annie.  Now Helena knows: the boy is acting on his own.  Or, at least he looks that way.  It’s always difficult to tell with Kerry.

So, Washington Post tomorrow followed Wednesday by the first post the new chapter.  Things are moving right along rather nicely.

It won’t be long before this novel actually starts to make sense!