Let’s Get Rambling, Ramblers!

And I’m good at rambling.  Just watch!

 

Imagining Living in the Unreal

It’s been a strange sort of day.  I woke up ready to go and I’ve been in that mode ever since.  It’s a strange feeling as I haven’t had a lot of get up and go for a few months–could that be due to practice?  Not really:  I was feeling like that long before I strapped on some skates and became my own hero.  I’m sure it was due to something else.

Yesterday I spent time thinking about Kerry’s future, but not like long-term stuff; you know, more like what’s coming in the next few months.  It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before, but now that a few changes are coming into his life, I’ve had to refine that view a bit.  Before I started on the current novel everything was painted, more or less, in broad stokes.  Now the time has come to fill in some of the outlines and maybe turn a couple of mistakes into birds.

This goes for Annie, too.  As we saw way back in the beginning of this novel she’s breaking out of her “Ice Queen” shell and even venturing away from her home.  She spent time with Alex and even traveled to Cardiff to see Kerry, look around his parent’s house, and check out his room.  (She also said his bed would be a good place to conceive kids, but she was just clowning him.  Maybe.)  She’s growing as a person and a young woman, and given how these kids talk and act, it’s likely she’s already got a good grasp of her sexuality and is working with her soul mate on his.

It’s safe to say that in the next month or so there will be a few surprises tossed out here for everyone to see.  This is what happens when you dig into the lives of your fictional characters and look for the little nuggets that make up their personality and their experiences.  In the last few weeks I’ve actually had a lot more fun digging into areas I didn’t know existed so that I could bring a few new elements into this story.  It not only helped that I wanted to change things up a bit, but it’s actually helped set up things better for the future.

A future that is continuing to change.  Except for a few things, that is.

There was a time when I figured Kerry being dumped by his parent for the Yule holidays might be one of the worst things in the world for him.  Now…  I’m not so certain.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so this could be one of those things that keeps Kerry strong.  As for Annie–well, she has her own strength.  Which we’ll get to see on display soon.

Act One is nearly over:  one last chapter and I can move on to the act where all hell breaks loose.  I don’t want to say I’m gonna have fun torturing my kids–

But you know I will.

The Future Folks: The Other Find

I woke up this morning and I still have all my fingers.  That’s probably due to not going out and blowing off fireworks, which is something I never do.  As it was I saw the city display just fine from my apartment while I worked on my recap.  I’m certain there are a few people who are missing appendages today, however, and to them–well, nothing.  I’m sure they got fixed up at the ER last night.

It’s time to wrap up Chapter Fourteen, and how better to do it than to find out what else Annie’s parents found in the Hall of Remembrance.  And you know it’s good:

 

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

 

Kerry was about to mention that her nickname wasn’t important to him when he heard Victor grunt loudly in surprise. He motioned to his wife. “Pavlina, vizhte tova.” (Pavlina, come look at this.)

Kerry looked toward Annie’s feet as he mumbled softly. “They found it.”

The softness of Annie’s voice matched his. “I’ll handle this.”

“Okay.”

Both Victor and Pavlina’s turned slowly towards their daughter. Her father spoke as he pointed at the picture on the wall. “This is Kerry and you on the Mile High Flight.”

Annie glanced at the spot of the wall he was indicating. “I’m certain you’re correct, Papa.”

“You’re… You’re kissing.”

Annie gave one quick nod. “Yes, we are.”

Pavlina gave her daughter a strange look. “These were taken with Spy Eyes.”

“They were the only thing that could’ve taken that picture, Mama.” Annie returned to look. “We were at our objective.”

“They were broadcasting this back to the Dining Hall.”

“Yes, we know.”

“That means the whole school saw this happen.”

Annie started to roll her eyes and stopped halfway through when she realized it would only upset her mother more. “Mama, it’s not as if the school hasn’t seen Kerry and I kiss before.”

“Is that so?” Victor stepped up alongside his wife. “And how often does the school see you two kiss?”

Annie set her hands upon her hips as she took a defiant stance. “I’m sorry, Papa, but I don’t see how that’s your business.”

For a few seconds Annie and her parents stared at each other in silence as if no one knew what to say next. Victor’s eyes were suddenly drawn toward Annie’s left hand sitting upon her hip. “What’s that you have on?”

 

Hey, Mama, it’s not like the school hasn’t seen us kiss before!  Yeah, that’s a great answer, Annie.  It’s also a good thing Annie didn’t answer her father’s question about kissing, as he might not have been able to take the stress that comes with the answer.  Up to that point he likely never thought his daughter was into public displays of affection.

And by the way:  what is that you have on, Annie?  You know–on your hand?  Or…  is that a finger?

 

“This?” Annie held up her hand so everyone could see clearly. “It’s a ring. Kerry gave it to me for my birthday.”

“Kerry gave you—” Pavlina glanced at the blushing boy and smiled. “A ring?”

“It’s a sapphire ring, Mama. It’s just my birth stone.” She turned to her father. “What did you think it was, Papa?”

Now it was Victor’s turn to blush. “I didn’t—”

“Kerry wouldn’t give me an engagement ring: we’re too young for that.”

“Why are you wearing it on your left hand, then?”

“Because I’m right handed, that’s why.” This time she did roll her eyes. “Really, Papa? You actually believe I would get engaged now?” Annie glanced back at Kerry. “Besides, he knows better.”

“Oh?” Pavlina continued smiling as she addressed Kerry. “And what do you know?”

He cleared his throat. “I know that Annie wants an Astral Etching as an engagement ring and I haven’t learned how to do that yet. So…” A weak smile appeared on his face.

“Can’t get engaged until then.”

“You see, Victor—” Pavlina turned to her husband, who was now altering his gaze between Kerry and his daughter. “Kerry does know better. Or, at least he knows what Annie wants.”

 

You see, guys?  Kerry can’t do Astral Etchings yet, so no engagement.  You now know for sure what Kerry gave Annie for her birthday, though a few people had already guessed a ring.  One that, I should point out, Annie wears all the time.  I couldn’t mention her wearing it ’cause that would have given away the surprised, but–well, we can talk about it now, can’t we.

It’s funny that Pavlina doesn’t seem all that surprised by this revelation.  After all, she knows Kerry’s name is “in the book”, so she is fully aware that every time she looks at Kerry, she’s likely seeing her future son-in-law.  We can already assume that Kerry is viewing Annie’s folks as his future in-laws, so it’s a good trade.

How does Victor handle this news?

 

Victor spent a moment composing himself before answering. “Yes, well…” He cleared his throat. “When one is dealing with our Annie, it’s important to know everything she wants.”

Pavlina took his arm. “Why don’t we sit in the Rotunda and relax before getting something to eat?” She glanced back at her daughter. “Annie, would you be so kind as to find us all a seat? I think we’ll be ready for a light breakfast in about ten minutes.”

“Yes, Mama.” She waited until he parents were out of sight before taking Kerry’s hand as she turned towards him. “I told you I’d handle this.”

“And you handled it well.” He glanced down the hall towards where Annie’s parents had vanished. “I have a feeling your mother isn’t going to let this drop.”

“Oh, she won’t.” Annie quickly arched an eyebrow. “I half expect her to begin asking me how far along we are with Astral Etching.”

“Why would she want to know that?”

Annie gave here soul mate a slightly exasperated look. “Because, my love, she knows that once you learn how to do that, I won’t want to wait long to get engaged.” She pulled him towards the Dining Hall doorway. “Let’s get a table. I imagine Papa will regain his appetite in about five minutes…”

 

First, Victor knows what Annie wants, Annie gets, and he’s aware she’s already schooled her soul mate on his etching thing.

And Second, Annie lays it out right there about when the engagement happens:  not long after Kerry knows how to do an Astral Etching.  Eyes On the Prize and all that shit, but Annie just let Kerry know as soon as he’s got this etching thing down she’s gonna want it on her finger.  Annie knows what she wants and she goes for it.

And that includes getting some astral tattooing on her finger.

Now that the family is here, it’s time to race.

The Future Folks: What’s All This?

Happy From Americans Blowing Up Shit All Day and Night Day!  Yes, it’s that time when people you wouldn’t trust with the glow stick are going to mix alcohol and fireworks throughout the day with varying degrees of hilarity.  Since I have a hospital across the street from where I live, I should hang out front of the ER and see how many people come in with fireworks-related injuries.  About twenty years ago I actually knew a guy who blew his thumb off with a M-80.  He got it reattached, but still…

My plans for the day are about what they normally are: I’m doing this blog post now, I’ll work in a TV recaps this afternoon, I’ll work on my novel tonight.  In between net I’ll eat and get a massage.  And maybe catch a nap at some point.  But that’s it: my exciting day.  Almost all of which will be spent indoors.  Because it’s too damn hot to go outside.

You know who else is spending the day indoors?  My kids. Well, Kerry will be spending part of it indoors–that part being right now, in the morning, and then later at night.  At the moment there still standing in the Atrium of the Great Hall, while the Pavlina and Victor are ready to stroll the Hall of Remembrance.

An action that has Kerry bit concerned–

 

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

 

Both Annie and Kerry stay back for a moment as her parents walked towards the East Hallway. Kerry stepped up alongside his soul mate and spoke in a low voice. “They’re going to find it.”

Annie gave a quick nod. “And if they do, we will deal with the fallout.” Just as her father had done, she reached for Kerry’s hand. “Come along, my love.”

Pavlina and Victor walked slowly down the Hall of Remembrance, stopping every so often to examine a photo or a plaque. Kerry knew these locations had to do with their time in school as Annie had showed him the memorabilia many times. But they didn’t spend much time in these locations: they were moving towards the areas where the important events of the last two years for Cernunnos Coven lay…

Pavlina stopped before one photo whose location Kerry knew well. “Victor, look at this.”

Annie’s father walked over and read the inscription below the picture before looking towards his daughter’s boyfriend. “Kerry, you finished fifth overall last year?”

He nodded. “Yes, sir, I did.”

Victor turned to Annie. “You said he did well racing; you didn’t tell us he finished in the top five his first season?”

Annie tilted her head slightly to the right. “I didn’t want to sound as if I were bragging about his accomplishments, Papa.”

“Still, this is—” He nodded in Kerry’s direction. “Congratulations. This is impressive.”

Kerry felt his cheeks warm as he blushed. “Thank you, sir.”

 

At the moment Kerry is still in the good graces of Victor, who is impressed that his daughter’s boyfriend finish in the top five his first season racing.  Like I said before, want to stay on the good side of the future father-in-law, keep pointing out how well you race.

Of course, Kerry’s racing exploits aren’t the only thing on this wall…

 

“Annie…” Pavlina stood before another picture. “You didn’t mention being in a Judgment Trial, either.”

“I know, Mama.” She gave a quick shrug. “It happened early in our B Levels: it wasn’t on my mind when I came home for Yule.”

“Wait—” Victor stepped over and read the details of the trial. “You fought a boy two years your senior?”

Annie kept her voice neutral. “Yes, Papa.”

“And beat him?”

She nodded towards the picture. “Obviously, Papa.”

Pavlina took a step forward. “Why were you in a judgment trial in the first place?”

Kerry answered before Annie could speak. “Someone said something rather uncomplimentary to her in one of our class and—”

Annie locked eyes with her mother as she decided not to lie about what happened. “A girl accused me, in class, of having intercourse with Kerry. So I called her out.”

 

Annie is not one to mince words. Where’s Kerry decided to dance around the reason for the callout, Annie went straight to heart of the matter.  Kerry still unsure about how open he can be with Pavlina and Victor, so is doing a bit of tap dancing here.

These are Annie’s parents, however, so she knows how to deal with them.  In the best way to deal with them is to be honest.  Besides, it sounds like her reason for calling someone out is a lot more worthwhile when she mentions they were accusing her of having intercourse with her boyfriend.  There isn’t a parent in the world–well, at least not a witchy one–who’s going to cite against their kid when it’s put that way.  And that’s exactly what happens here:

 

Both of Annie’s parents looked at her for several seconds, unsure of what to say. It was Victor who finally expressed what was likely on both their minds. “You did what was necessary, Nini. It’s good that you did not allow yourself to be bullied.”

Pavlina nodded in agreement. “You handled yourself admirably. Particularly if you took on a champion two years older than you—and won.”

Annie knew Kerry was about to say something relating to the judgment trial and she stopped him before he could unnecessarily brag about her achievement. “Thank you,

Mama. Thank you, Papa.” She smiled warmly. “I’m glad you believe in me.”

Victor smiled back. “We always have. You’ve always been our biggest pride and joy, Nini.” With that both parents returned to examining the commemorative plaques and pictures on the hallway walls.

Kerry slid up alongside Annie and spoke in a whisper. “Nini?”

Annie shot a vicious glance in his direction. “We’ll discuss that nickname later.”

 

Yeah, Kerry, you want to be careful when using Annie’s nickname.  She didn’t mind it the year before when you were calling her a little cabbage leaf, but Nini?  This seems to be one of those family-given names that the person to whom it was given would rather forget it existed.  Or at least, keep that name within the family and not allow it out anywhere else.  As much as she says that Kerry is her family, I think this is one part of her life that she’d like to keep away from Kerry.

So, they found the stuff concerning Kerry’s placement during his B Levels racing experience, and Annie’s Judgment Trial.  I wonder if there’s anything else in this area that her parents might find?

The Future Folks: Let’s Talk Standings

Well, it’s been an interesting weekend.

First off, yesterday I went out and bought skates, so now I have all the gear.  And I even found an old backpack in my car that I haven’t used for years which will do for holding my gear.  Yes, pig, it’ll do.

My gear is ready for practice. #HARD #RollerGirl

A post shared by Cassidy Frazee (@cassidyfrazee) on

Tonight it’s gonna be write, then watch a little TV, then write again.  And tomorrow more writing.  I have down time until Wednesday so I may as well make the most of it, yeah?  Sure will.  And I’ll take a break tomorrow to go get a massage, so I’ll be a happy girl tomorrow.

Now, about my kids…

Now that Favorite Daughter has been greeted, attention quickly turns to Favorite Daughter’s SO, and it’s time for a little bonding over something the Kirilovi’s know–

 

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

 

“Of course, Papa.” Annie wrapped her arms around her father and squeezed him tight. “I’m sorry I didn’t hug you right away.”

“The fact were hugging now is all that matters.” He released Annie with a slight pat on her shoulder. “In case you were unable to make a determination on your own, your mother and I are excited to see you as well.”

Pavlina turned to speak to Kerry because she didn’t want him to feel left out. “So, are you excited about the racing today?”

He did his best to keep from nodding as he smiled and spoke. “Yeah, the coven is officially in second place as of last week and we’re only a few points away from catching Åsgårdsreia.” He wiped the smile from his face and returned something more like normal. “It’s going to be pretty crazy out there today. All the Åsgårdsreia racers are going to pressing hard the podium—and were going to have to press just as hard to keep them off the podium.”

A slight smile appeared upon Annie’s face. “Tell them the other part.”

“Oh, yeah. Mórrígan is four points behind us and third and they came on real strong last weekend.” He glanced between all three members of the Kirilovi family. “Like I said, if you get kinda crazy out there today.”

 

It makes sense that Victor–who was something of a big racing deal when he was at school–would ask Kerry about today’s main activity.  A long time ago I believe I mentioned that Victor would probably love having a race date his daughter, though he doesn’t understand there’s more than dating going on here, which might change his opinion of the Ginger Hair Boy.  Then again, this means that Kerry better do well out on the course today or Victor may be giving him some post-race stink eye.  Odds are good that if Kerry doesn’t have a good day he won’t make a snarky comment to Annie, who likely wouldn’t have any of that.

This leads to Kerry asking about Victor’s upcoming race:

 

“It was like that when you were racing.” Pavlina turned towards her husband. “Although it wasn’t Mórrígan you worried about back then.”

“No, it was Ceridwen we worried about.” Victor glanced at Kerry. “Back then they were always in competition for first place, while we were the perennial third-place coven. Our concern then was moving up into second.”

Knowing what he did of Ceridwen’s race team, if not for having seen their finishes he would have found it difficult to believe they were first and second place team back when Annie’s parents were in school. “We’re racing the best we’ve raced so far. We’re hoping we can carry the momentum through the rest of the year and maybe get the top of the podium.” Kerry quickly changed the subject. “How are you going to handle your race today in India?”

“As we handle every race: go out on the course give it our best.” Victor gave a soft chuckle. “It’s actually a good thing we’re racing in India because it allows me to ‘turn in early’ and come here. By the time we’re through watching the racing here, I’ll be able to go back and get a decent night’s sleep.” He winked at Pavlina. “With a little help from you’re pharmaceutical magic, that is.”

Pavlina shook her head as she turned to the children. “It’s nothing special: just a variation on the readjustment formulas you use.”

Kerry shrugged. “Any help is good help.”

Victor nodded in agreement. “That is so true.” He held his hand out toward his wife. “Shall we peruse the Hall of Remembrance?”

Pavlina spoke in a loud whisper to Annie. “He’s been asking to see this all week.” She took her husband’s hand. “Lead on, my dear.”

 

Anyway, we now have the standings before going into the races and surprise!  Mórrígan is in third because Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos are beating the hell out of the courses.  This cannot be sitting well with Erywin and Nadine, who have gotten used to being in first most of the year every year.  And in case you’re wondering, after all the races are over there will be numbers after those slashes because those standings might change.

 

Åsgårdsreia:  (1 +3/)
Cernunnos:  (2 +4/)
Mórrígan:  (3 +6/)
Blodeuwedd:  (4 +5/)
Ceridwen:  (5/)

 

I wonder if there’s anything in the Hall of Remembrance that might worry Annie and Kerry?  Maybe a few things?

Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow?