Figuring Out That Loving Feeling

This is about as late a going as I get on the blog.  Here it is, 9:30 AM, and I’m just penning my first words.  It’s been a tough weekend, full of hurt and strange feelings.

One of the strangest happened last night.  I’ve been rewriting one of the scenes that I felt was in need of rewriting, something I call Astria Portal because, well, that’s where it takes place.  As stated, it’s the older part of the school that still remains untouched, and in 2011 it remains embedded in what remains of the original north outer wall.

"Set right up, see the 322 year old ruin.  Ever school should have one."

“Set right up, see the 322 year old ruin. Ever school should have one.”

Now it’s easy to find it, and it’s easy to see what the environment is like, because one can go back in time and view the sky at particular dates and times, and one can even get fancy and take a snapshot of the sky at the time and have it sitting in your document so you have a reference.

I don't have a TARDIS, but I have software, and that's almost as good.  Except when you gotta get rid of Daleks--

I don’t have a TARDIS, but I have software, and that’s almost as good. Except when you gotta get rid of Daleks, then it’s a pain.

I have the setting, and I have a bit of the history, and it’s all laid out for the reader . . .

 

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

They were walking up a slight incline, with the path straightening as they neared a small rise. In the gathering twilight Kerry noticed a structure ahead—something large and familiar. As they reached the top of this ridge, the object came into clear, sharp focus: it was a tower embedded within a long, tall wall, both covered by vines.

They stopped and gazed upon the structures only twenty meters away. Kerry was the one with the questions this time. “What is that?”

Annie knew the answer. “Astria Portal.”

“What’s that?”

“The first astronomy tower.” She gave Kerry a knowing look. “My parents told me about this.” She pointed at the structure. “It was built in 1689, and ended up becoming the home of one of the founders, Astria Blomqvist.” She looked about the darkened forest. “This was all built before the cover towers, before The Pentagram.”

“That’s why it looks like our towers.”

“It was used as the model. My parents told me all the covens were based upon this.”

As they approached the tower Kerry looked to his left and right, seeing the attached wall disappear into the forest. “This looks like the outer wall.”

“At one time it was. When the school first decided to put up an outer wall, this was the northern exit.”

Kerry nodded. “Hence Astria Portal.”

“Yes.”

The path passed through the center of the tower: the doors that had existed on the inside and outside of the wall were no longer used, which allowed for direct, unobstructed passage through the structure. The base was much like the base of the Cernunnos Coven tower—large and open, as if it had once been a commons. There were two stairs ascending to a small mezzanine, and onward to the floor above.

Kerry looked around, trying to imagine what it may have looked like over three hundred years ago. “This place doesn’t look as if it’s been touched in a long time.”

“My parents told me this is the oldest part of the school that hasn’t been remodeled.” Annie slowly turned as she gazed up at point somewhere high on the wall. “They never used it for anything but astronomy classes, and after they built a new tower about a hundred years later, they never used this for anything but storage.”

The age of the tower became all too evident for Kerry after hearing Annie’s explanation. “I need to read up on this place.”

“Not now, I hope.”

He chuckled as he turned toward Annie. “I know better than to start looking up things right this moment.” Kerry approached her. “Did you hear about this before you came here?”

“Yes, I did.” Annie drew Kerry closer to one of the stairs. “My parents—particularly my mama—told me about this place.” She began leading him up the stairs.

 

You go up those stairs, kid, you’re gonna be in trouble.  Who am I kidding?  I wrote him going up the stairs; it’s not like Kerry has any will of his own.

The thing is, I was going along fine, even managing to get this part written:

 

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

Annie pulled Kerry to the middle of the mezzanine. As dark as it was getting outside it was starting to feel even darker here. Just like the coven towers, the only opening here were the open door frames, which meant where they were standing, several meters above the opening, the darkness closed in and enveloped them.

Kerry squeezed Annie’s hands as they stood close together, her face appearing to shine through the shadows. “Why did she tell you about this place?”

“Because . . .” She took Kerry’s left hand and held it to her chest. “It was special to her.” She leaned closer to the one person she thought of almost non-stop, day and night. “This is where she and my father had their first kiss.” She half-closed her eyes as she smiled. “I thought it might be good idea to carry on a family tradition.”

“You do?” Since Kerry had kissed Annie Thursday night, there had been a lot of hand holding and a bit of hugging, and even a peck on the cheek or two, but they’d yet to have another kiss-on-the-lips moment.

But the gloom of the ancient tower, and the way Annie’s face shined in this magnificent darkness, it reminded Kerry of something: a image of a place he’d visited long before. But where? He wasn’t much of a traveler, but since arrived he’d find his thoughts tugging at the back of his mind, working hard to remind him that . . .

And that was what he didn’t understand.

Right now he didn’t ‘cause Annie looked so . . . Cute? Pretty? No, she was more than that—

He stood almost nose-to-nose with Annie, which wasn’t difficult as they were literally the same height. “I’m happy your mother told you about coming here.” He touched her right arm, running his hand slowly towards her shoulder. “Because I get to be here with you.”

Annie felt her breath coming in short bursts. “And I’m here with you.”

His fingers glided over her shoulder and lightly brushed her cheek. “You are lovely.” He brushed her upper lip. “I’m really so lucky.”

 

And then I hit the feelings wall.

I know what Annie was feeling at that point–it’s impossible not to know.  But I was damned if I could get the words to flow.  I couldn’t pull them out.  It was Struggle City, and I didn’t like the sensation.

There were a lot of issues at play.  Maybe it was due to it being late.  Maybe it was due to coming down off a vodka martini I’d drank earlier in the evening, and which hit me hard.  Maybe it was due to feeling bad throughout the day.  Maybe it was my mood, which found me a little down after a pretty good evening, and if there was one thing I didn’t need to feel when Annie was about to experience a most fantastic emotion , it was down.

It was one of the reasons I didn’t head off to Panera this morning as I usually do.  I needed to change things up, because what happened last night was a sensation I didn’t much care for.

Today, however, I’ve had time to mull over the part, and I’ve even spent a lot of time rolling about doing other things just so I could get my mind right on the matter.  I will get this scene written and move on to other scenes in need of similar rewriting.

Writers.

We are a strange bunch.

The Light at the Bottom of the Observatory Well

Here we are, holiday time, the year almost over, and here I am thinking about what to eat as I prepare for the Doctor Who Christmas special, which I know will probably rip my hearts to shreds.  Yesterday there was talk among a few people about the South Yorkshire “Man of Steel” sculpture getting a £1 million pledge for it’s construction along the M1, and it was proposed that we should instead build a thirty meter sculpture of Brian Blessed dressed as Prince Vultan screaming out lines from Flash Gordon as only Brian could, then imagining people on the motorway freaking out as they hear things like, “Gordon’s alive?” and “Flying blind on a rocket cycle?”, as well as, “Ah, well . . . who wants to live forever?” which is exactly what you want to hear as you’re roaring down the expressway.

Far better expenditure of £1 million if you ask me.

The novel progressed last night.  It headed over the eight-five thousand word mark, which means it’s close to becoming my second longest novel.  Her Demonic Majesty ended up with a final count of eighty-five thousand three hundred fifty words, and as of right now I’m one thousand, one hundred and three words away from beating that count.  I could do it today, because as I’m on my own, what else am I gonna do?

Last night Annie and Kerry made Observatorytheir way to their next class, which happens to be Astronomy at the Observatory.  Where else would it be held?  One of the things I also did last night was label my map so I won’t get confused, and as you can see I have my Observatory marked.  What was it like there?  Here was what I wrote last night for that section of the novel, again without edits:

 

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

It was completely dark by the time Annie and Kerry reached the Observatory. The sixty-five meter tower was the second tallest structure on the Salem campus behind the eighty meter clock tower, though the structure was far newer: this was the fourth school observatory, completed in 1985, and remodeled three times since.

They entered the building at ground level and were immediately surprised by what they found. Annie’s parents never told her about the new tower, and Kerry hadn’t read up on the building, so both expected to enter and find a long flight of stairs awaiting. Instead they found a large, round metal platform with a huge Cassegrain-style telescope located in the middle of the tower, a few instrument stations set up around the outer edge of the platform, and several cabinets around the area behind the telescope and a few work tables on each side. A few students were already here, though estimating the size of the crowd, Kerry knew not everyone was yet here.

As they walked cross a small gangway needed to reach the platform Kerry looked up. The tower was hollow, but he saw at maybe ten, maybe a dozen vertical rails rising up into the shadows above. He noticed the railing around the edge of the huge base and it clicked to him why the telescope was here, and how they were going to get into position for viewing today.

A woman with a dark brown complexion stepped away from a panel at the base of the telescope as Annie and Kerry stepped onto the platform. “Ah, children. So very good to see you.” Her accent was sounded somewhat Asian Indian to Kerry, who had come to know a few Indians while living in San Fransisco and Cardiff. “I am Professor Bashagwani, but you may call me Harpreet if you so wish.” She brushed back some of the long back hair that had gotten into her face. “Your names, please?”

“Annie Kirilova.”

“Kerry Malibey.”

Hapreet waved her right hand in the air and a holographic display appeared before her. She scrolled through a list of names until she found theirs. “Ah, yes: my two Cernunnos students.” She closed the fingers of her right hand and the display vanished. “I’m so glad to meet you. Come join your classmates while we wait for the rest of the students.” She turned her back on them and returned to her station.

The walked closer to the students, but Annie saw they were still all in their little groups from their own areas. We haven’t become a class yet; we’re still just people from different areas. She wondered how long it would take before they all saw each other as a group and not a collection of people from around the world.

 

There you are.  Class is about to start, and I someone is going to come up and talk to my kids.  Get ready, Annie:  you’re going to feel a tug on your heart.

Why would she?  Because before they arrived at the Astria PortalObservatory, they stopped at Astria Portal, situated in the old North Wall, and introduced Kerry to an “old family tradition”–said tradition being, as they say in Cardiff, snogging.  Sure, they’re only eleven, but if you don’t think some eleven year olds know a little about snogging these days, you’re not paying attention.

Tonight there will be star gazing and some hot beverage.

And probably a bit of crying.  But that’s another story.