He Blinded Me With Time Science!

All sorts of writing yesterday followed by all sorts of political stuff.  It was a busy day and it feels like the week is slowing up a bit, which is good.

Now, tonight I’m going to try and finish up Chapter Ten.  I really, really, really believe I have a few hundred words left and that will allow me to get into the next chapter, which I’m eager to do ’cause Chapter Eleven, besides being one more, is gonna be fun.  Trust me.

Now we get into time.  And time is–well, it’s not what you think.  In fact, you can do some interesting things with it…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Okay, great. Let me get set.” For a few moments Kerry appeared to be measuring out a cube of space maybe a half meter on each side. As soon as he dropped his hands to his sides the faint outlines of the floating cube became visible. “What I did here was create a confined space where the time inside is moving twenty-five times slower than us. That means for every twenty-five seconds we experience, only one second passes inside this area.” He kept at least a meter from the cube as he addressed the class. “And one of the reasons you’re just able to make it out is because light is being slowed as it passes through this field, and while it’s pretty insignificant in relationship to how fast light travels, the difference is just enough to give it this ghostly outline.

“Now, were going to do a little experiment here to show you what happens when you set up a field like this and then attempt to interact with it from outside in the Normal world.” Kerry took two steps back from his floating cube time field and nodded at Wednesday. “Go ahead, toss it.”

Wednesday grabbed a tennis ball from the box and gave it a fairly quick underhand lob toward the field. It hit the field and appeared to freeze in midair, but it became quickly apparent that something else was happening.

As the ball slipped excruciatingly slow into the field the opposite end of the ball compressed slightly, as if the ball had struck a wall. But instead of bouncing back it continued forward and it’s now snail pace, to the compressed part of the ball appeared as if it were rebounding away. Seconds later the ball’s yellow fuzz located at the time field interface quickly darkened and began smoking before bursting outward from the cube in a massive eruption of fire. Within five seconds all of the ball outside the time field was engulfed in flames that were nearly a meter in diameter.

 

Great ball of fire!  Yeah, you didn’t get flaming tennis balls at Hogwarts–hell, half the students didn’t know what a tennis ball was.  Now there is a reason for this happening, and that’s where that science I keep promising comes in.  You have been warned and I’m proceeding.

 

Kerry waited for the flames to die down a bit before addressing the class. “What happened here is a simple matter of Normal physics encountering Aware time manipulation. Before everyone got here I had Wednesday toss a couple of tennis balls across the room so I could get an idea of how fast she could throw one. What you saw was a toss that would allow the ball to cover five meters in about a quarter of a second, which works out to around seventy kilometers an hour.

“If you were watching you saw the ball hit the cube and try to rebound, but it couldn’t because it’s still technically moving forward.” He pointed at the still moving ball which was now about a quarter of the way into the time field. “Normally, if it had hit a solid wall, kinetic energy would’ve caused it to fly back towards Wednesday. But that couldn’t happen because the ball itself is still traveling forward, albeit at a much slower speed. Yet, all this kinetic energy that’s built up around the tennis ball wants to go somewhere because science in the Physical Realm says there has to be some sort of energy transference, and nature will make that happen.

“And that’s why the tennis ball burst into flames. It was going about seventy kilometers an hour and weighs about sixty grams, so the amount of energy it produced when it was trying to go forward and backwards at the same time was—” Kerry pulled out his phone and looked at something on the screen. “1.2 times 10 to the eighth power ergs. I looked up an energy equivalent for that and it works out to the same amount of energy you would get instantly burning five liters of gasoline.” He pulled on his lower lip for a few seconds. “It’s also equivalent to the amount of energy released by detonating twenty-eight kilograms of TNT.”

 

Allow me to point out that I did my research and found that the weight of a tennis ball is indeed sixty grams, and an underhand lob can make a ball travel fifteen feet in a quarter of a second:  the actual velocity I calculated was 72 kph, which is only 45 mph.  And then I run it through a calculator and came up with the number that Kerry indicated.  A little more investigation proved that, yes, I had a shit load of kinetic energy going off in that room.  Which means if there had been the possibility of it all going off at once, it would have been bad–

 

 

He let everyone have a few moments to comprehend what he had just said. He knew what Annie’s reaction was going to be as she had been present when he was working out the Normal physics with Wednesday. But for everyone else this was something they hadn’t expected when they were told the week before they’d be working on time spells tonight.

It was Rivânia who finally broke the silence. “Holy hell, that would take out most of this part of the building.”

Nadine’s eyes widened as the shocked look on her face faded. “No shit, man. That would fucking kill us all.” She turned toward Wednesday. “That’s why we’ve got all the safety enchantments in place, isn’t it? They would’ve kept us from dying. Right?”

Wednesday nodded. “If there had been any chance of an explosion the safety enchantments would’ve thrown us all into stasis and automatically jaunted the source of the explosion into the quarry to the north of the Witch House. As it was, Kerry and I reviewed the possibility of an explosion before going ahead with this experiment and determined that the threat was minimal.” She turned to Kerry and nodded once in his direction. “You may continue.”

 

Now you know:  if there is anything like an explosion going off safety enchantments lock down time for every one–when you’re in stasis no time passes, so you can’t be hurt–and the explosion is sent to the north quarry, which is an old quarry from which marble was taken and is now full of water, which does well for containing explosions.  It’s also where the Green, Blue, and Red Lines pass and give those courses a name for their appropriate segments.

I imagine an explosion going off while people are racing by would add a touch of excitement.

So there’s the science I promised–but wait!  There’s More!  Really, there’s more.

‘Cause Kerry’s teaching and he has things to say…

Visualizing the Unseeable Flow

Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve been hard at work since about six this morning.  Yesterday I bought a program that will allow me to do videos of what is on my computer screen while I’m working, so this means that video I’ve wanted to do on Dragon will become that much easier to create and put up on the blog.  You can expect to see that sometime soon–and you going to get a little treat along with that, because I’m actually going to write in the novel as I’m demonstrating Dragon.  Call it spoilers if you will.

Speaking of the novel and the current scene… When I said during the yesterday’s video that I expected to current scene run maybe two thousand words or so, I lied.  I’m already past two thousand words and I’m now expecting it to run maybe another thousand before I’m finished. I also checked the timeline on Chapter Ten for the novel and found that I started five weeks ago, back in the middle of February.  Based on these dates, it’s likely this is the longest I’ve worked on a chapter in any of these three novels.

In Friday’s post we had Kerry getting ready to teach Advanced Spells all about time.  Well, he’s up in front of the class having a few last thoughts…

 

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

 

He rolled his eyes as he faced his audience. On his far left sat the two new B Levels, Naomi and Subhan. To Subhan’s left sat Pang, and on his left was Kerry’s empty chair. Though Naomi had the option to cluster herself with the rest of the girls, she stated that she felt more comfortable sitting with someone from her own level.

To the left of his empty chair sat Annie, looking at him with friendly intensity. Nadine sat next to her, and to the ginger girls left sat Regina and Serafina respectively. Kerry knew he didn’t have to worry about any of these girls, though last year Serafina made it known that she wasn’t all that interested in time spells and he half expected her to ignore him for most of this class.

 

What Kerry is doing is very similar to something I used to do when I taught. Yes, way back in the early 1980s I actually taught computer classes. Let me tell you, it can be a bit intimidating getting up in front of a bunch of students who are looking to you for the answers–or who really don’t give a shit if you have anything to say.  And I was far older than Kerry at the time, so you can imagine how he’s feeling.

Fortunately, he knows most everybody there, so getting started doesn’t seem to be much of a problem–

 

He stared at the floor in front of his empty seat for a few moments before looking up. “I find time to be an interesting concept. Not just from the point of view of someone who enjoys reading stories about time travel and time manipulation, but also from the point of view of someone who has come to somewhat understand how it can be manipulated.” A smile crossed his face as he scanned his fellow classmates. “Also, given how long all of us will live, I guess you could say we’re already cheating time before we even learn how to cheat time.

“What makes time spells so tricky, at least to my way of thinking, is that it’s difficult to visualize how to craft the spells necessary to pull off various effects. I mean, it’s difficult enough for some people to pull off what we now consider simple spells and even some of us have trouble with crafting the more difficult spells due to their concepts, so it’s not completely out of the question that understanding time is going to be an easy thing.

“As all of us now know, time is not always a simple progression of cause to affect—and, no: I’m not going to tell you what I think it is because all of you’ve already heard my explanation.” He flashed a quick smile around the room at the relieved looks of students who didn’t want to hear about timey whimy balls of stuff. “Though right now I know how to accelerate and slow down time, I’m not quite as good as those witches who have actually learned how to stop and reverse it. But, I think slowing it down and speeding it up are more important to us right now.

“One of the really interesting things about time spells is that they can have an introvert effect on objects in physical space—and those effects can be harmful. Let me show you something.” He turned towards Wednesday. “You ready to be my handy assistant?”

Wednesday conjured a small box of yellow tennis balls that popped into existence near her right waist and floated alongside. “I’m all set, Teach.”

 

I’m sure there was a point in Kerry’s life where he was lying on his bed in his dorm in the coven tower, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Man, all those years of watching Doctor Who have finally paid off.”  Though it probably wasn’t just this show they got them started on the concepts of working with and bending time; I’m sure he got a bit of an education reading ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein, a story he wrote in one day on 11 July, 1958.  That story, along with another, By His Bootstraps, were full of quirky paradoxes which shouldn’t happen, but did within the stories.  Heinlein love playing with time paradoxes, and these two create some of the most fantastic paradoxes ever.

And in terms of how time can be affected at the School of Salem, these are likely paradoxes that one would not want to have happen to them.  Helena learned the hard way that one needs to avoid paradoxes, and through geek culture Kerry is probably quite aware of how poorly things turn out when you go back in time to inform your past self of something they should or shouldn’t do.  It’s quite likely he knows that playing with time that way is quite similar to what happens when you try to manipulate the present to either bring about or prevent a future vision you’ve had.  As Dan has pointed out, without a frame of reference from which to work, it’s highly likely that whatever you are setting out to do will never happen.

Now, comes the obligatory warning: the excerpt you get tomorrow is going to be full of science.  Sure, there’s magic, but sometimes that magic comes with a sprinkling of science–

So says the writer who has a girl who can fly.

And Filling in Today Is…

Believe it or not, I finally finished the penultimate scene.

Really, I’m not making this up.

Last two nights saw about thirteen hundred words written, which was just enough to put the finishing touches on one of my longer scenes–one that I thought was going to keep going on and on and on.  Some scenes are like that, you know: you don’t expect him to last that long, but before you know it is spending the better part of a week getting everything done.

This means that tonight I can start final scene in this chapter, which I think I have a good idea of how that particular scene will proceed.  Or maybe I don’t.  I suppose I won’t really know until you sit down and begin writing–which these days involves putting on a headset and talking everything out.

Now, you’re probably wondering about the title of this blog post.  I know it can be a bit confusing, but trust me: a clear up the confusion rather quickly.  Like, it’ll be cleared up in the first paragraph–

 

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

 

Wednesday pace back and forth a few times deep in concentration, the soles of her Doc Martins making not a sound. “As I said, I’m not a fan of time spells but I know how to use them. However, we do have two students were rather good with them, and one of them is downright masterful. If none of you object, I’d like to have Kerry perform a few practical applications for us and explain how he is able to pull off some of his crafting.” She stopped and glanced from one student to the next. “Anyone have any issues with that?”

There were a few seconds of silence before Nadine Woodley crossed her legs and readjusted her short skirt as she got comfortable in her chair. “We all know Kerry knows this shit the best and Annie’s right behind him—” She looked across the semi circle at the two B Level students. “Well, maybe they don’t know, but they soon will.” She drew in a long breath as she dropped her shoulders. “I got no problem.”

“I don’t have a problem, either.” Rivânia Suassuna nodded as she looked at Nadine. “The majority of us have been in this class long enough to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t mind learning from someone whose knowledge in a particular type of magic is better than mine.”

Wednesday didn’t expect push back from the two girls who were generally regarded as being the leaders of this class. If they say they’re fine with the situation, the others will follow their lead. After a few more seconds of silence she acknowledged the will of the class. “Very well, then.” She motioned that Kerry. “Come on up here.”

 

It probably didn’t hurt Kerry’s chances of acceptance and that the two girls who vouch for his abilities are also team captains of their respective coven’s race teams, as well as being friends with both Annie and him.  Though Nadine is rather outspoken and if she thought Kerry sucked with the spells, she’d say so.

But we know Kerry is good with time spells, because we been hearing about it here and there throughout the last hundred and forty-three thousand words of this novel.  So it makes sense that the instructor who teaches advanced spells would have someone who’s more advanced in their advanced spells than her to come up and show the rest of the class how it’s done.

Which, if you think about it, can be a bit intimidating…

 

Kerry was a bit self-conscious about getting up in front of the class. It wasn’t that he had been in from of this particular class before: it hadn’t been unusual over the last two school years for everyone to perform a spell or two in front of the rest of the class. He also wasn’t that put off at the idea of offering instruction to other students—after all, Annie and he were minions in both sorcery and Wednesday’s other spells classes as well as coming into Transformation and Formulistic Magic classes. Since they were often asked for assistance during lab sessions, it wasn’t uncommon to show one or more students how to make a spell work correctly.

But this time the situation was a little different. This wasn’t lab work in the actual sense: Wednesday had told Kerry Monday during lunch that she wanted him to actually lead the class in the discussion on time spells, as he had a far better grasp of them than she—

She was asking him to teach.

That didn’t scare him. He taught Annie what he’d learned in Advanced Transformation and had to give a report on their time together to Helena every week. But teaching Annie and private was one thing and having to get up in front of class and do the same thing Wednesday did–that was a completely different matter. It meant going from a relaxed, private environment with Annie to being out in front of everyone here in the Spells Center.

His hesitation must have shown because Wednesday placed a hand on his shoulder before he had a chance to turn and face the class and spoke in a near whisper. “You gonna be okay with this?”

He nodded slowly. “I’ll be okay. It’s just that—” Kerry wanted to turn around and look at Annie, knew that would be a bad move as it might because the other students to doubt his abilities. “It’s a little intimidating doing this, isn’t it?”

“It is, just a bit.” Wednesday’s grin was slight yet knowing. “First time I got in front of a class one of the students asked when the teacher was coming. Not too embarrassing a way to start off.” She leaned in slightly so that this time she was able to whisper. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

Kerry looked off to his left as he nodded. “Naw, I got this.”

Wednesday’s smile flashed into a full grin. “All right, then.” She stepped away from Kerry and headed off to his right. “Take it away, Doctor.”

 

It isn’t difficult to imagine Wednesday stepping up in front of her first class and being asked by students about when the instructor will appear, since Wednesday still comes off looking like a student from time to time.  Which is in her youthful appearances. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.

While Kerry is pretty comfortable teaching Annie, he still has some trepidation about getting up in front of a class full of students.  But this is a small class where everyone is pretty much intimately entangled with one another and that makes the process of teaching easy, so Kerry shouldn’t have any issues.

If he did, I wouldn’t have another four thousand words from the scene to offer–

Time Be Time

So here we are, back where we should be.  Or lease where I should be.  And at long last, you’ve caught up to the same scene I’m working on.  Though, if I’m able to get in an hour or two of writing tonight, that won’t last too long because I nearly finished the scene last night.  I only stopped because it was getting tired and I needed to do a few things before going to bed.

Today’s excerpt brings us to Advanced Spells, Wednesday’s class on Wednesday nights.  Believe it or not, I’m still a little proud of the whole “Wednesdays with Wednesday” saying I put together back in the first novel, and this is the first time we visited her class since then.  We don’t get into classes all that much, simply because the story isn’t about just learning magic and slinging spells: it’s about a couple of interesting kids who happened to be witches.  But every once in a while you get to find out what they’re doing in class, and this group of excerpts that have been running for a few weeks show just that.

Since we’ve had the opportunity to see what’s going on in some of the other classes, it’s only fair that we get to see a special night in Advanced Spells.

 

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

 

“Time: what is it?” Wednesday Douglas looked around the semi circle of students who made up her Advanced Spells class. “There are some who would say it’s a river; there are some that say it’s a stream from which we can never escape. There are some who say it is a logical progression of cause to effect, though there are few of us here who know that’s not true.” She winked at Kerry as a way of keeping him from saying what she knew he was going to say and replied to her comment.

Wednesday love the expressions on the faces of her students. It seemed to be divided halfway between those who understood the concept completely and were comfortable in their understanding of time, and those who seemed utterly confused by what they were about to discuss and do next, particularly when it came to her two new students.

Though her Advanced Spells class had remained static the previous year, this year saw a couple of changes. For one Hasumati Choughury, one of two Blodeuwedd students, graduated and moved on to her year of Real Life Experience. Though she was usually quiet, Hasumati had been one of her most attentive and had usually been among the first of her students to work out and master a spell.

But she offset this loss with the addition of two new students. The first was Naomi Rohner, an Åsgårdsreia coven girl from Switzerland who was short, blonde, spoke French and German fluently, and asked a lot of questions during Beginning Spells. The second was Subhan Najafi, a quiet yet intense boy from Pakistan who was a member of Mórrígan coven. Though he’d experienced some initial difficulty finding himself surrounded by so many people from all parts of the world, by the end of his first month he become completely at ease with who he was and where he was receiving instruction.

Her two new students where the ones who seemed the most confused by her opening remarks, though Serafina, her remaining Blodeuwedd student, also seemed a little confused, which wasn’t surprising since Serafina seem to have a bit of an issue with time in general. Which was likely why their past work in the upcoming spell casting had always given her something of a problem…

 

Yah gotta keep Kerry from answering the question “What is Time?” because, by now, everyone in the damn school probably knows what he’s going to say.  Wednesday sure did and cut him off before a single word slipped from his mouth.

The classes are changing, too.  We’ve seen a student graduate and leave Formulistic Magic and now we have someone who’s done the same here.  But two new students have entered the fold and just as Annie and Kerry did when they were nearly brand new A Levels, they are feeling a bit intimidated by the older kids.  Give it another month and they’ll not have a problem.  Or they’ll have burned the joint down.  Either one is possible.

What is it about time that bothers witches?  Let’s find out–

 

Finished with her dramatic pause, Wednesday continued. “All of us here know that time is far more complicated and far more simpler than that. All of us have worked with time spells in this class—with varying degrees of success, I might say.” She smiled at Serafina, who rolled her eyes in response. “There are even some witches who are in possession of the Jump Gift, and are actually able to make small movements up and down the timeline.” She half smiled as she shrugged. “I’ve read about what happens to these people if they make a mistake with their gift, and the results are not pretty.

“That’s because time is a rather unforgiving element of reality. Everyone here has experienced a mild version of Backlash whenever they weren’t precise enough in their crafting. For those witches were adept at manipulating time, even the smallest miscalculation in their crafting can result in some rather horrendous Backlash. There was an old ad on American television that said ‘It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature’. That’s so true, ’cause when it comes to a screw-up in time, Mother Nature can be a rather foul bitch.

“Now, the sort of Backlash were talking about here occurs were trying to do major disruptions in the time stream. However, you’ve all dealt with what we would consider minor disruptions of the time stream—like when we set up enchantments to produce time variations inside closed rooms. All the lower-level coven kitchens have them and some of the study rooms and labs have them as well, so we know, if done right, there are no dangers and playing with time.

“What we are dealing with tonight are individual time spells, the kind that we can use to assist us in everyday tasks, or to help us out where we need something extra when crafting our spells.” Wednesday ignored the pained looks from Serafina and Chunghee Pang, her Ceridwen coven student from South Korea. Though she knew they could handle the crafting, nether student was particularly fond of time spells. “I know we went over this a few times in the last couple of years and it hasn’t exactly been something that the majority of you have enjoyed. I myself am not a huge fan of time spells, but I recognize their usefulness. And I want everyone in this room, before they graduate, to recognize the same.”

 

If what happened to Helena on a certain day in September isn’t an indication of what sort of beating nature can give you if you fuck around with time without considering what you’re about to do, then you won’t mind if the world goes all Donny Darko on your ass and pound you into the ground.  When messing with time you better bring your A Game–

I wonder if there’s anyone in this class who’s gotten really good with time spells?

Getting Back By Example

So, I’m locked in a cycle of insanity right now.  Last night I had two meetings and didn’t return until 9:30.  Then I went to bed at eleven and woke up at three, so I’m a whole lot tired at the moment.

Tonight I need to write my TV recap–which I’ve put off for two days–and pack and prepare to spend eleven hours on the road back to Indiana.  Sunday is prep-time for taxes, Monday is Tax Time and getting stuff done at American Express, then Tuesday it’s test the car, get my tags, and drive back to PA and return to Harrisburg around midnight.

This is where being a jaunting little witch with a girlfriend would be nice.

Speaking of that lad–who, if he were around in real life, has already run through the Great Hall one last time yelling “Erin go Braless!” to celebrate his Irish ancestry–he’s made Jessica happy by relating Normal science facts.  As we’re about to learn, however, she’s going to reject your reality and substitute her own…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Jessica laughed along with the rest of the class. “As we’ve discovered, all things that we do are supposed to be impossible according to Normal science. We are not supposed to be able to transform ourselves, to change our appearance and our size. And yet—” In about three seconds she morphed into a duplicate of Kaisa Božic, her Åsgårdsreia student, matching her size, light brown hair, hazel eyes, and light complexion. “We know that’s not true.”

In a few seconds Jessica was back to her normal self. “Tonight, were going to be in working with the advanced form of Compress. Now, this does not mean that once you master this version of the spell you’re going to have free license to go around shrinking people simply because they’ve offended you, as you will find yourself in serious trouble for using magic on another student and you’ll likely find yourself doing a weekend detention with me.” She saw the worried looks exchanged between her students as they all knew how she handled weekend detentions.

“Before we get into the lesson allow me to give you a practical demonstration.” She had known who she was going to select even before walking into class that evening. “Jordana, would you please join me?”

Jordana Sauceda approached the front of the somewhat afraid of what was going to happen next. Ever since refused to allow Kerry to mimic her in last year’s class, her relationship with Jessica had become a bit rocky and she’d given serious consideration about returning to class for her last year. Part of her wanted to follow instructions so she could get back on Jessica’s good side, and part of her wanted to run because she expected the worst—

Jessica picked Jordana because at 165 centimeters she was her tallest student, edging out Kerry by a couple of centimeters. She read the concern in the girls aura but immediately pushed that concern aside: Jessica was here to teach and not to massage the bruised egos of her students. She pointed to her left. “Please stand here—thank you.” She was about to start the demonstration when Jessica realized there was something she needed. “Kerry—” She motioned for him to approach. “Come stand to Jordana’s left.”

 

In case you need some Memory Refresher–and there is a spell for that–Jordana was the girl who didn’t want Kerry Mimicing her during the Gender Switch spell class where Kerry’s Inner Girl was seen popping out before she was ready.  At the time Jessica said she was going to have a “talk” with Jordana, though she didn’t go into detail about what she was going to say.  Whatever it was, Jordana hasn’t forgotten–and, apparently, neither has Jessica.  And now she wants Kerry of All the Normal Answer to join in on the fun–

 

The two students cast glances at each other as Jessica addressed everyone in the room. “I selected Jordana because she is the tallest student here, and I selected Kerry because, as the second tallest student, he adds a frame of reference for you to use.” She moved behind the two students and placed her hands over their heads. “As you can see, Jordana is a couple of centimeters taller—something that won’t last much longer.”

The El Salvadoran girl rolled her eyes before casting a glance at Kerry and speaking in a near whisper. “Oh, shit.”

He cast a glance back. “Don’t worry; it’ll only be for a little while.”

Jordana rolled her eyes again. “You’re too funny, Malibey.”

“Enough, you two.” Jessica returned to her place at Jordana’s right and faced the class that she spoke. “Now, this crafting will involve not only reducing the living organic material, but reducing the inorganic coverings as well. After all—” She gave Jordana a wicked grin. “We wouldn’t want her garments to fall off, now, would we?”

Jordana try to keep her voice level and normal, but her expression gave away what she felt inside. “You’re not going to do too much, are you, Professor?”

“No.” Jessica gave her head a slight shake. “Not much at all.” She stared at her student for a few seconds before raising her right hand lightly touching the nail of her index finger to her forehead as she half closed her eyes.

For a few seconds Kerry didn’t see anything happening to his fellow classmate. It was only when Jordana drew in a sharp breath that he realized that her eyes were now level with the tip of his nose. A couple of seconds later he caught a glimpse of the top of her head and realized that she was now at least six centimeters shorter.

A faint whimper escaped Jordana’s lips when the effects of the spell ceased a few seconds later and she realized she was at least ten centimeters shorter than Kerry. She glanced up at the now taller boy with a look in her eyes cycling between fear and anger. “¿Qué? ¡Hijo de puta!” She turned to Jessica. “I didn’t think you would make me this short.”

“Oh?” The instructor shrugged. “Were you expecting to be shorter?”

 

Never tell Jessica that she didn’t something that has surprised you ’cause she’ liable to ask someone to hold her beer and show everyone what she can really do.

And that’s why she’s not done with her example–

Not at all.

How Super Was My Lab: What You Have to Say

Quite a lot has happened in the last two days.  For one, I’m back to writing.  Believe it or not, I hadn’t written anything this last Friday and Saturday, which comes close to the longest time that I’ve gone without working on my novels.  I did almost 700 words this morning, which is a good stretch for me.

Today I also figured out how to use Dragon in a public place, and this blog post–as well as the writing I did my novel this morning–were done with Dragon.  The solution was simple: it was necessary to mute the microphone on the laptop so that the only ambient sound being carried by the head mic was my voice.  Speaking aloud, albeit in a soft tone, in order to write.  It’s not like I haven’t done anything this strange before.

The biggest thing to happen occurred last night.  I headed out with a friend to take in a presentation of The Vagina Monologues.  We made a pretty full night of it: we picked up sushi to go, stopped and had a beer, met a new friend who happens to be a schoolteacher, and enjoyed the presentation together.

Out with Mary getting a beer.

Out with Mary getting a beer.

 

And watching the show begin.

And watching the show begin.

We laughed, we cried, we came away with a greater understanding of camaraderie between women.  I nearly had a full on breakdown during one monologue which was presented by a transgender woman telling us of her coming out in the things that she had heard while growing up–many of which were things I heard growing up as well.  It was a great experience and were already looking to going back next year and doing it again, maybe even getting a few more friends together so we can reserve a table right up front.

But, let’s get back to the writing…

Said writing being right here.

Said writing being right here.

Because I didn’t write for two days, after today’s excerpt I shall only be fifty-nine hundred words ahead of you.  But I don’t have much to do today, so the likelihood that I will add another five or six hundred words to the current scene are high.  Believe it or not, I’m eager and ready to get back into my writing.  Maybe all one needs is a little rest and recharging to recover the energy needed to continue a project that.

The last time there was an excerpt back on Thursday, Erywin asked Annie of her opinion of Alex in relationship to the tutoring she was receiving for Formulistic Magic.  And, of course, Annie is ready to offer that opinion–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie was a bit worried by voicing her concern it wouldn’t matter how good Alex became, her words could prejudice any future consideration. At the same time, she knew that part of being a good sorceress instructing another student is that the instructor must not fear voicing those concerns– “She wants to work in the superlab. She’s considering a career as a chemical engineer, but she’s also considering a career in another field. So…”

“So she wants to give the class a spin to see if this is to her liking.” Erywen’s expression turned serious as she considered this information. “Given what I’d seen of her work in the last two weeks I was planning on extending an invitation tonight after dinner. Even with the information that you’ve given me, I still plan on making that invitation.”

Annie was somewhat surprised to hear this. “You’re not worried she may not have serious intentions for this class?”

“I think she’s extremely serious about this class—otherwise why would she go through three weeks of tutoring with you? If she finds this is not the field she wishes to go into, it is better she do it now then after she graduates school, yeah?” Erywin chuckled. “Besides, she may discover that this is the field she wishes to go into and she’ll end up working her arse off to be the best. Isn’t that what we all want?”

“Absolutely, Professor.” She started smiling as she found herself agreeing with Erywin’s position.

 

Annie’s hard work with Alex paid off, and it brought about an improvement good enough for Erywin to notice.  The real truth is Alex must’ve been just on the cusp of going from being good to becoming excellent, and Annie’s help was enough to push her over the line.  This is what Alex hoped for and the hard work paid off.  We knew that Annie was capable of teaching; the real question was whether Alex was capable of learning.  Apparently, she was.

So how does this finish out?

 

“Right, then.” Erywin picked up her tablet. “I would appreciated if neither of you say anything before I speak to her.  If she should ask why I want to see her tonight, just say you have no idea.” Both students nodded. “And, Annie?”

“Yes, Professor?”

“Thank you for giving an honest assessment of the student.”

She smiled as she gave a slight shrug. “It’s what I was trained to do, Professor.”

Erywin smiled back. “Helena will be glad to hear that.” She turned and walked out of the cubicle.

Kerry crossed his arms, tucking his hands under his armpits. “Alex will be happy to know her hard work paid off.” He took two steps across the cubicle and wrapped his arms around Annie’s waist. “Then again, she had an exceptionally good tutor helping her.”

Annie touched Kerry’s lips with her fingers before kissing him. “But as we both know—”

“Yes?”

“The student has to be able to take the information that tutor gives her client correctly.” She wrapped her arms around him and rubbed her lips against his before engaging in another kiss. “And I was fortunate in that I had an incredibly skilled student.”

 

That last line goes both ways: Alex is an incredibly skilled student, but her primary student is also incredibly skilled: he has to be if he wants to keep up with his soulmate.  That’s the thing about being one half of a team that wants to excel at so many things–whether you realize it or not you push each other harder than you might push yourself where you working alone.

And working alone is exactly what were going to see in the next two scenes, for the scenes actually take place simultaneously on seventeen September, 2017, which happens to be a Tuesday evening.  We already know from the last novel that Tuesday evening is when Jessica teaches Advanced Transformation, and while Carrie is there for every class Annie comes in when she feels she needs to get a handle on the particular spell before she starts learning it from Kerry.  This evening she’ll take a pass on class and head off to get mentoring of her own–

Which means it’s time to head out to the Witch House…