All the Time That Be Time

What is going on this morning?  Not a lot, to be honest.  I’m off to get my nails done in a couple of hours, so I’ve sort of piddled around trying to motivate myself to write.  However, I didn’t sleep for crap last night despite being tired as hell, so my mind is a muddled mess.  So much so that I knew anything I tried to put down in the system would come out full of suck, so I haven’t bothered.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy . . .

For a few weeks now I’ve meant to make some changes to the time line that is the story of my kids at school, though change really isn’t the right word:  additions is more like it.  That’s the way my mind works, with lots going ’round and ’round all the time and things always popping in and out.  What’s been bugging me, however, is that I haven’t done anything about these pop ups for a while, mostly due to just feeling too damn exhausted to get in there and put things into my little Book of History.

And while I’m doing this I should mention that I’ve been rocking out to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannons at the end.  Only in Russia would a composer think, “Now, I need an instrument to make the climax memorably;  what should I use?  I know:  cannons.”  Yes, Comrades, in old Russia, orchestra blast you!

Since I’m down to my last three chapters of this novel I’ve begun getting things in shape for the stories to follow, while I mostly concentrate on three events that happen outside of school, though I fourth started taking hold in my mind this morning.  Two of those event involve both of my kids, and two of them involve Annie alone.  My little Bulgarian Pop Princess all by her lonesome?  Why not?  She’s a big girl, she can handle herself.  And don’t worry:  it’s not as if Kerry doesn’t get enough screen time on his own.  But sometimes a girl needs a little Me Time just to chill and be herself.

Now, I’m about to lay out something I’ve only parts of here and there, but this is the real deal now:  here is the time line I’ve used for B For Bewitching.  At least this is how I take my cues when I’m putting the story together.  First, we have the sections for Annie alone and Kerry alone.

Just a little of what the kids go through on their own--

Just a little of what the kids go through on their own–

What is up there is pretty much all the key points from the start of the novel to the end.  You can see there are a few details off to the right that, I will tell you now, aren’t going to be in this novel, but in the next–that’s one of the reasons a couple of points have been scrubbed, because I don’t want you to know what they are.  I will go ahead and spoil this now:  the event in the upper right hand corner in “Annie’s Story”, the 02 June Meeting, that starts off the next novel, C For Continuing.  The first novel started and ended with Annie, and this current novel started with Kerry and will end with him.  That means the next novel starts and ends with Annie.  Simple, huh?

Below this is another layout, seen here:

And what they go through together.

And what they go through together.

This not only shows events they enjoy together, but the very bottom lays out some of the school’s event–like, the entirety of racing season.  You’ll notice that a few more events are scrubbed here, because that’s necessary, trust me.  Below this I even have a mark showing the time covers by each novel, and at the very top I show when certain holidays occur during the year, so if there’s a question about when something is happening, I can look there.

This is a little of what I keep hidden behind the scenes, and like I said at the beginning, I’m adding to this.  Adding mean thinking through the story, and that also means research prior to plotting.  Really, you wouldn’t believe what I’ve already discovered in the last couple of weeks playing around with these various ideas . . .

And just think:  you only have a few years to wait before you see them come to fruition.

A Certain Day in May: A Quick Remembrance

Only a few hundred words entered the Word Bank last night ’cause it was TV recap time, and twenty-one hundred words and pictures went out in that post, which meant I didn’t get much into this one.  I did, however, edge over the thousand words beyond three hundred K area, so I have that going for me.

But I got him out to his birthday dinner–sort of–and right below, there in the first paragraph, you discover the name of the restaurant that has become a favorite of theirs:

 

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

Kerry followed Annie out of the Museum Place and turned right on Church Street. The restaurant where they were dining, Turner’s Seafood, was down Church on their left, but before leaving Salem Annie mentioned that she wanted to walk around the block and stroll down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall before joining the others at what had become their favorite restaurant in Salem after visiting it during their school year end layover at the Sea Sprite Inn.

The sun was still up with perhaps an hour to go before setting. The temperatures were still cool, hovering between eleven and twelve Celsius, but the sky was clear and was expected to stay that way all the way through midnight tomorrow. Kerry hoped this meant warm weather would reach them before they left their school, and the rest of America, behind for the summer.

After all the cold Friday afternoon flying Kerry was ready for some warmth . . .

But the afternoon didn’t start off that way. Things were already different when everyone gathered in the Ready Room and the minions took their places at the back of the room. As promised Annie joined Nadine, Rivânia, and Nattat Adriano in the back of the room, but up front Kerry was completely surprised, and not a bit mortified, when “Doctor Gallagher” came out with Vicky and a big deal was made about the face that not only was it the birthday of the school’s Chief Medical Officer, but it was also the birthday of one of their class members—

At that point a cake was wheeled out and Kerry stood next to Coraline while everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” Coraline congratulated Kerry on becoming a teenager, and, just like last year, she gave him a kiss on the cheek—though she first looked to the back of the room and received a nod of approval from Annie before proceeding.

 

Yeah, Coraline knows better now than to give a kiss to someone who ain’t her soul mate.  That Annie is a possessive one.  And in case you’re wondering, Nattat Adriano is a Mórrígan C Level from Lucira, Angola, and the person whom finished ninth overall in the Individual standings for the 2012/2013 race season.  She was the covenmate who ascended the lower podium right behind Emma in the last scene of the last chapter.

So where are they walking?  Well, I had to put this together last night, too, so there’s more time taken right there.

These maps don't make themselves, you know.

These maps don’t make themselves, you know.

As Kerry is thinking about what’s happening Annie and he are probably at the corner in the upper right hand of the picture, which is as place they’ve been before:  they were here way back in Act One after they’d been dismissed as minions by their own levelmates, and Kerry gave Annie the “We Are Different” talk about why he didn’t care if the other kids their age accepted them or not.  This time they’re not talking about something that’s upsetting:  this is a day to celebrate, and there’s nothing gonna bring these two down.

And, yes, you’ll see the gift Annie is gonna give Kerry.

I know:  I’m the worst for cliffhangers.

The Remains of Today

Last night I had great hopes for a productive day today, but there’s a big difference between what you plan to do in the yesterday with a head full of wine, and what you actually once you wake up at seven after a pretty good night’s sleep.

After three glasses I'm totally not judging anyone.

After three glasses I’m totally not judging anyone.

But here it is, ten in the morning, and I have a ton of things to do in the next few hours.  I’ve managed to get the wrinkles out of my clothes using the “hot shower” method, which means you hang your clothing in the bathroom, turn on the hot water in your shower, and let it run for about fifteen minutes, and wrinkles vanish.  There’s something you can do when you’re showering in the morning if you don’t want to waste the water.  After this post I have to get ready, go pay a bill, pick up food for the next few days, and then take a nap before getting into the next chapter.

I made a few changes to the layout last night.  For one I had to adjust some times in the very last chapter, and get those updates into my master time line.  And I added an opening scene to the final chapter of the novel–which, by the way, is close to crossing two hundred and ninety-four thousand words, and Act Three just crossed ninety-one thousand words.  I’ve surprised myself with how far I’ve gotten in a year, and hope I finish up the book before the end of May, because really, I could use the summer off.

Here’s what’s left:

You're gonna see this count down a lot in the next few weeks.

You’re gonna see this count down a lot in the next few weeks.

It’s official:  five chapters remain.  And in these remaining chapters will lay another revelation and a huge cliffhanger–I mean, like a big one.  Get ready for the pain.

But I’ve been up to something else as well besides driving myself crazy with TV recaps this last week–which, by the way, the insanity is over, and I can afford a few breathers that allow me to rock out on the last of Bewitching.  I’ve thought about the next novel–which will have the title C For Continuing in case you were wondering–quite a lot, getting the layout down in my head before committing it to Scrivener.  I need to spend time getting the time line in order and filling it out more.  In particular there’s a scene I’m adding to the timeline that’s going to be, well . . . how do I say this?  Big.

Why am I looking at this map?  No reason.  Why do you ask?

Why am I looking at this map? No reason. Why do you ask?

Last of all I’ve digging on some music that I will use as the background for one of my movie trailers–yes, I’m going to do up a treatment for both Bewitching and Continuing just as I did for Advanced.  I’m pretty sure I know what background music I’ll use in parts of the Bewitching “trailer”, and I know for sure what I’d use for Continuing.  The Bewitching stuff you’ll already know, but for Continuing you’ll actually catch views of things that will happen in the novel before I write them–and some of it will be surprising, and some will be shocking.  I’m certain there’s one where you’ll read it and think, “What the hell is going on?”

Because that’s how I like to roll.

The Final Solo: The Final Shenanigans

New day, new stuff, it’s bright and sunny outside, and I’ve been writing.  You know I would because I told you I would.  And what did I do?  I finished the scene!  Yay for me, right?

Well, I didn’t lose it at the dinner last night, though someone didn’t like my “hula hoop” earrings, so I kinda told them to screw off and moved on.  It’s really the way to do it, ya know?  I also didn’t get blind drunk, so I had a pretty good night’s sleep.  Which is why I was able to focus for the most part and get this all written.

Now . . . I mentioned shenanigans, and that’s what the kids are up to here at the end of Annie’s solo.  So let’s get into that scene, all of what I just wrote, so you can see what they’re up to here on Cape Ann.

 

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

Vicky jaunted to the three-by-three meter platform set atop the center of the Flight School’s room and ran along the railed walkway to the stairs leading to a larger viewing platform set at the north end of the building four meters above the roof. She heard Isis pop in behind her and saw her soar over her head so that she was waiting for her.

The sky was the same solid gray overcast from this morning, but unlike the area where Annie did most of her solo flight it wasn’t raining. Vicky knew the kids were still following Invisibility Flight Sanctions and couldn’t be seen from the ground, but she’d see them if she looked for their auras, which they were so far unable to hide. She scanned the area to the south and spotted them a few seconds later. “There they are.”

Isis saw them peeking in and our of their light bending effect as the approached the south grounds of the school. From better than a kilometer away she heard the faint echos of music. “Christ, he’s blasting that thing.”

“Yeah, no kidding.” Vicky rolled her eyes as they entered the school’s south grounds. “He’s gonna wake the neighbors with that shit.” “Waking the Neighbors” was a euphemism used by the staff and instructors to indicate an activity on school grounds that could become noticeable to the Normal population living outside the school wall.

Both women watched the couple streak across the sky while remaining close to the western wall. Isis shielded her eyes and picked out Annie in the lead with Kerry following close behind. “How high you think they are?”

“Probably seventy, eighty meters.” Vicky saw them pass Sunset Tower and the Instructor’s Residence as they continued northward. “They’re gonna buzz the whole school.”

“Yeah.” Isis began laughing. “Kinda looks that way.” The solo flight slowed as Annie and Kerry circled around Observatory Tower and headed southward. “Recognize the song?”

Where the Streets Have No Name. Kind of appropriate considering where they were this morning.” Vicky sighed as the two spots moving near the east wall turned and flew towards The Pentagram. “Mathilde in her office?”

“She usually is this time of morning. Have breakfast and catch up on morning news and emails before enjoying the weekend.”

“Yeah.” The children slows and dropped lowers, appearing to swerve inside Ceridwen Tower. Vicky shook her head, sighing. “Of course they gotta buzz The Pentagram.”

“Twice.” Isis watched them make a second circuit of The Pentagram before gaining altitude and heading their way. “Mathilde knew Annie was gonna have her last solo today so she shouldn’t be too pissed.”

“Right.” It was only as Annie and Kerry approached Selena’s Meadow that Vicky realized how loud they were: the music seemed to fill the whole of the open space as if there was attending a concert. They dropped to about three meters near the center of the meadow and slowed as they approached the school, coming to a soft landing about ten meters away from the hangar.

The moment Annie was on the ground she threw back the hood of her parka, pulled down her balaclava, and began dancing wildly to the music, bouncing and spinning around with a huge smile on her face. As soon as Kerry was off his broom her joined her, smiling as broadly as he raised his arms and began swaying back and forth.

Vicky and Isis said nothing as the song entered the outro and Kerry kissed Annie as the last lines were sung as the music faded out before they turned and looked upwards to the viewing platform, holding each other tight and still laughing and smiling as they waved.

“You know—” Isis moved a little closer to Vicky as they waved. “This year we’ve taken these two and put them through some incredibly demanding shit, and they push through and make it all work. And you know what we keep forgetting?”

Vicky glanced at Isis. “No, what?”

“That no matter how bad ass these witches are, they’re still kids.” She turned to face the flight instructor. “And from time to time, we gotta let them be kids.”

“That we do.” She nodded slowly. “That we do.”

 

There you have it:  they come flying into the school grounds at high speed, soaring over parts of the Normal world with magic-enhanced computer sound system (Thanks, Isis!), and they do a major flyby/fly over of the school grounds, including buzzing the Instructor’s Residences, the covens, and the Great Hall, just to let everyone know they are back, Jack, and they’ve done more this morning than all the other witches in this joint combined.

Let me tell you, I put more time into developing this scene than I did in writing the sucker.

It really started on my Friday walk into work, when I started getting the song Where the Streets Have No Name stuck in my head.  Mostly because I’d though about Annie flying about in the ocean with nothing to guide her but a heading.  Since I usually find time at work to think about these things–which is to say, most of the time, because my mind is always working–I started wondering about how this might play into the end of the solo flight–

When I got home that night, after dinner and a nap, I started putting it together.  First I had to find a YouTube song that Kerry would use.  He’s got a computer that’s Foundation Powered now, so getting a download or stream fifty klicks out to sea isn’t a problem.  I found the song after a few searches because I never give up on that shit.  Then I started listening and checking times:  I probably went through the song a half-dozen times before I saw the scene laid out in my mind.

But I had to check a few things.  Like knowing how far they’d need to fly before getting into the vocals a minute forty-five seconds after the start of the song while flying three hundred kilometers an hours–the answer is nine kilometers.

Then I needed to know the path they’d take on their flyby, and since I know the layout of the school upon the land that is Cape Ann, I mapped it out:

Only one buzzing of The Pentagram here, but know you know they did two.

Only one buzzing of The Pentagram here, but know you know they did two.

The mark in the lower right-hand corner is where they dropped to eight meters off the ocean surface as the music started.  Why?  ‘Cause they wanted to do something exciting.  You’ll discover in the next scene that on their leg into the school their comms were off for about ninety seconds, and that’s when all the plotting started.  They popped up over the northeast corner of Gloucester then headed over the school wall and up the west wall.  They slowed a little, and since it’s about five kilometers from the south end of the school to the north, there’s another minutes or so killed–

Because you know I know the time.

Because you know I know the time.

This means by the time they loop around Observatory Tower and head back south the song is about half over.  So they speed up, do a couple of quick loops around The Pentagram (Hi, Headmistress!) and finally make their way to the Flight School, where during the last minute of the song Annie decides to let her exuberance break free and starts dancing around, because she’s a thirteen year old girl and, as Isis points out, some times you gotta let bad ass witches be kids.

And after all that Kerry ends the flight by laying a big, tender kiss upon his little cabbage roll as someone croons out “I’ll go there with yooooouuuuu.” as the music fades.  They aren’t thinking about getting in trouble for their little stunt:  they’re home and Annie nailed that final solo flight, so absolutely no shits about the consequences are given.

Seriously, I spent like two and a half hours Friday night figuring this out, and probably went over this scene here and there yesterday to the point where I likely invested another three hours visualizing this to the point where I could totally make a movie out of this part if I knew how to make a movie.  I even had the chance while getting my nails done to explain the entire scene to my manicurist while she worked on my pedicure, because she loves hearing about my little witches, as she calls them.

And lastly, here’s the version of the song Kerry played, taken from the 1993 HBO broadcast of U2 in Sydney, Australia, during the Zoo TV Tour.  And remember, Annie:  wherever you go, Kerry will go there with you.

The Final Solo: Seabrook Seaside

Hello again, and welcome to the story that never seems to end.  I only say that in jest in that I doesn’t seem to end for me, but that’s my own damn fault, right?  Actually, it’s been a productive night and morning, as I polished off four hundred and forty words last night, and another eleven hundred and sixty this morning, which inched the story another sixteen hundred words towards the end and brought another scene to an end.  Given that I wasn’t in much of a writing mood last night, I consider this quite the accomplishment.

Also, I’ve a lot of pictures, because that’s how I am.  It helps where there’s a lot of visuals to help with what’s going on.  And the first I’m going to give you is this:

Looks like the sort of area you'd want to spend the summer.

Looks like the sort of area you’d want to spend the summer.

This is what my kids are right now, just a tick or two north of that state line about a third of the way from the top of the picture.  So if you’re ready for a sixteen hundred word scene, lets get to it, shall we?

 

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

Though the weather at school was reasonable at the time of take off, it began deteriorating just north of Ispwich, and by the time Annie reached Newburyport and crossed the mouth of the Merrimack River at four hundred and fifty meters the temperature lay hovering around two Celsius, the wind was steady out of the northwest at close to thirty kilometers an hour, and there was a light rain that reduced visibility and cut the view to the horizon by about a third.

The closer she got to Seabrook, the more Annie became convinced that Vicky and Isis had Harpreet’s weather forecasting abilities to find the one day that was going to be bad without being too bad.

The rain didn’t bother her: the parka was waterproof and there was no possibility of it becoming soaked even in the worst weather. She was concerned with atmospheric conditions deteriorating further—though perhaps that was the plan. Vicky stated before they left the school that she’d fly visual flight rules all the way to Seabrook, after which, as the flight instructor stated, “further instructions would be forthcoming.” Considering that Annie believed her two trainer/instructors were aware the weather would be marginal today, maybe she wasn’t supposed to use VFR after their next objective.

Her Band indicated she was closing in on Seabrook Beach, so she slowed and began scanning inland for her last known objective: the Seabrook nuclear power plant. While her Band was slighted “detuned” for this flight, making it impossible to pick out individual buildings as she’d done during her night solo flight into Boston, Vicky told her to look for two domes about two klicks inland from Hampton Harbor—

She came to a stop and looked around. The Atlantic looked a little over a kilometer to her right, and the bridge a kilometer and a half away had to be Route 1A crossing the Hampton Harbor inlet. In her ten o’clock position she spotted a group of buildings nearly two and a quarter kilometers away, and while she wasn’t certain the tall structure on the left was domed, she was absolutely certain the larger one on the right was . . .

She turned to Kerry, who was allowed to answer questions without being specific. “Does that look like a nuclear power plant to you?”

He raised his flight goggles and squinted into the growing mist. “That looks like a containment dome to me.” Kerry slipped the goggles back over his glasses and adjusted them so they sat comfortably once more. “I’d say you found your objective.”

Annie grinned. “Let’s slip over there and call in, then.”

She quickly covered the two kilometers to the station and took up a position between the two cylindrical, domed buildings. Annie was slightly puzzled by the fact that the building to her right appeared finished and usable, while the one to her left looked as if it were under construction. “Are they working on the one down there?”

Before Kerry could venture a guess Vicky came on the comm line. “That building is the containment dome for Seabrook #2, which was never completed. If you notice all of the buildings around that dome are unfinished.”

Kerry nodded. “She’s right.”

 

Of course she is, because I do my research.  Here’s the area Salem Final Solo is floating over–

Yeah, it looks pretty much like Vicky described, doesn't it.

Yeah, it looks pretty much like Vicky described, doesn’t it.

Unit 1–the dome on the right that’s all nice and gray and solid-looking–was completed in 1986 and went online at full power in 1990.  Unit 2–the silvery looking dome on the left–was supposed to go online about the same time, but it was canceled in 1988 while only about a quarter finished, and whatever equipment had been installed was stripped from the buildings and sold to other plants.

In story terms Annie and Kerry are sitting a few hundred meters up right between the two units, probably breaking lots of laws in the process, but since they’re totally in stealth mode no one sees them.  Also, being a couple of witchy witches working for the fantastic Foundation, they could likely land on top of Unit 1 and dance a jig and no one could do a damn thing to them short of yell up, “Hey, you kids, get off my nuclear reactor!”  Being Aware has it’s perks.

With the kids in place that means they’d done what they’ve needed to do up to this point, save for a few things–

 

“Needless to say.” Annie smiled as she spun around to face Kerry. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Final Solo. As you’ve probably guessed, we are in position over Objective Four and my chase is in the process of documenting our arrival as we speak. Over.”

Kerry finished snapping a picture of the nuclear plant below before turning the phone on Annie. “Give us a smile, luv.” Annie obliged, throwing one hand behind her head in a mock pose.

Vicky’s chuckle seemed loud in their ears. “Salem Final Solo, this is Flight Deck. We confirm your position over Seabrook Station. We’re gonna go dark on this end and let you rest for five minutes before we continue with the flight. Any questions? Over.”

Annie exchanged head shakes with Kerry. “None on this end, Flight Deck. Over.”

“Okay, then. We’ll see you in five. Over and out.” The comms went dead as Vicky terminated communications on their end.

Annie looked off to her right, examining the area they’d previously covered, before turning to Kerry. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m good.” He pulled down the balaclava but left his goggles in place so his glasses wouldn’t get wet. “Considering it’s crappy and rainy, I’m not too bad. How about you?”

“Much the same.” Annie exposed her face, setting her goggles atop her head. “I have a feeling the weather is going to remain this way for a while.”

“Yeah.” Kerry set back on his broom and let his arms dangle at his sides. “Where do you think we’re headed next?”

“Well . . .” She spun slowly in place, examining her options. While accepting that her flight was sent north so that she’d experience this weather, she hadn’t given any thought to her next objective.

“We’re not far from the mountains, are we?”

“Not really.” He pointed off to the northwest. “The southern part of the White Mountains are about a hundred an twenty kilometers off that way. We flew through those on our second and third overnight flights, and the last time we did it through some snow—” Kerry shook his head. “If it’s raining like this there’s gonna be a lot of mist, and that’s gonna make visual flying a pain in the butt.”

“I believe that’s the idea.” Annie floated closer to Kerry. “Vicky made a point of stressing visual flight rules up to this point. I suspect Isis and she want me to start reaching my objectives using instrument flight rules now.”

Kerry pressed his index finger against his pursed lips. “Yeah, that makes sense. You haven’t done that in a solo flight test yet, and this kind of weather would pretty much require you to use IFRs.” He set his hands in his lap and sighed. “Getting up there, doing some flying around, and then flying back at high speed—that’s four hundred klicks easily.”

Annie moved so she was at Kerry’s left side facing the same direction. “Any chance we would hit a mountain?”

“I don’t think so: the HUDs have collision avoidance turned on, so if we got too close to something big, it’d let us know before we plowed into it at a few hundred kilometers an hour.”

“That’s comforting.” She leaned in and kissed Kerry on the cheek. “You wouldn’t allow that to happen.”

“Nope.” He blushed furiously. “That’s why I’m a good chase.”

“And a good husband.” A burst of white noise told Annie the comms were active once more. “Get ready—”

 

It’s cold, rainy, and misty.  And there’s a possibility they’re heading into the White Mountains, thought Annie likely doesn’t think much of the mountains around that area given she lives in the middle of some real mountains.  Then again, she’s not done a lot of flying around her mountains in bad weather, so it really doesn’t matter if she thinks the mountains in New Hampshire are rubbish or not, smacking into a rubbish peak at a hundred and sixty kilometers an hour will kill you just as quickly as slamming into one of the great peak around her home.  Dead is dead, no matter how it happens.

However, Vicky has something else in mind–

 

“Salem Final Solo, this is Flight Deck.” Vicky’s tone turned slightly humorous. “I hope you’re feeling relaxed and comfortable. Over.”

Annie snorted. “About as relaxed and comfortable as you might expect given the weather, Flight Deck.” She glanced over at Kerry. “I take it this weather was expected. Over.”

“Yes, it was, Athena. That’s because—” Vicky paused for just a moment. “We’re about to start you on the instrument flight rules portion of the test. Over.”

“I’m not surprised, Flick Deck.” She winked at Kerry, who winked back. “Salem Final Solo is ready to begin. Over.”

“Good deal, Salem Final Solo. All right, then, since you’re ready to fly, then let’s get you started.” Vicky’s tone turned serious. “Set your course heading to sixty-six degrees—repeat, zero-six-six degrees. Your next objected is twenty-one point six kilometers distant, so I would expect you to get there in less that five minutes. Do you copy? Over.”

Annie read the look on Kerry’s face the moment Vicky called out the course heading, and she realized it was likely the same look had passed over her face at the same moment. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Final Solo. The heading you gave—” She rotated slowly until she was facing the New Hampshire coast line. “That takes us out over the Atlantic. Is that correct? Over.”

Vicky responded immediately. “You read correct, Salem Final Solo. Your objective is Cedar Island in the Isles of Shoals. Please confirm. Over.”

“I copy, Flight Deck. Please stand by.” She looked at Kerry. “I didn’t expect that one.”

“I didn’t, either.” He pulled his broom around to his right and slid into position so Annie was once more on his left. “Over water travel. That’s sort of a new one.”

“I’ve crossed Salem Sound; this shouldn’t be that bad.” She squinted out into the rainy mist. “Nothing but gray out there.”

“And it’s probably going to remain that way until we’re a couple of klicks away.” He chuckled. “That’s why she gave is a distance: if we know it’ll only take five minutes to get there, and we fly for ten, then we’ve missed the island.”

“Makes perfect sense.” She reflectively placed her right hand next to her ear as if it would help her hear better. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Final Solo. We’re ready to proceed. Over.”

With her instructions given Vicky sounded far more upbeat when she spoke. “Roger, Salem Final Solo. You may proceed at your discretion. See you in a few minutes. Over and out.”

Annie began floating forward as Kerry and she pulled their balaclavas back into place. She glanced over her shoulder as her chase took up his place a few meters behind and to her right. “One good thing about going in this direction—”

Kerry slowly followed. “What’s that?”

She twisted her head slightly to one side. “There’s nothing to run into out there.”

 

So instead of heading inland, the kids are heading out to sea.

Though it's not that far out to sea--see?

Though it’s not that far out to sea–see?

Now, one last thing:  once of the things I needed to figure out for the upcoming sections of the story is how to figure out headings on Google Maps, since if Annie’s doing instrument flight rules, it’d be nice to know if I’m really sending her off in the right direction and not just pulling numbers out of my butt and hoping no one goes, “Hey, you’re going to wrong way!”  Because no one has ever done that, right?

Fortunately for me I found a site that allows you to overlay a compass on to Google Maps and figure out if my directions are at least close to right.  Having all ready figured out Annie’s course, I needed to bring up this other site, determine her start and end points for each leg, and chart the heading by pulling the compass line over the objective.  As you see in the image below, there’s a heading number in the upper right hand corner of the display, and that allows me to know what course to set for Annie.

Not quite as easy charting everything out on an pilot's map, but for what I'm doing it works.

Not quite as easy charting everything out on a pilot’s map, but for what I’m doing it works.

And there you have it:  I’ve gotten her to points north, and now–

Well, you’ll have to see where she goes from here.

Once More Unto the Curtain: The Last Secret Kinda Explained

First off, Happy St. Pat’s Day, or as we called it in Chicago, “Drunk Teenager Day”, back when all the suburban kids would take the train into the city and booze up at any number of beer tent set up around The Loop, and drink until they were laying face down, literally, in a gutter.  I’ve seen this many a time, but few of those memories are fond.  Also, I’m sure the Chicago River is a bright green this morning, as opposed to the dark, murky green that is it’s normal color.

But there be other business we be handlin’ this morning, right?  Yur damn tootin’!  Humm . . . not sure if that’s Irish or more a Fargo-like accent.  No time to worry about that.  Erin Go Braless, as Kerry would say–

It appears that despite hacking up part of a lung last night, I finished the first scene of Chapter Twenty-nine:

Image of hacked-up lung not included.

Image of hacked-up lung not included.

This was all after I spent about an hour and a half working on my time lines, mostly redoing on and making modifications to another.  All a bunch of future planing, including a major change to one of my lines for the purpose of throwing in something that I know Annie would want, and that she alone would likely know.  As Collective Soul might sing, I’ve still got a long way to run.

Now you’ll see a time line, but not until after the excerpt.  And because this is right around six hundred and eighty words, you get it all.  And this picks up right after Erywin’s exclamation, which means . . .

 

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

“Yes, they do.” Deanna turned towards her fellow instructors and staff. “As Coraline knows I found Annie’s explanation of how she heard Kerry’s screams during the night somewhat suspect, so a while after I left the hospital and strode into the astral realm. It took about a minute of examination before I realized their lifelines weren’t visible, and after a bit of searching—” She nodded in the couple’s direction. “I found the bonding.”

Jessica’s aura shifted through a number of colors as it was evident she was having difficulty believing what she heard and saw. “Why didn’t you say something about this during our meeting?”

Deanna shrugged. “It wasn’t relevant. It is now, however.” She turned back to face Annie. “Like you said, you’re not going anywhere—and this confirms your statement.”

While Annie was apparently adjusting quickly to this new development, Kerry—rocked throughout the last thirty minutes with a number of incredible reveals—was now trying to process this latest. “What does this mean?”

The look in Annie’s eyes seemed to indicate a moment of sudden clarity. “It means we’re connected.”

“She’s right.” Deanna slowly approached them, her aura showing her feeling of intense curiosity. “I imagine this is why you share a dreamspace, and why you’ve been able to visit each other in your dreams without having to actually used magic to make the walk.” She gentle ran her right index finger over her lower lip. “I believe this is how Annie was able to hear you screaming: it didn’t come from your room, it came from your dreamspace, and filtered up through your shared space into hers.

“The reality is, as Annie says, you’re connected. You’re lifelines are fused—it likely occurred immediately after your birth, Kerry. The point is, you’re linked through the same element that allows you to draw magical energy, and this is why when you are close together your auras merge.” She shook her head. “I should have seen this earlier. Do me a favor, please?” Both children perked up.  “Turn so you’re facing away from me.”

Annie and Kerry turned so their backs were to Deanna and the rest of the room. The seer looked to her right at the astonished women. “See?”

“Damn.” Coraline stepped up next to her fellow counselor. “So that’s why.”

Kerry half turned to his right so he could see everyone. “Why what?”

“My love—” Annie nodded towards the space between them. “Look.”

Kerry promptly noticed what Annie, and the others, could see. His lifeline progressed down through his left arm and out his hand before arcing over to Annie’s right hand and making its way up through her right arm. He slowly spun to his right and reached out with his left hand as Annie turned towards him, holding out her right hand. They held hands and he saw how their lifelines moved from one hand to the other. “Wow.”

“That’s what Coraline meant—” Annie gave her a knowing grin. “Why we always walked right hand in left. Yes?”

The doctor nodded. “It follows the natural line of your dominate hands.  That’s not a coincidence.”

Deanna shook her head.  “It’s not.”

Annie turned to Kerry and smile. “This means we truly are soul mates.”

“It kinda looks that way.” He turned to Deanna. “How long are we going to be like this?”

Deanna seemed nearly confounded by the question. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, no one else is like us—” He used his right hand to motion around the room. “How long is this gonna . . .”

Annie’s stare stopped his question in mid-sentence, but it was left for Deanna to make certain he understood completely. “It’s always going to be this way. You’re lifeline is a part of you from the moment you’re born until the day you are no longer part of the physical realm—

“This bonding you share: it’s the same way. For this lifeline between you will only break upon the end of one, or both, of you.

“You’ll remain bonded together until the day you die.”

 

When they say “lifelines” they aren’t kidding.  Deanna knows what she’s talking about, and when she says, “Until the day you die,” she means it.

Now, a little bit of history here.  As with Kerry’s sudden “change of life”, I’ve known of this event for a while as well.  I first started putting it together during the summer of 2012, but it was during the July, 2013 Camp Nano, where I wrote The Foundation prequel novel The Scouring, that this finally took hold.  That novel showed Jessica, Erywin, and a few others, reacting to the April, 2000, Deconstructor attack on the school, and it was in that same novel that I first wrote about Isis, Wednesday, and Deanna, who were only students at the time, but who still did their part to defend their alma mater.

There was a scene, however, the penultimate scene, actually, and that scene has been read only by myself and one other person.  I sent that scene off with the message:  “This is why Annie and Kerry will always be together,” and when that person finally got around to reading what I’d sent, I was told they’d actually read the scene several times over a couple of days, because reading it made them happy.

That scene is hidden away, and perhaps I’ll let it out one day.  But . . . it’s there, almost three years ago now, that I showed something incredible happening.  I’ve even got it down on a time line–just as I have all of the dreams and events during the B Level that has brought us here–

You don't know how long I've waited to put this out.  A long "time", you might say.

You don’t know how long I’ve waited to put this out. A long “time”, you might say.

There I have it:  all of Kerry’s dreams laid out, and then down in the lower right, the events that are occurring now.  And just like these moments, I have others laid out for the C Levels that are approaching.

But all of this leads back to a moment where my two kids found themselves bound at the heart–pretty literally as well, I must say.

Now comes the time when the full realization of that moment hits them both right over the head . . .

On Beyond B

Let’s just cut the BS right here and now:  nothing got written last night.  I was in a bit of a funk after getting out of work–combo cold and long, boring day did that–so I stopped off for dinner and a couple of glasses of really great wine.  Once home I kicked off my boots and then sort of dozed off and on for maybe ninety minutes, after which time I was sitting around feeling kind of fuzzy in the head.  Then when I was finally awake and fairly coherent, Rachel contacted me and said the latest Walking Dead recap was up, I could go add my two cents, so I did.

This means by the time I was ready to write, it was like nine forty-five, and Better Call Saul was coming on at ten, and there was no way I was going to get anything written in fifteen minutes.

"Maybe if I set up a time warp around the computer like Kerry can do?  Would that help?"

“Maybe if I set up a time warp around the computer like Kerry can do? Would that help?”

That means I’ll have to get to everything I was going to write last night tonight.  And I should get it done.  Should.  Actually I want to, because it’s getting close to the end and I need to get this sucker out of the way so I can move on to the rest of the story.  And put Salem behind my kids.  And get them home.  And allow Kerry his moment of truth alone with his parents.

And then really figure out what I’m going to do after that.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve started putting together scenes that I know will go in the D Level novel, and I need to add those to my time line, as well as add things to the E and F Level areas.  Then I need to figure out how certain scenes I’ve already developed are going to work.  And then . . .

Well, eventually I’ll probably write those things down.  The chances are good, however, that I’ll never excerpt those stories.

I considered my writing things last night while walking home, and I find I’m left wanting.  I do a lot of writing, but I don’t do anything with it after it’s written.  It’s all just sort of sitting there waiting for something to happen.  Unfortunately, that something is dependent on me getting off my ass and making it happen.  And of late I’ve done nothing but a lot of sitting.

Right now I’m seriously going back and forth on whether or not I want to show excerpts from the novels following B For Bewitching.  I mean, I’ve already laid out a couple of large surprises, and there’s at least two more to come in this novel.  And when I’m finished with this novel, if someone wants to go back through a little more than a year’s worth of blog posts, they can pretty much read the novel, along with my sometimes-interesting interjections.

Should I keep doing that?  Because it’s also an exhausting thing to write at night, then turn around and prepare for blogging in the morning.  Somewhere along the line I need a break, and a decision about what I should do is needed one of the days.

Right now, I need to get ready for work.

‘Cause I don’t do magic for a living; I only write about it in my spare time.