I’m always learning new things, mostly because I haven’t stopped experimenting. But now I’ve gone in a direction I never expected–
Sit back and enjoy.
See you later!
I’m always learning new things, mostly because I haven’t stopped experimenting. But now I’ve gone in a direction I never expected–
Sit back and enjoy.
See you later!
There is more news on the home front here, and that is–I have a new phone. Yes, after years with my old one, I was forced to upgrade to a smart phone because of changes in the network. I picked up an LG L21G Destiny with an Android operating system, and I have to say now that I’ve figured out how it works, I like it. It’s so nice, you never know who else might get one . . .
Oh, and I’ve figured out how to upload pictures directly to Facebook:
Yep, there you go: first picture uploaded to social media. And I’m drinking. Go figure.
So new computer, new phone, watching shows from the Internet: pretty soon I’ll be caught up with the modern times. But I won’t be posting the blog from my phone, no way. And the keyboard does suck–
But what about editing?
It happened. About thirteen hundred words worth of editing as I head into Chapter Two.
This was the first Travel Day to the school, which is why the chapter is titled To the New World. And in more than one way, we’ll discover. What’s interesting about this first scene of the new chapter is that this is the first with neither of the kids present. It’s just Ms. Rutherford and a woman who isn’t seen that much in the novels, but whose presence is always felt: the Headmistress of the School of Salem, Mathilde Laventure. This is really where we get to see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes for getting all these kids from all over the world to one place, and a lot of names get tossed around in the scene, those of people we’ll all come to know in time.
But first it starts with two women in an airport restaurant:
The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
It was nearly thirteen hundred and Mathilde Laventure expected her guest along at any moment. She knew her guest as punctual, going all the way back to Mathilde’s first year as the headmistress of Salem when the person in question was an E Level going through extremely difficult times the year after The Scouring. Today was a far different time and her guest a far different person, but she’d never lost her gift of punctuality. If she said they’d meet at thirteen, then one should expect a visit at that time.
Mathilde heard someone approaching her table. It wasn’t necessary to turn around to see who was behind her—
“Bonjour, Madam Headmistress.” Ms. Rutherford pulled out the chair to Mathilde’s right and took her place at the table. “A good day so far, I hope.”
“A good day, yes, but . . .” She wiped her brow of imaginary sweat with two fingers of her right hand. “So far a long one as well.” She watched for prying eyes in the Grand Café Het Paleis of Schiphol Airport, then leaned towards Ms. Rutherford. “Pouvons-nous parler en français?”
“Oui.” Ms. Rutherford shifted smoothly into near-perfect French, speaking with only a trace of her English accent. “Better?”
“Always when I get to speak French.” Mathilde wrapped her hands around her coffee cup. “I hope you don’t think I’m being paranoid.”
“No.” Ms. Rutherford waved over a waitress and ordered a small salad and a soda before continuing her train of thought. “I know you feel more comfortable speaking French, and you won’t have many chances to speak it during the next nine months.” She smiled. “No point in not taking advantage of another speaker, even if she isn’t native.”
“As I have always said, your French is excellent.”
“Thank you. But it can be better.”
Mathilde smiled broadly. “Unless you’re French, it will never be perfect.”
The English woman laughed. “So true.”
Not much of a start, but it gets the reader into the massive undertaking that’s spent moving about one hundred and fifty kids around the world.
This was also the first scene where I did a lot of chopping, and it ended up thirty-five words shorter than when it started. There were a few things that didn’t make sense, and a big part of it had to do with the last paragraph, which really didn’t make sense in the context of the whole novel. So away with you!
There are some important things I have ahead of me, and I may even blog about them tomorrow.
It’s one-thirty PM, or thirteen-thirty if you happen to attend a certain fictional school I know, and the mimosas didn’t kill me. Rendered me a little spacey–okay, a lot spacy–but that’s it. I’m still functional, after a fashion.
When I picked up my new computer a couple of weeks ago the primary goal was to get it set up as quickly as possible so I could get back into my writing, and do it with the tools I’d already learned to use on the old Beast. Getting Scrivener and Scapple and Blender weren’t that big of a deal: I had the licence from when I’d picked them up originally, so all I needed to do was download current versions and reapply the licences. For Sweet Home 3D I pick up a new version, which was needed as well as this one came with lots of content.
But Aeon Timeline was a completely different story. In the time since buying it originally a new version had come out that changed how it now function, and the dilemma was do I get the old version and work with that, or do I go with the new hotness even though it’s going to run me $50?
The answer was yes and I proceeded to get the new program and pay for the licence. The question after that became, was it worth it?
The answer is yes.
The basic interface to Aeon Timeline 2 is much the same, yet at the same time it feels so much fuller and, in a way, less crowed and busy. This is due to taking a few things that were all clumped together and breaking them out either into their own windows, or setting tabs to allow the user to drill down to what they want to work upon.
When you bring up the program the first time the interface is now a black background with white lettering. If you don’t like this, you can go to the old standby of a white background with black lettering:
And if you want to get fancy, there are a few backgrounds that allow a little color and text to liven up your time lining drudgery. Like this one, the Borealis:
As before, adding an event is as simple as clicking somewhere within an existing time and plugging in information. This function is a window that drops down from the middle-top, and there are a few things here that immediately pop into view, such as Parent, Participants, Observers, and Place. The last three take the place of another function found in Timeline 1, and Parent–well, we’ll get to that.
The Inspector–that area that you can pop open on the right hand size of the interface to add information to each event–has been updated considerably. Where as in Timeline 1 everything was crammed into that widow for one to search out and modify, everything is now set up in separate tabs, allowing the user to concentrated on one particular thing at a time while they’re building up an event. This making things less confusing when modifying something, as the signal to noise ratio is toned down a great deal.
There’s a lot of meta data that can now be entered for an event, and in the past if you wanted to see that meta data you needed to open the Inspector. Not any more. You can go into your Display Options and decide what you want to see when you “expand” an event, and then all one has to do is hover over said event until a little green arrow pops into view in the upper right hand corner–
And click it so the event expands.
Here I went crazy with the expanded data. So now I see what is happening, who is involved, who is watching, where it’s happening, the arc in which this information is found, and, if I like, a nice picture of the area that I can expand into a larger picture window. If you notice, the time line event also tells me the ages to the people involved, and even the age of the location. The people and location can be tied to an event for time purposes, allowing you to see how old a person and/or location is in relationship to where the event falls.
So if I want to see how long my kids had been at school at the time the Called Up event occurred, I bring up Manage Entities, find the character in question, and reset their age at the moment they arrived at school:
So when I reexamine the Called Up event, we now discover how long Annie and Kerry were students when they were informed by Helena that The Guardians needed them.
Man, walk in the door of this joint and before you know it people want you to go off and “observe” bad guys.
Two of the biggest changes are Parents and Dependencies. Creating Parent Events allow one to set up an entities that occurs over time, yet consists of multiple actions or events within that time period. One of the easiest to show is from A For Advanced, the first week of school from the first class to the last moment of the second Midnight Madness.
Now lets created a new event called First Week of School and set the time frame for the parent.
And start moving the already established events into the Parent Event:
If you look closely you’ll see a little “+” on that event line, so if you click on that–
This helps you manage your events better without having to resort using another time line and linking to that–unless, of course, you have several arcs worth of information you need covered, in which case you may want that other time line.
Dependencies are the other addition to the program, and it’ll come in handy where one has events that not only require a certain amount of time between passages, but are grouped together. One sets the main event, then when adding additional events after that, the user needs to only specified to what event the new event is tied, and then indicate the time span between those events. Not only does the program then determine the actual times, but if the first event is change to a new time and/or date, the dependent events follow and are adjusted automatically.
And as I discovered while playing with another time line, if you need to know when an event happening in one time zone is being monitored in another, then event can be made dependent, and times can be adjusted forward and backwards. So say Helena’s in San Francisco for some reason, and she wants to speak with Kerry in Cardiff and Annie in Pamporovo, you’d set up Helena’s event with San Fran time, then make Kerry’s event 8 hours ahead of Helena’s, and Annie’s 10 hours ahead, and right there you have the events and times without having to do a lot of looking. And if the user needs to move Helena’s time for any reason, Annie’s and Kerry’s events change time as well.
There you have it: my new toy. And while it might not be useful for his latest novel, I’m certain I’ll get some use out of it in the following novels.
It’s just a matter of time.
Here it is, almost ten in the morning, and all the things I’ve wanted to do I haven’t. Which means my blog post for the day is coming after I return from brunch, which I’m supposed to show up for in an hour.
The thing is, the reason I haven’t written anything this morning is because I’ve been playing with a new toy. And, man, have I been having fun. I can’t talk about it right now, but it will likely be the subject of the next blog post. The one coming this afternoon, that is. Assuming I haven’t drank too many mimosas.
I’ll just give you a little peek at what’s coming:
See you on the other side.
It is true: you give me a new toy and some time, I’ll put it to good use. Or I’ll waste my time screwing around with stuff–hey, either works for me. At least when I’m obsessing on something I’m not falling asleep in the afternoon, and as I had laundry to do, keeping busy is the best way to be.
Given that I’d written over thirteen hundred words yesterday morning I figured I could play around with something else, and that’s exactly what happened. I decided to design something, and finally, I have it in place–
I welcome you to Cernunnos Coven Tower.
Yes I set out in Sweet Home 3D to lay out the building, and I started on that yesterday afternoon. What you see in the picture above it just on level: in starting the layout I managed to set up space for both the sub-level and lower level of the coven, so in time you’ll see where the kitchen and Annie and Kerry’s private lab are on the floor below, and where everyone went when they had to retreat underground when students went into the sub-levels during the Day of the Dead attacks.
But first, what about the image above?
Right off the bat you see areas outside the tower: a ring around it and four walkways heading off in different directions. The walkways are easy: those that look like stone are the covered walkways leading to the Great Hall (the one heading off to the left) and to the Transformation Center/Chemical Building and the Instructor’s Residence (the one heading to the right).
The other two passages on the left are actually the Pentagram Walls, and the ring around the tower is the wall passage that allows people to move from one side of the Pentagram Walls to the other without having to walk through the coven. The ring around the tower is 4 m/12 ft wide, and the walls themselves are 5.5 m/18 ft wide. The passage at the top of frame heads to Ceridwen Coven, while the one on the bottom heads to Åsgårdsreia Coven.
The inner tower–the actual coven itself–is 20 m/65 ft across, and the ground floor is the location of the main commons. There are three entrances: two under the stairs at about 10 and 4 o’clock on the dial, and the other at the bottom where the passage to Åsgårdsreia lay. The area with all the small rooms is the space directly under the mezzanine commons, and they are, from left to right, the boy’s bathroom, a small meeting room where students can gather, the stairs to the lower levels (it’s the small room between the meeting table room and the commons itself), the service passage where you’ll find two storage areas near the exit, the Coven Leader’s office (like the one Annie and Kerry were just in with Deanna), and the girl’s bathroom.
And if you want to see the Coven Leader’s office, it’s right here below:
It’s not meant to be huge, just a place to conduct business, but it’s bigger than my office, that’s for sure.
As for the main commons, it’s pretty large, taking up a little over half the ground floor, and you can see the staircases leading up to the mezzanine. Because of the limitations in the program they aren’t quite as smooth as I would like, and there isn’t a railing on those grand staircases, but right now the layout works. The walls of this level are 4.5 m/14.75 ft high, giving a good open feeling, and the walls of the next level up, the mezzanine, are another 3.5 m/11.5 ft, so you have a wonderful, open feeling when you’re sitting down here.
So what does the coven commons look like from the ground floor? Glad you asked.
This is what is looks like standing near the girl’s bathroom/west exit and looking towards the east/inner Pentagram Garden. Lots of chairs, a few tables to set things upon, the fireplace and sofa right where they should be–and is that a couple sitting before the fire? Yeah, I couldn’t resist placing those two on the sofa where so much has happened, and they’ve yet to be caught sleeping. Yet.
And just as I did with my layout for the Sea Sprite Inn last novel, here’s a little walk through video. And since I have a better system now, I can actually create this video quickly enough that I won’t still be waiting for it when the heat death of the universe occurs. I set the light so that it gives the impression it at night and the lights are low, which means it’s gonna be romantic, yeah?
So there you are: the layout of the Cernunnos Coven ground floor. More will come in time, eventually you’ll see the entire tower laid out. I’ll probably do the lower levels before I get to the mezzanine, and then it’s up to the dorm floors, which are pretty much duplicates of each other.
We close out with a certain couple enjoying the quiet while they sit before the fire–
Here I am, coming to you on the New Hotness, my first new computer in ten years. Picked it up about four in the afternoon, started in on it about fifteen minutes later, and by about seven I had just about everything I want to have and need in the system–including about six thousand pictures I’ve taken over the years–but since this computer has a 1 terabyte drive, I’ve about eight hundred and thirty terabytes to play with. It’ll be a while before I fill it up.
Honestly, when I packed the old computer up I cried, because it’s really been my companion for just a few weeks short of a decade now, and you build attachment. But there are still things on there I can used, and who knows? I may pull it out once in a while and give it a spin just for old times sake.
The biggest changes, besides the keyboard being slightly off-center, are the way the programs appear. Everything is just a little larger, which sort of makes everything look as if I’m back on my old nineteen inch monitor back in Indiana, but it’s livable. The biggest change is the way Blender looks; it sort of pre-renders everything for me. Before everything looked like this:
And now it looks like this:
So much different. I think I can get used to this.
Oh, and it has a built-in camera which I just had to try out–
By the way, that’s how I normally look when I’m home from work. Now you know.
What this all means is that everything from here on out is written on the new machine, and I even made a note in Scrivener of the first paragraph written using this computer. Because that’s what I do.
And speaking of new . . . What is up with Isis? Well, since I wrote over six hundred words last night and finished the scene, you’ll find out. Like right away.
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
They both bounded up the stairs to the first floor and hurried over to where Isis waited. Annie spoke for them both. “Good morning, Director.”
“Morning to you both.” She nodded in the direction of the transept alcove leading to the security offices. “Let’s get out of the open, shall we?” They wandered over into the alcove above the ground floor of the West Transept and were well out of sight before Isis spoke. “Before I say anything else, I want you to know you’re not in any trouble.”
Both children appeared slightly confused for a moment, casting glances with each. Kerry eventually turned to the security director. “So if we’re not in trouble—?”
“It must be something else, yeah?” Isis’ smile was bright in the gloom of the security area. “It is: Deanna wants to see you.”
“About?” One of Annie’s eyebrows arched high as she forwarded the question.
“She didn’t say. All I was told was to wait for you to enter the Hall and stop you before you got to breakfast.”
Kerry joined Annie in the arching eyebrow column. “And she knew what time we’d come through because—”
Isis snorted loudly. “You don’t have to be a seer to know your schedules. You’re both like clockwork when it comes to getting to the Dinning Hall: six on the weekdays, six-thirty on Sunday, and between six forty-five and seven on Saturday.” She shook her head. “You guys shouldn’t be so predictable: if someone wanted to take you down, they’d know when and where to wait. Maybe not now, but . . .” She gave a shrugged that was nearly nonexistent. “It’s something to keep in mind later on in life.”
Annie knew what Isis was referencing: that they needed to watch their routines when they were members of the Guardians so that they not become vulnerable to attack by Deconstructors, or those witches who may be working with them. It wasn’t something she’d considered before, but now that Isis had brought the matter to her attention— “Thank you. We’ll keep that in mind.”
Sometimes the Seer sees what you’re doing, and sometimes the Chief of Security knows your schedule ’cause you do everything like clockwork and that can be a dangerous thing. The kids are on a schedule here at school so there’s little one can do about that, but Isis is letting them know that doing that once you’re out of school isn’t always a good thing. It’s even a worse thing when you’re job involves spying and hunting down Deconstructors, ’cause someone may just come after your ass one day while you’re sitting in your favorite cafe having lunch ’cause they know you hang there every day between eleven and twelve-thirty. Keep changing up that routine, kids, because it can save your life.
Now, the important question is: what does Deanna what? And . . .
Kerry’s mind was working along the same lines. “Yep. But about Deanna: what time did she want to see us?”
Isis hooked her thumbs in the pockets of her jeans. Like many of the other instructors and staff she adopted a more casual feel during the weekends. “She said she wanted you out to the tower by nine.”
“The tower?” Annie almost did a double take. “She doesn’t want to see us at Memory’s End?”
“Nope. She told me to tell you to come out to Åsgårdsreia Tower and meet her in her office.” Isis took a step back from the children. “And that’s all I have to tell you.” He nodded back towards the Rotunda. “You should get going: whatever Deanna wants, it must be important, so I wouldn’t be late.”
Kerry gave a knowing nod. “We won’t.”
“Thank you, Isis.” Annie took Kerry’s hand and led him towards the the stairs. She said nothing until they were three steps down from the first floor landing. “This can’t be Guardian stuff.” She stopped after two more steps, careful to keep her voice muted. “She’s not involved.”
Kerry looked down and sighed. “You think this has something to do with our visions?”
“Perhaps. It’s just—” She looked down the flight of stairs. “Why is she being so secretive?”
“Because she knew if she contacted us directly we’d start asking question.” His chuckle came off sounding particularly grim. “So if Isis tells us—”
“She knows we won’t get anything from her.” Annie turned and descended the staircase slowly. “It has to be about the visions. I can’t imagine her discussing anything else with us.”
Annie stopped half-way down. “What?”
“What if—” His face twisted into a thoughtful grimace. “—there’s something we haven’t thought about?”
Yeah, kids: there’s always something you haven’t thought about, and this is probably one of them. The thing here is when Deanna wants to meet you in Memory’s End, she’s usually doing so as a friend and adviser, but when she’s meeting you in her office in the tower, where she does all her official Coven Leader stuff, it’s often an indication something important is about to get said. We’ll see, won’t we?
One last thing: as I gave a shout out to Yuri Gagarin, today I give a shout out to Al Shepard, who today became the first American to fly into space aboard Freedom 7, aka Mercury-Redstone 3. The flight lasted only fifteen minutes, and due to the publication of The Right Stuff we know Al flew with a spacesuit full of pee, so think about that the next time you’re bitching about having to get in the car and drive a couple of blocks down to the local convenience store to pick up a few quick items but you don’t like the fact you have to throw on pants.
Though we never had any astronauts attacked by wolves. Yet. There’s still time for that to happen . . .
This is going to be kinda a short post today. Maybe, I don’t know, not yet. See, there’s stuff going on behind the scenes, things you haven’t seen . . . and there, my stuff and things are out of the way and I can move on.
But seriously: I have a problem, and probably will for the rest of the week. Here’s what happened.
Now, a lot of things happened this weekend, most of the sucky. And to add to the suckiness, the fingers of my right hand hurt for some reasons. Like I slept on them funny, or something. But that’s something else. The main thing started with the except below, which isn’t long or sweet:
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
With the school year and classes winding down, Annie discovered that suddenly having lots of free time to spend with Kerry was far more enjoyable that she could imagine. With the end of racing three weeks before, this left the whole of their Saturdays open to hang out around the school grounds and take excursions off-campus. Last Saturday they went into Boston with Jessica, Madeline Palmescoff, and Professor Polly Grünbach, and while Deanna and Ramona were taking some students into Salem after lunch, Annie had heard from Helena yesterday afternoon that Erywin, Harpreet, Wednesday, Isis, and she were planing on taking about thirty students into New York City for most of the day.
Though she’d seen most of the world’s large cities she’d never visited New York City, and she was eager to see Times Square and spend time in Central Park with Kerry. It wasn’t that she never had the opportunity to spend time with him in a park-like environment, but having seen so many romantic pictures that part particular park in the spring, her mind’s eye allowed her to imagine the two of them there taking their own springtime pictures.
For now, however, they kept to the grounds, and their plan for the day was to have breakfast and spend a part of the morning in their lab, they heading up to Observatory Tower to finalize their end-of-the-year project in Astrophysics One. After that it was back to the Dining Hall for a quick lunch before—well, Annie had ideas for this afternoon . . .
Then disaster struck: I broke a key on my keyboard.
Yep. flat out broke off the “Y” on my keyboard. Now, you will notices that I’m still typing a number of words that have “Y” in them, but I kinda haveta look at the keyboard when I hit that key because there’s just a little green stop there now, the pressure pad. It still works, but it really slows me up when I’m doing stuff. Like writing.
My beast of a laptop is just a couple of months short of ten years old. That’s a lot of time to get out of a computer these days. I’ve stated before that I would hate to give up my computer because we’ve been through so much together, but if I wanna keep being productive on my home system, and I can’t do it with a busted-ass system.
Last night I ordered a new laptop: 17 inches, Windows 10. I did not get the 2-in-1 because I don’t really need anything like that, so a system with eight gig of memory and a one terabyte drive will do the trick for me. Even after pulling the trigger and ordering it I was still a bit sad about having to replace my computer–
And then, right in the middle of the climax of Fear the Walking Dead last night, when I’m trying to take notes for the recap I’ll right tonight, the damn computer locked up on me. For about ten minutes. Needless to say, after that I was more like, “Okay, having a new computer won’t be that bad.”
The new system arrives later in the week, which means I’ll likely spend part of the upcoming weekend getting everything set up on that machine.
Here we go: I’m finally stepping into the future.
I don’t get out my these days–that’s sort of clear to a lot of people. And one of the things I don’t get out to do is see movies. Most of that is due to having sort of a high standard when it comes to seeing a movie, and that’s to be entertained without having too much of my intelligence insulted. That’s why I’d only seen Mad Max: Fury Road this year of 2015 and nothing else. I’m just a cranky bitch when it comes to film.
Yesterday, however, not long after posted on my blog, I headed out to see The Martian, the movie based upon Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name. One reason I wanted to see the movie was because it was science fiction, and from everything I’d read of the novel, pretty accurate science fiction, with the emphases on science. I will say now that I have not read the novel, but I’m probably going to pick it up and give it a read just to see the differences between the printed and visual versions.
The interesting thing about the novel is how it came about. Weir wanted the novel as scientifically accurate as possible, and did a lot of research on the surface of Mars, on botany, astrophysics, space craft design, and orbital mechanics, going so far as to write is own program so he could track the orbits of the ships in his novel.
Weir had been writing since his twenties, and The Martian was his first novel. He shopped it around, and when none of the publishing houses showed interested, he started publishing the book for free on his website, going thought chapter by chapter.
After a while people asked him to put out a Kindle version of the story, and he did, and he sold the book for $.99, the lowest price one can offer for a work on Amazon. After he sold thirty-five thousand copies in one month, Crown Publishing Group approached him and asked if he’d like a sweet deal for his book. The deal made him another one hundred thousand dollars and got him a movie, so it sounds like he got what he was looking for.
If you’re asking, “What’s this about?”, it’s about a guy who, through no fault of anyone, gets stranded on Mars and has to find a way to stay alive until he’ rescued.
That’s the story in a nutshell, and without going into a lot of detail, it’s what the movies shows. What I loved was the attention to detail and how everything was so . . . sciencry. As I indicated I haven’t read the book, but there were things in the movie that because of my knowledge of Mars and space stuff in general, I got right away. (There was a scene in the movie where the main character was looking at a map, and the minute he realizes something and was hit with a light bulb moment, so was I. Geeks, I know.)
The movie is magnificent in appearance. The Mars stand-in was Wadi Rum in Jordan, which has stood in for Mars in a couple of movies, and one of the locations used in Laurence of Arabia. With the help of a little CGI you feel like you could be there on the Red Planet. All the tech looks workable and has an authentic feel. And the spaceship Hermes and the Mars HABs . . . Oi.
I can look at the ship above and see stuff that’s supposed to be there on a real spacecraft, and that makes me happy. There are things I saw happening in the movie that shouldn’t have happened (when you decelerate in space, your engine is supposed to be pointed towards the forward edge of your orbit, thank you), but they were minor and nitpicky. Even Weir admits that he made the storms on Mars more visually impressive than they would be in real life because, you know, sometimes you have to do that.
The characters are good, though I think NASA in the middle of the 21st Century would be a tad more diverse than shown, and in one major instance, a character was completely whitewashed. The moment I saw the character’s name I thought “Shouldn’t she be Korean?” This, again, came without reading the novel, and after a little investigation last night I discovered I was correct. It isn’t impossible to find an actress of the proper ethnicity these days, so Hollywood, you need to stop that shit right now.
There is one scene in the movie that got a huge laugh out of the audience I was with–and with me as well–and without going into detail:
I came out really happy, not only because I saw what I’d say was a real science fiction movie, but because there was a scene involving engineering that was done while ABBA’s Waterloo played on the soundtrack. I mean, come on: that’s something I’d do in my stories, so you know I was smiling like crazy and bouncing in my seat as the scene played out. And in a moment of disclosure, in a game I was running some twenty years ago, I’d planed to use Waterloo as a song-over during a scene were some people were preparing in invade a planet.
See? Great minds think alike. And so do those who know what makes science fun.
So, here we are, sitting around waiting. In my case I’m waiting for my laundry to finish, because I’ve run out of unmentionables to wear, and a girl’s gotta have clean unmentionables.
Once laundry is finished I’ll need to run out and pick up a few things, and I figure I’ll get out about eleven or so. Once all that’s done, I’ll start on the next scene, which sees Kerry heading off to go camping. And, believe it or not, I’ve been getting ready for this moment . . .
First off, I’ve worked on the route my group is going to take. As was sort of mentioned in the prior scene Friday–the day after the camp out–there will be a lot of flying. The reason for that will get covered another scene, but it’s all over the place. Love my maps, you know, because it really helps to know where my students are at certain times, and that also means I can check on weather conditions for those areas. Because, you know, it’s gonna be cold, and there may be snow.
You’ve seen the brooms they’ll fly–everyone’s on Class 1s–and you’re kinda seen the camp site–
Which is easier to see from above–
Now, since there is a line heading off the top of the map, it’s pretty much a given that my fliers are heading off in that direction come Friday morning. More of that will come out as I write not the next scene, but the scene after.
Now, gear. There are tents, cots, and sleeping bags, not to mention food and hydration systems. Let’s get this out of the way right now: these are not TARDIS tents. They are not bigger on the inside and decked out with all the comforts of home. Nope, these tents are simple two-person, four season, cabin tents with a vestibule, just like Normal people use.
The reason for having a vestibule is simple: it’s a place where brooms and backpacks can be stored for the evening and remain out of the elements. When the vestibule is zipped closed, it makes it easier to get things needed without having to worry about letting in wind and, in the case of these campers, maybe snow.
The cots are ultra light and remain close to the ground. This way while they fill up the floor of the tent, they’re not so impossibly large that it makes it difficult to move around. You can be assured that the sleeping bags will be able to handle the cold, either in the middle of Maine in mid-December, or somewhere in Canada in the middle of January.
How are they going to carry all this stuff? Thirty-six liter backpacks, that’s how.
Everything they’re gonna carry–save for their brooms–goes in the packs, and I know what you’re thinking: how do they get everything in there? Well, you’re gonna find out about the Compression and Expansion spells soon enough, and for the advanced fliers not in Advanced Spells–*cougheveryonebutonekidcough*–those are two spells they have to know by the end of their B Levels or they’re not gonna be allowed off the school grounds to go camping alone. Does this mean Kerry knows these spells? Well . . . you’ll have to see, won’t you?
It should also go without saying that the material is enchanted so it’s stronger, more resistant to cold and wind and rain, even a little lighter. Now, that doesn’t means that the cold stays out completely–after all, what if you’re stuck with nothing but Normal equipment? You may just have to rough it, or know how to craft the right spells to keep yourself nice and comfy.
Like I say quite often, writing isn’t always writing. You want to get little details like these down, then you do your research and get everything together. This is why getting scenes written don’t always go as smoothly as expected. Sometimes you really do have to find the things you need to make the things you say sound a little more convincing.