The Value of Worth

Last night was not a writing night.  It was hardly a watching night, either.  It was more like a “Oh, depression is going to hit your ass right now and slap you around a bit” sort of night.  That’s to say when I returned home about seven PM from a local event, I found it necessary to cry out in frustration and sadness.

Or, as I like to say, Tuesday night.

Depression is a bitch and she’s been showing up a lot of late.  It hasn’t made things easy for a while and a friend with whom I was chatting last night via Facebook PM told me that it seems like I hadn’t been myself for at least two months.  It’s been more like close to a year, but yeah:  since the start of ’17 it’s been a daily struggle to keep on keepin’.  I do my best to keep going, but like last night, you want to lay back and cry out and wonder what the hell you are doing.

So there was a bit of vegetating after this event and it was nearly a couple of hours before I got on the computer.  I knew I wasn’t going to write–I know I have to, but I didn’t have the will to carry through on my actions.  And I really want to start this next section ’cause it’s gonna be good, but you know, depression, that bitch wouldn’t let me.

Therefore, computer.  Mostly email, ’cause I haven’t checked it since leaving work.  And I spot something I’d seen before leaving work:  a message for something LGBT.  I almost deleted it thinking someone was asking for money, but surprise, it was from the Racial Justice Program Coordinator of the Harrisburg YWCA and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in being part of their #ShatteringStereotypes video program they do every month, highlighting a different marginalized community and giving examples of some of the stereotypes we encounter.  It seemed my name was given to them by the same person who had me speak at the LGBT workshop at the start of this month, which meant this woman wanted to speak with me–

Did I say speak?  Actually, they want to do a thirty minutes video interview this afternoon so they can likely find some good quotes to use in their shorter, ten minute video that will come out during Pride Month this June.

There are a lot of times when I really do forget I’m a member of the LGBT community here in The Burg, only because it seems like I have so little interaction with them.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have stories to tell–or hope to offer, for in a way I can offer that to those who have yet to choose the same path upon which I now walk.  As someone in the office told me a few weeks back, perhaps my real calling is to become a mentor and speaker and not only pass along what I know, but encourage others to face the same challenge I did and move forward.

Even when you feel you have no value to offer, it someone finds a way to reminding you that there is worth in your life…

How Green Are My Fantasies 

Strangeness is afoot today because I woke up this morning not certain what I wanted to say, and I’m still not certain.  Although I can point out that I finished the first scene of Chapter Twelve last night–

‘Tiss but a short thing, relatively speaking.

I haven’t put anything together for the Science March yet because I feel like I’m recovering from that still.  I’ve come to realize that I have a shitload of stuff going on in my life, and I need to find some balance before my real recapping work starts this summer.  I swear, this girl never seems to have a down moment.

Let’s talk about writing.  In fact, let’s talk about a particular genre of writing with which I was once involved…

At one time I was a pretty good erotica writer.

Now, I don’t mean like I did a great job writing Fifty Shades of Gray style stories.  I’ve tried my hand at a few of those and it didn’t turn out well.  See, for me to really be good, I need to get into fantasy, or at least something with a bit of unrealness to it.  I just can’t do real life.

Suggestive Amusements was like that.  One of the classical muses comes to Las Vegas and helps out a struggling writer and all is well.  Oh, and there was a bit of a lover’s triangle in there as well and not a bit of sex, either.  I had a lot of fun writing it, coming up with histories for a few of my characters, having my muse characters–and at least one goddess–have conversations, and I used the story to work out some frustrations I had with one job.

I haven’t written anything like that since.

Since 2013 I’ve been preoccupied with a little opus that seems to take up all my writing time.  When I’m not working on the novel I’m doing TV recaps that also keep me pretty busy.  There isn’t time to go back and work on extemporaneous stories that take away from the trials and tribulations of my witchy kids.

And, the reality of writing being what it is, I haven’t even thought about penning another story.

Hold on there…  That’s not exactly true.

Of late there’s been another story bouncing about in my head that is, more or less, completely thought out.  If I actually sat down and wrote it out, it might take me a week to finish and another week to polish.  I thought this particular fantasy erotica story would vanish much like the one before had come and gone over the period of a few days, but no:  it’s still there.  Demanding attention.  Demanding to be let out.

I really don’t want to waste my time with something that I feel is gonna be a diversion of time that can be better spent doing other things, but dammit if this won’t let me go.  Maybe it’s time to admit that there are moments in your life when you have to listen to your muse and take the road not traveled in a while, visit that path, enjoy the sights–

And get a Wattpad account.

All Over the Place

I said I would have a video on Sunday, and I am a woman of her word.  And here it is. Enjoy.

And if you want to see the route I walked yesterday, here that is.

Almost Live and In Person

Today am doing something completely different: I doing a video from and outside location.  And it’s rather unusual, even for me.  But I think you’ll find it enjoyable.

Rules and Ridiculous Regulations

Well, there’s some good news to go along with this post.  I’ve written almost 1100 words this morning, and in doing so made it almost two-thirds of the way through Annie’s and Kerry’s Kali test.  And let me tell you, it is a bloody mess.  Given that they’re being tested and a somewhat public situation, anyone who decides to call either of these kids out after this has either got to be really good at what they do, or a complete idiot–or maybe a little of both.  Honestly, I can’t wait until I get to this point in the story so you can see my kids unleash hell.

It’s going to be glorious.

Once more, however, I’m sort of making up for the fact that I haven’t written in the last two days. Both Friday and Saturday night I was out listening to live music at the coffee shop down the street.  It was kind of a nice break, but at the same time there was something I should’ve written and I won’t be able to get to it until tonight.  That’s on me and I should know better.  But sometimes you need to just step back and recharge, and that’s what I’ve been doing of late.

Okay, maybe I unwound too much yesterday…

 

I still had fun hanging out, however.

I can’t quite get to that fight yet because I’m still in the process of setting up the rules.  We know Ramona is one of those helping set up the rules; but who is it who’s come to visit her?  Well, who do you think?

 

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

 

Ramona looked up and found Helena Lovecraft standing in her doorway, a tablet in her left hand. It was rare Helena carried her tablet with her and it usually indicated she wanted to conduct some important business with you. “No, not at all.” She waved the sorceress inside and waved the door shut. “What’s on your mind?”

Helena sat and made herself comfortable. “Got a request from my friends in San Francisco.” She placed the tablet on remote his desk and pushed it towards her. “It’s a cook order.”

A “cook order” was Guardian slang for the creation of homunculi, as they needed to be created in molds, prepared from materials they gave them a human-like appearance and feeling. She tapped Helena’s tablet to hers, transferring the document to her machine, then performed a quick scan. Her eyebrows shot up as she looked up. “They want a dozen by tomorrow night? What for?”

Helena retrieved her tablet. “Scroll a little further down; you’ll see the Guardians want to conduct a self-defense test during the Sunday class. The email indicates they want them to go up against a dozen homunculi.” She shut the tablet off and set it aside, leaving it floating in the air next to her. “It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

 

Never let it be said that the instructors at Salem didn’t have their own little territories marked out, and when someone from outside their territory decides to come in and start rearranging things a bit, people get testy.  Ramona is well aware that Helena is only passing along what the Guardians are asking, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it.

And this goes double when someone else tries to put her at ease–

 

Ramona snorted. “Allow me to be the judge of what is and isn’t a ‘big deal’ around here.” She sat back in her large, plush chair. “And why do they want to conduct this test during my class? I could easily hold it Sunday afternoon.”

“Except they don’t want it Sunday afternoon, they wanted Sunday morning.” Helena shrugged. “Who the hell knows why San Francisco asks for these things? When they want something, we deliver.” She slowly crossed her legs and rested her hands against her knee. “Remember, it was the same way when we set up the puppeteering rigs. They told us they wanted to test them, but they leaked out the details little by little, so that we were still scrambling around right up until a few hours before Annie and Kerry showed up.”

Ramona couldn’t fault Helena’s logic. While not a member of the Guardians herself, as the person in charge of helping develop the fighting skills of students at Salem, she was often asked to evaluate students and, as in the case with teaching Annie and Kerry how to Marionette, she sometimes work directly with them to carry out their instructions.

But that didn’t mean she liked having to cater to every whim that came out of the Guardian’s North American headquarters in San Francisco. She felt that often they were too secretive for their own good and there were times when it seems as if the secrecy involved keeping members on their end from understanding the purpose of a test.

 

The interesting thing to take away from this exchange is that Ramona doesn’t seem all that surprised by all this BS Helena is pushing her way.  We know she knows Annie and Kerry are doing things for the Guardians because she was involved in the puppeteer tests and there wasn’t any way Helena could spin that off as anything but.  If anything, if seems she’s been called upon to do their bidding once in a while, because if you’re gonna get kids ready for the battles ahead, who better to do so than the Mistress of Ass Kicking?

Now we know the Guardians can be an annoying group of shits.  How annoying?

I think you’re about to find out.

Those Necessary Astral Steps

Hello, hello.  I’m at a place called Vertigo. Well, not really, but I am listening to a U2 song of the same title, so I guess that counts.

It’s been a pretty good morning.  I’ve written just over eight hundred words this morning and managed to finish up the first scene of Chapter Eleven.  I was even a bit surprised when I realized that I had pressed some control keys in Scrivener and everything had turned pretty colors.

See? Pretty colors everywhere.

I sometimes surprise myself when I do these things.

My day at the GSA Leadership Summit went well.  Met a lot of interesting people and, as always, whenever I’m on a college campus it always reminds me of an experience I missed out on and wish I could’ve went back to at some point.  I hate to say it, but as I get older I regret those moments that have been left out of my life.  I shouldn’t, but I do.

Anyway, I felt it went well.  It was a new experience for me and I enjoyed it a great deal.

Here I am, the first in the room–as usual.

If anything I got down on myself because I felt I could have said more, but didn’t.  Apparently the high school workshops found the kids asking a lot more questions, and I asked the people in charge of the summit to include me in those workshops next year.  I feel I have things to say and I’d like to help those who need help before him no longer around to say anything.  In my way, perhaps this is how I see to it that no one lives the life I lived.

But enough of this bummer shit, it’s get on to the story–

This part of the story with Annie, Kerry, and Deanna seemed nearly relaxing comparison to what’s coming next.  The kids are getting already to learn about what happens beyond The Curtain and Deanna is more than ready to teach them.  Of course, before we get to that point, the kids have to get comfortable with their surroundings…

 

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

 

Kerry was aware that Annie and Deanna spoke from time to time and that there were occasions, while he was off flying for Advanced Flight One, that she visit the seer at Memory’s End. She didn’t always tell him what was discussed, though he had been pretty certain she discussed their dreams. This was the first confirmation he’d received on that matter as he had never discussed the field where they often sat in the dreams and talked.

The only time he could recall ever mentioning that location was back during their A Levels when they met with Erywin and Annie discussed how she developed her plans for marriage not long after meeting him. He thought it could be possible that Erywin had passed this information along to Deanna, but he figured it far more likely that Annie had spoken about this.

Kerry looked around the room as Deanna waved the door shut. “I do like this.” He turned Annie. “What do you think?”

She gave the room a quick glance and nodded as well. “It’s a good place to study.” She spun around and faced Deanna, who was now only a meter away. “We are going to study, yes?”

“That’s the idea.” Deanna pointed to a group of pillows just to her left. “Why don’t we sit and get started?” She waited until Annie and Kerry were comfortable before she continued. “I was considering using this year to teach you more about Dreamwalking, but based upon what I’ve heard—or, I should say, what Annie has told me—it’s apparent neither of you are in need of additional instruction there. I don’t want you trying to Astral Project or Astral Walk on your own, so as I indicated to Annie when I met her for lunch in Bulgaria, I think it’s wise that we begin instruction now on the subjects.” She smoothed her jeans and sat on a large pillow in the Lotus position. “We all know you’re both ready to take this step.”

There was one question that had been on Annie’s mind for a while, and she felt now is the time to ask. “Did Helen ask you to do this?”

 

Kerry isn’t exactly stupid and he knows that Annie and Deanna have spoken.  He’s also figured out that Annie had likely spoken with Deanna about his dreams the year before even if she hadn’t come to him and said so.  So just as Annie suspects there are things that Kerry has kept himself, Kerry now suspects that there are things that Annie is kept to herself.  In other words, they act like a married couple.  Gee, talk about starting out on the right foot…

Deanna’s comment reminds us that during the B Level novel she told Annie not to practice Dreamwalking on her own.  We saw where that went, didn’t we?  This is the primary reason for you Deanna conducting this class: as she says, she knows both kids have reached the point in their education were they probably feel they’re ready to move on to Astral Spells and would likely start learning them on her own if no one tells them otherwise.  Deanna is right now telling them otherwise: she knows they’re ready and she wants to teach them.

Annie, however, has a sneaking suspicion that the Guardians may have had a hand in setting up this class.  Deanna isn’t afraid to tell her the truth–

Deanna’s face remained nearly motionless. “Are you suggesting the Guardians have somehow pushed me to teach you a bit of advanced magic that you may be more useful to them?” A slight grin broke out upon her face. “The idea to do this has been all my own, though I will admit I have spoken with Helena on a couple of occasions about the special instruction.”

“I wasn’t certain if the Guardians had anything to do with this activity.” Annie hadn’t been all that concerned that the Guardians were behind Deanna’s actions, but she was somewhat relieved to discover that this was an idea Deanna had put together herself, possibly with input from Helena.

“They may not had any input, but I’m certain they now know that you’re going through this training. After all, I wouldn’t suspect Helena would keep this information to herself.” A coy smile began to form upon Deanna’s face. “Then again, maybe she would. I’m certain she doesn’t want the Guardians to know all your little secrets.”

 

So the guardians haven’t had anything to do with this class, but Deanna’s comment is rather strange: she seems to imply Helena may be keeping secrets of her own from the other organization for whom she works.  This shouldn’t be surprising as, when Mr. Gabriel came calling back in the A Level novel, he knew things that Helen also knew but hadn’t reported–pretty much an affirmation that Helena doesn’t tell the Guardians everything about her two best students.

Sure, it’s implied that Helena is keeping secrets; no one knows for sure.  But Deanna is a coven leader and she has access to school reports that some of the other instructors don’t, and it’s possible she’s read some of the reports that Helena has filed on Annie and Kerry. If so, then she would know that Helena is keeping things away from San Francisco.  And why would she do that?  I’m sure Helena has her reasons…

Perhaps we’ll discover those reasons soon.

Then again, maybe I’ll keep those secrets secret.