Ostara Conversations: Before Dinner Treats

Busy morning for a day off.  I’m supposed to go to my doctors today, but given we’re also going to get hit with snow this afternoon, I’m hoping against all hope that I don’t get caught in snow and ice at some point.  I won’t say I’m worried, but I am.

Also, my Facebook reminds me that today, one year ago, I finished The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: A For Advanced, after four hundred and seventy-four days of writing.  And here I am today, just a few hundred words short of another quarter of a million words, and I’m closing in on the end of B For Bewitching.  So much to do, so much to write.

Here's the memory, in case you forgot.

Here’s the memory, in case you forgot.

This morning I finished Chapter Twenty-seven and Part Seven, which turned out to be almost forty-eight thousand words total.  I’m about to step into something that I’m dreading, but before that happens, what happened in this scene?

Well, it’s after the Ostara performance, and Kerry’s deep in thought, which means he’s analyzing what he did on stage.  And if I know Kerry like I think I know Kerry–at least I think–then it’s safe to say I know what he’s doing.

 

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

She wrapped herself around his left arm. “Your performance tonight was fantastic.”

He half-chuckled, half-grunted an answer. “It could have been better.”

She turned her head three-quarters of the way towards him before leaning closer. “Where do you think you could have been better.”

They came out of the woods close to the Spells Center and stepped upon the brick path leading to The Pentagram. “I missed a few notes leading into the guitar solo.”

“Which is understandable, given you had to turn around and flip a switch before you could start playing.” During the prior week’s rehearsal, Kerry showed her how he had two different sounds loaded on the Mellotron, and there was a selector switch that normally remained on Select A, but in order to get on particular sound it was necessary to flip the switch to Select B before he began playing. He flipped the switch without a problem, but the first key pressed was incorrect. It was the only misstep playing, but from her seat she saw his quick grimace upon realizing he’d hit the wrong note.

There was another issue as well. “And my vocals—”

“Weren’t perfect?” Annie looked around to see if they were alone, and stopped as soon as she saw they were the only ones on the path. “May I give you my honest critique?”

Kerry met her gaze and held it steady. “Always, Darling.”

 

The switch Annie’s thinking about–the one Kerry showed her and described–is right here:

Here's that bastard switch.

Yep, there’s the bastard switch.

It’s the one on the right that says “A – Mix – B”, and Kerry had to flip that from A to B in order to switch channels to get the keyboard to go from one sound to another.  It was a tricky move, because he had to rotate his body ninety degrees, take his right hand and flip the switch down, then play with that same right hand.  He was aware it was going to be the most difficult thing–well, one of the most difficult–and he hit the wrong first note.  And because that happened, he’s beating himself up.

Plus we discover that Kerry’s not a trained vocalist.  Surprise!  Kid’s beating himself up a little more.  Good thing Annie’s there . . .

 

“Tonight you performed a seven minute song. It was as difficult piece that required you to play four different keyboards, and one of those instruments was needed to play two different sounds, so in a way you were actually playing five keyboards. It was also necessary for you to swivel you body up to ninety degrees at times to play at times, and it was rare that you weren’t playing two separate instruments at the same time.

“Now, as far as your vocals—yes, they weren’t perfect. You didn’t miss anything there as far as I can tell, but there’s only so much autotune can do, even when it’s enchanted, and your voice cracked on a few high notes. But you knew you were singing in a different key than the song required, and you’re not a trained singer: you were pushing your voice.” Annie held both of Kerry’s hands in hers. “And though you may not think it played a part, you’re going through puberty, as am I, and that causes our voices to change, yours more than mine. Expecting your voice to remain perfect throughout the whole of the song was a foolish thing to believe.” She lightly touched his cheek. “But do you know what I saw tonight?”

“What?”

“I saw you smiling. The moment you began playing the intro, a smile formed on your face. And when that girl drumming—”

“Brielle.”

“When she started that drum thing about thirty seconds in—” Annie made quick motions with her hands.

Kerry picked it up right away. “The descending drum roll.”

“That, yes. When she did that, you were looking at her and grinning, and I imagine it’s because you’d seen that moment in your mind while you were preparing for this performance. Am I right?”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah.”

“You dreamed about that moment many times over, and in that instant you were there. You were on stage with your band.” She raised his left hand, removed his glove, and kissed his fingers. “You still see all the mistakes: I still see the boy who lived his dream.”

 

Kerry sees the mistakes, Annie sees the dreams fulfilled.  That last was the most important thing:  Kerry likely dreamed about being on stage, and once he was there he couldn’t hide his joy, and while he didn’t see his happiness as he performed, everyone else in Orchestra Hall did.

And she also hits him with the biggest truth:  they’re going through puberty, and that does strange things to their bodies and their voices.  It’ a point to which he returns:

 

They walked in silence for a few seconds before Kerry changed the direction of the conversation. “Going through puberty, huh?”

“Yes, we are. I always hear it in your voice.” Annie snuggled closer. “There are times when I hug you and I can—” She chuckled. “—feel it happening.”

Kerry couldn’t contain his laughter. “You’re a naughty girl, Sweetie. You know that?”

Annie gave him a coy smile before kissing his cheek. “Oh, you have no idea.”

“I have some.”

 

O . . . kay.  So Annie’s making remarks about feeling Kerry going through puberty, and give they’re often hugging each other tight and cuddling under the covers and all that stuff, it’s impossible that Annie isn’t picking up on more than a few things that are happening to Kerry.  But the exchange about being a naughty girl, and Annie saying Kerry has no idea, while he says he has some–yeah.  The next time someone says, “Get a room, you two!” they might want to reconsider that thought.

What else happens?  Well now–

 

They stopped before the large door that was the entrance to the Pentagram Wall. Annie gave her soul mate a kiss on the lips. “Thank you for dedicating the song to me tonight, my love.”

The blush spread quickly across Kerry’s cheeks. “That’s because you’re always there for me, Darling.”

“I did nothing to help you prepare for tonight; that was Nadine.”

“Yeah, but—” He wrapped his arms around Annie as he kissed her with warmth and love. “She’s not here now: you are. And that’s what matters the most.” He waved open the door. “After you.”

“Thank you.” No one was in the inner wall corridor. Annie made her way around the exterior of Mórrígan Tower towards the door leading to the garden. “And I will always be there for you.”

“I know.” Kerry hurried up so he could get the next door. “I wish we were sitting together tonight.”

“You know we can’t.” She slowed her pace to allow Kerry to move around her. “Performers in one area, artists in another.”

“Speaking of art—”

“You’re getting the dreamscape panting.”

He stopped before the inner wall door. “You’re keeping Fenway.”

She touched his chest and ran her fingers over the zipper of his coat. “I’ll paint one with us together for you next year.”

“Thank you.” He waved open the inner door. “I think next year I’ll scale down my performance a little. Take a break and not make it too crazy.”

“You say that now—” She headed through the door and into the covered walkway—identical to the one leading away from their coven tower—leading to the garden. “—but you’ll likely change over the summer.”

“More than likely.” He took her hand and slowly swung their arms as they walked. “It’s like I have to prove to myself I can do these things.”

Annie remained silent while her thoughts brought back a conversation held earlier in the day. There’s one thing Coraline missed when she mentioned how much Kerry and I are pushed. She stopped the swinging and leaned against Kerry’s arm, smiling contently. We are the ones who push us the hardest.

 

Annie gets the song dedicated to her because she’s always there for him; he gets the dreamscape painting while she keeps the kissing painting; she’ll make him a couples painting next year, and he’ll do something a little less complex for next Ostara.  But the underlying true is there:  they are the ones who push themselves the hardest.  No one made Kerry do the things he’s done in this month of March, nor do the things he’s done in almost two full years of school.  The same can be said for Annie:  she pushes herself harder than others are pushed, and no one is holding a wand to her head making her learn so many things in such a short period of time.

As stated, chapter and part are finished–

All done, but . . .

All done, but . . .

Now comes Part Eight, Chapter Twenty-seven, and this part is one I’ve been dreading for a long time.  How long?  Years.  This isn’t something I though up along the way, though some parts have change only in how they’ll be written and presented.  No, the idea here goes back close to five years when I first started developing Kerry, and maybe three years ago I knew how this part was going to get written.

You wanna know what’s happening with Kerry and The Carrot Girl?

You’re about to find out.

Springtime For Kerry: Ostara Overview

It’s that time again, kiddies:  the One Chapter Ends Another Begins time.  You know how this works, because I’ve done it so many times before.  However, this time it wasn’t all story writing–I had to plan things out again.

Lookie here:

Did you Lookie Here?  Good for you.

Did you Lookie Here? Good for you.

If you did look at the above image you’ll see a new file on the left, in what we who use Scrivener call “The Binder”, that says “Ostara Round Robin Race.”  Yep, it’s that time again as well:  another big race.  Well, I did tell you there was gonna be a lot of flying in this part.  Though this chapter isn’t so much about racing as it is about something else–though for the life of me I can’t seem to recall the word.  Some writer I am, huh?

Here we are, Saturday, 23 March, 2013–that’s the time in the book–and we focus on Kerry.  Again.  This kid’s getting a lot of screen time of late . . .

 

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

Kerry walked out of the Cernunnos Ready Room and headed for the stairs to the lower levers of The Diamond where he knew Annie waited. As with all races, no one but A Team members were allowed in the team ready room areas, though friends of the racers and “fans” were allowed to wait two levels down where they could meet the team members and walk with them to either the track infield if they were ready to begin a heat, or to the paddocks where they waited their turn to race.

In Kerry’s case he was heading for the infield with the rest of the team. Today was Ostara, the spring celebration with events put on by Annie’s and his coven, the largest of which was the Ostara Pageant, where members of the school were given the opportunity to show off their talents. Just like the year before Kerry was performing—though not with Nadine, who was performing a piece of her own, though they’d worked worked together on their performances together so they could encourage and critique each other.

But now wasn’t the time to think about music: it was time to race, and he was heading towards something with which he had some experience. Today’s event was a round robin competition, much like the one he participated in on Samhain. It was the last big racing event before the final race of the season, and it was conducted in the same way as the Samhain round robin. At this point in the season the coven standings were almost the same as they were five months before: Mórrígan was in the lead and Åsgårdsreia was second. The difference now was that Cernunnos was only four points behind Åsgårdsreia, and a good showing today could tighten up the margin between the two covens.

The biggest changes were in the personal standings. Though Nadine remained in the lead, in the two weeks since Katahdin Penny had won the race following the huge cross country event and finished third the following week. Because Rivânia had a horrendous race the week following Katahdin—she managed a sixth by a three second margin—Penny was currently in second place in the Individual standing, though her lead over Rivânia was only two points. Neither girl thought they had a chance at catching Nadine—who was twenty-four points ahead of Penny—both had spoken privately about racing each other hard but cleanly for the rest of the season, and that neither would do anything underhanded to prevent the other from taking the number two position on the final Individual podium.

Kerry position had improved as well. During the same races that Penny finished first and third, he finished third in the first and second the following race. He was now in fifth place, three points ahead of Alex, and only seven points behind fourth place Rezi Lahood from Åsgårdsreia. Rezi was sixteen points behind Rivânia, which meant that just as Penny and Rivânia believed they didn’t have a chance to catch first place, the two girls and Kerry didn’t believe they had a legitimate shot at third.  And just as his Advanced Spells classmates did, Alex and he spoke with the Lebanese girl and gave assurances that while they’d race hard they’d race clean, and that they wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize each other while on the course.

The discussions among the top fire racers meant Kerry had no worries about anything nefarious happening during today’s races, or the races remaining over the next month. He didn’t even—

“Kerry.” Nadine flagged him down as she headed towards the same staircase from the opposite direction.

He waved back but waited until they were within a couple of meters of each other other before speaking. “What’s up?”

“You got a few minutes?” She pulled him aside so not to block the other team members making their way downstairs.

“Sure.” He gave is classmate and friend a smile. “What’s up?”

 

Pointed out is the fact that it’s three weeks after the big cross country race–Katahdin was help 5 March, and this is 23 March–and Penny and Kerry have done well for themselves.  And there’s been a lot of discussions between the racers at the top to keep things clean between them–something that does happen in the real world.  Well, more or less, because there are times when a couple of racers may decide to say “Fuck it” and start wrecking each other because reasons–

Why does the team captain from one team want to speak with a member of another team?  Maybe there’s something important?  Maybe became there’s a warning.  Maybe because Nadine’s also a ginger and she wants to compare hair with Kerry?  I do think I took all the gingers who couldn’t get into Hogwarts and put them in my school, don’t you think?  Oh, and have you noticed they’re all American?  Yeah, strange how that works.

So tune in tomorrow, kids.  It’ll be fun, it’ll be informitive.

And you’re gonna learn something about the big Katahdin race as well . . .

Enter, Stage Left

I’ve done something that’s pretty much a first for me:  I’ve written the shortest chapter of the current novel.  Really?  How short?  Two thousand, one hundred and seventeen words.  Or 2,117 if you prefer.  Yeah, that’s short.  Not the shortest I’ve ever written–in one story I have a chapter that’s just over seven hundred and fifty words–but for this monster, it’s short.

In this chapter and then next, I’ve eliminated three scenes, because on reflection they weren’t needed.  That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to Chapter Thirty-One and perhaps do a last scene, but for now, on the First Draft, I’m done, I’m through, I’m finished.

It’s really a little slice of what happens to Annie and Kerry, and while we’re known for some time that Kerry was going to perform, way way way back in the Keyboard Room–about two hundred thousand words back, I think–Annie mentioned something about drawing and artwork.  They’re walking around during this Saturday because Kerry is suffering a bout of nerves, and they head to the Atrium of the Auditorium and, well . . .

 

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

The atrium of the Auditorium was filled with artwork and sculptures, which were produced by students in art classes, and by those who had taken the time to create work on their own. They walked through the gallery area; Kerry found the work incredible. I was actually a bit jealous of those who could draw, because he had so many ideas that he wanted to see as something real, and being able to draw would allow that to happen . . .

He stopped before a large ink drawing of a scene in the mountains. Annie stood to one side and examined the drawing. “What do you think?”

“I love it.” He absorbed the stark lines and shadows. “I love the mountains, and this makes me want to be there.”

“I know how that feels . . .” She stepped to the side an Kerry saw a card with her name on it. “It’s the view from the back porch of my parent’s house.”

“Really?” Kerry took a closer look. “Can you see this from your bedroom?”

“No, but I can from my sitting room.”

Kerry slowly turned his head to the left. “You have a sitting room?”

Annie tossed her head to one side and smiled coyly. “A girl needs a place to entertain visitors.” She tugged on his sleeve. “Look here—”

 

Yes, Kerry, your soul mate has a sitting room–what girl doesn’t?  And one doesn’t need to go way out on a limb and say it was Annie’s idea to have a sitting room, because she wasn’t going to let just anyone into her bedroom, and she let her parents know this fact when, I’m guessing, she was pretty young.  It says a lot of that even her mother waited in Annie’s sitting room waiting for her daughter to get up, and didn’t burst into the bedroom with a smiling face and a “Good morning, Annie!” on her lips.  She’s have probably gotten hit with Cold Fire if she had.

Annie’s dragging Kerry around to the other side of the art wall, because . . .

 

Kerry was dragged to the other side of the partition upon which her inking hung. There, opposite the drawing, hung a large large painting done in oils. He didn’t need to ask who the subjects were. “That’s . . . us.”

The painting was of Annie and Kerry, both dressed in their flying leathers. Their helmets and gloves were off, but their jackets were zipped up with the collars down. Both were leaning into each other an arm around the other’s shoulders: Kerry’s right are was around Annie waste, holding her close, while her left hand rested against his chest. The background showed the Pentagram and the Great Hall in the background; Kerry recognized the point of view as being at the Observatory and facing south.

He wanted to reach out and touch the painting, but knew better. “How long did it take to make this?”

“I’ve been working on that since the middle of November.” Annie stepped up next to the name card. “I finished it about the time you were wrecked.” She pointed at the artist’s card. “Look here—”

Kerry leaned in and read the title: Baby Snakes at Laputa by Annie Kirilova.

He felt his breath catch in his throat. “This is lovely.” He saw something about his character. “My head is lowered and my eyes are closed.”

“I wanted you to be relaxed—peaceful.” Annie came around to his left and took his hand. “You know what this is, don’t you?”

He nodded. “It would have been us that day on patrol.” He glanced down for a moment. “During the Day of the Dead.”

“Sometimes I think I should have flown with you.” She clung to his arm. “I’d like to see where you hid one day.”

“I want to show it to you.” He kissed her on the forehead. “I wish you had flown with me; we’d have stated there.”

 

You wish Annie had been your wingmate that day, Kerry?  Feeling a little remorse, are we, and your other wingmate damn near got you killed?  And we know that Kerry talked about his stops at the observatory with Emma, therefore Annie had a good idea how the view would appear.  Also being immortalized in paint for everyone at the school to see is another of those cool things that they’ve done for each other.

Before Kerry heads backstage there is another exchange about Annie’s art:

 

Both turned and found Nadine standing behind them. Her eyes were locked upon the portrait. “Annie, did you paint this?”

“Yes, I did.” She and Kerry faced his musical partner.

“You did a great job. Where will you kept this?”

“I’m going to leave it in my room.” She glanced at Kerry. “I’ll leave it at the school and ask them to move it when I go to the next level.”

Kerry knew they were allowed to do that with certain personal items, but after seeing the painting he thought she would want to do something else with the painting. “You’re not taking it home?”

“I didn’t paint it so I’d only see it a few weeks out of each year.” Annie shook her head. “I want it where I’ll see it the most.”

“Makes sense.” Nadine turned to Kerry. “We’re gonna need to get set up.”

“Yeah, I know.” He nodded towards Annie. “Give me a second?”

“Sure.” Nadine headed off the backstage area.

Kerry faced Annie and took hold of her hands. “What are you going to do with the inking?”

“I was thinking about sending it home—” Her eyes twinkled. “Or giving it to you.”

His eyes lit up as well. “Really?”

“You want it?”

“Yes, please.” He closed and opened his eyes slowly. “I want to see what you see out the window of your sitting room.”

“Then it’s yours.”

“Thank you.” He pulled her close and kissed her on the lips. “I’ll keep it in my room—every year.”

 

And now Kerry’s getting an Annie original, while she’s keeping the painting.  Both will stay at the school–and what Annie isn’t saying is that leaving it in her dorm room is easier than perhaps having to explain who those Baby Snakes are, and why they look so cuddly.

Then we move out to the audience, during the performance, and there’s Annie, sitting alone, seeing the instructors, some with their significant others and even kids, and some of the parents of the students–yes, after a while you can invite them, and Annie could have asked hers because Legacies, but she wanted to avoid having to explain things . . . but that’s besides the point.  It’s time to find out what Kerry was working on for month with his tutor.

 

Professor Ellison walked off stage right as Kerry and Nadine entered from stage left. They headed straight for the equipment at the near center of the stage. As they powered up their instruments, Kerry looked out over the audience and attempted to smile. “Hi, everyone.” Annie caught the slight tremor in his voice, which carried perfectly using the same magic that the headmistress and Isis used to make school-wide announcements. “Nadine and I are gonna play Lovers in Japan by Coldplay.” He looked to his right as Nadine made her final adjustments and gave him a nod.

Before they could begin, a voice—Annie identified it as Lisa’s—rang out from somewhere from the back. “You’re gonna suck, Malibey.”

There was a slight mummer that passed through the crowd, and several of the instructors turned around with murder in their eyes. Annie worried this could rattle Kerry and ruin his performance—

He looked up from his keyboards and wrinkled his brow. “Yeah, I might. But at least we’re up here taking our shot.” He chuckled as Nadine and he slapped hand before he turned his attention back to the audience. He picked Annie out of the crowd and pointed in her direction. “This is for you, Sweetie. I hope you like it.”

As had happened at the Samhain dance, Annie felt light headed, and she gripped the armrests of her seat for support. He’d not only dedicated a song to her in front of the student body the last time, but here he was doing the same thing in front of students, staff, significant others, and parents. I can’t believe he did this again . . .

Nadine and Kerry played the first slow bars, setting the mood with their crescendoing electronic sounds, then launched into the up-tempo piano intro which Kerry played with vigor as Nadine activated the drum machines and began playing her part of the melody. He began singing, and while his voice wasn’t strong, he didn’t appear phased or embarrassed that his vocals weren’t close to perfect; if anything, he seemed to gain strength from the fact he wasn’t perfect.

Not that it mattered to Annie. It was her belief that he could spend the whole song singing off-key and playing out of tune—

It wouldn’t have mattered at all.

 

Annie’s gonna get spoiled with these song dedications:  pretty soon she’ll begin demanding one a month, and not just during special events.

So there you are:  Chapter Thirty-One Done–

Don't take my word for it:  trust what Scrivener says, too.

Don’t take my word for it: trust what Scrivener says, too.

–Which means today I get into Chapter Thirty-Two, and I answer the question someone asked, “Has Kerry ever really dreamed of Annie like she says he has?”

Yeah, you’re gonna find out.  Really.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/15:  1,796

NaNo Total Word Count:  28,590

Living in Pond Life

First off, a good Ramadan to all my Muslim readers, and I know I have a few because–well, because.  That’s one of the great things about reaching out around the world:  you touch everyone.  Pretty soon I’m gonna have to keep track of things everywhere, and imagine how busy I’ll get then.

The second bit of good news is Chapter Fifteen is finished.  The last scene waited for me, and after taking a long nap in the afternoon I decided I was going to bring it all to a close, because I got more chapters to write and I need time to write them, I got to work.  It was just a little over twelve hundred words, so no big deal, right?

With all these First Drafts I could run a good race at Daytona.

With all these First Drafts I could run a good race at Daytona.

The idea behind the last scene was getting Kerry set up with the music tutor Professor Ellison promised him all the way back in Chapter Ten.  Kerry gets to the practice room a little early mostly because that’s normal for him, and also . . . well, let’s find out, shall we?

 

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

There were a half dozen keyboards in the room, as well as a couple of drum machines. One of the keyboards was a dedicated electronic piano, but the other five could probably play just about anything once hooked up to the two racks of MIDI controllers in the corner. You’d run out of hands before you’d run out of sounds.

He spun around as the door opened, and gasped when he saw who it was: Nadine from the Advanced Spells class. “Hey, how you doing?” She waved the door shut and tossed her book bag into a corner. “Surprised?”

“Yeah.” Kerry set his backpack down next to her book bag. “How come you didn’t say anything the other night?”

“’Cause I didn’t find out about this until yesterday.” She smoothed down her skirt and tugged at the sleeves of her thermal undershirt. “I knew I was going to get someone to tutor a couple of weeks ago, but Professor Ellison didn’t tell me until after class on Thursday.” She smirked. “I think he was going to give me to someone else, but after you got dumped into The Pond last week, he decided to put us together.”

Kerry could almost hear the capitalization of Nadine’s terms for advancing out of your first level. “Does everyone call everything above A Levels The Pond?”

“Pretty much.” She wiggled the fingers of her right hand and a brush appeared, floating in mid-air. Nadine grabbed it and combed her hair as she spoke. “I’ve heard Sladen and Kinshna call it the same thing, and they’ve both been here like forever—Sladen in particular.” She made the brush vanish from her hand. “That old witch has been her for like thirty years, as a student and teacher.”

“What’s she like as a coven leader?” Kerry was genuinely interested in knowing more about Mórrígan Coven, which seemed to be about the most mysterious of the covens—though Professor Kishna’s Ceridwen Coven ran a close second.

“Pretty good. She’s a good listener, really empathetic, an if you really, really need something, she’ll get it for you.” Nadine stretched as she giggled. “She’ll also tear up your ass if you try to play her. She puts up with no bullshit.”

Kerry wasn’t surprised to hear an upper level student cursing. He swore once in a while, and he’d heard kids a couple of years old that him swearing as much, or more, than some of the adults on the block. “Yeah, I’ve noticed that about her.”

Nadine nodded, then decided it was time to get to work. “Okay, so Ellison tells me you’re considering performing at Ostara. That’s pretty ballsy, dude.”

“Well, I mean . . .” He had just recently gotten used to being complemented by Annie, and now he was getting complemented by not only a girl, but an older one as well. Though, technically, Annie was older as well. “I have a couple of ideas.”

“Let’s hear them.”

 

But you don’t get to hear them–I don’t even mention them in the scene, so neener, neener.  And there’s that Pond again, the one the older kids swim in and that Annie and Kerry got, as Nadine says, dumped into.  And, pretty much for the first time, we get swearing from the students!  Sure, Kerry swore, but he did it in Welsh Cymraeg, so it sounded like he was gargling.  But Nadine–who is thirteen, by the way, and will turn fourteen before the end of the school year–doesn’t mind letting a few things rip.  You’ll for sure see this happen in the next chapter.

The scene ends on the two students coming to an agreement–well, one that’s kind of driven by Nadine:

 

“You’re already thinking about this as a performance.” Nadine smiled as she flipped her hair back behind both ears. “Yeah, you could program a drum machine for the beat. For the guitar you could do that on a keyboard, and probably lay down the bass on a synth pad.” She looked off to one side of the room, her mouth twisted up while she thought. “You’d need help with all that, though. You couldn’t do it by yourself.”

“Yeah, I know.” He tried not to appear dejected and failed miserably. “I guess I should just worry about playing the piano.”

“Nonsense.” Nadine tapped him on the arm. “Let’s see what we can shake out of this, and what we can put together, okay.” She walked over to the computer station next to the MIDI racks. “I’ll print out the sheet music and we can start with that.”

“You can get sheet music?” Kerry was a bit surprised. He’d discovered the hard way how difficult it was to find proper sheet music for popular songs on the Internet.

“Sure can.” She brought up a browser then went to a page that Kerry had never seen before now. She typed in a user name and password, and ended up in some kind of song data base. “We can access just about every song that’s ever been written and recorded during the last four hundred years—including a few that, I guess, you could call demos that never saw the light of day.” Nadine turned and winked. “Welcome to The Foundation, Kerry. This is what The Pond looks like.”

“Yeah, I see.” He thought about something Nadine had just said. “You said ‘we’ just a minute ago—”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Are you thinking of helping me perform?”

She shrugged. “I was thinking about doing a performance, but . . .” She turned to him. “Would you mind? I could run the drum machine, the synth pad, and the back up keys, and you could do piano and vocals. It’d be your lead; I’d be your backup.”

Kerry winced thinking about vocals. “Yeah, that vocals part . . . I’m not that good a singer.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Nadine turned away from the computer to face him. “We got enchantments that’ll auto tune you better than anything Kanye’s ever had. You’ll do great.” Sheets of paper began silently popping out of a nearby printer. “Just as soon as that’s done, we can start work.” She leaned against the computer counter. “You ready?”

 

Listen to the voice of experience, kid.  She’s in the database takin’ the sheet music, and you ain’t gotta worry about paying royalties ’cause technically you’ll never perform the song.  Makes it sound like The Foundation is the ultimate Pirate’s Bay.  Come along Pond; we need to download something.

Next up:  bad ass sorcery at The Witch House–and I do mean that–a little informal PAV racing, and the Halloween Party–or as the kids at school call it, The Samhain Dance.  It’s time for October to heat up and wind down, and lead into the end of the calendar year stuff.  Pretty soon it’ll be the holidays and the start of 2012 at the school–

Man, that doesn’t seem all that long ago.

Be good to us, October; November isn't going to be that nice.  I know, I've read ahead.

Be good to us, October; November isn’t going to be that nice. I know; I’ve read ahead.

Dipping a Toe Into the Week of Hell

First off, Happy Ostara to you all.  It’s finally spring, and Ostara is a celebration of spring.  The name is taken from the goddess Ēostre, which is her old English name, and when you look closely at said name, you’ll see it looks a lot like the word Easter, which is another way of saying, “Hey, you pagan Pagans, we’re ripping off another one of your holidays for our own religion–kthxbai!”  Funny how that all worked out.

At the school in my story, they get down to business and call those holidays by the names as they were once known, though there are changes allowed:  for example, the Samhain Dance looks a lot like a Halloween ball what with all the costumes, because even Legacy kids like to dress up, go out, and have fun.  It’s just when those kids are riding around on witch’s brooms, well, it’s not an act.

And at my school's Sanhaim dance, the transformation experts are real busy--you think it's easy making people over into zombies?

And at my school’s Sanhaim dance, the transformation experts are real busy–you think it’s easy making people over into real zombies and cat people?

Right now, in my story, my kid’s coven is preparing to the Ostara Talent Performance, where anyone who wants to take a chance at sucking can get up on stage and suck if they like–or be absolutely brilliant if they’ve worked out.  I’ve written about this “Taking your shot at sucking” thing already, and it’s the scene in my novel where Kerry more or less gets roped into agreeing to do his thing on stage–which could very well suck.  But then, Annie and his coven, Cernunnos, help put it on, so why not get up in front of hundreds of people and their parents and give it a shot, right?

What’s the worst that could happen?  The kids will throw fireballs at you?

I finished editing my friend’s novel, so it’s back to her and she’s happy.  It also frees me up to get into my editing, and tonight I’m getting into Week One of school in my novel.  And . . . it’s a scary thing, because it’s a huge part of what I’ve written so far.

"I am the one who guided you this far, all you know, and all you feel--"  Gee, thanks Guild Vocal!

“I am the one who guided you this far/all you know, and all you feel–” Gee, thanks Guild Vocal!

That number on the Part Three line tells me there are seventy-seven thousand , four hundred and some change words in awaiting me, and I’m not going to lie, I won’t get through all that in the next week and a half before I start writing anew on 31 March.  Then again, I look at what I’ve already accomplished, and when you run the numbers, one hundred forty thousand minus seventy-seven thousand equals a hell of a lot I’ve already edited in the last four days.  And that means with a few days off and nothing to do, I might just get . . . some of this first week of school hell . . . out of the way.

And the parts that were just edited–I loved the work, and I loved the story.  I’ve not changed anything save add something here and there.  And I had to check a time line just to be sure that when Professor Lovecraft told Annie something about here parents–“They were F Levels when I taught my first year–“–and sure enough, the time line backed me up–well, backed her up.

The Week of Hell awaits in more ways than one.  But there is a real possibility I can get a first pass edit finished on Act One before I start Act Two.  That would make things a lot easier, because while I could edit a chapter a night when I start Act Two, that will cut into my writing time–

And I am so looking forward to getting back into telling this story.  There’s such . . . fun ahead.