Tunes and Trailways

It’s a lovely morning, with the sun shining and the temps in an area where I can enjoy wearing a long skirt and a flowing top–though the Weather Channel tells me it’s only forty-two outside, but it feels a lot warmer.  I’ll stick with my feels, particularly since I’ll be inside all afternoon getting a full-on mani/pedi.

Lotsa, lotsa, lotsa writing yesterday.  There was the scene I posted yesterday, a large part of which was written in the morning from six-thirty to eight-thirty.  Then I got into Chapter Three, and started in on the first scene for that, stopping long enough to watch Orphan Black.  By the time I’d decided I’d had enough, I’d written nine-hundred and forty-five words, which given the hundred I’d written in the morning meant I’d put in a solid day of writing.

Throughout the afternoon, however, I spent time getting the kid’s song list together, which, I have to say, is fun.  It’s a bit telling in their musical tastes that of all the songs on Kerry’s list, only two of the so-far sixteen songs listed were produced after he was born, while on Annie’s list all of the songs were produced after she was born, with the oldest song on her lift coming when she was two years old.  Kerry’s is a conglomeration of old prog and soft rock/pop, while Annie goes for Pop Princess/Indie Queen feel.  And, as always, listening to her stuff introduces me to a lot of different music, and it’s only a matter of time before I see if she’d like a few artists I’ve never normally given a listen.

Needless to say, this has also got my mind going on the events that are going to happen during the B Level Samhain Dance.  I’ve already received some suggestions about costumes–fun ones, I should mention–but there is one song in particular that I can see being asks for, and if I go in that direction–and trust me, I likely will–Annie is gonna break loose and bust some Dark Witch moves.  Just running the images for the scene through my head last night, put a huge smile on my face.

That’s me:  always thinking of different ways to make life fun for my kids when I’m not putting them through hell.

The first of three scenes has started, and I’m probably closer to the end of it than I am the beginning.  It’s 27 August, 2012, and that’s Travel Day for all the kids at Salem.  We know how Annie travels:  we saw it in the first scene of the last novel.  And Kerry sort of travels the same way now that he knows about witches and magic and jaunting.  However, his folks aren’t hip to that yet, so there’s a bit of the ol’ smoke and mirrors going on . . .

 

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

When the doorbell rang, Kerry didn’t need to check the time: his travel package said Ms. Rutherford would arrive at seven-twenty to take him to the train station, and his case worker was extremely punctual. He checked the clock in the lounge as he headed for the front door: it was seven-twenty.

Ms. Rutherford stood in the frame of the open outer door. She was young black woman dressed in gray business skirt and jacket, a cream colored blouse, and matching gray wedges. Slung over her right shoulder was the large tan purse she carried everywhere—one big enough to hold a tablet, mobile, and just about anything else The Foundation might give her depending upon whatever she might need that she couldn’t handle with her magic. “Good morning, Kerry.”

“Good morning, Ms. Rutherford.” He stepped back and to the side. “Please, come in.”

“Thank you, Kerry.” She entered the house and walked into the lounge with Kerry following. She stopped in the middle of the lounge to greet his parents. “Good morning, Mr. Malibey; Mrs. Malibey.”

Davyn and Louise stood in the arch separating the dinning room from the front lounge. Both were dressed for work, with Louise being a little more casual as she wasn’t in a management position like her husband. Davyn nodded. “Good morning, Ms. Rutherford.”

Louise smiled and nodded as well. “Good morning, Ms. Rutherford. You look wide awake for someone up this early.”

“I could say the same for you, Mrs. Malibey. I haven’t been up that long: I came into Cardiff last night and spent the night downtown.” She turned to Kerry for a moment, then back to his parents. “I knew we’d have a long day ahead of us, and I didn’t want to get held up coming in from London.”

“Kerry’s been up early as well.” Louise turned towards her son for a moment. “He was up before five getting ready.”

He looked up at Ms. Rutherford standing to his right. “I gotta get back on Salem time, don’t I?”

“Indeed you do.” She addressed his parent. “They start the day early at school. Most of the students are up around five preparing for the day ahead.”

 

Yeah, get ready for that day, Kerry.  Even though you won’t set foot in your new room, for four days, you’re back on the time you know you’re gonna have to work for nine months.  I should say, back on the schedule–you won’t be back on Boston time for a few more days.

There is small talk among Ms. Rutherford and Davyn and Louise, and that brings us to Kerry’s actual departure–

 

He stood in the entry to the lounge, his roll-on bag at his side and wearing his backpack. “Yeah, all set here.” Kerry gazed across the room to where his parents were standing together. “Well, I’m, uh, off, I guess.” He stood waiting to see if they would do anything.

His father dropped his sight for a second as he cleared his throat. “Have a good trip, Son.”

His mother’s headed half-nodded, half-jerked, as if she were having difficulty knowing what to do. “Have fun at school, Kerry. And lets us know when you get there.”

“I will, Mom.” He kept his face unmoving and expressionless. “I’ll send you an email when I get into my dorm.”

“Good. Then I guess we’ll see you when you come home for Christmas.”

He cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’ll see you then.” He waved slowly. “Take care, guys. Bye.” Kerry turned and headed for the front door. Once out on the walk he was vaguely aware that Ms. Rutherford was right beside him; out of the corner of his vision he saw her make a hand motion at the black salon with the tinted window parked at the end of the walkway, and the lid to the trunk popped opened. As they reached the car he saw Ms Rutherford get in on the driver’s side: Kerry placed his luggage inside the trunk and headed for the rear passenger side as the lid closed automatically. Seconds later he was inside, sitting comfortably with his backpack between his legs. As soon as the rear lid locked the driver put the car in gear and drove away.

Kerry didn’t bother looking back.

 

When I say Kerry suffers from a fear of abandonment, that all comes out of the lack of affection coming from both parents.  Maybe they’re afraid to give hugs to their only child in front of a stranger, but still:  that ending is cold, way the hell Queen Elsa of Frozen cold.  Annie is going to tell Kerry something later in this school year, and though it will take him some time to comprehend, when the time come he’ll take it to heart and never let it go.

We are here with this mess:

Eighteen thousand is looking pretty good at the moment.

Eighteen thousand is looking pretty good at the moment.

After two weeks I’m close to twenty thousand words, which I might pass tonight.  By this time next week I will for sure out of Part One and into Part Two, and the kids will finally be “home”.

And then I’ll see what fresh hell I can unleash upon them.

At Home With the Malibeys, Button Pushing

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

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

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

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

I mean, it wasn’t that bad . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Oops.  Too late.

Kerry starts asking his own questions, and . . .

 

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

Davyn’s response was immediate. “No.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They were gay.”

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“We’re?”

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

“I see. Go on.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

It Must Have Been a Bad Week to Write a Book

Don’t get worried by today’s post title that it’s a portend of bad things to come.  Get that out of your mind.  Sure, I didn’t write much last night, but a lot of that had to do with my screwy emotional state and the beverages I had at dinner.  (Don’t worry:  I walked two block to the restaurant to eat, so no fear of being out on the road afterwards.  One of the nice things about living in the city.)

Now, the day didn’t start bad, though the week has been a real pain in the ass, if I may say so myself.  However, yesterday was sort of nice in that it was warmer than it has been, and I was in my long skirt, flowing top, and platform sandals, giving me that total “hippie girl” look.

I would have worn a shawl, but Stevie Nicks stole them all.

I would have worn a shawl, but Stevie Nicks stole them all.

However, the day started going to hell slowly, and by late afternoon I felt like I needed a ride across the River Styx.  It . . . wasn’t good, and when you hear a pair of size 11 platform sandals clopping about the office going somewhere in a hurry, you know happy times aren’t about to show up smiling.

Anyway, after I made it home I decided it was time to get my feeling out in a video, then veg out in front of the television and watch Jurassic Park III, which I like just because of the Spinosaurus and Raptors, followed by the first thirty minutes of Van Helsing, which is one of the biggest loads of cinematic bullshit to ever hit a screen.  Abandoned windmills exploding like they’re made out of C-4?  And where did Doctor Jekyll get those huge cigars made?  And why was Kate Beckinsale’s character’s brother the only one with a pistol with silver bullets?  The other dozen morons who showed up for the werewolf party (Werewolf?  There wolf–) couldn’t bother to make them?  And wearing a tight corset is like the bestest article of clothing to wear when you’re fighting, and running like hell from, werewolves.  I should have stuck around for the wooden carriage that explodes upon impact and turns into a claymore, because of course–

Making the video was good, though, even cathartic.  Sometimes one needs to sit down and get their thoughts out in a form other than writing, and video allows me that release.  And I’ve had the urge to get out the camera and do a video for a while.  So when the urge hits, and you’ve had a couple of libations to help smooth the journey, get to filming, people.

Hope you enjoy.

There you have it:  taking care of my emotions and getting it done.  And getting ready to write and probably clear ten thousand words total today.

And to leave a little cherry on this video sundae, I’ll leave you with what I start listening to this morning.  This is how I get my titles at times, if you must know . . .

Hangin’ At the Plass

The question I asked yesterday was “Would I write more?” and the answer came this morning.  One of the reasons this post is coming out at this time in the late morning is due to writing another twelve hundred an sixty words towards the new novel–which, if you’re keeping track, means I’ve written just over three thousand words over the last two mornings.

But I also needed to do a little research this morning as well.  For one, I needed to know the weather in Cardiff on the day Erywin came for Kerry, and that was easy enough to find, because the Internet has that information.  Also, since I figure people would want to know, I got a few pictures of the area that Erywin and Kerry are visiting.

Without further ado . . .

 

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

The Cardiff weather was chilly and cloudy, and this contributed to the lack of people milling about Roald Dahl Plass. Those who were walking about this late morning were dressed to protect them against the fifteen Celsius temps and matching wind coming in from the west.

Two people joined the small crowd, entering the plass east after walking around the north side of the Pierhead Building. Both, a woman and a young boy, were dressed for the conditions: both wore jeans, and the woman wore a jacket over his blouse while the wore a hooded sweatshirt. They made their way towards the center of the open amphitheater, pausing next to one of the large columns located near the a short flight of steps.

Erywin glanced to her left and right. “You know I’ve never been here.”

“They fixed it up nice after Torchwood Three blew up.” They both chuckled at Kerry pop culture joke. The Mistress of Formulistic Magic was a bit of a geek herself, and was one of the few instructors who understood what he talked about most of the time. “Really, you’ve never been here?”

“As your mother pointed out, I don’t have much of a need to come into Cardiff often.” She motioned towards her left and Cardiff Bay. “Let’s go over this way, shall we?”

 

If you know Cardiff, you know the Roald Dahl Plass.  First off, it’s named after Roald Dahl, the Cardiff-born author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know most of you know, and who once worked as a spy for England during World War II–and who reported back to Ian Flemming, who later wrote stories about a little-known spy who liked martinis–and whose primary mission was to come to American and seduce Republican congresswoman Clare Booth Luce.  Apparently Dahl wasn’t the template for James Bond (that was reserved for Canadian Sir William Stephenson), because Dahl wrote back to his superiors that he needed to return home because, and this is an exact quote, “I am all fucked out! That goddamn woman has absolutely screwed me from one end of the room to the other for three goddam nights.”  And that’s probably why snozzberries showed up in two of Dahl’s work.

Back to the story . . . not only is the Roald Dahl Plass a well-know spot in Cardiff, but as far as the BBC is concerned, it is/was ground zero for a couple of their science fiction stories–

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three?  Kerry should give tours of this place.

A TARDIS recharging station and the location of Torchwood Three? Kerry should give tours of this place.

Which is why Kerry makes the comment he does in the above excerpt.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Google Maps even has the names, so it must be true.

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time.  Though that could be Missy . . .

Oh, and Mary Poppins visits this place from time to time. Though that could be Missy . . .

Either way, it’s where they come to chat about, well, things.  Things that, it seems, bother Kerry a great deal.

 

“Three people, run everything, and one of them’s an AP.” Erywin changed the subject. “How’s your holiday?”

Kerry had figured this question was coming, whether here or at lunch. “About as well as I can expect.”

“In other words . . ?”

He wasn’t going to escape giving his true feelings. “It sucks. I hate being home.”

“I figured as much in just the few minutes of watching the interaction between your mother and you.” Erywin didn’t want to prod anymore than necessary, but she sensed that while it might pain him, Kerry needed to talk. “Did you have any issues concealing what you’re really learning?”

“That was the easy part—” Kerry chuckled without a single trace of humor in his voice. “The morning after I came home they asked me three questions about school, and one of them was about the report card.” He glanced at the ground and scoffed. “They asked a few questions later in the week, but that was it.” He shook his head. “They don’t care: there’s no interest in anything I do.”

 

Erywin knows that Kerry wants and needs the acknowledgement of his accomplishments, and like it or not, his parents fall into the small group of people whom he’d like to hear, “Good job,” from once in a while.  However, we’ve also seen that Kerry’s parents are fairly cold and unaffectionate, and the number of shits they appear to give about Kerry’s accomplishments are zero.  Which finds him in the position of being around people he has to lie to about what he’s doing at school–remember, his parents don’t know he’s doing witchy things at school–but who don’t want to hear about whatever he’s lying about in the first place.

And he goes into great detail about his sadness:

 

They stopped under the overpass leading from the east side of the bay—where the Pierhead Building and the Senedd were located—to the west side and shops at Mermaid Quay. Here they were out of the slight but constant wind covering the plass. Kerry checked for nearby pedestrians before continuing. “I miss the school. I miss my room at the tower, and the commons, and the garden. I miss the grounds. I miss the classes. I miss . . .” He finally came to the truth. “I miss magic. I miss not having it in my life except when I’m alone at home.”

Erywin chuckled. “Gotten used to it, haven’t you?”

“Yeah. I have to be careful when my folks are home, but on they days they’re both at work, I’m using it around the house.” For the first time since leaving the house he smiled. “A couple of weeks ago I levitated a pot over a small fireball and cooked soup.”

Well done.” Erywin didn’t bother holding back her excitement, for what Kerry just described was something she wasn’t able to do until she was nearing the end of her C Levels. “I know you brought your broom home; have you been flying?”

“A few times. I gotta watch how I leave the house, because I gotta turn invisible quick as I’m going out the door.” He nodded. “But, yeah: I’ve been flying. One time even ventured into England.”

“Did you have your passport?”

“Of course.” He laughed this time. “My mom called me while I was out over Swindon, which is why I take my mobile with me everywhere.”

 

A few months before in story time Kerry wanted to hear from Annie about what it was like growing up around magic all the time, and now he’s finding out what it’s like not having it in his life.  And it sucks, big time.  He’s taken to doing things on his own when he’s alone, and also comes to admittance that he’s taken to the sky on a few occasions, venturing out at least a hundred kilometers from home.

Flying alone, of course.

Erywin points out a major truth for him, likely one he hasn’t even figured out for himself–

 

“If I’d known, I’d have gotten out my old broom and meet you for tea.” She moved a little closer and spoke and in low, intimate tone. “You know what you really miss, don’t you? You miss being with your own kind.” She didn’t wait for him to ask what she meant. “Your back in the world of the Normals, but you’re an Aware; you’re a witch. You’re one of us.” She shook her head slowly. “And now that you’ve had exposure to our world, you long to be part of it again.”

He glanced down at the ground. “Yeah.”

“You also miss the freedom that you have at school. Yes, there are rules and regulations, but there is also flying on the weekend, and long walks on wooded trails, and the Midnight Madness, and most nights where you don’t get to bed until after midnight . . .” The twinkle in her eye returned. “And those nights when Annie and you flew off to the Observatory and fell asleep in the viewing chairs.”

 

You’re not like all those kids you used to go to school with, Red:  you’re a witch now, and you’ve done magic and faced death and been out on secret missions and slept with your girlfriend–Um . . .

 

His head snapped up. “You knew about that?”

“Several of us did.”

How? From Isis?”

She shook her head. “No. She never said a word.”

“Must have been Deanna.”

The chuckle returned. “A good witch never reveals her sources.” She cleared her throat as she took a step back. “Speaking of your better half, how is Annie?”

 

Yeah, how is she, Kerry?  Well, I know, but you guys won’t–

Not until I write it, that is.

Annie of a Thousand Loves

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, the ski resort.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I was someone you knew?”

Her head bobbed slightly. “Yes.”

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

 

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

What was happening there to The Girl in Love?

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

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

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

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

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

Or will it?

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

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

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

Loveteams Sailing On the Midnight Tide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Korasami is a ship that sailed.  Believe that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Songs of The Foundation

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

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

 

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

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

Kerry answered right away. “Mellotron Mark IV.”

“And the one to the left?”

“That’s a Mellotron Mark II.”

“And you know that because . . ?”

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

After that Ellison plays another short piece:

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Yo, Nightwitch.”

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

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

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

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

Kerry followed.

 

And this played as they soared into the sky:

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

And a month later we get this:

 

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

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

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

Kerry nodded. “Go ahead.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe it’s time to hire a musical consultant.