The Skies of November

And with those skies comes video!

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My Days of Action

Since Sunday I’ve been posting some cryptic messages like, “I’m busy.”  And that’s all true: I was busy.  But I wasn’t really allowed to talk about why I was busy.  Why is that?

Maybe you remember a trip I took to Oklahoma City in late 2017?

June 2 through 4 I was working with Planned Parenthood again, attending their Volunteer Summit, which brought together about 120 volunteers from all over the state of Pennsylvania.  Because we don’t like to advertise where we are or what we’ve doing, the most I could do is post a quick selfie and let you know I was rocking the Pink once more.

Though the Pink shirt was in the car when I took this Saturday night.

 

The summit was in Harrisburg at–let’s just say an undisclosed location.  You know we were in the capital city, so I didn’t have to stay overnight in a hotel.  So I showed up Saturday, registered, listened to some speakers, at, and attended some evening entertainment.

And that would be the last rest I’d get for the next day and a half.

I don’t have pictures from Sunday, which was all workshops until about 7:30 PM.  It was mentally exhausting learning all the ins and out of volunteer work and how to keep your cool and knock down stigma when you’re associated with a group that more than a few people see as a living evil.  But we learned a lot of good things and chances are good I’ll get a chance to carry out all of that in the months to come.

But yesterday… you know, there’s a reason why we held the summit in Harrisburg and it has to do with this big building that sits atop a hill in this city.  Yeah, we took our day of action to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, where the idea was to see some political folk and run the 411 on some bills we support and one in particular we don’t.

I’ve lobbied at the Capitol before, but this was going to be different as I was going to get one sit down with Rep. Patty Kim, who is the house representative for my district here in The Burg.  I was going to be the tag along for the visit, but about mid-way through Sunday I was told they couldn’t make it–they had other pressing business they couldn’t avoid–so I was on my own.  Also, I was walking around the building wearing a pink Planned Parenthood tee shirt, so there was no mistaking my reason for being there and who I represented.

I got there a little early and ended up on the right floor, but the wrong part of the floor. (The capitol building has two parts to the fourth floor: a public and private.  I was in the public part.)  But I managed to get a few pictures before finding where I was supposed to be.

House Chambers.

 

Senate Chambers.

 

The Rotunda above.

 

The Rotunda ground floor.

My actual destination was the House Minority Caucus Room, which is where all the House Dems meet to go over things.  It was ours until about 2:30 PM and we made the best of it, getting our material together and even making a few phone calls.

Pretty cozy, huh?

 

I was supposed to meet with Rep. Kim at 11:00 AM, but about 10:25 Leslie–who is my local grassroots organizer–slid up next to me and said she was gonna be lobby led on the meet and greet.  I told her that was cool, I’d already went over the material and since I was told the day before I’d be on my own to speak with Rep. Kim I was good with it, so with that Leslie was like, “Okay, cool, then you’re lead–and we need to go now, ’cause they moved the meeting to 10:45.”  I knew where to go, so with Leslie and Samantha, another PP member, in tow, we headed off to the Rep. Kim’s office.

We when in and met with Rep. Kim for about ten minutes or so.  Believe me, I caught myself starting to trip over my tongue a few times, so I’d stop, reset, and move on.  I did about ninety-five percent of the talking, with Leslie jumping in and adding a few nuggets that I either forgot or didn’t know.  I left our information packet with the representative, thanked her for her time–oh, and we got a photo before we left.

Leslie, me, Samantha, Rep. Kim.

 

Then it was back to the caucus room to make a few phone calls and right as lunch came I took an information packet over to the Senate side of the building and left it with Sen. DiSanto.  Then it was back, get food, rest–

And get ready for our next meeting.  I think this photo will give you a clue with whom:

Yeah, I think we know who hangs out here.

 

All the people present were having a thirty minutes meet and greet with Governor Wolf, who has always been a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood.  We had to wait a few minutes for him to come out of his actual working office–the place we were in was the meeting chambers for press conferences and the such–so I got a few pictures.

Nice place.

 

Oh, and here I am.

 

And me again.

 

The governor came out and spoke for a few minutes, we took a group photo, then we had our chance to meet him one-on-one, chat for a few, and get a picture.

First a group.  I’m a couple of people over on his left:

 

And then I got to speak a little with Gov. Wolf.  He remembered me from when I was working Sec. Clinton’s campaign and we chatted on that a bit.  After the photo I invited his wife and him to our derby bout in July, but somehow I don’t think he’ll show.  I won’t hold it against him, though.  😉

Anyway, here we are.

 

So that was it.  After meeting with the governor I walked home, rested up, then went to practice where my thighs and groin got one hell of a workout.  But yeah: I did my thing and chances are good I’ll do more things this year because–well, it’s an election year and once you get in those waters you wanna keep fighting the good fight.

And I’m doing my best.

Don’t worry: I’ll be back.

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:

 

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:

 

And we had elevators that looked out over the atrium:

 

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

 

And we flew out of Oklahoma yesterday:

 

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.

 

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…

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…

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…