Bags Are Packed and Ready to Fly

First off, the shoulders are better, though some of that might have been due to whatever the hell I was drinking last night.  I had two, they were good, and they had tequila in them, so that was an even better treat.  The problems come from a bad chair at home and the repetitive motion of adjusting my bra straps, and right there I’ve narrowed down the issues to the root cause.  So get a new chair and stop adjusting the straps.  It’ll help.

This means I did get started on the new Part/Chapter/Scene last night, but a combination of coming down off tequila and trying not to aggravate my shoulders meant not a lot of writing.

This is how we begin the new parts.  See?

This is how we begin the new parts. See?

Also, whenever I start something new it’s a bit rocky.  I know what I want to say, but getting it said it just hard, I tell you, hard!  And, in the following that I wrote, not a single line of dialog.  Watch:

 

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

Normally Thursday afternoons would have seen Annie and Kerry attending B Level Formulistic Magic between thirteen and sixteen-thirty, but since they were in Advanced Formulistic Magic on Monday afternoons—when nearly everyone else was either in Study Period or helping out in other classes—this was an open period for them.

Tuesday afternoons were also a free period for them both, but Kerry had Advanced Transformation Crafting after dinner and Annie usually chose that time to study in the Black Vault when she wasn’t sitting in on class, so they were back in class after dinner.

Because they didn’t have any classes after dinner, it meant Thursday afternoons—as well as Sunday afternoons and evenings—represented part of the most free time Annie could share with Kerry since the start of racing season. From the moment they left Mid-Level Sorcery Theory and Applications for lunch until they left Friday morning breakfast for Annie’s Flight Gift Training at nine, they could spend just over twelve hours together—

More if they somehow managed to find a place to sleep together—which they’d yet to do.

There wouldn’t be any free time after dinner tonight, however; Annie wouldn’t even eat dinner with Kerry. Later this afternoon she would dine with Coraline and Deanna while Kerry headed northward with the rest of the Advanced Flight One for their overnight camping trip at Baxter State Park in Central Maine, their first of several tests this school year that would prepare them for the Polar Express that took place during the student’s C Levels.

They wouldn’t be camping in any Normal sites: they’d be somewhere deeper within the park, at least ten kilometers from the nearest regular site, somewhere along the shoreline of Matagamon Lake. They’d unpack and set up their tents in the dark, eat rations similar to what they’d carry during the Polar Express, and likely stay up until close to twenty-three before heading off to their cots and sleeping bags for the nights.

According to Kerry the plan for Friday was to rise about five-thirty, have a quick breakfast, clean up and see to their toilet, then be airborne by seven-thirty or eight for a full day of flying. He was unsure about where they were headed, however: all Nadine—who was joining the overnight trip as an assistant—would tell them after Advanced Spells last night was to expect to fly “a lot.”

Annie had heard something different from both Penny and Alex that morning while they were in the girl’s bathroom getting ready. They said that when they did the overnight flight last year, they’d flown northwest into Canada, turned westward for about five hundred kilometers, then turned southeast and made their way back to the school. Alex said they flew about two thousand kilometers that day, returning home several hours after sunset.

Annie suspected tomorrow would see much the same for Kerry, if not more.

 

 

There you have it:  Kerry is flying off to do some camping, which means Annie’s off the leash and ready to dine with Coraline and Deanna.  You can bet no other students are doing that–but then, no other students in Advanced Flight One are leaving a soul mate behind.  And this is the first time she’ll be at school overnight without Kerry somewhere on the grounds, and the same for him not having Annie close by.

Where is Kerry gonna camp?  I’ll let you in on a little secret:

Right here.

Right here.

Specifically, right near that sandy, open area.  The tents will be in the woods, but the fires will be in that open area–just in case.  And just as stated, that’s on the shore of Matagamon Lake, with Mount Katahdin way in the background.  And if I know they are camping their, you know I have a map.

And it’s gonna get shown.

At Home With the Malibeys, Button Pushing

Before we get to the fun with our favorite Cardiff Kid, a side track into my life, and how crazy I can get at times.

Last night, after work, I went out for a nice, thirty minute drive, to see a wonderful lady who proceeded to shoot electricity into my face.  Yes, I started on electrolysis last night, and it was an experience, having your facial hairs shocked out of your body one at a time.  Actually, more like shocked until they are dead, and then plucked away.

I was in the chair for two hours, and there was pain.  I spent most of the time tense and clutching an armrest in one hand and a grounding bar in the other.  (Yeah, you gotta let that juice flow through you, baby.)  And when the two hours were over, most of the left side of my face and parts of my chin were swollen and numb, and stayed that way for a while–like, for the rest of the night–and I looked like I was attacked by bees.

I mean, it wasn't that bad . . .

I mean, it wasn’t that bad . . .

I’m going back for my next session next Monday after letting everything grow out for two days, which will make getting all the gray hairs easier.

So then the right side of my face will look like this.

So then the right side of my face will look like this.

There’s a lot of redness and just a bit of puffiness this morning, but as Cosima Niehaus once told one of her clone sisters, “Thank god for concealer.”  And it will be getting a workout today.

The personal horror show is over, let’s get back to the one starting up in my story.

Kerry is starting to get a bit of shit from him folks–and, yes, I did write after all the stuff I’ve shown you above.  Almost a thousand words of stuff, actually.  Kerry’s parents–well, his mother mostly, it seems–find it a little hard to believe their baby we-still-don’t-know-he’s-a-witch boy would have friends who are girls instead of hanging with the boys.  And that gets addressed.

 

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

Kerry slowly turned towards his mother, unsure if he’d heard her question. “What?”

“Do you have any friends at school who are boys?”

“Well, there’s a guy in the advanced class I’m taking who we hang with a little after class, and a couple of others we know in other classes, but—” He looked down at his fish and chips while clearing this throat. “Not really.”

His mother’s fingers lightly tapped against the table top. “Not really what?”

“I mean, I don’t really hang out with them.” He shrugged. “Not like, you know, close friends.”

His father decided to join the conversation. “So almost all your friends are girls?”

Kerry half-turned his head in his father’s direction. “Yeah, I guess.” He shrugged. “Is there anything wrong with that?”

Louise wrapped her hand around her glass of mineral water. “It might not be a bad idea if you had some male friends—” She looked across the table at her husband. “And not just this Girl Who Writes.”

Kerry heard the capital letters on each of the last three works, and he did his best to push any nasty comebacks aside. “I don’t know why it’s a big deal I don’t have any close friends who are guys—”

 

There’s that slam again, and this time, as I point out, Kerry’s hearing Mom capitalizing those words.  Again, wait for what happens there, and you’ll find out Mom is using some of Kerry’s geekness against him.

 

His mother shook her head. “You did when you were at school here.”

“No, I didn’t, Mom.” He scoffed loudly. “I didn’t have any friends here; everyone thought I was a strange American kid with a funny accent—remember? The only reason you think I had friends is ‘cause I told you the moment people found out you worked for the BBC, they wanted to know if I could get them tee shirts and stuff.” He pushed his half-eaten wrapper of food away. “Jeez.”

 

Kerry’s usually pretty calm and cool–when he’s not crying, yeah–but now he’s getting a bit flustered.  And kids from California have a funny accent?  Dude . . .

 

“I agree with your mother—” Davyn seemed to lean a little further forward, if that were possible. “Having some boys your age as friends—”

“Is boring.” Kerry couldn’t understand what the big deal was about his choice of friends. They were never like this when I was going to school here. “Besides, Salem is mostly girls anyway—it used to be an all-girls school, you know.” He turned from his father to his mother, and back. “Since it’s mostly girls, it makes sense that I’d make friends with them, right?”

“All the more reason I’d think you’d want to hang out with some boys.” He father sat back, chuckling. “There’s safety in numbers, isn’t there?”

 

Yeah, watch out, Kerry!  Those girls have cooties, and if you’re not careful, before you know it they’ll wanna do stuff like hold hands and kiss and sleep with you, and tell you all about how they’re going to marry you and . . .

Oops.  Too late.

Kerry starts asking his own questions, and . . .

 

“Only if you think the girls are out to get you.” Kerry decided to try and push the conversation back on his parent. “Didn’t you have any girls as friends, Dad?”

Davyn’s response was immediate. “No.”

Kerry needed a few seconds to comprehend his father’s answer. “You’re kidding.”

“He’s not.” Louise smiled at her husband. “Your father was quite popular with the women before we met.”

His father smiled back.  “The women I knew loved the accent.”

Kerry stared straight ahead through half-closed eyes. “I don’t want to know.” He turned back to his mother. “What about you, Mom? Didn’t you have any guys who you were just friends with?”

Unlike with his father, his mother didn’t answer for almost ten seconds. “Well, yes, there were a couple—”

Kerry raised his right hand as if he were celebrating a victory. “There you go—”

“They were gay.”

“Oh.” Kerry pursed his lips and blew out a raspberry. “I see.”

 

As I was told yesterday, the implications that his parents could be forming are (1) Kerry is a playa, or (2) Kerry is gay.  How do his parents get those ideas?  Well . . . they pretty much were that before they found each other and got married.  Makes you wonder if Louise figured she was getting the Bay Catch of the Day when she landed Davyn, because he’s got that Richard Burton accent thing going.  As Kerry says, I don’t want to know.

But, you know, moms being moms, she wants to know all about these . . . girls.  And now the uncomfort level is about to get cranked, and if you pay close attention, Kerry sort of gives away a little of the game in the process before–

 

His mother wanted to know more about Kerry’s choice of friends. “So, how do you know these girls?”

He looked up and nearly rolled his eyes. “Mom.”

“Mom, what? Don’t I have a right to know about your friends?”

Kerry wanted to tell her it was none of her business, but figured he would tell his parent as much of the truth as they wanted to know, then head for his room. “Nadine’s in the advanced class we’re in—”

“We’re?”

“Annie and I: we’re in an advanced class together, and Nadine’s there.”

“I see. Go on.”

He cleared his throat. “Nadine is also my keyboard tutor—”

“Wait?” Davyn cocked his head to one say. “A keyboard tutor?”

“Yeah. First day of school I found the school’s collection of keyboards, and the head of the Arts and Music Department, Professor Ellison, and I started talking. He found out I like a lot of old music, and asked me if I wanted to learn how to play better.” He nodded slowly, turning back to his mother. “He got Nadine to tutor me on different technologies and things like that, on top of learning to be a better player.”

For the first time during the conversation Louise seemed impressed. “I didn’t know that.”

Kerry shrugged. “All you had to do was ask about some of the stuff I do there.”

His mother didn’t care for the implication that she was uninterested in her son. “And Emma?”

“We’re in almost all the same classes, and she likes racing.” There’s a few other things that you don’t need to know about her, though . . . “Also, there aren’t a lot of Americans in our level, and she still sort of thinks of me as one.”

Davyn almost laughed. “Must be strange being an ex-pat in your own country.”

Kerry chuckled. “There’s so many kids from everywhere that you start thinking at times like we’re in our own little country.”

His mother snorted. “I can imagine—” She wasn’t interested in all the students at Kerry’s school—just one more in particular. “Now about The Girl Who Writes—”

Kerry had finally reached the point where he wasn’t about to take any more of his mother’s passive-aggressive attacks. “She’s not a Doctor Who episode, Mom. She has a name: it’s Annie. Okay?” It was only after he uttered the last word that he realized he had started breathing hard due to his anger.

 

–He starts to lose it on his mother.  You’re picking on the woman he loves, Louise–not that she knows that, or, as you will discover, she’d give much of a shit about.

Louise is referencing the Doctor Who episode The Girl Who Waited, which dealt with Amy being split into two parts, with one of them living alone through just over thirty years.  Given what his parents do at the BeeBee, it’s possible his father probably managed some of the sound effects processes for the episode, and his mother may have help on the visual effects.  Needless to say, the episode doesn’t end on a completely happy note, and Louise is likely jerking her son around a little, playing on his love of the show while at the same time kinda pointing out, without really knowing, that they both are waiting for this summer to end.  This was what Kerry meant when he said to Annie in London, “Better than The Girl Who Waits,” though Annie replied she does wait, and that eventually led to a tear running down her cheek . . .

Yeah:  Mother of the Year here.  I wonder what she’d say if she knew her son could blast her across the room?

Hey, how about a look at my novel so we end on a happy note?

Hey, how about a look at my novel so we end on a happy note?

Beneath the Big Blue Bubble

Out of the preparations and into the waiting . . . that’s how things go in my world.  Out in my fictional world, kids are flying around watching the walls, others are on the ground, waiting for a moment they hope doesn’t come when they are required to rush out into battle and vanquish the foes who have come once again to ravage their school.

Then there are those back at the Great Hall, sitting and waiting for something they hope never comes, or readying their forces to fix those who are in need of fixing.

Last night it felt like I was off in a dozen different directions, helping someone here, helping someone there, all the while sort of wallowing in my own concerns about what I need to do with my story and my life.  Writing is a bit like triage in that you look at what you’ve got before you that needs writing, and take that which will do the most good.  When I heard people say, “I have all these ideas coming at me constantly, how do I deal with them?” it’s been discussed before, Bunkie, that you need to learn to concentrate on the work at hand and write down your initial ideas somewhere else, but the simplest thing to say now it, triage:  you do triage on your head.  Write down the idea you want and move on.  Or get meds so you can stop getting distracted by the voices in your head.  But that’s another story.

Last night I started Chapter Twenty-One.  As I may have pointed out it was a bit slow going because I was also helping out others online–including a friend who was looking up an arrest record, and I helped them find what they sought.  Hey, just like The Foundation, I know how to make my way around The Pond ’cause my Google-fu is not pig dung.  I have my stations set up, I have my portals in place–no, a woman named Chell didn’t help set those up, but you will hear that name mentioned at some point–and now people are resting . . .

About those people.  I needed names.  Most I already had, because I’m crazy mad when it comes to getting things set up, but there were two people I needed to add.  And once added, I needed to look up where they lived and decide what coven they called home.  Once more I jump to the Scrivener Name Generator, and since I know just about where I want my two characters to live, I generate names somewhat based on those locals and throw it all into the notes.  About fifteen minutes later I’m ready to rock.

You can't tell the people who are there to help you without a scorecard, you know.

You can’t tell the people who are there to help you without a scorecard, you know.

I think this is one of the first times I’ve put “Nurse” Coraline down as the School Doctor.  Which she is, really, but she got so used to people calling her nurse when she was interning as a healer while a student she just hung onto the handle.  Not  to mention that her return to school came not long after she’d graduated . . .

The Waiting is the Hardest Parts, and it’s also time for talking.

I’ll see about getting to that tonight.

Where Has the Fun Gone?

It would seem the last couple of weeks have been among the most trying I’ve had in a very long time.  Let me explain:

The whole month of June–and the last week of May, I’ll admit–have been hard for me.  I’ve found a lot of repetition coming into play–get up, blog, go to work, be bored, come home, eat, chat, write, sleep–and very little else going on, save a movie or two when I’m back at The Real Home.  I did get my ears pierced–yes, I did!  And the last week I’ve been fighting an infection in the left one, which is really starting to drive me crazy, because I want it to stop!

I’ve still got his crazy thing in my chest as well.  I got sick at the start of May, and something has been lingering in my upper respiratory system since the middle of May, making it almost impossible to speak from time to time, and generally being a real pain in my ass, because I never know when I’m going to start coughing so hard that I’m going to feel like I’m blacking out.

Last night was the trifecta of screwed up.  I was stressed out from work, I was dealing with my draining ear, and my eyes were watering so badly there were times I couldn’t see the screen.  Even wiping them off seemed to do no good; they’ll just film right back up.

I should get into a doctor for all these things, but I’m working 150 miles from my doctors, and trying to find someone here . . . it’s making me a little batty, if you know what I mean.

There’s also this stress in my life.  Job is starting to get to me, ’cause I’m spending a lot of time trying to make a program work, and while I know how to do it, there’s just a lot of doubts about whether it will.  Don’t need that.  the personal life is nuts at the moment; there’s never anything going on here at The Undisclosed Location, and back at The Real Home, there doesn’t seem to be much beyond the routine I had before I started working.

Something else I realized, however, is starting to wear at me as well.  It’s The Waiting Game.

The Waiting Game is where you send out a manuscript to be picked over by a publishing house, all in the hope they will like it and decide to publish it in exchange for giving you cash–think of it as being like Aflac, only without a duck.  I’m playing The Waiting Game; I’m playing a double header, in fact, because I have two novels out.  One went out on the 25th of May, the other on the 10th of June.

Like it or not, the wait is stressing me out.

The one that went out a couple of weeks ago–sure, there’s at least a 90 day waiting period before they maybe even get around to look at your novel.  But the one that flew out the door in May, that one is starting to wear on my nerves.  I set it out, they wanted to see the whole manuscript, I sent it out a week later, and . . . nothing.  Yes, it’s only been 30 days since they got the whole shebang in their hands, but still–I’m waiting.

These writing classes I see advertised all the time, they talk about how to format your documents, and how to determine voice and tense, and all that stuff.  What they don’t tell you is how to deal with the feeling that your baby it out there on the streets, late at night, waiting for someone to pick it up, and you’re at home wondering when they hell you’re going to hear something.  And how to keep it from affecting everything you’re trying to do in the meantime.  Like write another story.

How do you keep it from driving you crazy?

I need some fun in my life, and in a big way.  Right now my characters are enjoying themselves more than me, and I’m going to make them miserable.

Who wants to have fun?