Meditations Before the Curtain

After all the stuff with walking around town yesterday, there really wasn’t much else to do for the rest of the day.  I went out to get groceries and didn’t return until after two in the afternoon, I sat down to watch Doctor Zhivago not long after that and missed about thirty minutes at the start because I feel asleep, but that was mostly due to starting to cry about thirty seconds into the credit roll at the beginning of the movie.  I actually cried throughout most of that film–I usually do–and even when I thought I was done crying, I found a few more tears to shed.

I wonder if Kerry’s seen Doctor Zhivago?  I’m sure he has, because that’s the sort of movie he’d watch.  That and Aliens.  Maybe back-to-back.  I’m guessing Annie’s never seen either of those films, and the first time they watch them together will be an interesting one.  Maybe Annie will cry when Lara goes away forever.  We’ll see.

But now we have a scene that’s not about the kids–not really.  The focus is shifting, and we’re out of the Great Hall now . . .

This is going to be an unusual scene, because I’m taking the story to a place it’s never been before.  The good thing is I spent a lot of the last couple of days thinking about how to put this scene together, and even coming up with a few little refinements here and there.  That’s how I do it in my mind:  now if I can only get it out on paper.

Here we go then, all four hundred words to start the new scene.  Let’s see if you know where it’s going . . .

 

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

After leaving the hospital Deanna didn’t return to the Instructor’s Residence, but went instead to her office in Åsgårdsreia Tower. She wanted to think, to consider what they knew happened tonight, and while she could have done this just as easily in her room in the Residence, she felt just as comfortable sitting here with the door locked, the lights low, and a few pillow thrown on to the floor to comfort her while sitting.

There was a huge hole in Annie’s story, and while Coraline was right about not confronting her this evening, Deanna couldn’t let go of the feeling of wrongness the story left. She wasn’t only the school seer, but she was, as she like to say, the Interpreter of Dreams, and her interpretation of this dream situation was defined by Coraline earlier in the evening—though Deanna could never face Annie and express her feelings using those words.

There was something she knew of, however, that could tie into the reasons behind Annie’s panicked walking and running to Kerry. She’d never investigated that reason because doing so would involve a slight amount of danger—

She didn’t feel it was something she could put off any longer.

Deanna’s office was a good place to perform the magic required to allow her to begin gathering her own facts. There wasn’t any possibility of interruption, and she was closer to her eventual destination than if she were crafting this spell in her room in the Residence. She rose from her lotus position and kicked the pillows off to the side before facing the south wall of her office. Deanna didn’t require a flat surface: just the energy, vision, and willpower to properly craft her art.

A moment of concentration brought the image of the effect into her mind’s eye, and she pulled the energy together in a matter of seconds, for this was a spell she’d crafted a few times in the past. Raising her arms to her side, Deanna reached out with her willpower and pushed it into the fabric of the physical realm—

The air before Deanna fractured and was pushed to either side of her body, leaving a glowing, door-like opening two steps away. She spent another twenty seconds crafting another spell, then a few seconds more staring into the opening before her.

Deanna stepped through the Curtain and quickly sealed the astral doorway behind her.

 

Astral Doorway.  That’s where we’re going next.  You’re heard about it, and it’s been teased, but now I’m off to see what the Astral Plain looks like.

The place may even look like this.  Or an Arby's.  Hard to say.  In And Out Burger, perhaps?

The place may even look like this. Or an Arby’s. Hard to say. In And Out Burger, perhaps?

It’s time to take a walk–and see what we can see.

On the Matter of Difference

A day after I put up a post where I sorta say, “I don’t write as much as I used to,” I come home last night and burn down the barn, more or less.  First off, I write up another Humans recap, and that’s like twelve hundred words in the can by the time I finish, and then I get into the current scene and I’m thinking, “You know, I’ll just do as much of this as I can,” and . . . well, you’ll see.

This last scene of Act One was all about feelings.  Not those of love, but of what went down on Thursday in the book.  And they’re not at the school; no, they are somewhere else . . .

 

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

Though the weather in the city of Salem was windy and gray, whenever the opportunity for a field trip came up, few students ever passed because things were less than perfect. Given that this was the first official B Level outing, every student from that level permitted off school grounds gathered in the ground floor jaunt station and teleported in three groups of eight—plus two instructors—to the station located under the Museum Place parking structure on Church Street.

Annie and Kerry were in the last group, teleporting with the last of the Åsgårdsreia and Blodeuwedd B Levels. The moment they arrived at the destination the other six students headed up the stairs to the parking structures as quickly as possible, leaving them behind with the chaperons, Professors Bashagwani and Ellison. They said nothing as they walked hand-in-hand up the stairs, entering the parking area alone and made their way to the street. They had no particular place they wanted to go, but had decided to head for the Essex Street Mall before deciding on where to have lunch.

 

Writing this stuff was easy–or at least knowing where the kids were walking was.  Remember the image from yesterday?  Well . . .

Cheating.  I know, I'm cheating.

Cheating. I know, I’m cheating.

This is what it looked like when I was writing.  Also, notice on the right hand said, the “walked hand-in-hand” part.  I note that the first “hand” is word eighty thousand.  Yes, I know these things, and I do keep track.  I’m strange that way, but it’s the way I like it.  Being “different,” you might say.

Which is what Annie remembers from the other day.  And Kerry hasn’t spoken about what happened, and now is the perfect time to make with the discussion:

 

Annie nodded once and sighed. “Is everything good, my love?”

Kerry lightly touched the back of Annie’s hand, his fingers gliding over her cool skin. “Everything’s lovely, Sweetie.”

“I was wondering, because . . .” She waited to see if Kerry would finish her statement for her.

He kept heading down Essex Street, never hesitating. “Because you wanted to know because of what happened in Sorcery class?”

“Yes.”

Kerry cast a glance towards the Red Line Cafe, then turned back to the conversation. “I’m good with what happened. It’s over; it’s done.” He chuckled as he set his head against Annie’s. “We came out okay.”

For an instance Annie’s memories slipped back to a year ago, when Kerry was in the hospital with a torn-up knee due to a racing accident, and they had a short, late night conversation about how she felt about him, and some insight into their relationships with their families. It was this conversation that led Kerry to eventually tell her that he loved her, and worked towards breaking down the déjà vu that surrounded the mental block keeping him from his memories of their dreams together.

He was so different then. Annie turned him off of Essex Street and down Derby Square towards the old town hall. He was the way he was when we first met: so introverted and emotional. He’s matured: partially due to remembering our past, but partially because he’s matured some. He’s grown into being Aware; he’s grown into being a sorceress. She still had concerns; it wasn’t like Kerry to say nothing. “The things that were said, though—they hurt.”

 

Annie rarely speaks about how she feels, save for a counselor or two.  She’s shed a tear for Kerry, and much later, in Act Three, she’ll say something to Nurse Coraline that sums up how this relationship is developing.  Needless to say, in the year that’s pasted since the “Worthy of Love” talk in the hospital the night of Kerry’s first wreck, a change has come over both.  Annie sees it, and it’s for damn sure Kerry has, too.

 

They walked close to the trees, the buildings around them blocking the brisk wind from the west. “Yeah, they did.” He squeezed her hand. “Did it hurt you?”

Annie glanced down for a few seconds. “Some. I’ve never had people tell me that didn’t want me around.”

Kerry placed his hands around Annie’s shoulders and held her close. “I’m sorry that happened to you; it was wrong that it happened.” Kerry slowed as they walked around the old town hall, slowing to avoid the few sightseers in the square. “It’s not something you’ve heard. You’ve been around people—witches—all your life who’ve supported and encouraged you.” He chuckled and spoke in hushed tones. “Even when you were doing those spells.”

“Yes.” She half-giggled. “I never heard things like that from my family. From other witches.”

“And that was the first time your own kind pointed out you were different.”

“They’re your kind, too, you know.”

“Yeah—” They stopped in front of the town hall and looked it over, acting like another couple out on a walk. “I most used to hearing that sort of thing, though.” He continued, not waiting for her question. “Ever since I was five or six I’ve had my parents telling me I was ‘strange’ or ‘different’ because whatever I was doing, it was something they couldn’t understand.”

He slowly turned them away from the town hall and directed them out of the square and towards Front Street. “I used to hear it at school, too: not so much in California, but a lot when I started school in Cardiff. I was the weird kid from the States who no one ‘got’.”

He stopped when they reached Washington Street, but instead of walking on he turned to Annie, holding her hands. “That stuff that happened the other day, it’s not Aware stuff or Normal stuff: it’s just, you know, tween-teen . . . bullshit.”

 

I think what you’re trying to say is “Drama!”  And Kerry has seen and felt it, and doesn’t like it when the Drama Llama comes out to play.  So he just tells her how he sees it–

 

Annie laughed. “I love how you put things.”

“I have a way with words.” They turned and headed slowly south along Washington Street. “We are different. We’re in the advanced classes, we’re teaching what we’ve learned to each other, and we’re moving ahead of everyone else in sorcery.”

Annie held his hand tightly. “You know Helena tested us with that class.”

“Yeah.” He playfully swung their arms as they walked. “I figured that out by the time we were down in the Black Vault. She wanted to see what we would do—”

“And what the others would do, too.” Annie examined the restaurants they passed as they walked south. “Lisa, Franky, and the others made trouble for themselves: it wasn’t our fault.”

“No, it wasn’t. We didn’t get them detention—”

“Or petrified.”

Kerry grimaced when he thought about the punishment Helena handed down to Lisa and Franky. Instead of turning them over to Jessica so they could be transformed into something others could use, Helena petrified them and left them in one of the lower level rooms. “I didn’t like being frozen for twenty minutes: I can’t imagine staying that way for the weekend.”

“I didn’t like being that way, either.” They waited for the light to change so they could cross New Derby Street. “Helena told me she was going to use our mixtures to un-petrify them, and let them know it was ours.”

“Jeez.” He shook his head as they quickly crossed the street. “Nothing like rubbing it in.”

 

So now you know:  if Coraline gives you detention, you clean the morgue in the middle of the night; Jessica will probably turn you into furniture; and Helena?  Screw it, she’ll petrify you and leave you for the weekend in the lower levels of the Witch House.  Does the punishment fit the crime?  Who the hell cares!  You can argue with Helena and listen to her laugh when you say you’ll write “I’m a bad witch” five hundred times with a quill, ’cause she’s having none of it.  And just imagine the sort of punishments she got when she was a kid–we all ready know her grandmother magically beat the shit out of her because she blew up some chickens.  And we know she doesn’t like bullies, so . . .

And the kids just blow that off and move on, with Kerry laying out this nugget of wisdom–

 

“They deserve that.” She pulled Kerry to a stop. “Your parents still tell you you’re different, don’t they?”

He nodded. “Sometimes. It’s—” Kerry shrugged. “I learned something a long time ago—”

“What’s that?”

“When someone tells you you’re different, that they don’t understand you, what they’re really saying it they want you to act the way they think you should act. You can do two things, then: either change and be what they want you to be—or ignore them and continue being yourself.”

She looked into Kerry’s eyes, a slow grin forcing its way out. “You’re always yourself.”

“I do my best.” He nodded towards the corner they were approaching. “I think the harbor is down that street—”

Hey, Annie; Kerry.”

 

Hey, who’s calling them now?

 

They both came to a stop and turned in the direction of the calling voice. Alex stood outside a Starbucks waving them in her direction. They crossed the parking lot to meet their covenmate. “Alex—” Annie directed a warm smile in the Ukrainian girl’s direction. “How are you? What are you doing?”

“We’re inside—” Alex nodded back over her shoulder. “Penny, Jario, and I. We came out ahead of the B Levels.” She glanced at one of the windows for a moment. “We’re just hanging out, is all. You wanna join us?”

Kerry didn’t want to answer for Annie, but he was interested. “If you don’t mind. I wouldn’t want you to feel like the odd girl out.”

“Oh, that. Well . . .” Alex’s face turned red as she looked down. “My boyfriend’s here, too.”

Annie grinned back. “Is that the one from Blodeuwedd?”

“Yeah.” She looked through the window again. “You know about Penny and Jario, too, don’t you?”

Kerry nodded. “Yeah. Jario told me about it a couple of weeks back when we were in the bathroom.”

“I knew about it as well.” After that first night spent hanging out on the second floor, Annie suspected that their was more than simply class friendship between Jario and Penny. “So three couples.”

“If you want.” Alex glanced from one to the other. “What do you say?”

 

For the first time we find out there is romance a-brew on the second floor of Cernunnos Coven.  Peen and Jario are a thing, and Alex is seeing an Owl.  Hormones:  Kids Haz Them.  And now Annie and Kerry can actually hang out with people who are couples and who aren’t gonna snicker at them and mumble “Lovey Dovey” when they aren’t looking.

In short, they can feel like they belong.  And it turns out they do . . .

 

Annie knew Kerry was interested, and he was waiting for her approval. “We’d love to join you.” She turned to Kerry as she spoke to Alex. “Could you give us a minute?”

“Sure.” Alex backed towards the door. “We’ll get a couple of chairs set up.” She turned and vanished back inside.

Annie faced Kerry and crossed her arms. “Do you know what I’m thinking?”

Kerry relaxed as he face his soul mate. “Tell me.”

“I’m thinking we can sit and chat for a while, and have a few snacks, then walk down by the harbor when we’re done. And then . . .” She move until they were almost pressing into each other. “About fifteen we can find a nice place to have a early dinner: someplace nice where we can sit and talk and relax.”

“And not worry about being different.”

“Not in the least.”

“Sounds like a plan.” He placed his arms behind Annie and pulled her against him, kissing her lovingly for several seconds, blocking out the memories of the last week, keeping only Annie in his mind. He pulled away and quickly kissed her cheek before speaking. “So, can I buy you a Frappuccino, Sweetie?”

Annie wrapped her arms around he soul mate and buried herself against him, feeling his love in every breath. “Any time, my love. Any time.”

End of Act One

 

And there it is:  “End of Act One.”  I started writing and decided I couldn’t stop, and somewhere around eleven PM I put a stop to the story.

So it kind of looked like this.

So it kind of looked like this.

Saved it, then got Act Two ready–

I love that new act smell, don't you?

I love that new act smell, don’t you?

Right off the bat we’re getting into the Samhain Celebrations, which means racing, dancing, and costumes.  Though I likely won’t start writing tonight:  I’m going out to do a little private celebrating, then I need to set up a few things before I can start in on the next chapter.  I’ve said that one before, however, so take the “I won’t write” line with a large block of salt.

The important thing is, the act is over, and instead of Kerry wondering what lay ahead after having the best week of his life with the girl of his soon-to-remember dreams, we end with kissing and hugging and the understanding that you are different, so just be that way–oh, and Frappuccinos, too.  Don’t forget the Frappuccinos.

You'll notice I didn't.

You’ll notice I didn’t.

The Past Through a Present Gate: The Long Walks

I was busy last night, believe me.  Busy trying to write; busy trying to stay focused; busy playing with new toys.  In the end I accomplished all three, but it was a struggle.

First, the toys:  since the new version of Google Maps has come out, I’ve been playing with devising routes to use within the story.  Last night part of  that evening was taken up checking on a route that is described in the third paragraph in the excerpt.  It’s not am exact took yet–there are some interesting choices that it picks when you’re walking, and they haven’t worked out how to layer the map yet so you can plan a route using planes, trains, and automobiles–but it’s still a lot of fun with play with and a time-consuming black hole that keeps you from writing.

Then again, the whole of this chapter sort of starts out like this . . .

First we leave the hotel and head through the park through the gate.

First we leave the hotel and head through the park through the gate.

Then, later in this excerpt, Annie will ask about something way off in the distance, and wants to know if they’re going there.

I've got that added to this trip as well--

I’ve got that added to this trip as well–

Then from there, if they decide they don’t want to hail a cab–

They can make the trip home from there.

They can make the trip home from there.

They’ll be plenty tired, but it’s not like anyone is going to wake them up in the morning.  After all, they are on their own for the most part–as are the other students attending this party.  And their first day back, they want to bask in that loving glow of being together.

With that said . . .

 

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

The sun had set an hour before and the sky was well approaching nautical twilight when Annie and Kerry strolled through Pariser Platz towards the eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate. The lights were coming on, illuminating the gate so that it could be seen clearly from the western end of the Tiergarten, at couple of kilometers away. The weather had been cool all day, around fifteen Celsius all day long, but the sky had remained mostly clear without a threat of rain, which made for an enjoyable day.

The day had went as expect. They’d spent the morning in the hotel cafe enjoying snacks and soft drinks while they worked out how they wanted to spend the next few days. They greeted Professor Semplen and Professor Grünbach, who were chaperoning the returning B Levels—as well as a few C and D Level students—back to school. They had lunch and talked and laughed before going up to the room to clean up before heading out.

They took the underground into the city. They visited Checkpoint Charlie, then walked a couple of blocks west to one of the surviving sections of the Berlin Wall. They walked north to Potsdamer Platz and spent about ten minutes there looking around before walking a few blocks over to the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. They hailed a cab and took it north to the Reichstag Building and hung out in the Platz der Republik for a while before heading over to the Spreebogenpark and a quiet, slow walk along the banks of the Spree River.

 

Just this part alone kept me, um, “busy” for about an hour.  It’s amazing how caught up you can get in something like this–

Just like I am right now--see?

Just like I am right now–see?

There’s the walk, laid out for all to see.  For a little trivia, Friedrichstraße 46 is the actual location of Checkpoint Charlie, one of the controlled passages between then West and East Berlin.  And the stop at Niederkirchnerstraße 1 is where one of the remaining stretches of the Berlin Wall exists today.  That spot is also the former location of the Gestapo and SS headquarters, upon which now sits a museum.

And after this walk ended . . .

 

Then it was another cab back to the hotel for a nap and early dinner before heading out into the coming evening for a walk through the Tiergarten to take the long way around so they could walk through the Brandenburg Gate.

Though there was a crowd mulling around the historic landmark, Kerry didn’t feel like he was stuck in the middle of huge throng of people. He felt calm and relaxed, if only a little tired from all the walking. Even with all the walking he felt he’d gotten enough rest to keep from burning out and growing stiff, though he wondered if he’d been throwing out a little transformation magic here and there to off-set the fatigue he should be feeling at this moment.

Annie doesn’t seem that tired either. Kerry gave her hand a squeeze, making her glance at him and smile. Then again, she does a lot more walking back and forth between her houses than I do at my place. None of this really concerned him at the moment: he had other things on his mind.

As they cleared the gate and walked out onto the western plaza, Annie pointed westward down Straße des 17. Juni towards the Berlin Victory Column in the distance. “Are we heading down there?”

“I’d like to, but first—” He pointed towards a large lamp post off to their left. “Let’s go over there for a moment.”

Annie nodded and walked alongside her soul mate. She was aware of his moods, and he knew there was something on Kerry’s mind. When they’d been out walking this afternoon he’d kept conversation to a minimum, as he usually did when they were out sightseeing—much like he’d done when they’d toured London last year. Annie didn’t have to remember that Kerry had been a completely different person then, but it wasn’t hard to tell he was acting different this evening.

 

Kerry with something on his mind?  Perish the thought!  He does have something on his mind, and we’re gonna find out what right now–

 

They rested under the light post, which was on and growing brighter in the gathering night. He leaned back against the post before wrapping his arms around Annie. He pressed his lips softly against hers and drew out a long kiss from his soul mate. He’d already kissed Annie a dozen times since meeting her upon his arrival in Berlin, but right now this was the best kiss he’d received today. Perhaps the best of the night—no, the best of the night was yet to come . . .

He rested his forehead against Annie’s. “You know how great you make me feel, just being here with me?”

“Maybe a good as I feel with you?” She hung her hands over his shoulders and signed. “If only every day could be like this—”

“We’d get tired walking around all day.” They both chuckled as he straightened. “Tomorrow is gonna be fun—”

“And there won’t be as much walking.”

“No, there won’t.” He took a moment to shrugged off his backpack. “But before we do anything else—”

He unzipped one compartment of his backpack and reached inside: a moment later he extracted a small but long black jewelry box. “Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.”

 

Kerry has changed a lot in the last year, just as Annie thought.  He isn’t the same kid that walked through Founder’s Gate at school, and it’s rather telling that he’s walking through another gate a completely different person.

Right now they're standing by that big light pole on the left.  If you squint hard, you can imagine two twelve year old kids standing there.

Right now they’re standing by that big light pole on the right. If you squint hard, you can imagine two twelve year old kids standing there.

Annie is, needless to say, touched right to her soul.  And what is the gift?  Let’s see:

 

Annie was almost at a lost for words. “You remembered.”

“The day we first met face-to-face at Bount Books?” He shook his head. “Not a chance.” He turned the box around for her. “Go ahead: open it.”

She opened the jewelry box and removed the gift, holding it up so they could both see. “A charm bracelet—”

“Yeah.” Kerry snapped the box closed and returned it to his backpack while Annie examined the bracelet. “Let me have that—” He took it from her and stretched it out. “Give me your left hand.”

Annie held out her hand and let Kerry fasten the bracelet around her wrist. Only then did she give it a close examination . . .

The strand holding each of the charms was silver, and of high quality from what Annie saw. The charm holders were small, hollowed-out silver spheres that fit over the strand, of which there were about a dozen. At the moment only two charms were present: a small circle with an “A” pressed against a light green background, and two entwined hearts with “A” and “K” pressed into them, side-by-side. “It’s beautiful.”

“Thank you.” Kerry stared at his feet while the blush crept into his cheeks. “I hoped you would like it.”

“I love it.” Annie wrapped her arms around his shoulders and neck and kissed him. “I’ve never owned a charm bracelet before, and now I have one to match my locket. Thank you, my love.”

“You’re welcome.”

She held up her wrist for Kerry to see. “I know the meaning of the hearts, but what of the A?”

“Well, it was my understanding that your charms are supposed to mean something.” Kerry pointed at the single letter. “I thought it might be nice to have something showing every level of school we’ve finished. So . . . A.”

“I see.” Annie hung on Kerry, smiling. “You said ‘we’.”

“I did, didn’t I?”

“You did.”

“That’s because we’re in this together.” He pulled out his mobile.” Let me get pictures of you in front of the gate.”

 

This whole last section I wrote this morning, starting about five-ten and finishing up about ten minutes later.  It actually started out as a gold locket, but then it wouldn’t match Annie’s silver locket if that was the case, right?  And I want them to match because it’s important.  After all, Kerry would pick up on a little detail like that.

A little over eleven hundred words for this scene, and the novel just cruised over twenty-two thousand words.  A pretty good output for almost three weeks of writing.  And I realize, once I’ve finished this scene, it’s not just Chapter Three that’s complete, it’s Part One of Act One.  I hope that by tomorrow evening I can start on Part Two and get my kids back to school–starting with a great idea for their flight home.  I should get to that soon–

Not much more to go for this chapter--but I've said that before.

Because here’s not much more to go here–but haven’t I’ve said that before?

Anatomy of a Rebuild

With the new scene out of the way, the time had come to start tearing up an old scene:  lunch at the Pret á Manger outside the Russel Square tube station in London at 13:17, or 1:17 PM for you not on Universal Time.  Since I know some people will ask, “How do you know there’s a Pret á Manger outside the Russel Square tube station?” because just like Johnny Cash, I’ve been everywhere, man:

Resturaunt on the left, tube station on the right.  You're welcome.

Restaurant on the left, tube station on the right. You’re welcome.

Now, getting in and tearing things up isn’t always pretty.  I could have just copied the scene off and put it aside with, “Don’t Touch Until Ready to Delete,” but I didn’t want to do that because it just gets in the way eventually.  The easiest thing to do here is use the Scrivener ability to take a snapshot of your document.  The snapshot is nothing more than a saved copy of your scene/chapter/whatever at the time it was taken.  The nice thing about the snapshot function is that you can take as many as you like, and “roll them back” into the original any time you like.  Or delete them if you think they serve no other purpose in your writing life.

It doesn't really have the same impact without Ringo singing in the background.

It doesn’t really have the same impact without Ringo singing in the background.

I knew where my kids were going this time, but I now needed to make some notes concerning stations and the such.  Because I’m nutty like that, you know?  For this scene I’d already went into the Document References and attached a link to the map of the London Underground that I’d imported into Scrivener, so I split the screen and pulled it up so I could make sure I get some of the stations right–which came in handy later, because you’ll see why.

This is how you get around with a map--and a bit of imagination.

This is how you get around with a map–and a bit of imagination.

Now that I knew my stations more or less, I brought up the document notes–and the London Journey Planer website that I’d also embedded in a note card in Scrivener, and started looking at the route I’d taken.  There were a few points on the trip where I wanted the kids to walk, so I plugged in a few stations, knowing that walking is something they do in London, and the website keeps track of that.

Yes

Yes, you can walk this route in ten minutes if you’re healthy–and training for the next Olympics.

You can see my notes on the right as to where the kids are going, what stations they’re arriving at/leaving from, and in this shot I’m figuring out if they can walk from the London Eye to Big Ben tower–and since Westminster Station is right across the street from there, and this Journey Results tell me I can probably walk it in ten minutes if I push it, then, yes:  it’s very doable for a couple of eleven year old kids.

One of the things I left off of here, and didn’t realize it until I was writing, was the place that Kerry hinted at going.  So I popped up Google Maps, got the location, then looked for nearby tube stations that would take them to Russel Square.  Found it–probably because I’d actually almost used it before–and added that note in as well, saying they’d summoned a cab–or a dragon, hard to say which–and taken it to the place Kerry wanted to see.

Lastly it was time to skim and see where new stuff needed to get added, and old stuff that didn’t make sense needed to come out.  One of those things that came out was a few comments about Collin and Alicia and why they weren’t invited, but since Annie had made those comments in the prior scene they didn’t need to be here as well.

I made a few comment markers in the story and highlighted them so I’d know where I should put my new stuff and where I might need to edit the old.

Just like some of us used to do in school--when we did that study thing.

Just like some of us used to do in school–when we did that study thing.

With all that out of the way–about an hour’s work or so, not counting getting the maps and stuff a few days ago–it was time to write.  And in that empty space between the two orange comments, I wrote.  I had Annie taking Kerry around London; nothing major, just out to London Bridge, then down the Thames to the London Eye, then over the river to Big Ben and St. John’s Park and a look at Buckingham Palace . . . a nice little walking tour where kids could talk and take pictures–and at a couple of points in the narrative, Annie managed to get a little touchy-feely with her newest traveling companion.  That girl–whatever is on her mind?

When I finished I’d had my best night in a while.  The count said 1,063, but that didn’t take into consideration the one hundred and thirteen words I’d cut before I started, so the final count was far closer to twelve hundred words.  And that’s just the start.

There’s more to come tonight.  Much more . . .