Spa Queen For a Day

So, this last Saturday was Spa Day for me.  This is something I decided on about a month ago and had scheduled three weeks ago.  I need a little time to myself as well is a bit of a Christmas present, so I thought why not do something I’ve never done before?  And that’s something was a day at the spa.

The place I visited is Polished Salon, Spa & Wellness, over on the East Shore of the Susquehanna River in Lemoyne.  I’d gone there but a month ago to get a Mani/Pedi and sort of slowly fell in love with the locale, the setup, and the attentiveness.  I’ve always wanted to try a day spa, but never did because, well, I do felt strange going in before my transition.  I now, however, I’m fully relaxed with who I am as a woman, and one of the things a woman should have at lease once in her life is a few hours of pampering.

Ergo, it was time to hit the spot.

The package I’d pick was pretty much top-of-the-line.  There was another one I could’ve went with where I would’ve gotten a mud wrap and I may save that one for my birthday.  As it was, with this package I got a body lotion rubdown on my arms, legs, and back, then a one hour full body massage, then a full facial, then lunch, then a Mani/Pedi.  Altogether I was told it would take five and a half to six hours to complete, which was fine by me: it was like I had anything else planned Saturday.  That said, I scheduled for as early as possible–nine in the morning–and showed up at eight forty-five so I could fill out paperwork.

Little did I know I was about to fall down the rabbit hole.

First, let me describe how this place is laid out.  When you come in there’s a check-in desk.  To the right of the check-in desk is the area where the hair salon is located in the nails are done.  This area is sort of open because all of these things are kind of sociable: when you do your hair doing her nails you want to talk and carry on a little.  I like getting a Mani/Pedi because of the social interaction, and for the longest time it was the only social interaction I had with people.

To the left of the check-in desk there is a door, and the store leads back to the area where you get your brows plucked, your facials applied, and your massages given.  Everything back here is in small, individual rooms, because each of these things is really something you want to do by yourself in relative peace and quiet while someone works on.  Also, everything back here is kept in subdued lighting to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.  As I told Sharon, the woman who did my facial, being back in this area is sort of like being a completely different world.

But before you get to any of that other stuff, you are led to… The Quiet Room.

And it is quiet.

And it is quiet.

Four plush chairs and two chaise lounge chair.  Where you see the paperwork sitting is where I sat, where I reclined and watched the fire place and listen to the soft music constantly being played while I decided what I needed from a facial, what I expected from a massage, and what I wanted for lunch.

And I had to get a picture of my view as well.

And I had to get a picture of my view as well.

By the way, that’s a pitcher of lemon and cucumber water in the middle of the picture and let me tell you, that shit rocked.  But I came back here for lunch I drink like five glasses of that stuff because–well, I’ll get to that.

After filling out all the paperwork I was led to a small changing room with four lockers.  I was told to undress and for all my stuff in the lockers and I could put on the robe and a pair of sandals so I’d have something to wear while back in this area.  The only item of my street clothes that I left on were my panties, because I had a massage coming and who’s going to wear a bra for that?

Once changed it was time to go back to The Quiet Room and wait for the first item on the list, which was the body robe and massage.  I was no sooner getting comfortable when Christine, the massage therapist, showed up to lead me back to our room.

At this point my heart was beating pretty fast and it must’ve been obvious that I was anxious, because Christine picked up on that.  She asked me if this was the first time I’d ever had a massage and once I told her was, she told me sweetly to just relax and enjoy the experience.  She stepped out for a moment so I could get out of my robe and sandals and get under the towel lying on the massage table.

Of course I got a picture before I stripped.

Of course I got a picture before I stripped.

The body lotion was applied mainly to the extremities: both arms and both legs.  There was a little bit of salt mixed in with the lotion to act as a exfoliant and I really felt great having that rubbed into your skin as you lay on your back with your eyes half closed in a semi-darkened room with soft music playing and candles burning.  Just the sort of thing you needed to get you in the mood for what was coming next: the massage.

Now, I’ve been given massages by people. I’ve even given a massage or two in my time.  But I have never had a professional massage, and let me tell you getting massage from your friend and then getting massage from someone who knows what they’re doing is sort of like comparing driving down the Pennsylvania Turnpike at 70 miles an hour/112 km an hour to hopping in a Ferrari 488 GTE competition car and driving at full speed around the Le Mans circuit for twelve hours.  In short, there is no comparison.

I lay on my back and got my arms and legs worked out.  I could feel myself drifting off on a couple of occasions because it was so relaxing, and I was so zoned at one point that when Christine was preparing for me to roll over on my stomach I hadn’t even realized the towel had slipped down my torso and my breasts were exposed.  She fixed it right up because before I rolled over on my stomach she threw a sheet over me and followed it up with a fleece throw blanket.  Then she got the little attachment in place for me to stick my face through.  So while she held on to one side of the sheet/blanket combo, I rolled over and got my face in the whole, repairing for the back rub.

One thing I should point out is whenever Christine would massage my extremities she would try to keep as much of the rest of my body covered while she worked on just that part of my body.  So while she was working on my left leg, that was the only part of my body exposed: the rest stayed swaddled, nice and warm, under the fleece blanket.  Needless to say all the while this was happening–which included having hot towels wrapped around my feet and applied over lotion on my back–I was zoning out hard.  I didn’t fall asleep, but there were definite moments when I felt almost as if I was hallucinating, like I was seeing and sensing things that were almost dreamlike even though I was aware I was lying on a table getting a rubdown.

It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had and I couldn’t believe it was over when Christine told me it was time for me to get up and get dressed.  Of course she said for me to take my time getting off the table, getting dressed, and returning to The Quiet Room, and there’s a good reason for that: I was wrung out.  The moment I raised my head I started feeling lightheaded; the moment I tried rolling on my side and flipping off the cover I felt as if my body wouldn’t respond.  Really, at that point I probably could’ve laid back and taken a nap for an hour, I was that relaxed.  It was actually a chore to get up on my feet, get dressed, and headed down to wait for the next appointment.  Christine was waiting for me and I told her I felt thirsty: she told me that wasn’t an unusual feeling and I should drink as much fluid as I like.  So I had my first two glasses of lemon and cucumber water and sat waiting for my facial.

It really was all I could do to get the phone out and snap a photo.

It really was all I could do to get the phone out and snap a photo.

I didn’t have to wait long.  Sharon showed up and took me to the room where my facial would be performed.  I lay back on the table and she got a bright light in my face that she can examine everything.  Now, when I filled out the facial for and was asked to describe my skin, I said it was “rough” and “dry”.  After couple minutes of examining Sharon told me that my skin was wonderful and in excellent shape.  She asked me if I spent a lot of time outside in the sun and I told her no, I was a computer programmer and writer, so most of my time was spent indoors, and that even as a child I preferred sitting in my room reading then going outside to play.  She said a lack of sunlight had actually helped my skin considerably and also, considering I had a slight amount of Cherokee Indian heritage–I’m 1/32 because of a great-great-grandmother–that meant my body probably had slightly more melange than other Caucasians.

She was extremely surprised, however, by how smooth my skin was, so I had to reveal my dirty little secret: being transgender I’m on hormone replacement therapy and that estrogen is putting me through a second puberty which leads to smooth skin.  That not only made complete sense to her, but she told me that she had done laser facial hair removal treatment on several transwomen in the area.  So we not only talk a little about that, but we also discussed things about why my skin was good due to the fact that I likely had a weird and unusual puberty as a child.

Either way, I got steam blown on to my chest to help open the pores after which I had a mask applied all over my face and to the upper triangle of my chest from my neck down to a point between my breast.  This last kinda confused me and then I realized that as women we expose more of our upper chest due to some of the outfits we wear, and you want to keep that area looking just as nice as your face.  See the things you learn?

The only picture I managed to snap after my mask was applied, making me look a little like i'm wearing lemon custard.

The only picture I managed to snap after my mask was applied, making me look a little like I’m wearing lemon custard.

After the facial it was time for lunch, so it’s back to The Quiet Room for more lemon and cucumber water–

Here looking even more relaxed and glowing.

Here looking even more relaxed and glowing.

–and my lunch, a tuna fish sandwich and a salad with feta cheese.  But I didn’t get just a sandwich: it was more like a sub and there was a whole lot of salad.

As you can see here.

As you can see here.

With all these things behind me it was time to get dressed and head out to get my nails done.  First up was the pedicure in this was being done by Donna, whom I not only remembered from my first visit but with whom we had discussed our love of old movies.  So while she did my pedi we once again talked old movies while I kicked back and relaxed–

With a glass of wine because why not?

With a glass of wine because why not?

The last person to work on me was Stevie, who did my manicure.  The first thing she did was strip off all my polish and it was during this time that she told me she was eager to work on my nails–had been, actually, since I came in the first time.  See, it the last place I went to for my nails, the woman there put an acrylic overlay on all my nails to strengthen them.  Unfortunately, she put on so much that I actually looked like I had bubbles on my nails and this was something that Stevie couldn’t stand.

So she got the stripping off the old polish, then sanding down as much of the old acrylic overlay she could.  The last thing she did was repair my left thumbnail, which it ripped off while I was at work Thursday afternoon.  After all this was done it was time to get the polish applied.  I was actually using two different gel polishes.  The first to go on was Girls Love Pearls, which was used as a base.  Over that was the clearer, more sparkly Champagne For Breakfast.  The end result gave my nails, both on my hands and feet, a nice luster with a glitter finish.

As you can see here in good light.

As you can see here in good light.

With everything done I settled up the bill and tipped everyone who work on me twenty-five dollars.  I said, this was my Christmas present, so I didn’t mind spending the money.  It’s also one of the reasons you only want to do something like this once every six months or so, because it is a luxury and should be treated as such.  Though I’m already missing the sensation I had after that massage…

I was there for exactly six hours and got everything as advertised, and it all exceeded my expectations.  When I got home I was actually afraid to sit down, and the moment I did I started feeling drowsy: the aftermath of the massage.  I went out to get something to eat and when I came back I still felt that relaxed feeling for the rest of the night–in fact, the moment I started watching television I found myself dozing off, and when I finally did get to bed I fell asleep right away.

Though I wonder what part those extra two glasses of wine played?

Though I wonder what part those extra two glasses of wine played?

So take my advice: if you ever start feeling stressed out and you have a few hundred dollars burning a hole in your purse, find a nice day spa that has a good reputation and excellent reviews and go get yourself pampered.  It might be something you only do once in your life, but just like that trip to Europe that all of us want to take, this is something that you should do.  As I was told so many of my women friends over the last couple of years, we need Me Time and this is a great way to get that time.

‘Cause really, it is little things like this that help get your mind back in a good space.

Acceptance Into a Dream: Separates Together

To get all the personal stuff out of the way immediately, yesterday’s spa day was a lot of fun.  I needed to sit and get some pampering in, and to be with a friend who doesn’t mind talking about any and everything, and just be ourselves.  There was a lot of laughing going on, and when I arrived back home ten hours after I left, the first thought that popped into my head was, “It was a good day.”

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

Smiling long before I get my feet encased in melted wax.

In only two days nearly thirteen hundred words are written, and the penultimate scene is complete.  Not only did I put this scene to bed, but I passed two hundred and eighty thousand words in the process.  Only one short scene remains and this chapter and part are complete–

And I can most away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

And I can then move away from Kerry being tortured by Girls From the Id.

Yesterday morning was the set up of the final dream, and as I mentioned there I needed to bring one other person to bring into this mix to make the scene complete.  And I don’t disappoint:

 

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

Annie took his hand and gave it a squeeze. “I’m right here, my love. I’ll not say anything, but remember I support you.”

He turned and smiled. “I know.” He returned the squeeze. “Not like we’re going anywhere, are we, Darling?”

“Not at all, my love.”

Kerry straightened slightly and stared at the door. “Here we go.” He walked to his computer station and stood facing the entrance to his room. “Come on in.”

Annie saw the door open but didn’t see the girl as she continued standing in the hallway. Annie did, however, hear her soft, lilting voice. “I’m surprised you’re greeting me.”

“It’s not like I don’t know you’re coming.” He motioned his other dream self forward. “Don’t stand in the hall.”

 

And just like, the final player appears:

 

The girl entered the room and Annie immediately noticed that she was dressed for sleeping though her attire was slightly different than Kerry’s, as she wore leggings and a cami top. Annie pursed her lips as her mind as she began imagining see this scene while awake. I wonder if Kerry will wear something like this to bed one night soon . . .

The girl gasped the moment she spotted Annie and Kerry rushed between the two girls to forestall any problems. “It’s okay: she was brought in here. You have to know that happens sometimes.”

The girl nodded. “Yes. I remember you both share dreams. I guess that’s why this one feels strange—”

“We must be in our shared dreamspace.” Annie held her hands in front of her. “We both think I’m supposed to be here.”

“Because you’re linked.”

“You know that?”

The girl nodded towards Kerry. “I know what he knows.”

Annie chuckled. “And a few things he didn’t.”

The girl’s cheeks blushed bright red, made even more obvious by the cascading ginger locks framing her face. “I was affected a bit by his block, but I did remember you. Only—” She sighed. “I couldn’t say everything ‘cause—”

“It’s okay: it all worked out eventually.” Annie looked the girl up and down. “What should I call you?”

“I know this will sound strange, but—” The girl’s vision shifted slightly to the left. “Kerry. I mean, that’s the name I was given when I was born, though no one knew that.”

“Because no one knew you.”

Kerry cleared his throat. “That’s gonna sound strange later on when this, um, you know—” He pointed between him and he girl self. “When people finally see you for real.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “I see how it could confuse people.” She glanced down for a moment. “So you are going to let me live.”

 

The thing Kerry’s been told from the start is that he holds this person’s life in his hands.  We now know what she meant with that simple phrase, and her it comes one last time:  “You are going to let me live.”

I should also point out something that may not be obvious:  Kerry’s given name is, as stated a few times, Kerrigan, and that is a gender-neutral name that is used by both girls and boys.  Is there a reason I’m bringing this up now?  No, not really . . .

Now that all the introductions are out of the way, only one thing remains for these two kids–

 

Kerry tossed his head to one side. “The way I understand things I don’t think I can stop you. But I’m not as scared now: I was told what this means and what to expect.” He reached out to Annie. “And I have support.”

Annie took his hand. “Always, my love.”

Girl Kerry smiled at Annie. “And will I have your support as well?”

She nodded back. “No matter how either of you look, you’ll be the same person—the one I love.”

“Well—” Girl Kerry chuckled. “I hope I don’t screw things up.”

“You won’t.”

Kerry released Annie’s hand and took a step towards his female half. “I, um, guess we should do this.”

Girl Kerry nodded. “We should.”

Annie moved back closer to the bed. “What are you going to do?”

Kerry had the technical answer. “We have to integrate our auras, so—”

Girl Kerry finished the thought. “We hug.”

Annie glanced between the two. “That’s all?”

Kerry spoke first. “There’s really more than that going on—”

And Girl Kerry completed the sentence once more. “But that’s how it’ll look here.”

He nodded. “You ready?”

She nodded back. “I am.”

“Well, then—” He spread his arms wide. “Come here.”

Annie watched silently as the two came together and embraced each other slowly, with Kerry’s smaller female version of himself enveloped by the taller male version. For a few moments all seemed the same, then she felt a lightness about her body, as if gravity were slipping away. The light in the room changed, growing dimmer and most defused, and Annie realized it was because gray astral mist was slipping into their space and filling in around the hugging couple.

While both halves of Kerry became obscured by the mist Annie felt herself being slowly pulled backwards and away from the room, and her last sight of her soul mate was a sudden flash of violet-purple light from within the cocoon of astral mist—

 

And there you go.  All that remains now is for–well, something–and then I can get to the business of closing out the school year–

Three parts, six chapters, and probably a couple of dozen scenes.  That’s all that remains.

The Baby Snakes

Can’t say this morning hasn’t been productive, because it sort of has.  I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes or so doing a read-through of one of my parts, and as much as I hate to say it, reading the scene out loud had me catching parts of the story that didn’t seem right.  So I made a few changes here and there and . . . hey, if you’re not writing, you’re doing something that’s about writing, right?

"I'm always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap."

“I’m always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap.”

But there was writing last night.  A lot of writing:  one thousand, one hundred and forty-nine words by the time I called it beddy-bye.  A nice run not spoiled by loading up with carbs and being tired throughout the day, which is something I’m going to try today as well, because I want to crank out another thousand if I can tonight

So what do witches do once their advanced class is over and they need to chill?  Wednesday knows . . .

 

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

“Same here.” Pang stared at the table in the middle as if expecting something to appear at any moment. He looked up at Wednesday. “It usually doesn’t take this long—”

Eight plates with grilled cheese sandwiches popped into existence, with eight slight steaming mugs of apple cider next of them. Wednesday giggled. “You were saying?”

Nadine grabbed a half of her sandwich off her plate immediately. “They had to make two more servings, dude.” She nodded across the table. “Ain’t you paying attention?”

Kerry hesitated before reach for the plate in front of him. He felt Annie stiffen for a moment, making him wonder if she didn’t like being singled out for attention. He tried to lighten the mood. “Grilled cheese?”

“Perfect for an after class snack.” Wednesday reached for her cider. “There’s a chemical released when making grilled cheese that has been shown to reduce stress, and hot cider helps make you drowsy. An hour from now you’ll crawl into bed and drift right off to sleep.” She took a short but loud sip. “Given you’re likely still a bit hyped up over class, you’ll both need this.”

Annie cleared her throat. “You’re probably right, Pro—I mean, Wednesday.” She looked around as she chuckled. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Pang was almost finished devouring half his sandwich. “I just started this level and I’m still catching myself calling her ‘Professor’.”

Hasumati spoke for the first time since leaving class. “This is my third year and it took me a year and a half to get out of that habit.”

Kerry turned to Annie, who was looking also looking at him. “We’ll do our best not to slip up.”

 

Yes, don’t call the Little Witch “Professor” too many times, or she might turn you into a newt.  Actually, that’s Jessica who does that–and has.  Check her terrarium the next time you’re in class . . .

It’s one of the nice perks of being “advanced” that you get to sorta break the rules.  It’s late at night and everyone’s suppose to be in bed, save for a few people up to the Observatory getting in some ‘scope time.  But those people are probably advanced kids as well, and they’re in what’s considered class time anyway.  No, this is, “Hey, lets go have a quick bite and bullshit for a while before heading off to bed, ’cause we can!” time, and it’s something that the Kids in the Fishbowl haven’t seen.  Until now.

Though when they do see it, they find out they have a couple of cool nicknames.  Yeah, who doesn’t want those . . .

 

Pang reached for his cider. “You guys sure did great tonight.”

Annie shook her head, her eyes focusing on the table. “I didn’t think were were that great.”

“Are you kidding? You both levitated on your fourth try.” Pang leaned back, carefully crossing his legs. “The first two classes I couldn’t do anything: every spell I tried was a fizzle.”

“I was the same way.” Rivânia pulled hair from the corner of her mouth. “The first month I was in class I managed only one spell.”

“Yeah, but you guys don’t know who you’re dealing with here . . .” Nadine smiled as she leaned forward, her elbows against her knees and the mug of cider between her hands. “These are The Baby Snakes, guys—” She pointed at Annie, then Kerry, both whom appeared confused. “Athena and Starbuck. I was telling you about them, Riv.”

Rivânia paused for just a moment to let the information sink in, then . . . “Oh. These are the two? The ones checked out on Espinozas?”

“Yeah: them and Emma in my coven. The other girl off the Trainers is on a Witchy Poo.” She smiled across the table at the now-blushing A Levels. “I forgot to mention—I’m one of Vicky’s minions. You probably never noticed me ‘cause I keep my hair tucked up under my helmet.”

Kerry knew the question to ask. “What’s your call sign?”

Nadine beamed. “I’m Scarlet Witch.”

“But of course you are.” Kerry tore into half his sandwich in three bites. “You race?”

“Yeah; I’m a Blackbird.” Nadine pointed to Rivânia. “Riv’s a Hunter.” She examined Kerry and Annie. “You both going out for racing next year?”

Annie was quick to answer. “I probably won’t, no.” She glanced at Kerry, who didn’t register any emotion. “I wouldn’t make a good racer.”

“I didn’t say anything, Sweetie.” He reached over and rubbed her hand. “It’s cool.”

“Wait . . .” Serafena stated into her mug, her eyes unfocused. “Sweetie?  Oh . . . You’re the Lovey Dovey Couple.”

Annie and Kerry winced. They’d heard the expression many times among their own level, but this was the first time to hear it used by students from upper levels. Annie placed her left hand against her head. “Who told you this?”

“From A Levels in my coven.” Serafena looked up from her mug and shifted her gaze between the two students. “There is a boy, he was the first I heard speaking to the other in your level—”

Kerry cocked his head forward. “Is he from the Philippines?”

“Yes, I think so.”

His eyes narrowed as he turned to Annie. “It’s Fidele, just like we thought.”

“Yes.” Annie brushed her hair away from her face as she slowly shook her head. “Why did he do that?”

“Who knows?” Kerry couldn’t fathom why people would start saying like that; it wasn’t like Annie and he were bothering anyone, and it wasn’t really any of their business. “Eh, nothing we can do about it now.”

Wednesday—who’d sat quietly while this conversation went on—finally let her view be known. “If nothing else, you’ve developed a reputation—and to do that in your first month here is something of an accomplishment.”

“Yeah—” Nadine spoke between the final bites of her grilled cheese. “Would you rather be known as a couple of mopey losers without a clue?”

 

No, but it’s a toss-up between Lovey Dovey Couple and The Baby Snakes.  Though The Baby Snakes does have a charm to it, and can come off as being pretty bad ass . . .

"I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!"

“I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!”

One of the things that does come up from that is Annie’s reluctance to fly and race.  There are reasons for it, and they will pop out real soon–in like another two chapters.  Actually, coming up in the next part, but only after some sorcery comes down the pike and our Baby Snakes sort of get tossed in the black magic pit and show their stuff.  It’s going to be . . . well, I was thinking about it on the way to work, and . . .

Won't be long before we finally get to see what happens in The Witch House.

Won’t be long before we finally get to see what happens inside The Witch House.

You’re just going to have to wait.

 

Views from the Madness

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

Just like my kids at school.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After all:  Witch Hard, so Party Hard.

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

Acts of the Madness

Back home it’s Indiana Blizzard Time:  here isn’t cold, but nothing near that bad.  Tomorrow, though, we get wind chill out the butt, so that’ll make the walk into work all the more interesting.  Though back home it’ll drop to twenty below zero, so I’m not complaining.

So Nice, So Neat.

So Nice, So Neat.

Home stretch time on the novel.  Not only did I whip out one scene last night–short and sweet, just under thirteen hundred words that sets up what’s coming next–but I also organized my novel into what I feel is the final format.  In the picture I’ve placed here for all to see, I’m showing what the current act looks like, with parts and chapters and scenes laid out in Scrivener Outline Mode, but looking in the binder to the left one can see the other parts laid out in the other acts.  Yep, she’s looking good.  I even managed to get everything named the way it should be named.

I’ve had more issues getting this thing laid out and sections named than I’ve had with any other book, but then, I’ve never written anything this big and complicated before in one sitting.  When I look at the other acts and realize there’s probably a quarter of a million more words waiting to get written, this is a long-term project, and may end up being the only original material I write this year.

What did I write about last night?  The Midnight Madness.  What is that, you say?  At my school, every Friday and Saturday night the school lets all the students who want to join come to the main dining area and hang out with their fellow classmates.  The one main requirement is that they have to come in appropriate sleepwear.  Once there they sit around and play games, read, have snacks and refreshments, or just spend the night talking with friends until sometime after midnight.

It’s a school-approved pajama party, and everyone’s invited.

Does this mean that some couples are off in shadowed corners locking lips and sucking face?  They’re teenagers:  what do you think?

When you think about it, when you have a few hundred advanced and intelligent kids locked up in one spot, and all of them are either witches, gifted (they got crazy mutant powers, yo), or budding mad scientists, you gotta give them the chance to get out of their coven towers and relax.  And some of these kids occupy all three spots on that Vern Diagram, which means they’re really burning the candle at three ends, and they probably need to drink fluids, munch on sandwiches and pastries, and play a few card games to unwind.

Only when you’re losing a game of Magic at Salem, you flip that table with your mind.

There you have it.  Kids unwinding, author unwinding.  Lucky for them their weekend is just starting, and I’m having to get back into the week.  At least it’s not twenty below zero outside, but rather a tolerable cold.

Makes the walk to work feel like less of an impending doom.

Fifty Light Years On

I haven’t said much about writing during the last week, because I haven’t been doing a lot of writing.  After finishing Diners last Monday, I needed a break.  I needed a breather, because I was getting into a lot of burnout.  Not just from writing, but a lot of personal issues as well.

Doesn’t mean I’m nothing thinking, or even half-doing, however.  I do have Replacements, that I’m writing on another site, but I was a bad boy over the weekend, and just couldn’t find the time to get to it.  My fault, I know.  I shouldn’t have been such a slacker, but the moment got to me, over and over, and I couldn’t get to writing.

So I added a few hundred words last night, and I should add a few hundred more tonight, and by Thursday I should have that section to add, and another to go next Monday.  See?  Better already.

I started editing Echoes on Sunday.  I didn’t realize it, but I’d edited it once already.  I don’t remember doing that, but there it is.  I must have run an edit once . . . move on.

The edit this time around–already kicked about one hundred words out, and tightened up the story just a little.  I’m going to do a little every night, get it into final edit form.  It’s a good story, but for some reason I get strange when I’m reading.

But beyond that, there’s been another idea rolling about in my head.  That’s usually dangerous, because these little ideas tend to get sorta big.

The funny thing is, this idea originally started out as a five hundred word scene that I did for a creative writing class.  The teacher hated it; no, really.  She more or less ripped it apart, going on about how I wasn’t explaining why some things happened, why I was using foreign words in a sentence without giving a translation, why I wasn’t doing a set up that told the reader why they were here, and who this main character of mine was.

The funny thing was, a few people who read the scene thought it rocked; they thought it was a great little intro that set up a story, without giving anything away.  Which, as I explained to the instructor, was what I was doing.  Not that she cared, but hey, that’s the breaks.  I wasn’t writing for her; I was writing for me.

This story is coming back to me.  Why?  Because it is.  I’m thinking of things to do, and it’s coming up more and more.  Maybe it’s something I want to write.  Or at least develop.  Because there is a world there to build.  It’s based off of other things, but it’s still my world.  It’s also, I feel, an interesting world, and since I’m so good at world building . . . maybe when I have some time, I’ll pull up a Scrivener file and start putting this one together.

Having notes never hurts.

Before you know it, those notes will actually means something . . .