Dedicated to the One I Love: How About a Song?

Here we are, at last, with the end of the dance upon us and another milestone reached.  As I expected I reached one hundred thousand words and then some during last night’s write.  I even managed a picture:

Because if you don't capture the moment it didn't really happen, right?

Because if you don’t capture the moment it didn’t really happen, right?

I like how the word count on the scene was one thousand, seven hundred and one words when I finished for the evening and snapped last night’s photo, because 1701–the registration number of the Enterprise from Star Trek–is a good number for me.  Looking at this I also realized just how big this chapter has become.  After this morning’s write–oh, yes:  I finished the scene this morning–it’s fairly obvious Chapter Ten is gonna finish up at something close to twenty thousand words.  I went and looked, and the next biggest chapter is only eleven thousand, six hundred words, which is why I think I should probably put all the racing in one chapter and the dancing in another.

Yeah, I think that way.  ‘Cause I’m a writer, yeah?

But the chapter’s finished, and so is the dancing.  And it only took about fourteen hundred words to get there.  Why so many?  Well . . . take a look.

 

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

They reached the floor and Kerry escorted Annie out to a slightly open space where they could moving without running into people. Given the size of the dance area and the fact there were only one hundred and seventy people in attendance, Annie thought they could dance anywhere they liked and not worry about bumping into anyone. But like with so many other things in the Dining Hall, this seemed to be their area for dancing. It was here they danced last year for most of the evening, and she recalled they’d just stepped onto the floor and finished the song when Erywin spoke as soon as the music faded . . .

The song ended and people began milling about waiting for the next. A few seconds later Erywin took her place on the raised dais where announcements were normally made. “Your attention, please.” She waited for the hush to spread over the students before continuing. “At this time I’d like the dance floor cleared as we have a dedication—”

Annie walked with Kerry to the edge of the floor, but she felt the eyes of nearly everyone in the room on them. They know this is for us . . . She turned and waited, along with every other student in the room, for Erywin to give the dedication.

 

Yeah, it would seem at this point when Erywin says, “We have a dedication,” it’s probably because those crazy kids over in the Coven of the Horned God are gonna shake it again.  And they wouldn’t be wrong–

 

Their friend looked directly at them as she spoke. “This comes from the B Level of the Cernunnos Coven, and the song is dedicated to Miss Annie Kirilova. The dedication reads: ‘Dear Annie. A year’s has pasted and we are here once more. Then I knew nothing, but I know so much more now—all due to you. All my love, Kerry’.” She pointed in their direction and waved them on to the floor with a smile. “Your dance, you two.”

Kerry took a step, turned, and held out his hand for Annie. “Shall we dance, Sweetie?”

Annie lightly placed her hand in his. “As you wish, my love.” They made their way to the center as the intro of the song began with a twanging guitar echoing throughout the entirety of the Dining Hall. As a synthesizer set a minor tone before the drums and bass set the rhythm, Kerry placed his right hand around Annie’s waist and held her right hand in his slightly extended left. He smiled. “Comfortable?”

Annie smiled back, and though there wasn’t any surprise this time, she felt the customary light handedness brought on by intense emotions beginning. “I’m always comfortable in your arms, my love.”

“That’s ‘cause it’s where I want you.” They began dancing the moment the singing started. Annie didn’t know the words—nor, as was usual with Kerry’s music, didn’t even know the song, but that wasn’t in any way important. What mattered is that once more she was in Kerry’s arms, her head slowly settling towards his shoulder, her body starting its slow press against his body as she held her tight to prevent her from slipping and falling.

The song flowed into the second refrain, and Kerry softly sang one line of lyrics—”Like dream in the night/Who can say where we’re going.”—followed by a soft kiss on Annie’s cheek. “It reminds me of our dreams.”

“And our visions.” Annie breathed deeply of Kerry, of his passion and love. “I knew you were going to do this.”

“I knew you knew I would.” He slid his hand up her back and held it against her shoulder blades. “It didn’t matter: I was giving you a dedication no matter what.”

And the song wound down and headed into an instrumental finish, Annie peeked over Kerry’s shoulder at the crowd ringing the dance floor. “I believe everyone else expected this as well.”

“Yeah, well . . .” He chuckled as the song faded, then segued into a soft, ethereal coda. “They should get used to that.” The song finished and Kerry gave Annie a final hug and kiss. “I love you.”

“Obicham te.” She kissed him on the lips for a few seconds, then on the tip of his nose, giggling. “Vie vinagi shte bŭde moĭ.”

He started to pull away. “What was that?”

“You’ll find out.” Annie’s smile was wide and her auburn eyes bright under her aqua hair. “Where you going?”

“I’m, um—” Kerry looked around and noticed no one else was stepping on to the floor—

 

Kerry’s dedication, far smoother than the year before, but no less tender.  But what song did he request?  Why, More Than This by Roxy Music.

That Annie and her tender Bulgarian words.  She enjoyed the dance, because as mentioned she started growing light headed once more.  But what is with his no one else stepping on to the dance floor once his song is over?  Well . . .

 

“We have another dedication.” He jerked his head up and spotted Erywin back on the podium. She was nearly laughing as she locked her eyes upon his. “Kerry. Basically, um . . . end of the world. But before the Toclafane arrive, someone who loves you wants to share a dance.”

At first Kerry wasn’t sure what was going on, then the first chords of Elvis Costello’s Pump it Up began playing—only it was muted and didn’t sound right. Annie began moving towards him, almost shimmying as she drew closer. He could hear her singing along with a woman—”Baby, baby, baby, you are my voodoo child, my voodoo.”

Then Annie whooped and spun around as the Dining Hall erupted with the sound of bass-heavy dance music.

It was only then, as he found his feet and began to moving with her, that he realized with a start that this was her dedication to him. As she danced around him, much in the way he’d seen her do before in private and here during some songs, he broke into a smile as he realized where he’d heard this song . . .

Kerry broke into a dance, moving back and forth, swaying his hips and upper body in time to the pace of the song. He watched Annie dance with wild abandon, which was her style when they were alone and something she liked came down the stream. She danced with her arms up and her eyes closed; she kicked out her legs and shuffled from side to side; she spun in circles, whipping her aqua hair around wildly. In their other dances tonight Annie had remained more restrained: now she danced like it was the end of the world—and given that Kerry knew where this song was used, he smiled knowing that last year, at this time, the end of the world was on its way—

She took his hand and swung them back and forth as the beat dropped off. She also sang along with the song—”You’re like Voodoo baby, your kisses are cold/Feel your poison running through me, let me never grow old.” Annie blew a kiss and released him, going up on one foot and spinning twice, her right arm straight overhead, laughing the whole time. She moved closer to Kerry, arms moving right and left as the beat returned.

Kerry waited for the arrival of the chorus and stopped moving so he could thrust his left arm straight up overhead, yelling out the trademark line—”Here come the drums!” He tried his own slow spin and almost fell, something seen by a laughing Annie. “Smooth, huh?”

She threw back her head, getting her hair from her face. “I have never seen you move like this.”

“You either. Where did you get this song?”

“It’s one of my favorites. Blame Erywin for telling me how you knew this.”

He shook his head. “I’m not blaming her for anything.”

The song headed into a final repeat of the chorus, then began to literally slow as the sound, rhythm, and beat faded away into nothingness in a matter of seconds. Kerry fell into Annie’s arms and let her envelop him in her embrace. He kissed her, his arms slowly wrapping around her torso. “I love you so much.”

“I love you.” She pressed her cheek against his as the dance floor began to fill once more. “You are my voodoo child.”

He giggled as he pulled her tight. “I’ll make sure you never grow old.”

Annie turned and looked deep into this bright green eyes. “I know you will, my love. I know you’ll do that your whole life . . .” She kissed him one more time. “And I will be there doing the same for you. I promise.”

 

Yes, surprise, surprise:  Annie sneaked in here own dedication!  No one knew this but me, ‘because I’ve thought of her doing this their second time at this dance from–oh, maybe a year ago?  And since I thought it was a good idea, I put it in the story.  So what is this song that Annie picked for her soul mate and her to shake their groove thing?  Voodoo Child by Rouge Trader.

Yes, Annie has far different tastes in music, but Kerry understands that–and, hey, he’s letting her use his computer to stream it now and then, so it must be love, right?

Since it seems that Kerry does know this song, the question begs, from where?  The answer is in what Erywin said during the dedication, for Voodoo Child was used in the Doctor Who episode, The Sound of Drums, and played diegetically during the scene where six billion Toclafane arrive from a hundred trillion years in the future to 2007 so The Master can use them to subjugate humanity–which he does by promptly ordering the Toclafane to kill off one tenth of the Earth’s population.  The first part of Erywin’s statement was taken right from the show, though “Kerry” was substituted for “Humans”.  And since she is nearly a big of a geek as Kerry, she knew where the song was from–as Annie confirmed–and that was why she was laughing.

And there we have it.  Up at five-thirty this morning to put the finishing touches on the scene, and then into the post so I can bring it too you.

This is how my screen looks when I'm going from story to blog, complete with notes, including what Annie said to Kerry.

This is how my screen looks when I’m going from story to blog, complete with notes, including what Annie said to Kerry.

The dance is over–but there are words remaining between my kids.  That means it’s time to move this conversation to the garden . . .

Dedicated to the One I Love: Get Out On the Floor

I was checking stats last night, and while it may seem hard to believe, I’ve been working on this chapter for three weeks as of 29 July.  It would appear that I began writing the first scene on 8 July, and posted that the following day.  In that time I’ve written close to seventeen thousand words and brought the story to within kicking distance of one hundred thousand words–

And I’m still going.

If you haven’t guessed what’s coming now based upon the title of this post, it’s time to have a special moment.  And, as you’ll see, it’s not unexpected:

 

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

Kerry came to the sofa with a smile on his face. He stopped on the other side of the coffee table and cooled himself by flapping his jacket. “Ah, much better.” He turned to Deanna. “How are you, Deanna?” He eyed Annie. “You need me to go somewhere for a few minutes?”

Deanna shook here head. “No, Kerry, you’re fine. Please sit.” She waved for someone in the crowd to come over. “I think we were just about finished.”

“Okay.” He came around the other end of the table and took his place at Annie’s right. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Everything okay?”

“It is.” She turned on a quick smile and kissed him. “Enjoy your dance?”

“Yeah, it was good.”

“I could tell.”

Trevor Parkman joined them, stopping where Kerry stood only seconds before and facing Deanna. “You called?”

“Yes. I think we need to attend to official duties.”

“Of course.” Trevor helped her feet before addressing Annie and Kerry. He gripped the sides of his open jacket. “Either of you care to venture a guess?”

Annie turned to Kerry with her gaze case towards the library. “Do you know?”

Kerry chuckled. “Eighth Doctor. Haven’t seen you since the first time you were in San Francisco.” He shrugged. “Then again, I didn’t see you, per say. that was before my time, but then time—”

“—Is relative.” He held out his arm for Deanna. “Shall we?”

“Just one minute—” The seer turned her gaze upon Annie. “Concerning our discussion, my advice is, as with all things seen, to let events simply happen. Actually—” She slipped her arm into Trevor’s. “That’s all we can ever do with visions.”

Annie suspected that Deanna would offer this advice, but it felt better to speak her concerns and hear the instructor’s words. Sometimes all one needs is to have someone you respect to confirm your own beliefs . . . “Thank you, Deanna. I’ll do just that.”

“Good. Both of you: have a good dance. We’ll be around, so I expect to see you again before the evening’s over.” She looked to Trevor. “Lead on, please.”

He nodded at the children. “Have a good evening.”

“See you around, Lady Sif and Doctor.” Once the two adults departed Kerry wrapped his arm around Annie and pulled her close. “Miss me, Sweetie?”

 

And there we go:  Mr. Parkman, aka Trevor the Librarian, aka The Guy Who Looks Like He’s Becoming Deanna’s Squeeze, is running around dressed like the Eighth Doctor in one of his only two visual performances:

He gets a lot more bad ass right before he dies.

He gets a lot more bad ass looking right before he dies.

And he escorts Lady Sif off to do, um, Siffy Things, I suppose.  Actually, Deanna is one of the two coven leaders who help out with the Samhain Dance, the other being Erywin, as it’s her coven that it responsible for putting on this shindig.  And speaking of Erywin . . .

 

“Of course I did, my love.” She kissed him again, slowly and sweeter than when he’d first joined her. “But I needed to speak with Deanna, and you being out on the dance floor made it easier.”

“I’m glad you could speak without having to tell me to find something to do.” He half turned where he sat so he could better hold Annie.

Annie snuggled back and against Kerry, a position that allowed her to keep her smile hidden from him. As he turned to hold her, she saw his eyes flick to his left, towards the area where Erywin and Deanna stood when making an announcement to the students in the hall. While Annie hadn’t any idea of what he’d planed for last year’s dance, this year she fully suspected something to happen. He’s probably waiting for Erywin to return, and that’s when he’s going to ask me to dance

They sat in silence for nearly five minutes, Annie leaning against Kerry, who gently held her. It was much like the Midnight Madness, only this time there was music to go along with conversation and snacks. She felt him move behind her. “Would you like to dance, Sweetie?” He gave her a squeeze. “I feel like getting up.”

She spied the front of the room and saw Erywin speaking with Deanna. She twisted her head so she could see him out of the corner of her eye. “Of course, love.” She grinned as Kerry helped her to her feet. “I feel like getting up as well.”

Annie followed Kerry onto the floor and began dancing, feeling the music around her. Kerry wasn’t a good dancer, but he did his best not to look too clumsy as he moved in rhythm with her. She didn’t consider herself a good dancer, either: until last year’s Samhain dance she’d only danced alone, usually in the privacy of her lake house.

But this was more her music; this is what she liked to hear when she was alone, and that gave here an advantage when it came to letting herself go and enjoy the song. Kerry was listening to more of her music, though: when they were down in their lab she’d use his computer to find music to stream, and he was starting to remember the lyrics to a few. It won’t be long before he’s singing along as we are crafting spells together.

 

Now, if you may remember, Erywin was the one who announced Kerry’s last dedication to Annie, so it only makes sense she’d announce this one.  I do believe it’s interesting that Annie is expecting Kerry to do a dedication to her this time, and it appears she’s waiting for the moment to happen.  And it’s not like it won’t, because Kerry’s not the sort of kid to disappoint his soul mate . . .

Where does it leave the story?

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

Right here, just short of a hundred thousand.

And the reason I didn’t finish up last night is because this dedication dance is special . . .

Would I lie?

The Samhain Dance: The Final Reveals

Well, here I am with the late night edition!  Seriously, though, it’s been a long day, but way back fourteen hours ago, I promised this part of the scene, and here it comes.

There was a lot of crazy writing last night to get the last twelve hundred and fifty, and there was a lot of good music, too.  But the important thing was figuring out how to get my characters on stage, so to speak.  Like the one who’s about to show . . .

 

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

Annie watched Sutou Takara from Advanced Flight One join their group. Right behind her was Chunghee Pang—one of Takara’s covenmate and another of their Advanced Spells classmates—and a girl Annie knew as Amitee Jaramillo, Pang’s girlfriend from Chile and the only other D Level in his coven. Rivânia Suassuna, also from their Advanced Spells class, followed close behind Pang and Amitee.

She had no idea what each of them was wearing. Takara’s costume was like a military uniform—black pants and a red jacket—supplemented with a sword and two small metal boxes hanging from a belt around her hips

Rivânia’s outfit also seemed to be some kind of military-style uniform: a green, black, and gold suit under a matching sleeveless long coat, allowing her to wear forearm gauntlets. The biggest difference between her costume and Deanna’s was the gold helmet with large, forward facing horns, making it impossible not to notice Rivânia

By comparison Pang and Amitee didn’t appear that much different than she’d seen him in class, or either of them wandering around the school on the weekends: they wore jeans, tee shirts, and heavy boots. What set them apart was that their clothes was splattered with dried blood, and both carried knives and machetes secured in scabbards attached to their belts.

Kerry positioned Annie in front of him, keeping his arms wrapped around her waist. “If there’s anyone who can—” He nodded in Takara’s direction. “—it’s probably you.”

She nodded back. “Who am I?” She adjusted the heavy scarf around her neck. “Do either of you know?”

Annie looked up and back at Kerry, who shook his head. “Neither of us know.”

Hai.” Takara pumped her fist in a rare show of excitement. “You were the only ones outside East Asia who would recognize this outfit.”

Kerry rested his head against Annie’s shoulder. “Since I know Amitee and Pang are Maggie Greene and Gleen Rhee—”

Pang threw up his hands. “Obvious, huh?”

“A little. And Riv there—” Kerry chuckled. “She’s Lady Loki—”

Rivânia chuckled. “Or just Loki. Makes it easier to say when telling people to bow to me.”

“But you—” He smiled softly. “You gotta tell me.”

“Mikasa Ackerman.” Takara grabbed the straps holding the boxes to her belt and gave them a good yank. “You know Attack on Titan?”

“I’ve heard of it, but that’s all.”

“She’s one of the main characters.”

Kerry said nothing, instead snuggling his head up against Annie’s. “I think our secret is about to be unveiled.”

Annie turned slightly to the right. “You said she might know.”

“Well—” Takara stood with her feet slightly apart and her hands positioned before her stomach. “I do.”

Almost everyone in the group perked up when they heard this. Nadine was the one who spoke for them all. “Who are they?”

 

So we have another Marvel deity–probably looking for people to get to bow to her–a couple of zombie killers, and a character from an manga/anime.  It’s likely that, even as geeky as Kerry is, at that time in 2012 he would not have known Attack on Titan, and therefore would not have known the story of the last Asian girl in the world, even if she really was only half-Asian.

But given she's an manga/anime character, she still looks like every other girl in the world.

But given she’s an manga/anime character, she still looks like every other girl in the world.

Now, the argument could be made that Rivânia is cross playing her character like Penny is doing, but given that Loki does return as a woman at one point in the comics, she’s probably not–

And given the continuing state of Tom Hiddleston's hair, he'll be able to play her in the next movie.

And given the continuing state of Tom Hiddleston’s hair, he’ll be able to play her in the next movie.

But it’s now time for Takara to spill what she knows.  And she doesn’t disappoint–

 

“She—” Takara pointed at Annie. “—is Kaioh Michiru and, um, he’s—” She pointed at Kerry. “—Tenou Haruka.”

Annie dramatically brushed back here aqua hair and smoothed down her light blue a-line dress and did a slow, single twirl on the low heeled aqua pumps with matching ribbons that wound twice around her ankles. She laughed as she flipped her arms outward. “Finally. It was growing tiring not being able to say anything.”

Kerry tugged the lapels of the cream-colored jacket that matched the light slacks he wore with the dark blue button-down tee shirt. “You can blame me for that. I asked her not to say anything.”

Though Takara was able to identify Annie’s and Kerry’s identity, the others remained puzzled. Erywin asked the question that remained unanswered. “Who?”

“Oh, yeah—” Takara turned a bit to her left and right. “Annie’s Sailor Neptune and Kerry’s Sailor Uranus.”

Nadine finally figured the connection. “Oh. From Sailor Moon?”

“Yes.”

 

There you have it.  They came as characters from another manga/anime, which explains Annie’s aqua hair.  This also makes them Plant Guardians and members of the Outer Senshi, which given their magical powers is something they can probably do now–just like any other magical manga/anime character.

Though Kerry isn't that much taller than  Annie, and he's certainly not a better dresser than Haruka,

Though Kerry isn’t that much taller than Annie, and he’s certainly not a better dresser than Haruka.

An interesting point is brought up, however . . .

 

“Yeah, but—” Nadine looked at Kerry with a puzzled look. “Isn’t Sailor Uranus a girl?”

“I’m cross playing.” Kerry crossed his arms. “Besides, I prefer to think of Haruka as gender fluid.”

Pang chuckled. “You got that right. How come you guys didn’t come wearing fukus?”

Annie took her soul mate’s arm and pulled him close as his face grew red. “It will be a while more before I can convince my love to wear a costume like that.”

He stared down at the floor, still slightly embarrassed. “Probably a long while more.”

Helena appeared out of the shadows and joined Erywin. “Hello, everyone.”

Kerry looked up and waved. “Hey, Xena.”

Erwyin gave her companion an appraising stare. “You should let Kerry find a new costume for you next year; you’re wearing out the warrior princess, my dear.”

Helena pifted. “I’m a bloody Kiwi: what else am I gonna come as?” She turned and pointed a warning finger at Jairo, who appeared about to speak. “Say hobbit at your own risk, dear.”

 

So we have two cross players this year:  Penny as a male character and Kerry as a female character.  And as far as that fuku goes (that’s a Japanese girl’s school uniform, by the way, which is a lot like the uniform Annie wears at Salem), it likely will be a long time before Kerry ever works up the nerve to wear one to a dance.

It’s at this point that people start filtering away, most of them off to watch the Åsgårdsreia and Mórrígan girls beat the shit out of each other because why not?  This leaves just four people and one purple dragon standing in the group, and that quickly whittled down even more . . .

 

Within seconds all that remained were Annie, Kerry, Nadine, and Deanna. Annie appeared as if she were about to say something when Nadine moved next to her. “Um, can I ask a favor?”

She was surprised to hear Nadine be so formal with her. “Certainly.”

“Would you mind if I danced with your boyfriend?” She nodded in Kerry’s direction. “You know, a, um, ‘Welcome to the A Team, good race’ sort of congratulatory dance?”

Annie cocked her head to one side as she looked in Nadine’s direction, then turned slowly towards Kerry. Her grin was wide and warm. “I think that’s a great idea.” She squeezed Kerry’s hand. “Go enjoy yourself, my love.”

Nadine showed her dragon off her shoulder. “Go fly around the rafters; I’ll call when I need you.” She grabbed Kerry by the arm before he could speak. “Come on, Starbuck: let’s rock.”

Annie moved next to Deanna and watched Nadine drag Kerry to the dance floor, but she had something else on her mind . . . “Can we speak?”

Deanna glanced at the aqua-haired girl. “I saw you look in my direction before telling Nadine she could dance with Kerry.”

“That’s because I hoped you would noticed.” Annie glanced across the Dining Hall. “I see our sofa’s unoccupied—” She turned to the coven leader. “Shall we?”

Deanna motioned towards the other side of the hall. “Lead on—”

 

Annie wants to speak with Deanna?  Hummm . . . usually that means she’s got something soul mate related on her mind, and if you remember last year, her conversation with Deanna was about discovering that someone was worthy of love, and that if a certain boy asks you to do, say yes!

There you have it.  No writing tonight as I’ve been uploading video, which mean–get ready for a travel post tomorrow.

Let Us Gather ‘Round the Reading

Here’s the thing:  about a week back I started playing with this video stuff, because why not?  All the cool kids are doing it, right?  The first one I put up in Facebook got a big response, and it got an equally good one here.  Then I kinda said something along the lines of, “You know, maybe I’ll put up a video of me reading from my novel.”  Really, I didn’t think people would take me seriously–

Ha!  Hahaha!

"And now we come to the part of the story where Walter White blows up a nursing home.  Are you ready?"

“And now we come to the part of the story where Walter White blows up a nursing home. Are you ready?”

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, it’s that once you say something like that, it’s put up time, and you better be ready to go.  I decided that, you know, it might be fun to try at least once, and in the process I’ll learn along–like, you know, I might need a mic for some of this stuff.  But there’s the learning curve, yo, so don’t get to hatin’.  It’s all good fun.

Here it is, then:  I’m gonna lay it out for you.  This first video is an introduction of the Foundation and Salem, and a little about my two main characters.  It’s done late, about nine PM, after a long day of trying to upload a twelve minutes video and discovering that the software I normally used freaks out when that happened, and I had to get some other software.  This was one of those “learning curves” I was mentioning.

Video One:  The Intro.

 

The rest of the videos were performed on 30 July, 2014 (the one above was done on 27 July, 2014).  The second video sets up the where I am in the story before I start reading.  All I’ll say at this point is that it takes place during the Samhain dance.

 

Video Two:  The Setup.

 

Now, if you’re curious about what Annie and Kerry were wearing at the dance–and I know some people were–why, I have access to the same Internet that Kerry has, which means I can find the same things he does . . . though I’m sure he can use The Foundation’s search engine and get results a lot quicker.  Here you are, kids:  feast your eyes.

Though Annie isn't showing near that much cleavage.

Though Annie has a far different . . . necklace.

Yes, they went as Malcolm Reynolds and Inara Serra as seen in the Firefly episode, Shindig.  As stated earlier in the story, Annie’s gown didn’t show as much skin in the front and the back, but was otherwise a duplicate of that.

Now we get to the reading.  Since I didn’t want to deal with a long video that might take forever to load, I cut the reading into two parts.  Some of the sound quality may be iffy–after all, I’m not used to reading my own work out loud–and I did stumble in a few spots.  But you should still be able to follow along.

Here you go:

 

Video Three:  The Reading, Part One.

 

Video Four:  The Reading, Part Two.

 

And at the very end, I do a wrap up explaining something very unusual about this scene, and something that will likely surprise you.

 

Video Five:  The Wrap-up.

 

And since I don’t like to leave any stones unturned, here’s the song dedicated to Annie as she would have heard it on the dance floor of the Great Hall of Salem, echoing off the walls as she slow danced with her moyata polovinka while nearly every student–save for those making gagging motions at such a romantic display–and instructor looked on:

 

Like I said, that Annie’s, she’s a lucky girl.

 

Since I’m writing this the night before I post, I can say, “Back to writing tomorrow.”  And that’s when I start to get my George R. R. Martin on and get ready to kill some students.

Ya gotta show these kids who’s boss around here . . .