Bimillennium

You waited and waited, and here it is:  post Number 2000.  So of course it’ll be called what it’s called, because that’s what you get when you have two of a thousand, yeah?

But this the real deal:  two thousand posted, most of which were written with maybe a few dozen reblogged.  I’ll take that, because most of those reblogs were mine, and after tomorrow’s post–which is gonna be a play on another famous title–I’ll do a Gish Gallop on stuff that I’ve written but not reblogged, which are mostly my recaps over on The Snarking Dead.

But you didn’t come here to read about that, right?  No, there’s something else here–

"Oh, look:  Cassidy finally decided to treat us to her work.  About time."

“Oh, look: Cassidy finally decided to treat us to her new work. About time.”

 

That’s the real reason, for today C For Continuing starts excerpting, and at the rate I’m writing I’ll run out of things to excerpt in a few days, because I was only able to write another five hundred words last night.  Don’t worry:  I’ll get into gear.  I promise.  There’s a thousand word night in me somewhere.  Which I’m gonna need because right now my average is well below what I normally do.

But enough of that.  Since everyone waited I figured I’ll throw all of the first scene out for you to read and try to sate your appetites.  Here it, first draft as always, and right off the bat you get into what’s most important at this point in my kids’ story . . .

 

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

What bothered Annie Kirilova the most this morning was the weather. She had hoped for a bright sunshine, but what she received instead was light rain and low cloud cover. The rain also had the temperatures hovering in the low teens Celsius, which kept her out of shorts and forced her into leggings to wear with her long, flowing top and black ballet flats.

Given what was going to happen, she wondered if the weather reflected he mood.

Standing before the large windows of her lake house, she saw that her tree was certainly reading her feelings. The leaves were a bright yellow when she arrived thirty minutes earlier, and now they were a muddy gold. It feels my concern: it knows this. Her mother had seen it as well, when Annie entered the kitchen as she came down the spiral staircase from her bedroom. While Annie was an expert at hiding her emotions, the last few years saw her mother becoming more adapt at picking up on them. She knew the reason why: puberty was having an effect upon her, and while it remained possible to keep her feelings invisible, strong emotions had a way of leaking through the outer façade.

And Annie’s emotions were growing stronger every day.

She turned away from the window sighing and checked the clock in the kitchen: 08:59. Annie wondered if her guest would actually turn up in the next minute as she was told that this particular person had a habit for punctuality—

The LEDs switched over to 09:00. Annie held her breath as she moved towards the dining table.

A few seconds later a shadow passed across the windows followed by a knock at the main entrance. Annie turned and nearly smiled. The stories are true, it seem. She hurried over and opened the door for her guest. “Won’t you come in, please?”

“Thank you, Annie.” Berniece Rutherford entered and paused for a moment as she examined the large, open space. She wore a light jacket over her tee shirt this Sunday morning, and her jeans and sneakers indicated she was anticipating a relaxing day. “So this is the lake house.”

“Yes, it is. I hope you like it.” Annie wondered how much Ms. Rutherford knew about this place. She was aware that as Kerry’s case worker it was necessary for her to receive numerous concerning things that happened to Kerry at school, and it was likely she’d read at least one report on their shared wedding vision—a fact of which she was certain the moment she noticed the young woman’s eyes lock upon the sleep loft in the back. She has to know everything.

Annie stepped closer to her guests and held out her hand. “May I take your jacket and purse?”

“You can hang up my jacket; I’ll keep my purse with me.” She shrugged out of it and stepped a couple of meters away from the door. “Are we sitting at the table or by the fireplace?”

Annie finished hanging the jacket. “By the fireplace, please. Would you like tea? I put a kettle on in anticipation.”

Berniece chuckled. “I would love some. Do you have breakfast tea?”

“Yes. Loose leaf.”

“You are ready. That would be fine.”

Annie gave a cut nod then went to the kitchen area to retrieve the kettle and prepare the infuser. She set both on a tray along with a cup and saucer and carried them over to where Bernice sat. Annie waved her hand over the kettle, which began steaming almost immediately, then slowly poured the tea cup just over three quarters full. “I understand you like milk in yours—would you care for some?”

“Yes, please.”

Annie levitated a small pitcher all the way from the kitchen and gently retrieved it in mid-air. Only after pouring in a small amount of milk did she offer the tea to her guest. “Here you are.”

“Thank you, Annie.” Berniece looked up, smiling. “You are quite the host.”

“Mama impressed upon me that we should always make our guests comfortable when they visit.”

Bernice watched the steam rising from the liquid’s surface. “Must have been a little tricky timing this coming to a boil right before my arrival.”

“No, it wasn’t.” Annie sat in the leather easy chair across the coffee table from the case worker. “I brought it to a boil maybe fifteen minutes ago, then placed a small time spell around the kettle to put it in stasis. As far as the contents of the kettle were concerned, maybe five seconds had passed before I removed the spell.”

Berniece gave an approving grin. “Did you learn that on your own?”

“No, Kerry taught me.”

“So your Time Lord is teaching you those spells. I guess you’ll be a Time Lady soon.”

Annie managed a slight smile at the reference while inwardly she groaned. In the last few months of their B Levels Kerry had become quite adept at quickly crafting a selection of time spells of all sizes, and had begun using them to speed up reactions in Advanced Formulistic Magic. Because of this ability, however, Erywin—who was as much a pop culture geek as her soul mate—began calling him the “Salem Time Lord” and openly joked that it wouldn’t be long before Annie joined him as a Time Lady.

She must have included that bit in one of her reports. Annie wasn’t sure if she should feel honored that Erywin was observant enough to take time to acknowledge these abilities publicly, of annoyed that she allowed her private jokes into official documents.

Annie decided to move away from any discussion of her ability with time crafting. “Is it raining in London as well?”

Berniece shook her head. “No, but it’s about the same temperature-wise.”

“Did you have trouble getting here?”

“Not a all. I took you advice: jaunted London to Sofia, had them jaunt me to Pamporovo, then hired a car to your house. Your mother didn’t seem at all surprised when I pulled up.”

Annie shook her head. “No. I’d told her you were coming. Did you walk down from the main house?”

“You mother jaunted me to the deck stairs. I think she felt it necessary that she not be seen.” Berniece sipped her tea. “Umm—that’s perfect.”

Annie settled back in her chair and tried not to be obvious about taking a deep breath before continuing. She felt there had been enough small talk already, and she wanted to get into the reason why she’d asked Ms. Rutherford here two weeks earlier. “If you wouldn’t mind—”

Berniece sensed Annie’s eagerness to start. “No, not at all.”

Annie crossed her legs. “How did it go?”

Berniece held her cup and saucer of tea steady in her lap. “It went about as well as I expected—”

 

Those last remarks should be familiar—

 

FADE IN:

INT. LAKE HOUSE INTERIOR — DAY

The camera centers on ANNIE KIRILOVA sitting in a large chair. She’s dressed casually and for the summer. She addresses someone sitting off-screen across from her.

ANNIE (IN ENGLISH)
How did it go?

QUICK CUT:
Sitting in another large chair across from Annie BERNIECE RUTHERFORD steadies her cup and saucer in her lap. She dressed causally in jeans and a pullover top, ready for summer.

BERNIECE
About as well as I expected.

 

—with just a bit of editing on Bernice’s line, because you can’t always get everything you want in a trailer, can you?

With the first scene coming on their return from school for the summer, and with me saying the next scene is a flashback, that mean what comes next must have to do with the other have of the Lovey Dovey Couples, otherwise why is Ms. Rutherford there?

I guess this means you get to begin seeing what happened to Kerry tomorrow–

Workin’ Like It’s 1999

As I like to say, this is the penultimate post to the last–but wait:  tomorrow isn’t the last post I’ll write.  Far from that.  It’s just that tomorrow’s post is kind of a big deal, so to say I’m a little excited is an understatement.

"I never thought I'd get here. But I'm always thinking that."

“I never thought I’d get here. But I’m always thinking that.”

So I’m a little over two thousand words into the next novel, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but give it time, I’ll get there.  Not to mention that this weekend is supposed to be hotter that hell and I’ll likely be staying in a lot, so I’m going to set Sunday as a day to write and not a day to fool around watching Netflix.  Because there is stuff I need to get down in the Word Bank, and that’s as good a day as any.

So what to talk about today?  Um, how about bra fittings?

I know, strange subject, but then I get my readers going off in the direction, like yesterday.  Renxkyoko and I were discussing yesterday’s post, and we got off on the subject of “Kerry after the Change” because I made a comment about what sort of panties Girl Kerry will want to wear, and from there I made the comment that she’ll also need a bra fitting, and . . . yeah, there’s a lot of things about this transition that, in time, will likely need to be addressed.  I mean, we’ve seen Annie fly more than once, so the odds are good we’ll see Kerry transition more than once, too.

But will happen in this novel?  Um . . . probably not.  Or maybe it will.  Where would they go?  Forever 21?  Has Annie ever set foot inside a Forever 21?  Probably not.  Not when she’s getting her purses and wallets from the Louis Vuitton store in Paris, so you can imagine–as we already have–that Annie has some high standards when it comes to her threads.  Which means she’s likely to be just as picky about someone else’s threads as hers.  “It’s not a problem, Annie.  I can pick up some jeans at JC Penney’s and–”  And Annie lets out a shriek of horror at the idea ’cause she’s knows a Levi’s store on the Rue Saint-Lazare, and she tells Kerry that’s where we’re going . . .

And for a little reality, I have shopped at that Levi’s store on Rue Saint-Lazare, back in 2006.  I didn’t buy jeans, but my SO did, and she reminded me that European and Asian fits are so much better than American ones.  I’m sure Annie thinks the same, which is probably why she almost never buys clothes in the US.  Then again, she’s a princess–what did you expect?

But all that’s way off in the future, maybe a year, maybe two away.  As of right now I just have to worry about tomorrow, and the writing that comes tonight.  Honestly, it’s this part that makes it all worth while.  The stress, the pain, being tired, feeling like I’m not making anything worth while.  It all goes away once people start seeing the goods.

Let’s see if I still feel that way in a year.

The Production Push

You know the drill:  this is the point in the story where I come in and say “Last night I–” and then continue with a discussion of what I wrote.  But it’s also been a time of some complaining an excuse making as well, and that’s leaving me a bit discouraged even more than digging on the excitement of writing another novel.

When I returned from work I needed to decompress, so I sat and watched a movie.  Then I headed down the street to get something to eat because I was hungry and there isn’t a thing in the apartment.  Then when I came back I set up to write and found a few distractions to pull me in before I actually really truly got down to the business of writing.

And it was horrible.

It was something of a draining day at work, and I tried to bounce back from the experience as much as possible, but damn if I wasn’t so tired last night.  The energy simply wasn’t there, and I found myself not only lagging in writing, but having  trouble keeping what I wanted to say in my head long enough to get it out for saying.

The hardest part were my fingers, as in, “My fingers wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do.”  Between the new keyboard and the long nails I’ve had to figure out a whole new way of typing, and it hasn’t always been the best way.  I’m used to hitting the keys with the tops of my fingers, but due to having longer nails than I’ve ever had in my life, I now need to flatten my hands out and strike the keys with a combination of my finger pads and the nails, and I don’t always do a great job with that.  I’m also used to the old keyboards where the keys press right up against each other, and these new keyboards with the spaces between them drive me crazy after a while.

And crazy means I get frustrated.  I don’t type as fast as I once did, and haven’t to go back and fix things all the time wears you down.  I’m sue I’ll get used to this–I’m almost there now–but after three months I find myself not striking keys with enough force to get them do make a mark, and I don’t like it, not one bit.

But most of all I’m tired a lot at night, and that affects everything.

"I've written a little bit here, so . . . just a quick nap and I'm ready to go again.  I think.  Zzzzzzz."

“No, really:  I’m fine.  I just need to . . . zzzzzzzzzz.”

Someone last night said my post are like having a conversation, and I’ve always tried to do that when writing.  Only the five hundred and thirty words I wrote last night came out as one of the most stilted conversations I’ve ever held, and by the time I reached a point where I felt I needed to stop, much of the reason revolved around just feeling as if I couldn’t continue any more.

I was simply fed up.

I am in need of really getting my shit together on this book and get set up some proper times to write–

Or it’s gonna be a long novel.

Embarking Upon New Adventures in Storytelling

Yesterday was as big day in a many ways.  I put out the trailer, started the novel, and drove down to Maryland to spend time celebrating a friend’s birthday.  We had lunch and ice cream, she went shopping at Tiffany and picked up a bracelet–and the sales woman joke with me that I could always come to their new “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” meeting where couples can pick out engagement rings, which will probably never happen to be because I’ll likely never be engaged again–and finished it off with a visit to Build-a-Bear, where I picked up a new friend–

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Since I was given a “Mother of Dragons” tee shirt to wear, it goes without saying that I needed a dragon–and Toothless is one of the best.

See?  Cuddly little dragon.

See? Cuddly little dragon.

It was a fairly full day that I finished off with watching a few Walking Dead episodes and writing a little more–

Wait?  Did I say writing?

Yes, I did.  Like I said I started the new novel yesterday, and I ended the evening by finishing up the first five hundred words.  And today, down here at the Little Amps coffee shop, I finished the scene of Chapter One with a six hundred and forty word effort.

Proof I'm down writing.

Proof I’m down writing.

 

And proof I did the writing.

And proof I did the writing.

If you’re scanning ahead you’re probably saying to yourself, “But where’s the excerpt, Cassie?  I don’t see anything.  Are you gaslighting us?”  Nope, no gaslighting at all, ’cause that’s a dick move–though if I try to convince you that you’re an android with implanted human memories, that’s considered a Philip K. Dick move and it’s totally okay.

No, the real reason is that this is post number 1,996, and I said earlier that I wouldn’t present the first excerpts until post number 2,000, which comes this Thursday, 21 July, also known as the day we first walked on the moon.  Sorry, then, but you’re going to have to wait–though if you’ve read the trailer script, you’ve seen something that happens in this first scene.

With this writing I’m past my first thousand words, which means I probably have 349,000 to go.  No problem, right?  This is why I’m considering doing NaNoWriMo again this year, for if it could help be add another fifty thousand words in the span of a month, that goes a long ways toward cutting a month and a half of writing off my time.  Doing this twice during the first novel helped a great deal, and if I’d done it last year, it’s likely I would have finished the second novel in early May.

It really comes down to exactly how much stress I’m willing to put upon myself to make that fifty thousand word goal.  Sure, I’ve heard of people claiming they’ve finished NaNoWriMo in as little as two days, but that’s not me–not to mention whatever those people got down on paper probably looks like the rantings of someone deep in an ether binge, and that’s not me either.  Usually.

We’ll see what I decide come October.  Meanwhile, it’s simply a matter of getting in five hundred words here, a thousand here–

And before you know it, I’m talking a real novel.

Inching Towards the Start Line

Believe it or not, I finished the trailer last night.

"You did it! Yay!"

“You did it! Yay!”

And it only took me from seven-thirty PM until eleven, but I kept going–with the help of a couple of David Bowie albums playing in the background–until is was done.  The reason for the late start was due to not being able to get into an account to pay a credit card, and spending almost an hour on the phone to not only get the account reset, but to discover that a new card was sent to my house in Indiana, which meant I couldn’t make a payment on that card, and I have to call back tonight to do that.  What a freakin’ nightmare.

But it’s done.  I know now, after spending a few moments last night thinking about what I just wrote, that there are a couple of scenes I’d like to add, but it’s nothing major:  I could post it as is without any issues.  It’s just that I need to have it right, and these scenes would do just that.

So I will return home about four-thirty tonight, make my credit card payment, add those scenes, then get to work on my Sense8 recap.  If I’m lucky I’ll finish by nine-thirty or ten, then I’ll put the finishing touches on tomorrow’s post and have it ready to go for posting some time between six and seven AM my time.  I figure there’s no reason to put it on autopost, because I’ll be up at that time, and I can do it myself.

So right now, as these words go down, it’s six AM, and that means in twenty-four hours I’ll begin writing C For Continuation, and if I didn’t admit to being a little nervous I’d be lying.  I’ve not performed any editing for A For Advanced this week, and the anxiety is starting climbing that I’m not going to be able to do two things at once.

Then I remember:  for the new novel I’ll likely only write about five or six hundred words a night for a while, as I let the editing take a bigger part of my life at night.  I need to get back into a discipline of getting to work and not putting things off, and now that I have a “watch on demand” set up as well as using my TV to play music instead of just playing stuff in the background that I know will distract me, I find my focus is much better.  Believe it when I say last night was the first time in a long while that I remained locked upon what I was doing, and the music made the time pass quickly because I wasn’t tempted to keep looking over every few seconds to see what was playing.

So here it comes:  the insanity redone.  I’m curious as to the reaction from readers, because this trailer is the first where you haven’t read everything, so there’s a lot of it that’s gonna seem strange–not to mention I know there’s a couple of scenes that will have people going, “What they hell?”

But if you didn’t do that once in a while, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

Chatting While Walking

Well, here we are again, and just like that last couple of weeks I have things to tell you, only in a form different from the writing way.  First, however, I have figured out how to embed images from my Instagram account, allowing you to better see my smiling face:

Waiting on a video to load.

A photo posted by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

 

But the real stuff is right here:  the Saturday morning video.  And it’s about–what else?–writing!  Mostly what I have written, and what lays ahead for writing.  And there’s a reading as well from something just edited this morning, so I hope you enjoy it all.

Goaling on a Monday Afternoon

Well, yes:  I know it’s not Monday but rather Tuesday morning.  Early Tuesday morning after a night of rain and fog that calmed down just enough for The Burg to set off fireworks about nine PM last night.  Today it’s going to be 85 F/30 C and muggy, and I’ve spent some part of the morning trying to figure out what I’m going to wear to work today.

"Okay, now write down all the things you've just spent $300 on and then say you have nothing to wear."

“Okay, now write down all the things you’ve just spent $300 on and then say you have nothing to wear.”

But I don’t . . .

Though I did a lot of editing in the morning, I didn’t exactly do anything last night.  I did go to lunch and get a little boozy as there was nothing else going on and I didn’t feel like sitting around the house, but that tends to have a negative effect on my productivity as I need to fall into a nap later on–which I did like clock work.

The later late afternoon had me staying in–it started raining lightly about 3 PM and continued well into the night–so I started prep work.  Part of my mind was engaged in going over Episode 1 of Sense8 again, mostly so I could get screen captures for the recap I’ll write tonight, and part of it thought about laying out chapters for C For Continuing, for 16 July is coming up fast–like a week and a half fast.  But no pressure, right?

Suddenly I’m feeling it all over again:  pressure.  The pressure to produce is coming on strong, and I’m feeling deadlines once more where none had existed for a few weeks.  It’s always nice to take a break and get away from the grind, but the truth is for creative people you always feel the pull to do something.  You always feel like you should have a deadline, even thought you hate the damn things with a passion.  It’s a strange symbiosis, but it’s there.  And it isn’t going away.

I find I hate deadlines, but at the same time they’re needed, for you need to have those fixed points in time to get you off your ass and into work mode.  I have two recaps to write this week, and two more for each of the next five weeks.  I chose to do that and I set the deadlines for when it’s supposed to get done.  I set goals yesterday for Act One of A For Advanced, and while they are doable goals, right away I started getting that sensation that said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have don’t that.”  But if you don’t, you’re really getting nowhere.  You’re just writing along sort of spinning your wheels in the creative mud.

You gotta produce, and you gotta get it out there so it’s seen.  Otherwise, it’s sort of like masturbation without climaxing:  all kinds of fun until you’re pissed off that there wasn’t a payoff.

I’ve done a lot in the writing area:  now it’s time to get serious about the publishing area.

Even when I don’t like those deadlines, I know they are there to help.