On 30 January, 2014, I ended the post for that day with this quote:
“Times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good, as long as you keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.”
The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.
The occasion of that quote was my 1000th blog post, creativity titled Millennium. At the time I had no idea what I was going to do from that point–
What? Are you playin’ here, Cassie? You had a lot going on.
Given that I’m now writing this post in the exact same spot I wrote that post, you can bet coffee was one of those things.
Well, two things for sure.
First off, I was nearly three months into writing a novel, which most of you know as The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, a legendary scree that some of you have actually seen in its entirety. It started out as something I was going to write for NaNoWriMo 2013. Believe it or not, at the time I started that book, I thought, at best, it might run one hundred and fifty thousand words. You, in the back–stop snickering. I really did believe that. But about the time I was writing that post back in January, 2014, there was something digging around in the back of my head that said, “Uh, huh, Cassidy, you ain’t gonna finish this novel that soon. Better bet on that happen sometime in the summer . . .”
Um, yeah: about that.
Nope, it wasn’t going to be in the Summer of 14, either. I’d finally finish that novel in March of 2015, four hundred and seventy-four days after I’d started writing. That’s almost five hundred days, and that’s a good chunk of anyone’s life.
Strangely enough, if you haven’t guessed from the title of today’s post, five hundred days have passed since that day in January, and this is my 1,500th post. Which is a lot of stuff to write and things to say, let me tell you. If I go by my average of five hundred words a day–which is what I always aim to do–that means since I began this blog around four years ago, I’ve posted seven hundred and fifty thousand words. 750,000: three-quarter of a million words. That’s like the first two novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series with half of the third thrown in for luck, and I’m still going.
(For the record, here are the word counts on those novels. A Game of Thrones: 298,000; A Clash of Kings: 326,000; A Storm of Swords: 424,000. Add it up and it’s 1,048,000 words, so just like I said in the last paragraph. Nice to know A For Advanced is about the same size as A Storm of Swords.)
That novel is sitting around waiting for something to happen–trust me, I’m getting nudges from people about what I should do–and in the meantime I’m working on the next one, B For Bewitching, and after the almost six hundred words I wrote last night, I’m fifty-three thousand words into that and about to have something heavy go down . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
She pointed at the two students whose hands were still raised. “Annie; Kerry—” She motioned them forward with a few flicks of her fingers. “Get up here–now.”
Both students approached the the Head Sorceress appearing somewhat uneasy about what was happening next. Helena smiled in their direction, and both returned the smile. She leaned in close as whispers so only they could hear. “Don’t worry; you’ll like this—” She straightened and pointed to opposite ends of the room. “Annie, I want you over here: Kerry, you over there.”
She waited until Kerry and Annie were about four meters apart before she addressed them. “Okay, here’s what I want.” She turned to the girl on her right. “Annie, I want you to used shadow ribbons to restrain Kerry so that he’s unable to use his hands. I don’t care how you tie him up—I simply want it done. You got that?”
Annie nodded as a smile crept on to the right side of her mouth. “Yes, Professor.”
Helena flipped her right finger at something near the door and the lighting dimmed slightly where they were standing. “You’ve got something to work with now. Oh, and . . .” She gave Annie a knowing look. “Don’t sever anything; I don’t want to have to take Kerry to the hospital to get things reattached.”
It was all Annie could do to smirking as she knew too well the incident to which the Head Sorceress was referring. “I’ll be good, Professor.”
“I’m sure you will.” Helena turned to Kerry. “Just stand there and let your better half do her thing, okay?”
He nodded once. “No problem, Professor.”
She stepped back and moved out of the way. “Go ahead, Annie.”
Annie didn’t bother acknowledging Helena but instead walked over to one of the lightly shadowed areas. What there was before her wasn’t much darker than what was in the Link Bridge in Kansas City, but she managed shadow ribbons there fine—and here she didn’t have to deal a broken arm and a head wound while working under a time constraint . . .
She raised her hands and reached out as if she were about to take hold of the shaded area. Annie didn’t need to set out the ribbons with her hands, but for what Helena wanted her to do she needed precision: the idea was to restrain, and she was certain that Kerry wouldn’t enjoy having his hands separated from his wrists. She spread her left thumb and index finger apart and imperceptibly touched a section of shadow before pressing her right thumb and index finger against them. Certain she’d locked one end of the ribbon, she slowly drew her right hand away from her left.
She felt energy flowing through her arm, visualized the how the ribbon was suppose to appear. Annie took one step back in order to see her work better: now that she had begun crafting her magic it wasn’t necessary to remain in contact with the shadows. She measured out about a half a meter before deciding that sixty-five centimeters would serve her needs better—
Annie took another two steps back as she pulled the single, gray ribbon away from its segment of darkness. She raised her hand over her head and extended her index finger towards the ceiling: the ribbon followed. She parked it about a meter to her left and about two meters over the floor: when she was certain it wasn’t going anywhere she crafted another ribbon and placed it next to the first.
Now that she had her ribbons, it was time to go to work on Kerry.
Yeah, get to work on that boy, Annie! You’ll have to wait to see where this leads, but most of you probably have a good idea.
The above was written with the following three songs running on heavy rotation, partially because I like them, partially because they will show up in the story somewhere. Especially the first one: every time I hear Reap the Wild Wind, I want to write the scene where it’ll appear.
Something else has gone on during the last five hundred days as well, and it’s of a far more personal nature . . .
See, that picture above: in a lot of ways she didn’t exist when I posted my blog entry for 30 January, 2014. Oh, sure: there was a Cassidy, but she was really out in the public eye where everyone could see her. I knew what I was by that time, but I wasn’t ready to get out of the closet. It took a trip to Indiana and a return to The Burg for me to realize I needed to stop hiding and get my ass out there.
Last year, on my birthday, I wrote about what I needed to do in the coming year, and set about doing that. It’s been both a good and bad five hundred days. I’ve written a little about my experience. I’ve written about one of the darkest points in my life, and I’ve written about the people who have helped me through those moments, including one person in particular.
But the biggest thing that’s happened to me occurred 2 February, 2015, which is when I finally started working as, well, me. That was really the final moment of coming out, and it’s been just over four months, a third of a year, that I’ve lived as the real Cassidy. Not only am I out fully, but next month I reach another milestone: one year on hormone replacement therapy. The hits just keep on coming.
I guess the real question now is, “What of the next five hundred days?” I looked it up and that date is Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, and the question I’m asking these days is will I still be around in the Blogsphere? Two thousand posts is a lot of talk-talk, and there are a lot of times when I feel like I’ve run out of things to day, that I’d probably do well to burn out before I fade away. Then I remember: I have novels to write and, more importantly, publish. I will start up on doing weekly television reviews on another blog. And if the questions I had sent my way due to this Caitlyn person getting put on a magazine cover is any indication of things to come, I can help educate where possible, because it’s obvious as hell I have a somewhat unique outlook on life.
I have stories to tell: not just on the written page, but . . . well, let me fall back to another quote to nail that point down:
“It’s funny, I thought, if you could hear me, I could hang on, somehow. Silly me. Silly old Doctor. When you wake up, you’ll have a mum and dad, and you won’t even remember me. Well, you’ll remember me a little. I’ll be a story in your head. But that’s OK: we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang.
We are all stories, and it’s up to us to make them good one. And a writer I write for myself first, and all others second. Which means if I’m gonna make it a good story, I’d had better like it–otherwise, why bother?
With that said, I’ll pull a Robert Kirkman here and see how I feel when I get to post two thousand. If I have more to say, I will. If not–well, I’ll see then, won’t I.
For now, though, I can keep going. Particularly if I have coffee–
And damn good coffee at that.