Out Time, With Friends

It’s been a busy day, and it’ll be an even busier one tomorrow.  I’ll be up at six and on the road not long after that.  Then it’s off to points south for an early morning meeting with someone I know from Facebook.  After that it’s going to be lunch and shopping, hanging out, doing girl things, and then a two-hour drive back home.

That’s why I’m writing this post at 11:45 PM on Saturday night, after spending a few hours with friends over a light dinner and a lot of talk.  Like I said, it’s been a busy day.

Did I mention the writing?

Between breakfast and a little shopping and taking a nap and going out, I managed five hundred and fifty-five words on the last scene.  That did this for Act Two:

About two hundred and fifty words away from six figures.

About two hundred and fifty words away from six figures.

And that leads to this:

And I'm onto a quarter here.

And I’m onto a quarter here.

This means by the time I get to the end of Act Two, I’ll have two full novels ready to go–with a little editing, of course–and another novel to go.  Do I feel tired?  Yeah, but I’m still going.

At this point in the story Erywin and Wednesday have come together.  Wends tells her friend what she’s going, and it goes from there . . . to the end of the scene.



(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

This question brought forth a chuckle from Erywin. “You were hoping I’d show up.”

“I was betting on it.” Wednesday looked around as if she though they were being watched. “After Maddie, no one likes killing Deconstructors more than you. And with the comms down it’s hard for Vicky to keep an eye on you.”

“You know me all too well.” She held the tablet out for Wednesday to see. “Which ones do you want me to do?”

Wednesday pointed to the nodes she’d identified earlier on the south and east sides. “Those three will do the trick. Isis is watching the nodes, so the moment she sees energy getting dumped into one, she’ll start the charge up on her end.”

“Got it.”

“Take the bag.” Wednesday slipped it off her body. “I know what I need to do, and you can keep the tablet in case you need a reference.”

Erywin placed the tablet back into the bag, then set it upon the wall. “Thanks, but I’ve already a lot strapped on.” She patted her rifle. “Don’t need any more encumbrance.”

“Right.” Wednesday waited until Erywin was back on her broom before speaking again. “Have you seen any Deconstructors? Or . . . Abominations?”

“Yeah.” Erywin readied her rifle. “Not so many Deconstructors, but a few of us spotted the Abominations right away. I put down two.” She eyed Wednesday. “Any idea how many broke through?”

“Isis did a quick check of the data right after the breach. She figured maybe fifty Abominations and perhaps twenty or thirty Deconstructors.” She shrugged. “Maybe. Everything happened quickly, and her first priority was to figure out what was down—” Wednesday nodded at the node. “—and what was needed to get that back on-line.”

“Right.” Erywin brought up her HUD and gave it a quick check. “17:35. Local sunset is in a minute.” She turned and smirked. “I remember that from when I spoke with Harpreet this morning—for some damn reason . . .” She rose off the wall and eased out over the grounds before rocketing off to the southeast.

“Local sunset, huh?” Wednesday looked over her shoulder at the defense screen meters away. “Like we need any more darkness.”


It’s dark.

It’ll probably get a lot darker.

‘Cause next scene has to do with working up a body count . . .

Promises of Lightness and Dark

This is what comes of fooling around on line all night and then getting a good night’s sleep:  you look at things in a different light, and ideas pop into your head.  Maybe they’re not good ideas, but they do come up, and you’re a damn fool not to do anything with them.

I really was intending on working on my NaNo Novel last night, getting the lexicon worked out, because I truly do need that cat in the bag.  But I didn’t.  I waited for a package that didn’t come, and by the time I’d stopped waiting, it was getting on six-thirty.  So in for a shower, getting nice and clean, and I pop back out and it’s already seven-fifteen.  I did go to plug in my external drive–

But I had people wanting to speak with me.

The one part of The Burg that is so much like being back in Indy is having little or not personal contact.  Yes, you can speak with people at work, but there is no one here who you can hang with after the day is over and chat up, and maybe go out for a couple of drinks afterwards.  I have this lovely balcony and sitting out there is nice, but it would be wonderful to have someone over to speak with.

At the same time, during one of the conversations, my mind started working on its own side project.  I was reading what they typed, and I responded one way, but in another part of my brain I saw myself typing something else.  Something that was dark and not a little strange.  I know, you’re saying, “You, honey?  Strange?”  Shocking, right?  Sometimes I surprise myself.

While I have a lot of story ideas, very few of them are dark.  Maybe that’s because I have enough darkness surrounding me and while I might not write the most uplifting prose, I at least have something close to a happy ending by the end of the tail.  What I saw last night, what was being typed on the other side of my mind–it wasn’t happy, it wasn’t light, it wasn’t a good ending.

Or was it?

Every so often I dip into the horror.  Every so often I imagine the dark spaces in life and wonder what exists there.  Oh, sure, cannibal hillbillies and shambling zombies and things going bump in the night are good favorites.  But what if someone was drawn into the darkness, and embraced it willingly?  Not because they’re crazy, but because what was promised . . . touched them in a special way?

At the end of the novel Hannibal, Clarice ran off with Doctor Lecter because she’d spent too much time staring into the abyss, and when it stared back, she shrugged and said, “Ah, fuck it:  this isn’t that bad.”  Sure, you can say the drugs and the brain washing played a part, but I’m of a mind that after all those years chasing the darkness, she finally caught it and allowed it to become her own.

I need some dark writers.  The people in my stories better watch out.

Morpheus Dreams in Black

Not a very good night, not at all.

I get back to The Undisclosed Location, and it all start crashing down.  Mood turns bad, feeling turn back–it’s as if there is a black shroud waiting for me when I get in.  Everything just feels wrong.  I could have started on the next part of Diners, but I know it’s not going to do any good, it’ll end up maybe 200 words at the most, and they won’t have any feeling to them.

So I’m off to bed, and I fall asleep.  It’s fitful, though:  I’m pretty sure when I wake up, it’s early.  Like 1 AM early.  Like, “This is when I wake up all the time down here any more,” early.

I try to relax, try to fall back to sleep.  I think I did, because I end up having what I think is one of my black dreams–

They are like this:  something is going on.  I’m in the middle of it.  In this case, it was a card game.  We–a couple of other people, and me–were playing, but I can’t see who the people are.  It’s like playing ghosts; there are just outlines of people, nothing real about them.  And no faces:  I never see their faces.  I hear voices, but never see faces.

Then everyone vanishes, and I go looking for them.  And this is where it goes bad, because whenever I leave the area where I’ve been, everything beyond that area–in this case, a room–is pure blackness.  And I mean, I look a few feet away, and there’s nothing to see.  It’s something of a frightening thing, because it makes you feel so isolated, like you are the only one in the world, and though you might hear the voices of other people–and I do, I hear them calling to me, telling me to go somewhere to meet up with everyone else–but there is nothing to see.  Maybe once in a while I’ll see bright light shinning through the blackness, but that’s it.

There’s nothing else.  It’s all dark.  It’s all blackness.

It’s not something you want to wake up to, because you feel as if your dreams were trying to say, “You’re isolated from the world.  There’s nothing out there; it’s all you, and there’s nothing else.”

The last couple of weeks have felt like that.  There’s nothing out there, there’s no support.  I do feel very much on my own these days, and it’s not something I’m enjoying much these days.  I’m not in the mood to give up, but I also feel like there is nothing else out there, nothing to hold onto, nothing to touch.

I’ve felt that way too many times in the past, and I don’t want to feel it any more.

Morpheus needs to stop showing up with dark dreams.  He needs to make my dreams feel the way they used to, when all I had to deal with were smart-ass girls with red hair telling me to get off my butt and get to writing.  I miss the dreams I used to have.

I want to know that they’ve not abandoned me.

That somewhere, in the darkness, they wait with open arms . . .

Playing With Shadows

This long week is almost over.  Travel Day today, and it’s looking like it’ll be a good day.  I might not even think too much about the fools on the road this afternoon when I’m making the trek back to the Real Home.

Even though I had copious amounts of fuzzy head yesterday, I got into Diners at the Memory’s End, and I kept at that sucker.  I didn’t want to stop.  Well, a couple of times, it felt like I wasn’t making any headway, but that was shaken off.  Slowly, yes, but shaken it was, yes.  I have my goals, you know?  Writer’s gotta write.

But fun was being had last night.  I’d forgotten–me?–that in the original version of the story, after the telescopes were in the process of being set up, and Albert and Meredith were waiting for the fun to happen, they were playing a game.  Of course, “playing” is a loose term, as they were virtually immersed inside a first-person shooter.  Back then I had them wearing pretty simple gear with electromagnetic shields, fighting against some alien creature I just made up on the spur of the moment.

That was twenty years gone, however, and I’ve picked up on a few things since then.  One, I made the world much bigger.  Two, I put them both in powered armor because–hey, powered armor equals big guns.  Lastly, though, I gave them Shadows to play with . . .

If you ever watched Babylon 5, you remember Shadows:  usually invisible black spider-like creatures that was four-square for chaos and death.  Sort of like head crabs in Half-Life, only these take your body as well when they attack.  Since all they want is to see you dead–or be their bitch, whichever seems like more fun to them–they make for a worthy foe to face and mow down.

It was actually fun to write last night.  Albert in his sort of hulking Forever War-style suit, with a huge gun in one hand and twin pulse lasers on each shoulder, and Meredith in her sleeker, faster, more nimble Bubblegum Crisis-style suit–with high heels, naturally–up against the creatures that inhabit the shadows.  Throw in some crazy music I was listening to right before bed, and the slaughter of the big, black bugs becomes something of a surreal experience.

It was while I was listening to said music last night that I realized the game really sets up Meredith what comes later in the scene.  The game lets her get her inner bad ass out and on display, and that boosts her confidence, and . . . well, one thing will lead to another, you know?  She’s never been like this before, never been allowed to take the stage and shine, and with everything else she’s dealing with in her life (which comes out later in the story), this becomes her moment to take some real action.

Shadows are everywhere, sometimes making you do things you shouldn’t do.  Including  them in at this point in the story seems right, because it opens up something else that will take the story in another direction and–corrupt it?  Naw.  Maybe that’s to harsh a word.

Maybe just darken it a tiny bit . . .