Setting Straight the Soul Mate

Finally, after a crazy weekend, I’m back to getting the novel written.  Yesterday was crazy as well, and my recap that was supposed to go out last night had to be delayed until this morning because while I was writing directly from the episode as it played, Netflix decided to crap out about 8:30 PM and remain out for the remainder of the evening.  That means I was up at 4:00 AM finish it off, something that took me another couple of hours.

This means I’m tired and will likely nap as soon as I get home from the coffee shop.

"Don't worry, I'll get back to writing as soon as...  zzzzz..."

“Don’t worry, I’ll get back to writing as soon as… zzzzz…”

Today I’ve written over six hundred words for the novel, and will probably go well over a thousand before the night is over ’cause I’m feeling like I’m on a roll.  And I like this particular scene which is getting into some interesting territory.  For now, though, it’s time to bring Annie’s conversation with Berniece Rutherford to an end.

The question that’s come up is “Will Kerry leave home?” and Berniece knows, as does Annie, that Kerry fears abandonment.  Annie says that should’t be a problem because he has her.  Well, Berneice has an answer for her:

 

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

“He has you but the reality is you’re only his wife to be.” Berniece leaned slightly forward as she softened her tone. “I don’t mean that with disrespect, because I know what you mean to him: his love for you is tremendous. But his parents exert a tremendous pull upon his psyche, and though they can be inattentive and unaffectionate, they’ve been with him all his life—even more that you. And that’s a difficult attraction from which to leave.

“We know his parents aren’t violent: they prefer being passive-aggressive with him, and he’s learned to adapt. I might even say that he’s still trying to leach out some modicum of respect from them, and that’s going to keep him there for a while.” She cupped her hand over her mouth as she sighed. “For Kerry to leave something traumatic will need to occur—”

Annie turned a smirk upon her guest. “And he can’t have a lot of time to think about the event.”

“You know your future husband so well.” Berniece chuckled. “That’s what I psych profile shows: if Kerry makes up his mind in the first few minutes of something happening, there’s an eighty-eight percent chance he’ll go with his original plan. Give him more than five minute to think about it, and he’ll almost always go the other way.” She shook her head. “It’s how he is.”

“I know all too well.” Annie looked away as her smirk grew tighter. “I try not to influence his thinking—”

“But sometimes you want to shake him and tell him to make up his mind.”

“Exactly.” She looked towards her guest’s cup. “Would you like some more tea?”

“Maybe a little before I go.” Berniece stretched her shoulders. “I’ve never been treated so nice.”

“Well, I did invite you here.” Annie stood and levitated the kettle to her hands, then walked around the sofa towards the kitchen. “I was surprised you agreed to meet.”

“Are you kidding? When I saw your email two weeks ago, I didn’t even give it a second thought: I had to come.” Bernice stood as well and followed Annie towards the small kitchen. “Besides, if I had said no, I knew you’d ask again. And probably again after that.”

Annie set the kettle on the stove and turned on the heat. “I would have, too.” She stepped back and regarded her guest. “Did you determine that from my psychological profile?”

There are some things—” Berniece examined her nails. “—that don’t require a psyche profile.” She dropped her and to her side and smile. “Knowing how you’d react after Kerry returned home was one of those things.”

Annie stared at the kettle and watched the flames lick the bottom. I would have contacted her again—and again a third time. Because what I want, I get

 

There you have it:  Kerry’s psycho profile indicates that he will leave home, but only if something really bad happens to him, because he’s put up with bullshit for so long he’s used to it.  And it’s true that Berniece’s comment isn’t meant as a slam, but Kerry really isn’t coming home to Annie every night wishing her a goodnight and I love you from the other side of the bed, so while they know they’re getting married, they’re still in the “to-be” territory, and Mommy and Daddy are still a huge part of his life.  Until they go completely off the rails it’s gonna be hard to convince Kerry to pack up and get the hell out.

So you’ll have to see if Kerr splits this summer.  He may be given the opportunity, but at the moment the Magic 8 Ball says “No.”  That can always change, but as we’ve seen with Kerry, change can be hard.

Well, he has about three hundred thousand word in which he can make up his mind if he so desires…

The Commotion in the Coven

Yesterday, President’s Day 2015, was a lot of wasted opportunities, mostly due to weather and a lot of stuff being closed.  I was supposed to see my doctor yesterday but half way to her office I was called and told to reschedule.  This did get me off the roads by three in the afternoon, but it left me tired and sort of worn out for that same amount of time as well.

Now I did managed to get out my last video recap for The Walking Dead that I work on with my Friend From Down Under, and I started writing this scene, but . . . there was also napping and procrastinating.  I really couldn’t get my mind a going, and it was far better vegging out watching Better Call Saul than trying to stroke the creative juices into something resembling a story.

"This is so much better a time than sitting on my butt writing."

“This is so much better a time than sitting on my butt writing.”

But write I eventually did, and as with all my chapter and scene starts it became slow going.  In fact, if my brain hadn’t started shutting down about nine PM–or twenty-one hours if you attend my school and/or use universal time–I may have actually finished it.  It’s not going to be a long scene:  it may become the shortest scene I’ve ever written because there’s isn’t a lot that needed to happen here.  If I may, then, here’s what starts another long day in the lives of my two kids.

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie awoke to Kerry’s screaming.

She heard the first one with her eyes closed; with the second scream her eyes snapped open and stared at her darkened ceiling. A second after his third scream she threw back the cover and dashed for her dorm door.

She darted out into the light-blue lit hallway between the B Level girl’s rooms and the girl’s bathroom wearing only her cream color heavy cotton pajama. There wasn’t any time to put on her slippers and robe: something was wrong with Kerry, and she had to know what was wrong. Annie had never ran through the coven, not even during the day, and never barefoot, but she didn’t feel the cool stone floor under her feet. She reached the far end of the tower and almost bounced off the wall as she took the left-hand turn and ran past the girl’s bathroom exit. Annie did the same thing as she nearly hit the outer wall of the corridor a few meters from the boy’s bathroom exit.

Annie fought the urge to launch into a straight flight from the corner to Kerry’s door as there was nothing to gain and damage to gain if she misjudged an angle and hit a wall at high speed. And now wasn’t the time to get injured because Kerry’s screams were ringing in her ears and she had to get to him, to stop him, to comfort him—

Kerry.” She slid to a stop before his door. “Kerry.” She pounded both fists against his door. “Kerry, wake up. Wake up, please.” She considered blasting the door open with an air hammer, but she knew that would likely hurt him and her more than it would help.  “My love, wake up—”

“Annie?” Penny stood at the end of the corridor next to the bathroom entrances. Behind her stood Alex and Jairo, both appearing perplexed. “What’s wrong?”

Annie ignored Penny and looked to the only other boy on the floor. “Jairo, could you go in and get Kerry? Could you—?”

The door to Kerry’s room opened and he half-stepped into the hall. “Annie?”

She needed a moment to take in his appearance, for she’d never seen him looking this disheveled. His arms hung limp at his side and his shoulders were slightly hunched over. His mouth hung open matching his slack, unmoving face. What shocked Annie the most were his eyes: there weren’t so much unfocused as they were uncomprehending. He doesn’t even realized I’m here. “Kerry?” She took him by the arm and eased him into the corridor. “What’s wrong?”

 

Freak out in Cernunnos Coven tower is always the best time to start the day, which we’ll learn happened a little after midnight on 26 March, putting this the Tuesday after Ostara.

I know because time lines, yo.

I know because time lines, yo.

When I say this all takes place in the course of one day, I mean it.  This first event happens at 00:20 on the 26th, and the very last event will happen right before midnight on the same day.  This hasn’t happened since The Big Time, aka The Day of the Dead attacks, went down, and it’s actually a lot of things to fit into one day–although you’ll discover that most of what happens really takes place in a few moments during that day.

This is the first time I’ve allowed anyone to peek into this part of the story, and as I’ve said, I’ve kinda dreaded writing this, but write it I will.  Because as I stated four years ago on this blog, there are going to be times when you’re afraid to write something because you don’t know how it’s going to be received, or how it’s going to affect your story, or even how it’s going to make you feel, but screw it, the writer–that would be me–has to jump right in and get that story down, even if it’s scaring and/or embarrassing the shit out of them the whole time.

It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks, let me tell you.

The Country of the Blind

Seriously, I was going to have something here for you to read–well, technically, I do have something for you to read and you’re reading it now.  But no, I was gonna work on the novel, and even got eighty words into it, before I was massively side tracked–

Last night I was finally attacked online for being trans.

It was really kinda of strange and stupid how it came up, because the troll–and I have no other word for her–rose up from out of nowhere and just started lobbing non sequiturs at me in a thread on Facebook that had nothing to do with anything even remotely LGBTA.  She was just like, “You’re not a woman.  You don’t know what sex you are,” and then threw in a Caitlyn Jenner jab because of course you have to do that if you wanna keep your Transphobic Card current these days.

I commented back to this person, but in a rather snarky and comical way–at one point she said I didn’t know what my type was, because of dating or some shit, and I told her it was Times New Roman.  She’s never tried to engage me directly, because that would require digging into her bag of tricks and actually coming up with something intelligent to say, and we all know that wasn’t gonna happen.

And then, come to discover, someone else in the same group, in another completely unrelated thread, decided to make an ultra snarky comment about me being the only person in the group who tucks “her” penis.  First off, how would she know?  Does she work for the NSA and she’s Secret Squirreling my ass when I dress in the morning?  And second:  for the record I don’t bother tucking ’cause there ain’t enough there to make tucking worth my while.  The strangest damn things people come up with, I’m tellin’ ya.

A lot of people came to my defense, which was heartening, and I did ask them on a few occasions to keep it classy and not get pulled into the growing whirlpool of ignorant suck.  Remember:  Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.  It’s good advice that’s true in any situation where you’re dealing with slack-jawed mouth breathers.

I’ve expected that sort of thing to happen for a while, and given I’ve been really public on social media of late, I expected the bigots and haters to get their spine up and say something.  And it will happen again, of that I’m certain.  But so what?  As I told this person last night, she sounded a lot like my grandparent telling me “the truth” about minorities, and when they died their took their ignorance with them, and she could expect the same treatment.  Not to mention I have friends from various ethnic and religious backgrounds who probably hear far worse shit like that on a daily basis.  If that’s the case I’m in good company.

I won’t ever let these people get the best of me because they are wrong:  that’s all there is to that deal.  Flap those jaws, fool, but don’t expect me to get bent out of shape and start yelling back at you.  It won’t ever happen.  If there is one thing I’m pleased with it’s who I am as a person–and you, loser, had nothing to do with me getting to this point.  By attacking me you’re going straight to the ad hominem, and that means you instantly lose any moral high ground you believed you possessed.  As I told this person last night after she accused me of attacking her when I said she was a bigot, “You pushed that button and opened the door:  I only kicked it wide open.”  Ah, yup.

Tonight I’ll get back to my kids and their instructors, one whom, as an A Level, dragged a girl by her hair from the Dining Hall to the Rotunda to “have a talk” because the dragged girl made the mistake of calling the instructor a racial slur.  I would truly love to do that same thing to the haters, but hey, we can’t have everything, right?  But I’ll be back to Salem this evening–I promise.

In the meantime I'm sorry I haven't the time for your shit:  I'm too busy being me.

In the meantime I’m sorry I haven’t the time for your shit: I’m too busy being me.

Pretty Little Kill Machines

Here I am, sitting in the car dealership at eight-forty in the morning, getting new tires on my ride in preparation for the return to Red State Indiana next Saturday.  There are so many things running through my mind at the moment, and I’ve been up since five getting them sorted.  I’ve written, I’ve sent off birthday wishes, I’ve thought about what I’m going to say here–oh, and it’s an anniversary of sorts today, for sometime today, right around noon is my guess, I’ll take my twenty-forth hormone injection, and that will make one year down, baby.  I’ll make sure to get pictures, trust me.

Also, for comical relief, I post this text transaction of an eleven year old girl burning down her boyfriend for hanging out with another girl.  When I saw this yesterday the first thing that came to mind was, “This is why Annie doesn’t have a mobile phone.”  After all, I wouldn’t want her going crazy on Kerry after she went through the trouble of buying his Starbucks, ’cause as we know, Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino equals True Love, and one does not screw with the heart of a girl who goes to those lengths to show said love.

Then again, she doesn’t need a mobile to go all Dracarys on someone:  Annie knows how to toss real fireballs.  When she burns you down, it’s literal as hell . . .

Wednesday mentioned to our lovey dovey couple that people in their level may be afraid of them, it brings to mind a certain scene where these two went nuts on a few Walkers in the middle of a test, and Annie’s reaction to people recoiling in horror from them was short and definitive.  Wednesday knows all about that test:  she saw the video, and it was one of the reasons why she pulled them into Advanced Spells.

Believe it or not, Wednesday knows the feelings of which she speaks, as she’s been there–

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Wednesday slipped a cover onto her container. “Just like you, people felt intimidated by me—and there were a lot of people who were scared.”

“Of you?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

Wednesday grew serious for the first time either of them could remember. “Because I killed someone.”

The minions exchanged looks, but it was Annie who responded. “That was during The Scouring, right?”

Wednesday nodded. “Yeah.” She smirked. “I killed the Head Sorceress.”

Kerry seemed almost ready to gasp. “You did?”

“Yeah. I was heading back to my cover and he confronted me, my coven leader, and a friend of mine outside the tower. He killed both of them using Blood Hammer and was about to do me when whipped up a spell.” Wednesday looked away for only a moment, then looked directly at both children. “I created a vortex around him and flayed him to death with dirt and little rocks. It’s not the best way to go out, but . . .” Her jaw clenched. “He deserved that.

“The next school year, I was a D Level and was asked to do my minion duty then—though we didn’t call it ‘minion duty’, we were just lab assistants. I was helping A Level and things we okay until about the start of October, and then it was like a switch was flipped; no one wanted my help for anything. Isis told me later that she’d heard word got around about me killing the Head Sorceress, and people—especially the A Levels—were suddenly scared of me. Even the B and C Levels started tip-toeing around me. It was like I’d went from ‘Wednesday the Good Witch’ to “Wednesday the Killer Bitch’ overnight.” She shrugged. “I eventually took that year off from helping out in the lab because it bothered me that no one wanted my help, and I had to deal with the why of the situation.”

She moved closer to her students and spoke in lower tones, as if conveying wisdom that she wanted only them to hear. “I know Helena likes to cultivate a bad ass rep, but that’s the way she is: she’s never given a shit if anyone likes her, particularly the students, because she’s not here to be liked—she’s here to make good sorceresses.” Wednesday paused long enough to give her minions a warm, gentle smile. “Yeah, there are a few people who won’t ever like you for one stupid reason of another, and more than a few who’ll be scared of you because of your abilities and actions, but you can’t let it get to you—” She gave them both a comforting pat on their shoulders. “It’s not personal: it’s just the way things are.”

Wednesday levitated both closed containers to the open storage cabinet in the corner and closed the door. “One thing you gotta remember when you’re teaching—”

Kerry glanced at Annie before responding. “What’s that?”

“Do you want to be liked? Or do you want to be effective?” Wednesday chuckled. “Just a slight bit of paraphrasing there, but in the end, it’s true.” She held out her hands. “It’s lunch time and I’m buying. You coming?”

 

Annie looks up to Helena, and being the Good Dark Witch means she strives to keep a little fear wrapped around her presence.  Sure, Kerry killed a bad guy, but everyone save a few people think it was one of those accidents that just happened.  Most of Annie’s “Bad Witch” rep comes from going after Lisa in the middle of The Rotunda, and getting extremely chummy with The Mistress of All Things Dark.  If any of the students really knew what Annie has done in the last year, they’d likely stay the hell out of her way–

You wouldn't like her when she's angry.

You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

Stillness in the Heart

I had a hard time writing last night.  One of the issues before me was how to get the scene started, because words weren’t working.  There was also a certain amount of distraction around, but none of it had to do with my usual face burning, because I’m not doing that until Wednesday.  It was just my mind being all over the place.

But there was a section of my brain that felt a little bit of suffering, and it didn’t have anything to do with getting an electric probe shoved into my skin, it was about emotions.  Feelings.  Wantings, you might say.  I’m in the down section of my hormonal cycle, and I was slipping into sad mode while I thought about, and wrote, the scenes before, because it began pulling up old feelings I’ve had for quite a while.  And it was hitting me hard, because . . . well, let’s start the excerpt and perhaps you’ll see.

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Seconds after opening his eyes, Kerry sensed the silence and the darkness. The darkness was easy to notice: even in the aftermath of the Midnight Madness there was always ambient light available so any students who stayed until the end—or had fallen asleep, as Annie and he had done on many occasions—could find their way out of the Dining Hall without fear of running into or tripping over furniture.

Then there was the silence. Even at the end of a Madness there was some kind of soft noise: students or instructors speaking; the shuffling of feet; the crackling of dying embers in the huge fireplace. None of that existed at this moment. The room was beyond deadly quiet: it was as if Kerry awakened in the quietest room in the world.

If not already aware that this was the Dining Hall, Kerry might have believed he was lying in his bed back in his room—

Except for one thing . . .

 

It not hard to figure out what that one thing is Kerry has here in the aftermath of the Midnight Madness, and not back in his room.

 

He propped himself up on his left elbow and watched the still-sleeping Annie. During all their moments when they’d slept together, she was usually the first to wake, or she’d wake at the same time. The only time he’d ever seen Annie sleeping was the morning after returning from Yule holiday, when he’d found her on the sofa in the Mezzanine Commons, she she didn’t look much different then than she appeared now—face soft and slack, lips parted slightly, eyelids smooth and forehead unfurrowed, her hair piled to the sides around her ears.

Kerry imagined this was how she’d looked every night, so completely different from the person he’d seen in his dreams for almost a decade. It seemed impossible that this was his Chestnut Girl, the one he’d played with as a toddler, the one he’d read to when he became a tweener, the girl he’d loved for so long before telling her—and the girl who he’d forgotten, and whom he’d fallen in love with once again before remembering he’d never loved anyone else.

After watching her for almost a minute, Kerry touched his finger to her lips, applying the slightest of pressure. At first Annie did nothing, then her head shifted to the left before slowly returning to the prior position. He did the same thing, but this time Annie’s head rolled back slightly. She gasped before speaking in a soft, sing-song voice. “Ummmm, az sŭm na toplo. Drŭzhte me tuk, Obicham da sŭm na toplo.”

He’d chuckled, for he’d never heard Annie talk in her sleep. It made sense she’d speak in Bulgarian, with it being her native language; his only regret was not knowing what she’d said—save for obicham. He’d come to recognize that word so well that when writing over the summer to Annie, he’d ended his letters with the phrase “Obicham te”—”I love you.”

He kissed her on the cheek, touching her as gently as he had her lips. Annie sighed as a tiny smile began to form. He kissed her again, and she squirmed the slightest bit, her hands moving slowly under the comforter. Kerry gave her a light kiss on the lips—

 

This kids and their watching someone sleep moments.  We’ve already seen Team Annie at work as she’s done her Edward bit a couple of times and watched Kerry for a few minutes in the hospital before saying screw this and moving right up into the bed next to him, and now it’s Team Kerry not only watching, but doing a little touching.  And smiling.  And kissing–let’s not forget the kissing.

And this is where I was having problems writing, because feeling Kerry do those things–I so wanted to do them myself.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, it’s just to stare up at the ceiling and wondering about things and people:  I never get the chance to look over and see someone sleeping and dreaming away the night.  I needed to get up and walk away for a bit, to just recompose myself after bring out that scene.  It’s only a few hundred words, but it touches me, and even hurts a little–

So many times Kerry sat awake in the dark, when there was no one, even in his dreams, to comfort him.

So many times Kerry sat alone in the dark, where there was no one, not even from his dreams, to comfort him–

And for so long now, I’ve felt the same.

Ah, enough of this.  Let’s finish up with my kids, because this is their story.

 

Annie gave the softest of moans as her hand blindly reached upwards and touch his head and shoulder. He held the kiss for about fifteen seconds, and when he pulled away he was peering down into her now slightly opened eyes.

“Ummmahhhh.” Annie arched her back as she stretched. “You woke me with a kiss.”

He ran a finger over her left cheek. “I thought you’d like that.” He kissed her again, and while he didn’t hold it as long as the last, it was far more passionate. “There’s something you need to know . . .”

Annie was fully awake now. “What is it?”

“We’re the only ones in the hall. It’s empty.”

She was sitting up a moment later and looking around. It took but a moment to confirm his statement. “Hummm.”

“Do you know who was in charge of winding down things tonight?”

“I think it was Helena and Erywin.” Annie lay back and looked up at her boyfriend. “It looks as if she thought we needed to speak to each other.”

Kerry knew what she mean, for this wasn’t the first time they were allowed to sleep on after the Madness was over. Back at the end of March Professor Lovecraft let them sleep over so the Dining Hall could clear out and Annie could ask him an important question . . . “So it would seem.”

 

And that last time in the Dining Hall was the lead-up to the final “Do you want to be a Good Sorceress?” question, and that turned out all right.  At least for now.

The remainder of this scene has been changed a lot from how I first saw it, and I should get to that tonight.

I’ll remember to stay out of the dark.

The Loneliness of the Dark: Starting Out

I know there are studies that show that writers are able to alleviate their depression and sorrow through writing, and yet . . . we all know of at least one popular writer who ran the depression rails all the way to the end of the line and parked there forever.  That’s likely because other studies have shown that depression and creativity to hand-in-hand, and that’s one of the reasons so much artistic types are overcome by their demons, be it substance abuse and/or depression.

A lot of times we write to rid ourselves of our own demons, and that does help.  It also brings out moments where you, the writer, has to search your emotional closet looking for similar moments to mine for the entertainment of others.  It’s not fun, but depending upon your story, it’s often necessary.

Kerry’s in some dark spots right now in the story, and while I don’t like placing him there, it’s necessary.  Why?  Because . . . that’s the story right now.  I’m leading up to something, and while it’s not a nice thing to say, I gotta torture his ass just a little in these early chapters.  Not a lot was written last night, but I managed about six hundred and fifty words.  Part of it was due to my mood–I was more in a mood to kick back and just veg out a bit than getting into a story–part of it was not wanting to hurt Kerry some more, to dig into his soul and wound it once again.  His home life sucks, and he wants to be with the girl he loves.

And now there’s other crap at play . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry’s eyes opened as he came out of the dream. He didn’t gasp for breath or jerk upright as characters did in movies when they awoke from a dream: he simply exhaled and rolled over onto his back, looking through the darkness at his his ceiling.

He had no idea how long he’d been in his dreamspace, but it hadn’t felt as if it’d been long. He remembered times with Annie when they’d spent an entire day, from sunrise until the next, talking, playing, laughing, enjoying each other’s company—and later, after the admissions of love, hugging, kissing, and cuddling. This time it was more like a quick “Hello, how are you?” and then back out into real life. Not to he had no idea who this person was who’d invaded the dreamspace he shared with his lovely Annie . . .

Kerry slowly drew back the covers and got out of bed. He quietly made his way out of the bedroom and walked the few steps to the toilet room. It wasn’t often that Kerry had to get up in the middle of the night to relieve himself, but for some reason now he found he needed to go badly. He sat and tried pushing the dream away, but the last thing the girl said stuck with him:

“You hold my life in your hands.”

He bowed his head and sighed. What did she mean by that? How is her life in my hands? I don’t even know her; how can I help someone I’ve never met? He finally put the dream out of his mind, finished up in the toilet room, and returned to his bedroom.

 

I’ve come out of a few dreams the same way as Kerry has, and it can be a bit of a shock.  I’ve never sat up in bed screaming, and don’t know anyone who has.  But it looks more dramatic on the screen when it show it that way, I guess.  And the dream was bothersome, because now Kerry’s got someone telling him he hold their life in their hands.  In his world, don’t think for a moment that dreams don’t have meaning.

And his mind wanders back to that world once he’s back in his bedroom . . .

 

It was impossible to return to sleep, however: the dream had left Kerry too wound up, and he didn’t bother getting into bed because he knew he would only toss and turn rather than return to sleep. Back at school he’d head off to the hospital and ask Nurse Gretchen for something that would let him sleep in ten minutes, then head off to Bed #2 for a couple of hours of sleep. There wasn’t any chance of that happening—not for another couple of weeks, at least.

Kerry chose to sit at his computer desk instead. He flipped on the small lamp to his left, casting light upon the desk and his tablet computer, while the rest of his room remained in darkness. He didn’t know what he wanted to do: usually he’d jump on the Internet and start reading whatever he could find, but this time he wanted to talk to Annie. If this had happened at school, he’d meet her in the Mezzanine Commons, in three hours time, and they’d discuss the dream over breakfast before heading off to—what class will I be in on Tuesday? He powered up his computer so he could check out the real schedule Ms. Rutherford had sent him, and not the fake one that came in his travel package . . .

His tablet was up and running after a few seconds, thanks to the modifications Salem Director of Security Isis Mossmaon performed on the system as a present for his last birthday. Kerry was about to bring up a browser and read the email attachment when he saw the Skype icon notification in the lower right hand corner pop up and display a familiar name. He checked the time on his computer—03:11—and performed a quick calculation in his head. Only a little after twenty hours there— His finger hovered over the notification icon. Why not see if she’s really on-line?

Kerry tapped the notification: Skype loaded and proceeded to call the user on the other end of the connection. A few seconds later—as Kerry was throwing up a spell that would keep the conversation localized around the desk—the call connected.

A red-haired girl wearing pajamas with unicorns on them stared back at him through his computer display. “Kerry?”

Kerry sat back and grinned. “Hi, Emma.”

 

Emma has pajamas with unicorns on them.  No word if they’re new, or if she’s worn them to the Midnight Madness.    You never know:  we may see them again.

There I left him–

The dark is never a fun place, particularly when you're alone . . .

The dark is never a fun place, particularly when you’re alone . . .

And I’ll return to him tonight so he can talk.

It’s not the person he wants to speak with, but . . . any port in a storm as they say.

This Sorrowful Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal–okay, maybe a month, but for me that’s a while.  Or long time.  Or longer than I’m used to, but that’s how things are in my life.  And I should point out that I’m liable to say some things below that may freak others out, so if you are the kind the freaks out easily, depart before you abandon all hope.

If not, let’s roll on in, kiddies . . .

I’m mentioned, off and on over the last few weeks, that I’ve found myself fighting depression.  It’s not a lot of fun, let me tell you, ’cause it wears you out.  I once described depression as treading water in the middle of the ocean:  you’re doing all the work to stay above water while the ocean does nothing–it just sits there and waits for you to tire and go under.  That’s why if you don’t find a way to get out of the water, you’ll drown and die.  And the ocean doesn’t care ’cause it’s a force of nature.  Just like depression:  a force of nature that gives zero shits about you as a person, or for your quality of life.

And November hasn’t helped the situation much.  I’ve got a lot more pressure at work of late, and there’s NaNo, and I’m getting ready to head home at the end of the month for the first time in almost six months . . . it’s a mess.  Really, the last few weeks have started to engulf me . . .

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

Last Friday, right around noon, because I remember it being after I ate lunch at work, I started to find myself getting in a bad way.  I actually cried a little at work, but not enough that it was noticed.  Actually, nothing I do at work is noticed, so it’s not in any way unusual that people would see me sitting in my office starting to lose it.

It wasn’t until I made it home that things came right off the rails.  The moment the door shut behind me I began crying.  I was still crying when the computer came up.  In fact, I cried off and on for the better part of an hour straight, and spent the rest of the night floating in and out of the feeling that there was far too much pain in my life.

Last Saturday was my shot day, and I thought that might help me break out of the funk, but the moment the psychological effects wore off I was right back to being a maudlin little bitch.  Going out and getting makeup didn’t help; being out in the sun did nothing.  I felt as if nothing I did was helping break the feeling that, no, things weren’t going to get better.

By about three PM I’d already made up my mind:  there wasn’t any point in going on, so I might as well shuck this moral coil as fast as I can.

I started preparing for my death.

It’s not easy for me to say that last line, because that’s a hard point in your life when you hit the tipping point and realized you’ve gone from “if” to “when”.  I didn’t care, however:  once you reach that point you just wanna kept going.  It didn’t matter if I was finding the energy to love myself, because I wasn’t feeling any love coming back, and that’s something that’s so difficult to put aside an ignore.

So I started getting ready.  I knew I was going to record some videos and post them for people to view.  I rehearsed what I was going to say, and when I was going to post them.  I knew the manner in which I wanted to check out, and weighed the pros and cons of survivability.  I was all ready to go–

Save for three things.

One, that day was the last episode of Doctor Who‘s most current season.  Okay, so I sound like a geek here, but I had to see how the season ended.  Two, I was into Act Three of my huge, Infinity Jest-like novel, and that meant I was not only getting towards the end, but I was also coming up on a good part that I’ve been sitting on for over a year.  I’d made promises to people that I’d finish this damn thing, and I knew I couldn’t leave people hanging about what happens–and if that doesn’t sound like a writer’s ego hard at work, nothing does.

And finally, there are two people on my “If you die you’ll hurt them” list, and if I died now, I’d be in violation of Jacqualyn’s Law, which I named for a friend.  It’s a variation of Wheaton’s Law, though this one is geared more for women.  It says, “Don’t be a twat,” and I’d have been a massive twat if I did what I was thinking of doing.

So I settled back to watch Doctor Who, and when that was over I headed into writing.  I still hurt, I still found it difficult to get through Sunday–which I helped smooth out by doing more writing–and I made it into Monday, then Tuesday, then . . .

Here.  Today.

Last night I felt the depression coming on again, and I was really not looking forward to dealing with this crap.  Then I noticed someone I’d just reconnected with on Facebook was trying to get my attention.  She’s a transwoman from Canada who transitioned decades ago, and we’ve shared some information over the months.

We started talking, and we talked, and we discussed why I was depressed, and why I felt suicidal, and were there things that I wanted to do that may have made me feel this way.  And there were answers to those questions, and a lot more–

And by the time we were finished, we’d chatted for about three hours, and I felt a whole lot better than I had when the evening had started.

As you can see, I'm actually smiling a little.

As you can see, I’m actually smiling a little.

Things aren’t “over”, but they’re better.  Much better.  I had some plans I want to discuss with my therapist when I see her the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I hope she agrees that it’s time I actually move on these things.  I’m not feeling the trepidation about going home that I have had for a while–it’s going to be the first time I’m going to be Cassie with them full-time since I’ve started transitioning, and while I’m certain my daughter will be cool with it–after all, we went out shopping together as daughter and, um, other mother–I can’t say the other person in the house is gonna dig things.  Maybe I’ll have to cook a couple of good dinners to break the ice . . .  And I’m going to start taking the first steps towards getting my name changed.

But mostly I’ve chilled on the death stuff.  I’m still in the ocean, but I feel like I’m closer to shore, and if you keep moving towards shore, eventually you get up onto dry land and you don’t have to wear yourself out treading water.  And if I can’t get onto dry land, maybe I can get somewhere shallow enough that I can rest once in a while.

This Sorrowful Life.  Sometimes you find yourself surround by bad people and zombies, and you have the choice of either giving in and joining one of the two hordes, or you fight back against the hell that waits outside your walls.  Neither is an easy choice, but you have to make one, because doing nothing is not an option.  You must make a choice.

I mentioned in one of my last videos that you have a choice with transition:  become who you are, or die.  I said I’m trying to get off the death track and be who I am, and last night I finally felt as if I was bucking that first track and leaving it behind.  I hope to make it so.

I really do.

The Hesitancy of Drama

I know some of you are wondering, “Are we going to see what’s coming next for Annie and Kerry?”  And the answer to that is, “Nope.  Not today.”  The why of that is both complicated and . . . not.

Part of what happened, for me last night, was having to help out a couple of friends who were having a rough spot of it last night.  I was up until midnight speaking with first one, then the other, consoling, offering advice, and offering general reassurance.  It’s the sort of thing I do these days, but more and more I seem to give this advice freely.  And without hesitation.

"Okay, I'll help you hide the body, but you're driving.  Got it?"

“Okay, I’ll help you hide the body, but you’re driving. Got it?”

It’s easy to write off a lot of things that happen online as just another form of drama, and seeing as how I keep our Facebook Drama llama calmed down most of the time, but my friends were in the middle of real concerns, so no drama:  it was hurt and anxiety all the way down the line.  I stepped in and did what I could to help ease the pain.

Speaking of drama, however . . .

I did manage to write a little.  We’re only talking about two hundred words, but I’ll get to more tonight.  There is a problem that I’m encountering, and it’s one I’ve hit before:  the feeling that I’m about to say or show something that’s a little too personal.  I’ve done this before with other stories, and I feel it coming on here as well.  Because what is about to happen is personal–not only for my kids, but for me.  I’m about to unbare some souls and show some feelings that haven’t popped up before, and . . . it’s nerve wracking to pull this out and wave it about.

Though I’m much better with my emotions these days–never might there are times I have the emotional stability of a twelve year old girl going through puberty, I’m talking about opening myself up to others–there are times when I feel I’m putting to much of my own soul out there on the page.  I saw something, show something, put a hint or two here and there:  that’s all part of the plot.  But there are things that Kerry says in this scene which is a little gut wrenching for me, because they’re things I’ve felt and even said from time-to-time.

When Kerry says no one has ever loved him, or that they wish he wasn’t there, I’ve heard those things before.  I’ve had those words ring in my ears, either coming from someone else, or from my own mouth.  It can be a tough thing to write about an emotionally detached eleven year old boy, and remember what it was like when that boy was you.  And then to go back and write this . . . it’s not the stuff of nightmares, but it leaves me uneasy leading up to and for a little after I finally get it out of my head and down on paper.

Tonight, for sure, I’ll get there.  I’ll stay off the computer and put on the music and just write.

Things need to be said.  And writing is where I get my support.

Besides . . . Annie will be there.  And she’s the best support I have.

Bringing ‘Round the Warnings

I’m writing again and not doing that video thing this time–which was, honestly, fun, but very time consuming.  If and when I do another, I’ll have to plan things out a little better.

Here it is, new month and all, yeah?  Just like in my novel, it’s a new month:  1 November, 2011.  And just changing that date caused more trouble than I’d imagined, because there are later scenes in this part that are supposed to take place close to sunset, and me–checking the historical data for that period of time, naturally–discovered that just by moving the date back on week, the time of sunset changed by just over an hour.  That meant I needed to change up my time line in Scrivener and Aeon to get everything right–and you know what?  It’s even better:  the weather will alternate between cloudy and clear, and it’s even chillier.

"So was this what it looked like when you were out there?" "Yeah.  Only there was a lot more screaming--" "Smack!" "Oouh!" "That's not even funny, Kerry."

“So was this what it looked like when you were out there?”
“Yeah. Only there was a lot more screaming–“
Smack!”
Oouh!”
“That’s not even funny, Kerry.”

There you go, Kerry:  giving things away and being smart mouthed with your girlfriend.  You should know better.

This next part, Part Seven, is basically going to be my version of 24, only with a lot less torture and fewer moles infiltrating a secret government agency.  All of the action takes place within a twenty-four hour time frame, so this is going to be a long day for the people of my school.  Six chapters, but they shouldn’t be long chapters.  I hope.

Anyway, it was time to go–

See?  Already to start.

See? Already to start.

–and get this party started.  I did that by having someone making a grand entrance:

 

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

Isis flung open doors of the West Entrance, and was through the West Transept and circling around in The Rotunda to land on the first floor balcony outside the Security Center before they had a chance to close. She could have teleported from outside the Instructor’s Residence to here, but given how little time she found to actually fly these days, any time she could take to the air was a good one for her—even if it was only four hundred meters and less that twenty seconds airborne.

 

Isis Mosman, Director of Security, and a former student Gifted with Flight.  It’s not levitation she’s doing:  think of it more like what some of the Marvel superheroes do when they fly–they just up and go.  And she wasn’t even exposed to Terrigen Mist.

Her people are there–well, two-thirds of them.  Let’s see then:

 

Holly McPhie and Suhaila Ogata were monitoring the consoles this morning: Isis’ second-in-command, Tamera Berube, wouldn’t arrive on the grounds for another thirty minutes. Both women looked up as Isis entered wearing her red flannel pajamas and matching slipper, but Suhaila, the shift supervisor, was the one to address her. “Sorry to get you out of bed, Chief.”

“Don’t be: I’m paid to get up at strange hours.” She hovered over Suhaila’s work station. “What’s up?”

She brought up a browser and began retrieving information. “Eighteen minutes ago we received a message from ECMI that they were having problems with their outer screens.”

“Let me see it.” ECMI was the Edinburgh Center for Magical Instruction, one of the two larger “Secondary Schools” that The Foundation ran to handle students that were almost good enough to met Salem standards—but not quite. Isis knew the place well: she’d worked with their IT people on an overhaul of their system back in 2004, and had developed a good relationship with a few of folks there.

 

That’s the first mention of the two “smaller” schools that exist outside Salem.  If there was time for a history lesson–and there is just a little–you’d find that Edinburgh was a lot like Salem:  a school for witches hidden in the woods just south of the city.  It’s all bought up by The Foundation now, and has joined their network.  In time you’ll see the other “smaller” school mentioned, but not just yet.

A message comes in and looks normal; seems people are tap, tap, tapping on the outer screens of the school.  Sure there are defenses because . . . well, you’ll see.  But then a second one comes in, probably sent by The Control Voice . . .

 

To all stations on this network:

Security reports that we may have experience a minor intrusion. They indicate there was a minor fluctuation against the outer defense screen at nine sixteen local time, and that there is evidence that an intrusion may have occurred. They are currently pursuing the matter and expect to issue a verbal report momentarily.

Please stand by . . .

 

When you’re told to “stand by” it’s probably not a good thing.  Isis figures this out when she reads the third message–which I’m not showing–and gets her fears more or less confirmed.

 

Isis reread the message once just to make certain she was correct in the initial belief, then checked the domain name as suggested. “They sent this out on the open network?” She shook her head. “This is bullshit.”

“That’s why we woke you up.” Suhaila turned off the holo display. “We haven’t been able to contact ECMI since that last message. They’re in the dark.”

 

You’re going to hear the expression, “in the dark,” more than a few times in this part.  You’ll also get a gleaming of some of the facilities I’ve put together for The Foundation.  ECMI is just one:  many others will be mentioned.  And you’re starting to see that even though we’re dealing with witches and people who may have superpowers, communications ain’t being handled by owls, and the schools are sitting behind some pretty good defenses.  How good?  You’ll see.

Just sit back and enjoy what’s probably going to be the next month of this day.

It’s gonna be fun.

Fear For Your Lives

Despite the promises that I’d get a lot done yesterday, very little was actuated.  Call it holiday blase or whatever, but the writing spirit wasn’t there.  Also, the two rather hefty pints I had for lunch probably didn’t go much good for the mood, either.

But, hey:  can’t have every day being a writing day.

Thing is, when I look at my notes for the current scene I’m in, I realize that I can probably wrap up the whole thing in a day or two.  If I really jammed it out tonight, and I do it for sure, because all that remains it (a) having Annie tell Kerry there is no way in flippin’ hell she’s asking the other two monsters if they wanna see the city, (b) she answers his question about why she’s asking him to run around the city with her, and (c) asking the question for the third time and getting an answer.  Easily peasily, as Pinkie Pie says.  (Who, some quick research show, shares a birthday with me.  Um . . . okay.)

Annie is trying to get what she wants, which is something she does a lot.  That was something my beta reader told me about her:  she’s a leader, not a follower, and she does things.  She wants to go out, and she’s gonna drag this kid along no matter what.  Well, if he says “no” she’ll probably get steamed and then go after him in another way, but–yeah, Kerry’s hitting the town with her, like it or not, and that’s that.

"Aren't we supposed to be walking through London?"  "Pretend for a moment we're not in a stock photo, Kerry."

“Aren’t we supposed to be walking through London?” “Pretend for a moment we’re not in a stock photo, Kerry.”

In the original version of this scene Annie was the passive one and Kerry was Mr. Take Charge.  Someone who’d only been to London once was about to drag around a girl who’d been all over the world–yeah, that didn’t seem right.  Particularly after it’d been pointed out to me.  Now the feeling seems a little different, a little better–

I’m still afraid of Annie, though.

I wrote her wrong in the start–or, as I was told, it felt like I wrote around her.  She had no personality, no feeling.  As she points out in this new scene she’s been all over the world, but that didn’t come across the first time.  Now it’s better, but there is still the feeling, when I enter the scene, that I’m still afraid of her.

Or, maybe, I’m getting her too right, and that starting bringing on memories that I’d rather keep repressed right now.

Makes any sense?  No?  That’s the way writing is at times:  the writing knows what they hell they’re rambling on about, and the read is left to wonder why.  Needless to say, I’m becoming less afraid of Annie and more willing to write her as she should be–just as I’m doing with Kerry.  The juxtaposition of personalities is happening, and it’s forcing me to go slow with my scenes and get their out the way they should.

But with all things slow and steady, in time you reach the end.

Usually in once piece . . .

Let Us Relive Our Lives in What We Tell You

Breakfast is out of the way, more or less; all that remains is the coffee, and I’m about to refill that as soon as the song I have on finishes.  Yes, it’s six fifty-five AM and the morning has already been an hour in the making.  That means it’s time for a post.  That means it’s time to start writing.

It’s a strange live I’ve chosen for myself.  Write a blog post at six-thirty in the morning, then write code all day, then come home and edit twenty pages for a while, then time line out something because I need to know when an event could take place because of something happening to one of the characters–yeah, Research Bitches!  Finally, about eight forty I was able to relax and watch How to Train Your Dragon, which is one of my favorite movies, and far superior, in my opinion, to Toy Story 3.  Because Viking kid with a dragon.

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them--Kerry needs one of these.  Oh, and lets not forget the blowing up of your enemies . . .

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them–Kerry needs one of these. Oh, and lets not forget when you use them to blow up your enemies . . .

And then I’m back at it today.  Same as it ever was.

Last night, while I was plotting out my time lines and thinking about some of the crap my kids will get into once the future rolls around, I wondered about some of the things that have drawn me to writing, as well as some of the things I’ve written.  Like it or not, there’s always a little bit of me in my stories.  Maybe it’s just a personal feeling, or perhaps it’s an idea I want to espouse.  There is at least one story I’ve written that deals with feelings I have towards other person, and another where I’m more or less returning to some emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time–which is probably one of the reasons why I find myself getting into crying jags now and then.

A lot of writers get caught up in their characters, and I find myself doing the same once in a while.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ll often start crying at the end of one of my stories not only because I’ve reached the end and there’s a huge emotional release upon typing out, “The End”, but in a few of my stories something extremely emotional has occurred between my characters, and it’s hard to hold back the feelings.  You’re digging deep into something within your own essence to throw into your characters, and when that moment happens, it’s like it happened to you.

I thought out a scene for my kids last night that hit me in ways that make a lot of sense, and at the same time left me feeling like my heart was going to wither.  It was a cold scene, but as I thought it out logically, it was the only thing possible for the plot as thought out.  It even involved making one of the hardest characters I’ve ever made reach a point where she starts crying–that’s some hard core sad right there.

I talk about these characters as if they are real people sometimes, and while I know they aren’t, they are, in a way, an extension of my own ideas and feelings, so when you give them happy times, you feel the happy times, and when you crap all over their lives and throw them into the Pit of Emotional Hell, then you’re going to experience the fall.  And trust me:  I will crap all over their lives, because life is hard for Normal people, so just imagine the sort of shit that gets thrown at you when you’re a witch.

What doesn’t kill them makes your characters stronger–but what does it do to me?  It lets me tell the tales of their lives–

And by doing so, I bring a little of my life out for all to see.

Between the Lines

This morning starts out early like so many others on a Saturday:  sitting in Panera, my breakfast finished and drinking my coffee.  It’s almost seven AM and I’ve been awake since four-thirty.  I have a bill to pay today, and I’m thinking of heading down to a local hair salon and getting my hair cut and my eyebrows shaped a bit.  Tomorrow I need to do the laundry ’cause I haven’t many things that are clean.  I also believe I’m developing a cold, because there’s been a strange tickling in my chest, one that started late last night and it bothering me this morning.

Not an auspicious start to the weekend, particularly if I want to go out tonight, which I am still debating.

Why am I debating this?  Because I may want to stay in an write.

"Yeah, I could ship this Allison/Cosima story as is, but it really needs a three-way with zombie Helena to make it rock."

“I could ship this Allison/Cosima story as is, but it totally needs a three-way with zombie Helena to make it rock.  Yeah, seestra.”

I reached out to a few online friends I have and caught up on chat for a few hours.  I needed that because I was in serious need of decompression.  I’m back to not sleeping well and dealing with long days at work, then writing at night, which is working on my head in strange ways.

Believe it or not, this novel is taking one hell of a toll on that fragile shell I refer to as my emotions.  I’ll have to force myself to start writing, which is sometimes due to be tired, but other times it’s because I know, in my head, where I’m going with the scene, and I’m diggin’ the fact that I might find the conclusion of the scene a little heart rendering.  A few times I’ve had to stop and work out a full-on crying jag, and more often than not I’m on the verge of tears when I crawl under the covers.

The Crazy Tale of Annie and Kerry brings up way too many bad memories, and the scene I’m in now is going to bring about a phrase I haven’t heard in some time, and I know that’s going to lead to something I don’t really want again, but it’s coming, I know it is, and one just lets it happen if you wanna get the story out.

Did I think this would happen?  Yeah, probably a little.  There are some intense feeling between these characters, and my feelings about them are just as strong.  Crazy world, this writing.  Sometimes you get caught up in these young, mind-swirling desires, and if you aren’t careful you find yourself falling in and getting dragged to the bottom of the emotional ocean, just as surely as if you fall into the Corryvreckan Maelstrom.

As I’ve started before, some writers have said you’re only at your best when you’re uncomfortable about what you’re writing.  You’re putting yourself out there, pushing yourself to go places that one normally avoids.  That’s how I feel at the moment as I’m wrapping up this first act:  there are things being said that make me uncomfortable, because they bring back memories I’d prefer remain quiet and sleeping.  Won’t happen, because I woke them up some time back–

And they’re gonna stay awake until such time this novel is completed.

Yeah . . . fun year ahead, I can tell.