On the Turning Back: Get the Party Started

It’s Monday, the last of September, and things are progressing as well as one may assume.  My Sunday was restful, as in I had a long afternoon nap, watched The Big Short, and edited video for my upcoming freshie practice blog post, which may pop out tomorrow so I can write a bit more in this current scene.

Speaking of the current scene, before the party starts it’s time to leave the two soul mates along–well, kind of alone–so they can exchange a few words–

 

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

 

Annie faced Kerry and took her hands feeling how cool they were in hers. I’ve never felt this from her before—but then, she wasn’t a her until today. “Nervous?”
Kerry looked downward as her chuckle gave away her feelings. “A bit.”

“If this doesn’t work this first time, that doesn’t mean it won’t work later.” While Coraline mapped out the plan of how they would attempt the voluntary transitions every few hours, she could almost feel Kerry’s apprehension about the task. She’s worried; she’s concerned that she’s never going to change back and she’ll have to accept this new life.

“There’s no reason why it can’t work now, and if it doesn’t?” Annie smiled as she shrugged. “I’ll be with you the entire time so you don’t get lonely.”

When Kerry looked up a slight mist covered her eyes. “You don’t have to do that.”

“What sort of person would I be if I left my soul mate alone in a time like this.” She squeezed Kerry’s hands as she pressed her forehead to her, realizing that this was the first time she was the one who had to lean downward a little. “I’m not going anywhere, my love.”

Kerry seemed to breath a sigh of relief. “At least I know this part of my life hasn’t changed.”

“Nor will it ever.”

“Good.” She stood back, still holding on to Annie’s hands. “Well, I should do this. If I can transition back now, it means we can get on with our Sunday.”

“More or less.” Coraline pointed towards the small raised dais. “If you’re ready, we can begin.”

“Sounds good.” She gave Annie’s hands a squeeze. “Wish me luck.”

Annie shook her head. “Just do what comes naturally.”

“Whatever that might be.” Kerry stood next to the dais as Annie took her place with the others. “I guess I’m ready.”

 

So Kerry does have that fear, that maybe he/she’s gonna be the one for whom this Gift thing doesn’t work and she’s gonna have to get used to all the stuff us girls are used to doing.  She’s not looking forward to this not working, let’s just say that.

Now that she’s ready…

 

Coraline nodded. “Then lets begin.” She stared off into the emptiness of the room as she spoke. “Sabrina, bring the recording media on line, please.”

The AI’s disembodied voice spoke a moment later. “Recording media is on line.”

“Thank you. Begin recording.”

“Recorders are on.”

Coraline activated a holographic terminal before her and began speaking. “Today is 27 October, 2013; the time is 10:39. I am Doctor Coraline Gallagher and I am here to document the use of the Bigender Gift, which has become active in a student at the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning. The student in question is Kerrigan Malibey, a thirteen year old C Level from Cernunnos Coven. Today at 2:28 Kerrigan experienced full activation of the gift which resulted in an involuntary transition from cis-male to cis-female, her current physical state. What she is going to attempt in a moment is to voluntarily transition back to cis-male, demonstrating that she has full control of the Gift.

“Witnessing this event are Jessica Kishna, Deanna Arrakis, and Erywin Sladen, all instructors, coven leaders, and counselors at SIGEL. Also witnessing this demonstration is Anelie Kirilova, a fourteen year old C Level also from Cernunnos Coven who has a special relationship with Ms. Malibey.” Coraline winked at Annie before going on. “All are vetted by myself, the headmistress of the school, and the Chief of Security of Salem, and I am assured they will keep the details of this demonstration secret.

“The demonstration we are about to witness is simple: the subject—whom I will refer to as Kerry from this point onward—will attempt to use her Bigender Gift to revert back to cis-male. This attempt will be performed under controlled conditions with full monitoring in place so every moment of this event is captured.” Coraline looked around the room. “If no one else has anything to say—” Knowing the others in the room would remain silent, she turned to her subject. “Kerry, please step up on to the dais.”

 

Technically Kerry isn’t cis-female, for she wasn’t born with that assigned gender, but at the same time she’s not cis-male, nor can she yet be considered transmale because Kerry hasn’t really indicated she’s identifying as a boy.  Since Kerry seems comfortable hearing “she” and “her” as pronouns, the Brain Trust and Annie will keep considering her cis-female until Kerry decides otherwise.

That’s the thing about gender: you can pretty much sense what you are early on and you stick with that, and trying to be something you’re not tends to make people overreact so they can try and fit into a particular role.  At least that’s how it was with me: every time I tried to be more of a “guy”, I usually ended up sucking at it hard, so I overcompensated by trying harder.

But Kerry isn’t trying to act like a “boy”, nor is she trying to act like a “girl”.  At the moment she’s sort of stuck knowing she has a body that would classify her as female, but a few hours before she was for sure a boy.

Or maybe… given Kerry’s already done this gender swap things–she did it in B Level Advanced Transformation–she’s sort of the mind that her gender is fluid and she’ll adopt whatever pronouns are tossed her way.  After all, Kerry knew before this day in the novel that changing genders was something the then he could do, it was something Kerry subconsciously dealt with.  Which is why when everyone is calling Kerry “she”, um, she’s not freaking out.

It’s not going to be something Kerry’s gonna discuss in this scene, but you can bet someone is gonna talk about it–

But only after a few other things are mentioned.

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On the Turning Back: Let’s Get Comfortable

Well, isn’t this a welcome sight!  In that I’m actually posting an excerpt from the novel today.  Part of that reason is that I just finished up nearly five hundred words, so I have enough in the book bank to post for the next few days before heading into the next scene.  And since I’ll likely post other stuff this week as well–I have video footage from last Tuesday’s freshie practice I need to edit–there’s a pretty good chance it’ll take me most of this week to get out the first scene of Chapter Eighteen.

From where I’m sitting it looks kinda pretty.

 

I said I was gonna try and write yesterday, but… I lied.  I had way too much going on with getting a merch table set up for our afternoon event, then heading thirty miles down to York to watch our sister team, the York City Derby Dames, come from behind and win the bout–though one of their players, Awe Shux, suffered a pretty bad concussion and was wearing sunglasses at the after party because the light we hurting her head.  We were told she’s off skates for the week and maybe longer.

Speaking of the after party I was in sort of a good mood…

See, Jackie, having a drink by myself.

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That drink in my hand is the only one I had, a gin and tonic that was cheap and easy to come by.  Given that I had thirty miles to drive to get back to Harrisburg, I didn’t want to get too boozed up before hitting I-83.  Oh, and Jackie is one of my freshie teammates.  She was at a friend’s birthday party, where she assured some of us she was gonna get hammered.

But enough about me–how about my kids?

Now we get into the testing phase of Kerry’s Day of Girl Power, because since the Gift changed her to how she is now, she’s supposed to be able to change herself back at some point–at least that’s what everyone is telling her.  I mean, it worked the other six times, it should work this time, too, right?  This means breakfast is over and it’s time to see if Kerry can get some control over her life…

 

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

 

It took a bit longer than just after breakfast to set up the first transition test. Isis needed to come in with one of her people to set up the raised dais that Kerry would used not only for the test, but for the three dimensional modeling that would come later. And once the dais was in place, Isis needed Kerry to stand upon it so she could set up the Spy Eyes and adjust them so they could perform the modeling requested by The Foundation.

Due to these delays it was nearly ten-thirty before Coraline was able to proceed with the first transition test. She had Kerry go behind a three-sided privacy screen and change out of her night clothes and into a hospital gown she’d wear for both the test and medical scan/pelvic examination. When she came out with Annie at her side Mathilde had left with Isis, leaving Deanne, Jessica, and Erywin behind with Coraline to witness the test.

Kerry looked uncomfortable in the gown, which seemed to hang on her smaller frame. She frowned as she approached Coraline. “This thing is like a sack on me.”

“It has to be bigger so it’ll fit if the transition test is successful and you turn back into a boy.” She gave Kerry a slight grin. “You wouldn’t want to burst out of that if that happened, would you?”

The frown turned into a grimace. “Nope.”

“Then it has to be a little large—okay?” As soon as Kerry finished nodding Coraline turned to the transformation instructor. “Jess, you wanted to speak with her?”

“Certainly.” The Mistress of Transformation knelt next to Kerry, bringing herself down to the girl’s eye level. “You remember what we discussed as far as this voluntary transition is concerned?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “It’s just like doing any other transformation magic: visualize the effect and expend willpower to make it work.” She looked up as she sighed. “And don’t try to expend energy.”

“Correct. Just like when we worked on your Mimic Gift last year.” Jessica turn to face the other women. “Anything you’d like to add before I turn this over to the good doctor?”
Erywin glanced over to her right at Deanna. “I don’t have anything to add.”

Deanna shook her head. “Neither do I.”

Jessica stood and placed her hand on Kerry’s back. “Then I’ll turn you over to Coraline.”

 

Everything’s pretty simple at this point.  Kerry’s dressed for the test and people are there to make her feel comfortable and able to get through this transition test.  It makes sense that Jessica would offer a few words of wisdom before handing Kerry back to Coraline–and one other:

 

“Thank you.” She waved Annie and Kerry forward. “Both you, come here.” While Coraline wanted to address Kerry, she knew having Annie by her side offered her comfort and at the moment that was exactly what Kerry needed. “Okay, this is how we’re going to proceed. Kerry, I’ll have you step up on the dais while the rest of us remain over in front of you, so you can see us. I will direct you to transition, but I don’t want you to do anything until I give you the go-ahead. You can do all the visualizing you want, but I don’t want you to take any action on the activation of your Gift until I say so. Got it?”

“I got it.” Kerry offered a weak smile. “I mean, it’s pretty simple, yeah?”

Coraline smiled back. “It sure is.” She looked at Annie. “I’m sure you have a couple of things to say, so I’ll let you say them.” She joined the other women standing five meters away.

 

After all the advice coming her way, Coraline is smart enough to know the best thing to do is allow Annie to have the last word, because if anyone is gonna calm Kerry down and get her in the right frame of mind, it’s her.

So what does she say?

It’s a good bet you’ll find out tomorrow…

The Mojo Go Go

Yesterday afternoon, after arriving home from work and a quick dinner of Taco Bell, I hoped to get in a nap before going to derby practice.  That didn’t happen due to a fly who decided it was far better if it landed on my face every thirty seconds, making getting to sleep an impossibility.

So when I got up I headed over to the computer and did something I hadn’t done in a week.

I wrote.

I picked up where I’d left off last Wednesday before getting ready to hit the road for the weekend and continued onward with what’s happening up on the third floor of the Salem hospital.  It was a bit of a rough going, however, as I couldn’t remember if I’d left off with Coraline or Annie speaking, necessitating having to rewrite the first paragraph I wrote because I’d gotten something wrong.

But it was a good session and I left the scene where I know I can pick it right up without a problem, because what’s happening next is easy to figure out.  I would have continued further with the scene, but it was necessary to change and load up my gear and head out to my 9 PM practice, where I spent the next two hours skating my butt off.

(In case you may wonder what sort of shenanigans I get up to at practice, our cardio was skating 50 laps, which works out to about 1 3/4 miles.  With all the other skating we did, by the time practice was over we’d skated about two and a half miles.  I think it’s safe to say we do about two miles of skating every practice.)

It’s likely I’m heading off to practice tonight as well, so before heading out the door at 7:15 I’ll get a few hundred more words in so I can keep this train moving forward.  That means getting into the next scene–

And I realized that one of the reasons I’ve been falling off on writing is that the next scene is gonna have some things in it that are… let’s just say it may not be good for my kids.  And I always get this way when I have to do something bad to them.  Not that they’re real or anything, but–you know what I mean.  It hurts because I know it’s going to hurt them.

I’m like a bad parent in a way.

Then again, if they didn’t do these things, I wouldn’t feel bad writing about them…

Where In the World Is Cassidy?

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that this last week has been light on writing.  Well, you’re not imagining things: it has been that way.  And why is that?

Simplest answer: I haven’t been writing.

In the last week I’ve hardly opened Scrivener and I haven’t once put any words into the novel.  It’s not just the novel: I’m behind on my TV recapping, and I need to write two this weekend and another two next Tuesday and Wednesday because I’m that far behind.

Now, there are reasons for this and they are easy to explain.  One, my trip to Oklahoma City ate up three days when I would normally have written about fifteen hundred words at minimum.  Is this a bad thing?  No.  As I mentioned I picked up training on how to use tools that will allow me to help plan out operations in the future.  Operations that are designed to help us and not, you know, screw people over just because they don’t have money–which today means you don’t have a voice.

Two, derby practice.  I know what you’re thinking: that shouldn’t take up that much time.  Except it does.  When I come home from work I usually need a half hour to an hour nap to recover from the night before, and I usually start getting ready for practice anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before it begins.  Except when I’m going to York, and then I’m usually getting ready about 90 minutes before practice starts due to the 30 minute drive there.  Last week I was at the rink four nights in a row.  This week I may do the same.  Saturday I have an event I’m to actually help run for a few hours, then I’m heading down to York to watch our sister team play.

There is a lot of commitment that goes into training and Monday we were told that us freshies (the Fresh Meat who have yet certified) are going to get pushed so we can certify and be bout ready by next season, which starts March, 2018.  Ergo, I’m putting in as much rink time as possible, and this means the time I could spend writing is being taken up with other things.

And three: I think writer’s block has finally set in.  It’s not so much I don’t know what to write, but with everything else going on I’m finding it difficult to push myself and crank out five hundred to a thousand words.  The energy I once had just isn’t there right now, and trying to force it will lead to–

What will it lead to?

I’m not certain I know myself.  I was starting to feel writer’s burnout a few months ago and perhaps this is the outcome of that burnout: I’m turning my energy towards other things while I recharge.  For all I know I’ll rip off five hundred words tonight once I’m up from my nap tonight, or… maybe not.

As with everything I’ll let nature run its course and see where I’m taken.

That’s worked pretty well for me so far–

The New Day: All the Things You Didn’t Expect

After long last we come to the end of Chapter Seventeen.  We’ve been through the transition, the initial freak out, and now the plans for the day–

Well, not all the plans.  We’re starting to find out what The Foundation would like so they can catalog what’s happened to Kerry, and while it doesn’t seem like a lot, we’re just getting into the day.  There’s a lot to do:

A whole lot.

 

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

 

Kerry took a bite of her printsessi. “I’m curious about what’s going to happen.”

“Well, you have no need to be curious any more. First we’re going to do a full internal scan of your body. This is a little more detailed than the one we normally give you in one of the first floor bays—it’s similar to what you’d receive in ICU due to your body suffering some kind of massive trauma.”

Kerry’s eyes bugged out for a moment. “Oh, boy.”

A half-grin formed on Coraline’s face. “That’s just the start. Paris wants a full external scan as well and they’d like that coupled with a three-dimensional map of your body as well.”

“How are you going to do that?”

“You’re going to stand on a raised area while about eighty Spy Eyes bullet-time your body. Whole process should take about three minutes, or so I’m told.”

“I see.” Kerry took a sip of her juice. “What will I wear? Something like a leotard?”

There was silence around the table as everyone waited for Coraline to answer the question. It was Jessica, however, who stepped in ahead of the school’s doctor. “Kerry, they want to see your body.”

Coraline nodded. “All of it.”

It took several quiet seconds before she realized the implications of the statement. “I gotta be naked?”

“For those few minutes, yes. And—” Coraline cleared her throat. “Once you transition back The Foundation will want to same for your other body.”

“Oh, geez.” Kerry rolled her eyes. “Guess I should have expected this.”

“That’s not the end of it.”

“It’s not?”

 

On one hand, Kerry’s gonna get the full Matrix treatment, with a precise 3D rendering of her body in glorious bullet-time.  On the other hand she’s gotta do it in the buff, and do it twice, because now The Foundation wants to know everything about Kerry’s development for a while.  A little embarrassing, sure, but it won’t be much worse, right.

Ummmm…  wrong:

 

“No. After the outer scan is complete I’ve been instructed—” For a moment Coraline appeared to not want to continue her statement. “I’ll need to perform a pelvic exam on you.”

She looked at Coraline then turned to Annie. “What’s that?”

Annie turned her attention to Coraline. “Is it really necessary to do that?”

For the first time Coraline seemed embarrassed. “There are things required that necessitate performing one.”

Kerry was concerned that her question wasn’t answered. She stared Coraline down. “What is it?”

 

What’s a pelvic exam?  Oh, Kerry:  you’re about to find out–

 

“It’s a three-step process.” Coraline took a sip of her coffee before explaining. “The first step requires I do a visual inspection of your genitals. That means I’ll have you in a hospital gown with your feet up in stirrups—”

“Wait—” Kerry shook her head. “Are you talking about a gynecological exam?”

“Yes.” Coraline nodded. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Kerry turned back to Annie. “Have you had one?”

“No, I haven’t.” Annie looked to Coraline. “Most girls don’t need these until they are older teens. Why does Kerry need one now?”

“Because I have to get a pap smear.” Though Coraline didn’t like delivering this news, she knew there wasn’t any way she’d get out of these actions. “Paris needs to see if there is anything out of the ordinary due to the transition.” She addressed Kerry. “Red, that means I’m gonna have to put a speculum inside you and dilate your vagina.”

While this was another of those things Kerry had yet to experience, she knew enough from reading what was involved in what Coraline needed to do. “Is there anything else?”

“Yes. I need to put my fingers inside you, too, so I can feel your uterus.” Seeing the slightly pained look on Kerry’s face, Coraline reached over and patted her hand. “Kerry, I’m going to try and make this as easy as possible for you. It’s only gonna be you, me—” She looked down the table to the girl sitting to Kerry’s left. “—and Annie, who I’m certain is gonna hold your hand the entire time.”

Annie took Kerry’s left hand. “I will: you needn’t worry.”

“I can offer one good piece of news: you’ll only need this once a year.” Coraline sat back, wrapping her hand around her coffee mug. “So you won’t have to worry about this again until around this time a year from now.”

 

So, Kerry is getting the dreaded pelvic exam, which is usually reserved for older girls and young women.  For sure she’s gonna need Annie sitting next to her holding her hand ’cause the odds are she’ll not feel all the comfortable.  And the chances are good that she’d gonna have an annual one for the rest of her life, or maybe 60 years, which ever comes first.

Yeah Kerry: this girl stuff can be a pain a lot of times.

There is one question that hasn’t been asked or answered, so Annie’s gonna jump in on that:

 

Kerry gave Annie’s hand a squeeze before releasing a loud sign. “Well, I knew there was gonna be a lot of crap I’d have to deal with once this happened, so I shouldn’t be surprised by this. Is that all?”

“In a way. After all the scanning and prodding we’ll need to fill-out a medical history form.” Coraline shrugged. “It’s not that big of a deal: we should be through it in about a half an hour.”

“Good.” Kerry blew out a sigh of relief. “That should be easy.”

Coraline gave a slight nod. “It will.”

Though all the questions and explanations Annie had remained quiet, as everything discussed revolved around Kerry’s transition. There was one thing that hadn’t been discussed, however… “Excuse me?”

Coraline looked up. “Yes, Annie?”

“When does Kerry try to transition back into a boy?” She glanced around the table. “After all, isn’t that part of the things planed for today?”

“Yes, that’s an important part of today’s schedule.” Coraline raise the coffee mug to her lips. “And we’ll get to that right after breakfast.”

 

Now you know how Chapter Eighteen begins: we’re go through the process of seeing if Kerry can transition back, which would mean she has control of her new Gift.

Yeah, that should roll in here about Wednesday…

The New Day: All On the Low

A lot of things have happened in the last day.  For one, I had my massage yesterday and heard some good news from my massage therapist.  Since she’s had a bit of experience touching my body and feeling my muscles, she told me that she felt the muscles in my legs were more defined and that I’d perhaps gained between 15 to 17 percent more muscle, most of it in my legs, of course.

You always want to hear that your body is improving and this was as bit of news I needed. I feel a bit stronger and I can tell when I walk that I’m not getting as winded as I once did.  More muscles in the legs means stronger push-offs, and that means more speed.  Just gotta get that form down…

Speaking of walking I did the Out of the Darkness walk for suicide prevention yesterday as well and ended up walking three miles.  I didn’t do it to raise money–though I did give $150 myself–but I did it because I’ve struggled with mental health issues and had a few attempts as well.  I was surprised to encounter a few people I know, but then Harrisburg isn’t that big a place and I’m not the only one here with issues.

So I walked.  It was my first time, but it won’t be my last.

Near the halfway point of the Out of the Darkness walk.

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I should also point out that my derby team was one of the sponsors of the walk and I let a few organizers know I marched not only for me, but for my teammates as well.

Finished the Out of the Darkness walk. It was a great experience.

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Now, Kerry isn’t having her mental health checked–not yet–but we’re still addressing the question of who at the school should be in the know.  She wants to bring in all the coven leaders and get them up to speed–and it seem there’s some president for this–

 

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

 

Erywin nodded. “Right. And the reality is, whenever we’ve had to deal with a transgender student, all coven leaders and all members of the administrative staff are told before the information is passed along to the other instructors.” She looked across the table at the two girls. “While Kerry isn’t transgender, she can be considered gender fluid—”

Kerry chuckled. “That for sure.”

“—which means she falls the same protections we give to any LGBTQIA student and is treated in the same manner as those students.”

“Of course.” Mathilde ran her thumb and index finger over her lips, something she did when she was thinking. “We can have a meeting in the main conference room over lunch. Kerry, would you consent to doing a live video chat from here? Maybe for ten minutes to answer questions and allow Maddie and Holoč to see you?”

“Sure, no problem.” She leaned forward a little so she could see the headmistress better. “You’ll want Professor Salomon there as well.”

The headmistress’ right eyebrow arched quickly. “Why her?”

Erywin answered this. “For the same reason Holoč needs to know: accessibility. If Kerry races as a girl she’ll need access to the locker rooms as well as gear to fit her new form.”

 

It’s been mentioned that the school has had trans students and as such they’ve needed to take steps to accommodate them.  Like it or not, Kerry falls into that same accommodation area, though in this case he accommodation issue isn’t permanent, which means while certain people at the school are being let in on her secret, it’ll stay with them until such time she decides to “come out” fully at school.

And since Kerry was all these instructors and staff included, do that mean someone else could benefit from learning about the new Kerry?

 

Mathilde’s eyes shifted from her coven leaders to her students and back. “Then should we get Wednesday involved as well?”

Deanna cleared her voice. “While she wouldn’t need to adjust the gender enchantment for Kerry, it might not be a bad idea to include her for additional input on—” She shrugged. “Something we may have missed.”

“And it would prevent Isis from having to keep another secret from her.” Jessica turned to the seer. “Isn’t that right?”

Deanna shrugged. “There is that matter as well.”

Mathilde held up her hand. “All right, then.” She looked across the table to Coraline. “We’ll get these people together for a meeting while you remain here with Kerry. Is that all right?”

Coraline nodded. “That makes the most sense, Headmistress. And given we’ll have a live video feed I can answer any question they have.”

“That will work well.”

“Good.” Coraline sat back and turned to Kerry. “Now… let’s discuss what we’re going to do today.”

Kerry took a bite of her printsessi. “I’m curious about what’s going to happen.”

 

So all the players are getting together for a chat and video presentation from Coraline and Kerry.  She gonna feel a bit like a star speaking from the secret third floor of the hospital, right?  Probably not.  We don’t even know if she’s enjoying being the center of attention yet.

I guess we’ll find out as we began discussing what sort of medical stuff is in store for her:

 

“Well, you have no need to be curious any more. First we’re going to do a full internal scan of your body. This is a little more detailed than the one we normally give you in one of the first floor bays—it’s similar to what you’d receive in ICU due to your body suffering some kind of massive trauma.”

Kerry’s eyes bugged out for a moment. “Oh, boy.”

A half-grin formed on Coraline’s face. “That’s just the start. Paris wants a full external scan as well and they’d like that coupled with a three dimensional map of your body as well.”

“How are you doing to do that?”

 

We’ll find out about the “do that?” tomorrow.  Until then we have other things to discuss–

Like the fact I completed Chapter Seventeen this morning.  I probably could have finished it last night, but that three mile walk took a bit out of me and I stopped right after getting in five hundred words.  So I settled for getting it done today.

Done is done as long as it’s, um, done.

 

I did some date checking and discovered twenty-four days have passed since I started Chapter Seventeen: that’s three and a half weeks if you’re keeping score.  A total of 9,494 words were written for this chapter, so when I do a little bit of simple division I discover that my daily word count works out to 395 words a day.

When I look at that I think, well, that’s not really that good.  But that date range is deceptive.  That’s how many days were spent from the start of this chapter to the end, but that’s not how many days I spent writing.  When I went back and checked that, I discover a total of eighteen days were spent putting down the words on the page.  And that works out to a more satisfying 527 words a day.

Whatever I’m doing it’s obvious I’m still writing.  Maybe I’m not burning up the page right now, but know–

I haven’t stopped.

And I have no intention of stopping.