The Grand Exchange of Magic

I did a lot last night.  Or at least it seemed like a lot.  But, yes:  there was a lot that passed out of my imagination and on to more than one various page.

Things were finished up in the garden:

 

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

Kerry finally broke the moment. He slowly pulled away, but when Annie looked upon his face, she no longer saw a boy lost in thought: she now saw a slowly growing smile. He found his voice, uttering the only word that made sense given the situation. “Wow.”

“Yes; wow.” She chuckled as she hugged him. “I didn’t expect that.”

“I, uh . . . I didn’t either.”

“Then . . .” She ran her right index finger along his smile line. “Why?”

“Why, what?”

“Why did you kiss me?”

Kerry twisted his smile while he thought. “It seemed like something I was suppose to do.”

Annie watched his eyes closely, wondering if he had drawn upon some forgotten memory. Could it be that he remembers another time when kissing me was that difficult? Did he remember a time when

At that moment a woman’s voice seemed to come from everywhere around them. “Attention, all newly arriving students. Please report to The Rotunda immediately.”

 

Yeah, that was probably the Headmistress, being a killjoy.  Thank, Heady!

There were things changed in Memory’s End; there were things changed in The Witch House–

 

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

The light in the room was good so it was easy for Annie to instantly recognize the woman. “You were on the flight with us, in the rear cabin.” She didn’t add that she knew her as the other woman who’d stared at her.

The woman brushed her hair back behind her ears, showing off a pair of gold studs that blended nicely with her light caramel complexion. “On the contrary: you were on the flight with me.” Her dark eyes twinkled as they darted from child to child. “Let me see . . .” After a few seconds she snapped her fingers before pointing in Annie’s direction. “You’re Anelie Kirilova.”

Annie hated it when someone used her actual given name without permission. “Yes, I am.”

“I thought I’d heard I was getting a Legacy.” The woman’s eyes narrowed slightly. “I just missed having your parents in my class; they were F Levels when I taught my first year, and neither were asked into sorcery for their CEPs, which I found a bit surprising.” She slowly widened her stance before crossing her arms. “I see your father did well this last weekend.”

“I wouldn’t know—” Annie didn’t like that this woman not only knew so much about her, but had revealed so much in front of Kerry. “I don’t follow my father’s work.”

“Hum.” The woman turned her attention to her other visitor. “I remember you from the flight as well.” This time she held out her hand. “You have a name, Friend of Anelie Victoreva?”

“Kerry Malibey.” He shook her hand, doing his best to make eye contact, which wasn’t something he felt comfortable doing with this woman.

“Helena Lovecraft.” She turned on a little smile as she ended the shake. “Dark Mistress of All.” As she let go of his hand Helena saw a question in Kerry’s eye she hadn’t seen in a while. “I’m not.”

“What?” Kerry turned guarded, as if he’d shared a secret without saying anything.

“I’m not related. Lovecraft.” She set her hands on her hips, but came off far more relaxed than when she’d spoke with Annie. “As far as I’m aware we’re no relation, but who knows? Maybe there’s something my father hasn’t told me.”

 

That Dark Mistress of All:  a real butt buster.

There were changes in the meadow, where all things were laid out, but not in the way one would have expected:

 

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

“Just a lot . . .” His sigh was long and sounded full of exhaustion. “I don’t walk like this back home. I don’t go out that much at all. And if I do go out, I take a bus.” He leaned into Annie, but this time his sigh was full of contentment. “I just need to get my energy back.” He looked across the open area before them. “What is this place?”

“It’s called Selena’s Meadow. One of the largest open spaces here—or so I read.” With Kerry leaning against her shoulder and arm Annie couldn’t say she found herself in an undesirable position. But her thoughts continued to drift back to this morning’s meeting, and their meetings with the instructors. Professor Semplen’s was by far the most normal, discussing plans for growing and testing, but even without Professor Arrakis drawing a vision from from Kerry and her, there was Professor Douglass talking about cantrips and foci and how they’d bring about spell effects—and the less said about Professor Lovecraft and her passive-aggressive needling designed to point out things about Annie without actually saying them, the better.

And the location they were now headed towards—Annie felt a knot form in the pit of her stomach the moment Kerry said he wanted to check out the Flight School. If there was one thing she was extremely familiar with it was flight, and she was fearful of how he was going to react when he saw what transpired there . . .

At that moment two people flew by on long, slender, mechanical devices, close enough to the ground that one could see the processor in the back, the seat in the middle, and the heads-up HUD in front. But for someone not versed in the history of these machines, they bore a striking resemblance to something far more familiar . . .

Kerry stirred immediately, much to Annie’s chagrin. “Those guys are flying. Are those—”

Annie saw no point in hiding the truth. “Those are PAVs.”

He turned towards Annie. “What’s that?”

Even though she’d started the conversation, Annie was afraid to continue. To admit what she knew was to admit she’d hidden things from Kerry all week—but after her admissions last night, she found it impossible to pretend any longer—

Kerry took Annie’s hand and held it between his. “It’s okay.”

“What is?”

“I know.”

What makes you so certain you know anything? She almost asked that question, but decided on something less glib. “You know what?”

“That you’re like the instructors.” He leaned in close and lowered his voice to a near-whisper. “Special.” He squeezed her hand. “Not that you aren’t already.”

She wanted to dote on Kerry’s last comment, but she decided to leave that for later. “How did you know?” Annie turned her hand over and pressed her palm into his. “When did you know?”

“I suspected something last night, but today I knew for sure.”

Annie tilted her head to one side. “How did you know last night? The E and A?”

“That was a big part, but then at the hospital . . .” He closed his eyes for a second. “Nurse Coraline came out after being with you and did her glowing hand thing on me with that scanner. I figured that she probably wouldn’t have done that unless someone . . .” He gazed into Annie’s eyes. “ . . . told her I wouldn’t get all weirded out when she started, you know—doing that.”

He positioned himself the same as last night: one leg under the other, his body turned on the bench so he was facing her. “When the headmistress spoke this morning, I was watching you—your body language. You came off more worried than surprised. Particularly when you looked to see how I was reacting.”

Annie hadn’t suspected that she’d appeared that worried. “I only looked at you the one time—”

“Three.”

“No.”

“Yes. Three.” His grin was bright and wide. “I said I was watching you—not the headmistress. I only needed to hear her.”

That was all Annie needed to hear to start blushing. “Kerry—”

“And there was everything else today. You taking me to see the divination instructor and not getting freaked out over the stuff that happened while we were there. Telling Professor Semplen about the herbs your mother grows for her ‘mixtures’. Not blinking an eye at any of the stuff Professor Douglas said. And then Professor Lovecraft . . .”

His green eyes twinkled as he recounted the memory. “You weren’t confused by a thing she said, but you were getting upset because she was saying things you didn’t want her to say—about your family being at school, your father, and how she’d heard of you. You also cringed a bit when she said ‘Legacy’. I figured that was because I was in the room and you didn’t want me to know.” He turned his eyes upward as he shook his head slowly from side to side a couple of times. “That sort of nailed it since I know what that word means.”

 

Cleaver gi–I mean, boy.

I changed up a scene in the hospital, where “some Twilight strangeness” was happening:

 

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

Gretchen tugged lightly on her right earring, something she did when she was unsure of her next action. “Okay, listen: you can have fifteen minutes, but no more. Since there’s no one else here, I’ll set the ward lights to blink when your time’s up.” She’d almost slipped past the curtain when gave Annie a reminder. “Stop by the office on the way out: I need to give you something to help you sleep.”

“But . . .” Annie slowly settled into the chair between Beds One and Two. “I won’t need anything.”

“Yes, you will. I have to write up your visit, and what I did to help.” She winked again. “Rules.” She stepped out and slipped the curtain closed.

Annie watched Kerry sleep. She noticed the slow movement of his chest and stomach. She saw the thin line of saliva hanging from the corner of his mouth. She jumped and clutched her chest when his left leg jerked under the covers.

She reached over and laid her hand against his before giving it a light squeeze. She didn’t release it: she didn’t want to, ever. She could sit next to his bed all night and hold him, keep him company—

His eyelids twitched a few times, and Annie felt his fingers flex and relax. He made an untellable sound, then spoke softly in his sleep. “It’s only rain, no need to . . .” Then his breathing returned to normal as he sunk deeper into sleep.

Never releasing his hand, Annie slipped closer and spoke to him in whispered hushes. “What are you seeing? What is it?” She leaned in a few centimeters more. “Why don’t you remember me? When will you know what I am to you?”

She lay her head on the bed, against the hand she held in hers, and closed her eyes. “Why can’t I see you in my dreams any more? We’re so close now; why doesn’t it happen? Why aren’t we there together?

Why?”

And now that I look at this scene as is sits, I like it much better than a sobbing Annie whimpering in the darkness.  Nope, nope, nope.  Let Kerry do all the crying, he’s good at it.  And the “It’s only rain–” line?  Watch for that much later.

There remains a few more things to rewrite–three really major scenes, in fact.  You can tell by my notes:

Here I will work on really important stuff--you know, things.

Here I will work on really important stuff–you know, things.

Once they are out of the way and I feel confident I’ve got characterization locked down, I can get back to new words and new things–new tortures. I worked out one scene last night where one sees how to take a witch’s magic away–it’s not hard, but the end result isn’t always pretty.  See, I don’t just throw bogarts at my kids–

Oh, no.  I like to crank that horror up to eleven and see what shakes out.

The Slumbering Afterglow

Though I didn’t write in quick bursts yesterday, I wrote a lot.  Well, maybe not a lot:  after all, there were a lot of things going on, one of which was getting an infection in my left thumb cleared up.  Do you know what it’s like to take the part of your thumb that’s sort of swollen with an infection and bang it again the space bar every time you need a space between words?  It hurts–a lot.  But all better now, so I can continue my insanity.

(I know you’re thinking, “Why didn’t you just stop writing, Cassie?”  Don’t bother:  you already know the answer.)

I didn’t think I’d written much, since I seemed to peck along due to a number of things.  One was the thumb, the other was thinking over a couple of others scenes that I want to do, and another was . . . well, lets call it feelings, cause they were there when I was writing this part.

And since I’m in a good mood this morning, you get to see all of it–just about nine hundred and fifty words.  It starts up right when the excerpt I published yesterday ended.  And if you didn’t read that–for shame, for shame.

 

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

Annie brushed a few strands of hair from her face. “I’m glad I asked you out.”

Kerry blushed once again. “Um . . .”

“Yes?”

“I’ve never had a girl tell me they, um—” He tried not to look at Annie. “That they asked me out.”

“Really.” She took a long sip of her Lemon Aid. “Does it feel as if I’ve asked you out on a date?”

“I guess.” Kerry seemed ready to sink into this tee shirt, and appeared to want to do a dozen other things besides answer these questions. “I’ve never been asked out on a date, so I wouldn’t know.”

“You mean asked out by a girl?”

“Well, yeah: that, too.” He finally managed to get his fidgeting under control. “I’m just happy you asked me along. You’ve been—” The deep blush grew bright. “You’ve been really nice to me.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” It was easy for Annie to be nice to Kerry, though he didn’t know this, or why. “You don’t complain, which is one good thing about you. And you can hold a conversation, which is another.”

He nodded, as a slight grin began to form. “Thanks.”

She rested her cheek against her hands as she leaned towards him. “I’ll bet all your friends say the same about you.”

The blush and the semi-grin vanished as Kerry’s face went slack. He was facing Annie, but he wasn’t looking at her. “I . . .” His lips tightened as his gaze began darting from place to place.

“Kerry?” Annie knew something was wrong, but she wasn’t sure what had just happened. “What is it?”

His voice sounded very small. “I don’t have any friends.”

Uh, oh. She was aware that Kerry was a solitary person, but she didn’t realize he was friendless. I never asked . . . “I’m sure that’s not true—”

“It is true.” He bit his lower lip to prevent it from quivering. “Never had any in California, and for sure don’t have any in Cardiff. That’s why no one ever asks me to do anything, or if I want to do something.” He took a deep breath as the fight to keep his lip from quivering was lost. “Not even my parents; they never ask me if I want to do anything.” He looked out the window as a tear trickled down his cheek. “No one cares about me.”

Her expression never changed as Annie’s heart shattered. She’d heard sadness before, but never anything like the despair she’d just felt emanating from Kerry. “That isn’t true—”

It is.” The trickle had become a stream, and his words barely escaped his tightening throat. “I don’t have any friends at school. My parents think I’m some weird kid who sits in his room and reads and does stuff on his computer and listens to music, and that’s it. If it wasn’t for The Foundation paying for me to go to school, they wouldn’t have cared if I wanted to go or not. No one cares about me; no one loves me.” He set his glasses aside and covered his eyes. “No one at all.”

Annie felt her own growing sadness as Kerry broke down. She wasn’t sadden by his actions: she was saddened by his statement, “No one loves me”. She wanted to leap across the table and hold and tell him the truth, tell him what she knew, what she felt—

And if you do, then what? Will he believe you? He doesn’t know you. He’ll think you’re crazy, that you’re playing with him, and that will only make him more upset—and it will be your fault.

“Don’t say that, Kerry.” Annie keep her voice low and her tone full of caring. “I know there is someone out there who cares for you, who loves you: I know it. And if you think hard . . .” The corners of her mouth turned upward slightly. “I know you’ll see them. I know you know them.”

The tears stopped; Kerry sniffed several times, trying to clear his nose. He never once looked at him, instead keeping his face in profile. “My grandparents.” He raised his voice a little as he finally turned towards Annie. “They do; they love me. I know it.”

She nodded slowly. “See? I knew you’d find someone.” She maintained the slight grin so Kerry wouldn’t see what she was feeling—

“Yeah.” He wiped his eyes with the back of his arm. “You’re right.” He picked up a napkin and dabbed at his face. “I didn’t mean to do that, it’s just . . .”

“You get emotional at times?”

“Yeah. Can’t help it when that happens.” He laid the napkin next to his plate and put on his glasses. “My parents hate it. My dad says it’s because I’m ‘not strong’, whatever that’s suppose to mean. My mom . . . she just says, ‘You cry like a girl’.”

“That’s not a very nice thing to say.” She sat up, her eyes clear and sharp. “And it’s also not true. I don’t cry, and I’m a girl. So there.”

Kerry chuckled. “You don’t cry?”

She shook her head, her eyes half closed. “No. Not at all. My mother once told me it wasn’t natural.”

“Ah.” He waved his hand as if not concerned. “What do our parents know, huh?”

Annie watched him turn away from the window and refocus upon her. “Are you okay now?”

He took a deep breath. “Yeah.” His head slowly tilted to one side. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to go and spoil the day.”

“You didn’t.” The smile that formed was meant to be warm and comforting. “And there’s still a lot left.”

Kerry looked like he was going to pick up his phone and check something. “There is?”

“Yes. We don’t have to be back to the hotel for another four hours.” She leaned her chin upon her joined fists. “There are still things to see.”

 

There are always things to see, Young Annie.  And you will, trust me.  You will.

This was a difficult part for me to write, at least from an emotional standpoint.  I’ve said a lot of the things that Kerry said at one time of another, many of them when I was his age.  And the things his parents said to him–yeah, I’ve heard them as well.  And he had better grandparents than mine, who were a bunch of racist assholes and drunks.  At least he has something better than me.

And then–then–when I get to the “No one loves me part” and Annie’s feeling her heart break (for reasons I know, but you don’t) . . . well, I’m listening to music, and it’s a live version of the final two compositions off Wind and Wuthering, … In That Quite Earth and Afterglow, the final stanza of Afterglow comes up:

 

And I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.
For now I’ve lost everything,
I give to you my soul.
The meaning of all that I believed before
Escapes me in this world of none,
I miss you more.

(Music and Lyrics by Anthony Banks)

 

And that was about the time I needed to sit out on the balcony and get over a good cry of my own.

Really, though:  was I thinking it was Annie trying to pull Kerry back into something that she knows but he doesn’t?  Or was Kerry feeling something that he knew once but has now forgotten.  Or was I pining away for something I dearly want, but can likely never have?

Yes.

What this means is this long stretch of writing, this scene now over five thousand words, is just about finished.  Just add a few things tonight, hack and slash it into place, and I can call it revised.

No, really, it's really near the end.  Really!

No, really, it’s really near the end. Really!

And when this is finished–

I can move on to other scene and drive myself crazy.You

Let Us Relive Our Lives in What We Tell You

Breakfast is out of the way, more or less; all that remains is the coffee, and I’m about to refill that as soon as the song I have on finishes.  Yes, it’s six fifty-five AM and the morning has already been an hour in the making.  That means it’s time for a post.  That means it’s time to start writing.

It’s a strange live I’ve chosen for myself.  Write a blog post at six-thirty in the morning, then write code all day, then come home and edit twenty pages for a while, then time line out something because I need to know when an event could take place because of something happening to one of the characters–yeah, Research Bitches!  Finally, about eight forty I was able to relax and watch How to Train Your Dragon, which is one of my favorite movies, and far superior, in my opinion, to Toy Story 3.  Because Viking kid with a dragon.

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them--Kerry needs one of these.  Oh, and lets not forget the blowing up of your enemies . . .

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them–Kerry needs one of these. Oh, and lets not forget when you use them to blow up your enemies . . .

And then I’m back at it today.  Same as it ever was.

Last night, while I was plotting out my time lines and thinking about some of the crap my kids will get into once the future rolls around, I wondered about some of the things that have drawn me to writing, as well as some of the things I’ve written.  Like it or not, there’s always a little bit of me in my stories.  Maybe it’s just a personal feeling, or perhaps it’s an idea I want to espouse.  There is at least one story I’ve written that deals with feelings I have towards other person, and another where I’m more or less returning to some emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time–which is probably one of the reasons why I find myself getting into crying jags now and then.

A lot of writers get caught up in their characters, and I find myself doing the same once in a while.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ll often start crying at the end of one of my stories not only because I’ve reached the end and there’s a huge emotional release upon typing out, “The End”, but in a few of my stories something extremely emotional has occurred between my characters, and it’s hard to hold back the feelings.  You’re digging deep into something within your own essence to throw into your characters, and when that moment happens, it’s like it happened to you.

I thought out a scene for my kids last night that hit me in ways that make a lot of sense, and at the same time left me feeling like my heart was going to wither.  It was a cold scene, but as I thought it out logically, it was the only thing possible for the plot as thought out.  It even involved making one of the hardest characters I’ve ever made reach a point where she starts crying–that’s some hard core sad right there.

I talk about these characters as if they are real people sometimes, and while I know they aren’t, they are, in a way, an extension of my own ideas and feelings, so when you give them happy times, you feel the happy times, and when you crap all over their lives and throw them into the Pit of Emotional Hell, then you’re going to experience the fall.  And trust me:  I will crap all over their lives, because life is hard for Normal people, so just imagine the sort of shit that gets thrown at you when you’re a witch.

What doesn’t kill them makes your characters stronger–but what does it do to me?  It lets me tell the tales of their lives–

And by doing so, I bring a little of my life out for all to see.

To See the Tormented Woe

Snowmageddon III has hit, and this time The Burg is down for the count.  None of this, “Hey, three hour delay coming into work,” stuff now:  the state has shut down like that.  Mostly because it’s suppose to be like this all day. Which means I’ll be in the apartment today, and probably on a start delay tomorrow.  After that–who knows?  My guess would be more snow and wind and icy crap for weeks to come.

"How's that cold bothering you now, honey?  Maybe you need a glacier to get you in the mood?"

“How’s that cold bothering you now, honey? Maybe a glacier would get you in a better mood!”

You should let it go, Elsa.

Finished Annie’s big reveal last night, and it was a lot bigger than I’d ever anticipated it running.  Kerry’s meeting with Vicky ran fifteen hundred words:  last night’s scene between Annie and Deanna ran a little over four thousand.  But Annie has a lot more on her mind, you can bet on that.

She got past all the stuff about being a selfish little girl and got into the part that really bothered her–namely, how it was that she’d seen a certain kid in her dreams for quite some time–meaning most of her so far short life–and how she’d developed an attraction for said kid because when they’re right there in your dreams, waiting for you like a cute little kitty, you don’t walk away from that, at least not willingly.

Here is the conundrum:  things like lake houses and bedrooms and getting mama’s books on sorcery, that’s not a big deal.  Parents can say no, but as Annie pointed out, she knows how to work them.  The things themselves?  They can’t say jack.  They go along for the ride.

What happens when the thing you want can say no?  What happens when you’ve geared your life around knowing someone, and believing that they are going to be happy being a part of your life–and then you realize, hey, this dude might have other thoughts, particularly since it doesn’t appear as if he’s completely on-board with the whole, “I’m in love with you,” thing.  Yeah, he’s trying, and I’m pushing, and–

What if in the end it’s a big-badda-boom?  What if there is no passing Go, no collecting two hundred dollars?  What if there is no Multipass at the end of the Salem School rainbow?

Throughout the scene there were hints that the tears were coming:  here, there, you’d see a few drips.  By the end of the scene she was crying so hard she was flinging them to the sides of the Deanna the Seer’s office.  It’s wasn’t a nice moment, but then, getting the kids to cry is my business.  I don’t always like it, but I always have a reason.

It still made me feel bad.  Any time anyone cries because they’re afraid they’ll lose love, it’s a horrible moment.  Such as it was when I finished writing, I started listening to some tunes I hadn’t heard in a while, stuff that brought a smile to my face when I was feeling down.  Like . . .

Yeah, I can see Kerry listening to this while he flies.

The Tears of Past Chapters

Let’s get the soundtracks out of the way, shall we?  First, I finished Monster, then went into Don’t Look Back, by Boston and City to City, by Gerry Rafferty, and finally ended the night with Eye in the Sky, by (placing little pinkie in the corner of the mouth) The Alan Parsons Project.  Good tunes, good times.

I did a lot last night.  Really, at first glance it might not look like it, but it was.  I finished one big scene, maybe the biggest written so far–let me check . . . yeah, it is.  Bigger by about a thousand words.

The scenes were both filled with tears.  I don’t have too many characters cry, because who likes to cry?  Not me, I’ll tell you.  But it does happen, particularly when you’re trying to explain some deep concepts to an emotionally stunted eleven year old boy, and they start loosing it over something they see as far more important to them.  It resulted in crying, and some more crying, and eventually you’re crying in front of someone you didn’t want to cry in front of and you do your best to firm up and get a grip upon yourself.

I thought I was going to cry while writing this last night.  I fully expected it, because I’ve written stuff like this before and the tears started flowing pretty readily.  Not the characters, I should mention, but mine.  Even during the day, when I was going over this scene in my head, I hit a couple of moments when I began crying because the words hit me in a certain way.

I expected the worst, but when I got to the part that I imagined were going to cause emotional distress, it didn’t come.  Sure, there was a little sadness, and that’s expected at times, but no river of salty water streaming down my cheeks.  No, I left that for my character.  In my case I was simply too damn focused on getting the scene right.

Part of that, I believe, came from thinking about the scene earlier.  By the time I reached writing time, I was pretty much cried out and I just wanted to write.  I’ve had that happen before as well, in another way:  some people, after reading my erotica, would say, “Oh, man, you must have gotten so turned on writing that!”  Um, no.  I didn’t have time to get turned on, because I was writing.  Getting turned on is for the amateurs, and I’m a professional.  Or so I imagine.

Sometime today I expect to reach the three-quarter point in this year’s NaNo experience.  Forty thousand isn’t that far away, and after I do my running around this morning, I’m going to crack off a couple of scenes that I figure will put me over.  After that it’s another thirteen and a half thousand words, and I can get another badge for meeting my November goals.

I’ll close out that chapter and move on to the next.

Because that’s what we do, right?

Daily word count:  2,863.  Total word count:  38,093.