At Home With the Malibeys, the Start of Dinner

I swear I’m not trying to rush into this story, but I spent most of the afternoon and evening working on this part–well, most of the afternoon was spent trying to futz around with the new Google Maps to make out a “fake route” for Kerry, because once I see a shiny toy like that, I have to make it mine.  While it would seem there are bugs to get ironed out in the new Google Maps to make the itinerary you’ll see below, it likely is coming.

I wrote almost fifteen hundred words over the course of several hours, because I wanted to get into this part of the story.  We didn’t get to see much of Kerry’s home life in the last novel, but this time we’re starting off with a little slice, and they’ll be more to come when we get into Yule holiday.  But right now in the story it’s two weeks before Kerry lights out of Cardiff, and the family has sat down for dinner . . .

 

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

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were the days that Kerry’s mother Louise went into work at the BBC, usually commuting with his father, Davyn. Not only was Kerry left alone on those days, but the evening dinner usually consisted of take way, mostly Indian and Chinese, though fish and chips and kababs also made their appearance, and once in a while buggers and pizza would grace the dinner table.

Tonight dinner didn’t arrive until just after nineteen hours, due to traffic and a delay at the restaurant. Kerry’s parents picked up fish and chips, and while this has always been one of his favorites, since having the fish and chips at the school, the Cardiff fare simply wasn’t as good. He never let on, however, because he didn’t want to have a discussion about why the Salem food was so much better.

After all, when it’s made by artificial people using magical means, it was hard for Normals to match the results.

The seating was always the same: Davyn sat at one end of the table with his back to the family room, while Louise sat across from him with her back to the main lounge. Kerry sat between them, facing the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen, with his father to his left and his mother to his right. Even when they lived in California they ate in the same configuration when they all ate together. It was only during this summer home, after spending nine months at school with Annie that Kerry understood what Coraline told him that night he went to the hospital after his vision: all the girls save Annie sit on his right.

Even his mother.

 

That last part . . . there will be an answer, of sorts, as to why Annie is always to Kerry’s left, and he to her right.  Just give me another couple of hundred thousand words to get there, will ya?

 

His parents spent almost ten minutes going over their events of the day before Louise finally got around to checking up on her son. “How was your day, Kerry? Did you do anything interesting?”

Kerry actually had something interesting happen, something he’d expected for a few weeks. “My travel package came today.”

“What’s that?” His father barely looked up from his chips.

“My travel package for school arrived.” Kerry rubbed his hands against his thighs. “You know: tickets and itinerary. All the stuff I need to get to the staging point for returning students.”

“Oh.” Davyn finally turned towards Kerry, wiping his hands clean. “It’s time for you to return already?”

“Yeah, Dad.” Kerry tried not to sound sullen when he answered. “I told you about this last Thursday.”

“Hum.” His father shook his head. “It must have slipped my mind.”

“Where are you, um, staging this year, dear?” Louise barely remembered Kerry mentioning this last week, but didn’t want her son to think they were completely uninterested.

“Berlin.”

“Berlin? In Germany?”

“One and the same.” He fought hard to keep from rolling his eyes. Mom’s smarter than that: she’s trying to make conversation so Dad doesn’t look like he doesn’t care . . .

Vaguely remembering that last year Kerry stayed in London for a few days before heading to Amsterdam, she decided to see if he was doing the same this year. “How are your plans for this year? Staying in London again?”

Kerry shook his head. “Nope. Ms. Rutherford is coming here early on the twenty-seventh, and we’re taking a car to Cardiff Central, then the train into Paddington, a car from there to Liverpool Station, the train from there out to Stansted Airport, and from there I fly to Berlin.” He nibbled at a piece of fish. “Gonna make for a long day.”

 

That is the route as I worked it out.  It looks like this:

 

Car from home to Cardiff Cental
Train from Cardiff Central to Paddington
Car from Paddington to Liverpool
Train from Liverpool to Stansted Airport
Flight from Stansted Airport to Berlin Tegel Airport
Car from Berlin Tegel Airport to Crowne Plaza Berlin–City Ctr Nurnberger

 

There you have it.  You can probably figure out how he’s really going to travel, but for the sake of continuing to fool the parents, that’s what his itinerary says and what the tickets show.

Oh, and you can almost see the air quotes around “staging” when Louise says the word.

 

His father nodded. “Certainly sounds that way. Wouldn’t it be easier for you to leave for school from London?”

“Probably, but that’s not how The Foundation does thing. Berlin is the staging area for all the returning students from Europe, Western Asia, and most of Africa. Last year they staged out of Madrid, and, I think, next year we stage out of Paris.” He didn’t want to say he’d heard that from Annie during their last dream together.

Louise snorted as she played with her food. “Still doesn’t sound efficient.”

“Apparently it works, though. Gives The Foundation time to gather everyone up, and lets the students have some time in a different city every year.”

“Do you know which cities they visit?” When Kerry had returned home after school in early June, Davyn seemed primarily concerned with how The Foundation was able to ship students back and forth to various parts of the world. Kerry figured he was getting a feel for the sort of costs that were run up transporting kids every year.

Kerry nodded. “Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Berlin. Last year the returning students were in Madrid, Berlin this year, next year Paris. Then I think . . .” He searched for something Annie had mentioned off-hand during their last dream. “We go to Rome and then back to Amsterdam. I remember hearing something about you always end up your last staging year in the city where you started.” Assuming you don’t start jaunting off to Salem by that time.

 

I’ve run through, in my mind, of course, all the cities that the Foundation is currently using for staging, and I even worked out the line.  A couple of things here, though:  once again, we are working with five points–like in a pentagram–and three of these cities are the locations for the main headquarters for The Foundation.  The Protectors headquarters (they are like The Foundation police) is located in Berlin, the Guardians headquarters (we know these guys) is located in Amsterdam, and the main Foundation headquarters is located in Paris.  How ironic that Annie and Kerry started out in the main city of the people they did a field operation for a half-year later.  One might imagine something dark and nefarious about that, but no:  it just happened to be in the schedule for the A Levels.

Now that travel is out of the way, the parental units try to do the small talk thing with the young don’t-know-he’s-a-witch-yet person:

 

Silence returned to the dinner table for almost a minute as everyone caught up on the food before them. Louise once more broke the silence. “You seem happy about going back.”

Kerry wasn’t going to try and hide his joy. “I am.”

“You were never like this when you were returning to school here—”

“That’s because it was the Cardiff schools, Mom.” Kerry tried to keep his tone as snide-free as possible, but given his hatred for time in the Cardiff school system, he wasn’t completely successful.

Davyn thought he’d try to lighten the mood by changing the subject. “I guess you’re looking forward to seeing your friends again.”

“Yeah.” Thinking about the people he knew who’d return to school with him lightened his mood considerably. “It’ll be great seeing them again.”

His father placed his folded arms on the table and leaned against them. “Who are some of your friends?”

“Well, there’s Nadine, and there’s Emma—” He blushed slightly as he grinned. “And Annie.”

His mother addressed her husband. “You know, the girl who writes all the time?”

 

Remember The Girl Who Writes, because it’s gonna make for some problems in a bit . . .

 

“Yes, that one.” Davyn turned back to his son. “Anyone else?”

Kerry didn’t have to think about that one. “A few of the instructors, also.”

“They have names?”

“Sure. There’s Erywin and Helena—you met them, Mom—and there’s Deanna and Wednesday, and Vicky.” He considered the others he knew. “There’s also Professor Kishna and Professor Semplen, but I don’t knew them well enough to call them by their given names.”

Louise eyed her son hard. “I was going to ask about that.”

“Yeah, some of the instructors want you to address them by their given names when you’re in private—” He realized he was missing someone. “Oh, and there’s Coraline—she’s the school doctor—and Trevor, our librarian and archivist.”

“I see.” Louise set her right knuckles against the bottom of her chin. “Those first three, though: those are classmates?”

“Yes, they are. Annie and Emma are in my level, and Nadine is an older—”

“Don’t you have any classmate friends who are boys?”

 

And leave it to Louise Malibey, mother of Kerry, to find a button to push.  “What?  Don’t you hang out with any boys?”  Yeah, push that button–push it!

So here we are–

Looking more like something I'd do for NaNoWriMo right now.

Looking more like something I’d do for NaNoWriMo right now.

–Eleven and a half thousand words into the new story, and only a little over a week is gone.  Not a bad pace, if I should say so myself.  It’s likely I won’t get much done tonight, however, as I’m off to get my face zapped again after work.  But I do wanna jump back into this scene, and into the next.  They are important.

Oh, and do you recall Annie telling Kerry in their last dream that there wasn’t any love in his house?

Yeah, remember that . . .

Talking on the Town

There is this thing called “Real Life” that gets in the way of what writers do for either a living or for free.  That was pretty much me yesterday, as I spent most of my time out on the road until about seven PM, at which point I was completely out of it in terms of having creative juice left to stir.

First off, I walked into work in a pair of shoes I shouldn’t have.  This means I was in pain by the time I got there, because of really large blisters on my heels.  Which I popped at work, which came back as I walked home.  Which means by the time I treated them at the apartment before heading off for my appointment means I was in a lot of pain and having trouble walking.  Like I am this morning.  They’re sort and tender and . . . yeah, you get the idea.

But I have good news on the medical front.  My prolactin count has peaked–that’s one of the new hormones I’ve got stored inside my body–so no need for an MRI, my blood pressure was down about twenty points, and “the girls”, as the doctor calls them, are still growing and firming up nicely.  It’s good news all around.

The drive out to see my doctor is long; the drive back, longer.  Which means by the time I reached The Burg I was pretty burned out as far as getting anything done was concerned, and I didn’t get into the novel until after eight PM.  Closer to eight-thirty, actually.  I didn’t feel much like writing, but I wanted to keep going as I’ve been going because, well, writing.  You want to get back into that grove, that rhythm, that pops up when you’re starting a project.  You get to writing, not making excusing.

I managed a little over five hundred and eighty words, and here they are:  my kids back together again.

 

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

After lunch the urge existed to find things to do, but as Annie said, “We have plenty of time in the future to sightsee—I’d rather be with you.” That was what happened: they left the Pret a Manger and headed to Russell Square park and wandered about there for a while before returning to the tube station and taking the Underground to Lancaster Gate, across Bayswater Road from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

They headed over to the Kensington Gardens side of the park and walked hand-in-hand. They walked south past the Italian Gardens and along the west side of the Long Water. They stopped at the Peter Pan statue and lingered there for close to twenty minute nearly alone. The cool, rainy weather kept people indoors, and there were few pedestrians to cast wondering glances at the young couple walking close together, their hands intertwined.

They deviated for the lake’s shore and headed inland, standing for a while inside the Queen’s Temple when a light rain began to fall. Kerry finally chose this moment to ask Annie about how she ended up coming to London for Lunch.

“She visited Sunday.” Annie leaned against the wall catty-corner from where Kerry stood. “My mother and her spoke for about two hours while I was out at the Lake House; Helena made a point of insisting they speak alone.” She set her hands behind her back and shook her head. “I should have realized she was planning something.”

“I watched your dad race Sunday.” Kerry had streamed the British Grand Prix from Silverstone that day.

“Yes, he came in fifth. I watched it later after he returned home.”

Kerry couldn’t imagine Annie sitting with her father watching a race, but he had no reason to believe she’d lie. “You think your mom and Helena were talking about lunch the other day?”

“I’m not sure. Mama said they talked about what I’ve done in sorcery and some of the thing Helena planed for our B Level, but that was probably just a small part of what they discussed.”

Kerry thought that was likely true as well. He couldn’t see why Helena would discuss sorcery with Annie’s mother and not have her present as well; it was completely unlike her. “I take it she showed up today?”

“Yes, right after lunch. She spoke with my mother for a few minutes, then came up to my room and said she was taking me to lunch, and told me I didn’t need to change my clothes, because where we were going the weather was similar, and that she’d return later.” She repositioned her hands before her. “So I only nibbled until she returned.”

He nodded. “Was your dad there?”

“Yes, he was.” Annie grinned. “He knows Helena by reputation, and was cordial to her. I think having three sorceresses in the house made him nervous.”

He almost laughed thinking about her father—whom he’d never met—trying to remain casual while Helena and Annie’s mother chatted before Annie joined them. He has to know just how great a sorceress she is by now. “Hope he wasn’t too scared.”

She looked down at the ground for a moment. “He survived the experience.” Annie reached out and took Kerry’s hand. “It’s turned to mist; I want to walk.” He followed, a large grin stretched across his face, as he loved walking in cool mist as well.

And he liked it even better walking along with Annie.

 

I should mention that I also spent about half an hour looking though Google Maps and checking out Underground routes just to get those first three paragraphs right.  I could have spent less time, I admit, but I was tired, and it was a nice diversion to keep the mind semi-sharp.  And I like maps.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed.  Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day.

And I snapped this right before I went to bed. Resting Bitch Face is all you can muster after a long day and you’re not wearing makeup.

What will today be like?  I’ll find out soon enough.

So will my kids.

Annie of a Thousand Loves

According to the countdown clock on my blog I have twenty-four days left before I’m supposed to start writing my next novel.  Of course, “start” is an arbitrary word, because I started writing this novel the moment I began time lining out parts of it back in 2013.  I guess I should say, “Putting words into the Scrivener project.”  That’s more like it.

In the last few weeks since I decided to get back into this project I’ve been going over some of my last novel so I can remember where certain things happened, as well as how they happened.  A lot of that has to do with the developing relationship between Annie and Kerry, which we all know now actually started back when they were young and finally blossomed after Kerry moved to Wales, which placed him in a time zone better equipped to handle a girl coming into his dreams almost nightly.

Did she come at him across a field of flowers?  Now that would be interesting.

Did she come at him across a field of flowers? Now that would be interesting.

When it came to the relationship in A For Advanced, Annie was the Go To Girl For Love.  That’s because she was the only one of the pairing who remembered that they were a loveteam due to Ser Clueless screwing things up in his mind and their dreamspace–though, to clarify matters, neither of them knew he was a witch at the time.  Maybe things would have went a little better if that memo had been sent out, Foundation.

One of the scenes I’ve been laying out in my head of late deals with them discussing those early days at school, when they were together but still sort of apart.  And in thinking over those days, and their upcoming discussion, I fixed upon something that happened in the last novel, something right here . . .

 

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

“Ah—” Kerry’s head shook from side to side. “I’m lucky; I have one of those metabolisms that burns off everything I eat.” He didn’t care to have the focus of the conversation off him and pushed it in another direction. “I like your accent—may I ask where you’re from? I know you’re not from the UK.”

A light chuckle slipped from the girl’s lips. “Oh? You know this, hum?”

“Well . . .” Kerry was on the spot once more. “If you do live here I’m gonna say you weren’t born here.”

She sat upright and locked her hands across her waist. “No, you’re right: I’m not from here. I’m from Pamporovo, Bulgaria”

“Oh, the ski resort.”

Her chuckle was soft yet flat. “Now how do you know that?”

“I did a paper on Romania last year—” His audience raised an eyebrow. “Hold on, hold on . . . and while I was looking around on Google Maps I sort of went south into Bulgaria and saw a bunch of ski slopes. Zoomed in and . . . there it was.” He looked down for just a moment and chuckled. “Plus, the name sorta sounds, you know, easy to remember—”

The girl’s expression told Kerry a far different story. “It’s not that easy to remember.”

“Well . . .” He kept his eyes on his toes as he shuffled his feet. “I know a lot of strange things. I’m sorta like that.”

“Uh, huh.” Kerry though that perhaps the girl would maybe smile, but no, she continued her quiet examination of him standing before her. She slowly crossed her legs. “And what of your accent? You’re not from the UK, either.”

“No, you’re right.” He stopped casting glances at his feet and looked directly at the girl. “I was born in the U.S.—California, actually—but a couple of years ago my family moved to Cardiff . . .”

“Cardiff?” The girl spoke the word with a heavy whisper.

“Yeah.” Kerry was pretty sure he hadn’t misspoken the name of his adopted home. “I’ve been there a couple of year.”

Silence returned, and it seemed to Kerry as if the shadows around the girl had almost thickened. She set her book aside and slowly stood. “I’m sorry; I’ve been so rude.” She stepped out of the shadow and for the first time Kerry saw her in better light. She held out her right hand. “Annie Kirilova.”

“Kerry Malibey.” He hesitated before shaking her hand lightly. It was the first time he’d shook hands with a girl his age. He’d shook hands with women before—like with Ms. Rutherford at the house—but he’d never done this with a girl, and it made him feel sort of funny inside.

Annie’s eyes lingering upon Kerry, seeing him up close for the first time in the dim confines of the bookstore, but the way they darted about it was almost as if she didn’t actually see him. She tilted her head slightly to one side as her eyes finally examined his head of red hair. Her eyes seemed to grow a tiny bit wider before they met his own stare. “Kerry?”

“Yeah . . .” He didn’t know what to make of her reaction; it wasn’t as if he’d a great deal of experience with girls from other countries. “That’s me.”

Her lips pursed and her nostrils flared twice. Her hazel seemed to know nothing but the boy before her, and her intense focus made Kerry incredibly uneasy. She seemed to slide toward him without actually moving, closing the space between them until they were almost touching. Her words came out as a tortured gasp. “Don’t you know me?”

Kerry didn’t know how to respond. He’d never found himself in a situation where someone he didn’t know had mistaken him for another person. “No, I don’t.” He wasn’t sure if he should say more, but he also wasn’t certain if he’d said enough. “I mean, I just met you now—right?” He shrugged. “Sorry.”

Annie pulled back a half-step as a slight redness came to her cheeks. “I’m sorry, too. I thought maybe—”

“I was someone you knew?”

Her head bobbed slightly. “Yes.”

“Yeah.” He offered a smile, trying to lighten the mood. “It happens, you know?”

 

Their first meeting in the bookstore in London, and also the first mystery.  Because if you read the scene, it seems as if Annie doesn’t really know who this boy is standing before her.  Keep in mind, Annie’s in shadow and Kerry’s in light, so she has a far better look at him than he at her.  Knowing what we know now, Annie shouldn’t have come off as surprised when she heard, “Cardiff,” and she seemed to snap out of that when Kerry told her his name.

What was happening there to The Girl in Love?

If this picture is any indication, she was neglecting her manicure.

If this picture is any indication, she was neglecting her manicure.

That’s one of the questions I’m going to answer in the next novel, because part of the next novel gets deeper into their relationship, talks about some of the things that happens to them, and–yes–shows a bit more of their future together.  Will there be a crystal ball into which they will gaze and see the horrors that await?  You gotta be kidding:  Deanna would probably come close to slapping someone if they asked her to read their future that way.  She’s not a crystal ball sort of girl, that one.

With the first novel I knew where I was going with great certainty, but here, this one coming up, it’s a little more daunting, due to now having to move this relationship forward while dealing with other issues that are going to pull the kids in different directions.  One of the things I’m playing with is that, even among the Aware, these two are Different.  That started with the last story, but it’s going to become far more evident here as well.

And a big part of that difference will be in their relationship, and their love.  And, as always, Annie’s heart is gonna get tugged at the most–

Or will it?

That’s gonna to be the interesting to write, to see if she will, once more, be the final arbitrator of their love.  I know for a fact she will say one thing that’s going to set the tone for everything that happens to them in the future . . .

And then she'll run off to Lake Lovecraft and show Kerry her cute little heart hands, and his heart will melt--or he'll smirk, in which case Annie will probably Dark Witch his ass.

And then she’ll run off to Lake Lovecraft and show Kerry her cute little heart hands, and his heart will melt–or he’ll smirk, in which case Annie will likely Dark Witch his ass all the way back to The Pentagram.

Preparing For the B Time

Twenty-seven days to go before I start writing, and I’m starting to wonder about what I really need to do.  About this time I’m normally doing a lot of prep work for the novel, doing my research and getting my notes together, and things of that nature.  But now?  Nothing.  Really.  It’s almost all been done at this point, so . . . where to?

Though working in an office with a view while I wonder what to do would be a great help.

Though working in an office with a view while I wonder what to do would be a great help.

Last night I updated some time lines and thought out some future scenes, but it didn’t go much beyond that.  Oh, and I bought a pair of shoes.  Yep, you know where my mind is, right?  And when I mean “future scenes,” I mean for stories down the line, like . . . oh, I can’t really say, can I?  I give away too much when I do.

I was going over music last night, in part because I listen to music when I’m writing–for the most part–and tunes have popped up here and there in the story.  We know a few of those songs by name–Zoo Station was one, Watcher of the Sky was another, and we know Annie wants to Call Me Maybe–but there are a few songs I know I’ll use in future, sort of like setting up the soundtrack of my kid’s lives.  In fact I’m listening to one of those songs right now at six in the morning, and as I do I can almost see that scene playing out in my head as I write.  Yes, things more than one at a time I do, uuuurrrrrr.

I’ll likely put together a post of all the songs, future and past, and set up the videos for all to see, because if there is something we can all use, it’s tunes by which to get our creative juices flowing.  I’ll need time to gather all the videos off YouTube, though, so look for that around Saturday.  (And I realized on my walk in that I need to work on the sort of music that Annie likes, because Kerry likes a lot of the stuff I like, and . . . yeah, need to work on that.)

I also know what birthday presents the kids give each this time around, so no need to sweat that on out, either.  Because that was an important part of their lives during the last school year, and it’s going to be important for them this year as well.  That is something I’m putting together in my timeline notes for every year, because it’s always going to get shown in each novel.  And now that I think about it:  is Annie going to get something for Kerry for their London Meeting anniversary?  She’s gonna have to hustle to get him something retroactively–or was she thinking ahead before she got to Berlin?

You can tell I spend a lot of time with this stuff roaming about in my head, and even though I’m not doing anything, something is always going on.  Truly, I’m really considering doing a post tomorrow based upon one of my characters as possibly determined by a Simon and Garfunkel song . . .

Reestablishing Contact

First things, I have to acknowledge the holidays.  First, it’s Easter, so if you are celebrating, don’t eat too much, and leave room for the eggs.  And second, Happy First Contact Day, which happens forty-eight years from now.  I’m pretty confident when the aliens come to visit, they won’t get blown away like we’ll do to them in another universe, but will be met with open arms, ’cause in fifty years I’m sure we’ll be mostly harmless.

Mostly.

Mostly.

While Witness to the Prosecution played on my TV last night, I sat reading.  I went over some of the stuff I wrote for A For Advanced, in particular the scenes with the coming of Gabriel and his conversation with Helena, and Kerry’s “dream” which led to him discovering it was a vision, which led to Annie’s vision, which led to the discussion of the rune dreams and the final breakthrough in their relationship.  I was struck by one thing, and it wasn’t the instances where I found a typo and resisted the urge to call up the project and correct words on the spot–it’s only a first draft, it’s only a first draft, it’s supposed to have some errors, take deep breaths–but rather, I loved how tight the scenes were.  I liked the flow of story from one scene to another, and I liked the interaction between the characters.

I can say I loved what I wrote.  And I don’t say that lightly, because I’m my own worse critic.

Creative people are like that:  we tend to get down on ourselves and point out all the bad things about our work that drive us nuts.  Or we’ll be deep in the creative process and want to walk away.  I did that several times with the last novel, ’cause I was convinced at certain points in the story that it was all a bunch of crap and I was wasting my time on the project.  That’s not the first time I’ve done that, but this was the first time I’ve written while going through something like puberty, and that made the feelings even worse.  (I won’t say “the feels” because I don’t want to hit myself in the head with a hammer for saying something so stupid.)

I also went back and reread the conversation between Emma and Kerry at the Observatory during the Day of the Dead attacks, and I like Kerry’s innocence in the scene, as well as his awakening, where he was starting to understand what that tugging at his heart actually meant–and that he was still fairly oblivious to what the girl on his right really wanted to know.  I don’t want to say she’s a bit desperate, but Emma did set her sights on another red head kid and went after him in a fairly passive-aggressive way, and failed miserably, which is the way of love at times.  She didn’t know she was Born to Lose, however, for the odds were stacked against her; poor girl never stood a chance.  At least he saved her from being eaten, which likely means she been dreaming about him over the summer . . .

Right now I need something to do.  I’m sure a few of your will say, “Start writing!” and I can understand that, because you want to see what happens with next with these kids.  Not much changes with the cast of characters:  they stay the same.  You’ll see a little more of the dumb crap that is Kerry’s Family, and you’ll find out a little more about the Kirilovi Family as well.  (Someone asked if Annie’s dad will meet Kerry, and the answer is . . .)  There will be a lot of flying, a lot of racing, very little in the way of school work, and my favorite nasty spirit who loves to torture kids during their E & A’s will put in an appearance and actually be nice–

It won't make any difference.

It won’t make any difference.

You’re just a font of happiness, aren’t you, kid?

Imaginary Journeys Past and Future

Back to work for a short time yesterday before heading out to get labs and dinner after almost twenty-four hours of fasting–a certainty that I’m back in The Burg and getting into my normal routine once more.  This also means that I’m back to the plotting and  planning and whatnot, and you’re right if you said I was up to something last night.

Most of the evening was taken up getting the last of the tour of Europe I’m sending my kids on in their future finished.  It wasn’t hard, believe me, because there were only three other cities to visit, with a stopover in Brno for a quick early lunch and a fast dart around the track before heading off to Vienna.

Who do you think won that race?  Wanna take bets?

Who do you think won that race? Wanna take bets?

It was a good thing I decided to plan out this trip, because it showed me where I could expand the stay overs to allow them their fifty days on the road.  It also allowed me to figure out where they were going to stay while roaming about Europe, and looking up hotels and imagining them waking up to see a Paris side street, or the historical square of Prague, or the blue Danube flowing past, was part of the entertainment that comes from putting stuff like this together.

Which is how I go from this--

Which is how I go from this–

To this.

To this.

And you should see the Junior Suites at the Hotel de L’Europe.  Oi.  Those kids got taste.

What does the whole trip look like?  A bit like this:

All through Europe, there and back again.

All through Europe, there and back again.

One of the last legs of this journey has them flying from Budapest to Sofia while following the course of the Danube for most of the way.  They end up spending about four hours in the air, their longest leg after the first.  Like with some of the other cities, staying in Sofia allows Annie the chance to show Kerry around the city and the country beyond.  It’ll also be a little comforting to her, to spend a few days in her home country before heading off for that lake house not far from her parent’s house.

And what happens after they arrive there?  I know what happens, but you’ll have to wait until I write the D Level novel to find out what goes down.  I’m just not telling you, at least not now.  All you need to know right now is that Kerry somehow ends up at Annie’s home in Pamporovo, he’s got his Espinoza, and he’s not afraid to use it.

But before I can get to D, I gotta get through B . . .

I checked my blog this morning and notice the countdown timer has changed–

I'm into days now!

I’m into days now!

Thirty days to go, and I wonder if when it gets down to less than a day if it’ll go to hours.  Doesn’t matter:  the time is set and it’s a go.  I will try to, at the least, finish the first scene, and perhaps the second and third as well.  The first scene starts off with Kerry back home, and then it goes from . . . there.  What happens next?

You’ll see in a month.

The Rain, the Trip, and Everything

Well, I’m home.

Not much else that can be said there, save that it was an interesting trip, mostly due to the fact that it rained nearly the entire way.  There was maybe an hour during the eleven I was between locations where the sky wasn’t in various stages of open, but that was a rare event.  And at one point I had to walk in the rain to have my card read by the service attendant because the pump wouldn’t give me a good swipe.  Stupid plastic.

This makes for some crazy driving and a lot of crazy drivers, and I was pretty hyped up by the time I hauled all my stuff out of my car an up to my apartment.  I was beat and sore and tired, but not tired enough that I was about to fall asleep.  Yeah, I get like that some times, where all the attention of keeping your wits about you as you fly through the rainy night at eighty miles per hour jack your senses to the point where relaxation isn’t something that’s going to come easy.

If there is any consolation to this return, it’s that it didn’t snow like it did the year before.  Though that time it did rain the whole way as well, including a downpour that started just east of Pittsburgh and kept right on pouring until I made it across the Susquehanna.

This was me about seven hours into yesterday's journey.  I looked worse the year before--

This was me about seven hours into yesterday’s journey. I looked worse the year before–

Needless to say I couldn’t fall asleep well, and tossed and turned until about two in the morning, when I finally crashed and burned.  Oh, and should I mention I have labs today?  Yeah.  Now I’m fasting until I can get blood drawn at two in the afternoon.  Because my doctor is the sort of person who likes to keep checking on things with me, and it’s time for said checking.  So I’ll likely have a headache most of the morning because the last time I ate was about six in the afternoon, about an hour after I snapped the picture above.  I think the universe is hating on me for some reason . . .

The upshot to all this is that I am home.  I am Out of Indiana, Bucked It through Ohio, and survived the Mountains of Madness in Pennsylvania.  Now it’s off to work to play a bit of morning catch up, get in my time sheets, come home, clean up, go get blood drawn, and finally eat about two-thirty or so.  Only then can I get home and finally get down to–

What?  I’m not really sure.

Finished a trip and think about the next novel.  I did a bit of the later yesterday, and I think it’s ready to go on that front.  I’m curious to see if my countdown time changes to days tomorrow, but for now it still says I have a month to go before I start writing.  I don’t think it would lie to me, and as much as I try to think about it, that month is gonna pass pretty fast.

I guess it’s time to worry about something else now, huh?