Walking Through the Long Stay

Yesterday was one of those good and not so good days.  It was good because I went to a makeup party and hung out with some great women and had a lot of fun.  It was not so good ’cause I had to drive to Silver Springs, MD, which is just north of DC, which meant I needed to drive I-83 to 695 to 95 to 495, which can otherwise be known as Vehicular Hell.  The traffic is always moving, but it’s heavy all the way through Baltimore and Washington, and you can’t let up concentration for most of the route.  I was fine going in, but by the time I made the trek home I was already tired, and keeping my mind on the road proved to be a lot of work, so by the time I stumbled back into The Burg I was fairly exhausted.

Also, the moment I turned on the main light in my apartment–which is like my only light in my apartment–the bulb blew and I had nary a spare, so I had to run out and pick up a new one.  That meant it was at least another half hour before I could relax and watch the last episode of Mad Men, where it appears Don Draper’a navel gazing may have led to the creation of the most memorable TV ad that didn’t involve Barry Manilow.

Still, I had a great time and got to wear my orange skirt for the first time:

As one can see, I don't take great pictures in my apartment.

As one can see, I don’t take great pictures in my apartment.

I was at least comfortable as I drove.  As well as cool and comfortable.

Needless to say, I didn’t write a word yesterday.  I couldn’t even give much thought to scenes because the mind was on the road, and when it wasn’t it’d turned to stone.  I usually pride myself in being able to through some story ideas together, or even work out dialog and scenes, while I’m out on the road, but not yesterday.  Nope, a whole lot of nope.

It’s not that it’s needed.  I have a great idea of where this novel is going, and I know what needs to be said.  The next scene is gift testing . . .

Happens right here, in the building on the left.  we haven't been down here much.

Happens right here, in the building on the left. we haven’t been down here much.

And I’ll recount a little about what the kids went through for that.  It’s not much of a relaxing “Before school starts” weekend, but that’s how things go down.  As the scene that comes after this next will explain, Annie and Kerry are starting to realize that their B Levels are probably going to be a bit ass busting, between the advanced classes, getting called up for minion duty, and whatever else might come their way.  Oh, and that vision will get a little bit of discussion:  after all, why wouldn’t it?

Ah, my kids are growing up so quickly.  Which may not be a good thing.

Back to writing tonight.  Because I can only be so lazy for so long.

Tea and Visions

Let’s get to the personal stuff right away, shall we?  First off, the friends I spent time with last Sunday drove up and met me for a few hours in The Burg–and they brought me something . . .

This is the face of evil, I tell you.  Evil.

This is the face of evil, I tell you. Evil.

I’d pretty much came from work so I didn’t change, and this is one of my nicer tops.  As you can see, I was given a nice little pink box.  And what was inside the box?  A hand-made necklace and a note asking if I’d be my friend’s maid of honor.  Of course I said yes . . .

I was also told I do have other expressions besides Resting Bitch Face.

I was also told I do have other expressions besides Resting Bitch Face.

So I’m wearing that into work today.  Nice, nice, nice!  Tomorrow nails, and Sunday I’m going to a makeup party.  A girl never has enough time in her life . . .

Oh, I also wrote.  I wrote . . . well, more than the night before.  In fact the scene is just short of thirty-one hundred words, which makes it a big scene, and it’s something I should finish tonight.  “Should” being the operative word.  I’ve seen that plan fall through more than once, but I’m confident I should finish tonight.  Should.

As a few people guessed, when Deanna and the Kids (that’s gonna be my next band name, by the way) speak of “tea”, they mean “visions”.  Hence today’s title.  Deanna does talk the kids into trying her little trance-inducing experiment from the year before again, and they’re both game.  Sorry, Ren, but Annie just can’t hear you:  lalalala, I’ve got fingers in my ears!  She wants to see what happens, too, and so there aren’t any questions–we’ll save those for the end–here’s the majority of the scene as written:

 

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

“Don’t worry.” Deanna let her hand hover over the water kettle, crafting a spell to heat the water. “When the door close the note outside switched to indicate I am in conference—” She filled two infusers with loose-leaf tea and dropped them into cups. “—so there isn’t any need to worry we’ll be interrupted.” She crafted a spell over the cups, mumbling something softly as she set the enchantment in place. “There.”

Kerry watched with interest as Deanna created the trance spells before bringing the cups to Annie and him. While it seemed so many of the witches at Salem crafted their art the same way, there were enough variations among the staff that it reminded him there was more than one way to—as Wednesday had said more than a few times last year—Make Your Art Real.

He smiled as Deanna handed him his cup. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” She passed the other to Annie. “Let me get the water.” She returned with the kettle and two spoons, which she handed over right away. “Just like last time, let me pour the water, and once that’s done, look into your cup as you start stirring. Don’t worry about the infuser getting in the way—”

Annie looked up. “Why not?”

“Because it won’t.”

Kerry coughed. “Do we really need that?”

“Yes. Because if everything goes right, you may need something to drink when this is over.” Deanna chuckled softly. “Are you ready?”

“Yes.” Annie barely heard Kerry’s response as she kept her eyes locked upon the center of her cup. She waited for Deanna to stop pouring, then started stirring, noticing out of the corner of her eye Kerry doing the same. She didn’t hurry, for there was nothing to do but allow trance to come over her—if it really were going to happen this time . . .

Your eyes are locked up the darkening sky, clear and growing darker. The sun had set off to her left some fifteen minutes earlier, but there’s still considerable light here, two thousand meters up.

You don’t know the stars the way Kerry does, but there are a few you recognize on sight. Polaris is nearly straight ahead, and the Summer Triangle is easy to make out now that it’d getting dark in the east. The moon is setting with the sun, and once the sky is dark there won’t be anything but the stars—

Which are being drowned out by the city ahead. Your destination—both your destination. You glance to your right and there’s Kerry upon his Espinoza, five meters away and keeping pace, the collar of his flying jacket turned up against the chill of the high air. You wait until he’s finished with whatever he was checking on his tablet before getting his attention. “How much longer, honey?”

“We should be down in fifteen minutes—” He sits up and points ahead. “Yonder lay our city, Sweetie.”

“Yes, I can see.” You slide-slipped the broom a few meters to the right, getting closer for no other reason that to get closer. “I’m so glad we decided to fly tonight—” You look around at the deep twilight sky. “Though not really dark enough to make it night.”

“It’s dark enough.” Kerry keeps his attention on you, letting his broom more or less fly on its own for a few moments. “Twenty down—”

“Thirty to go: I know.” You adjust your heading a little to the left, and Kerry matches you. Structures you know so well are coming into view as you both approach at high-speed. “Ready to descend?”

“It’s about that time.” Kerry adjusted his goggles and nodded at something ahead. “You wanna go over there first before checking in?”

You can’t keep the smile off your face. “Most certainly.” You begin descending, reaching out as if to push away a stray cloud—

Touching the room door as Kerry holds it for you. “Hello, again.”

He enters and gently latches it shut. “I made certain we got this room.”

You turn and wrap your arms around his shoulders. “I know you did.” The kiss you place upon his lips is more soft and sweet than most. “Because you know I love this room.”

“It’s a good one for me, too.” He helps remove your backpack before he slips off his own. “It’s been a long day.”

“And tomorrow is almost here.” You hold your arms to the side and stretch before shrugging off the stylish black leather flying jacket and hanging it on the back of the door. “Give me your jacket?”

He hands you his jacket before removing your roll-on bag from your backpack’s Hammerspace. “You want to shower before bed?”

“It’s not like we need it. We should be good until tomorrow.” You sit on the edge of the bed as Kerry retrieves his own roll-on bag. “I thought maybe we’d get up breakfast, then come back here and nap before cleaning up and going out.”

He listens and nods. “That’s a good plan. You have anywhere in particular you want to go?”

You shrugged before smiling. “I want to do some shopping—”

“Really?” Kerry looks over his shoulder, mock surprise upon his face. “I had no idea.”

“Silly.” You stick out your tongue before wrapping your hands around your knees. “I want to pick up a couple of nice outfits.”

“This is the place to do that.”

You pause before asking the next question. “Any chance we’ll see her here?”

He slowly turns and leans against the chest of drawers, facing you. “No.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” He smiles as he crosses his arms. “I told you she wouldn’t.”

“I don’t know—” You twist your head and cock it to one side. “It’s a chance for her to pick up a few nice things—”

“Now who’s being silly?” He comes over and kisses you as soft as you kissed him. “After the day we’ve had, sleep is of the order.” Kerry starts to zip open your luggage. “Which pajamas you want?”

You stand and take a single step towards him. “My love.”

He turns. “Yes.”

You reach for the heme of your tee shirt. “I believe I’d rather wear—” Your words are muffled as you begin pulling your shirt over your head—

“This.” Annie’s shirt was two-thirds of the way up her torso before she realized she was sitting in a classroom in Memory’s End—and that Kerry was facing her, helping her with her top. “Kerry.”

Annie.”

 

Hey now!  You kids, get a room–oh, wait . . .

There you have it:  Annie’s vision.  Last book we saw Kerry’s vision, only because if we’d seen Annie’s–no, we don’t want to go there.  As it was we did see her vision.

Something else happened last night, however.  In the process of getting Annie’s vision completed, the novel crossed the forty thousand word mark.  I know because I checked, and I even found the exact moment . . .

Yes, I keep track of things like exact word that makes my work a novel.  Don't you?

Yes, I keep track of things like exact word that makes my work a novel. Don’t you?

I went back and figured out the Novel Line moment, and put it in my notes to the right.  So I’ve hit novel time again, just three days past a month into writing.  Like I said, I’m almost on NaNo Pace with this story, and that isn’t bad.

At least I’ve got the kids at the school.  What’s the worst that can happen to them now?

Dreams of My Summer Holiday

I was, for sure, in a better mood last night, attention-wise and health-wise.  I didn’t feel as tired, that’s a fact, Jack, and that meant I could write with almost minimal distractions–well, almost.  Last night Zero Hour! was playing on TCM, and if you aren’t familiar with this movie, it’s about a Air Canada flight going to Vancouver that sees the passengers and crew coming down with ptomaine poising because of bad beef and fish, leaving the only person on the plane to fly a former pilot who hasn’t been back in the cockpit since a disastrous mission at the end of World War II.

If the plot sounds like you may have seen this movie somewhere before, this was the story spoofed by the movie Airplane!, and the spoofing went so far that actually lines of dialog were taken straight from Zero Hour!, and the character who has to fly the plane while still suffering from the lingering effect of his last mission–probably not over Nacho Grande–is named Ted Stryker.  Surely I jest?  I don’t.  And . . . you know the rest.

Still, I wrote–if only because Sterling Hayden was on my TV yelling at me.  I wrote a lot more than the night before, probably two-and-a-half times more.  It was sit down time with Deanna, and once the greetings were out of the way, she got right to business:

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

The setup was much as it was last year: pillows on the floor, most of them up front where Deanna had created a nice spot for her to sit and converse with several students at once. Annie sat on one of the pillows facing Deanna’s seat, and Kerry waited until she was comfortable before taking the pillow to her right.

Deanna smoothed out her loose, cream colored slacks and sat cross-legged facing her friends. “How was your summer?”

Annie smiled, knowing this question was coming. “Good.”

Kerry mimicked her. “It was good.”

Deanna nodded. “I see. Did you manage to keep in touch?”

“Yes. We wrote.” Annie reached for Kerry’s hand. “He wrote by hand, just as he promised.”

Kerry couldn’t keep from blushing. “Well, yeah.”

“Good for you Kerry.” A faint grin began forming upon Deanna’s face. “I heard you had a small rendezvous for lunch in London.” She caught the surprised looks. “Erywin told me last night during the coven leader’s meeting.”

“Oh; okay.” Kerry looked at Annie out of the corner of his eye. “Yeah, we met. But . . .” He turned to Annie, his grin fading.

Annie squeezed Kerry’s hand. “It wasn’t long enough. We didn’t want to part.”

“I can understand you feeling that way.” The seer glanced from one child to the other. “Love does that to you: it makes it so you never want to let go.”

Annie nodded. “I didn’t.”

Kerry stared at a space on the floor between Deanna and him. “I didn’t, either.”

Yes, never let go, even when you look like you're going to get turned into marketing material.

Yes, never let go, even when you find yourself having to let go.

Deanna doesn’t have quite the line on love that, say, Coraline or Erywin have, but she knows it when she sees it, and she sees it a lot in these two kids.  She also knows a few of their intimate secrets–something you really don’t want to have at twelve, and even less want to talk about at that age–but who can guess at what our Salem Seer really knows.  Speculate all you like, ’cause I know, and I’m not talking.  Not for a while, anyway . . .

With the “Hey, have a good time?” out of the way, Deanna gets serious:

“No need to worry about that now; you’re back here.” Deanna waved the door shut. “There, more privacy. Now . . .” Even with no one else in the room, the seer lowered her voice. “Did you share any dreams?”

The couple exchanged looks before Annie chose to speak. “Yes. There were . . . two.”

Deanna couldn’t help but notice the pause. “Only two?”

“Yes. Over the summer.”

“Were there others before the summer? Say—while you two were away one weekend in April?”

The two exchanged hurried glances. “We didn’t say—” Kerry looked over his shoulder, confirming they were alone.

Deanna put their fears at rest. “You need not worry: I figured the stories given for your absences that weekend were fabricated.” She shrugged. “Annie was home for ‘personal reason’, and you, Kerry: you were in New York for ‘testing’. And at the same time Erywin was home for personal reasons as well, and Helena was off somewhere on ‘Guardian business’.” The was one soft chuckle. “It didn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to figure out the four of you were off somewhere together—and given that you both were working with Helena and Erywin for most of the month—and when you came back and had to spend the night in the hospital . . .”

“I suppose it wasn’t much of a cover story.” Annie had thought at the time that the reasons given for their being away, but since the Guardians demanded they stick to those particular stories, Kerry and she felt that had no choice.

Deanna shook her head. “People here always suspect Guardian business when Helena runs off for a weekend. And if she should disappear with Erywin and two students in tow . . .” She shrugged. “Did you believe someone would come up and ask you if your story was legitimate?”

Annie had never considered the question before, but now it made complete sense. She’s right; who would question us? If Deanna knew we were lying, others must have figured it out as well. No one wanted to say anything, likely because they knew we were doing something for the Guardians that weekend, and they were worried if they asked questions they’d end up getting into trouble . . .

There is a completely valid point here:  who the hell is going to come out and ask, “Were you guys doing something with the Guardians last weekend?”  Besides getting a “No” and a cold stare from a certain Chestnut Girl, that person would set themselves up as just being too damn snoopy.  Deanna pretty much indicates no one ever pestered Helena over her weekends away from the school, and now that it seems she’s taken a couple of students under her wing–one for sure, Skippy–one can bet they’ve learned at the leather-clad knee of the Dark Mistress, so why would any student–or even instructor, for that matter–set themselves up that way?  Going there puts one at risk, and who wants that?

They tell Deanna about their first two dreams, and she loves how they interact while discussing them–

Deanna loved watching their interaction together. They are so unlike the children their age: so mature in their affection . . . “And the third dream?”

“In that dream we were mature, and . . . sparkly? Does that seem right? And emo? I’m sorry: I don’t do emo.”

No, nothing like that:

 Kerry sat up and appeared embarrassed, while a slight flush appeared in Annie’s cheeks. Words stumbled from Kerry’s mouth. “We were, um, in a hotel room, and—”

Annie decided to get the matter out in the open so they wouldn’t be more embarrassed than they’d already been. “We were in bed together—naked.”

“That is—” Deanna wasn’t worried about what might have happened in the dream: as in real life, she trusted their actions—at least for now. “I take it that’s never happened before.”

Kerry shook his head. “No. We always show up in our pajamas first, then usually change after.”

“And did you dress?”

“Yes. We got our pajamas on, and then . . .”

Annie picked up the thread. “We left the room and went to my grandparent’s villa in France.”

This was something Deanna had never heard mentioned before. “Your grandparents live there?”

“No. They have a villa there they visit once in a while. I’ve stayed there with my mother, but not in a while.”

“And why do you think you went there.”

Annie half turned towards Kerry before explaining. “We’ve spoken about living there—”

Kerry took Annie’s hand. “We talked about it when we—” He shrugged. “When we were away last school year, and we talked about it when we were in the dream.” He looked directly at Deanna. “We want to have a home there—later. You know.”

“Yes, I do.” The seer watched Annie’s face as Kerry finished his statement. She’s proud of him for saying that. Deanna realized this was a far different Kerry than who’d left here at the end of last year—at least when it came to speaking about Annie. She remembered Erywin telling her about their meeting in Perquat’s Grove, and how after Annie had spoken of her desire at an earlier age to marry Kerry, he’d accepted Annie’s feelings, and ignored her concerns, even arguing that she couldn’t have influenced his feelings with hers.

Deanna didn’t find this unusual: all the times she’d seen Kerry with Annie, even through the periods where he didn’t remember their full history, he never had issues showing his affection. Learning to show his love was more difficult—it always is, I know—but affection was never a problem. And now the boy was talking of making a home with his Bulgarian sweetheart—

And riding bikes--though Kerry would kill himself before wearing those shorts.

And riding bikes–though Kerry would kill himself before wearing those shorts.

Bulgarian sweetheart–I like that.  She’s more than that, but we’ll take it for now.  But it’s fairly serious now, particularly when twelve year old kids–almost thirteen in Annie’s case–are suddenly talking about making a home for themselves–and you better believe Deanna knows what they mean when they say “home”.

How does this end?  Like so–

She believed now was the time to move on to another subject. “I’m glad you showed up, because there’s something I’d like to discuss.”

Kerry glanced to his right. “Does it involve tea?”

Deanna’s laugh was quite loud. “You noticed, huh?”

“I did as well.” Annie was looking in the direction of the set out tea set, the same one Deanna had used with them the year before. “What do you have in mind?”

“Have a spot of tea?”  Don’t mind if I do.  I’m supposed to go to dinner with friends tonight, but I should be back in time to write some of what’s coming next–

Which could be . . .

Anything.

Dragon Attacks and Breakfast Meetings

It’s not a good morning up here in Casa Burg.  Last night was electrolysis, and it didn’t go well.  It went badly.  Actually it went sort of horribly as I sorta lost it after ninety minute and had a five minutes combination panic and crying attack.  I couldn’t go on at that point, and the nice woman who shoots electricity into my face did what she could to comfort me.  Even so, I spent about half the trip home crying, and I never really felt up the rest of the night.

So remember, people:  being hormonal + emotionally raw for a few weeks + having electricity shot into your face + hearing the wrong song played at the wrong time, which is what really set me off = Massive Crying Jag.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve went through.  And I’m going back again next Wednesday, because I love having the most sensitive part of my face feeling like it’s on fire.

Dramatic recreation of how I felt.  No actual dragons used in the real thing.

Dramatic recreation of how I felt. No actual dragons were used in the real thing.

And even through all that, I wrote.  One thousand and nine words wrote, and that’s an exact count.  I would have stopped short of that count, but I had to finish up something least I be reminded that I left a particular scene hanging.  I wouldn’t want to do that.

It’s the first day of school at Salem, Reacquaintance Day as the returning students call that, and we know who’s back for seconds.  A few days ago we saw Annie getting ready, wearing her flats and a skirt because it was going to be hot.  But where is Kerry?  And how does he look?  Well . . .

 

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

“Good morning, Sweetie.”

Kerry jumped up from the sofa in the Mezzanine Commons and met her at the stairs. Annie couldn’t keep her grin from showing the second she saw him, because, just like her, she was dressed in a way she’d never seen before. Yes, he had on his tennis shoes and a tee shirt—this one had some kind of stone angel screaming at an unseen person—but he was also wearing shorts. They weren’t very short—like her skirt, they reached to just above his knees—but it was seeing Kerry’s legs like this

Kerry in long shorts.  Just imagine that . . .

 

She bounced up to him. “How are you, my love?” She gave him a quick kiss. “I’m surprised you’re here before me.”

“Ah, I was up early.” He stepped onto the stairs and walked to the ground floor with Annie to his left. “I guess I was too excited to sleep in late.”

“Even after getting to bed late?” Annie glanced out from eyes hooded by her brow as she gave Kerry a slight grin.

“Even with not getting to bed until after one.” He took her hand as they reached the ground floor and they began walking across the commons towards one of the tower exits. “Then again, that’s like normal sleep time for the Midnight Madness, right?”

“Yes.” She opened the inner tower door, and did the same when they reached the entrance to the outside. “And we were also up late every night in Berlin—”

“Getting accustomed to the times here.” Kerry breathed in the warm morning air saturating the Pentagram Garden. The sun was warm, the sky clear, the wind brisk. “So unlike last year.”

“I know.” Annie remembered there first day walking to the Dining Hall, the weather cool and cloudy. But nothing like the night before when I was professing my life while he kept me warm. “Come on, let’s get to breakfast.” She tightened her grip upon her love’s hand. “You know what I want—”

 

Yes, what does Annie want besides more face sucking time with here Soul Mate?  I think she wants food . . .

 

Things were set up as before: the A Levels were set up in the front of the hall, at assigned tables, while the remainder of the students sat at tables behind them. The food was laid out along the west wall buffet-style: today was a day for obfuscation, so no one would find their breakfast appearing before them. However . . .

A woman in a blue jumpsuit approached them. “Annie; Kerry. So nice to see you again.”

“Good morning, Una. Nice to see you again, Una.” Annie turned and gave the head of the kitchen, Una Grandinm, a huge smile.

Kerry placed his hand in front of him and laced his fingers together. “How you doing, Una?”

“Doing well, Kerry.” She indicated the buffet table to their left. “You’ll find everything you need today laid out—”

“Is it still possible to get special orders?” Annie was almost bouncing up and down on her toes.

Una tapped her finger against the corner of her mouth. “What would you like?”

“Printsessi: two, please.”

“I should have known.” Una turned to Kerry. “Would you like to order something as well?”

He glanced at Annie. “I’d like two printsessi as well, please.”

“Ah—” A wide grin appeared across Una’s face. “Developing a taste for Bulgarian fare, are we?”

“Well, you never know—” Kerry slid his arm around Annie’s shoulders and gave her a hug. “I might be eating it a lot in the future.”

 

The dish Annie and Kerry are talking about are the second one on this list, with their favorite Midnight Madness dish, banitsas, right below that.  They go over to the table they were at the day before–a couple of rows behind where they sat the year before–and comment on their situation:

 

Annie saw about half the instructors were already seated at the tables flanking the podium. “I’m excited.”

Kerry stopped lightly drumming his fingers against the edge of the table. “I am, too.” He leaned in towards Annie. “Now I know why all the kids from last year were looking at us so strangely.”

“Because they knew we were completely unaware of what was coming.”

“Well—” He touched Annie’s right arm. “At least one did.”

She shook her head. “My parents told me nothing about the school. While I knew what it was like to live in a magical environment, I was just as unaware of what was coming here as you.”

“And now we’re the experts—”

“Hello, Kerry.”

 

Now who is interrupting the excitement these two are feeling?  Any guesses?  Any?

 

Emma stood at the other side of the table, rocking back and forth on her heels as her eyes darted from Kerry to Annie and back. “How, how you doing?”

“I’m okay.” He smiled as he sat up slowly, keeping his eyes focused on his American friend. “We didn’t see you yesterday.”

“Yeah—” Emma looked towards Annie, who’d remained silent. “How you doing, Annie?”

“I’m well, Emma.” Annie let her head tilt slightly to the right. “Where were you yesterday?”

“Spent most of the time in the coven tower.” Emma leaned against the back of a chair, but made no move yet to sit. “They didn’t let us, um, you know—” She lowered her voice. “Adjust on the plane.” She looked behind her, then continued speaking in a normal tone. “So we had to do that when we got here. Ended up sleeping until almost eighteen, and ended up sitting with Nadine and a few others.” She let her voice drop again, as if sharing a secret. “I didn’t see you there.”

“We ate earlier—” Kerry smiled at Annie. “Then we went for a walk to the Observatory before going back to the tower.”

“We wanted to get inside before the A Levels were place.” Annie’s grin almost matched the conspiratorial tone Emma was effecting. “We came back on his Espinoza.”

“Ah.” Emma understood that Annie didn’t want to say out loud that they flew back on Kerry’s broom.

Yeah, keep that info to yourselves if you can.  At least Annie is being a good, um, host–

 

“No: these.” She picked up a fork, then remembered their guest. “Would you like to join us, Emma? I’m sure the kitchen can make you a plate.”

“Um—” She stepped back from the table, shaking her head. “I’m gonna go sit with some of the girls from the cover.” Emma caught herself before walking away and addressed Kerry. “Are you going down to the Flight School in the afternoon? Nadine said Professor Salomon will let us try out the Class 2’s”

“I don’t know.” Kerry hadn’t figured out his afternoon yet, because he didn’t know what Annie and he would do after breakfast. “I might: it just depends.”

“Oh, okay.” Emma nodded a couple of times. “I’ll catch you guys later.” She hurried off across the room, sitting with a group of girls about four rows over.

 

Like Emma wants to sit there all uncomfortable and stuff while they eat strange food from somewhere in Eastern Europe, though Emma did her best to entice Kerry away with talk of new flying equipment.  Honey, his girlfriend can buy him one if it wants to try it out–come to think of it, so could he . . .

So, a couple of thousand words over a couple of days, and the novel stands at just under thirty-seven thousand words:

Considering everything I've been though this last weekend, not too bad.

Considering everything I’ve been though this last weekend, not too bad.

I should finish this tonight, and maybe get my kids on the Road to Memory.  What will they find there?

Well, someone who’ll probably read their tea leaves . . .

Time Enough For Myself

You know that whole think I said yesterday about doing some writing?  Um . . . yeah.  Didn’t happen.  I was out of the apartment by nine in the morning, and didn’t return until thirteen hours later.  That’s ten PM, or twenty-two hours if you’re flying by Salem time.  The good thing is only three of that was spent on the road, so it was ten hours of hanging out and spending money.

Oh, yes:  there was money spent.  But it was for a good time.

I got to hang out with someone I know from Facebook.  She lives southeast of Baltimore, and we hung out, with her husband and kid, at a nearby mall.  It was a good time.  Got a Panera lobster roll (do no recommend it; I love their stuff, but this was kinda nasty), she bought shoes (on my recommendations), we tried on a bought clothes (I got two skirts, a casual dress, and a sun dress).  Oh, and we got our nails done, but it was a really shitty job:  one of my toes was clipped and bleed, the side of my left foot seems to have lost skin, and I feel like I cheated on my regular manicurist.

If you ever wondered what I look like getting a mani/pedi, there's no need to wonder any more.

If you ever wondered what I look like getting a mani/pedi, you can stop.

It was a great time, and a good way to help someone spend Mother’s Day.  I even got a “Happy Mother’s Day,” because I look like a mother?  I am and I ain’t:  that’s a tough one to get around, and I don’t try.  One could say that since I’ve never blasted a kid out from nether reasons I’m not, but I’ve helped raise my daughter and been there for her when it was needed, so–maybe?  Not for me to say.

I didn’t think much about my other kids, however.  Well, I did a little, but my mind was off somewhere else for most of the day yesterday.  I’m back to thinking about them a lot these days, but I’m going over so much that I’ve already went over, that I’m looking for insights into new scenes.  Now that I have a better sense of what’s happening in the B Levels–from a personal perspective for them, that is–ideas are popping into my head, and I’m thinking over the good and the bad, keeping what I like and discarding all the rest–or at least moving the old aside and keeping it somewhere close in case I like it for something else.

I did wake up this morning with an almost clear picture of what happens in the next scene after the one which I’m currently writing, the one titled Remembering Memory.  Annie wants to visit Deanna, ’cause she was the first person they saw on the first day of school as A Levels, so why not again?  Do you think they’ll have a quiet discussion over tea?  It’s quite possible that’s exactly what’s going to happen.  If this morning is any indication, I knew right where that vision is going . . .

I hope to get a few hundred words written tonight–after I have more electrolysis done this evening.  From the sublime to the masochistic, wouldn’t you say?  Anyway, if I don’t write just something to night, I think I’ll go nuts.

And it helps get my mind off the fact that my face is on fire.

Mimsy Were The School Returns

Today is going to be a full day, with a lot of travel and meetings and even a little shopping.  I was supposed to do things yesterday–and I did, only not a lot of the things I wanted to do.  Life does that to you sometimes, and yesterday was one of those times.

Today I’m home, having put my shower and breakfast behind me, and I’m working on this post as I drink my coffee. In about ninety minutes I’ll start getting ready, which really means I’ll finish my daily routine, dress, and prepare my makeup.  After that it’s at least ninety minutes behind the wheel to go meet a friend.  A lot of time spent getting to and fro, but it’s all worth it, I assure you.  And getting out and about is a great thing.

Believe it or not, I actually wrote last night, and after putting thirteen hundred words behind me in the morning one would think I was finished for the day.  Well . . . I gotta make up for Fridays, so I started on Chapter Five and got my kids back in the Pond.  I’ve also made notes about what they’re going to do in some of the upcoming scene, and the theme of “We’re Different” pops up all over the place.  It’s already started with them and the other members of the Party of Five, with their relaxed moods and public displays of affection.  Yes, the kissiest of couples is back, and they’ll never let those prying eyes bother them.  After all, the whole school has seen them kiss on streaming video at thirty-three hundred meters, and that scene can be recalled for anyone to watch.  Oh, and there’s also in the Hall of Remembrance, too, for that, so just wait until the parents come calling to the school on Ostara.  Particularly Annie’s father:  “Anelie, what is this?”  “Nothing, Papa:  just Kerry and I kissing during the Mile High Flight.”  Yeah, Papa, just your daughter kissing, no biggie.  Ask any student:  they’ve all seen it before.

Yesterday, however, while driving a around, I started my old routine of working out scenes in my head and by “talking out” the dialog, and the one I was keying on the most was the last scene of Act One, which comes just before the Samhain Dance.  That last scene will more or less set the tone for the rest of the story, which isn’t a bad thing once you realize I’ll probably be sixty thousand or more words into the novel by that time.  (Probably more–probably.)  I was also working out a scene for Annie that comes in Act Two, and if you’ve ever asked yourself, “I wonder what a pissed-off Annie looks like?” you’ll find out.  It’s another of those scene that makes me wish I could draw, ’cause I would do this up right now if it were possible.

There will also be added scenes.  A couple came to mind last night, and as I pointed out with the first novel, though I have most everything plotted out, that doesn’t mean I won’t add and cut where necessary.  More than likely I’ll add:  just as the late night scene on the second floor was needed, I’ll need other scenes to build their characters.  ‘Cause I’m all about the characterization.

Time to get ready.  Time to think about what comes next in the story.  Time to ready myself to get to forty thousand words here soon.

It's all happening here, at the School.  Won't you come along?

It’s all happening here, at the School. Won’t you come along?

The Seeing of the Scene

If by now you haven’t caught on, I write.  It’s not my day job–I have one of those where I go into an office and do things and stuff and come home at the end of the day–but it’s one I’ve been doing for a while; just about four years come this September.  It is my dream to do this full time, but unless I get the damn books out there for people to read, that will never happen.

If you’ve followed me from the start, you’ll also notice that my writing style has changed considerably.  There is a different flow to it these days, far more than when I published my first stories two and three years back.  The way I write has changed a great deal, too:  probably because I spend so much time now waltzing through these new worlds which now have become old worlds due to my having lived in them for right around two years now–three years if you count the times I’d think all this over while driving back and forth to Indianapolis during the summer of 2012.

Lately, however, the writing has turned into . . . well, I have become heavily involved in a task known as “getting it right.”  Particularly with this new story, getting each scene started has become a complete pain finding the right words, the right setting, the right mood.  Example One is below.  This is the start of the newest scene in my current novel.

 

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

The evening had reached the point where the coven tower lights would flash three times to indicate the lights were going out in a minute, but on the second floor of Cernunnos Coven there wasn’t a need for lights out, for the lights had been out for nearly an hour while the students used alternate light sources as they relaxed in comfort in the open space outside their rooms.

Penny, Alex, and Jairo had gathered pillows from the ground floor storage and set them out in a circle. Penny and Alex used various spells and enchantments arrange a few of the pillows so they could lay back against them, while Jario prepared local snacks and cool drinks in the small kitchen in the lower level.

While the C Levels were busy, the B Levels did their part to make for a relaxing evening.

Since they’d need light, Annie created several small spheres of cold fire and levitated them overhead. Kerry took musical suggestions from everyone, set them up on his tablet, then set it against the wall between the entrances to the bathrooms, then crafted a spell so the speakers would project the sound around them, making it seem as if they were surrounded by music.

In the blue light of cold fire the five B and C Levels sat listening to music, snacking on tequeños and golfeados while drinking merengadas, and enjoying their company.

 

That’s just two hundred and thirty-five words–and that took me forever to write.  Or close to forty minutes, if my internal guessing is correct.  Now, I will admit to about five minutes of research looking up snacks and beverages from Venezuela, which constitutes the last line of the excerpt, but the rest of it was all me sitting in front of the laptop trying to figure out what I want to say.  Particularly that first paragraph:  that little gem probably took a good fifteen minutes of my life to figure out.

"Lights?  Lighting?  Should they just grab a student from another coven and use them as a bonfire?"

“Lights? Lighting? Should they just grab a student from another coven and use them as a bonfire?”

Don’t ask Annie about that last; she’s got a couple of students in mind.

It’s been like that since starting this novel.  Getting the scene started usually takes a bit of work, but once it’s going, it’s off and running.  Tonight might not be that case, since I’ve got a butt-load of things to do when I get home, but then again, since most of that revolves around laundry, I can write while waiting for things to get clean.  At least try and get it finished before Touch of Evil comes on tonight, because that’s one of those movies I don’t like to miss.

There’s nothing wrong with getting it right up front.  I know most people who have cut their teeth on NaNoWriMo say, “Write first, then edit later.”  To paraphrase Col. Tom Parker, “That’s good enough for you, but what about me?”  Not that I haven’t worked on a major edit:  I did it last year about this time on the Parts One and Two of A For Advanced.  But I like to avoid that if possible, because . . . well, just because.  Really, too:  I’m laying out the scenes in a far different way than the last novel.  The kids are back on familiar ground, so there’s no need for a lot of oohing and aahing.  They know the drill, just like when they boarded the plane, and there isn’t much of a need to get back into that–save for the moments like the one above, where my kids are truly in The Pond and becoming part of the student body.

I’ve noticed this popping up more and more.  Some of it is likely due to distractions around me, and the mind is looking to focus on something else instead of the task at hand.  Writers need to write, but they also need stimulation, and I’ve tried to put that into my life so I don’t keep turning back to a cycle of work, eat, write, sleep again.  That way leads to burn out, and I’ve fought with that for too long now.  I give into burn out now, and it’s going to be a while before I recover from that.

And there is so much story ahead to tell . . .