E = Dreams, Mon Amour

Well, as I hoped, Chapter One is done.  Took another nine hundred words to get to this point, but finished it is with nearly fifteen thousand words written in a month.

Done for the One, To Do for the Two.

Done for the One, To Do for the Two.

I know I’m a little behind my normal goal of twenty thousand words a month, but given all the other stuff I’ve written in the last month I’d consider what I’ve produced a good start.  And I finally feel as if I’m getting comfortable with the story and not stumbling around trying to find the right words.

As you can see things are going to get interesting in Chapter Two.  In my video yesterday I said this is all about meetings, and that’s exactly what you’ll see:  meetings.  At the moment, however, there is only one meeting that is of interest, and Kerry’s figured out where they are–

 

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

Annie looked surprised. “You know this place?”

“Not really, but there’s a river there—” He grinned as her pointed to the bridge on his left. “—and I can see Notre-Dame Cathedral over your shoulder.” The grin turned into a broad smile. “That kinda gives it away.”

Annie took both his hands. “Sometimes I forget that even though you’ve never visited these places you’re still quite worldly.”

“Only because I’ve wanted to visit all these places.”

She pulled him close. “And we shall visit here in a few months.”

He kissed her on the nose. “I can’t wait. Where are we?”

Annie turned and looked towards the huge intersection. “That is the Place Saint Michel. We’re in the Monnaie neighborhood of the 6th arrondissement: the Paris Mint is not far away.” She pointed across the intersection. “If we cross the street we’d enter the 5th arrondissement. And in case you hadn’t realized, this is also the Rive Gauche.”

Kerry nodded. “The Left Bank.”

“You know that as well.”

“Who doesn’t?”

Annie smiled coyly as she retook his hand. “I’d say most of the kids with whom we attend school.”

“Point taken.” He turned and examined the building directly behind him, in particular the corner restaurant. “Le Paradis du Fruit?”

 

So now we have the location locked down:  the intersection that is Place Saint Michel and you can see the place Kerry metions–

As you can see from the overhead.

As you can see from the overhead.

Kerry’s never been here but he knows his locals and if you see what he sees, you’ll know you’re in Paris:

Or maybe by looking at his point of view you won't.

Or maybe by looking at his point of view you won’t.

You can see the bridge over the Seine on the left, and the twin spires of Notre-Dame Cathedral in the background.  Ten years ago I walked right past this point without ever knowing it was going to end up in a story,  so there’s a sort of strange symmetry going on here, maybe even a bit of a hidden memory.  Doesn’t matter now:  it’s in the story.

And now we can get a better look at where the kids are spending this part of the scene.

Right there at the tables under the trees.  A totally Paris scene for the kids.

Right there at the tables under the trees. A totally Paris scene for the kids.

By the way the title of this post is a play on the title of the novel E=mc2 Mon Amour by Patrick Cauvin, which eventually became the movie A Little Romance.  It’s the story of a young French boy and an equal young American girl who meet in Paris, fall in love, and run off to Venice on a particular adventure.  Given that my novels are about a young Welsh-Irish-American boy and a Bulgarian girl who meet at a school for witches in America and set off on a series of adventures also has an interesting correlation that needs mentioning.  Do you think Kerry knows about the movie and Annie the novel?  What do you think?

So why is Annie attracted to his location?

 

She led him towards a section of outside tables near the shop. “Mama and I come here once in a while when we want to get away from the house and relax over a salad and smoothie.”

Kerry held the chair while Annie sat before taking the one across from her. “Must be nice.”

“What?”

“Being able to jaunt off to Paris when you need a break from the home.”

Annie scratched behind her right ear. “We haven’t done it since last August, but yes: it is nice to be able to go anywhere in Europe because there’s only an hour or two difference among the cities—” She pointed a finger across the table. “And the two hour difference is only up by you.”

“I had nothing to do with that.” Kerry chucked then closed his eyes. A few seconds later two glasses filed with colored liquids appeared before them. “There you are: lemon-banana smoothie for you, and strawberry-pomegranate for me.”

Annie gave a slow clap. “Nicely done. You’ve been practicing lucid dreaming.”

He nodded. “Yeah. For a couple of weeks now.” He took a sip of his drink. “Is that what you’re using to make all the sound around us, like we’re really in Paris?”

“I’m not doing that: not intentionally.” She took a sip of her own drink and nodded her approval. “It must be my memory of this place. Even late at night there’s always a lot of traffic, a lot of people out walking.”

Kerry folded his hands and set them on the table. “Have you come here at night with your mother?”

“We have a couple of times when Papa was away.”

He stared across the table to the other side of the Seine River. “Must be nice.”

Even though she was aware Kerry loved hearing about all the places she’d visited, there were times when Annie saw that discussing her travels brought about some personal sadness. He wants to see so many places, and up until now he can only visit them over the Internet. That’s why when we were in London, Amsterdam, and Berlin he wanted to see as much as possible.

She decided now was the time to tell him something she had planed to say for at least a week. “I was going to wait until we were in London this coming Wednesday, but since we’re together now—I’m going to start working on jaunting this year.”

 

There are a couple of surprises there.  First, Kerry’s getting much better at making things happen in dreams:  as Annie points out he’s been working on his lucid dreaming.  And Annie’s ready to get her jaunt on and once that happens you can bet she’s gonna take the time to know how to get to her favorite places there won’t be any way you can keep this kid at home.  Though jaunting off two thousand kilometers to Paris requires a lot of willpower, as we’ve seen Annie has that.

And is Paris the only place she wants to visit?  Ha!

 

He snapped his attention back to her. “You are?”

“Yes. I decided I didn’t want to wait until our D Levels for instruction.” She sat back and crossed her legs. “The sooner I can do that, the sooner I can go places on my own.” The right corner of her mouth turned up in a grin. “At least until I come visit someone, after which we can come here for real.”

This news brightened Kerry’s face. “So are we gonna come here before we return to Salem?” They were both aware that Paris was the staging city for all returning students from Europe, Africa, and Western Asia, and he expected that Annie was going to spend most of their free time showing them the sights.

Annie nodded as she picked up her drink. “Of course. I don’t know where we’re going to stay but there’s a Metro station right across the street. I imagine getting here won’t take us more than twenty minutes if we’re staying in the main part of the city.” She smiled across the top of her drink. “It won’t be anything new for us.”

“No, it won’t.” He also sat back and enjoyed his imaginary drink.

Now that she had him in a better mood Annie figure she could ask Kerry the thing that had been on her mind that night. “My love, why did you ask me to time my letters so they arrive on the days when your parents aren’t home?”

 

Wait, what?  I’m not gonna tell you why Kerry told Annie to time her letter?  You got that right:  you gotta wait until tomorrow for that news.  I know, I’m a bitch, but I’m a good bitch and that’s what matters.

Hey, at least you’ll get all that tomorrow–and maybe even a little more…

The Run Up to the Start

Last night was Get My Images For Recap Night so that I can write said recap tonight, and I was breaking my brain for most of the evening thinking about the last chapter of Part Three of C For Continuing.  Because that’s the way I am:  I get fixated on these things and continue working them in my head until it sort of drives me nuts.  Which is also called “Being a Writer”, so I suppose it’s normal.

I’ve been kicking around a few scenes for the last couple of days, mostly when I have a free moment at work when I can sit and daydream for about five minutes.  But a few scenes don’t equate something coherent, and that’s what I needed.

It was about the time I was getting my last few images together that it hit me:  how about a week of classes?  I did that in the first novel, but not really so much in the last.  I mean, I did, but there wasn’t a lot of showing going on, just meeting and telling.  This time I wanted to not only get into a week of classes, but a week of their special classes, which means I’m going to do something almost never done before–

A lot of things, actually.

What does the chapter look like, then?  Like–

C For Continueing Chapter Nine

This.

All of the classes here are advanced, with the exception of one, and we’ll get to that in a moment.  There’s also two things here that haven’t been seen, one for obvious reasons, and another because I didn’t show it in the last novel.  So it’s time to show them here.

First up is Welcome to the Superlab.  I’ve mentioned that there is a chemical superlab over in the Tesla Center, and Advanced Formulistic Magic is gonna start cookin’ over there once in a while.  The chances are they’re not gonna go full Heisenberg and start cranking out magical meth, but they are gonna mix up something.  And this means I gotta start doing my research on how the lab is set up and what can they make.  Besides drugs.

The next day is a twofor.  First To Walk in Darkness, which is Annie and Helena together for their Tuesday night training.  Annie’s gonna learn a new spell, and it’s one that’s a little tricky to do, even for good sorceresses.  The second is Size Matters, and this Kerry in Advanced Transformation Crafting at the same time that Annie is getting her instruction.  Maybe we’ll get to see Jessica turn someone into a potted plant.

The next scene is Time Wise, and this is in Wednesday’s class, and you can probably guess what they’re working on.  I’ve got to work up some protocols for Wends to follow, because she’s a safe little witch except for those times she’s trying to kill people who make her mad.

Curtain Pulling hasn’t been shown before–oh, wait:  it has.  Sorta.  This is Deanna with the kids doing some special astral stuff, and we’ll get to see a little more of Deanna’s style of instruction, which is probably sweet and gentle–or maybe not.  Maybe she’ll just whack the kids with an astral stick until they get good.

And finally, Testing Kali.  If you figure out that the first date in this chapter falls on a Monday, then you can see this is Sunday, and this is time for Advanced Self Defense.  Kali, aka Arnis, aka Eskrima.  Ever see any of the Jason Bourne movies?  If you have, Kali is the martial arts form Bourne uses, and it’s considered one of the best in the world, employing the idea that minimal effort is required to take down your opponent with either empty handed or with weapons–or even both.  I actually want to show off the kids abilities this novel, and . . . they’ll get that chance.

Tonight if I have time I’ll start working on the trailer, but that’s my goal for Wednesday and Thursday, because I for sure want to have it up and ready to go on Saturday morning.  I have a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do this.

But, hey:  I like a challenge.

The New Plot

So, the plotting has begun.  Not a lot so far, unless you consider six chapters not a lot.

Yeah, let me start beating myself up here.

Yeah, let me start beating myself up here.

Then again, I feel like I should have more but I got involved in taking a nap and finishing up my binging of Breaking Bad, and, oh, yeah, I needed about an hour to chill my shit after my latest Sense8 recap received a comment from one of the creators/writers/producers of that show.  You know, pretty much a normal Saturday night–

So let’s see what I have laid out so far for C For Continuation, shall we?

Chapter One is pretty much straight forward, and it contains something I’ve yet to do:  there’s a flashback.  Looking at the dates and times of the first two scenes it’s pretty easy to tell where the flashback occurs, and you may be able to figure out how it’s coming into play.  Also, looking at the times, this is almost all an Annie chapter, because it seems like most of this is happening somewhere in the mountains of Bulgaria.

C For Continuing Chapter One

Chapter Two consists of summer get together, and one big surprise that you’ll have to see.  To save you the looking up, Rendlesham Forest is Kerry’s meeting with Penny, and The Great Gates of Kiev is Annie’s meeting with Alex.  I can tell you right now, these will be fun scenes to write when I get to them.

C For Continuing Chapter Two

Chapter Three is the winding down of the Summer of 2013, and there are going to be a couple of surprises here.  The dates of the last two scenes should be to let you know they happen about a week and a half before the kids leave for staging in Paris before heading off to school.

C For Continuing Chapter Three

That’s Part One out of the way; onward to Part Two.  Chapter Four will likely be a short chapters, perhaps the shortest of the novel.  It’s probably the tightest packed for time as well, because about a half hour passed from the beginning of the first scene to the end of the third.  Short, sweet, and about as to the point as I can get in this story.

By the way, Pour Rencontrer à Paris means “To Meet in Paris,” which is what my kids are doing.

C For Continuing Chapter Four

Chapter Five has the kids doing a little roaming around in The City of Light.  The first scene is going to see a new Party of Five in Paris, and they’ll have lunch in a cafe where I had lunch in 2006–no, really.  The third scene does not have anything to do with a Woody Allen movie of the same name, so don’t expect any time traveling.  But scene two:  oh, you can expect some tears there, all for reasons that will become apparent when I finally write that scene.

C For Continuing Chapter Five

Chapter Six has the kids leaving Paris and returning to Salem.  À Plus Tard Paris means, “See you later, Paris,” because–spoilers!–this won’t be the last time Annie and Kerry visit Paris together.  Not when this is Annie’s favorite city in the whole world, at least according to her.  The second scene will answer a question brought up in A For Advanced, and I’ll likely show a little of the background stuff that goes on when Foundation people are scamming their way through Normal society.  And the last scene of this chapter is pretty self-explanatory:  the kids finally make it back to the school–they are, so to speak, home.

As I have indicated I’m playing off events already laid out in Aeon Timeline, and this newest version is coming in handy due to the programs flexibility.  I particularly like that I can now expand events without having to enter the Inspector, which is now used for editing the events.

See what I can see?  And I'm not even a Seer.

See what I can see? And I’m not even a Seer.

And one interesting thing here is that Penny is almost exactly a year older than Annie, with her birthday coming not much after Annie’s.  Well, maybe not that interesting, but it’s something I pick up on right away when looking at these new timeline events.  We also know the school has been around away, but I didn’t bother with a creation date for Paris, because if you don’t already know it’s older than hell, you need to get into your history.

What’s up for today?  Well, I meet someone for lunch, then I begin adding more chapters and scenes.  I likely won’t finish plotting this out by tomorrow, but come this Saturday I’ll have the majority of it in place.  And since I already know how this novel ends I can begin writing before putting in the last scene.

Like with most of my trips, I know my destination.  And I will arrive there safely.

The Writing In the Book

Today is 4 July in the US, or as I like to call it, “Americans Drinking and Blowing Shit Up Day,” because that’s something we do well.  And I’m certain before the day is over there will be plenty of “fireworks accidents” to report, because there always are.  But I’m not here for that, not today.

I’ve finished editing Chapter Four, finally getting the kids into their coven for the first time.

You can't see it, but they're getting ready for bed as we speak.

You can’t see it, but they’re getting ready for bed as we speak.

It’s interesting to note that up to this point I’ve edited 71,580 words, and there remains 93,840 words.  Once I’m through Chapter Five I’ll be more than half way finished, so I’ll actually take about a month to revise and edit half of Act One, leaving me to believe I’ll finish the revision by the middle of August.  Given that I’ll start C For Continuing in a week and half, I figure to finish the edit on Act One by 1 September.  And should I have my covers finished and in hand by then, I don’t see a reason why I can publish Act One by the middle of October–just in time for Halloween!  If I’m lucky I’ll also be about half-way through editing Act Two by then, and maybe press for publication by January, 2017.

Plans are coming together her, folks.

I did change around a lot of things with this scene, and there were one hundred and thirty-six words added, which is a lot.  This was due in part as a need to clarify things better, because I found some stuff a little on the iffy side when it came to giving a good description of what was happening.  But I also made a bigger change, one that you may say is me nitpicking only because I can.

Now, we all know Annie comes from a country where English is her second language, and when she’s home she always speaks Bulgarian.  If these novels were ever turned into movies I would insist that Annie and her parents be played by native Bulgarian speakers, and that all the parts back in Pamporovo be spoken in Bulgarian with subtitles shown.  Why?  Because why not?

We’ve seen her speak Bulgarian, too:  she does it a few times throughout the novel, and even does so in the scene newly edited today:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

As they climbed the stone stairs—which had only a low railing to keep one from pitching off towards the floor below—Annie stepped alongside her new coven leader. “Excuse me, Professor?”

“Yes?”

“If I may ask, where are you from?” She offered a polished smile. “Your accent sounds Eastern European.”

“Oh, it is. I’m from the Czech Republic.”

“Ah.” They reached a small landing where the overhang met the staircase. “Do you speak Bulgarian?”

His eyes twinkled as he nodded. “Malko. Govorite li Chekhiya?”

She shook her head. “Ne, az se strakhuvam che ne.”

“That’s quite all right.” He patted Annie on the shoulder. “It’s always nice to have an even somewhat native speaker around.”

“Your Bulgarian is very good.”

“Maybe now I can get in some practice.”

“Ah, hem.” Alica stood with her arms crossed. “The tour?”

 

When they’re speaking I always try write out the words in English-style letters for better understanding.  But there’s something Annie does in this scene, as well as doing it in an earlier scene.  And that’s write.  And how would she write?  Well . . . like a Bulgarian.

 

She returned to the bed and picked up the white-covered album she’d brought from home, the same one she’d looked through last night.  She opened it to the same page she’d viewed yesterday, then flipped to the very next page.  Annie pulled out a pen and scribbled today’s date at the stop of the page.  Below that she wrote a short, simple sentence in Bulgarian:  Пристигнах в Салем тази вечер.  The pen hovered over the page before she followed that with another sentence:  И най-накрая целунат от джинджифил коса момче.

 

The Bulgarian alphabet is actually the oldest Slavic script in Europe, and the Glagolitic alphabet, devised by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 850s, was slowly replaced by the Cyrillic script near the beginning of the 10th Century.  So when Annie writes, she’s gonna write in Cyrillic, which is why everything looks a little strange above.

And what is she saying?

Something like this.

Something like this.

Fortunately she doesn’t write a lot, but I think it behooves me to keep her alphabet correct.  It’s really a little thing, but if there’s something it’ll do, it’s keep a certain husband to be from figuring out when she’s writing down something like, “Kerry keeps leaving his dirty underwear laying around!  What a butthead!”  Though we’ve seen him working on speaking Bulgarian, so how much longer before he starts trying to read and write?

Now on to Orientation Day, where we learn for the Fishbowl for the first time, and while there’s not writing, there is a bit of seeing . . .

Tried Or Tried Not

Not much in the way of editing happened during the night as after the events of the morning–coffee followed by brunch with three beers–I was in a lazy mood that compelled me to binge on Breaking Bad until the end of the Season 4 episode Problem Dog.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t do something useful–

While I was out getting nice and relaxed–

As you can see it was a nice day and I was feeling great.

As you can see it was a nice day and I was feeling great.

–and as I enjoyed the outside environment I was checking my updates on my phone, which means I’m now just as annoying as all those other people who do so.  One of these updates came from my long-time reader, blogger renxkyoko, and she had something to tell me:

 

‘By the way,cassie, since you’re editing….. I guess you missed this… ” Are you tried ?” to ” Are you TIRED “?’

 

Yeah, I did miss that.  One of the reasons for missing that is because I have a slight case of dyslexia that causes me to transpose letter a lot of times, and even when I read things as one word, sometimes I’m actually reading it wrong.  This sucks when I’m writing as well, because I should know my tried from my tired, but I tend to blow it most of the time.

So I made a note to check the manuscript to fix this when I returned home, so after getting back to the apartment about two PM, that’s exactly want I did.

Though some probably thought I should wait at this point--

Though some probably thought I should wait at this point–

Scrivener has an easy search function:  you can type in a word in the box next to the Inspector button in the upper right of the program and Scrivener shows you every place where that word existed.

Just like I'm doing here.

Just like I’m doing here.

Now, the above image is done after I cleaned up the document, because–see that list of scenes on the left?  When I did this the first time that list was three times as long.  That’s a lot of trieds, let me tell you.

I used the find and replace option to locate the occurrences of tried, and one of the things Scrivener does is highlight said word no matter how many you have in a text box, which is what my scenes are.  Here’s what it looks like in the first scene on this list:

Yellow means it's identified, orange means that's the occurrence you're currently examining.

Yellow means it’s identified and it turns orange when you’re currently examining that particular occurrence.

When I went through this I saw a hug number of trieds:  “Kerry tried–”  “Annie tried–”  “He tried–”  “She tried–”  Holy shit, you know?  Way too many occurrences of the word, not to mention it’s so freaking passive a phrase that it drove me crazy.

With the trieds identified I set out to make them far more active voice, because you shouldn’t be trying, you should be doing.  What’s the thing that old grumpy green muppet from a swamp planet says?

Yeah, that's the one.

Yeah, that’s the phase.

If the characters are trying they aren’t doing.  “Kerry tried not to look at Annie–”  No, he should either look away or look towards her.  “Annie tried to craft her spell–”  No, Annie succeeds or fails while crafting magic.  “Emma tried to get Kerry’s attention–”  Well, yeah, she’ll try, but she should have waved or call his name or throw her arms around him, though she shouldn’t take that last action in Annie’s presence if it’s her intention to keep her blood inside her body.

I spent a good hour going through the manuscript finding all the “tried” stuff and rewrote it so it was either do or do not.  There was no trying, it was all doing.  And that’s from my writing the first draft that way, but there wasn’t an excuse for leaving it in during the revision.  Now it’s out and I’ve made a note of keeping an eye on that stuff, since I’m certain I’ll find it in B For Bewitching as well.

There are other ways the Scrivener search function works besides just looking or words and phrases.  For example:

A For Advanced Search Setup

You can search for titles, for labels (what’s first draft, what’s revision, and so on), and most importantly, keywords.  I can assign those to scenes and then used that information to search back through the document to figure out where something is when I need to reference it for a future scene.  For example, if I want to know the scenes that have to do with school evaluations, I assign “Evaluation” as a keyword, then tell the search function to look for keywords, and–

Just like that, there they are!

Just like that, there they are!

This is an easy one, and I could have just as easily said to look for that word in the title.  But as I go on there are a lot of different words to set up:  “Dreams”; “Visions”; “Sorcery”; “Morte”; “Birthdays”; “Presents”.  It’s all there.  Then if I’m in my C Level novel and I need to know about a present Kerry gave Annie and see the background on that, I pull up the A and B Level novel and keyword search for those scenes.  So rather than keep all this crap in my head and then have a good idea where to look for things when needed, I just search for keywords.

See?  Even though it was a bit of a boozy afternoon, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn something.  All I needed to do was a little . . . searching.

And not to try, but to do.

Streams and Walking Dreams

 

The end of June is approaching, and I’m sort of relaxing with this whole “I don’t have anything new to write” thing going on.  Though that’s not entirely true:  tonight I write my last TV recap, and that will take me most of the night as I go over what I watched last night and fill in the blanks and get some nice pictures.  After that I’m done.

Or am I?

With the new computer I’m discovering the wonders of being able to sit down and load up something from my computer so I can watch it on my television.  As I have an Amazon Prime account I’ve taken to watching Season 1 of The Americans which I’d missed the first time around.  Tonight I’ll restream Orphan Black so I can work up the recap from the episode–and it was a hell of an episode–and I’ll probably do the same thing in the future when I get back to recapping Fear the Walking Dead.

Speaking off  and on with Rachel, the true originator of our blog The Snarking Dead, last night, over the last few weeks, I told her that I might want to tackle another show through July and August just so the blog doesn’t go dark once she finishes with Game of Thrones next week.  She thought that was a good idea, and I told her what show I wanted to recap–

The only thing was, in order to get to that show I needed to get a Netflix account.

I’ve wanted to do that for some time, and finally, last night, I broke down and put it into place.  So when I’m not editing Act One of A For Advanced, I’ll likely be kicked back watching something through my computer–which, given the low number of shows I watch these days, I may start doing next year so I can save myself some money on cable.  Yes, I know there are a few people right now who are probably rolling their eyes going, “Why aren’t you working on the next novel?” and the answer is I need this time to relax and recoup.

Oh, and to catch up on the view of a couple of series I’ve wanted to see since they came out on Netflix:  Jessica Jones and Sense8.  The first because I want to see David Tenant playing an absolute psychotic prick, and the last because I watch to watch that show.  It’s also the one I’m going to recap through July and August, maybe putting out a recap every few days because I’ll keep me busy.  And maybe during that time I’ll actually start laying out the third novel, too.  Until that happens, though, I’ll be relaxing and streaming.

Sort of like this, only without the water and shorts and blond hair.

Sort of like this, only without the water and shorts and blond hair.

Speaking of novels . . .

Well, over a thousand words were edited last night, and it was a good time.  Going back to yesterday’s edit, I walked home from work with a fellow office worker who takes the train back and forth from The Burg to Philly, and who used to live in London.  When I described Annie’s and Kerry’s journey from the Park Place Sherlock Homes to the Baker Street Station and down the Jubilee Line to London Bridge Station, she told me it sounded like I’d actually visited the city at one point.  No, I said:  I just do my research.

These two little parts below first sort of finish up their walking tour.  We see where they go and the steps they take before heading off to lunch:

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The walking tour next led them through St. James Park and Buckingham Palace. After some picture taking they hailed a cab and proceeded two kilometers to the east to the Lyceum Theater. Kerry didn’t say much about why they were there, beyond a few mentions of having “seen a video” and that being there meant “something to him”, so Annie didn’t ask for details. Upon reaching the location she saw he was in awe of his surroundings, and she figured pressing him for information would spoil any mood they’d developed.

This time Kerry found someone to take their picture in front of the theater. As before Annie stood close to him, and as she’d done on the Westminster Bridge she slide her hand into his. This time Kerry half turned his head and gave her a tiny grin before turning back for the photo. Two were taken and Kerry thanked the woman before showing the pictures to Annie. He snapped three pictures of her, then took one of himself mugging for the camera before allowing Annie to take three nicer pictures of him.

They were both getting hungry, so while at the theater Kerry used his phone to locate various places to eat. Upon finding a nearby restaurant they walked north from the Lyceum towards the Covent Garden station, when their boarded the subway and headed towards their next destination.

 

Above is the first time Kerry sort of gets goofy, which is while he’s snapping pictures of himself, something many eleven year olds do–and more than a few adults, too.  It’s also the first time that Kerry acknowledges that Annie is there sticking her hand in his, though he doesn’t close his fingers around hers.  I debated changing that last night, and decided, no, Kerry wouldn’t do that, not yet, not this early in the game.  Not until he gets to Witching Manor.

Where do they go for lunch?  Kerry tells Erywin and Helena in B For Bewitching:  the Pret a Manger located in Russel Square.  There here’s doing a few things with his computer and talks about his first trip to London before they get to this point:

She saw no need to delve any further in that part of his life. “But here we are, and you were able to see all those things before the weather turned bad.”

He glanced out the window at the Underground station across the street, but only for a moment. He turned back with a slight smile on his face. “We saw them.”

He said we. “Yes, we were together.”

Kerry nodded. “And we got some great pictures. I’ll send them to you as soon as you give me your email address.”

He may have a problem with this— “I don’t have a computer, Kerry.” She looked down for a second. “My mother has one, but I don’t.”

“Really?” His eyebrows were stopped by his brow from climbing too high.

“Yes, really.” He’s probably never meet anyone for real who didn’t have a computer. “I’ve never had need of one. And I think if you were to send them to my mother’s computer . . .” She rubbed her hands together slowly. “That wouldn’t be wise.”

“Okay, yeah: I can see that.” He nibbled on his sandwich. “Maybe I can get them printed out in Amsterdam—or at the school. Then you can take the hard copies home with you.”

Annie held back her chuckle, because she’d never heard anyone refer to pictures as “hard copy” before. But having a picture in hand—yes, they’ll look fine in my book . . . “I’m sure that’s possible. We’ll look into it when we get there.”

This is the point where we first learn that Annie doesn’t have a computer, but she has a book, and what a book!  And could you see Annie’s mother getting pictures of her daughter with the Ginger Hair Boy as they wander around London?  I’m certain they’d have words, even though it’d get through to Annie.

Because right now she’s in the best place in the world.

Doing the Day Trip Again

Let me get the personal out of the way before I do anything else, okay?  Most of the day yesterday was a bad one in terms of mood swings.  I had a number of up and down moments, and for a good part of the evening here at home, the water works were out in force.

I know part of this is due to being at the bottom of my hormonal cycle and that I’m approaching the “Shark Week” segment of my shot sequence, but some of it has to do with things I’ve seen people on my Facebook friends list saying.  Some are good, some are being outright insensitive assholes.  I seek solace from the good friends, and the bad ones go right down the Memory Hole and are never seen again.

The events of his last Sunday have hit me, and this is something I thought would never happen.  I will say, when I’m out I’m always aware that I could be the target of an attack, that I could be beaten and/or killed just for being who I am, and though I hate to admit to this, if I see something that looks like a dangerous situation, I don’t go towards it, I go around and away from it.  And to me, a “dangerous situation” could be nothing more than three guys walking towards me, and I get a bad feeling that they may start hurling slurs at me–or more.

Screw it:  let’s move on.  London, here we come.

Of the huge, over five thousand word scene I started in on, only nine hundred and fifty words of it were edited.  This is the London Day Trip which The Foundation decided my kids needed to take, though they really left it up to them as to whether or not they wanted to leave the hotel.  What did you think they would do?

Now, I haven’t gotten anywhere near where they are going to end up when this scene concludes–having lunch in Russel Square–but they’re starting out from the hotel and hitting the streets:

 

 

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

With everything in place, Annie and Kerry departed the hotel and headed towards the Baker Street underground station.

Travel was simple: they would stay within the inner city transportation zone and only need a single travel pass, which she bought for them both. From Baker Street it was a quick trip on the Jubilee Line to the London Bridge station, and from there a short walk to the namesake bridge.

It wasn’t as prominent as structure as some of the bridges across the Thames, but from the middle of the river it offered a great view of central London and the Tower Bridge. Annie stood by while Kerry snapped several pictures of city and the river before asking if he could take her picture. She allowed him a couple of shots before convincing him she could operate his phone well enough to take his picture, which she did after he relented.

As they prepared to return to the train station Annie stopped an older gentleman and politely asked if he could talk their picture together. He agreed, and a few moments later Annie was photographed on London Bridge standing alongside a somewhat nervous Kerry. At the time she wasn’t certain if he was nervous because she’d handed his phone over to another person, or because of how close she was standing—

 

This was an important scene, because we see Captain Clueless and The Dark Witch out strolling around one of the biggest cities in the world seemingly unafraid of their surroundings, and completely confident that they know where they’re going.  Yes, normally having a couple of eleven year old kids running around a city along is something that freaks people out these days, but these aren’t normal kids.  And, as always, there’s a method to The Foundation’s madness.

Oh, and that “Annie standing close” thing from above?  That’s not an option, it’s a feature.  There’s a scene with them on a water bus heading up the Thames where Annie gets her picture taken with Kerry where she sits extra close to him, and then there’s this part where they’re in a car on the London Eye–

 

Near the zenith of their journey the phone came out once more and Kerry set up to take Annie’s picture. He snapped a couple before the phone exchanged hands so she could get his. It was her suggestion that they get a closeup of their faces, and while Kerry prepared to get the photo, Annie again moved in as close as possible to her companion and leaned her head against his shoulder while sliding her arm around his body. If he was bothered by the intimacy he didn’t show it, and he managed to get two great pictures before they slowly drifted apart.

They walked from the Eye across Westminster Bridge and toward Big Ben and Parliament. About half way across Kerry started talking about movies and shows that had been filmed here, and became far more animated than at any time during the trip. Again there were pictures, mostly of Annie with Big Ben behind her head, or her leaning against the railing of the bridge. After she did the same for him, she once again stopped someone and asked if they’d take their picture together. As they smiled for the camera, Annie, already standing close, slipped her right hand into his left.

He didn’t react, at least not right away. While he didn’t pull his hand away, he didn’t close his fingers around hers. Once their picture was taken he hurried over to retrieve the phone and show Annie the picture before thanking their photographer. He never mentioned what she did, though she did notice the peculiar look upon his face, as if he was still trying to comprehend what had just happened to him—or if something had just happened between them.

 

So now you know where Annie first held hands with Kerry:  in the middle of the Westminster Bridge likely sometime around ten in the morning on a late August morning.  And, of course, he has no clue what’s going on?  What is with this grabby girl?  Are they all like this?  Oh, Kerry, you’ll find out in time.

Part of what I did last night was to map out their route through this scene, showing their path, which includes two subway lines, a water bus, and a taxi ride:

Sure, it only look confusing.

It only look confusing.

They started out up in the upper left hand corner, and will eventually stop in the upper center.  Right now they’re in the lower center, standing over the river, and they’re about to head over to the palace and then on to a place the Kerry wanted to see.  And then–

Well, I’ll get to the “and then” soon enough.  Maybe tonight.

I have to see where my own journey is going.