Luncheon to Luncheon

When I wrote yesterday that I didn’t do a lot of writing on Sunday that was true in one sense:  I didn’t get a lot in the word bank that night ’cause of reasons.  But as I’ve mentioned before not all writing is “writing”, if you know what I mean.  Sometimes you gotta sit and look at things and figure out where you want your scene to take place, and if there’s something else you want your character doing after that.

And that was how I spent about ninety minute:  looking up stuff for the excerpt below.  The majority of what I researched went into the first paragraph, but you know how that is with the whole research thing:  sometimes only a little is needed out of a lot of looking up.

What is said in that paragraph?  And what does it have to do with Annie?  All this:

 

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

 

Annie stared down ul. Yuri Venelin as her mother paid the cab driver that had brought them from the Sofia airport to the city. The residential street was crowed with parked cars while the sidewalks were empty—all save for the corner behind her, where ul. Yuri Venelin intersected ul. Lyuben Karavelov. The trees lining the street were full of leaves that blocked her view of the Vasil Levski stadium a couple of hundred meters away.

She closed her eyes and looked towards the sky and felt warm light on her face. The sky was clear and temperatures were approaching 30 Celsius. No jacket or leggings needed today: a v-neck tee, black skater skirt, and sandals were all she needed and wanted. Summer wasn’t ready to vanish from Sofia—

But for Annie, only three weeks remained before she vanished from Bulgaria for almost the remainder of 2013. Only three weeks remained before she was reunited with Kerry for the rest of the year and they returned home…

“What are you dreaming about?”

Annie turned to her mother who was looking at her with a half-grin on her face and a curious look in her eye. “Just thinking about how nice it is, Mama.”

“Um, hum.” She patted her daughter on the shoulder as they walked the short distance towards Annie’s destination. “How long do you think your lunch will take?”

“I don’t imagine long.” She walked as slow as possible because she was certain her mother had a few things to say and the remaining distance was about a dozen meters. “Maybe two hours at the most.” Annie stopped just short of her destination. “Are you coming to get me?”

“I wasn’t planing on it: I had a different idea…” Pavlina Kirilova removed her mobile phone from her purse and handed it to Annie. “When you’re finished, or about to finish up, text my work mobile and let me know. The number’s in the contacts; you’ll see it.” She adjusted her purse upon her shoulder. “You still want to go to Paradise Center, yes?”

“Yes.” Annie had told her mother before leaving for Sofia that she wanted to stop at the large shopping center and pick up a few items before returning to Pamporovo.

“Okay. After you text me hail a cab and take it to the mall: I’ll meet you at the main entrance.” She eyed Annie’s purse. “I know you have enough for cab fare.”

Annie remained expressionless though she so wanted to raise a brow. Her mother had given her €500 before leaving the house, so she was fully aware that Annie had plenty for a cab. “I do, Mama.”

“Well, then—” She kissed her daughter on the cheek. “You have a good time, Nini. I’ll wait for your text.”

Annie felt the rush of heat in her cheeks as she always did whenever her mother used her nickname in public. “Okay, Mama.”

“I’ll see you in a bit.” Pavlina stepped back a few meters into the entrance of a courtyard and slowly made herself invisible, followed a few seconds after she vanished from sight by the slight pop of her jaunt.

Annie slipped her mother’s mobile into her purse, checked her hair to make sure to was okay, and strode confidently into the restaurant.

 

Here’s that Annie out having a lunch and shopping date.  Only the shopping is with her mother:  which means the lunch is with someone else.  Who is this mystery guest who’s come all the way to Bulgaria?

Let’s take a look at the areas.  This is where Annie is at the start of the scene:

Though she isn't standing in the middle of the road.

Though she isn’t standing in the middle of the road.

There is a restaurant in this view, though you have to know where to look to find it.  And it had to be a particular restaurant for–reasons.  You’ll see.  That took a while to figure out in of itself, but that’s what comes of research.

And then we have the shopping mall:

Take Me Down to the Paradise... Center?

Take Me Down to the Paradise… Center?

Paradise Center is not only the largest shopping mall in Sofia, it’s the largest in Bulgaria and the Balken States.  There are a lot of high-end stores here, making it the sort of place the wife and daughter of a Formula One driver with lots of money would shop if, you know, they didn’t have the ability to jaunt off to Paris and shop there.  And it’s only six kilometers from where Annie is having lunch, so taking a cab there isn’t a huge deal. And we know Annie knows how to hail a cab.

An interesting line in the excerpt is the remark about money:  Annie thought it was strange that since her mother had given her the money she felt it necessary to remind her daughter that she had enough for a cab ride.  The thing I find interesting is that Pavlina hands Annie five hundred Euro and doesn’t worry if too much.  Sure, there will be shopping after, but…  it would have been a cold day in hell before I handed $500 to my thirteen year old daughter and said, “This should be enough for lunch and shopping–yes?”  And Annie probably didn’t bat an eye:  “Yes, that will do, Mama,” and stuffed it in her wallet.  The Rich:  it’s a different way of life.

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

Now all that’s needed is for the lunch date to show up.  I wonder who it could be?

Funstyles of the Young and Witchy

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

“What’s a ryokan?”

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

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

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

“You want to do that with Kerry?”

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

“They went hiking?”

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

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

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

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

 

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

Right around ten kilometers away, just like Annie said.

Right around ten kilometers away, just like Annie said.

I found the village of Snape.  No, really.

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

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

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

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

Straight Outta the Golden Gate

Hey, look!  It’s time to go back to the Ukraine, ain’t it?  Yep, sure is.  I’m not going to say much up here in the front ’cause I’m gonna do a lot of talking in the middle and that’ll give you enough to read as is.  So, when Annie asks, “That’s the Golden Gate?” you know Alex will have a reply–

 

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

 

“Yes.” Alex waved an arm at the immense structure. “The last Great Gate of Kiev. You can thank the Russians for this: they built it for the city’s fifteen-hundredth anniversary, though everyone then and now says it looks nothing like the original gate—” She shrugged as she lowered her voice. “I guess the only way we’d know what it really looks like is to get a witch out her and have them Postcog the area. It’s the only way we’d know for sure.”

“That’s true.” What Annie knew of Postcogntion was limited to what she’d already read at home and at school. She knew Deanna taught the basics of the skill though she’d heard her say once before that she wasn’t as skilled at seeing into the past as she was the future. Annie figured that, like Demonology an Necromancy, if a student showed promise with Postcognition Foundation personnel from outside the school came in to help develop their talent.
She tapped her friend lightly on the arm. “Let’s talk about this over lunch.”

Alex nodded. “Good idea. It’s down this way.”

 

Now for an annoying historical interlude:

What Alex says about the Golden Gate is true:  it was part of the city’s fortifications going back to at least before the 11th Century and perhaps a few centuries before that.  The truth is no one really knows because stuff like construction records were pretty sketchy at that time.  By the 1800’s the Golden Gate didn’t exist in much of anything but ruins, but in the early 1980’s the Soviet Union decided Kiev needed a nice present for their 1500th anniversary and rebuilt the Golden Gate in it’s present form.  Just about everyone who knows a little history say the current look is all wrong and at the time this gate went up various historians were telling the Russians this, but in 1982 one did not tell the Old Soviet Union “Nyet!”, it told you–often with a trip to a gulag in Siberia.

But the Golden Gate became world famous when it more or less became one of the moments of the suite Pictures at an Exhibition, written by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.  The suite was composed in honor of Mussorgsky’s friend, artist Viktor Hartmann, who passed away in 1873 at the age of 39.  Mussorgsky imagined the suite as representing the feelings one would have as they walked through an art gallery viewing Hartmann’s work, and the musical movements were based upon certain paintings of Hartann’s–one of which was that of a gate designed as a monument for Tsar Alexander II.  That movement, the last of the suite, was The Great Gate of Kiev.  And that’s the gate in the image below:

Not the Golden Gate, but the real Great Gate.

Not the Golden Gate, but the real Great Gate.

Though Pictures at an Exhibition was originally written for the piano it didn’t take long for it to be adapted for the orchestra, and the version below, conducted by Maurice Ravel, is considered by many to be best interpretation of the suite.  Since we’re dealing with The Great Gate of Kiev here we’ll stick to that movement, which tends to bring down the house every time:

 

Now, the above piece actually starts out with the penultimate movement, Baba Yaga’s Hut on Hen’s Legs, and doesn’t get into The Great Gates of Kiev until around 3:20 in the video.  There’s a reasons for that…

Because my first exposure to Pictures at an Exhibition was only classical if you consider rock to be both classical and progressive.  Not long after I started driving–believe it or not I received my licence on 1 April, 1974, and the world has never been the same–a friend gave me an 8-track tap telling me, “This is some of the freak music you like to listen to,” which was a label I was given at the time–Listener of Freak Music–because out of nearly everyone in my school I was one of the few who listened to FM radio.  It was 1974, okay?  People were just not ready to break with Top 40 AM…

Anyway, I popped the tape in my player and drove around that night being amazed ’cause this was a recording of Pictures at an Exhibition as arranged by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and performed at the Newcastle City Hall in North East England on 26 March, 1971.  Not only did I become a fan of the group then, but it also made me go to the library and seek out the original source material and start getting introduced to actual classical music.

Pictures at an Exhibition has remained a favorite of mine all these years and I’ve even managed to hear it performed live by ELP on three different occasions.  The selection below, taken from their album of the performance, covers the same two movements as the classical piece above, which allows you to hear how three guys on keyboards, drums, and bass made this score their own.

Now that the music’s out of the way we can get to lunch, and wouldn’t you know it:  the girls aren’t going that far…

 

They quickly left the park and the enormous gate behind as they crossed the street. Alex, walking on Annie’s left, nodded her head towards the road. “That used to be moat in case you were wondering about the name.”

“I figured when I saw it was Yaroslaviv Val that it had something to do with fortifications, particularly with the gate here.” Annie glanced at the park. “I supposed the wall ran along the other side.”

“It didn’t surround the whole city, but there was a wall over there.” As they walked beyond the western boundaries of the park street took a slight dogleg to the right where Alex pointed to a set of stairs. “There’s the place: I told you it wasn’t far.”

Annie examined the name of the restaurant—Eurasia—as well as some of the placards advertising the wears. “They have sushi?”

“Sure. Yakatori and sashimi, too.” Alex looked down and away for a moment. “It’s not all that fancy, but the food’s good.”

Annie nodded. “That’s all that matters.”

A strange tone took hold in Alex’s voice. “If you’d rather—”

“Alex.” Annie turned toward the girl as she flashed a comforting smile. “I didn’t come here to be impressed: I came here to hang out with you. This is fine.” She nodded towards the entrance. “Let’s go inside.”

The Eurasia was styled much like a modern sushi restaurant. They found a small booth near the bar and given that the place had just opened and was nearly empty they were waited almost immediately. The girls order a combination of nigiri sushi and several rolls to start as well as hot tea for both.

Once they food arrived they began eating immediately. Annie found the food prepared nicely and to have a fantastic flavor. She swallowed her second smoked salmon roll and wiped her lips. “This is tasty.”

 

Did you really think Annie wouldn’t like sushi?  That’s not as surprising as Alex liking it, but then Alex seems to be full of surprises–the biggest one here being that she’s a little worried the fare won’t be to Annie’s liking.  Even though Annie and Kerry mentioned their luncheons in London, they probably never said where they were meeting and the rest of the Party of Six may have figured that when they were alone, The Lovey Dovey Couple liked them so fine dining.

Alex had no idea this is just a lateral move from a fast food joint in Russel Square.

Alex had no idea this is just a lateral move from a fast food joint in Russel Square.

And that’s the actual location when the girls are enjoying their sushi right now–

As they prepare to talk about stuff–and things…

Hidden Knowledge Around the World

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

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

There's always time for wine.

There’s always time for wine.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

However, he’s slow to change…

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

Which are all listed right here.

Which are all listed right here.

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

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

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.