Be End of the B

It seems like not too long ago I said I was going to go ahead and start plotting out the next Foundation novel, probably some time in May.  And it wasn’t too long after that when I mentioned on this blog when I mentioned that I’d started said plotting, mostly because I wanted to get started on that.

And now I can tell you I’m finished, most or less, with the major plot out.  This is what happens when you have these things in your head and they want out:  you can’t say no to them.

I have finished Parts Ten and Eleven, and that’s all there is, folks.  One change I made was moving Part Seven to Act Two, so that now Act One is Parts One, Two, and Three, and Acts Two and Three have four parts each.  There are thirty-two chapters, which are ten fewer than the last novel.  Still, after looking at what I did today, I added fourteen scenes to the story, bringing the total, so far, to one hundred and twenty-nine scenes.  I’ll likely add a few more along the way, so I’m guessing the novel will top out around one hundred and thirty-five scenes, which should work out to an estimated two hundred thousand words.  Only about half the last novel, but still . . . it’s a lot of words.

I’m still thinking a quarter of a million is going to be more the real length.

Let’s see what we have.  Here’s Part Ten.

Sort of looks like May is here.

Sort of looks like May is here.

As you may remember, 3 May is Kerry’s birthday, so there are a few scenes dealing with that event, just as there is a chapter dealing with Annie’s birthday.  This is something that will show up in every novel, because if there is one thing these two kids need, it’s birthday time together.  And the scene Tag-a-Long . . . That will be the last time Emma is in a scene, and probably the last time any flying is observed.  And Kisses at My Madness–the time means something, it really does.  And it’s something that’s going to happen in a later novel as well.  It’s even going to become a tradition of sorts between these two . . .

After that we have The Three Bindings, and when I speak about something happening a while back in this novel that changes everything with these kids, this is where they get into details on that.  It’s also where Erywin talks about shenanigans, and Deanna says something to Annie that makes her blush, so it must be good.  I expect Sitting by Sunset to be something short and sweet, and perhaps the moment where the kids are absolutely certain about their future–or at least the future they know they could have.

Then there’s Part Eleven–

It's one more, it's the end!

It’s one more, it’s the end!

The two chapters deal with two days.  Chapter Thirty-One deals with the departure from the school and the night Annie and Kerry spend before flying back to Europe, while Chapter Thirty-Two deals with the flight back, the arrival in Germany, and Kerry’s return home.  Annie’s last scene is the penultimate scene–which translate as “Goodbye For Now”–but she’s going to do something before leaving that will be far different than how she acted in Amsterdam when she said goodbye to her soul mate.

As you can see by the notes on the right side of the screen–said notes attached to the scene After Breakfast Jaunt–I’ve figured out the time in four different cities in four different time zones.  That’s how when I get to the penultimate scene I know the time in all four of the locations selected.  I’ll have to show you how I do that one day.

That’s it, she’s finished.  As I said, I’ll probably add a few more scenes in time, maybe as I write, but for now this is the layout for the next big project.

And I’m already thinking about that . . .

Not Everything

There’s another out of the way.

Last night I started on another scene, one which had been The Moon and the Tree, but that I’d renamed the same as this blog post, and which you’ll see why I renamed the scene in a few.  It’s Kerry coming home, getting a little bit of advice from Ms. Rutherford along the way, and finally stepped through a door he’s exited nine months earlier.

He not comfortable being home, and he shouldn’t be there.  I know this because I put him there.  But he’d twelve:  what else is he going to do?  Live in a lake house in Bulgaria because a dark witch wants him there?  Don’t answer that.

So here is Kerry, back home in Wales.  He be rollin’, they see him frownin’.

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

It was only a short drive from the Cardiff Central railway station to his home in Timbers Square—three and a half kilometers—and Kerry watched the city outside the salon window. The sun set at twenty-one twenty-two, and there was still enough twilight to see everything clearly. Kerry hadn’t been in the city for the last nine months, but he wasn’t interested in the view and they turned off Fitzalan Place and headed east on Newport Road—

His mind was elsewhere. Part of it remained inside a walled school in Massachusetts, and the other part was nestled somewhere in the mountains of Bulgaria. He didn’t want to be here.

 

The time is 21:55 on 2 June, 2012, and I know what the sky looked like at the time, because I brought it up–

You can find anything if you know where to look.

You can find anything if you know where to look.

I also know the streets because I did a little Google Mapping as well.

Please don't go to his house and bother him:  he's sad.  Also, he doesn't live there, and the real family will probably call the PCs on you.

Please don’t go to his house and bother him: he’s sad. Also, he doesn’t live there, and the real family will probably call the PCs on you.

So when I mention roads, distance, and time, I’ve got a good handle on things.

Ms. Rutherford is with him, too, and she has a few last things to say:

 

Ms. Rutherford felt differently, though, as there was something she needed to say. “The first summer back is always hard. You have to readjust to living in a world without magic, and you aren’t allowed to tell your parents about your true nature. The later may not be that difficult, but you’ll discover quickly how much you miss not having it around.

“As your case worker, my job it not only to get your from home to your departure point and back, but to help you out when you feel like you’re being overwhelmed. That’s why I gave you my contact information, so if things at home become too much, you can contact me.” She turned to Kerry. “If you need to talk about anything, don’t hesitate to call. We’ll have lunch or go for a walk or just find a nice quiet park and sit—but know you have someone who will come when you call. I’m here for you, Kerry.”

He recognized their location: they were well out of the downtown area now. “Thank you, Ms. Rutherford. If I gotta talk . . .” He sank back into the car’s seat and sighed. “Is the first summer really that hard?”

“It can be. Just relax Kerry—” The car bore left on to Albany Road and continued left through the roundabout. “The summer will go quicker than you think if don’t about how long you’ll have to wait before you see Annie again.”

 

Just chill, kid, and you’ll see your girlfriend again before you know it.  And if you get really lonely, you can always Skype that girl in Bolder–

That’s just a joke.  Really.

But the lack of daily magic will be a big deal after a while.  After all, Kerry was getting to where he could open and close doors with a spell, and levitating things when he wants them was something he was doing six weeks earlier.  If he only had a toy lightsaber, he could pretend he was Luke Skywalker!  But now he can’t do any of that, because he’s not allowed to let his parents know he’s a witch, so keep that magic stuff under wraps.  Particularly those things that you learned that would let you kill people.

And finally we’re here.

 

He nodded and returned to looking out the window. The car made a left onto Timbers Square and drove about twenty meters into the neighborhood before pulling up in front of the first house on the left-hand corner. Kerry stared at his home for about three seconds before chuckling. “Just like it was when I left. Everything’s still the same.”

Ms. Rutherford touched him lightly on the right arm. “Not everything, Kerry: not everything here is the same.”

He nodded and smiled. “I see what you mean.” He exited the car and retrieved his luggage from the boot, then walked with Ms. Rutherford to the front door.

 

Nope, not everything, kid, because if there’s one big thing that’s changed, it’s you.  I changed the title of this scene because of a post I wrote almost a year ago, when I headed back to Indiana and stopped at a point on the Ohio Turnpike where I mentioned that everything in the place was the same . . . and then I put up a picture of myself as Cassidy and said, “Well, not everything.”

That’s Kerry as well.  Not everything’s the same, my boy.  You’re different–way different.  But to your parents, you’re still the same strange kid . . .

 

The door opened seconds after he rang the bell, and his mother held the door open wide for her returning son. “Kerry, so good to have you back.”

“It’s good to be back.” He hoped he sounded at least a little enthusiastic about being home.

His father wandered in from the living room. “Hello, son. How was your trip?”

“Long.” He half sighed as he set his luggage aside. “Two flights, cars, trains: I had it all today.”

His mother lay a hand on his shoulder. “You must be tired.”

“Not really; I slept a lot on the flight over from Boston.”

“Speaking of flights . . .” Ms. Rutherford moved up next to Kerry so she could address everyone. “As I explained to Kerry he’s due back at school on 30 August, so expect his travel package to arrive two weeks before. I’ll be by to pick him up a few days before he departs, just like this last time. The package will arrive by courier—”

Kerry’s mother looked up from her son. “Your Foundation doesn’t take any chances, does it?”

“Not when it comes to someone as gifted as Kerry, no, they don’t.” She glanced from person to person in the foyer. “Well, then, I should leave you all to get reacquainted.” Ms. Rutherford turned to Kerry. “You have a fantastic holiday, and if you need anything—”

“Get in touch.” He smiled. “I will.”

“Take care, Kerry.”

“Take care, Ms. Rutherford.”

She gave a small wave. “Good night, everyone.” Ms. Rutherford turned and left the reunited family behind.

 

And there he is:  all alone with the family.  at least he didn’t lie about sleeping on the flight over:  he was out for most of that trip.

Now that he’s home, and it’s about 10 PM, what does his family have planned for his return feast?

 

Kerry’s mother stood before her son as his father shut the front door. “Are you hungry?”

“A little.”

“We knew you’d return late, so . . .” She glanced towards the kitchen. “We picked up some take away.”

“It’s chicken tikka.” His father walked around his son and turned back as if he expected Kerry to follow. “One of your favorites.”

His mother noticed a strange look appear for a moment on her son’s face. “Is everything okay, Kerry?”

He wanted to say it wasn’t. If I were back at school I could have fresh chicken tikka, and fish and chips, and London broil, and lamb güveç that Annie shared . . . But he couldn’t say that. He couldn’t say that he missed his girlfriend and he wished he could dine with her, because it would raise too many questions. You’re home, so make the best of the situation

“I’m just tired, Mom: that’s all.” He sighed and nodded at his father. “Let’s eat.”

 

You’re home.  Eat and be merry.

For the end is near.

Two scenes left to go . . .

Two scenes left to go . . .

Back at the Homestead

Interesting corollary between the two things I did last night.  What are those things, you ask?  Writing, what else?

I had my edits for Her Demonic Majesty, and then the new work I’m doing on Diners at the Memory’s End.  And it’s always back to the home with these groups . . .

One of the main points of Majesty involve enemy forces–aka, all these people pissed off at the person my main character has become–trying to take over an edifice known as The Castle.  They eventually do take it, but only after smacking down a bunch of gargoyles (sorry, guys), and having to deal with a huge number of deadly wards inside.  And even then . . . they don’t get to keep it, because the good guys come back and take it back.

Even though they have it back, the last few chapters of Part Three have them in fear they’d about to be attacked again.  So with the last few chapters to go, they marshal their forces, put the boots to the bad guys–who, in this world, aren’t nearly as bad as my main character is known to be, but just gray as hell–and reestablish themselves as the keeps of the keys of The Castle.

In Memory’s End, several major scenes take place back at the house.  It was the same way in Transporting, from whence these character first appeared.  There is a very nice little home, albeit a very strange one, and there are a number of things that revolve around the two main characters interacting with each other in this environment.  Sure, while I got them out of the house for Part Two of the story–and down to the cafe in their pajamas–but since they live in an arcology, it can be said they never really ventured very far from hearth and home.

Of course, there is also the question of one of the character’s in Memory’s End having access to his own–lets call it a Transatmospheric System Ship, which is a fancy way of saying, “You wanna see my spaceship?”, something one of my main characters does say to another woman.  It’s his sanctum, a place he calls his own, and while he doesn’t spend as much time aboard this craft as it was used in Transporting, it plays and important part in the development of Memory’s End.

Like it or not, in both stories I have a bunch of home-bodies.  In both cases the homes aren’t what you and I might conceive as a home, but there it is, they have places where they can fall back to, kick back, slip into something comfy, and relax.  Sure, one home has gargoyles sitting on the roof, waiting to kill anyone who gets stupid and tries to break in, and the other hangs off the side of a cliff with nothing but empty space for about a mile below, but they are homes.  They are sanctuaries for my characters, and boy, do they love them.

With all the moving back and forth that I’ve been doing the last few months, I can understand the need for a place where one can go and say, “This is mine.”  Right now, I don’t feel as if I have that.  I feel transitory, like I’m constantly in the process of going from one place to another.  I have nowhere I can really say is mine any longer.

Then again, it’s not the destination, is it?  It’s always the journey.  It’s always about how you get where you’re going.

My characters don’t know where they’re going, but I do.  They’re not always going to enjoy the journey, but they’ll come out stronger in the end.

As for my own journey–

Hey, I’m just getting started.  And it’s going to be interesting.