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?

Life in Three Acts

I know what you’re thinking:  what, no writing again?  Yeah, that’s been happening of late as I’ve really been in the middle of some intense socializing for the first time in months.  Actually, it’s been kinda the perfect storm of interaction of late, with my trip back to Indiana, meeting people there, then doing things on this end–yep, that actually leaves a few holes in the writing schedule.  But I’ve needed the interaction for a while, and it’s helping me recharge a little.  Actually, I was a bit weepy for the most part yesterday, and getting together with someone for dinner helped bring me out of that funk.

It was either that or spend all my time crying while writing.

But this is a good time to get into something else that’s important to writing, or at least to my writing.  And that’s to answer the question, “Why do you lay things out the way you lay them out?”  Besides the answer, “Because I’m strange,” it’s really due in part to helping me keep action organized in a format that’s fairly well-known to writers around the world.

First off, let’s speak of something known as three act structure.  This is probably one of the most basic of all writing tools that’s used in so many stories that once you start getting heavy into reading the works of others, you’ll recognize it immediately.  Stephen King employed it to good use in most of his novels, particularly with The Stand and IT, and Joss Whedon has used this in both his Avenger movies.

The set up is easy:  the story is broken into three acts, often known as the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution.  The Setup is mostly exposition, where the story is set up, the character met, backgrounds laid out, and so on.  The Confrontation is just that:  the challenges are met and things start getting a little dicey.  The last act is the Resolution, where everything is tidied up and the hero–or heroes–walk off into the sunset victorious–or in a case of a couple of kids separated by the continent of Europe, they go home and get sad.

I had this structure in my last night, A For Advanced, because, really, it helped determine how I should sell the book when I sell the book.

I have the same thing in the current novel, 'cause why get rid of a good thing?

I have the same thing in the current novel, ’cause why get rid of a good thing?

The first time I used the three act structure was Kolor Ijo.  My characters meet in the first act and find out what’s happening.  In act two things ramp up, and in act three the move in together and take on the big bad.  That worked well enough that I decided to keep it for The Foundation Chronicles novels, while at the same time divided the story up even further.

In these two novels, acts are broken into parts that are basically a collection of interrelated things.  Let’s look below:

Hey, looks like there's a dance going on.

Hey, looks like there’s a dance going on.

Part Four, Under Pressure, deals with events in Annie’s and Kerry’s lives that affect them in different ways.  Those events becomes chapters, which contain the telling of those events.  Samhain Festivities is an event that’s good for Annie and Kerry together.  The Manor Called is something that affects Annie, and From Queens to Dreams affects Kerry.  The last, Restricted Dreamspace, is something that again affects them both, and sends Annie off asking questions.

And lastly I have scenes, and this seems to be the place where a lot of people look at me and go, “Huh?”  Since I think of my story in somewhat cinematic terms, a scene, to me, is a segment of a chapter relating to a particular event, like one would see in a movie or television show.  Let’s go back to the first Avengers movie.  You start out with the Tesseract acting up and Nick Fury coming to see what the hell is happening; that’s a scene.  Loki appears, gets his meat puppets, and scoots with the loot; that’s a scene.  There’s the chase out of the facility as everyone finished packing their shit and leaving before it all blows up and Loki vanishes with the goods; that’s a scene, and the end of a chapter.

I do the same above.  Kerry finds out he’s on the A Team–scene.  The A Team meets–scene.  They start the race–scene.  They end the race–scene.  Off to the dance and meet the other students–scene.  While Kerry dances, Annie talks–scene.  It’s all part of the festivities, and if I wanted to I could break those up between the Samhain Races and the Samhain Dance, and I may do just that when I get home.  This is why I like Scrivener, because it allows me that freedom, and given that I transition sharply from the race to the dance, it’s possible they could be two separate chapters.

That’s how I do thing, but more importantly, why I do it that way.  It also helps me keep things neat and organized, even if it looks like a huge mess.  Then again, this is what I used project management software to write my novels.

It helps keep the insanity to a minimum.

Frank and Forward

All the tunnel visiting and writing is out of the way, and the shopping is done, and the writing . . . well, it started.  In a way, that is, because yesterday I was tired.  Hiking and visiting and just generally spending the whole day doing something had a strange way of taking things out of me, and for most of Sunday I was sort of out of it.  Plus, I’m going in for electrolysis this morning–I actually leave about seven-fifteen AM to go to my appointment at about eight-thirty–and when I’m through with that horror show it’s back here and off to work, and then dinner with a friend tonight–

Suddenly I’m such the social butterfly.

Also, The Walking Dead Season 1 was on, and I was snaking like crazy.

Also, The Walking Dead Season 1 was on, and I was snaking like crazy.

But I did write last night, though my mind was elsewhere most of the time, and it was tricky trying to get my thoughts together.  I managed six hundred and sixty-eight words, but if you saw the cutting and pasting I needed to bring the scene into line with what I’d heard in my head–oh, man, such a strange thing.  This is why writing on a computer is good, ’cause I would have went through a whole buttload of paper if I were typing this out.

It was a good thing I figured out where these scenes were supposed to go ahead of time.

It was a good thing I figured out where these scenes were supposed to go ahead of time.

What follows is Annie and Deanna have a talk to discuss what’s on Annie’s mind, because by now Deanna is emphatic to Annie’s feelings, and she can tell when Annie wants to talk.  Or did Deanna see this conversation coming ahead of time and knew they were going to talk before they spoke?  That’s the crazy thing with seer:  you can never tell if they’re listening to you because they want to know what you’re going to say, or they already know what you’ve said and they’re being polite.

Anyway . . .

 

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

Annie reached the furniture setting where Kerry and she spent their time during the Midnight Madness. She waited for Deanna to settle herself on the love seat before she sat down on the sofa—their sofa. They’d started to think of this setting as theirs—their chair, their tables, their love seat—but it was their sofa they loved the most. So much love has transpired upon this sofa. She ran her right hand in a small, slow circle against the leather next to her. There is so much more that will happen here as well . . .

Deanna set her sword and shield on the coffee table, then set back and crossed her legs. “There is something on your mind.”

Annie wasn’t surprised that Deanna’s words came out as a statement and not a question. After a year Deanna knew Annie, knew her moods, and was aware of when she wanted to speak privately. “I’ve thought a great deal about our visions of late; the visions Kerry and I have experienced.”

Deanna folded her hands into her lap. “I can see how you would. I would think it almost impossible not to give it much thought.” She set her right elbow against the love seat arm and held her chin with her thumb and finger. “Is there something in those vision that bothers you?”

“Not so much bothers me as . . .” Annie pressed her lips against the back of her fingers while she paused in thought. “Is it possible for part of one vision to be overridden by something that happens in another?”

While Deanna was Salem’s expert on visions, she wanted more information before giving her educated opinion. “You’re referring to something changing in first vision?”

Annie didn’t acknowledge the seer’s question, though she appeared to remain in thought for a few seconds more. “Last year when Kerry and I spoke to Coraline and you about the specifics of our first vision, we mentioned that we knew our wedding night would be our first time . . .” She took a quick, short breath. “Doing that.”

Denna nodded once. “Having sexual relations.”

“Well—” A strange smile spread across Annie’s face. “I like to think of the act that lay ahead of us that night as engaging in physical love.”

“I see what you mean—or I believe I do. Can you elaborate?”

 

Doing that.  The thing that Annie has said they–Kerry and her–shouldn’t talk about.  But Annie knows what she’s talking about, and what she’s bending Deanna’s ear about is, you know, getting down with hubby-to-be-who’ll-was-actually-hubby-then.  But there’s something fairly specific she wants to discuss–

 

“I wonder if what we saw in our second vision—”

Deanna thought this might be the reason for her trepidation. “You feel that what could have transpired in the second vision may affect the first?”

Annie sighed. “You said you watched us pantomime our vision—”

“I heard you speaking, and . . .” Deanna’s right eyebrow shot up as she remembered the last thing that happened before Annie and Kerry came out of their vision. “And saw what you did at the end.”

She didn’t want to keep dancing about: Annie got right to the point. “I believe Kerry and I were going to have have sex.”

Hum.” Deanna rubber her lips. “There are all kinds of sex, and it’s possible—”

Annie shook here head. “The one we’re discussing—the one that Kerry and I will perform on our wedding night—” She looked Deanna in the eyes with an unwavering gaze. “That’s the most intimate, the most important. That’s what I imagine when I think of sex. As for the others . . .” She chuckled. “They’re just fun.”

Whenever Deanna thought Annie couldn’t surprise her, she’d come up with something that would. “I wouldn’t look at it that way—”

“It’s not important: it’s not relevant to what concerns me.” Annie didn’t want to get sidetracked into a discussion on her views on sexual activities and actions. “The second vision felt like Kerry and I were going to do something that would invalidate part of our first vision.” She looked away for a moment and sighed. “Is that possible? Can it happen?”

“That you can Kerry won’t be virgins when you marry?”

“Yes.”

Deanna chose her next words carefully, because she didn’t want to make Annie overwrought. “Do you think it’s possible that either Kerry or you will have—sex with someone else before your marriage?”

 

And, hummmmm.  So now you know:  when Annie thinks of sex, she thinks of it as a particular act, while the rest–eh, it’s for fun!  Okay.

Now, you may says, “She’s only thirteen,” and yes, that’s true, she is.  We’ve already seen, however, that Annie doesn’t appear to have issues with nudity–remember, she’s already discussed dancing around the bonfires with Kerry in front of other people, and told him she’s not that bothered that people will see her–and given this is a girl who’s been thinking about her wedding since like, oh, forever, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that she’s quite nonchalant about sex.  Annie’s a worldly girl and quite mature for her age, and to try and put her in the same light as other thirteen year old girls would be difficult.

Remember, when it came to actually just sleeping with Kerry in the same bed, she didn’t get all red in the face or jump up and down like she was at a Taylor Swift concert.  She was like, “Kerry, make sure you put your clothes in that dresser.”  Because sharing a bed with the one she loves is natural . . .

Let’s, for a moment, look at Deanna’s reaction as well.  She’s not all shocked, though she is a bit surprised, which is understandable.  Now, imagine if Annie were speaking with Kerry’s mother–ai, yi yi!  Mama Malibey lost her shit over nocturnal emissions and Kerry having the sex talk with a doctor without her permission first, so how is she ever gonna handle Ms. Annie “Those Are Just Fun” Kirilova?  I know exactly when that moment happens, and trust me, it’s gonna be good times all around.

But there is a whole quantum leap of understanding here.  Deanna doesn’t get crazy on Annie:  no, she falls into a frank discussion with the girl.  She treats Annie like an adult, and that may have something to do with her being a coven leader and a counselor, or it could have something to do with maybe Deanna knowing exactly what Annie has done with her magic up to this point.  Or . . . as they were getting ready to return to Europe after the end of the kid’s A Level, Deanna told Erywin Annie and Kerry were still virgins.  As Erywin asked, how did she know?  Probably don’t want to know . . .

But how’s that last for a cliffhanger?  I’m such a bad girl . . .

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 and Maggie Greene—”

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.

An Short Yet Annoying Interlude

I know you’re here looking for what a promised I’d have right now, but guess what?  It ain’t here.  And it’s not because I didn’t finish the scene last night, because I totally did.

I even put in other scenes to blabber on about as well.

I even put in other scenes to blabber on about as well.

Yes, I wrote twelve hundred and fifty words exactly last night and put the main Dance Away scene to bed–along with me, because it was close to eleven-thirty when I finally went to sleep.  I showed the rest of the children who are in the notes, what they were wearing, identified them, and then . . . we found out who Annie and Kerry had come as for the dance.  Oh, yeah.  Great times.

However . . . I have a special assignment for this morning, and because it take some time to put together everything with the proper images and accompanying snark, and because I’m supposed to be on the road in, let me check the clock, fifty minutes at six-forty in the AM, I figured I’d work on that post when I return from my travails.

Yes, you get two posts today!  Aren’t you the lucky ones?

In the mean time you can guess away all you like about my kid’s costumes, and you can wonder at whatever I’m implying with the titles of the sub-scenes shown in the image above.  Needless to say, I think the one between Annie and Deanna will likely generate the most comments, because . . . well, they’re talking about love, aren’t they?

But with me you never know what you’re getting:  I say one thing, and in my mind I’m thinking something completely different.  It’s one of the advantages of being the writer:  you are supposed to know what’s going on, and you leave the readers guess right up until the moment when you give them what you want.

I’m looking forward to writing that next scene, because it’s one that’s come to me over the course of the last week, and what would the school year be without Annie and Deanna having a heart-to-heart.  Actually, they have a couple of heart-to-hearts, because Deanna likes to listen, and Annie . . . give her the chance and she loves to talk.  And it must be something about which she can’t talk to Kerry about.

It must be serious.

It’s six on the nose and I’m ending the post now.  I’ll see you all later in the evening.

Play nice, kids.

The Samhain Dance: Stump the Geeks

Well, that was interesting . . .

Last night, I mean.  Not so much today, but last night, it just seems to go on and on, and it was hard getting into the swing of writing, probably because I’m looking things up as I go.  You’d think I’d know to have these things laid out ahead of time before I start, right?

But I still got it going, and I ended up with just about the same totals I’ve had the prior two nights:

 

Words 07/21/2015: 724
Words 07/22/2015: 895
Words 07/23/2015: 794

 

That’s what you have to call consistency.  I have a feeling I’ll hit close to nine hundred or so tonight, because I’m envisioning ending the scene tonight, then starting this post late in the evening so it will auto-post in the morning, because–believe it or not–I have to be on the road by about six forty-five in the AM tomorrow.  Why?  You’ll probably find out Sunday.

As for the eight hundred words that follow–do they advance the plot?  Nope.  A little information is given, but it’s a big of character building.  I love character building.  And as the title points out, there’s some stumpin’ going on . . .

 

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

Alex smiled before looking over her shoulder to snort. “At least you were good racer on your side.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Nadine looked about for her racing team mates. “I race clean ‘cause I don’t want to fly off a broom at a couple of hundred kilometers an hour.”

“Neither do I.” Penny shrugged. “I only got pissy with people on my own team today. Though . . .” Her eyes fell upon a mass of red hair a dozen meters away. “I was about to kick one ginger girl’s ass today.”

Annie looked in the same direction as everyone else, where Emma stood speaking with a few of the Mórrígan warriors who would soon venture forth to do battle with the Åsgårdsreia shield maidens. She glanced at Kerry, who stood showing no emotion. After their discussion while returning from The Diamond he’d not said a word about her or the races, his only mention of the event had been to promise Annie that he’d not go on about the events of the Mórrígan race, or let them bother him. He’s put it behind him—one way in which he’s not like my father . . .

“Who is she suppose to be?” Jairo scratched his head. “Kerry, you seemed to know these things—”

He did know who she was. “She’s Ginny Weasley.”

“I thought she was Hermione?”

“Nope. Hair’s straight for one, and—” Kerry pointed in her direction. “That’s a Gryffindor quidditch uniform she’s got on. Hermione didn’t play quidditch.”

Penny stared at the floor, shaking her head. “You gotta be kidding. How lame.”

 

Man, feel the Emma hate.  And given how the other racers as Salem feel about the magical sport of quidditch–which is to say, they think it’s laughable–it’s not an easy time tonight.  Plus–a witch pretending to be a witch?  M’kay.

"I'm a witch, and I fly a broom, too!  Watch me throw a block."

“I’m a witch, and I fly a broom, too! Watch me throw a block.”

Emma may be in for a hard time on the course, is all I’m gonna say . . .

However, someone comes along to help out a little on her behalf, and to answer some questions:

 

“Now, now.” Erywin joined the group. She wore a long, bright robe and a dark cloak, and sandals. She carried a spear in her left hand, and her arms and legs were covered in runic tattoos. The group parted as she stepped alongside Jessica. “Miss Neilson can’t be held responsible for her costume, for it’s my understanding she came up with it on her own rather than asking for ideas—” She nodded towards Kerry. “—as she had last year.”

Kerry remained quiet, not wanting to get drawn into the discussion. Alex had other ideas, however. “Professor, may I—”

“Erywin, please.” She slowly shook her head. “I left the professor title in my room for the evening.”

“Erywin, then. Did you do anything about how she raced today?”

Penny spoke up. “Yeah, she pulled some heinous shite out on the course today.”

“I spoke with her.” Nadine put her hands on her hips while her dragon friend flapped its wings once before hunkering down. “I’m team captain, and it’s my duty to let a team member know if their actions during a race were warranted.”

That wasn’t good enough for Penny. “And if she doesn’t listen to you?”

“Then I step in.” Erywin lay her spear across her chest. “And if I have to step in, someone’s gonna get their arse ripped open.”

“Yeah—” Kerry chuckled. “Don’t mess with Boudica.”

Erywin’s arms slipped to her side. “How did you know?”

Annie decided to answer, because she’d figured out the answer almost as soon as she saw the instructor. “Celtic warrior queen often associated with the goddess Mórrígan, which happens to be—” She set the tip of her left index finger under her chin. “Your coven, I believe?”

Kerry slipped an arm around Annie and tilted his head towards his left. “What she said.”

 

It’s bad enough getting outed by Kerry, but when Annie is owning you–well, it’s not good.

Who was Boudica?  Only one of the most bad ass queens who lived.  A member of the British Iceni tribe, the Romans made the mistake of taking her kingdom when her husband died, flogging her, raping her daughter and her, and then calling in their loads.  At that point she said, “You wanna know what my business is?  Killing is my business–and business is good,” and proceed to burn Roman shit down.  By the time she died on at The Battle of Watling Street–either by taking poison, from a cold, or killed in battle, depending on who’s telling the story–seventy to eighty thousand people were killed, and her army sacked and burned three settlements, including Londinium, and ended Roman rule in the south of England for about four hundred years.

A Disney Princess she wasn’t.

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful; hate me because I'm about to hang your ass from a cross."

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful; hate me because I’m about to nail your ass to a cross.”

But wait!  Time for another coven leader to put in an appearance–

 

“Maybe I’ll have better luck.” Deanna slipped up behind Erywin before stepping around her. Her costume was an elaborate warrior’s suit of armor, with dark leggings and undershirt worn under form-fitting armor across her torso and hips. She had gauntlets on both wrists, and her flat boots were fitted with guards that protected her knees. She carried a sword in a scabbard across her back, and held a small shield in her left hand.

“Well.” Annie’s eyebrows shot upward. “Quite a difference from last year.”

“My students have been after me to try something different.” The seer cocked her head to the right as she glanced towards Kerry. “Well?”

He stood silently for about three seconds before a smile began to form upon his face. “You gotta try harder, Lady Sif.”

Deanna shifted her eyes to her right to take in her fellow coven leaders. “He’s good.”

Jessica nodded. “Good thing he’s with us.”

“Good thing they’re both with us.” Erywin nodded towards Deanna while speaking to Kerry. “How did you know?”

“The look of the armor and the sheath on the back is right out of the movie. Plus Sif is a shield maiden, and . . .” He nodded towards Annie—

—Who immediately picked up on the clue. “Aren’t all shield maidens found in Åsgårdsreia Coven?”

Kerry nodded. “You guys—I’m on a roll. What can I say?”

“Maybe I can stop that roll.”

 

And Annie tips it in again!  But, yes:  Deanna showing up as another Marvel character, Lady Sif of Asgard, who I do not hide my admiration for, even if she is a fictional character.  The outfit does fit with her coven’s rep–because Åsgårdsreia Coven is the home of the Shield Maidens–and it’s also a modest outfit, which is keeping in what Deanna likes to wear–

"Read your fortune?  Run you through?  Makes no different to me."

“See your future? Run you through? Could be both are one and the same.”

But who is coming to break up the Lovey Dovey Couple’s streak?  Ha!  I know, but you don’t, at least not until tomorrow.  And we still don’t know what they’re wearing, do we?

Looking at the list, and . . . nope.  Still being a cliffhanger Nazi.

Looking at the list, and . . . nope.  Looks like I’m still a cliffhanger Nazi.