Penultimate Madness

Number nine, number nine, number nine.  That’s what you get when you bring together the numbers for the post.  Don’t know if it means anything, but there it is in all its glory.

This look nothing like the picau ar y maen I ordered--

This looks nothing like the picau ar y maen I ordered–

Last night I inched over the line into one hundred nineteen thousand words, which adds another nine to this party.  I do mean inch, too:  I think my final word total was 119,007.  I had what I was looking for, but I semi distracted myself looking up marvelous pastry confections cooked in Ireland and Wales.  Didn’t find any in Ireland, but found some for Wales, and that was added to my “Things Kids Talk About When They’re Sitting on a Sofa in the Middle of a Big, Dark Room” list.

Plus, I ended the new scene in a spot that, if I’d gone on, I’d have broken my chain of thought for the scene, and when I’d come back to it tonight I’d probably screw something up in the continuation.  I believe it was Chuck Wendig who said when you’re writing end your time with your characters on something of a cliffhanger moment, so when you sit back down at your story, you’ll see that, you’ll wonder what’s next, and the creative juices get flowing again.  When I see that point in my story, I stop and recharge–

But it’s not as if I don’t know where the story is headed.  I know what comes next, I know what Annie and Kerry say next, and I know who I’m introducing in the story next.  Yes, at nearly one hundred and twenty words into the story, I’m bringing in another character.  And why not?  I’ve already had something like twenty characters speak, so throw in one more.

And just because I’m a bit nuts, the people who have so far had speaking part are:  Annie, Annie’s mom, Annie’s dad, Mr. Mayhew, Kerry’s mom, Kerry’s dad, Kerry, Ms. Rutherford, Collin, Alica, Headmistress Laventure, Deanna, Erywin, Helena, Adric, Isis, Coraline, Madeline, Victoria, Wednesday, Harpreet, Emma, Jessica, Holoč, Bianca, Gretchen, Ramona, Matthias, and finally Una.  Forgive me–twenty-nine speakers.  Now I bring in number thirty–this is a party, people, so let’s rock!

I’ll finish up the current scene by this weekend.  I have something I need to work on tonight, so even if I do get to the novel, I won’t write much.  Maybe I will put in a few hundred words to get it where it’s suppose to be, but if not, there it always Thursday and Friday evenings.  Then just one more chapter and a bit of fanfare, for Act One will be in the books, so to speak.  When?  Maybe another ten days, maybe less, maybe more.  But this project should come to an end within the next two weeks.

I keep saying that, but this project won’t end for a long time.  I know this, and I keep telling myself this, but a part of me cringes whenever I figure out just how much I have left to write.  By the end of May I’ll have spent almost a year prepping and writing, and if I’m lucky I’ll be about half way into Act Two by then.

Oi.  Why do I do these things to myself?

Views from the Madness

The wind chill is seven below so I will bundle up for the walk to work.  There’s nothing like a walk in numbing cold to sorta wake you up and get you to where you want to spend the rest of the day under the covers.

Just like my kids at school.

The pajama party is starting and my kids are in the hall.  Everything is light and entertaining.  It’s probably better to show than to tell:

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

The dining tables and chair were gone, replaced by large, comfortable reading chairs, love seats, sofas, and even—yes, there were even a few huge beds capable of holding a half dozen students easily, as a couple already were. Scattered around the hall were a few large carpets covered in throw pillows that reminded Kerry of the classroom in Memory’s End where they met with Professor Arrakis. The light was down in the hall, but there were small, brighter spots here and there—floor lamps that were set alongside a few of the large chairs and love seats.

As they entered the hall Kerry took in the relaxed but excited environment.  With each chair, sofa, or bed there was at least one table where one could set snacks, drinks, and various forms of entertainment.  Three girls to his right, sitting on a sofa and an easy chair, were playing cards on a coffee table made of a dark wood.  Another boy was sitting in one of the large chairs reading, a drink sitting upon the end table to his right.  The bed with the six girls had high, narrow tables at what he guessed was the head and the foot of the bed, and while they talked they were also munching on snacks kept in bowls on both tables.

Something caught Kerry’s eye: a group of five kids, three boys and two girls, sitting on the floor around a low, circular table. One of the boys had his tablet at his right and a cardboard screen in front of them, and all the students had sheets of paper and dice laid out before them. “Hey, those guys over there are—”

“Oh, look.” Annie tugged on Kerry’s arm and pulled him along.  “There’s the perfect spot.”  She dragged towards a sofa located near the center of the hall, one facing the east wall. It wasn’t alone: there was also a table at each end of the sofa, an easy chair facing north and south, and a low coffee table in the middle of it all. Kerry was surprised no one was already sitting there—then again, there were maybe seventy people in the room, and it looked as if there were plenty of empty places remaining.

Magical girls spending the evening chatting about other kids, doing their nails, and thinking about demons they gotta smite.

Magical girls spending the evening chatting about other kids, doing their nails, and going on about demons they gotta smite some day.  Cats and sushi not included.

All and all an enjoyable, fun evening.  A bunch of magical kids relaxing in what may or may not be the moonlight–let me check the sky for that day . . . yep.  Almost a full moon–blowing off the first week of classes and doing things that Normal kids do at these shindigs.

Now, as for my kid–well, it’s a new experience for them, but one of them knows a little about what’s going on, and the other doesn’t care, he’s just happy to be where he’s at, because it’s not home.  It’s also with someone who’s at least once said that she loves him, and when you’re an emotionally withdrawn kids who has spent a lot of time on his own and being alone, it’s a heady thing with which to deal.

That’s also part of the story, and part of the Madness.  These kids grow up fast, a lot faster than Normals on the outside, and it’s not out of the question to say that some of them will face life or death situations before they are out of their early teens.

When you got that sort of heavy hanging over your head–not that they know this yet–it’s no wonder the school gives them to chance to kick back and let their hair hang down.

After all:  Witch Hard, so Party Hard.

That also works if you’re a mutant or a mad scientist, too.  This school is nothing if not equal for everyone . . .