And for the Rest of the Tower–

Sure it’s late, but at least I’m getting the post out.

That’s because it’s Thanksgiving here in the United States and there’s been a lot going on. I had to make phone calls and I had to get ready to go do things–though “do things” really involve little more than going out and drinking a lot of beer around noon today.

And hanging out with a woman in a turkey costume.

And hanging out with a woman in a turkey costume.

I took that picture at Zeroday Brewery, where I enjoyed for great classes of craft beer and a cold, fresh pressed apple cider.  It was a good time and some good conversation, and when I walked home I was feeling the effects of the beer, though not as bad as I felt with others.

I actually don't look too bad here.

I actually don’t look too bad here.

Anyway, I just came back from eating at Denny’s–steak and eggs for my Thanksgiving feast–and I’ve changed into the comfy pajamas I’m ready to write.  Or ready to Dragon speak, whichever is more realistic.  Either way there are things to say and posts to make, and fortunately for you I still have plenty of both.

One of the things I’m going to give you is an excerpt, but another thing I’m going to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming.  Yes, I’m giving you spoilers.  Probably not as much as you would expect, but they’re here.  I’m going to give it to you after the excerpt–

Speaking of which, here’s the end of the last chapter.


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)


Annie followed the direction of his arm down the gallery to his right. At the far end she could make out Anna and Elisha facing each other as they spoke. Anna was the more animated of the two: she shuffled about on her feet, her hands moved, her head twisted from left to right and down several times. Given the way Elisha stood there listening Annie didn’t need to hear the conversation between the two coven mates: it was obvious that Anna had finally found the courage to tell Elisha her thoughts and her feelings.

After a minute of saying what was on her mind Anna seemed to deflate slightly, as if she were waiting for her coven mate to unleash a furious rebuttal upon her. Elisha seemed slightly confused but didn’t appear angry. After maybe ten seconds she took a step forward, reached out, and took Anna’s hands in hers. As she spoke Anna’s head began to rise and she no longer seemed prepared for the worst.

After another minute of Elisha talking she wrapped her arms around Anna and gave her a long, comforting hug. When they were finished they separated and looked at each other or maybe another ten seconds before Anna took the initiative to step closer and give Elisha a short, tender kiss upon the lips.


I did a little checking this morning before heading out and discovered an interesting thing.  There was a line near the end of B For Bewitching, when Annie and Kerry and Penny and Alex and their boyfriends all went out to lunch on Graduation Day, where Jario gave Penny a quick kiss, that became the first time any other students other than Annie and Kerry were seen kissing.  We’ve seen Erywin and Helena kiss and we’ve seen Wednesday give Isis a quick peck, but those are adults and they don’t really count.

But Anna and Elisha are the closest we’ve come to seeing anyone kissing much the same way as Annie and Kerry kiss.  It’s also the first time we’ve seen what looks like a same-sex student couple.  We understand they do exists, but up until now we haven’t actually seen one.  And before someone says, “Damn, Cassidy, you got way too many lesbians in this story,” Penny and Alex are in heteronormative relationships, Mathilde and Vicki both have husbands, Holoč Semplen has a wife, Coraline is getting married to a guy, and Deanna and Trevor seem to have something going on.  So, you know, don’t start whingeing at me ’cause I’ll just look the other way and laugh.

Also, Annie and Kerry are healthy heterosexuals–for now.  By the end of this novel who knows what’s going to happen?  Well, I do, but I’m not talking…

Speaking of Annie and Kerry, what are they up to?


“That’s what I’m talking about. Looks like someone got their wishes answered.” Kerry turned towards Annie, her face illuminated by the lights of the city around them. “I know this level is going to be tough. We’ve got new classes; rather be doing a lot of minion work; bring to be doing a lot of work on our own; and were going to have special studies on top of all that.” He looked down and away for a moment and chuckled. “And who knows if the Guardians are going to have some for us to do this level?

“We’ll deal with all that when it happens. But what I want most of all is everything between us to stay as good, happy, and hopeful as possible.” He reached out and wipe the single tear from his left cheek, then touched it to Annie’s cheek. “There. Now now you feel my sadness—” He managed a slight smile and touched his fingers to his lips before touching them against Annie’s lips. “And now you feel my hope.”

Annie felt a familiar sensation wash over her: the lightheaded feeling that came over her when she felt she was about to swoon. So many times I’ve heard people say Kerry is too emotional, that at times he can be a crybaby. But they never see these moments where he opens his heart completely and tells me all. She rested against him and lay her head upon his shoulder. Even if I wasn’t bonded to him for life, I would never love another boy as I love my soul mate.

She waited until the sensation passed before she stood. Kerry picked up on her action immediately. “You’re not going to pass out, are you?”

Annie shook her head. “No, my love. I’m fine.” She pressed against his body and kissed him. “I was wondering if it’s possible I could love you more—then you do something as you did a moment ago and I know the answer.”

She turned so that they once were standing side by side. “I like your idea of our school year being happy and hopeful.”

Kerry spent a moment studying her profile bathed in the light of the Paris night. “I like it, too.” He rested his head against hers. “Let’s do this.”

Somewhere a belt tolled and Annie knew that midnight had come. “Let’s.”

He kissed her hand and let it drop to her side so he could wrap his arm around her body. “Okay then.”

They stood in silence as they welcomed the new day.


Deep down inside Kerry is a romantic dude.  His comments in the second paragraph above relate back to something Annie told him in the bedroom after she found out about the way his parents treated him: when he hurts, she hurts.  Passing his tear to her shows that he understands her feeling his pain, but passing his kiss to her as he did–he wants her to know that there is hope that he won’t suffer long.  The chances are good, however, that Kerry is going to have problems with this parents all through this novel, and that means it might take a while before the suffering stops.  How long will that take?  Hmmm, I could tell you, but then I had to do something bad to you so you didn’t tell anyone else.

Now, spoilers!

One of the things I did last night was figure out where all the new A Levels are coming from.  It’s actually something that Erywen’s going to talk about in the scene I’m working on now, so keeping it hidden for too much longer makes no sense. Not only that, but as readers you’re never going to see all the new students are coming in unless I show them to you.  So let me walk you through what I have so far and give you an idea of how the new year is shaping up.

First up for the shield maidens of Åsgårdsreia:


You’re going to see a couple of countries in this list that might make you think I’d make the names up, but I haven’t: every country in these list of the real deal.  Åsgårdsreia gets nine new students, which is a bundle, and seven of them are girls.  All of Åsgårdsreia’s students come from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and North and South America: I believe they are the only coven that did not receive a student from Europe.

Now comes the owls of Blodeuwedd:


These guys also got seven girls and nearly ran the board without any boys.  Also, we add a major ginger to the school with a girl from Ireland, and we see they have a girl from Cuba as well.  They are one of two covens that did not receive a student from South America.  It should also be pointed out that six of their students come from island nations.

Up next are the Warthogs of Ceridwen:


Ceridwen had the most gender equal of all the covenants, with three boys and four girls.  All the boys come from relatively small countries, while the girls cover a wide range of locales.  Ceridwen is one of two covens that did not receive a student from Oceania.  Should also be pointed out that for the second time three years witches have arrived from the Philippines.  But this means something?  No, not really.

Now, let’s check out that favored coven of mine, the Stags of Cernunnos:


Cernunnos did well this year: two boys and four girls, Of one student from last year and two hundred percent better than two years earlier.  Cernunnos is strange in that it didn’t receive a single student from either North or South America, the only coven to do this.  They are also the only coven to receive two Muslim students: the boy from Syria and the girl from India.  I’ll bet you thought I was gonna say Egypt–you bet wrong.  Cernunnos is also the coven that did the best in terms of numbers: they lost the fewest students–three–and gained six, whereas nearly all the other covens made back what they lost through graduation and attrition.

And lastly, we look at the blackbirds of Mórrígan:


Mórrígan also received nine students like Åsgårdsreia, but their attrition was greater than all of the other covens: they lost eleven students through graduation and attrition, which made them one of two covens–the other being Ceridwen–to suffer a net loss.  Mórrígan did not receive a student from North America, but they did receive a student from the People’s Republic of China, which is something that rarely happens.  Why is that?  You’ll find out what time.  Yes, Åsgårdsreia did receive a student from Macau, but Salem has received students from Macau and Hong Kong in the past and getting a student from there is not seen as being as big a deal as getting one from one of the major cities in China.

With one of the boys being from Belize, or the chances Kerry is going to make jokes about visiting there?  Now I got to look up when a certain show ended…

So there you go: more writing without writing.  Only this not writing was really needed, because you know at some point in the future these new students may be needed.

Now I have to figure out for what.

Not Writing but Writing

So, were about to enter into a long weekend, though for me it won’t be that long as I’ll be working part of the day on Friday.  Tomorrow–in case anyone was wondering–I will actually be going out to a local microbrewery for Thanksgiving.  They’re going to be open, they’re going to have food, they are going to have beer, and there is the promise that at least one woman serving beer will be dressed in a turkey costume.  Why wouldn’t I go?

This also means I have plenty of opportunities to write what I’m not napping or watching television.  I watched a little television yesterday after getting home from dinner, but I got right into the writing.

Only, it was more of that not writing but writing writing.

One of the things I’ve need to do for novel is set up the attendance.  Now, I’ve had the attendance and place for some time, because I started figuring it out in the A Level novel and continued through the B Level novel.  But now, I needed to know something else that I hadn’t kept track of in the B Level novel, that is the names of the B Levels.

Therefore, but I finally sat down to write, I got to working on attendance so I can determine where the B Levels were from and their names.  It also gave me the opportunity to figure out who graduated and who got left behind so that I can adjust the total number of students at the School of Salem.

Just like anything else it goes in the world building this all took time.

One of the things I did was remove the F Level characters because they graduated.  Once I removed those from all five covens, I went ahead and adjusted the level markers so that everyone is where they should be.  Then I went through and decided what countries my new B Levels were going to come from and started not only looking up towns and cities within those countries, but finding those students names.

So let’s take a look at how my favorite Coven of the Horned God looks:

Pretty good, actually.

Pretty good, actually.

Everyone is where they should be.  Now, Cernunnos was actually easy, as I already had all the B Levels figured out, but what I need to figure out was who’s going to go and who knew was coming into the coven.  Under Cernunnos I have a (21) to (18) designation set up.  The 21 indicates how many students I had at the end of the B Level novel; the 18 indicates how many existing students were going to attend the new school year.

But, what about that second “to”?  That one’s easy: that’s how many students are going to be in the coven after the new A Levels finish their E and A.  In the picture above I have that area blank as well as the entire A Level section blank, because I don’t want you to see how many new students are coming into this.  You know I figured this out last night–

The breakdown for the covens is pretty simple.  Åsgårdsreia, Blodeuwedd, and Ceridwen lost eight students each.  Cernunnos lost the fewest, three, while Mórrígan lost the most, eleven.  Remember, I included graduation in those losses, but Erywin’s coven definitely took a hit.

Tonight I’ll go through and figure out the names of all the A Levels, as well as the names of all the other students I had figured out in the last novel.  Then I’m pretty much done with attendance until the next novel, when all I have to do is figure out the losses and gains.  Like I said, it’s not really writing but it is, because I’m building my world and that takes time.  And one of the biggest reasons I’m taking time to do this is because, in the upcoming scene, and mention is made of the B Level students that are in Europe with Annie and Kerry.  And not only do I need to know who those students are from their coven, but I need to know who they are from the other covenants.  Because eventually I gotta get all those kids on the bus–

And get them back to their school.

Upping the Lunchtime Experience.

First off, I must apologize because I did something wrong yesterday.  See…  I made a mistake.  I was discussing the money Annie was given for lunch and shopping and made this statement:


“And in case you’re wondering €500 is equal to $563.   That’s a pretty good afternoon.”


And that is a good afternoon as I can imagine a whole lot of thirteen year old girls who would have lost it if their mom’s handed them that much money.

But see, when I did that conversion I forgot:  I was using yesterday’s conversion rates for a transaction that happened on 7 August, 2013.  And now you know why I keep track of dates because I can look up just about anything for that time and get thing right once more.

Just a few minutes ago I looked up the exchange rate for Euro to US Dollars for 7 August, 2013 and got the true rate.  And now I can say that the €500 Annie had for her little trip was, at the time, equal to:


And just so you know my figures are correct, there’s a screen shot with the pertinent line pointed out:

I wouldn't lie to you. Much.

I wouldn’t lie to you. Much.

The only thing that could have made this better would have been if Annie checked her mother’s computer and said, “Mama, the exchange rate will give me a few more U.S. Dollars tomorrow, could we go shopping then?”  Not that it matters as they aren’t in the U.S., but I does make you wonder if before Annie heads back to school Mom and Dad made sure she gets the best exchange rates before they give her a fist full of dollars to take with her.

Now, on with the novel…

Writing last night:  level good.  Only I realize I need a new chair for writing.  My position is all wrong and I’m making a lot of mistakes because I don’t hold my hands right.  So a new chair this week or next:  it’s needed bad.

But it was a good run.  Nowhere near what I have in the other chapters–

But I'm just getting warmed up.

But I’m just getting warmed up.

And just like that it’s time for lunch again.  So…  shall we?


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)


An older gentleman stood behind a well-warn wooden counter and began eyeing Annie the moment she entered the vestibule and continued right up to the moment she stood before him. He glanced towards the door to see if anyone else was following before turning his attention back to her. “May I help you, young miss?”

“I have a reservation for two at eleven.” Annie showed no hesitation or nervousness. “It’s under the name ‘Annie Kirilova’.”

The gentleman checked his POS system. “Yes, I see. And you are?”

Annie’s nostrils flared just a little. “Annie Kirilova.” She rested her hand against one of the zippers of her Alma BB purse. “Would you like to see my identification?”

The man noticed the determination in this girl’s eyes and decided not to challenge her. “That won’t be necessary. As it is—” He scanned his terminal once more. “Your guest is here.” He waved over a younger man, obviously a server. “Please take this young lady to this table.”

The server checked the POS screen then turned to Annie. “Follow me, please.”

“Certainly.” She cast a glance at the man behind the counter, thanking him, before following her server up the flight of stairs to the dining area. She knew this restaurant well from having dined here with her parents on several occasions, and was aware that at this time on a weekday the lunch crowd was manageable. Even so, she’d reserved a table two weeks after after receiving an invitation to dine for she didn’t want there to be any mishap.

They approached a table overlooking the overlooking the street below and Annie saw that her guess was indeed waiting for her—


It’s always been implied that Annie is a bit of a princess because she comes from a family with money and she acknowledges that, yeah, her parents are rich, she’s kinda rich, and it’s something she lives with.  And when she was dining with Alex she made the comment that she doesn’t like to talk about certain things ’cause it makes her come off like a little rich girl.

But here, with the “And you are?” comment, you see just the slightest indication that you will take her seriously or she might just go ballistic on you.  That little flair of her nostrils was her “No, you didn’t” moment, like she couldn’t believe that the guy behind the counter should have instantly realized that the thirteen year old girl standing before him was the one who made the reservation–even though she said she did.  She was probably bitch facing him to death at that point and if she’d been in a particularly shitty mood she would have just whipped out her ID and went, “See?  I am who I am.”  Don’t mess with Annie:  you will rue the day.  Rue, I say!

Now it’s time to meet the person for whom Annie has made a lunchtime reservation for them to meet.  And will the mystery guest sign in please!


Deanna Arrakis considered standing but figured it would be better to do so after the server departed: she didn’t want to keep the young man waited for them any longer than necessary. Also, it allowed her to watch Annie stride through the dining room full of confidence. She looks as if she’s back at school: then again, it’s times like this where she learned to develop that demeanor

The server stopped and turned so he was facing Deanna as she indicated the chair across from her. “Tuk ste, mlada gospozhitse. Vashiyat sŭrvŭr shte bŭde s vas skoro.”

Annie gave him a smile as she gave him a tiny nod. “Blagodarya.” She motioned towards the table. “Neka imame garafa s voda, molya?”

The server gave a quick, curt nod. “Razbira se.”

“Blagodarya ti mnogo.” Finally here, Annie faced her guest as her smile brightened. “Deanna.”

The instructor finally left her chair and went to her young friend. “Annie.” They hugged each other for several seconds before retaking their seats. “It’s so interesting hearing you speak Bulgarian. I sometimes forget it’s your native language.”


Annie’s moving up in the world:  now she has instructors and coven leaders coming to her country to have lunch with her.  Sure, Kerry had a coven leader show up on his doorstep, but did they have lunch?  Not yet.

One of things I deliberately did there in the above section is change the POV to Deanna so you could “hear” Annie speaking and let you know that in all the parts leading up to Deanna’s observation the Bulgarian Girl is really speaking Bulgarian.  It’s only that I have to write in English so you can read.  Natually I know what they are saying–

And with this guide you do as well.

And with this guide you do as well.

–and one of the things I’ve been doing the last couple of nights is practicing Annie saying “Blagodarya” in a voice I’m sure is like hers.  I’ll have to do that for you soon on video.

The real question here is:  why does Deanna want to meet?  For a friendly chat?  You know, I’m certain that’s the reason–

Oh so certain.

Funstyles of the Young and Witchy

Here we are once more on the trip to Kiev and while the chicken jokes are in short supply, we’re getting a chance to see Annie let her hair down and relaxing with someone her age.  Kerry never seems to change that much when he’s away from Annie, but Annie gets to be more open and friendly when she’s away from school and/or her parents, which is how she is most of the time when it’s just Kerry and her out.

So how is the sushi setting with the East Euro Girls?


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)


Alex didn’t wait to finish her roll before speaking. “So it’s like the sushi in Tokyo?”

“I wouldn’t know—” Annie shrugged. “I’ve only has sushi in Osaka and Kyoto.” They exchanged stares across the table before both laughed. She set her chopsticks aside. “I hate to talk about that stuff: I always come off like a little rich girl.”

“If you didn’t want to look like a rich girl you should have left that purse at home.” Alex chuckled as Annie wrapped one hand around her Louis Vuitton bag. She sipped some tea so to wash down the last of her roll. “Don’t worry about how you appear; I don’t mind. And you’re lucky to have gone to those places. I’ll get there one day: Japan’s one of the places I want to visit when I do my Real Life Experience.”

“I want to go there as well.” Annie held her tea cup in both hands. “I want to visit the countryside and stay in ryokans the whole time.”

“What’s a ryokan?”

“It’s a type of inn. It’s all traditionally Japanese: you wear yukatas—it’s like a kimono—sit on the floor to eat and sleep on a futon.”

“Sounds like fun.” Alex ate another roll but waited until she swallowed before speaking. “You going to do that before your RLE?”

Annie stared off into the distance. “I’d like that.”

“You want to do that with Kerry?”

“Naturally.” Annie picked up he chopsticks and reviewed the food that remained. “We should order more.” She motioned at Alex. “Get what you want: I trust you.”

A wicked smile appeared on the blond girl’s hair. “They make a non-alcoholic mojito here: it’s Sprite, limes, and mint mixed together. We should get a pitcher and then tell everyone when we go back to school that we were drinking mojitos before we went shopping.”

Even though it seemed a bit silly on the surface, Annie knew there were times when it was necessary to break out of seriousness that usually surrounded their lives and have fun.  “Why not? Penny and Kerry did something fun while they were together last week, we should, too.”


I learned all about ryokans back in the mid-90s when I was kinda seeing a Japanese woman and became interested in visiting the country and getting out into the countryside.  These are a popular way of getting into the Japanese way of life, though if you really want to get down and dirty in that respect, try a minshuku, which is the equivalent of a Japanese family bed and breakfast where you are pretty much living with the family:  think of if as an AirBnB with the owners still there.  Now we gotta wonder what Annie looks like walking around in a kimono, though I think she’d probably be cuter dressing up with the Harajuku Kawaii Lolita set.

It is true:  Annie is, deep down, a little rich girl and she can’t hide that.  She’s in nice clothes and carrying a Louis Vuitton purse, so it’s difficult not to see her as someone who’s used to having nice things in her life.  And she’s worldly, something impressed upon me by the Original Annie back in the days of the first Foundation novel.  What this means is that she’s a bit of a princess, sure, but that doesn’t prevent her from enjoying hanging with people less well off than her.  Given that Annie’s not one for dealing with bullshit she probably wouldn’t want to hang with other people from her financial demographic ’cause they’re simply no fun at all.

But wait:  the girls are gonna have virgin mojitos?  Sure.  Because it’s fun.  Like Alex says, when they return to school in about seven weeks they can tell their friends, “When Annie and I went to lunch we had mojitos with our sushi,” because when you’re thirteen and fourteen it’s all about having fun.

And when you're twenty-one and twenty-two it's all about getting hammered and doing questionable things.

And when you’re twenty-one and twenty-two it’s all about getting hammered and doing things some may consider questionable.

And this makes me want to have a mojito with dinner tonight because why the hell not?

Now that we know the girls want silly fun, what is this about Penny and Kerry?  Well…


“Great.” Alex gave the order for a dozen more rolls and the virgin mojitos to their hostess, then waited for her to leave before speaking with Annie. “What did they do?”

She ran her finger around the rim of her tea cup. “They had lunch in the village of Snape.”

Alex needed a few second to digest this information. “Wait: is that like the Harry Potter Snape?”

Annie nodded. “The same. He wrote and said it was like ten kilometers north of where they were hiking—”

“They went hiking?”

“Yes. Kerry said they talked while they walked and then headed north to this village and had lunch. He said the character in the books was named after the town and he wanted to be able to tell people at school that they were there.” She took a final sip of her cooling tea. “So, you see: silliness. We can do the same.”

“Sure can.” She grew silent as their pitcher of drinks arrived and she poured them both a glass. “Is he gonna take you there?”

“He said he will—if not next month, then next summer.” Annie raised her glass and reached across the table toward Alex. “To having a good day.”

Alex clinked her glass against Annie’s.  “To a good day.” She then downed about a third of the drink before setting it aside. “Can I ask something?”


So, a little left over from the last scene.  When I was looking at the whole “Walking around in the Rendlesham Forest” thing I started looking at a few things beyond that area, and lo and behold, I found a little village–

Right around ten kilometers away, just like Annie said.

Right around ten kilometers away, just like Annie said.

I found the village of Snape.  No, really.

Just look at all the Snape stuff.  They can't be lying.

Just look at all the Snape stuff. They can’t be lying.

Some rather easy looking shows that this tiny burg in the east of England is the one whose name was used by another writer who likes witches for one of her main characters, a rather dark and gloomy character with greasy hair who is an expert in, um, potions and dark magic.  And into this two come two witches, both great fliers, both great with, um, “mixtures”, and one of them great with that ol’ dark sorcery stuff, and they sit down for a lunch at the Golden Key Inn and probably laughing about how there were now witches in Snape, likely leading Kerry to do at least one really bad Alan Rickman imitation.  Because it’s all about fun and that’s how he rolls.

I guess tomorrow is when we find out what Alex wants, huh?  I mean, that would make sense…

Hidden Knowledge Around the World

We are about to embark on a three-day weekend here in the U.S., the “last of summer” as they like to say, and the last one until Thanksgiving.  I’m ready for it even though I’m working a voter registration drive tomorrow at big festival happening along the riverfront tomorrow.  Yes, I’m still doing that, and yes:  I’ll try to get pictures.

Yesterday, however…  stuff to do.  First I got a nail repaired.  It had cracked about half-way across just past my fingertip and had been that way for a couple of days.  So at least my nails are now strong enough that even if they are damaged they don’t go completely to hell.  Then I had dinner and since it was getting nice in the afternoon I went up to the rooftop of my favorite restaurant, the Capitol Gastropub, and had fish and chips with a couple of glasses of wine.

There's always time for wine.

There’s always time for wine.

Then I came home and watched the first two episodes of The Kettering Incident, which has run down in Australia and is now starting up here on Amazon Prime.  It’s getting reviewed over on The Snarking Dead by Rachel, and it is strange.  As one person said, “It’s Stranger Things for adults,” and after seeing the start of the program it has that vibe, though it’s building a lot slower.  Which is fine with me ’cause I like that sort of stuff.

Most importantly, there’s writing.  I also put a new playlist together of 80s music, but that came before the writing.  And since we’re on the subject of UFO–’cause that’s part of what The Kettering Incident is about–we may as well see how Penny and Kerry have solved the Rendlesham Forest sighting:


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)


“Sure.” He gave the airfield one last look, then snapped a picture with his phone before rejoining Penny.

They’d covered about fifteen meters when she leaned to her left towards him. “Thanks for getting that: my mom will want to see this. What’s the next spot we’re supposed to visit?”

“That would be—” Kerry checked his phone. “Point 2 is where they started going into the forest looking for the lights.” He stuffed his phone back inside his flight jacket. “Shouldn’t take us long to get there.”

“Probably not.” Penny looked to see if anyone was following them before speaking. “You think those guys back then really saw something?”

Kerry gave a quick nod. “I think they saw something, but I doubt it was a flying saucer.”

“You’re probably right.” She nodded once as she picked up her stride. “It was probably some tossers from ECMI fooling around with a Class 4 PAV and they decided to head down here and play with the Yanks.” ECMI was the acronym used by anyone speaking of the Edinburgh Center for Magical Instruction, only a few hundred kilometers to the north.

“That would be my guess.” Kerry laughed once. “With the school closed for Yule they could have went on the grounds, took the PAV, shot down here in about twenty minute, screwed around and got everyone spooked, then bounced.”

Penny chuckled. “Given security was a bit shite back then they’d be out and back in the pen without anyone every knowing they were there and gone.”

“More than likely.” He spent a moment checking the woods to his right. “That sounds a lot more likely than aliens from another world.”

“Doesn’t mean The Foundation doesn’t have info on aliens.” She waited about five seconds before changing the subject. “How’s things at home?”

He’d been expecting this question ever since meeting Penny for breakfast and suspected that as soon as they were alone out on the path she’d ask. “It’s okay.”

She was well aware of Kerry’s habit of answering everything with an affirmative declaration, but she decided to be nice and not call him on it, at least not yet. “How are you’re parents treating you?”

A long sigh trickled out. “They’re acting the way they always act: like I’m not there.” He glanced over and saw the disapproving stare Penny was sending his way. “What?”

“You’re lying out your arse.” She shook her head. “Come on, mate: be honest with me. That’s why we’re out here—” Penny stopped the stare and gave him a soft, friendly smile. “Ain’t it?”

Kerry stared down at the ground as they walked. “Yeah, it is.” He raised his head and looked about for a few moments before speaking. “My parents… they ignore me like they usually do, but this time it’s like they’re pissed off at me, too. I can feel it, you know?”


Now we have one of Kerry’s friends calling him out on his bullshit.  Sorry Kerry, but you’re a big witch now and you have to stop with the “I’m okay” when everyone knows you’re not.  Annie was really the first one to call him out, back when he was beating himself up on a race and tried to make it sound like he wasn’t worthy of winning because everyone else on the course is better-and Annie had enough and told him he didn’t lose because he’s bad, he lost because The Bolder Ginger is a bitch and knew she could race dirty with Kerry ’cause he’d never retaliate.  And she was right and Kerry knew it.

However, he’s slow to change…

One last thing:  above I refer to ECMI as the acronym used for Edinburgh Center for Magical Instruction, which is otherwise known as Edinburgh, which happens to be the first school founded by what was The Foundation then to study magic.  (Yes, Salem is just over a hundred years older, but it was founded by witches who later sold the school to The Foundation.)  Over the course of two novels and change–mostly in the first novel–other schools were mentioned.  Edinburgh and Valparaiso, Chile, make up the “Big Three” of The Foundation educational system, of which there almost two dozen schools:

Which are all listed right here.

Which are all listed right here.

That little list right there took me about eight hours of research to put together and it was one of the things I did back in October, 2013, when I was gearing up to start A For Advanced during NaNoWriMo, and I even went so far as to mark down where the sites are located.  Maybe one of these days I’ll do a post on that because I think it’d be interesting to show you the locations of all the schools.

Until then, you’ll have to put up with just one school–

Change as Change Be

Was there writing?  Yeah, a little.  Before I did that I had a long, relaxing lunch with a few glasses of wine:

Here I'm trying out for the part of the new queen of King's Landing.

Here I’m trying out for the part of the new queen of King’s Landing.

Then came home and watched some TV and took a nap.  Then I got up and started getting my images for tomorrow’s Sense8 recap, and it was only after all that was out of the way that I started writing.

The thing is, I didn’t get much written:  about three hundred and ten words and not much more.  After I started writing I began having this running conversation with myself about whether or not I was saying things right.  So I spent time walking about the apartment trying out lines, trying out feelings, trying to figure out if what I wanted to write was what I wanted to write.

I do this a lot:  I will “act out” what I want to write, taking on the parts of the characters who are going down in that part of the story and figure out if it feels good and sounds like it’s legitimate.  I’ve been doing this for years:  when I used to live in Indiana and I spent the weekends driving to and from Indianapolis, I’d use the time in the car to work out scenes by “being” my characters.  And one of those scenes I worked out?  The meeting of the Brain Trust when they were first going over the footage of Kerry’s gender switching lab work before they figured out there was more at work than just simply transformation magic.

I work on that back in the late summer of 2012, which should give you an idea about how much time I sometimes spend on these things.

But the second scene began, and it started out with five simple words:


“Mom, Dad . . . I’m a witch.”


If you read the metadata synopsis next to the scene title, probably figured out that this is the scene that picks up right after the uttering of those same words at the end of B For Bewitching.  That, of course, makes this scene a flashback, the first one in the series, and it means we’re back with The Malibeys and their child who’s never done anything special in their life.  Oh, Mom and Dad Malibey, are you about to eat those freakin’ words.

It was during the moments when I was working out things that I realized I’d forgotten a scene for Chapter One–I told you this would happen, didn’t I?  If Scene Two is a flashback, and Scene one is obviously the setup, then where’s the payoff?  Still in my head, right?  Duh.  If so, I needed to get it out, and with that–

I did.

I did.

Now after the little drama plays out in the Second Home By the Sea–hey, that would make a great song title, wouldn’t it?–we get to snap back to Pamporovo to find out if there is follow up to the flashback.  And it’s likely as I go along through the story I’ll need to do this here and there, because I’m only human:  I can’t get all my plotting right the first time around.

What really matters is that I get it right in the end.

Embarking Upon New Adventures in Storytelling

Yesterday was as big day in a many ways.  I put out the trailer, started the novel, and drove down to Maryland to spend time celebrating a friend’s birthday.  We had lunch and ice cream, she went shopping at Tiffany and picked up a bracelet–and the sales woman joke with me that I could always come to their new “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” meeting where couples can pick out engagement rings, which will probably never happen to be because I’ll likely never be engaged again–and finished it off with a visit to Build-a-Bear, where I picked up a new friend–

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Who joins another friend that was made for me last year.

Since I was given a “Mother of Dragons” tee shirt to wear, it goes without saying that I needed a dragon–and Toothless is one of the best.

See?  Cuddly little dragon.

See? Cuddly little dragon.

It was a fairly full day that I finished off with watching a few Walking Dead episodes and writing a little more–

Wait?  Did I say writing?

Yes, I did.  Like I said I started the new novel yesterday, and I ended the evening by finishing up the first five hundred words.  And today, down here at the Little Amps coffee shop, I finished the scene of Chapter One with a six hundred and forty word effort.

Proof I'm down writing.

Proof I’m down writing.


And proof I did the writing.

And proof I did the writing.

If you’re scanning ahead you’re probably saying to yourself, “But where’s the excerpt, Cassie?  I don’t see anything.  Are you gaslighting us?”  Nope, no gaslighting at all, ’cause that’s a dick move–though if I try to convince you that you’re an android with implanted human memories, that’s considered a Philip K. Dick move and it’s totally okay.

No, the real reason is that this is post number 1,996, and I said earlier that I wouldn’t present the first excerpts until post number 2,000, which comes this Thursday, 21 July, also known as the day we first walked on the moon.  Sorry, then, but you’re going to have to wait–though if you’ve read the trailer script, you’ve seen something that happens in this first scene.

With this writing I’m past my first thousand words, which means I probably have 349,000 to go.  No problem, right?  This is why I’m considering doing NaNoWriMo again this year, for if it could help be add another fifty thousand words in the span of a month, that goes a long ways toward cutting a month and a half of writing off my time.  Doing this twice during the first novel helped a great deal, and if I’d done it last year, it’s likely I would have finished the second novel in early May.

It really comes down to exactly how much stress I’m willing to put upon myself to make that fifty thousand word goal.  Sure, I’ve heard of people claiming they’ve finished NaNoWriMo in as little as two days, but that’s not me–not to mention whatever those people got down on paper probably looks like the rantings of someone deep in an ether binge, and that’s not me either.  Usually.

We’ll see what I decide come October.  Meanwhile, it’s simply a matter of getting in five hundred words here, a thousand here–

And before you know it, I’m talking a real novel.