Let me just throw this up here first:
As you can see from the URL I took this screen shot before I downloaded the certificate. But there’s also this:
See? Winner. I finally crossed the line last night, and my records last night showed I was just one hundred and fifty-two over, which when I take into consideration where the two twenty-six came from, you do the math and I was right on the money with my count.
Doesn’t matter: last night I hit 50,152 words, so I’m in the books (ha, ha!) for a fourth NaNo win. I’ll add to that through the next three days, and maybe finish up around fifty-three thousand or so, which would make this my smallest NaNo win, but I’ll take it considering during the two NaNo whereupon this novel was written, over one hundred and fifteen thousand words were added to the manuscript.
Not bad, Sweetie, not bad.
This NaNo took a lot out of me, mentally and emotionally. I know I’ve said a few times I don’t know if I can do another, and then I turn around and do one. This time, however, I’ve spent most of NaNo feeling like I wanted to burn this story and just leave it, because my feelings for the characters have been waxing and waning like crazy. It hasn’t helped that I’ve had to write some personally emotional scenes between Annie and Kerry while dealing with my own emotional insanity, and a lot of that has really brought out the crazy.
But I didn’t really have to deal with that last night–well, not much–because the focus was on the kids and their decision in the Witch House earlier in the day. Let’s just say Nice Ol’ Professor Lovecraft was having her doubts about the affirmatives she heard . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
The moment Annie awoke she realized something was different. It wasn’t unusual for Kerry and her to be awoken and sent to their rooms: it fact, it had become a bit of a ritual for them to crawl under the comforter around twenty-three thirty and sleep for an hour.
The different now was the Dining Hall. Usually there were a couple of instructors and staff going through the space waking up the other students who’d fallen asleep. This time there wasn’t an instructor in sight—nor were there any other students.
If Annie were to venture a guess, she’d say Kerry and she were the only ones in the darkened hall.
She turned around, still half asleep, at the sound of her name. Helena was sitting in the chair to the left of the sofa Kerry and she had come to call their own. “Hello, Professor Lovecraft.”
“Good morning, Annie.” Her smile was slight and soft. “And it is morning: a little after two-ten.”
“What?” She looked around the darkened hall once more. “Why didn’t you wake us up?” Professors Salden was on “clean up” for the end of the current Madness, something they did a few times a month.
“Because I thought Kerry and you needed to talk—” She raised her eyes towards the ceiling. “And now’s as good as time as any.” She stood and smoothed out her long night gown. “When you’re finished head off to your tower and get some sleep; we meet in the Witch House at nine sharp.” With a light pop she jaunted off to her residence and sleep.
Given that Helena mentioned that Kerry and she “needed to talk,” Annie’s mind immediately began going over some of the things said at the meeting today—yesterday, actually—and focused upon one thing in particular. She gently shook the still sleeping Kerry. “My love, wake up. Wake up . . .”
As was usual his eyes opened slowly. He sat up and yawned while he looked at Annie with sleepy eyes. “Time to go?”
Yeah, keep manipulating the situation, Helena. It makes you wonder what sort of control she does have at the school–and the answer is probably not as much as you think, but if she wants something, she can get it. And during the Day of the Dead attack, Helena was actually Ramona Chai’s second in command for the Rapid Response teams that were on the ground killed Deconstructors and Abominations. There’s a reason for that . . .
Kerry is pretty sure he knows why Helena wants them to talk:
“Why we’re doing this?” He shrugged. “Why am I doing this.”
Annie knew that was the issue that Helena wanted them to discuss. She remembered how Kerry agreed to the operation after she did; she remembered the look on his face when he said yes, and the look on Helena’s face as well—and how she appeared to believe his answer wasn’t sincere—
She had wanted to ask him the same question.
“Why do you think that?” Annie didn’t want to directly ask him if he really wanted to go, or if he’d wanted to exercise his Right of Refusal. She knew Kerry was more likely to open up and explain himself honestly if she approached the matter through a different set of questions.
“Because I saw how everyone looked at me when I said yes.” He chuckled darkly. “Even you. I could tell you were wondering.”
“Since you bring it up—” She turned Kerry so she could rest upon his torso with her arm across his chest. “Do you mean it?”
He wrapped his left arm around Annie’s shoulders and held her close. “When the guy from The Foundation came to convince my parents that I should go to Salem, I was standing on the stairs listening to him talk with my parents, and I heard them tell the guy I wasn’t that great a student, that I was just average.” He gave a long, slow shrug. “It was all stuff I’d heard before, but that day it really hit me the wrong way—I remember walking into the living room feeling all upset and depressed because that’s how they’ve always made me feel—nothing special, just average.
“This thing we’re going to do . . .” Kerry rested his head against Annie’s and spoke in a low, soft, comforting tone. “I’ve never been asked to do anything like this. I know it’s a big deal, and I really want it to happen because—” He rubbed his cheek against her. “Before coming here I was thinking that there wasn’t anything special about me, that I was nothing more than an average kid who’d never turn out to be anything exceptional.”
Kerry turned his head enough so he could look at Annie, who had turned her head so she could watch him. “I really want to do this. Not because you’re doing it—though if you’d said no, I would have to, because I don’t want to go alone. I’m doing this because I’m not Normal, I’m not average . . .” He breathed in deep and let it out in a long sigh. “I am special, Annie. I know I am.”
Kerry’s always been the one who openly has wondered if he were any good. He’s been quiet about it of late, because his confidence has grown, and he’s received support from Annie and given it in turn. This is the first time he’s actually articulated his feelings that he’s better than his parents believe, though . . . sorry, can’t say anything. Must. Remain. Quiet.
Annie confession that her mother would probably believe she’s doing this to impress her father, because it is long assumed that Annie has some Daddy Issues lurking in the background. I mean, little rich witch with a father who drives in Formula One and used to be a hot-shot flier and racer at Salem–what’s she got to prove? Nope, she’s not going there: she considers being asked by the Guardians to do this operation a great honor. And there’s something else . . .
She chuckled. “Even if we can’t hold hands.” Her tone turned far more serious. “There’s something Helena didn’t mention today about this operation—”
“We aren’t going to simply observe this Tanith and then speak with her: we’re tasked with bringing in a new witch. So everything she hears about magic, everything she hears about The Foundation, even everything we may tell her about Salem—we’re the one who are going to create her initial impressions about this world.” She slipped her hand out of Kerry’s and then held it within her grasp. “We end up doing this wrong, and we lose her.”
Kerry grasped the enormity of the situation right away. “She’ll end up like her father.”
“Or worse.” He squeezed her hand right back. “That won’t happen.”
“No—” She shook her head. “We won’t let it happen.”
“Then we know what’s expected of us, and what we’re going to do.”
“I believe so.” Annie rested against Kerry. “Still want to do this?”
He didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Yes. And you?”
Annie closed her eyes and sighed as she imagining being away from the school on this operation for a couple of days with Kerry at her side. “I wouldn’t say no for anything, my love.”
It’s a little bit more important that the operation seems on the surface. Do this right, and though she might be a little late to the party, you add another check mark to The Foundation’s tally. Do it wrong, and you’ve got another Sideliner–or worse, a budding Deconstructor–on your hands. It’s a lot more than just doing a few magic trick for some new kid: they have to convince someone that one, if they feel strange there’s a reason it’s not bad, and two, oh, by they way, you may be a witch and if so, welcome to the club.
Simple field operation? Guess again.
Oh, and there’s a scene coming up . . . if any of you have followed the comment section, you’ll see there’s been some discussion about the upcoming meeting between Kerry and Nurse Coraline about, well, those magical birds and bees. Now, originally I wasn’t going to write about it, however . . . given the revelation that Annie had the exact same vision as Kerry had that touched off this mess only a couple of days before–you can check my time lines, but it has only been a few days–Coraline is probably thinking that it might be a good idea to have a little family planing talk . . .
I wonder if she’ll start off, “When a witch really loves another witch . . .”?