On Beyond Recruitment: The Sweet Practice After

Yesterday was supposed to be easy.  And it was.  I put together two more playlists for YouTube, went to dinner, watched JFK last night, and–oh yeah.  I wrote.

Sometimes I surprise myself.


There you are, I’m already into Chapter Twenty-four and I started it off with just a little over twelve hundred words.  Which means I’m one scene down with thirteen to go, with hope that I saw that number down by one today.

This last excerpt is from Chapter Twenty-two and it deals with the time after Annie’s first practice.  I can tell you that once you’ve had your butt kicked by the first practice you can feel like you wanna walk away and keep walking, so it’s not unusual that my Bulgarian Princess isn’t at her best right now…


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


Annie walked out of the Dining Hall after practice, pulling her rolling gear bag behind her. Her hair was still somewhat matted from the helmet, though she’d teased it out a bit so it wouldn’t look like it was sticking to her head. Her leggings and tank top were soaked and starting to slowly dry in the warm air inside the Great Hall. She considered giving her left armpit a sniff but decided against the action: she was certain after a couple of hours of sweating she smelled quite ripe—

“Hey, Sweetie.”

She stopped as Kerry stepped around the corner and leaned against the wall. A smiled brightened her dour demeanor. “My love.” She set her gear back next to her. “How long have you waited for me?”

“Maybe five minutes.” He shrugged appeared to think. “Which would be ten for you, I guess, given you were in a time expansion field.” He walked towards her and opened his arms—

Annie took a step back. “Please, don’t. I’m a sweaty mess. And I smell.”

“Like you never hugged me when I was the same way.” He gave her a hug and kiss before motioning towards the Rotunda. “Let’s sit for a bit.”


There he is, derby widow Kerry, ready and willing to hug his little cabbage roll even though she’s sweaty and probably smells, too.  As he pointed out, she didn’t mind hugging him when he was the same way, so now that he has the chance why not return the favor? Keep the sweat in the family, I say.


They slowly made their way to the benches along the south wall of the Rotunda. Annie realized that the last time she sat here was during the Day of the Dead attacks, when she attempted to rest after showing the other girls a bit of sorcery. She sat, wincing as she did.

Kerry noticed his soul mate’s grimace. “Rough practice?”

She sat back and exhaled deeply. “We skated a lot of laps. Then we did twenty minutes of knee falls. Then twenty minutes of weaving between cones.” She rested her head against Kerry’s shoulder. “That was the first hour. I think we mostly did pace lines and stops the second.”

Kerry slipped his arm around Annie’s shoulder. “Sounds like a workout and a half.”

“It was intense. I heard a couple of girls say they might not come back on Thursday.” Annie closed her eyes. “I wish I could take a bath. Showers are nice, but the way I feel now, a nice long, hot bath would be wonderful.”


If Annie thought that was hard, wait until she starts doing crunches and planks.


“Well…” Kerry hugged Annie tight. “We could drop your gear off in the tower commons and then fly out to the Diamond. I could get us into the team clubhouse and you could use the baths in the girl’s locker room.”

“Let me think about that.” She smiled, her eyes still closed. “Angry said she’s going to speak to the headmistress tomorrow and see about getting a dozen baths installed in the lower levels so we can used them after practice and bouts.” Annie opened her eyes as she sighed. “I hope she says yes.”

“I don’t see why she wouldn’t.”

Annie gave a slight nod then sat up. “Can I ask a question?”

Kerry looked at her with a half-grin on his face. “Any time.”

“Why didn’t you ever talk about practice?”

For about five seconds Kerry looked straight ahead; when he finally spoke it was in a low, quiet tone. “When I first started racing practice I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. I mean, I’d flown fast, even did that on West End. I though it’d come easy.

“Then we had to practice getting our times down on the Green and Blue Lines and we needed to hit some of the turns faster and with more exactness—” He turned his head slowly towards Annie. “After hitting some of those turns as fast as you can over and over, taking all those gees, it felt like someone had hit you again and again with a cricket bat.

“I’d come back and just deal with the soreness because—” He lowered his gaze. “I figured you didn’t want to hear about how hard it was.”

Annie placed her hand on Kerry’s knee. “Were you afraid I was going to think you couldn’t take the strain?”

He nodded. “Something like that. You dad handled it: I guess I didn’t want you to think less of me.”

“My love—” She placed her hand under his chin lifted his head. “I had never compared you to my father, and I would never think less of you for that work.”

Kerry took her hand and smiled. “Also, I didn’t want to bore you. Nor did I want to sound like I was bragging.”


Though it rarely comes up, Kerry is aware that he’s sorta competing with another Kirilovi, though they left the school years before Kerry was even born.  Doesn’t matter that Annie doesn’t care about what he father did when he was a student, even money Kerry sees reminders of her father’s accomplishments at least one a week, either on the Wall of Remembrance, or down at the Flight School, or even in The Diamond.

And like it or not, he feels he’s competing against him at times, even though he isn’t.

At least Annie doesn’t have to worry about being compared to anyone who’s come before her, as she’s on the ground floor for a new sport.  One that she’s gonna have to tell her parents about–

But that can wait until she’s home for Yule.  As for now–


Annie chuckled. “What have I ever done that would make you believe that?” She touched a finger to his lips. “Glupavata mi lyubov. You should know better.”

He chuckled as well. “I guess I should.”

“That’s said—” She drew in a breath. “Why do you want to know about my practice?”

“Because I want to know everything about you.” He slowly caressed her check. “There was never a time when I didn’t want know about you. And that includes your practice.”

Annie snuggled against him, forgetting all about being sore and sweaty. “I never thought I’d get involved in a sport at school. Neither racing or fighting interested me. And now—”

“And now you happen to be one of those bringing a sport here for the first time.” He rested his head against hers. “You’re going to do great.”

She looked up. “You think so?”

“I do.”


Because if there’s one thing I know about Annie Kirilova—” Kerry slowly lifted her way so he could looked directly at her. “—it’s that she doesn’t go into anything half-hearted. Anything you go into, you go into it with the intention of being the best. If you can’t be the best, you walk away.”

Annie stayed silent for almost ten seconds before kissing Kerry. “You know me too well, my love.”

He blushed. “I would hope I know my wife pretty well by now.”

She laughed. That’s the first time he’s called me his wife in a place where others could hear us. And he didn’t care… “I don’t know if I’ll be the best player. But I’ll certain do my best.”

“We’ll see.” Kerry stood and helped Annie get to her feet. “You wanna use one of the baths down at the clubhouse?”

“Maybe some other time. Right now—” She tilted her gear bag on to its wheels. “I want to get clean.”

“Got it.” They began walking towards the West Transept. “Can I ask another question?”

“Of course.”

“You have a derby name yet?”

“Not yet.” Annie looked straight ahead so Kerry couldn’t see her lopsided grin. “But I’m working on that.”


There you have it: Annie’s on her way to being the best.

Of course, that doesn’t mean she won’t experience a few problems along the way…

On Beyond Recruitment: Your Left and Right

It’s been a good day today.  Money in the bank, dues are paid, I’ve got pills to keep me mostly sane for another month, and I don’t ache like I did yesterday.

It was so good that I didn’t realize something important happened a couple of days ago.

First off, Chapter Twenty-two is finished: I just put the last word down on that about fifteen minutes ago.

You can see for yourself.


While I was doing a word count check I realized that I’d passed another milestone by a couple of thousand words, and when I looked back I realized that back on 19 June, I passed a quarter of a million words for this novel.  In fact, it happened close to the end of the excerpt I posted yesterday.

Right in the area I mention, in case you’re wondering.



Realistically speaking, I’m probably over the hump now, because I figured this novel will likely top out at some point between 450,000 and 500,000 words.  Yeah, that’s right.  I figure that because I know of all the shit waiting for my kids on down the road and it’s sizable.  That means it may just take a half a million words to get that tale told.

And speaking of tales…

As the title tonight suggest, it’s no longer Recruitment Night, but rather, it’s the Monday practice night for our new junior derby girls.  And as I’ve done for the last few nights, you get all of the scene tonight.

Let’s do just that:


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


Annie rolled out on to the floor and slowly circled the track, working her legs while getting a feel for her new skates. After the fitting on Saturday morning—where she was one of the first ones to show, as promised—she decided to go with the Bonts, since they felt the most comfortable on her feet. A few of the girls went with Riedell and six decided to stick with the Mota, but the majority of the girls who came for skates went with the Australian manufacturer.

As promised, all skates were waiting for those who showed for this first Monday night practice. Not only that, but the gear they used the previous Thursday was waiting, as well as a rolling bag they could use to store and transport their gear from coven to practice and back.

There was so much to learn about her equipment. When she was handed her skates, Holly mentioned they were fitted with 93a wheels and that they’d tighten the trucks if necessary, which made Annie’s eyebrows shoot upwards before she asked what they all meant. There was plenty of time. Right now she just wanted to move around the track and get the feel of her wheels under her feet.

The rest would come later.


Though, just like Annie, I started out on Riedell skates, I now use Bont skates.  I’ve never tried on Mota skates, but I know a couple of people who have and love them, and if I’d tried them off first I might have been the same way.  But no, I went Down Under to get my skates, mate.

And here they are while I’m changing out wheels:


The green wheels on the left are outdoor wheels known Atom Poison.  They’re quite soft–and 84a if you must know–which makes them grip the pavement nicely.  The wheels on the right are the ones I use at the rink, Radar Halo 93a wheels, which is a much harder wheel. Annie’s wheels are Radar Prestos of the same rating as mine, so they’ll look a little different.

(When I talk about hard and soft wheels, I’m talking about the Shore Hardness scale as measured on a durometer.  The A scale is used for flexible mold rubbers, which is what skate wheels are made of, and that’s why there’s an “a” after the wheel number.  The higher the number, the harder the wheel, so a Radar Halo 101a is about as hard as you can get before going up to the “D” scale. And if you’re wondering, my skate wheels–and Annie’s–are as hard as the wheels found on a shopping cart.)

But you can only go so far on hardware: it’s how you use that hardware that counts.  And for that, Annie and the others have coaches–


Eventually everyone was on the track doing warm-up laps. They were only out for about two minutes before Angry, Holly, and Princess skated out and weaved their way through the girls to the center of the track. Angry watched the girls for about ten seconds before blowing a whistle attached to the fingers of her right hand. “Okay, bring it to the center and make a circle around us.”

It took about twenty seconds for everyone to stop and get into a circle around the three women. Angry gave an approving look to the girls before speaking. “You all look good out there. Some better than others, but that doesn’t matter: you’re not gonna be pros overnight.

“Tonight the real work starts. Tonight we’re going to begin learning first how to skate, then second, learning how to play derby. Some of you will move faster than others, but that will happen: everyone progressing at different rates. What matters is that all of us are at the same point when the school year ends.

“Now, I want you all to do something for me.” Angry pointed outward from herself. “Each of you, take a look to your left and then to your right. When you’re done, I want all eyes back on me.” Once every skater did as asked Angry continued. “I want you to remember the people next to you, ‘cause it’s quite likely that one of those people may not be here at the end of the school year.

“That’s not meant to scare you: it’s meant as a statement of fact. Right now we have thirty-seven skaters and I would be beyond ecstatic if all thirty-seven of you are certified and bout ready when we leave here next May. But I know derby and I know real life has a way of interfering with your progress, so it’s likely some of you will leave due to those pressures. If so, there’s no shame: all three of us have, at one time or another, needed to step away from our leagues due to our real lives.

“It’s also likely that after a few weeks or months, a few of you may decide that derby isn’t for you. I won’t lie: It’s not going to be easy to get to where you are certified and bout ready. Derby isn’t easy: as a former teammate of mine liked to say, if derby was easy, then everyone would play. And since everyone isn’t playing…” She shrugged. “It must not be that easy.

“When this project was presented to the Sports Division of the Educational Council, I was asked two question: did I want to put together the teams needed to bring this sport to the North American schools, and did I want Salem? In case you’re wondering, I said yes to both. That means I’m responsible if this program fails, particularly here, at this school. And I don’t want it to fail, not for me, and most definitely not for you.

“So I, and these women standing with me, will tell you this: if you give us everything we ask of you, we will teach you everything we know and help you develop as a skater. Nothing we’re going to ask of you wasn’t already asked of us—though, in all honesty, you’re doing this at a younger age, which is why our program is tailored to the three-stage JRDA program assessments. Still, it’s gonna require work—and if you work for us, we’ll work for you.”


We know Recruitment Night started out with 43 girls and now their down to 37, which means they lost fourteen percent of their starting pool.  And that whole left and right thing?  Totally possible.  From my Recruitment Night there were ten of us that started: I, like Ishmael, remain to tell the story of that event.  As it was relayed to me once, it’s not out of the question to see about ten percent of the people recruited at one event to stay until they certify and play.  We’ve been fortunate with our last few Recruitment Nights in that we’ve retained a lot of the women who came out…

But live does get in the way of derby.  We’re not paid to play: we do it because we want to.  So it’s not out of the question to have players drop out for any number of reasons.  Some come back: most don’t. As Angry says, there’s no shame to walk away if it’s required.

And her comment about a teammate saying if derby was easy, everyone would play?  That comment was made to me on more than one occasion by my teammate, Redrum Doll, who I want to be when I grow up.  And if we ever get a chance to play together, the other team is gonna catch hell…

Now that all the touchy-feely stuff is out of the way, let’s get into some rules:


Angry waited for all the nodding and small talk to diminish before getting serious. “Now, as I said I have a couple of degrees in law, which means I’m all about the rules. And one of the rules I have—” She raised her voice enough that she could be heard without difficulty. “When I say practice begins a nineteen hours, I mean I expect you to be geared up and on the track at that time. I don’t mean that four or five of you are still on the sidelines, taking your time putting on your pads while you and your teammates bullshit around about your hard day crafting spells. That shit ends right now. You wanna practice? You practice like it means something to you.

“One of the things I’m big on is cardio, and one great way of building up cardio endurance is to skate laps—fast. Every practice we’re gonna start with cardio lap, ‘cause if nothing else we’re gonna outlast whatever team we play all the way to the end. Also, one of your Level One Assessments is to be able to skate eight laps in two minutes, which works out to skating one lap of the WFTDA track every fifteen seconds.

“From this point on, for every skater who is late getting on to the track for practice, we will skate five laps for every minute those skaters held us up from getting to our work. That means—” She looked at a few skaters who wouldn’t meet her gaze. “—since three of you were a minute late and two were two minutes later, we should be skating at least thirty-five laps—on top of whatever other cardio laps I had planed for our time together.


Angry probably wouldn’t be this mean with a normal group of 14 year old girls, ’cause their parents would be up in her face if she were, but these are not Normal girls: they’re witches and they’re expect to be pushed to be the best at the best school in The Foundation.  And given that a few of them besides Annie have likely killed people–you know, the stray Deconstructor that found their way on to the school grounds during a certain Day of the Dead–you don’t expect things to go easy with them.

And that “be on the track or skate extra laps” is not just something I’ve made up.  Our league expects us to be geared up and on the floor when practice starts.  Some league will make you skate extra cardio laps for people getting on the floor late, but since we’re adults we usually end up doing 10 laps for every minute late.  Now, I’ve never had to skate extra laps because of people being late, but one time my league did have to skate 50 laps instead of 40 because I made a groaning sound after our guest coach said we’d skate 40 laps and she tacked on 10 extra for that shit.  I apologized to both her and my coach when I was done and believe me, I’ve never done that again.  You just take your laps.

In case you’re curious, the most cardio laps I’ve skated at one time was 80, which means I skated 14,440 ft/4,400 m in that session.  That works out to 2.73 mi/4.4 km if you’re keeping track.  The greatest number of laps I’ve skated at near-cardio speeds was 120 done in three separate sessions as a pack.  I didn’t keep up with the pack on the last two sessions, but I did skate all 120 laps. That’s 4.1 mi/6.62 km if you’re keeping track–

But Angry is feeling a bit generous tonight…


“I’m gonna go easy on you today—but only today. Pack it up on the pivot line.” Holly and Princess skated on to the track and pointed at a bright blue line at the entrance to one turn which Angry shouted out instructions. “I want a loose pack, everyone about an arm’s length from everyone else. Princess is gonna set the pace: do not pass her. Holly and I will bring up the back and help anyone struggling. If you fall, try to fall small like we showed you Thursday night then get up and come back after the pack passes.” Holly and Angry skated to the back as Princess prepared to lead the pack. “Okay? Twenty laps, easy pace. Go.” She brought the whistle to her lips and blew hard.

Annie took off, moving partway to the outside of the track where there was more room. She clenched her teeth to set her mouth guard, then concentrated on the girls around her, making certain she didn’t run over anyone—or get run over in the process.

She was two thirds of the way around the track when she heard Angry call her name. “Annie. You’re at front of the pack. Call the laps.”

“Yes, Coach.” She waited until they crossed the same blue line from which they started. “One.”

Angry called out instantly. “Nineteen to go, freshies. Let’s do this.”

Annie smiled, certain no one saw her.

It was going to be an interesting two hours—


So starts Annie’s Derby Days.  And there’s one more scene to present before I’m finished with her current torture, but in this world of mine it’s time to focus on what happens next in the novel.

And I’ve already decided:

It’s time for my kids to spend Yule in Pamporvo…

The Road to Recruitment: All the Little Moves

Yeah, I’m coming to this late.  And yeah, I haven’t written anything–


It’s been a long last 24 hours. Part of that is due to getting my ass kicked hard last night at practice, because I was working on timing and hitting drills with the vets–yay, insurance!–and I did a lot of that work against a couple of our faster players.  That meant I had to push hard just to try and keep up and while I did my best, it wasn’t always that good.  Still, I kept at it and my thighs and butt are still screaming at me today.

Also, I did a 27/5 where I fell on the second lap.  I did finish with a time of 5:52, however, ’cause I got up and kept going.  Even though I knew I’d have a shit time, the thing to do it finish it out.  These days if I get on the line, I’ll get the time.

I should point out that it was almost a year ago last night that I had one of my first real practices–which I happened to photograph.  There’s the before:


And the after:


If I remember correctly I may have managed 20 laps during cardio.  Back in those days I was pretty shit because I was so out of shape, but I was getting better–though I doubt I did anything like a 40/10 at that point.  That might not have happened until sometimes in July.

What’s up next is what happened to Annie at her Recruitment Night.  A lot of what happens to her is a lot of what I’ve seen at various Recruitment Nights over the last year, though I’m sure a 14 year old girl might not get it as hard as I got.

Let’s see how she did.


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


An hour after getting fully geared, Annie didn’t need to wonder what she and the other girls had gotten into.

She knew.

Angry and Holly and Princess—as they were told, during practice it was derby names only—showed them simple moves and encouraged them to perform them as well. They did knee drops—left, right, and both—where they’d drop to the ground and get back up after a few seconds without using their hands. A couple of girls, Annie among them, figured out quickly how to touch the ground with one knee and slid back up to a skating position quickly, earning some praise from the coaches in the process. They also learned to do something called “falling small”, which seemed to consist of getting down on both knees as quickly as possible, pulling your arms in as you sat back on your heels, and leaning over so as to make a small ball on the floor.


Falling Small is important because if you fall and then “starfish” on the floor–which is to say, your legs and arms are out wide from your body–and someone trips over a body part, you’ll get called for a low block on the player.  It doesn’t matter that they tripped over you, it’s your fault you’re spread out on the floor.  Ergo, learn to fall small.

And knee drops–all the kinds–are part of our Minimum Required Skills needed for certification.  You’re expect to get down and back up in 3 seconds without the use of hands.

Now my favorite part:


Then they learned about stops. First a plow, which Annie figured out quickly as it was much like plowing on skis. Then a t-stop, which involved putting one foot at right angles behind the other and using it like a break: that one she didn’t figure out right away. Then there was a transition stop, which they were shown but, as explained, they didn’t figure many would get it as few of them had ever been on skates, so they weren’t expected to try—

Unless they wanted.

About a dozen girls tried, each in groups of three with the coaches hovering over them since most had never been on skates, including Annie. She watched Holly go through the motions of the transition three times before trying it herself and her first attempt found her falling on her side. Holly helped her back on her wheels and to the coach’s—and Annie’s—surprise, Annie wanted to try again. This time she spun around one hundred and eighty degrees, but it was a sloppy mess and Annie thought about halfway through the transition she was going down again.


Though I’m getting better, I suck at plows.  Part of it is mental: I just can’t seem to sit back and push out my heels enough to get a fast stop.  Since I now “trust my skates” enough to do a good crossover during a 27/5, I need to trust them to plow.

As for t-stops and 180 transition stops–yeah, got it.  Though I tend to let my leg swing out on a 180 and I need to stop that, too.  There’s always work for you, no matter how good you get.

Now on to something I love–


Then, because there were so many skaters, the girls were broken into two groups, and put into what Angry called a pace line. What they did was simple: they skated around the track, keeping a certain amount of space between each person in line. Annie was in the second group and watched the first group skate slowly around the track for a couple of laps before they were stopped by Angry, who said now that they could do that much, it was time to learn how to weave through the line—

The way it was presented it seemed simple: the person in the front skated to the front, weaving between the skaters until they took the lead, after which the newest person at the back of the line did the same, until everyone went through. The moment Princess started out at the back as a way of showing the skaters—Annie reminded herself they were called Freshies—three girls asked to drop out of the pack, fearing they couldn’t keep up or make it through the pack. Angry allowed it and, after starting, everyone in the line managed one trip through the line with Holly’s and Princess’ help.

Annie’s pack got their turn next.

They started with twenty-one girls, but two immediately asked if they could sit out. Angry didn’t hold it against them and told Holly and Princess to begin. The assistant coach skated to the front, weaving pass Annie so close that she wondered if there really was enough room between them. Four more skaters took their turns—

Then it was Annie’s time to go.

When she heard her name called she took a deep breath and hesitated for a moment: it was the first time she felt doubt in doing something since her Levitation lab that first night in Advanced Spells just over two years ago. A moment later she skated out of line before moving to her right, cutting in front of Farah Charobim, who was directly in front of her. She then slipped to her left and passed in front of the next skater, and the next, and the next after that. While she wasn’t fast or particularly agile, Annie found a rhythm that allowed her to get through with little problem, though like the other skaters she found having to skate up to the pack when they were outside of them in a turn to be difficult.

When then last freshie made it to the front and they were asked to plow, Annie felt as if she’d accomplished something great.


This is the first time we’ve seen Annie show any kind of hesitation when it comes to school things since one night over two years before, probably because she’s out of her element. We know she does have doubt, but she’s gotten really good at hiding it away from other.  And yet, she made it through.

I love weaving and I’m pretty good at it.  When you get better you get to hit people, which we were doing a little last night.  From 8/8 of 2017, here’s a bit of line weaving with some hitting.


So Annie made it through all that stuff–which means she’s doing what?  Right now, she’s getting ready to leave…


After they finished Angry released everyone and reminded the girls that if they wanted to start practice next Monday, they should be in the Dining Hall at 09:30 so they could try on, and be fitted for, they own skates. She was half way to one of the benches when Princess skated up next to her. “Annie.”

Annie quickly plowed and slowly turned to face the woman. “Yes—” She reached up so she could remove her mouth piece—

“No, don’t do that.” Princess waved her hand and Annie stopped. “Start learning how to talk with it in.”


“You did well tonight.” The coach ran her gaze from the floor up. “I hope you’re coming back on Saturday.”

Annie knew the answer without needing time to think. “I should be here first thing.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Princess smiled. “I have a good feeling about you. I hope you stay with us.” She turned and skated off.

Annie continued towards the bench, found an open spot, and sat. She removed her helmet first then she skates, as she remembered that they weren’t allowed to stand on their skates if they weren’t wearing a helmet. She wanted to start making good habits now.

When she was finished Annie took her gear and returned it to the same small table where it had been placed originally. As she turned to leave Kerry approached. He gave her a big smile and a quick kiss before speaking. “Did you have fun?”

A smile broke out on Annie’s face. “I did. Were you watching me?”

He turned to walk with her. “Only a little. They said I’m not needed right away, but they thought I may make a good penalty timer.” He chuckled. “Whatever they do.” He glanced at Annie. “But I did see you in the pack.”

“How did I look?”

“Good. A little shaky but not as bad as some of the girls.” He leaned in close and spoke in a softer voice. “You coming back?”

Annie took his hand and kissed it. “What do you think?”

Kerry smiled. “I think you’ve found something you’re gonna like.”


This is really the first time we’ve heard Annie ask Kerry about how she looked and if he saw her for anything.  She didn’t care how she looked when she was fighting, she doesn’t seem to care about how she looks when she’s crafting–but tonight, she wanted to know if Kerry saw her.

It’s almost like she wanted him to appreciate she was doing something different…

The Road to Recruitment: Ready Derby One

Today hasn’t been the greatest.  I’ve been going back and forth about… stuff… with the soon-to-be-ex and it’s driving me nuts.  I had to visit a blood doctor because my white cell count is up over 10,000 and no one knows why.  I had two jobs respond to my resumes and they told me I wasn’t “right” for them, which probably means they think I want too much money given my age.

Yeah, not a good day.

So what did I do?  I wrote.

Oh, am I getting some writing done.


This is the four time in four days I’ve written over a thousand words and I do hope I keep it up.  What this means for now is that I’m two scene, or about 2,400 words, ahead of what I’m posting today.  It’s nice having a surplus, you know?  It doesn’t stress me out.

Here you go: all of the second scene in one bit, with explanations in between.  After all, I don’t want to confuse you all.


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


Annie was with forty-two other girls sitting in a circle in the middle of what they were told was the track upon which they’d play. Like Annie, the other girls were wearing their elbow and knee pads along with their wrist guards. Some were wearing their mouth guards, trying to get used to wearing an appliance over their teeth without gagging, though a few weren’t succeeding…

Just before the last of the girls were in their gear and moving towards the center of the track, the two women who’d help them get checked in and ready went behind a privacy screen. Though Annie had heard a reference to someone named “Angry”, she’d yet to see this person. She knew it wasn’t one of the two women they’d already met: as she learned when she was given her release form, the tall blond was named Princess and she discovered from Elisha that the woman checking them in was named Holly. Annie believed these weren’t their correct names: Kerry discovered, through his research, that everyone on a team has a “derby name”, so she figured the names given were those.

The screen dropped and Holly and Princess headed towards the group, fully geared, including helmets and skates. They stopped just outside the circle and motioned for the girls to move apart enough to allow a third woman to skate into the center. As she reached the middle she widened her stance and spin through a hundred and eighty degree turn, going up on her toes and coming to a stop so Annie could just see her right profile.

Annie examined her closely. She was not too tall—maybe a meter six-five—but her upper arms and thighs were quite muscular, as were her calves. She had long, ginger hair pulled back in a pony tail and short nails painted black. Like Holly, this woman also had a great many colored tattoos which showed up well against her pale complexion. The ones on her arms extended about midway down her forearms and she had a large tattoo on her left calf, something easily seen as the woman was wearing short leggings.

The woman put her hands on her hips and looked around. “I’m surprised to see so many here tonight; I expected maybe half this number.” She slowly turned in place as she spoke. “My name is Angry Orange, though people outside of derby know me as Lucy van der Sloot. If the name and the accent didn’t give it away, I’m from The Netherlands: Buchten, in case you’re wondering. I’m also a former student of Salem, having graduated in 2007. I’m a member of Ceridwen Covern, but that doesn’t make me an expert on transformation magic: just ask Professor Kishna the next time you see her and she can give you details.

“For my Real Life Experience I maintained an apartment in Amsterdam while traveling the world, ‘cause I always wanted to live there. And once my RLE was over and it was time to go to school, in 2008 I began attending the University of Amsterdam. I graduated three years later with a bachelors in Law and just this last spring I finished my masters program in International Criminal Law. So now you know: I’m a stickler for rules and regs.


Now you know: some witches go into college and becoming big-time lawyers.  It’s not a surprise Lucy–I’m sorry, I mean Angry Orange–went into law, because if she works for The Foundation, she can set up in some corporate front and now how to handle all those pesky Normals.  She could even get a job with, say, Interpol, which gives her a leg up in knowing what they’re up to.

Unlike a certain witch universe, it helps to not only keep an eye on the Normals, but to be right down in them from time-to-time.

But Ms. Lucy ain’t here to teach law.  No, she’s got something else on her mind:


“But it was the summer of 2009 where I found my life really changing. I was hanging out in the city, enjoying the museums and coffee shops and everything else Amsterdam has to offer, when I fell in with these women who were doing something—different. They were putting together Amsterdam’s first derby league, the Amsterdam Derby Dames. Now, I’d not done any sports here: I’m not a fighter and I couldn’t race on a broom to save my life. But once I understood how to play roller derby, and once I got to where I was good enough to play, I fell in love with the sport. I’ve been a part of ADD since the beginning and technically, I still am, though I’m on sort of a leave of absence right now…

“Late in 2011 I discovered that Edinburgh had not only put a league together and was playing some of the Normal derby leagues around them, but that Dragon Home, KSBE, and Le Fortier’s were also putting together leagues. ECMI not only put their league together without help from the outside, but they applied for, and was accepted into, the Junior Roller Derby Association—which is to say, they’re pretty much to play with any other junior league in the Normal world.

“So me and a few other witches who play derby got together and decided that with things in the derby arena going well on our side of the ocean, why not bring the same thing here? So while the three of us are here—” She motioned to the other women on skates next to her. “—there are others at Dawson Creek, Tech Pec, and Sky and Summit, all working to set up leagues that can play against each other—and, in time, play against Normal leagues in their regions.”


At the time of this excerpt–November, 2013–that particular league to which Angry Orange did indeed go by the name Amsterdam Derby Dames, but recently–2017, actually–they changed their name to Amsterdam Roller Derby, and that’s how they’re known today.

There’s also a lot of names thrown around: Dragon Home, KSBE, Dawson Creek… These are all schools and training centers in my little Foundation Universe, none of which save maybe Edinburgh you’re heard of before now.  So a quick run down:


ECMI, Edinburgh Center for Magical Instruction, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Dragon Home, Home of the Winter Dragon (Hem för Winter Draken), Fatsjön, Sweden

KSBE, Kellenberg School for Gifted Development (Kellenberg Schule für Begabte Entwicklung), Reiselfingen, Germany  (Note: this school has a heavy emphasis on sorcery and it was one of the places Annie was planing to go before learning Kerry was going to attend Salem.)

Le Fortier’s, aka The Girls Club, Le Fortier’s School for Girls, Dijon, France (Note: this is where Mathilde was teaching before she was ask to take over as headmistress of Salem.)

Dawson Creek, aka Alaska Gate, Dawson Creek Science Center, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada  (Note: it’s nicknamed Alaska Gate because this is the location of the southern terminus of the Alaska Highway.)

Tech Pec, Center For Special Studies (Centro de Estudios Especiales), Tehuantepec, Mexico

Sky and Summit aka S and S, Sky and Summit Observatory, Granby, Colorado, United States


There you have it: a nice cross section of schools The Foundation maintains.  And that’s just a few of them: there are a whole lot more, with three we know of from the first novel in Chile, South Africa, and Australia.  Just wait until we see some of the others.

So a couple of these joints have derby leagues and Angry and company are bringing the sport to North America, where it started.

And like the Cylons, they have a plan:


Angry began skating slowly in a circle, taking time to look at each girl seated on the floor. “We have a plan and while it’s ambitious, it’s also doable as hell. Starting next week, we begin practice in ernest. Monday and Thursday nights and Sunday afternoon, two hours each day, except every other Thursday we practice for three. Each practice is going to be held in a time compression field, so no matter how much time we spend on practice here, one hour will pass outside this hall.

“In order to play, each of you must pass a set of minimum required skating skills as laid out by JRDA for their leagues and we intend to follow a ‘boot camp’-style format to get there. I will be your head coach. Holly Goblightly—” Angry motioned to the brunette to her right. “—is my assistant coach. And Princess Powerpuff—” She motioned to the tall blond on her left, who curtsied when named. “—will act as our Fresh Meat coach next school year. Since you are all fresh meat at the moment, Princess will spent extra time this year with those who we feel require assistance to pass their MRSs, particularly at the Skill Level 3 assessment. This is to say if you need help getting bout ready, she’s gonna be kicking your little butts as hard as she can.

“By the end of February and the beginning of March, we expect to see the first of you pass your MRS: by the end of April we expect everyone who started practice, and is still with us, to certified. And by the end of next September, when all of you have returned to school for your next level, I expect to have the first roster set up for our first bout at the end of October, for the Samhain celebration.


MRS are your Minimum Required Skills needed to get certified, and with the JRDA you have a three level system you go through, building upon what you need to know before moving onto more advanced stuff.  Level 1 is all about basics, Level 2 is more advanced stuff and developing track awareness, and Level 3 is where you get into hitting and stuff.  Level 3 is also where you do your 27/5, which is the crap I’ve been working on for months.  But Annie and the others are young and should have plenty of energy.

And now you have they overall plan: certify and get everyone bout ready by the end of the school year, and have them ready for their first bout over Samhain weekend, 2014.  Which means you’ll likely see Annie play if she can.  What am I saying…?

In case you didn’t notice, the three coaches all have the same color hair as The Powerpuff Girls.  That’s not a coincidence.  I intended that from the start.


“In case you are wondering this is the reason we have A Levels here for recruitment.” Angry spun around and began skating backwards at about a half as normal walking pace. “No one will play this year: it’s all about getting your certified and bout ready. Next year, when everyone’s moved up a level, you’ll be eligible to play. At that time we’ll take in A Levels as our newest Fresh Meat, but we’ve reassured the headmistress that only under the agreement of all three coaches will those freshies be allowed to play before becoming B Levels. If we have enough people next year, it’s possible we could develop a second team—but that’s a decision for next year—

“This year it’s all about teaching you what we know and how to use that knowledge. And in order to do that, we first have to get you on skates. Everyone on your feet.” Angry stopped skating as all the girls in the circle stood. “You need to go over to the gear area laid out for you, get your helmet and your skates, and finish gearing up. Tonight all of you will use Riedell R3s; for those of you who intend to continue beyond tonight, we’ll meet this Saturday morning to size you up and pick out your skates.” She smiled. “Trust me when I say we’ll have your skates ready for you come next Monday’s practice.” Angry turned to the women standing in the middle of the circle. “That’s all I have to say.”

Both nodded and smiled before Princess skated to one side of the circle, spun around, and came to a stop. “Okay, Freshies.” Her voice boomed out through the hall. “Let’s get you geared up all the way so we can see what you can do.”


Now you know why A Levels are there: they won’t play because no one is playing this year.  And next year A Levels can join the madness and be Fresh Meat and maybe even play if they get permission.  But for now, everyone starts the same, everyone learns the same.

Which means it about time they learn something…

The Road to Recruitment: Here Be Gear

The writing continues and the derby chapter has seen a couple of changes.  First up, I finished the second scene, which means in two days time I’ve written a total of 3,301 words, which is pretty much a record for me of late.  It’s probably due to getting some of my writing energy back, though I imagine part of the deal is just finding that I’ve writing about something I know and care a whole lot about.  Write what you know?  I’m sort of doing that.

Also, today I did something I’ve not done in a while: I added two scenes to Chapter Twenty-two.  So what, you say? The two scenes take place on different days and I did that because, (1) I wanted to continue what I’m working on with this chapter, and (2) I didn’t want to start another chapter just for these couple of scenes.  Since they are logical extensions of what’s happening in this chapter, it only makes sense I keep it all contained here.

Sometimes you gotta add them ’cause it makes sense.


Annie’s got the release forms out of the way, so what’s next?  How about gear?  Yeah, sounds like a good idea.  But first–


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


Annie turned quickly to Kerry. “See you after?”

He smiled. “You know it.”

The blond immediately directed Annie towards a number of tables filled with equipment. “Name?”

“Annie Kirilova.”

“Okay, you’re right over here.” They moved a couple of meters to their left and stopped before what looked like some kind of protective gear, a helmet, and a pair of skates laying on their sides. “Okay, I’m gonna give you the quick gear up tutorial: I’ll tell you what’s what, but we want you to put it on. I’ll help you if you run into issue. Sound good?”

Annie nodded. “It does.”


Say your goodbyes to Kerry, kid, ’cause you’re about to enter a whole new world.  And here it comes:


“All right, then. These—” The blond held up something that looked like fingerless gloves. “These are wrist guards. They’re designed to keep you from breaking your wrists if you take a fall. You thumb goes through here—” She pushed her thumb through a hole in the soft leather. “—and you wrap the straps around so they fasten on the top. Remember, this plate—” She turned the guard so Annie saw a long plate embedded into the leather. “—always goes on the bottom part of your wrist.

“These—” She held up something that looked like a sleeve with a hard shell on one side. “These are your elbow pads. You slip them over your arms until they are fixed over your elbows. Remember, the shell is on the outside and this rounded part—” She touched the hard shell. “—goes closer to your upper arm.

“Last we have knee pads.” She picked one up. “You’re gonna spend a lot of time falling, so these are important. There are straps in the back that help hold it against your legs, then this strap—” She tugged on a large, thick one. “—goes at the top, around your leg to fasten on the top. The bottom strap goes through this buckle and then you pull it tight and Velcro it together. Keep the buckle on the inside of your leg. Any questions?”

Annie had one. “Are you sure these will fit me?”

The tall blond laughed. “We got your body measurements from your CMO about four hours ago, so yes, it’ll all fit. Besides, there are sizing enchantment in place so some scaling will likely take place.”

“I thought that might be the case.” She picked up the helmet. Unlike the ones Kerry wore while racing, this one looked more like the ones they’d wear for casual flying. “Same with this?”

“Absolutely. You won’t have to put that one until after Angry gives her speech, but keep in mind, any time you’re here with us and you’re wearing skates, you need your helmet on. It’s an insurance violation if you don’t.”


First off, this is all the same stuff I have.  For a bit of reference, last November, 2017, I did a black and white challenge on Facebook, where you took one B&W photo a day for seven days and posted it to your wall.  One of the photos was of my then derby gear, and here it is:


All the stuff here is the same as Annie’s, though I have a couple of differences.  First off, in the foreground, is the protective gear.  Left to right are the wrist guards, the elbow pads, and the knee pads.  Annie’s wearing the same stuff, set for her body size–thanks to the hospital and Doctor Gallagher–and if there are adjustment needed, a little magic will take care of that.

In the back are my skates–The Riedell Darts that I used to wear–and my helmet.  The biggest different here is Annie is wearing a normal derby helmet, while these days I wear a hockey helmet, which I feel–as do other skaters–gives better protection.  If you want to see the differences, here’s my old purple helmet, which I gave to the league:


And my current helmet:


And when I’m all geared up I looked like this, taken one year after my recruitment night, wearing my Bont skates:


In the gear picture above I showed knee gaskets, which I wore for a while because I needed the extra knee support.  They’ve gotten stronger and I rarely put them on now.  Also, in my “One Year After” picture, you can see pink tape on my right wrist guard.  That’s because the Velcro doesn’t stick well any longer, so I tape it up before practice. Hockey and Duct Tape are a derby girl’s best friend.  Trust me.

There’s also something visible in my hockey helmet picture, and we’re coming to that right now–


Annie set the helmet down. “Do we really worry about that?”

“Normally no, but if you’re outside the school playing Normal leagues, you could screw their insurance up if you aren’t following regs.” The blond picked up a small plastic case and removed a thin, flat piece of white plastic. “Open your mouth.” Annie did as told and the blond inserted the flat piece into her mouth. “Bite down and hold for about ten seconds.”

Annie did as told. For the first few seconds nothing happened, then she felt the plastic fold upward against her upper teeth. After ten seconds she opened her mouth and removed the molded plastic from her mouth. “What—?”

“That’s your mouth guard. You won’t be doing any hitting tonight, but you will if you decide to stay with this, you’ll need that.” The blond took the mouth guard and put it back inside its container, which she set next to the helmet. “Go over by those benches and put on your pads. After Angry talks we’ll get your geared up the rest of the way.” She pointed towards a group of long, flat seats not far from Kerry and a few others stood. “Go on.”

Annie took her wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and walked over to closest clear spot, which happened to be next to Anna. The German girl—who had everything but her wrist guards on—looked to her friend as she sat. “What do you think?”

“Well—” Annie shrugged. “I don’t know yet.”

Anna sighed. “What exactly are we getting into?”

Annie chuckled as she set one of the knee pads into place. “I believe we’re going to find out soon.”


That pink think in my tank top strap is my mouth guard:  specifically, a Sisu mouth guard that I molded much the same way as Annie’s, though I needed hot water and my hands and not magic to achieve the same results.  If you don’t wear a mouth guard, you can do cool things like get in a pace line with the vets or hit, or block, or any stuff like that ’cause it’s an insurance violation otherwise.  Got to protect those teeth.  I actually have a couple of mouth guards, but my Sisu is the only one I can wear that doesn’t make me gag.

So Annie’s got her stuff and she’s almost ready to derby–


The Road to Recruitment: Opening Night

Believe it or not, I’ve been writing.

It’s getting hot outside and plans aren’t always going the way I expect, so rather than spin my wheels, I decided to start writing.  I decided to start on the next chapter, number Twenty-Two, because–well, it’s something near and dear to my heart.

Four days after Annie projects her body into the Astral Realm, she goes to Recruitment Night to see if she has what it takes to be a derby girl.

And that meant I did something I haven’t done in a why: I wrote nearly two thousand words for a scene yesterday.

See that first part? That’s not a lie.


And, as you can see, I wrote nearly eight hundred and twenty-five words today, so for like the first time in a year I have a surplus of words to lay upon you today.  You’re not getting it all in the excerpt and since I’ll write more tomorrow, it’s quite likely I’ll have the second scene finished by the time I complete showing the first scene.

Hey, it’s always good to have more words than necessary.

So let’s get this party started and see what happens.  I’m sure it’s gonna be fun:


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


It was rare that Annie came to the Great Hall on a Thursday night, even more rare that Kerry would appear with her. Thursday was one of their only “nights off” from the grind of the advanced classes. Monday night was the night they spent teaching each other; Tuesday night was Advanced Transformation; Wednesday night was Wednesday’s with Wednesday. And, of course, Friday and Saturday were the Midnight Madness were they spent their time relaxing and talking to friends, but they also loved having Thursday and Sunday night to themselves to do just about anything they liked.

But tonight wasn’t just a night off: tonight was an event Annie decided to attend a few weeks before and that Kerry decided to join once he discovered it was possible to participate without being as active in the same way his soul mate.

Tonight was Recruitment Night.

Since learning the school was putting together a derby team, Kerry did his usual diligence and found a great many videos on YouTube showing what appeared a lot of women on skates running into others and doing their best to knock them down—at least that’s how it appeared to Annie untrained eye. While it appeared dangerous, something made her want to learn more, which was her main reason for coming tonight. She didn’t know if she’d do anything beyond this first night—

But as Kerry told her several times over the last few nights, it never hurts to try something new at least once.

As they entered the Dining Hall Annie was surprised to discover that even though they were slightly early—students were asked to begin arriving between 19:30 and 20:00—there were what appeared to be close to forty students already here, with about a quarter of them being boys. She recognized several girls right away: Zoe Navarro, Anna Laskar, and Elisha Tasköprülüzâde from Åsgårdsreia; Felisa Ledesma from Blodeuwedd; Humaira Noor from Ceridwen; and Pleasure Pimenta and Fabienne Ratsiraka from Mórrígan. She also noticed three girls from their cover—Leonora Couture, Farah Charobim, and Rajani Siddiqui—and it took a few seconds for the fact to register that A Levels were allowed to try out for this sport, something not permitted for both the fighting and racing teams.


Way back in the first novel it was mentioned that A Levels couldn’t go out for racing or the fight teams, so it’s a big interesting that A Levels are being allowed to come out tonight. There’s a reason for this–don’t I always have one?–and it’ll eventually get explained when I start excerpting the next scene.  It’s all legal, otherwise the headmistress wouldn’t all it to happen.

Annie’s making some other observations–


She was also surprised that so many girls came wearing tee shirts and jeans, even though instructions they’d received via email said to wear leggings, sports bras, and workout tops. Annie figured that most of the girls here didn’t have the necessary clothing and were making do with what they had for tonight.

They queued up behind four other girls standing before a table at which a bi-ethnic woman with black hair tied back in pigtails and wearing a black tank top sat. She turned to Kerry and spoke softly. “I didn’t expect this many would show this early.”

Kerry looked around the room. “I didn’t expect this many, period. Did you notice the floor?”

“I did.” Normally the floor of the Dining Hall was a well-worn dark wood that was probably far older than it appeared. While the floor was still wood, it was notably lighter in color. Also, maybe fifteen meters from where they were waiting, one could see the outlines of what appeared to be a track. “I wonder how long it took Housekeeping to program in this configuration?”

“I’m sure someone had a configuration they could use.” He motioned forward with his head. “We’re next.”


Though I wore a tee shirt to my recruitment night, I also wore a pair of leggings ’cause I couldn’t imagine skating in jeans.  Which is to say, I do find it a bit surprising when people show up wearing jeans and they strap on their gear and head out on the floor.  After you’ve done it a while you start showing up in leggings, but first timers in jeans isn’t that out of the ordinary.

The track is already laid out and, again, there’s a reason why the floor has that configuration.  I mean, it’s not hard to find a track layout on the internet, someone would still have to “program it” into all the enchantments that allow the Dining Hall to have a number of different layouts. And now “Derby Flat Track” is one of those configurations.

The queue is moving and my kids are next in line.  Where they meet–


They waited less than a minute before coming face-to-face with the woman in the tank top. The first thing Annie noticed was the bright blue stud piercing her right nostril as well as a number of multi-colored images tattooed all over her right shoulder and upper arm. The other thing she noticed was the woman was, at best, maybe ten years older than her.

She looked up at Annie and smiled. “Name and coven.”

Annie cleared her throat. “Annie Kirilova, Cernunnos.”

She checked something off on her tablet before turning to Kerry. “And you?”

He straighted as he spoke. “Kerry Malibey, Cernunnos. I’m here for the stuff that doesn’t—”

“You mean a NSO position?” She smiled at him. “It’s all right, mate: I know you ain’t here to hit some bitches.” She pulled two small reading tablets off a stack to her left. “These are standard release forms. Read them thoroughly before signing.”

Annie took her tablet and examined it carefully. “Release forms?”

Kerry jumped in. “To absolve the school of any liability in case you get hurt.” He turned to the woman behind the table. “I had to sign one when I joined our racing team.”

The woman nodded a couple of times before turning back to Annie. “He’s right. It’s to make certain that you understand you’re getting involved in a full-contact sport and this prevents you from coming back and holding the school responsible when you’re injured later.”


For the first time we learn that Kerry signed a release form when he joined the racing team.  We didn’t see it happened because–well, he was pretty much told “You’re on the team” and they likely sent him the release form via an email.

I not only signed a release form with my team, I had to sign one with York when they became our sister league.  And were I to skate with another league, I’d need to sign a release with them.  I even recently signed a release with another body–more on that later.

NSO: that stands for Non-skating Official.  They are the time keepers, the penalty box watchers, the wardens of the scoreboard.  Like refs. if we don’t have NSOs, we don’t play. We’re not just a bunch of crazy bitches who beat on each other while wearing skates: we are, for want of a different word, professional. And our organizing body sees to it we do things right.

But what about “hitting bitches”? That’s a term we use pretty freely: at my recruitment night one of my friends already on the team told me, “And we get to hit bitches, too.” So we got that going for us.  You, and Annie, will hear that term get used again.  What Annie doesn’t know yet is you’re also one of those bitches who gets hit–

And that last line: “–when you’re injured later.” We don’t say “If I get hurt”: we usually say, “When I get hurt.” Nearly all the people I play with have had something happen to them.  Since I joined my league 13 months ago I’ve seen, on my team, a broken ankle, a broken wrist, a broken leg, twisted knees, torn ligaments in the ankle, and a couple of concussions. I’ve already mentioned that I broke two ribs and I’m certain one of my teammates has broken a couple of ribs as well.

This is why you sign a release, Annie.


“I see.” Annie tried not to change her expression when the woman said “when” instead of “if”—she apparently knows more than me on this subject. “After we sign these—”

The woman pointed to another woman about six meters to Annie’s left, a tall blond also wearing a tank top. “You hand them to Princess there and she’ll get you set up with gear.” She turned to Kerry. “You won’t be gearing up; she’ll direct you over to where the NSOs are gonna watch and observe.”

Annie acknowledged the woman’s comments and wandered off a few meters to read the release. After seeing that it indicated that she was becoming involved in a contact sport that could lead to injury and that neither the school or JRDA—a word, more likely an acronym, that meant nothing to her—could be held responsible for said injuries, she used her index finger to sign the form and affixed her thumbprint for additional authentication.

Kerry approached her just as she finished up. “It’s pretty much like the one I had to sign for racing.”

“I vaguely now remembering you mentioning this.” She pointed in the direction of the tall blond. “We need to leave these with her.”

They made their way to the tall blond: Annie instantly noticed she had several rings in the midpoint of both ears. She looked up as they handed her the release tablet. “Oh, done, are we?” Her voice carried a slight accent that Annie thought might be Spanish. “Okay, then. You—” She pointed at Kerry then to a group of about six people, mostly boys, standing near where the breakfast buffet tables were usually found. “—go over then with the rest on the NSOs. After Angry talks a little you’ll go through instruction with them.

“As for you—” She rested her hand on Annie’s left shoulder. “Come with me.”

There’s Annie, all signed up and ready to find her gear.  And she has it–oh, does she.  And tomorrow you’ll see it up close.

Up there I mentioned JRDA–the Junior Roller Derby Association, which handles kids 7 to 17.  They’ll have control over what happens at Salem, though they probably won’t know the whole story.

Once you hit 18 you can join WFTDA–the Woman’s Flat Track Derby Association, which is my governing body. As I mentioned in my video this last Saturday, I’ve been given the go-ahead to get insurance because, well, I’m back to hitting.  And this last Saturday afternoon, I did just that:

I haz skatin’ insurance.


So I not only carry insurance through the governing body, but I also signed WFTDA’s 2018 Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement, which means I can’t sue them should I go to practice tonight and, while taking a hit, mess myself up in a bad way.  That’s because I know I’m involved in a full-contact sport and there’s a certain element of danger involved when you strap on a pair of skating and throw a block at someone–or they at you.

And before anyone asks: I did fill in my derby name.  I blacked it out here so you can’t see it, but I’m looking at my WFTDA Profile right now and, yes, my derby name is there.  And when I certify I’ll let you know what it is…

Until then, try guessing Annie’s derby name.

She already has it picked out.