Before we get into the writing–which I actually did this time, no TV watching unless you count that I had Braveheart, one of the most historically inaccurate movie ever made, on in the background, and then there was some Breaking Bad on after that, but that’s all good–there is some important news.
I’m out at work.
By that I mean I finally went to my manager and told them, “Look, outside of this environment I’m a woman, and I can’t keep pretending I’m not one here, so . . . let’s fix this.” And they said yes, they’ll work with HR on this matter, and I hope, in about a month, I can start doing all that, “It’s five-thirty, I gotta start working on my face,” stuff that women love doing so much while I prepare for my day at the office.
That makes 12 January, 2015, another milestone day in my life. Remember: it’s not just a gender adjustment, it’s an adventure.
On the writing side, another milestone of sorts. At one time I was worried that Act Three might not make it to a six-figure word count, that it was gonna fall short of the other acts in the novel. Well, nope, my fears are unfounded, because . . .
Without realizing it I headed over the ninety thousand mark last night, and I’m about twenty-two hundred words of going over the four hundred thousand mark–meaning I’ll probably hit that point in the next scene. That makes me believe that by the time I get into Chapter Forty-One I’ll be over one hundred thousand for this act, though were I to write another ten or eleven thousand words for this chapter, I’ll clear that easily. And since the next scene has Annie and Kerry returning to the scene of an event that sort of helped shape Kerry’s life, Annie will have a few things to say, and that means . . . words.
The point of this scene is another birthday: Kerry’s. The lad finally turns twelve, and he’s caught up with all the other kids in his level. It’s true: his is the last of the A Level birthdays, though his isn’t the last one in the school. Without mentioning it in the last few scenes, by virtue of his birthday being so late in the school year, he became the second youngest student to student to complete the Mile High Flight.
So how does this special day begin? Like this:
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry checked his email first thing after returning from his morning shower. Though he half expected nothing, the message from his parents was there in the Inbox. It was short, wishing him a good day and saying they were looking forward to his return in a month. He deleted the message as soon as he was finished and went on to the next: an auto message from the Headmistress’ office wishing him a good day and reminding him that he was not only allowed a choice of special selections for dinner, but that between twenty and twenty-one hours he and a guest could enjoy a slice of a cake of his choice.
He was surprised to see the last part of the message, for when he’d joined Annie for her birthday cake, she’d not mentioned whether or not she was told she could bring a guest. As Kerry hadn’t sat in with anyone else during their birthday celebrations, he didn’t know if they were allowed a guest as well. He had to figure that everyone was allowed at least one guest, and maybe, in the case of people who weren’t seeing anyone, they could bring along two or three people.
I’m glad I’m with Annie. He powered down his computer and finished dressing in his uniform before slipping the device into his backpack. If I were by myself I’d probably not go and sit in the Dining Hall at night alone . . .
If anyone were to go back and look at Kerry as he was back before Annie’s birthday, you’d find a sad-sack kid who more than likely wouldn’t have fit in at Salem at all being chased by some ginger girl from Colorado who’d think their hair color would look fantastic on their kids. In short, he’d be a mess, and an unhappy one at that.
And speaking of Annie–
He grabbed his backpack and hurried towards the door. Annie was on the other side, a wide grin on her face as she stepped to one side to allow Kerry access to the hallway. She said nothing until the door to his room was closed; she threw her arms around his shoulders and whispered in his ear. “Happy Birthday, my love.” She kissed him slowly and with tremendous love, much like he’d done with her two days before. The moment she broke the kiss she straightened his jacket. “Mozhe da imate dnes naĭ-izumitelna rozhden den, sŭprugŭt mi da bŭde.”
Kerry chuckled as they walked towards the stairs. “What did you say?”
“Something you’ll hear every birthday—” Her eyes twinkled as she glanced in his direction. “For the rest of your life.”
“Just like you telling me you love me?”
“Exactly.” She was nearly skipping down the stairs as they headed into the Commons. “I only wish we didn’t have class today.”
“You can’t expect the school to shut down for us.” He took Annie’s hand the moment they reached the ground floor. “At least the weather is a little better than what we had on Beltane.”
“Only a little rain in the morning—” Annie moved quickly for the door and held it for Kerry. “My turn to be nice to you.”
“You’re always nice to me.” He walked through into the Pentagram Wall passage, but before he could open to the door leading into the garden, Annie waved it open with a Movement spell. “Hey.”
“You need to be fast around me today, moyata polovinka.” She skipped out into the garden walkway, matching Kerry’s smile with hers. “I love seeing you happy this early in the morning.”
“My last year as a tween; the last A Level to turn twelve—” He took her hand and gave it a nice, loving squeeze. “And I’m in the most wonderful relationship at school with someone I’ve loved for years. Those are four of the best reasons in the world to be happy.”
Look at that Annie, opening doors with magic. And there’s she’s trotting out the “my mate” line again, one we haven’t seen her or Kerry say since they returned from Yule. And she’s rolling out another line, one that she says he’ll hear for the rest of his life–and let’s hope he doesn’t break his neck at the end of the day. She already told him that she’d tell him she loved him for the rest of his life, she’s gonna lay this on him. And what did she actually? “May you have a most wonderful birthday today, my husband to be.” Though, in time, the “to be” part will probably go away . . .
I know: Annie’s bringing up the future, she’s gonna jinx this relationship. At the same time, as I see this scene, both of them are probably the happiest they’ve been the whole school year. I can imagine the smile etched on Annie’s face as she magically opens doors for Kerry, and the happiness on his face and the bounce in his step as they walk through the Garden on the way to the Great Hall. Notice, too: of the reasons to be happy, Annie takes up fifty percent of them–and there’s no mention of his family. It’s almost all about Annie.
She brings him joy. And that’s good right now–
‘Cause he’s gonna need that later.