The View Beyond The Foundation Window

Where was I last night?  Actually I had to run out and pick up a couple of things, and by the time that was over I was back at the apartment somewhere around seven-thirty.  After I got back onto the computer and started working . . . nothing was really coming.  It’s interesting how that happens, you know.  Eleven hundred words the night before, less than four hundred last night.

But since I was asked, “Who is Kerry gonna speak with at lunch?” it’s only fair I show you.  And Kerry is a mess right now.  He is Mr. Mopie Sadsack right now, because his sweetie is off in Bulgaria–probably walking up after whatever magic The Foundation slipped into her Readjustment Mixture works its magic and got her on the proper local time–and he doesn’t even feel like eating, which is a first for him.  However, someone comes a callin’:

 

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

It hasn’t even been three hours— Kerry poked the Italian sausage on the right side of his plate. And I’ve gotta stay here for like another nine hours—or ten—maybe longer . . .

“Now here’s a young man with something on his mind.” Kerry looked up from his plate to find Professor Sladen standing across the table from him. She regarded him with a studied eye. “Ah, he is conscious, and not in some self-imposed trance.”

He chuckled as he set his fork to the side. “Hi, Professor Sladen.”

Erywin waved dismissively at him. “Oh, please: school’s out for the year. You can called me Erywin.”

“I don’t know if I can get used to calling you all by your first names.”

“’You all’?”

“You know: instructors.”

“Well–” She placed her hands upon her hips. “You have no problem addressing Wednesday by her first name—what does she have that I haven’t got?” She chuckled as his face turned a bright red. “May I join you?”

Kerry calmed himself and nodded. “Please do . . . Erywin.”

 

All this calling instructors by their given name and stuff–really, it’s going to drive a kid crazy.  And what has she comes to talk about?  I’ll have to write that tonight.

It’s interesting that now that the novel is moving towards the end of Act Two and a few truths are going to emerge, not just with Kerry but with Annie as well.  And in Act Three we finally get out of the school and wander about the land beyond the walls.  I was asked recently about the world beyond the walls of Salem and what it was like, and my answer was simple:  it’s the world of 2011 as we knew it–because we are in 2014, and we’re looking back–and there isn’t much of a change other than one discovers during this story that there’s a shadow organization that spans the entire globe and not only gathers children from all over the world, but brings them to a school that no one can see save for those known as The Aware.

I mean, take a look.  There’s the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning (SIGEL) right in the middle of the picture, just to the north of Gloucester and to the east of Rockport.

It's right there.  Don't you see it?

It’s right there. Don’t you see it?

I see it, because I know the layout in my head, but that huge green area in the middle of Cape Ann, where one would find a large forest and quarries and even the remains of Dogtown, there is instead a huge, walled school that normal people live next to and have no idea exist.  That’s where your smoke and mirrors and magic all come into play, convincing everyone that all is right in the world and there’s nothing to worry about, because should you wander into that area, everything you think you’re gonna find you will.

Annie and Kerry get to venture into the old world–well, old to Kerry; Annie’s always been used to living in her Foundation World while dealing with the Other World–and they’ll travel into Salem, maybe even by train.  I can’t tell you what they’re doing there, because spoilers and River would come after me, but it’s not something anyone would probably believe at this point.  Needless to day, being outside in the world is going to have an affect on both my kids.

And Annie will be haunted by one of her deepest fears right in front of this statue in Salem.  Probably because Samantha Stevens has that effect on young witches.

And Annie will be haunted by one of her deepest fears right in front of this statue in Salem. Probably because Samantha Stevens has that effect on young witches.

The later stories (yes, there are more stories) get out into the real world even more, and if I ever get the second novel written you’ll see Kerry out and about, though the third, forth, and fifth novels would actually see them outside the walls of Salem a lot more.  Right now they’re innocent A Levels and I can’t let them leave the safety of the school.

Which is why Kerry’s already been in a coma.  Because safety.

The Sun On the Trail

So far this morning I’ve woken at four AM, drove through the darkness to arrive at my local Panera for a breakfast sandwich and coffee, and spent ten minutes helping someone get the wireless card in their computer running.  Yes, I’m off and running, and it’s not even seven AM.

Now I have the earphones in and I’m listening to City to City, and Baker Street is playing and the day feels good.  Never mind the fact that my right eye was bothering me again last night, making it difficult to do anything because my left eye was the only one that wasn’t all clouded up with junk and burning.  Still, I worked on, because that’s how it goes, right?  You work thought it, even if it means you feel like lying down and doing nothing but moan.

I managed to finish my school layout last night.  This is something I started back before my Camp Salem AboveNaNo story started, and it was also something I’d need for the novel that follows.  What you see to your right is the school grounds from the air:  all the buildings, all the towers and walls, all the roads and trails, even a couple of lakes and springs and a large meadow.  There are even a few things that, if you squint, you’ll see, like trees, covered stairs leading below, and a couple of graves.  Yes, I said graves, because we have dead people hanging out at this joint.  I know every point on this map, because I’ve pretty much lived with this place for a couple of years.  Some might say I’ve lived in it, but what do they know?

But do I stop at what you can see?  No.  Because there’s always more to the picture than you can see . . .

I also designed the tunnel and basement system that runs under the school.  Salem BelowIt only makes sense:  this place is right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and during the winter you’re gonna get snow and cold and even a Storm of the Century every so often.  When that happens you don’t want your kiddies walking a half mile through ankle-deep snow to their next class–ergo, tunnels.  And basements where dangerous experiments are held, or where control rooms are set up, or where you have a lot of storage because you never know when you’ll need something.

There are only a couple of features that need adding, but I can get to that later.  The Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning is complete.  All that remains is the writing of its tales.

Speaking of tales, I set up the Scrivener project for the short story I’m going to write.  I’m going to start on that today at some point, and I do promise it’ll be a short story–which is why I used the short story template for my project.  This isn’t going to be dragged out:  it’s going to be quick and to the point.  The story is really more about how one character takes to having to do “official” things, and it’s meant to be something of a character-building bridge than anything else.  No great ideas will be developed; no terrors quelled; no threats extinguished.  Just fun.

At some point this morning I’m going to head up north and get pictures of the Appalachia Trail.  I discovered it’s about twenty minutes north of me, so I’ll drive to the point where it crosses the river and walk across.  That way I can say I hiked the Trail.

Maybe I should bring my survival gear.  You never know what dangers are lying in wait for me . . .

 

Creationositiy

The second chapter of Couples Dance is down and done–as much as it’s going to be for now.  I’m certain there’ll be another pass though when this is over, but for now I’m pretty happy.  Sort of happy.  Kind of happy.

Yeah, I’ll take what I have.  Right now it feels good.

The first four chapters are really pretty small as far as the story as a whole is concerned.  Each is between fifteen and eighteen hundred words, so I’ve got a short story to start setting up things for the strangeness to come.  It’s the chapters that come after, that are eight thousand and six thousand, and ever one that’s nine thousand words, that are going to take some time.  Those are the ones that will require a day, or more, to get cleaned up and somewhat rewritten.  Seeing as how I have ten chapters to do, I’m guessing since a few chapters will require multiple days to edit, I could have another two weeks of work ahead.

On this story.  No word on what’s coming next.

Well, I do know what’s coming next, and that work is coming along, at least visually.  My three-dimensional layout for my school is getting bigger and bigger each day, and as I get better at this modeling thing, I can always make better trees and forests, and my building can start to look more like buildings and not some gray blocks on a green surface.  It’s fun to do, to build this thing that has lived in the bowels of my memory for some time, but damn, does it take up time.  You can write, or you can make things relating to writing.  This is definitely the “Make things relating to writing” part, because I’m not writing when I’m working on this landscape.

At least Blender doesn’t kill my system like a few other modeling program have.  Though once I get a few thousand trees laid out, I may need to go to a bigger system.

In a way this school has become another character in my story.  Not that I don’t have a few already:  there is, as they say, a cast of dozens waiting to walk upon the stage and have their say.  Most will be small players; some are going to set up shop and be around for most of the stories about my kids.  But as I lay out this place known as the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning, I see how it’s turning into more than a place where teachers get up and go through their daily routines, and the kids look for places to hide and make mischief when they’re not studying their butts off.

The school has become something organic.  It is more than a collection of buildings and grounds; it’s a tangible thing.  I am building its personality as surely as if I were making characters notes in a file.

People ask, “What do you do to get to know your characters?”  That’s an easy question to answer:

You do whatever is necessary to turn them into living, breathing creatures.

Even when they’re made of dirt, wood, and stone.

There and Back to the Big House

Oh, did you notice this is coming out late?  These things happen at times, trust me.  The delay is due to getting up at five AM, driving one hundred miles for a thirty minute interview, then driving home.  A little lunch later, as well as the fixing of a screen door has kept me off the computer for about two hours, and then–

Here we are.

It’s so far made for a long, tiring day, but at least I don’t have to cook tonight, because I’ve done enough of that for the last two days.  Kick back tonight, maybe pizza tomorrow.

Right now, we’re talking Great Hall.

The last two days I’ve been running about in Blender designing.  I should say, “Building,” because what I wanted to do is taking the build I’d made for my current story, and sort of see what it would look like if you turned into a three dimensional model.  I know, that’s being a bit obsessive about something that isn’t real, that’s just a part of my imagination.

There is a point to all this, however:  having a designed floor plan allowed me to figure out where some of the action in the building occurred.  I know there are those who may feel that’s a little too much work to put into a project, that it’s getting down into the metadata a little too much, but screw them.  It’s my story, and it’s one I want to publish one day, so I put work into my background.  Hey, it’s either this or spend twenty years on some fan fiction that will never see the light of day, right?

Originally I started with what you see on the right:  a building Main Hall 518layout rendered in 3D that showed as much of the inside as I could dream up.  I still have this, and the information came in handy when I started writing about battles and running and flying going on inside.  Visualizing these things came about from working with someone else, and I’m thankful that I listened to them on this matter.  (As for the rest, I’m still working on that . . .)

But I wanted to see more.  I wanted to see the area around the Pentagram, I wanted to feel the size, the enormity of the area.  It’s a big school:  everything here feels enormous, or is at least should.  Therefore I need to model the outside and the grounds, and I couldn’t do it in the program I used for the floor plan.

So off to Blender, and . . . Pentagram SoutheastBehold!

It’s not much to look at unrendered, but that’s what I’m building.  I have the Pentagram walls, the Coven Towers, the Clock Tower, the covered walkways, the older South Part of the Hall, the transepts, and the newer, more modern looking Library with the curving windowed wall that I couldn’t do the proper way in my floor plan program.  I figured out the scaling for this monster so that it’s not taking up a whole lot of virtual space, and it leaves open the possibility of modeling some of the other buildings.

If you want to get a feeling for scale, look at this:  Pentagram Main Gateit’s the main gate of the school going through the fifty foot high and eighteen foot thick walls.  And there, standing in the arch, those little sticks?  Those are two students, each five foot tall, catching sight, for the first time, of the main entrance some two hundred feet away.

With the story almost finished, I’m ready to move onto the next project.  But come November, when I may or may not do NaNo again, I’ll start in on another novel, and that novel will build off the little novel I wrote this month of July.

Maybe, in four months time, I’ll have even more to see.

 

 

Digging in the Dirt

Tunnels.  I be digging tunnels.

While working on my story yesterday, I remembered the tunnels that are all under the school I created.  In the story one of these is mentioned as a scene takes place there–a semi-argument between three instructors that will eventually lead to a climax within the next chapter I’m writing.

I’ve a layout of my environment.  I’ve even looked at the area in some detail on Google Maps (the school is really there, but you can’t see it, ’cause . . .), so when I write about a building on the grounds, I see it in my mind because I’ve placed it on a physical spot on a map.  Call it a visualization trick learned from years of gaming–or from having someone tell me, “I gotta see the inside of this tower to know it!” which lend me to start drawing–but it’s a trick that helps a hell of a lot.

However, the area is subject to seasonal changes in weather.  It’s hot in the summer, wet in the spring and fall, and snowy during the winter.  It’s also right on the ocean, so you have the occasional storm blowing in from the Atlantic.  Hence, the tunnels.  ‘Cause if you want to get around in the worst weather, go underground.

But the tunnels are good for other things beside walking from class to class when the weather sucks, and you don’t feel like getting drenched because the building where your next class is held is a half-mile away.  There are plenty of things to discover in the tunnels:  passages that seem to lead nowhere; passages that are restricted; unused and hidden rooms . . . oh, there’s plenty of things down below the ground beside people going from here to there.  Most of which will pop up in the next story . . .

What was bugging me yesterday, though, was not having a layout for those tunnels.  I wanted to see them.  I wanted to know how the kids and instructors made their way around in the basement world.  And, for an upcoming chapter, I had to chase someone in a large basement, and figure out how another person was able to make it from where they were first caught doing bad thing, to where they were going to have their final confrontation.

Ergo, tunnel maps.  You gotta have them.  Well, I do.

Now, many hours later, I have everything I need.  I see every building linked together.  I see which building have underground storage, and of those, which have a lot of underground space.  I see the spaces that will get used when I get to my novel in November.

This morning I had a short chat with someone who follows me.  One of the things they said was they were amazed by the architectural detail I put into my stories.  I’ve done this before for other stories, yeah, but never to the level I’ve done for this story.  For this story it’s as if I’ve had a Muse nagging me to get all the little details right, and even if those details aren’t seen, I need them, because the story needs them.

As usual, my Muse is right.

She’ll be the first to tell you that, too.

Defending the Pentagram

Writing has become a deliberate, detailed issue of late with me.  So many things to monitor, to track; so many people and names to remember.  At this point in my story I have had at least a dozen characters speak, and at least a half dozen of them are major characters.  It’s the way I wanted the story, so if there’s anyone to blame for this mess, it is I.  Put it all on my shoulders, I’ll hump that sucker down the hill, ’cause I can handle the stress.

But, anyway:  the story.  The big battle is nearing the end, and I have a few more people who need to die, a few more characters that need to breathe their last and shuck this mortal coil in as nasty a way as possible.  Then comes the cool-downs, the affirmations, the set up for the November NaNo Novel.

Until then, my Salem Girls (and a few boys, least of all one who’s going out in a big way) are gonna defend the Pentagram.

The Pentagram gets talked up a lot in this story, and will show Pentagram Closeupup a bit in the next novel, too.  What is it?  You can see for yourself in the picture on the right.  This is the center of my school, Sigel–the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning–and it’s where all the super kiddies spend their time in study, eating, relaxing, going to the hospital (yeah, that’s going to be important in the next novel), participating in extra-curricular activity (both approved and unproved by the school–there’s lots of empty and hidden rooms above and below ground)and living.

It’s really more of a pentagon, but when one goes all the way back to the founding of this place–which I have, because I’m lovin’ my time lines–it’s makes sense as to why the women who build this place called it the Pentagram.  Which also played a role in the naming of the towers–those things at each point–and calling them covens.

We’re talkin’ real old school here.

As I’ve pointed out before, the Great Hall is about the size of a modern football stadium.  The walk along the gray pathway heading from the hall southward (south is at the bottom) is a little over three hundred feet, and each segment of wall between the towers is around seven hundred fifty feet.  It’s a big place.  It wasn’t when I first designed it, but I wanted it to be an imposing place, so just like Pacific Rim, I went big instead of going extinct.

Not that people aren’t dying at the moment.  Hey, that’s what combat’s all about.  An now the students are getting in on the action, and just like with the instructors, there are good students, and there are bad ones.  And the bad ones–well, it’s not going to end well for them.  They’re probably going to get something a lot worse than detention by the time it’s all over.

The story is coming to an end.  It’s closing in on forty thousand, and may top forty-five thousand before it’s all over.  With a few revisions I might just get it to fifty, but that’s for another time.

Right now I gotta look up joule output; I got a building to blow up.

All the Troubles I’ve Created

Everything is moving forward.  The Scouring zoomed past the eighteen thousand word point last night, more or less.  I say that, because though I use the word “zoom”, it was more like a stumble over the line to get there.  My focus was crap yesterday for some reason, and most of the day was spent adding a few hundred words here, another hundred there.

But as I’ve said before, you keep adding up those words over the course of a few hours, eventually you’ll get a couple of thousand written, which I did before heading off to bed.  Just a shade over two thousand, mind you, but I still made it.

Since I’m all about bringing the enjoyment of how I write my Into the Attackstories, and since I’m all about bringing the pain to others, I did a screen shot of my Scrivener layout last night . . . and there it is!

This was the first time I did a split screen and wrote on the top while watching the word count build up on the bottom while I had the part in Outline mode.  And the fun part is, you do see the numbers for the Word Count move as you type, edit, and delete.  For some reason I enjoyed writing this way last night; call me crazy, but then most do.  I think it has more to do now with where I’m at, but where I’m going.  And as the Status Column goes from “To Do” to “Work in Progress” to “First Draft”, I’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

The going was slow because of a few distractions yesterday–who doesn’t have them, I know–but there’s also that feeling of pending disaster whenever I have to start working on pending disasters.  Killing Time is coming to the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning, and I’m laying the ground work.

I’ve had this situation happen before:  it’s like the shakes coming on after a long night of drinking and drying out the moment I have to get in there and start writing some disturbing stuff.  I have three pretty clear death scenes in my head, and when I start thinking about putting those things into my computer–I don’t know.  It’s not that I mind killing off my characters; I think it has most to do with how it’s going to read for other.

I had this same thing happen back when I was writing Couples Dance last year.  I started getting the Butterfly Fear (that feeling you get in your tummy when it feels like there’s a million mad butterflies trying to break free) when it was time to write some of the most bizarre sex scenes–and if I’m saying “bizarre sex scene”, then you know it was strange.

The thing is, I powered through it, and wrote out the strangeness, and the world didn’t implode.  Once more, my mind was playing tricks on me, which is something it totally enjoys doing, and which I should ignore more often.

There will be writing today.  More than likely it’ll happen this afternoon, but I’ll get it in, and get it done, and by this time tomorrow I should have over twenty thousand words in the story bank.

Where I never have to worry about making a withdrawal.

 

Come Down in Time

I finally have a NaNo Cabin–or should I say, “I haz cabin!” in the way of the Internet?  Naw.  I try to write as I speak, which is to say semi-comprehensible.  It’s better in the afternoon, trust me, but I do my best to not come off as a complete idiot when I first wake up.

I was finally placed in a cabin with (1) people who didn’t come off as strange–unlike me–and (2) with a writing friend I know.  The last made me most happy, so I’ve decided not to bail out and throw up a tent and stay there.  I can relax and tell ghost stories and share the bunk with my friend, whispering to her at night how one of the boys keeps staring at her . . . ah, the life of a writer.  Coming up with BS all the time.

One of the things I have completed are the names and ages of the instructors of my school.  I had stuff in a ball park area before I sat down the other night and began adjusting ages, and in doing so I came up with a few surprises.  There are a couple of instructors who are simply damn young–as in, “Damn!  They’re young!” when you finally calculate their age in the current story.  But, hey, if you’re good, who cares about your age?  The people at my school shouldn’t.

Speaking of the school . . . I’ve nearly finished the second floorGreat Hall 627 of this gigantic main hall, and I have an excellent idea of how the third and fourth floors will look.  As you can see, library to the right, security to the top, administration and offices to the bottom, old classrooms to the left; it’s all taking shape.  I’ll throw up walls and doors and railings, then get to work on the next two floors, which won’t take up a lot of space, and she’ll be finished.

As I told someone last night, the Hall is no longer a mysterious place to me.  Even though I created it, I didn’t know it.  I had an idea where things were, but not how they should look.  I also realize that there is a hell of a lot of building that isn’t used, that is full of empty rooms because it’s not being used for teaching any more.  This leaves room for–adventure?  Finding something strange?  Coming across a DeLorean with the keys in it?  There’s a few storage areas, so that last may be possible–though I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The last revelation fell into place last night, though, while chatting with my friend.  If I do bring this story in at twenty-five thousand words, as I’d like, then this novella would become the opening of the novel I’ll write in November for NaNoWriMo.  If that novel should run seventy-five to ninety thousand words, then I have something that is not only a stand-alone tale, but that has its own built-in prologue that introduces characters, backgrounds, and the world.  There’s little need for a lot of setup, because the novella is the set up.

Yes, I am satisfied.  Yes, I am patting myself on the back.

Yes, I hope I’m not about to drive myself crazy with this stuff.

 

The Great Gates of Kiev

First off I have to say:  the WordPress make over is a bit strange, slipping into some Art Deco style black and white craziness that, for some, has been a bit off-putting.  But I am used to the strange and unusual, so I’m not nearly as bothered by this as some.  I’ve been in the software trade for some time, so change is both expected and dreaded.  In the end, I’ve had worse things happen, so move along.

Now that Welcome to the Fishbowl is something of a reality, I’ve started the task of bringing it together.  The world is so-so there–and by that I mean I have a majority of the basics down, it’s the little things that remain that will bring things into sharp clarity.  Yesterday I show the hospital wing from the main hall of my school, and after the post went up I spent some more time putting things together.  By the afternoon I’d arrived at the following conclusions:  one, because I was moving my story from a universe that wasn’t really of my making (yes, these things happen), and into my own private universe, there were things that were never in the building that I was now needing to add–like, say, an office for the head of school security, and a place from which to monitor everything.  And two . . . this damn place is huge.

Let us gander upon what I have so far.  As you can see, I’ve maybe half Main Hall 518the second floor in place, and I’ve started putting in the library, which is going to be beyond that wall in the back of the building.  From the doors in the lower right hand corner, to the wall all the way towards the top, the building is one hundred and sixty meters long.  If you don’t do metric, that’s about five hundred and twenty-five feet.  To put that into some kind of perspective, I could fit this building inside Indiana’s own Lucas Oil Stadium, which is about two hundred and seventy meters long by my careful Google Map measuring.  Except my Great Hall will never seat sixty thousand people, nor require a tax on food so millionaire owners can keep the lights on.  It’s a world all unto itself.

My characters are developing as well.  The story has a huge cast, though maybe a half-dozen of them will get any sort of face time.  Still, when I think about the characters that do have a spoken part, and who end up becoming important to the main characters–I’m looking at over a dozen.  Easy.

Where do I get names?  Scrivener has a name generator that allows you to randomly generate first and last names based upon gender, nationality, and even letters of the alphabet, so when you need the name of a German woman whose last name starts with an E, no problems.  Then once you see something you like, move the name to your short list and copy it off for later use.

Or do as I did this morning.  I needed the names of three people who are part of the Foundation, and whom play a part in the story.  In the process of setting up their cards in Scrivener, I came up with Mr. Mayhew, Ms. Rutherford, and Mr. Gabriel.  If you know me, you know where those names came from.

The gates of the story are ahead, and I’m approaching slowly.  Won’t be long before I enter the city proper.

Or the school for that matter.

Infinite Space

The weekend is a good time to get creative, and it’s also a good time to think about what you’re going to do for future projects.  As I wrote yesterday, I’ve begun the process of getting my story for Camp NaNo going.  I’ve a title, a Scrivener project in place, and I’ve got some characters set up.  Yes, I have other things to do, but I also have two weeks to get my kernel of a story planted, watered, and sprouting.

I’ve done more with less, trust me.

As I pointed out to a few people I’m into the world building phase.  The good news is that I have a lot of the world already built.  The bad news is I have a lot of the world to build.  Reason?  I originally built much of the story within the framework of another world, and now I have to reverse engineer everything so it fits inside another world.  Does that make sense?  It does to me.

One of the things I use within my story are maps and floor plans.  I’ve always used maps to figure out where things should be within the framework of a story.  When I wrote Couples Dance I knew where the main house was located, and I used Google Maps to see how I’d get from one place in my world to another.  With Her Demonic Majesty I had drawings of what Chicago might have looked like had city plans been allowed to progress, and in my world that’s exactly what happened.

And in The Foundation Chronicles, I’ve a pretty big school to design.  Actually, it’s designed for the most part.  There are things to put into place, but I have buildings up, and names assigned to buildings and places.  Now all I have to do is write the story.

Though there’s something else here as well . . .

I may have mentioned that I have designed buildings that I use in my stories because I like to have a visual reference for what my characters are seeing.  This was actually forced upon me, more or less, by someone I know, because when I’d start talking about these buildings that these characters were visiting, she was like, “I can’t really see it.  Can you draw it out?”  Most of the time I’d say, “No,” but I have a hard time saying no to this person . . .

What we have here is the hospital of the Main Hall for my school inHospital First Floor The Foundation Chronicles.  It’s a big part of an even bigger building, and as there are three main floors to this place, it’s taken some time getting things in place.  My two main characters end up going here after they arrive at the school, and it’s here that they not only meet someone who’ll be a part of their lives for many years to come, but it’s where one character learns some rather unusual news–

Actually, they learn a few things in this area.  There’s even a joke that comes out of the story where one of the beds is named for one of the main characters.

I have stairs and a lift to the floor above.  I have bathrooms.  I have a place for patients to sit and eat if they can.  I have beds for quick examinations, and beds for overnight–and longer–stays.  I have the doctor’s officer, storage, and . . . the waiting room where one of my characters gets the news, and they have a bit of a freak-out moment.  Oh, get me a fainting couch!

Then again, if you look hard, you’ll see I already have one . . .

 

From the Beginning

When I start a new story, it seems as if I go through this intense period of “What the Hell Am I Going to Do?” thinking that can, at times, be a little madding.  I can have a title for my story, and still not have any idea where the story is going to head.  Or I’ll have a concept, but no characters and no title.  Worse yet, I’ll know the characters and concept, and even a good direction for a story, but I have no title.

Camp NaNo put me in the position of thinking about a project.  I had an idea; I had characters; I even had the story.  What I lacked was a title.  I know this sounds strange, but I almost never start writing until I have a title.  This is a habit I got into a long time ago, picked up from a couple of writers that I read quite often in my early years.

That’s where I was last night, up until about seven PM.  That was when inspiration hit me, and the “Putting the Project Camp NaNo Novel 2013Together Rag” began playing.  And when I was through, maybe around nine-thirty, I’d created what you see to your right.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the Fishbowl.

I know what you’re thinking:  Fishbowl?  And what is this thing at the top:  The Foundation Chronicles?  There’s a reason for this, so sit back and listen up.

The Foundation (yeah, I know, it’s original, move along) is something I started playing with months ago:  an organization that sorts of started out as a club for super scientist, and eventually evolved into something else more . . . paranormally.  Is that a real word?  It is now.

So I have my organization that looks for strange young minds to bring into their fold, and once I knew who they were, then it became a matter of figuring out what to do with them.  And then I remembered something from real life . . .

When my daughter started 6th Grade–or middle school, take your pick–the administration, and the kids, refereed to the experience as “being in the fishbowl”.  While they were in the same school as 7th and 8th graders, they were kept as segregated from them as possible.  The idea was to get them as used to middle school, and the transition of going from class to class, as easily as possible, without having to deal with a lot of interaction from the other grades.

When I applied that idea to my new student, it made sense.  In my story you have thirty-two kids out of thirty-three coming into a school not knowing anything about the world they’re entering, and the transition will be hard enough without upper class kids getting in their way.  Ergo . . . they get fishbowled.

This is my project, this is my story.  My goal is thirty-five thousand words for July, and then I’ll shut the story down, work on something else–at this moment I think I’m going to edit Couples Dance and get it ready for publishing–then when the Big NaNo Dance starts up in November, I’ll pull The Foundation Chronicles out again and add my fifty thousand plus words to finish the story.

Oh, and did you notice the folder “Book Two”?

Yeah, I love Scrivener.