The Essential Essence

When I say, “Oh, this should only go for another few hundred words” and “This will finish up just over five thousand words”–I’m a liar.  Really.  Because while I finally finished the scene that I’ve worked on for, oh, seven days, things went on far longer than I expected–

Like a thousand or so words futher.

Like a thousand or so words further than expected.

Yeah, just over sixty-two hundred words, making this the largest scene in the story.  Like I said, Annie and Deanna get together and they start talking–oi!  These ladies can gab.  And they were about to watch some video together, which brings me to thinking:  I would totally love to write a scene where Deanna and Annie are sitting on some pillows, comfy in the jammies, watching Mean Girls and quoting the movie in Arabic and Bulgarian.  “Wal ha a ma.”  “Prestani da se opitvash da donese sluchi:  toĭ ne shte stane.”  A laugh riot, I’m telling you.

We were going to watch something, yes?  Okay, then:  let’s go to the video:

 

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

It picked up with Deanna—who was off screen—mid-way through her initial greeting. “I’m loath to call myself ‘mistress’ of the discipline as some have; the title infers more than makes me comfortable. Come, let’s sit together.”

Annie watched herself step through the mass of pillows that lay on the floor that day. “Thank you. You’re quite kind.”

The off-screen Deanna’s voice remained calm. “Not at all, Annie.”

The shock that on-screen Annie felt was not only apparent, but watching-Annie felt it hit her once more as her past self spoke. “How did you—?” She listened to Deanna’s explanation where she stated the obvious. “You know how I know your name—and how I know Kerry’s, too.” As she’s never seen him react the first time, Annie couldn’t prevent a smile appearing as Kerry’s head snapped around at the mention of his name. “How?”

There was a hint of amazement in Deanna’s voice. “I love how off-balance he was then.”

Annie nodded. “He was.” She heard Deanna say she’d seen them coming, and the ever-so-logical ginger boy on the screen checked his surroundings. “Do you have monitors in here?”

“It’s a good thing I’m used to questions like that—” Deanna spoke over her voice telling Kerry she’d had a vision.

Annie did chuckle at Kerry’s response after she told him that the seer had a vision. “You mean like precognition?” The chuckled turned into a smile as she hear on-screen Deanna confirm Annie’s answer and ask them to sit. “I told him to have an open mind before we showed up. She listened to him attempting to rationalize Deanna’s claim of knowing how they were arriving. “I’m happy he learned fast.”

“Much better than some of your fellow levelmates.” Deanna regarded her memories of that day. “I had a few students that Friday night who needed some hand holding regarding what they saw that day.”

“There was a point, though . . .“ She heard Kerry say he didn’t believe in precognition.

“You were worried he would be the same way?” Deanna signed. “I wasn’t paying attention to him, for in time he would come around.” She looked over to Annie. “I was watching you.”

“Why?” Annie found the seer’s statement surprising. “You knew I was a Legacy—”

“Yes, I read your report, remember?” Deanna’s chuckle verged on laughter. “I was watching how nervous you were. You did a great job keeping it bottled up inside while keeping it hidden.”

Annie was glad Deanna couldn’t see her face, because she knew the woman next to her would had no problem mistaking her look of surprise. “You’re very perceptive.”

“Well, I wasn’t exactly playing fair.”

Now Annie’s curiosity was peaking. “What do you mean?”

 

I wrote all of the above last night while consulting the first novel, so that the words heard–all of the sentences in italics–and actions seen were accurate.  And just like Annie you’re probably saying, “Okay, what’s the big deal?”  Well, I left off one sentence, which starts this next section, followed by what I started writing this morning–

 

“You’ll see—” Deanna turned back to the display on the ceiling. “Sabrina, restart this video to the point I originally indicated, and replay with the aura recording applied.”

The screen went black. “Ready, Deanna.”

“Play the video.”

The scene played out as before, but the biggest change to Annie was how they appeared on-screen, with the bright glow of normally invisible energy surrounding each of their bodies. “You filmed our auras?”

“Apparently.”

Annie silently damned herself for asking a stupid question. “Do you do this for everyone?”

“Sabrina, hold the video.” Deanna waited three seconds after the command before answering. “No. Just you that day.”

“Why?”

“Something I felt in the vision that told me you were coming. There was a sensation that this meeting was important—more implied than stated—and that seeing your auras was necessary.”

Annie didn’t know what to feel at hearing this revelation. Seeing someone’s aura was considered the same as looking into their mind and emotions, as a skilled reader could know volumes about a witch with just a momentary glance. It was then that something Deanna said only a minute before registered— “You said you were weren’t playing fair. Did you use Aura Sight on us?”

Deanna’s answer came immediately. “Yes. I was watching you the whole time that way.”

“Because you felt it was necessary.’

“I felt it was important.” She commanded Sabrina to start the playback, then pointed at the floating screen. “Watch.”

 

You know, when seers get feelings about their visions, it’s a scary thing.  Nearly all visions are literal things:  you see one, and you try to make sense of what you saw.  When you see something and begin getting hunches about something you should do, that’s when you begin wondering what the hell is going on.

And as Annie points out, you see someone’s aura, you seen into them.  Not only can you tell they’re a witch–which is why they were using enchantments to hide those little tells in their auras that might give them away to Deconstructors–but you can tell what they’re thinking and feeling.  It’s one of the things a witch will do to see if someone is lying, because unless the person they’ve speaking to is really damn good at manipulating their aura, the person asking questions can look at the other person’s aura and instantly tell if they’re bullshitting their ass off.  Which instructors can see auras?  All of them.  They only have to use Aura Sight to view them.

Now, point of etiquette.  It’s generally considered bad manners for witches to constantly use Aura Sight to look at another person’s aura while they’re talking to them.  It’s like hooking someone up to a lie detector while you’re having a polite conversation, and witches who constantly do so hoping to call another person out on something are considered assholes of the first order and usually end up getting shunned by the rest of the witch community.  Plus, one witch can use magic to look at the aura of another witch to see if they are using magic–because crafting spells do things to your aura–and if they suspect they’re being watched, well, they’ll just hide their aura and make you go fish.  Because aura hiding is totally something you can do as well–

Oh, and yes:  Guardians know all these little aura tricks.  Which is why trying to find out if Helena is BSing you is an exercise in futility.

Here’s where we get to learn a little about auras:

 

This time Annie paid attention to the glow around Kerry’s and her bodies. Their auras were brilliant and filed with speckles of violet light—both the marks of Aware witches. Kerry’s alternated between an orange-yellow to brownish-orange, while Annie’s flowed from bright pink to orange-yellow to orange-red. “Why does mine have that bright yellow border?”

“That was my tip-off that you had a touch of fear: bright yellow indicates a fear of something—losing control, losing respect—”

Annie looked away from the display for a moment. “Losing someone you love.”

“Exactly.”

“What does the rest mean?”

“The orange-yellow indicates intelligence and confidence, while the bright pink shows affection and love.” Deanna paused to allow Annie to consider what she’d said. “You were looking for answers to what happened over the summer, weren’t you?”

“In a way. I hoped you might . . . see something.” She pointed at Kerry. “What about his?”

“The orange-yellow you know, but in Kerry’s case he was being far more scientific in his assessment of what he was seeing, which is why that color is more vivid for him. As for the brownish-orange . . .” Deanna swallowed loud enough for Annie to hear. “Given the way he was acting, those are his repressed emotions shinning through.”

“Literally.” Annie was astonished by how easily Deanna was able to read their moods and feelings by watching their auras, giving her more reason to learn Aura Sight as soon as possible. “Why have you never shown this to anyone? It doesn’t seem all that startling.”

 

I did a bit of research trying to find an aura interpretation that I liked, and what I eventually found works for me.  I’ll probably even start writing those down as a hand guide to use.  The colors do represent what the kids were feeling at the time:  Kerry was trying to come up for reasons about what he was hearing and seeing–remember, this was the day after their E & A, and his was about as fresh in his mind as it comes–and Annie was looking for something, just as Deanna surmised.

But this isn’t the reason she wanted Annie to see this video–this is:

 

“It’s not.” She pointed at the screen, where Kerry was about to sit next to Annie. “Watch.”

Annie did as instructed. She saw Kerry set down his backpack, move to on-screen Annie’s right, and sit— “I am. What—”

“Sabrina, hold image.” Deanna propped herself up and turned towards Annie. “That’s why I’ve never shown this to anyone.”

The moment on-screen Kerry sat next to on-screen Annie their auras merged and became as one, a combined glow of orange-yellow surrounded by an aural border of emerald green and royal blue. “I don’t understand—”

“The aura of a person is the reading of them essence: your mystical fingerprint, so to speak. It remains yours and is always kept separate from those around you. Even if you’re holding someone in your arms, or laying with them, there is a discernible border that separates yours from theirs.” Deanna rolled over and lay back. “Your auras merged. When I saw it happen that day it took every gram of willpower I possessed not to gasp. It was the most incredible thing I ever witnessed.”

Annie started at the screen. “This doesn’t happen—ever?”

She nodded. “This never happens, even to people who are deeply in love. It’s like your essence merged and became one—” Deanna drummed her fingers against her pillows. “What you’re seeing is impossible. And that’s why I’ve never shown this to anyone . . .” She said nothing more, preferring to leave all further actions implied.

 

Your auras merged.  And when you do something that surprises the School Seer, then you are truly remarkable because you’ve shown someone whose ability is to see things that haven’t happened something they’ve never seen.  Which means that if Deanna was having visions of Annie and Kerry before ever meeting them–and there are indications she was–this was something she never once saw.

I’m not presenting the rest of the scene because . . . well, because thing are said, and I’m not giving anything else away.  At least not until this book is published.  Needless to say Annie learned a big secret about her relationship with her soul mate, and it’s pushed open the door of understanding a little bit.  Not a lot, but enough that people can peek in and begin wondering.

I’ve done enough for today.  I believe my work here is done . . .

Massaging the Dreamspaces

A couple of hundred words here, a few under there, and before you know it you’re almost two thousand words into a scene.

Time flies where you're sorta not paying attention to it.

Time flies where you’re sorta not paying attention to it.

This was a tough scene to get through.  Not only was I trying to figure out what this little dreamscape thing looked like, but I’ve been working through some heavy depression of late, and it hasn’t made writing fun, let me tell you.  There are times when you don’t want to get out of bed, and yet you need to go off and do the adult things, but when you come home and have time to yourself, the last thing you want to do is write–you sort of want to lay down and do nothing.

And yet, you have to write.  Well, I do.  Even if it’s only a few hundred words here and there.

My progress has been like this:

 

Words 09/02/2015: 678
Words 09/03/2015: 512
Words 09/05/2015: 342
Works 09/06/2015: 465

 

Seriously, that’s not my norm, but then nothing been of normal lately.  But I’m working through it as best I can.  However . . .

There is writing.  And something else:

 

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

This is the space Kerry and I share. This is our dreamspace.

This new space was larger than hers and the color was different: the green remained, but there was pink instead of blue, and the chiffon was darker, much like the color of blooming goldenrods. The surface was solid and unmoving: Annie wondered if that was due to their not using the space. She floated around to the other side and found an identical corridor shooting down and away at an angle: right away she saw this as the path to Kerry’s dreamspace.

Before she departed she ran her hand over the frozen surface. It was body-temperature warm, soft and comfortable and familiar. It’s like touching Kerry. She floated her dream fingers across unyielding substance. This is the same sensation I have when I slide my hand down his arm. She pushed back from before turning towards the other corridor and following it down. I wonder: if he could dreamwalk, would that surface feel like me?

It didn’t take her long to reach his dreamspace. Right away she felt him in every segment of astral energy that made up the space: she could tell it was Kerry just by being in the presence of this construct. Annie believed that the familiarity was brought on by her being more or less in his mind, and she was really sensing all his unconscious thoughts. There wasn’t any time to ponder this matter: she sailed close enough to the pinkish-blue sphere interspersed with gold and hovered.

 

Playing around in Blender a little, I came with this:

Background needs to be brighter, but that's it.

Background needs to be brighter, but that’s it.

Colors are a tricky thing, because I’m limited to what I can do so far–which is to say, I don’t know how to do a lot of fancy stuff in Blender yet.  Also, I did this over the last twenty minutes prior to posting this image, which is some pretty flying-by-the-pants shit if there ever was any.  Give me time and I can probably come up with something nicer.

But that’s how I see these things.  It’s taking what I see above and converting it into words.  I mean, that’s what a writer is supposed to do, but it isn’t always being the smith of words.  If Annie could realize it, she’d know writing is a little like being in a dream:

 

The moment she did that sparks of light shot through the sphere, and Annie stopped her activity. She watched for a few seconds as she made the connection with the events occurring before her. He’s dreaming. He’s in there now, living through a fantasy . . .

She patted her hand against the surface several times before pressing her fingertips into the foam. This time they sank about two centimeters in before meeting resistant, and after a few moments of applying pressure Annie gave up. There wasn’t any reason to continue: while she could dreamwalk this far, trying to reach his this way wasn’t going to work.

She glanced up at their shared space floating off in the distance. For a moment she considered using the connection they shared to access Kerry directly, then discarded the idea as soon as her head began spinning. I’m pushing myself too hard. She took a deep dream breath of something that wasn’t air. I’ll snap myself awake if I’m not careful, and that will hurt. She looked up at the shared space once more. Now that I can get here, there’s plenty of time to explore.

 

Annie is smart enough to understand Backlash and Snapping, a couple of things that will pop up from time-to-time.  They aren’t good, and it was mentioned in the last book that backlash killed a student during Isis’ stint as chief of security.  Snapping out of a dream is a little like being cracked with a whip, so you don’t want that to happen, either.

Before she leaves, however, she catches something:

 

There was nothing to hear the astral breeze and a faint thrumming emanating from the dream sphere. Annie was about to turn away when she heard Kerry’s voice, faint and muffled, through the foam. She concentrated, hoping to catch something—

There were only a few words: Walk. No. I don’t— But there was something else: Annie swore he wasn’t alone in his dream. There’s someone else there. She closed her eyes though he caught a phrase spoken in another person’s voice.  Is it her? Is it that girl?

Annie floated back from his dreamspace, a puzzled look upon her face. She replayed the moment again where she thought she heard the other person—the girl—speak, and she was convinced she wasn’t mistaken. What did she mean? She began to fade as she returned to her own sleeping mind. Why did she say, “It won’t be much longer”? Annie’s last image before darkness returned was of Kerry glowing, active dreamspace. What is she doing with him?

 

Annie has questions, and while she’s certain she heard something, could it be her own imagination playing tricks on her?  After all, she is dreaming, and does she have full control of her own dream?  Well, I have exactly a thousand words to write to reach one hundred and thirty thousand, so perhaps . . . I’ll find out.

Full Tilt Visions

Well, nails are done, Orphan Black is watched, and the last working scene is completed.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might become, but I didn’t get my butt in gear until late in the afternoon, and didn’t finish up until about ten-thirty last night.  Which is normal for me:  I seem to write early in the morning or late at night.  Probably due to this work thing that gets in the way of the middle of the day most weeks.

The scene, as mentioned, is finished, and it only took me five days to write four thousand words–

I'd have finished in four if I hadn't screwed around for two days.

I’d have finished in four if I hadn’t screwed around for two days.

The remainder of the scene is a follow-up to what has already happened.  As the reader you know what went down, but Deanna doesn’t because she’s just a character in my world–then again, she’s somewhere inside me, so she knows the future because I know the future, and . . . nah, best not go down that rabbit hole.

But my kids have to go there–and it’s not easy . . .

 

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

“This.” Annie’s shirt was two-thirds of the way up her torso before she realized she was sitting in a classroom in Memory’s End—and that Kerry was facing her, helping her with her top. “Kerry.”

“Annie.” Kerry slowly pulled his hands back from where he was helping Annie with her top, his face a mask of embarrassment not over what he was doing, but the realization of where it was done. “I’m, um—”

“I know.” She pulled her blouse back to into position before reaching for Kerry’s hands. “I didn’t know—”

“I didn’t either.”

“I was just—”

“We were—”

Both felt saucers set against their hands. Deanna was there, hold their cups. “Here, have some tea. It’ll calm you.”

Annie and Kerry took their respective cup and turned away from each other and faced Deanna, who’d returned to her pillow seat. They sipped their tea in silence for more than a minute, never looking at each other until they’d felt their emotions returning to normal.

Annie was the first to ask the question on both their minds. “What did you see?”

Deanna didn’t need to ask to whom she was speaking. “First, tell me what you saw.”

She nodded, then went into detail of what she saw. Annie started at the floor as she reached the end. “You saw what happened at the end.”

“Yes, I did.” Deanna turned to Kerry. “What did you see?”

He said nothing for a few seconds, then slowly nodded in Annie’s direction. “Everything she saw.”

“Only from your point of view?”

“Yeah.”

 

This was what Deanna wanted to see–and she got her money’s worth.  She even admits that she saw them pantomiming some of their actions while they were having their vision:  it’s how she knew they were flying, because she watched them act as if they were.  Kerry also points out that it felt incredibly real, like they really were in the air streaking along at hundred of kilometers and hour.

But once more they’re sharing visions and dreams–and it looks as if you put them in a trance together, odds are they’ll start visioning together.  That could come in handy in a few years–“Honey, who should we invite to the party?”  “Why don’t we have a trans vision and see who shows up?”  “Good idea!”–but there are some downsides to that idea.  Like what they learn when Kerry asks how they came back to the real world:  did it happen naturally, or did they have help?

 

Deanna sat back a little in her pillow chair. “Do you mean bring you out of the trance?”

“No, I mean . . .” He swallowed. “I mean the vision.”

“No.” She shook her head slowly. “It’s dangerous bringing a person out of a vision. It can cause a great deal of problems—even harm—for the person experiencing the vision.”

“How far would you have let us go?” Annie was also staring at the floor.

Deanna wasn’t about to hide anything. “Until you came out of the vision.”

Annie looked up and meet the seer’s stare. “Even if I’d undressed?”

“Do you believe that’s what you were doing?”

“Yes.”

Denna nodded towards the entrance. “The door is locked and I’m in conference. We wouldn’t have been interrupted.”

Those words sent a chill through Annie. She wouldn’t have stopped us—couldn’t have stopped us. We would have had to see it through to the end. “What do you think it means, Deanna?”

 

Something like this came up during the rune dream discussion, when Annie and Kerry began talking about their wedding night vision, and as they felt themselves slipping into it, they panicked and stopped talking.  Here they get the conformation:  Annie could have stripped down to her nickers and Deanna would have let her because something bad could have happened if she tried to force her back to the real world.  I guess it goes without saying that having those visions together might not be a good idea . . .

Now the question is “When?” and there is at least one hint–

 

The seer considered the question for a moment. “Given what you know about each other, how did you look in your vision compared to now?”

“We were older.” Annie confirmed this with soul mate, who nodded. “We’re certain.”

“I wasn’t wearing glasses.” Reflectively Kerry adjusted the wire frames. “I didn’t have them flying—the goggles weren’t over-sized—”

Annie agreed. “No, they weren’t. And I could see your face clearly. You weren’t wearing them in the room, either.”

“That means it has to be a ways off in the future—” He turned to Deanna. “Right?”

“Perhaps.” A slight grin played over Deanna’s face. “Then again, you are taking Advanced Transformation this year, and learning how to adjust and correct your eyesight is something you’ll probably learn. I’d say by this next summer you may be on the way to doing away with your glasses either permanently, or at the least semi-permanently.”

 

What?  Are you trying to tell me you actually one-up Harry Potter and fix your eyesight with magic?  Oh, just wait and see what you can do, kids:  I got it all figured out.  But yes:  Kerry ditches the glasses at some point soon, because why do you need them when you can give yourself 20/20, or 20/15, or even 20/10 vision?  And since Kerry will come out to his parents when he finished his B Levels, better eyesight through magic is a must.  Just tell everyone else you got contacts . . .

Visions are out of the way–now, it’s time for gifts.  Um, I mean Gifts.  Everyone likes those, right?

A Girl and Her Rune Dream

First off, just to prove to you that I do head out to Panera and write, I now have photographic proof, staged as it may be.

 

I believe Dire Straights wrote a song about me in the 70's.

I believe Dire Straits wrote a song about me in the 70’s.

That’s normally what I look like, save for the fact that I don’t have my ear buds in, but that’s due to having to reach over to the other table and get the camera.  You can also see the shiny keys from eight years of typing on this computer–that’s right, eight years.  One day I’ll have to get a new computer–as soon as I find a keyboard layout I like, or I invest in another portable keyboard.

We left off yesterday with Kerry getting the news that his “simple sex dream” was probably a lot more complex than that.  He was sent on his merry way–off to Sorcery, which is a laugh a minute, let me tell ya–and he sent Annie in to do battle with Coraline and Professor Arrakis.  Well, mostly Deanna, because these two do most of the talking . . .

 

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

Annie didn’t waste any time getting to the point. “What’s going on? What’s wrong with Kerry?”

Deanna wasn’t interested in wasting time, either. “Kerry came into the hospital last night—”

Coraline stepped in. “There wasn’t anything wrong with him, but he was agitated, a bit upset. He spent most of the night and left in the morning without incident.”

“Annie—” Deanna’s soft voice drew her attention. “Kerry had a dream vision.”

“He did?” Annie couldn’t keep the shock off her face. “And he remembered it?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” Deanna almost grinned.

Annie didn’t know what she should say: she wasn’t aware of Kerry having a dream vision before this. “What was it about?”

“I can’t say, because I told Kerry that I wouldn’t devulge details. I will say, however . . .” He cocked her right eyebrow. “It pertains to your rune dream.”

Annie sat and stared at the seer for a few seconds before she found her voice. “You didn’t tell him that, did you?”

“No, I didn’t. It’s not my place to divulge the contents of your rune dream.”

She looked down at the floor below her feet. “Thank you.”

“However . . .”

She expected she wasn’t going to like what Deanna was going to say next. “Yes?”

“Kerry wants to talk about what he saw—one can tell. He won’t on his own, however, not without some prompting.” Denna drew in a deep breath. “It’s time you both discussed your rune dreams.”

 

Hey, kid:  it’s time to start talking about you dreams.  Hope there wasn’t anything embarrassing in them . . .

 

Annie hadn’t thought of her rune dream in months, but the mere mention of it almost froze her where she sat. “Professor, you know what’s in my dream—”

“Yes, and Kerry’s, too.”

“There are a number of things I’d like to discuss with Kerry, but—” Annie shook her head. “That isn’t one of them.”

“Not even if it’s related to Kerry’s vision?” Deanna turned her head just a little to the right. “You have to talk about them.”

 

Well, then:  it seems Annie doesn’t want Kerry to know all her secrets.  She wants him to remember all their dreams together, but she’s rather he not know about this dream.  Does it involve Bulgarian pop singer?  Hum . . . hard to say.  Well, not really, but she doesn’t want to talk about it–

Sort of.

However, Deanna sort of drops a bomb on Annie–

 

“Yes, I know.” She turned back to Deanna. “Why should we talk about our dreams now?”

“Because I told you, long ago, that you would. I said that the time would come when it would be necessary to discuss what you both saw. Well—” She locked her gaze upon Annie. “That time is now.”

“We can’t wait?”

“No, Annie. Waiting could be detrimental to your relationship.”

Something dropped out of the bottom of Annie stomach. “How so?” Always cool and composed, she felt that composure beginning to slip away. “Are you saying—”

“Not discussing these dreams would be a mistake—particularly your dream. You tell it to Kerry, the chances are good he’ll talk about his vision.” Deanna’s demeanor turned serious. “And then you can compare his to yours.”

It took Annie a few seconds to realize what Deanna was saying. “My vision? The one I had in Memory’s End?”

“Yes.”

Annie couldn’t help letting her voice rise. “How do you know about what happened in that vision?”

Deanna remained as calm as she’d been throughout their discussion. “Because you told me.”

What?” Annie’s breathing slowed and her eyes grew narrow as she focused upon the seer. “I never spoke with you about that vision—”

“Yes, you did.”

“It didn’t take that long.”

“You were in a trance for almost eight minutes.”

The only sound at the table for about ten seconds was Annie’s breathing. “That’s impossible.”

“No: you were in a trace for almost eight minutes. As well as Kerry.” Deanna tossed her head to the side. “It was necessary.”

 

Knowing that Annie never really gets that excited, it’s sort of fun to imagine her voice rising in “agitation” as she realizes that someone has something on her that she doesn’t want known.  And that’s when she learns something else:

 

“What—?” Annie started at Deanna with dawning comprehension. “The tea cups.”

“Yes.”

“You enchanted them.”

“Yes. Stirring the tea would force you both into a trance.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because the day before, on the flight from Amsterdam, while we were adjusting to Salem time, I had my own vision.” Deanna’s tone turned soft and confidential, such in the way when she’d spoke with Kerry. “Adjustment sleep is dreamless; you are out and you wake up some time later relaxed and refreshed. Only that day I had a vision . . .” She leaned towards the young girl. “Of two children—not returning students, but A Levels who’d come to Memory’s End searching, one said, for answers. The vision told me that while they were visiting they’d fall into a trance and it was possible they’d both experience visions that would change them.”

Deanna sat back against her chair. “When something like that comes over me, under conditions which shouldn’t bring about a vision, I listen to what I shown. Especially when I recognized those students as the same ones who found their way into our private air compartment. And since my vision showed that you’d fall into a trance—” She shrugged one shoulder as she smiled. “I took steps to ensure it’d happen.”

 

When Seers Get Visions . . . they listen.  And Deanna was listening.  So here we have events that popped up about, oh, two hundred thousand words back, coming home to roost more or less.  And when people ask, “So why do you spend so much time plotting out your stories,” this is why.  Because something simple like having tea on Orientation Day with the sweet Muslim Seer leads to–

 

“Did you make us have visions?” Annie found Deanna’s actions astounding—though she wasn’t certain yet if she should be angry or not.

“No one can make you have visions, Annie: there isn’t a seer in the world that can do that.” She shook her head. “No, I only set up the corrected conditions to make it possible, but I had no guaranty it would happen: all my vision show was it was possible my visitors would have a vision.” She held out her hands. “I merely set the table; Kerry and you created the courses.”

“And I—” Annie found the next part difficult to believe. “I told you about my vision?”

“As it was happening.”

WHAT?” She recoiled into her seat. “I told you what I was seeing?”

“Annie . . .” Deanna’s grin spread wide across her face. “You were doing more than seeing.”

 

Um . . . safe to say whatever Annie was seeing, there was a lot more happening.  And it’s something she’s a touch embarrassed about telling Kerry.  I’m guessing–bad cooking class.  Probably.

Annie needs to know something else about this vision Deanna had that led to their visions:

 

Knowing this face gave Annie a dozen different ideas about what Kerry could have seen—and raised another question. “Were the runes enchanted, too?”

“Yes and no. Runes are strong amplifiers, and if a person is inclined to dream visions, they tend to cause the person to reach deep and summon visions that are personally and often kept hidden. There wasn’t any guaranty either of you would have a vision—but if you did, it would be a powerful one.

“No, the enchantment was in place to prevent you from discussing them with each other. I gave you the warning that you were not to talk about them, and that help reinforced that you would.” Deanna set her elbow upon the table and rested her chin on the back of her hand. “As you can see, there was a reason for waiting.”

 

Yeah:  I had to wait for your boyfriend to have his sexy time vision–and it does make one wonder just how much Deanna does know about the kids.  If you’re thinking, “She’s probably had more than one vision about them,” I’m not going to give you an argument.  I’m just not going to confirm your theories.

We head into the wrap up–

 

“Yes.” She stared off into space for a second before getting back to the subject. “What now, Deanna?”

“Here is what you’ll do.” She pointed to Coraline, who was finishing writing something. “Coraline is giving you a tardy pass for Sorcery; we did the same thing for Kerry. Helena won’t question it, so no worry there.

“Once in class Kerry will probably ask you questions about our discussion. Tell him that you can’t talk in class, that you’ll tell him during the walk back.” Deanna smiled. “Which is probably a good thing to do, since Helena would object to your talking.”

“Yes, she would.”

“On the way back to The Pentagram you are to tell Kerry that we discussed the your rune dreams, and that is necessary for you to discuss them alone and in private. Don’t stop to eat: retrieve your runes and go somewhere away from The Pentagram where you’ll be alone and undisturbed.” The seer’s eyes flashed towards the ceiling. “The north shore of Lake Lovecraft has been a good place for you . . .

“Once they, you only need exchange your runes to break the enchantment. Once that’s done, you’ll find you’ll not only be free to discuss, but you’ll remember every detail as if you had them last night.”

 

That Deanna:  she thinks of everything.  So does Annie–

 

“Is there anything that will make discussing mine any easier?” Annie still felt a slight trepidation at the thought of explaining this dream to Kerry.

“Do you know the axiom ‘Be careful what you wish for, it may come true’? Well . . .” Deanna nearly smirked. “This is it made real.”

Annie didn’t want to dwell on her wishes— “Wait—”

“Yes?”

“I just realized something . . .”

Deanna sensed that Annie had already grasped the truth about these dreams. “And that is?”

“You said they were dream visions.” She closed her eyes slowly. “We both had visions—personal ones.”

“That is true, Annie—both about as personal as they get.”

“So what I saw—”

“Was a view of a possible future.” Deanna stretched, trying to work out the knots in her legs. “But after hearing your first vision, I knew that.” She looked down for a few seconds, then regained contract with Annie. “I think our business is finished. You should get on to class.”

 

Yep, you had some strange, personal visions, now it’s time to go to class and wait a few hours before you discuss it with your boyfriend.  But after Annie leaves comes the postscript:

 

After she was certain Annie had left the hospital Coraline stood and stretched. “I hate to say it—” She twisted at the waist a couple of time before facing the coven leader. “If I didn’t know you so well, I’d say you played the hell out of those kids.”

“Ah, but you do know me well, Coraline.” Deanna sat against the table edge. “And it would be wrong of me to ‘play’ them, as you put it.” She shook her head. “No, I prepared the stage, nothing more.” She looked over her shoulder at her friend. “Everything that happened after that was them, indirectly or directly.”

Coraline knew Deanna was telling the truth, and she wouldn’t have gone though the trouble to set up this long game unless there were a good reason—or she’d seen something. “So they’ll talk about these visions?”

Deanna nodded. “As much as Annie might not want to discuss these matters, she will. And so will Kerry.”

“Right.” Coraline cleared her throat. “And you know what happens after that?”

Deanna stared at the privacy enchantment for almost ten seconds, before giving the only answer she could. “Yes.”

 

Yeah, I wouldn’t tell that to either of the kids that you know what’s going on in their lives–or that you may have known about this for months and you’ve been sitting on it because, well, you just can’t tell people about the future, least they try to change it or force it to happen.

With this out of the way, we now get to the meat of the chapter:  the rune dreams.

Remember these?

Remember these?

And first up we’ll find out what Annie doesn’t want Kerry to know.

Probably has something to do with insides trading of Euro Zone stocks.

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/18:  1,890

NaNo Total Word Count:  34,728

Releases of Future Past

This morning I’d like to thank everyone who checked out yesterday’s post.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, which lightens my heart considerably.  The post also led to several people coming out to me yesterday about various LBGT issues, which is more even more heartening, because it means people want to know, they want to understand and learn.  Thank you all.

I should point out that yesterday, 10/11/2014, was Coming Out Day, which is when, if you’re still hiding your real self, you’re suppose to make that first tentative step to announce yourself to the world.  10/11/2012 was the day Cassidy came out, first to a few of my friends, and then on profiles around the Internet.  This blog was the first to change, and my Facebook account was the second.  That was a huge, scary step for me, but I’m still here, so it much have been the right action to take.  Kind of interesting, even for me, to see where I’m at two years later.

Now, lets get back to the boring business of writing . . .

"Great.  What insane crap is she gonna talk about now?"

“Great. What insane crap is she gonna talk about now?”

Only the best, I assure you.

Kerry’s getting checked out of the hospital.  He’s already been giving the normal “Don’t do this or that” speech, but there’s something else he needs to hear as well . . .

 

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

“Another thing—” Coraline rubbed her hands together before speaking. “You are not to get anywhere near a broom for the next few days. Just like last time, you’re grounded due to the concussion, only this time I’m not going to give you a clearance check-up until Sunday morning.” She laid her hands in her lap. “Even if I do clear you I might tell Vicky to keep you on light flight duty for that week.”

“Was it really that bad?” Kerry knew concussions were bad, but he felt like he’d bounced back from the last one quickly, and this one didn’t feel any different.

“About as bad as it could get without causing a traumatic brain injury.” Coraline held her thumb and forefinger about a centimeter apart. “You were this close to a TBI: the only thing that saved you was you tumbled after you crashed. Otherwise you’d probably still be out while I let my magical nanoids fix the damage.

 

Remember, kids:  it’s better to slide along the ground for a few hundred feet instead of coming to a quick stop, especially if you’re moving along at speed.  Just keep tumbling, kids, and I don’t mean that stuff you do on the Internet.

Also–

 

“I’m not going to give you any pain killers because if you really need to take something for the pain of just being up and around, I want you back here resting.” Coraline set her hands on either side of her and stretched. “The only other thing I have is that I want you back here at sixteen-thirty for a checkup, and . . .” She flicked her gaze from Kerry to Annie and back. “I don’t want you trying to make your way up to your room in the tower, so I’m going to have you sleep here tonight.”

Annie covered her mouth with the back of her hand. “Ah, hum.”

“And, yes—someone else will sleep here as well.” Coraline dropped the tone of her voice into a lower register. “And I don’t want to come in tomorrow and find the same scene I found this morning.”

“We’ll be good.” Annie turned to Kerry and hugged him tight. “Promise.”

 

You know you can trust Annie, Coraline.  You won’t catch her sleeping with Kerry again–catch being the operative word here.

With that out of the way Coraline puts up one more question–and what she gets back was probably something she wasn’t expecting . . .

 

“I’ll hold you to that, Annie. Since classes are canceled for the remainder of the week, if you wanna stay up late, you call.” Coraline turned her attention to Kerry. “That’s all I have to say. Any questions?”

There was only one on Kerry’s mind: it had been there a while and had nothing to do with his condition. “How many people . . . died? No one will tell me.”

Coraline didn’t hesitate giving him that information, because she felt he had a right to know. “Ten: nine students and an instructor. Six of the students were fliers; the other three were in the ground assault teams.”

“Who was the instructor?”

“Shuthelah Kady. He taught Engineering and Magic, so you didn’t have a chance to get to know him.” Coraline turned away for a moment. “Nice guy.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“He jumped in a rescued a group that was ambushed by nine Abominations: they killed two of the three students on the group. Shuthelah took out most of them before he died.” There wasn’t a trace of humor in Coraline’s chuckle.  “He went down fighting; that’s how he was.”

“Still—” Kerry stared at the floor. “That’s a lot.”

“We lost forty-four students the night of The Scouring. Isis, Wednesday, Ramona, Vicky—they did a great job making sure that didn’t happen again.” She nodded towards Kerry. “And your quick thinking keep four more people off the list.”

It took Kerry a moment to realize that “the list” Coraline mentioned were those killed—and that one of the additional four was him. “Um, yeah.”

 

Always nice to know that you may be congratulated for not dying–and realizing that through not dying, you likely kept three move people alive as well.  And of that death count from the Scouring, was was left off were the six to eight instructors and staff who died in the process–like the Librarian, Chief Medical Officer, and Headmaster.  The last one was torn apart by Jessica Kishna, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have it coming.  Add those people into the mix, and you’re over fifty dead that night.  And since Isis and Wednesday played a big part in making sure more people didn’t die that night, they knew what to do to make certain that didn’t happen again.

But there’s something else afoot here–

 

Coraline followed them out of the bay and towards her office, watching them stroll hand-in-hand through the waiting room and out the open doors. Once they were out of sight she turned towards her office, where the blinds, which were up when she’d finished discussing Kerry’s condition with Annie, were now drawn. This can only mean one thing . . .

She entered her office and closed the door. She didn’t address her guest until she was seated behind her desk. “I’m guessing you drew the blinds so certain students wouldn’t see you.”

 

Could this be that “She” that Coraline mentioned the scene before?  Yep.  And who is this person?  Let’s see.  Or should I say, “Seer”?

 

“I thought it best they didn’t see me.” Deanna Arrakis twisted the bracelet on her left wrist to the left and right. “After all, you’re the one with the questions—yes?”

Coraline shook her head. “So what exactly did you see yesterday?” She sat back as she pulled her coat around her. “I mean, you told me to let Annie spend the night hours before you told me I’d find them sharing the same bed.”

“I saw them sleeping together not long after Isis gave the all clear.” Deanna checked the door as if she expected someone to walk through at any moment. “Though I didn’t see quite what you saw . . .”

“Meaning?”

“You weren’t alone. That’s why I told you to come here early today.”

Coraline chuckled. “Yeah, I told them about what might have happened if the Headmistress had found them. But that isn’t why you told me to let her spend the night—” She set her right index finger against the corner of her mouth. “Unless you wanted them to be found like that.”

Deanna slowly tossed her head from side to side as she gazed up at the ceiling before explaining further. “I felt something else just before I contacted you. It wasn’t a true vision, but more an . . . premonition.”

Coraline leaned forward and rested her elbow against her desk. “About?”

“That something important was about to transpire between them.”

“And that happened last night?”

Deanna shook her head. “In a way.” She glanced towards the door once more. “I believe the rest is coming soon . . .”

 

That’s the problem with these seers:  you never know what’s going on with them, even after they tell you what’s going on.  As Coraline hints, could Deanna have manipulated things so the event Coraline discovered was made to happen instead of maybe happening?  Hummm.

I guess you’d have to be able to see the future to know that one.

 

 

Moonage Daydream

The weather has cooled and isn’t as muggy as it was yesterday.  I know that sounds a ridiculous thing to say, given the way weather has lost it’s mind of late–though it’s not something I haven’t seen coming for a while.  But that’s a discussion for another time.  Right now it’s cool outside, and it’s going to say this way for a few days.  Cloudy, cool, rainy.

Perfect weather for writing.

I’m well into novelette territory now with Fantasies in Harmonie.  After watching Iron Man 2 with my daughter last night, I hit the Scrivener bricks about ten PM and wrote for an hour.  A thousand words later I found a good point to leave off until today, stared at the final word count, and proclaimed myself the worst smut writer in the world.

Lets define that, shall we?  I don’t mean “worse” as in I can’t write.  I can.  I write good, as some might say.  What I mean by “worse” is that this story is double the size of other stories I’ve seen, like The Boss, My Slut or Daddy’s Horny Step Daughter.  Then again, I’m not writing those stories:  I’m writing mine.

As one person told me, it’s gonna be a real story, not just get off sex.  Though there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s strange for me is my sleeping patterns these days.  When I go to bed I’m usually thinking of some story that I want to write, and when I wake up I find myself going over a scene from the current work in progress–usually as I lay there gathering my strength and wits.

That happened this morning.  I started coming awake in the dim light of this cloudy, gray morning, and here I have something bouncing around my head concerning one of my characters.  Now, I don’t know if it’s something that would fit her for this current story, but it’s damn sure something that could work for her in another story.  Yes, I think that way:  I’m always figuring in another story angle for characters even when I’m working on their current story.  (About the only one I haven’t done that with is Couples Dance because, damn . . .)

The images that assault me during that time–oh, my.  It’s an interesting time, since I have these ideas and scenes and feelings that enrapture me while I lay there, eyes half-closed, taking it all in.  Sometimes I feel like this is the best time for me to get my ideas in order, because things are coming at me fast and furiously, and I’ve had some of my best scenes hit me during the waking hours.

They can also be a little overwhelming at times, because my mind is wide open, and just about anything can happen during these moments.  These things wash over me and I lay there and take it in and take it apart.  I see what works and what doesn’t.  I think about what I want to keep and use and what I want to discard–

Sometimes I even get a story idea.

If only my day was this productive.