Mornings With the Seer: To the Coven Called

Good morning, and how is your day?  Well, with mine, we have a bridge shut down here in The Burg this morning, and it’s right in my back yard.  Not the actual bridge, mind you, but a retaining wall came down on the side of the valley where Cameron Street runs, and that fell on to a building, and all hell broke loose last night, apparently.  And the good thing is, I can even show you.  Look right here:

Mostly up there, in the left-hand corner.

Mostly up there, in the right-hand corner.

That’s the bridge, and the yellow arrow up over by der, that’s where the wall came down.  And me:  I live in the building in the lower left-hand corner, Executive House Apartments, so I’m about a half-mile/eight hundred meters from where this all happened.  Oh, and I love having Goggle Earth with the 3D setup with me now.  It’s so nice.

And in the continuing adventures of “I Have a New Computer” I snapped a picture after arriving home from my local Mexican eatery, doing my part to have a good time on Sinkhole de Mayo, or as I like to call it, “Americans Getting Drunk On What They Think is Mexican Independence Day”.

Two tacos and a margarita are all I need.

Two tacos and a margarita are all I need.

And, true, last night was the first time I used the New Beast to sit in front of the TV and make notes for my Orphan Black recap.  It was nice.  This computer is lighter, I had four hours of battery life, and it doesn’t produce a lot of heat–and that last was murder on me, for reals.  The only real complaint is that I’m still getting used to the keyboard, so I was making a lot of mistakes, but I’m getting better.

 

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Though they’d been past Åsgårdsreia Tower numerous times—the paths leading north from The Pentagram started at the Northern Portal next to the coven—neither Annie or Kerry had ever entered the coven itself. In the nearly two years they’d been at school the only other time they’d been inside another coven had been once early on during this level when they were invited into Mórrígan Tower by Erywin as they were returning from the Spell Center on Reacquaintance Day. She was getting something from her office before heading off to dinner; they looked about the commons for about a minute, marveling that while it was the same floor plan the interior decorations and colors made it look completely different from their commons in Cernunnos; and they all departed together.

That time entry was gained through a casual invitation: this time their presence was being requested. And even though they both knew Deanna in a way far more personal than that of a student to instructor, Annie felt the request somehow carried the weight of their friend’s position as leader of Åsgårdsreia Coven.
That was why she couldn’t put aside the feeling that this wasn’t going to be a casual meeting.

Both children entered the northern most point of The Pentagram and turned to their left, following the curve of the tower a few meters to one of the three entrances to the tower. They stood before the entrance for a few seconds wondering how they should announce their presence. Kerry looked to his left. “Maybe we should knock?”

She wasn’t certain if Kerry’s idea wasn’t the best way to proceed. Just as with the entrances to their coven, there weren’t any visible ways to notify the people inside they were expected. “That may be the best—”

 

As established Åsgårdsreia Tower is the northern most point of The Pentagram, so all those little shield maidens are up there overlooking everyone else in those other loser covens, and so I popped into Blender to have a look-see.  And getting in closer than the picture below shows, I’d completely forgotten that I’d added doors to the three covens where people enter and leave the wall on their way to classes.  They aren’t good doors–really just rectangles–but I put them there almost three years ago when I designed this.  Gotta admit, I’m good.

I love seeing the detail now.

And I love seeing the detail now.

I also should make Lagertha the patron witch of Åsgårdsreia Tower or something.  Is or was she magical?  Was she really real, being more than the legend she has become?  Hummm . . . could be on both accounts.

So, did they knock?  Didn’t have to ’cause–

 

A hologram flashed into existence to Annie’s left, that of a young multi-ethnic girl dressed in a school uniform adorned with a six-star cluster in Åsgårdsreia purple. “Annie, Kerry: how are you?”

Kerry was somewhat surprised but Annie had encountered this technical apparition on a couple of occasions. “Hello, Sabrina. It’s good to see you again.”

The hologram student aid nodded towards the entrance. “You can go in: Professor Arrakis is expecting you.”

Annie returned the nod. “Is her office in the same place as the other coven offices?”

“Um, hum.”

“Thank you.” She waved open the door before taking Kerry by the hand. “Let’s go, my love.”

The Åsgårdsreia commons felt fare more like their coven in Cernunnos in as much as the floor space was less cluttered than what they’d observed during their visit to Mórrígan, with only a couple of sofas and a few chairs scattered about the area. The biggest differences were both sofas sat before the huge fireplace to their left, and most everything possessed a smattering of purple or violet as either a primary color or a trim.

Kerry leaned close to Annie as they approached the coven office door. “That’s Sabrina?”

Annie chuckled as she gave him a coy wink. “Yes, it is.” They stopped before the door to what they assumed was Deanna’s office, and this time Annie did knock.

The door opened revealing Deanna standing a few meters back from the entrance. She greeting them with arm held wide. “Welcome. Please come in.”

 

Kerry’s never really met the school AI, so he’s never had a conversation or even seen her.  The kids know about her because it was stated she left all the covens unlocked when everyone returned from Yule holiday so people could mingle, but people didn’t actually see her.  And since Kerry was with Vicky when they gave Annie her wings, he didn’t see her then, either.  This would be the third time Annie’s run into her, though “run” is a subjective word.

I now have my kids ready to speak with Deanna.  All that remains now is to get them to talking . . .

Back and Back and Back to The Burg

Forgive me for ripping off the title of a Farscape episode–notable as the first “Black Tee Shirt” episode–but since they kinda of ripped off their episode title from Back to the Future, I don’t feel bad for doing a little creative editing.

But as you may have guessed from the title, I’m back in Pennsylvania, and back to The Burg–not to be confused with The Burgh, over by der on the West Side of the State–and here I’ll remain until 7 November, when I return to Indiana because I got a date in court on the 9th.  So basically three and a half months to prepare myself for one of the most important moments of my life.

Meanwhile, since I was on the road from nine-thirty AM EDT until eight-thirty PM EDT, there wasn’t a lot of writing going on.  A lot of thinking, yeah, but not a lot of writing.  In fact, a lot of my thinking involved the race layout, the finishes, and how the points were getting laid out.  Which means about nine-thirty or so I was figuring all that out.  And since I don’t think I’ll spoil too much–because the next scene will describe some of this–here’s how the Samhain races played out.

It only took about fifty miles to get all this right in my head.

It only took about fifty miles to get all this right in my head.

So Mórrígan has a great day, Ceridwen is a surprise second (Åsgårdsreia is usually the second best coven team), and Cernunnos–who usually languish near the bottom with Blodeuwedd is a welcomed third.  You can probably guess that those italicized finishes are Kerry’s, but what about that one in bold?  You’ll find out . . .

I find I don’t do as much “story thinking” when I drive these days, because I’ve pretty much thought it all out months ago.  At least until such a time that I have to come up with something else in the story, and then it’s “run those plot lines over and over in your head again” time, most of which I do while walking to and from work these days.  Since I have to drive to New Jersey to see my doctor tomorrow, I’ll probably go over an upcoming scene in my head if I get the chance.  The upcoming scenes aren’t going to change on me that much, and even when I believe I have them all thought out, I’m usually surprised to find I can’t capture everything in my head perfectly.  No surprise there:  getting it down right is never an easy thing.

Now the goal is to finish this chapter, get into the next–which is gonna be Annie heavy–and go for one hundred thousand words.  I’m already near ninety-two thousand, so lets give it another week, shall we?

I just realized something:  I’ll be traveling in November, and that’s during NaNoWriMo.  Do I try it again this year?  Hummm . . . well, I did it in 2013 and 2014, and both times I jaunted to and from The Burg to Indiana, so why should this time be any different?  After all, when I’m not busy getting all the stuff done related to my name change, I can always be writing.

And stop somewhere for a smoothie now and then.

And stop somewhere for a smoothie now and then.