Lunchtime Ceridwen Bound

No mean witches today, though last night I was certainly ready to cut a bitch.  The night didn’t start that way:  I was out for a good dinner and a few drinks–I won’t show the picture I took of me holding up a pint of stout because you’ll get the wrong ideas–and then I walked the mile through the city back to my apartment, warm and comfortable in my new winter coat and mukluks.

I even took the time to get a picture before heading in to relax for the night.

I even took the time to get a picture before heading in to relax for the night.

No, it was around eleven PM, about the time I was getting ready for bed, when some moron set off the fire alarm, and the entire building was filled with the sound of Wee-ho, wee-ho, for about twenty-five minutes.  Whenever this happens the elevators lock down and the fire trucks come running, and every single time its discovered that someone was cooking and filled up their apartment with so much smoke that it drifted out into the hallway.  I’m not saying this is due to the moron in question being a little high, but . . . yeah.  They’re always found to be a little high.  Or a lot high.

Needless to say I didn’t get to bed until about midnight, and because this cold is being a pain in the butt, I was tossing and turning most of the evening.  I was so out of it that I didn’t even head out to Panera this morning, choosing to stay home and have coffee and write nearly seven hundred words while going through a selection of tunes–one of which will be the song Annie is going to use as her Samhain dance dedication during her D Levels.  All I will say is that I worked out the scene last night, and it is the damnedest thing I’ve developed for these two.  It’ll also show that my Bulgarian Pop Prince has a real playful sense of humor . . .

Back to the story, already in progress–

Erywin said she was gonna speak with Jessica, and that’s what this scene is all about.  And it takes place a few days after the meeting between the three counselors:

 

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

With morning classes over, all that remained for Jessica was to sweep up her tablet and jaunt over to her office in Ceridwen Cover tower for lunch and to conduct a bit of coven business. While they were always available for problems, it was common for all the coven leaders to take the time during midday to handle any issues that had come up with their students, or with members from other covens.

Jessica didn’t mind this time alone. Instructors were a busy lot, and with today being Tuesday, Jessica had Advanced Transformations after dinner, and that meant being in class until twenty-two tonight. She shrugged it off: it was the life she chose, and after nearly twenty years of instructing at Salem, it was a little too late to complain of her lot in life.

A knock on the door turned her away from her desk. She grinned the moment she saw her visitor. “Well hello, stranger.”

Erywin slid into the Mistress of Transformation’s office. “I know, right? Here I am, just across the courtyard, and I may as well be on the other side of The Pentagram from you.”

“Which you normally are this time of day.” Jessica waved the door closed the moment Erywin was inside. “What brings you to my end of the magical world? Business or pleasure?”

“Oh, a little of both.” Erywin calmly glanced about the room. “You heading over to Ceridwen?”

“Was about to, yeah.”

Erywin held out a hand. “Mind if I tag along?”

Jessica took her hand. “I don’t mind at all.” She jaunted them both to the coven office a second later. The office wasn’t in complete darkness; enchantments checked the room at eleven and if the room was found empty, the lighting was adjusted to a low level to prepare for entry. Jessica released Erywin’s hand, brought the lights to full illumination, and moved towards her desk.

Erywin looked about the room, which was nearly a duplicate of her own office in Mórrígan Coven: about fifty percent larger than her office in Chemistry Hall done up in several shades of dark crimson, which Jessica said suited her far better than yellow, the official coven color. Normally there was a storage room across from the entrance, but Jessica had hers removed years before, leaving her with additional open space with a slight curving wall that she filled with a sofa, a coffee table, and two chairs.

 

Now here comes something I’ve never presented here before . . .  I’ve mentioned, many times, that this story originated out of a role play, and  part of that play required creating the world that eventually became this witching little worlds behind fifteen meter high walls.

One of the things I needed to create were the layouts for the coven towers, just as I’d created the layouts for so much more.  Which means that way back in the summer of 2011 I worked on a design for the five towers that would make up the points of The Pentagram, and be where all my little witches would live while leaning the magical trade.  That means when I describe the coven layout, I know that it’s accurate because I more or less locked it down years before.

So here you go:  the floor plan for the coven tower’s ground floor.

In all its stunning graphic glory.

In all its stunning graphic glory.

Pay no attention to that “Stairs to Dungeon” description, because this was developed back in the day when Salem was just a tad different than today’s incarnation.  Needless to say, if this were Cernunnos Coven, the kids enter and leave by the door on the left if they’re going to the Great Hall, and by the door on the right if they’re headed out for Formulistic Magic or Transformation classes.  And were they to take the door at the bottom, that would let them wall down the inside of the Pentagram Wall towards Åsgårdsreia Coven.

Yes, it's all upside down, but you get the idea.

Yes, it’s all upside down, but you get the idea.

Now you know what the ground floor commons looks like, and you know where that sofa is that Annie and Kerry just happen to sack out on when they’re too tired to walk up the stairs to their dorm rooms.  Yeah, that’s it:  they’re too tired.  I’m going with that.

Erywin’s there for business, and it doesn’t take her long to get to it–

 

Erywin smirked as she pointed at the ensemble. “Anyone getting detention?”

Jessica sat in the high back leather chair behind her mahogany desk. “No. But the weekend’s coming up and there’s a couple of students inching their way on to my shit list.” It was a well-known fact around the school that the Mistress of Transformation’s idea of detention involved turning students into inanimate objects like chairs, sofas, and statues, and leaving them in her coven office for the weekend. “I might have to swap out the chairs Friday afternoon.” She set her tablet upon her desk and got comfortable. “What’s up?”

Erywin got right into matters. “Advanced Transformation: are you teaching the gender swap spells at the normal time?”

Jessica nodded. “Yes, Tuesday before Ostara, as always. Spend the prior two Tuesday nights working on the spell, then doing the spell that night. Ostara is a time of change and transformation, so those spells are perfect for them.” She turned her head slightly to the right. “Why do you want to know?”

“I was requested to perform due diligence on a student who may have GID.” Erywin slowly sank back into the entirely too comfortable chair. “The student in question is in Advanced Transformation, and those particular spells, well—” A grin slowly appeared. “They could act as a trigger for someone with GID, no?”

“I see how that could happen.” She lightly tossed her head to the left. “Anything you want me to do prior to that particular class?”

Erywin kept her tone light. “No, just conduct things as you always do.”

“So you don’t want me keeping an eye on Kerry?”

 

And BOOM!  Just as Erywin called it:  she’s figured out just who the mystery student is.  Of course I haven’t written that part yet, but I will this afternoon, which means you’ll see the rest of this scene tomorrow morning.  I promise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my nose pierced again . . .

Along the Shore of The Foundation Pond

Thursdays are never a good writing night for me.  I was tired, for one, and actually napped sometime around six-thirty.  Then Singin’ in the Rain came on, and though I’ve seen that movie maybe a dozen times, I can’t turn away from its greatness.  The lateness of the hour plus being sort of out of it night resulted in just under six hundred words being written–

Ah, but it’s a great set up.

The title of this post refers to something said a long time ago by Nadine when she first started to tutor Kerry for the Ostara Performance.  She downloaded sheet music from their Internet, and mentioned that if it had been created, The Foundation had access.  Her comment at the time was, “Welcome to the Pond,” meaning here was the place where one could find everything The Foundation had their fingers upon.

It’s also a secretive little place as well, a much smaller location within the gigantic ocean that is the world as a whole.  That’s because The Foundation has things that no one else does, and for now they’re keeping it pretty much too themselves.  Like, you know, being able to heal even the worst injuries over night–like what’s happened to a certain kid from Cardiff a few times during the course of this story, or the repairs made to the broken arm and cracked skull that his girlfriend received some time back.

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone had that.

"Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?"

“Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?”

Here is what I wrote about Salem’s particular place in that pond.  Witches have gathered, but they’re not standing around a cauldron; it’s more like they’re relaxing comfortably while waiting for someone . . .

 

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

Mathilde closed the door to the First Floor Library in the Instructor’s Residence, gently pushing it against the frame until she heard the latch snap closed. She turned back to the other women assembled in the room with her. “I’m glad we didn’t have many students to meet tonight.” She sighed as she retook her seat. “It’s been a long day.”

“Graduation Day is always long.” Wednesday stretched her legs out before her and pushed her arms over her head. “It’s bad enough we have to get all dressed up—”

“Something you should do more often.” Jessica removed her heels and flexed her toes. “You’re so adorable when you look like an adult.”

Wednesday began laughing with a couple of the other instructors in the room. Besides being the youngest instructor in the room, she was also the one who still looked the most like a student. “Yeah, well, how about you kiss my ass, Jess? The kids don’t seem to mind, and neither does Isis. Besides, I ain’t an ex-model like you—”

“I can show you how to become one.”

“Maybe tomorrow.” She adjusted here skirt and crossed here legs. “I want to finish this up and take a long, hot, soaking bath.”

Erywin, who was sitting to Wednesday’s right, nodded. “Same here. I want to get undressed and into my night clothes and spend the rest of the evening snuggling.”

Sitting all the way to the left of the collected group of women, Helena chuckled. “I know how my time will be spent tonight.”

“Isn’t it spent that way most evenings?” Erywin turned to her right, where Mathilde sat. “It is a bit disappointing to have only four students tonight. I had hoped for a slightly larger selection this year.”

“Better four great students than eight mediocre ones.” Mathilde checked her smart phone display, which remained black. “At least we have two out of the way—”

“And two to go.” Jessica ran a long nail across the tip of her nose. “Saved the best for last, no?”

Wednesday nodded. “I’d say so.”

The screen of Mathilde’s mobile came on and she checked the message. “They’re here.” She turned to the women assembled upon her left. “Before we start, I have to ask: are you certain this is what we want?”

Erywin nodded. “We’ve discussed this for four days: it’s decided.”

“It has.” Wednesday folder her hands into her lap. “You know what I think.”

“It’s what I want to do as well.” Ramona Chai slipped her feet back into her low heels. “I don’t see a problem.”

Mathilde nodded. “Jessica? Vicky?”

The Mistress of Transformation leaned forward so she could see the headmistress better. “You know what I’ve said all along.”

Vicky shrugged and nodded once. “As well as with me. And there’s the other matter—”

“Yes, I know, Vicky.” Mathilde nodded back. “We’ll get to that tonight as well.” She eyed the last silent person in the room. “Helena? No opinion?”

“Only the same one I’ve given you for the last week.” She leaned against the right arm of her over-sized chair and crossed her legs. “It’s the same one I’d give you now.” Helena pointed at the phone near the headmistress’ right hand. “Now that you know the answer, go on and bring them in.”

Mathilde picked up the phone and held it close. “Send them up.” She set the phone aside as she stood and moved toward the door to great the new guests.

 

Astute people will recognize that not all these women are coven leaders–there are only two, in fact–and there are a two people here who seem a little out of place, namely Ramona and Vicky.  And why is Helena here?  Is she holding down the Guardian fort?  In this last moment of producing this post I suddenly realized:  I should actually model this library, because I want to see the scene–

And this won’t be the last time we visit this location.

A Different Kind of Summoning

Today is going to be something different for me.  A bit of travel is in store today as I drive off for a face-to-face with my therapist for the first time in almost two years.  Therapist, you say?  Damn straight, I reply.  Therapy has been great for me, and if you can afford to sit and speak with someone who trained to help you, then go for it.

Yesterday, on the other day . . . strange day, really.  I’m going to blame it all on The Imp, for it was Peter Dinklage’s birthday yesterday, and I’m certain it may have played some part in my urges to go drinking and whoring yesterday–okay, maybe not so much whoring, but hey–a girl can dream, can’t she?  And there are few actors who can say “Your vicious bastard!” and “I should have let him kill you all!” with such gravitas that you know just about anything he says on-screen is award worthy.

“I once won an Emmy talking about whores and giving a speech on masturbation. What have you done lately?”

Well, wrote last night.  Not about masturbation, though just give me time . . .

No, I was writing about my kids, and I was writing about something that was sort of hard.  It’s 1 October in my story–I know this because all my scene cards have dates and times on them–and finally, after one month hiding behind the walls of the Salem Institute, Kerry hears from his parents.  Of course they email him, because that’s the way people do things in 2011, and since he has a computer and a Gmail account, it’s the easiest way to keep in touch.

However, it’s not really the sort of thing he wanted to hear . . .

 

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

This morning he wasn’t like that. Today Kerry was silent, withdrawn, introverted—and this concerned Annie. I haven’t seen him like this since we’ve arrived. She touched her fingertips to his left wrist. “Honey?”

Kerry looked up from his breakfast. “Yeah?”

“What are you thinking about?”

He looked down to adjust his glasses and sniffed loudly. “I got an email from my parents this morning.”

“Really?” Annie had wanted to say something else, but she knew it would have come off sounding sarcastic. “They finally decided to ask you how you were?”

Kerry drummed his fingers on the table. “Not exactly.”

“What did they say, then?” She slowly caressed the back of his hand. “Tell me, please?”

He spent a few moments in silence before deciding to tell Annie the contents of his parents email. “They first asked how the school was, then they wanted to know how I was doing in my classes, and what my grades were.”

She remained stoic, not giving away anything. “And?”

“Then they wanted to know what my room was like, and if I had a roommate.”

There was only one thing Annie wanted to know, and she wasn’t hearing it. “Did they bother asking how you were feeling?”

“Kinda at the end. They asked if I was having any trouble fitting in.” He shrugged. “Whatever that means.” He leaned a little towards Annie, who continued to stroke the back of his hand. “The only good thing that came from the email is that they are going to my grandparents house for Christmas, and wanted to know if I was going to be able to join them. I told them I’d find out.”

 

Hate to say it, but I drew on some personal feelings here, because this was exactly the sort of stuff I used to get from my parents.  Not that I ever went away to a school for special kids, but they always wanted to know more about my schooling and grades than whether I was doing well personally.  So writing this down last night sort of hurt, but you know that’s what we do:  writers sometimes reach inside and pull out some evil, hurting things that we want everyone to see.  Pretty much like I’m doing now!

Ah, but it gets better:

 

“Yeah, I’ll ask him about getting there for Yule.” Kerry chuckled. “That’s the first time I’ve said that.”

Annie lightly brushed his cheek. “You’re becoming acclimated to our ways.” A great many students continued to call their mid-school year break “Christmas” even though it was called by all the upper levels students and instructors as the “Yule Holiday”. She was impressed, however, that Kerry always refereed to the holidays and special events by their traditional names—like yesterday, he didn’t say the Halloween Dance, he said the Samhain Dance.

His chuckle lightened the dark mood that had possessed him throughout the morning. “Yes, well: I’m a good witch.”

“Yes, you are.” She poked the remains of her breakfast with her fork. “I just wish you could tell them what you really do here. Maybe they’d take an interest in you.”

Kerry said nothing for nearly ten seconds, staring off into space all the while. He slowly turned back towards Annie, his eyes hooded and shadowed. “They wouldn’t care. That’s how they are when it comes to me. They aren’t like your parents—” He looked down at his empty breakfast plate. “They’ll never write a letter wishing me a happy birthday and hoping it’s one of my best days ever.” He sniffed again as he shook his head.

 

Kerry’s parents are sort of . . . well, as he’s said, they’ve always thought him a little strange, and they find it difficult to understand his ways.  As someone told me, “His parents don’t seem to believe in him.”  No, they don’t.  And if you knew what I know about his history after this story–and I do know that–you’d see that they not only don’t believe, they pretty much don’t care.

This isn’t a case of “We’re putting our hopes and aspirations into our progeny,” it’s more like, “How did we end up with this little love goblin?”

Fortunately for him, he has someone who does care . . .

 

Annie knew he was referring to the letter her mother had written and had delivered on her birthday. She’d read it to Kerry the next night in the Mezzanine Commons while resting nestled in his arms and with his locket resting against her chest. She’d been hesitant to read it to Kerry, because she’d known he hadn’t heard from his parents, and she didn’t want him upset. But he’d insisted and he held her tight while she read, translating the letter into English.

She could almost sense his feelings this moment, and they weren’t good. Annie moved her chair closer so she could hook her right arm through his left. “Kerry?”

He turned his misty eyes towards her. “Yes?”

“My birthday wasn’t one of my best days ever—” Annie touched her heart locket with her left fingers. “It was my best day ever—made that way by you.” She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “And I wrote to my mother that I’ll tell her about it when I’m home for Yule.”

This brought a wide smile to Kerry’s face. “You going to tell her about me?”

She already knows about you, love. But she couldn’t tell him that—not until he could remember their times together in dreams. “I’ll tell her everything. Including what a magnificent witch you are.”

Kerry took Annie’s right hand and held it tight. “Only because of you, Sweetie.”

“No.” She shook her head. “You have the talent—”

“You showed me how to use it.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. “One month ago today we walked through Founder’s Gate, and I wouldn’t be half the witch I am now if you hadn’t given me that lecture in Spells Class.” Kerry gently touched Annie’s hand to his cheek. “I give credit where credit’s due.”

Annie couldn’t argue with his sentiment. “Thank you, dear.”

“Thank you for believing in me.”

“I believe in you—” She kissed his hand. “—because I love you.”

 

Loving little bunch, aren’t they?  I really do love writing moments like that, because they do have a developing, mature romance.  Yes, there is quite a lot of hand holding and snuggling and kissing, and while some may say it doesn’t feel “real”, I say stuff that, I like how my kids love–though Kerry is still a little hesitant about whipping out that L Word and laying it on Annie.

But they are about to lose that loving feeling, because they are about to get a bomb dropped in their laps.

 

“Annie? Kerry?” Netra Bonds, one of the Dining Hall hostesses, stood on the other side of the table. Her slightly lopsided grin was enough to tell the engrossed couple that she may have been standing there for sometime.

Annie recovered quickly, releasing Kerry’s hand and sliding her chair back to its original position before answering. “Yes?”

“I have a message for you.” She cleared her throat, though being an AP it was nothing more than a programmed reflex. “Professor Douglas would like to see you both this morning. She’s in her office in the Spell Center, and would like you to come between eight-thirty and nine.”

Annie and Kerry exchanged quick glances before Kerry cleared his throat. “Did she say why she wanted to see us?”

“She didn’t.”

Annie nodded twice. “Thank you, Netra.”

“You’re welcome. I’ll inform the professor the message has been delivered.” She turned and walked off.

 

A couple of things, one of which I’ve only brought up once before.  An AP is an Artificial Person, which is to say an android.  All the staff assistants–groundskeepers, nurses, kitchen staff, housekeeping, security personnel–at the school are APs, but that’s not to say they’re just emotionless creations straight out of some Japanese anime.  No, they’re self-aware and capable of independent thought and emotions, and are considered living beings by The Foundation.  Which is to say they’re being paid to help run Salem, and that’s a far better deal than any naked elf got at that other special school.

And if you aren’t following on your score card from home, Professor Douglas is Wednesday, and it looks like that dun dun dunnnn moment I spoke of yesterday is coming, doesn’t it?

There you are:  twelve hundred words down for last night’s scene, and only one more scene to go before I close out Chapter Fourteen.  See?

Twelve hundred words, just like I said.  And not one of them about masturbation.

Twelve hundred words, just like I said. And not a one about masturbation.

I don’t imagine I’ll finish the last scene tonight, but who knows?

Stranger things have happened.

All’s Quite Along the Revision Front

If you begin looking for something to do, eventually you shall find something to do.  It’s only natural.  If you don’t find anything, then you either weren’t looking hard enough, or your mind was playing tricks on you with something I like to call a “distraction”.

That happens with me every so often, but last night wasn’t the case.  After I finished up the edits on my friend’s novel, I discovered I had time on my hands.  And as Styx once sang, when I’ve got too much time on my hands, it’s ticking away with my sanity.  Since I’m already sort of nuts, the last thing I want to lose is that, so . . . I started looking for stuff do to.  You know, things.

It’s like this:  the other day one of my fans left a comment that said something like, “Wow!  With all these characters how am I gonna keep track?”  I told her that with this novel I’d leave a Cast of Characters page in the story so people would have a reference.  Naturally I had to go into my novel to see if, in fact, I might have already made one–but you already know the answer.  Of course I did.

I was looking at it, thinking about how I could put this out here for people to see, then decided, “Hey, you can just copy and paste the sucker, because it’s, you know, a big list.”  Which it is.  So, if you are interested, here is my cast of character for the story–which, believe it or not, isn’t complete, because there are things on here I’m not showing.  You know, stuff.

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

The Children and Parents

The Kirilova Family

Annie Krilova
Victor Kirilova — Father
Pavlina Kirilova — Mother

The Malibey Family

Kerry Malibey
Davyn Malibey — Father
Louise Malibey — Mother
Aaron Reston — Grandfather
Deirdra Reston — Grandmother

The Foundation Representatives

Mr. Mayhew — Guidance Supervisor
Ms. Rutherford — Kerry’s Guidance Supervisor

Salem Institute for Greater Education and Learning

Institute Staff

Mathilde Laventure — School Headmistress
Coraline Gallagher — School Doctor
Isis Mossman — Director of Security
Trevor Parkman — Head Librarian

Coven Leaders

Deanna Arrakis — Coven Åsgårdsreia and Director of Divination
Jessica Kishna — Coven Ceridwen and Mistress of Transformation
Madeline Palmescoff — Coven Blodeuwedd and History/Social Studies
Holoč Semplen — Coven Cernunnos and Biology/Life Sciences
Erywin Sladen — Coven Mórrígan and Formalistic Magic

Instructors

Harpreet Bashagwani — Astronomy and Math
Ramona Chai — Self Defense and Weapons
Wednesday Douglas — General Spells
Matthias Ellison — Music and Arts Director
Adric Lewiston — Spirit and Apparition Studies, Science, and Math
Helena Lovecraft — Head Sorceress and Dark Mistress of All
Victoria Salomon — Flying and Teleportation
Polly Grünbach — Science and Technology
Fitzsimon Spratt — Practical Super Science
Shuthelah Kady — Engineering and Magic
Tristyn Julin — Applying Powers

Assistant Staff

Kitchen and General Operations

Una Grandin — Head of Kitchen
Agnes Piña — Head Chef
Zora Gronowski — Housekeeping Assistant
Netra Bonds — Housekeeping Assistant

Hospital Staff

Gretchen Rogge — Night Nurse
Bianca Gaillard — All Shifts Nurse
Thebe Göbricher — All Shifts Nurse

Grounds and Maintenance Staff

Sukumari Valade — Head Groundskeeper
Severiana Stasko — Groundskeeper
Wilhelmina Ananas — Groundskeeper
Zenobia Boerger — Groundskeeper
Jehane Pandres — Groundskeeper

Security Staff

Tamera Berube — Security Second in Command
Holly McPhie — Security Assistant
Suhaila Ogata — Security Assistant

Other A Levels

Alica Ferguson — Student from Scotland, Coven Cernunnos
Collin McCarty — Student from Eire, Coven Blodeuwedd
Emmalynne Neilson — Student from Bolder, CO, Coven Mórrígan
Lisa Glissandi — Student from Conway, AK, Coven Åsgårdsreia
Anna Laskar — Student from Germany, Coven Åsgårdsreia

Upper Level Students

Rivânia Suassuna — D Level, Coven Åsgårdsreia
Harmony Macrinus — D Level, Coven Blodeuwedd
Nadine Woodley — C Level, Coven Mórrígan
Harold Napper — C Level, Coven Mórrígan
Chunghee Pang  —  C Level, Coven Ceridwen
Daria Frontera  —  C Level, Coven Cernunnos
Winfreda Fishel —  B Level, Coven Ceridwen

School Spirits

The Phoenix  —  Benefactor and Protector of Salem

 

And there you have it:  just about everyone in the story, or at least just about everyone I made note for that might show up in the story.  I will admit to editing the Cast of Characters a bit to keep some surprises from you, the possible readers.

But then, while I had the project up, sitting right there in front of me on the computer, I thought, “Hey, you know, it wouldn’t hurt to just, you know, look at a couple of scenes.”  Oh sure:  Nothing was going to happen.  Nothing at all.

I lied.  This is what happened.

No, this is not what it seems.  It's not writing, it's . . . editing.  Yeah, that's what it is.

No, this is not what it seems. It’s not writing, it’s . . . editing. Yeah, that’s what it is.

I got into the first two scenes of the prologue–where we meet Annie and Kerry–and I gave them both an edit.  Not only that, but I broke Kerry’s scene into two scenes, as there was a break in the action and it was time to move that other information to its own scene.  So now all sit in the project with the label, “Revised Draft First Pass” on them, because I’ll likely roll over them again before getting to another scene.

Did I find anything wrong?  Yeah, a few things.  A couple of misspelled words; I caught Annie’s father with a dreaded “said” before he spoke, and I rewrote a few lines that seemed clumsy and not at all clear.  My first drafts are pretty clean and say what I want them to say, so what I’m looking for in the editing process are those things that look wrong, and then correct them.  If I find things that don’t make sense–and I found a few of those last night–I remove them and see if I can say something differently.

I promise I’m not about to get into heavy edits of this novel before I start writing anew.  Okay, so maybe I will.

It’s my party and I’ll edit if I want to.

Will O’ the Witches

Before I get started, I would be remiss not to remind people to pop over and visit Zen Pencils.  I’ve posted a couple of Gavin Aung Than’s strips before, but this week was his tribute to the passing of Nelson Mandela, and I thought it necessary to post something inspirational this morning, because who doesn’t need it from time to time?  And last week’s post, a quote from Professor Brené Brown, is another worth giving a read.  In fact, the whole site is worth marking and reading every week.

Last night, however–ah, it was back to school night.  Well, my school, anyway.  It’s a new day down on Cape Ann, and the sun is shinning, the wind has died down, and the rain is over.  Time for my little witch to get on stage:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Tuesday morning was bright and sunny. Yesterday’s storm lasted until about seventeen, then blew itself out leaving behind fallen tree branches and lots of muddy puddles of water. The grounds crew was out cleaning the branches, and the water would dry up in a couple of days.

From Wednesday Douglas’ point of view, the sunny day reflected her feeling that today would become something to remember.

As the students filed into the Number One Lecture Room, she looked over the students, watching their body language, seeing which of them looked in her direction—and which of those gaze turned strange when they realized she was the instructor. By now, the beginning of her sixth year as the Mistress of Magic, Wednesday was used to that look. It was understandable: when she was a student, none of her instructors looked like her.

Wednesday had celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday this last June, and of the three staff members under thirty—Isis Mossman, Deanna Arrakis, and her—she was the youngest. She’d missed becoming the first teenage instructor since 1847 by less than three months, and spent her first three years instructing students who’s started at the school year she’d graduated.

It wasn’t unusual for students to confuse her for a covenmate and not an instructor. Wednesday was short—one hundred and fifty-seven centimeters, or five foot, two inches—and petite. Since instructors were allowed to dress as they liked, she often showed up to teach class much as she had when she attended. Today she wore a comfortable top and a short skirt with black leggings that perfectly matched her black ankle boots. Her long, wavy hair was pinned back to show her large hoop earrings, and her silver Celtic knot necklace matched the cuff bracelets on each wrist.

Wednesday didn’t care if there were people in The Foundation educational council who felt she was too young to be an instructor. If she wasn’t good, she wouldn’t be here. It was that simple.

Though sometimes she found it necessary to remind these people how she’d earned her right to teach at Salem . . .

 

How did she earn that right?  You’ll have to wait until I publish the prequel to this story.  Here’s a tip:  never leave this woman alone in a dusty room.

Little Wednesday is going to play important in my story, and in the lives of my two main characters.  That’s coming up in the second episode of the first book–yes, I know.  It’s like a movie, isn’t it?  Anyway, she does something that sets the kids on a new path, and she’s an all around nice person.  She’s already begun talking about magic as an extension of willpower, and she’ll give her views on wands and show you what happens when you say disparaging things about her during her lecture.  And she has a test laid out for the kids–really, not the sort of thing you’d expect kids to do for their first spell casting.

I never had an instructor like her.

Then again, neither have my kids.