How Dark Was My Witch House

Mondays, and the living is easy.  Sort of.  Anyway you look at it we’re beginning a new week and we gotta get on the ground running.

The writing for yesterday went up over a thousand after the spurt I did last night.  I won’t say I’m back on track to do a thousand a night, but I’m learning to deal with distractions better and now that I have Dragon trained to do as I like it’s getting easier to write.  At least if I’m not fuzzy in the head, ’cause I still gotta talk out the whole story and when there’s nothing but cobwebs in the brain it’s not always easy.

I’m getting better, though.  And this week I only go out once after work.  So I got that going for me.

Now let us go to a Tuesday night in the middle of September.  It’s a few weeks into school and our C Levels are off doing things without each other.  The scene I’m working on now has Kerry in Advanced Transformation Magic, while this scene has Annie doing what she does when she’s not auditing Advanced Transformation Magic:  she’s hangin’ with Helena out at the scariest house on the grounds…

 

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

 

Despite the amount of time Annie spent in the Witch House, there was so much of it she’d never visited. Over the last two years they spent the majority of class time into rooms on the ground floor—the same as they were doing this year—and, of course, there was the work she did in the Black Vault and the two training rooms next to it.

There were also Helena’s two offices, the public one on the ground floor and secure one in the lower-level, but she didn’t view those in the same way she viewed the places where she attended class or studied. Any time spent in Helena’s offices usually revolve around Guardian business these days, and even during her A Levels the few times Kerry and she needed to speak with her in her office, it seemed to always be related to the Guardians.

Until now, however, Annie had never been up the stairs to the first floor. The first floor of the Witch House was a complete mystery: there was actually a blackout shield half way up the steps that prevented anyone from going further and effectively sealed off the floor completely. If anyone asked Helena about the first floor–something that happened a few times during their first year–she would simply stared the student for a few seconds before telling them in a dark, serious voice, that there were things students were not meant to know…

Tonight, however, things were different. Annie was about to discover things that other students were not meant to know—

Helena left a message telling her to report to the first floor of the Witch House.

 

Now, we’ve been out to the Witch House quite a few times, but we’ve never really been there.  Sort of like Memory’s End before Annie was taken up into the relaxation rooms on the first floor, right?  It’s a simple fact that nearly every building in the school is a lot bigger than they need to be, mostly due to expectations that by the 21st Century there’s be a lot more witches to school that reality has allowed.

Now, pay close attention, kids, ’cause within the next block of paragraphs the author needed to scramble her butt off–

 

As was normal after dinner, the Witch House was silent and mostly dark. It wasn’t simply due to the sun having set just before nineteen hour: the building was always dark. Annie suspected that there were a number of enchantments in place designed to make the building appears spooky as possible both inside and out, though given her level of magical sensitivity these days she assumed she would begin feeling the placement of those enchantments, but she didn’t. Then again, she never felt the effects of enchantments anywhere within The Pentagram, and she knew the coven towers and the Great Hall were filled with active enchantments, so she suspected this meant that with a greater ability to craft, one could produce enchantments that were nearly undetectable.

She figured that was the reason why no one could see the first floor of the Witch House, at least from the outside. For all of her A Levels Annie never question the fact that whenever she’d head into the lower levels that staircase was directly below one heading upwards, and yet there was never any appearance of a first floor when one stood outside the building. Yet, from the start of their B Levels and until today, Kerry and she could always sense the hidden first floor as they approach the Witch House and she suspected it had something to do with them spending the night in the Sea Sprite Inn, which also had a floor hidden from the Normal world.

They still couldn’t see this floor, but Annie surmised that being exposed to a hidden floor somehow triggered an awareness that allowed him to sense when one was present. It would also explain why none of the other sorcery students seem to mention anything about the “hidden floor” except in reference to the staircase: their awareness of the floor was nonexistent.

The last thing that disturbed Annie was not knowing how she would gain access to the first floor. She realized that Helena was inviting her up and her access was guaranteed, but Annie also understood that Helena wouldn’t leave the way to the first floor completely open as that would then allow any student who happened to wander into the Witch House at this time unfettered access. And if there was one thing Helena didn’t want, it was students wandering around the Witch House looking to get into things. As Annie understood it, it wasn’t that Helena was worried they would cause trouble, but more that she was worried they would stumble across something that could kill them.

 

Okay, facts on the table:  two of those paragraphs did not exist before six AM this morning.  Which ones?  The ones in the middle.  And here’s why:

As you know–or should know since I’ve spoken of it a few times–I modeled out the school and the buildings on the grounds so when I wrote about this place, I’d know how big buildings were, where they were located, and how far one was from the other.  This means I have a model of the Witch House that I can look at and get the layout and determine where classes are and how far down the lower levels are and the tunnels that enter there, as well as knowing how many floors there are above ground–

And where I run into a problem.

And where I run into a problem.

Looking at my model of the Witch House I realize the ground floor is nine feet and a few inches high–in other words, there’s but one floor and another which is really an attic.  So if Annie is being summoned to the first floor–

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and suit

Exactly, Doctor.

As a writer you have to come up with ways of fixing these things–usually called “mistakes” but in this case it’s a bit of a plot hole–and it came to me as I started reading this over and looking at the picture: I’ve already dealt with this issue when I had the kids stay on the “Foundation floor” at the Sea Sprite Inn.  And doing that seems to have made them aware–no pun intended–of a similar floor at the Witch House.

Now that we’ve established there is a first floor and Annie knows it’s there–

What happens next?

Fifteen Hundred

On 30 January, 2014, I ended the post for that day with this quote:

 

“Times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good, as long as you keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.”

The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

 

The occasion of that quote was my 1000th blog post, creativity titled Millennium.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do from that point–

What?  Are you playin’ here, Cassie?  You had a lot going on.

Given that I'm now writing this post in the exact same spot I wrote that post, you can get coffee was one of those things.

Given that I’m now writing this post in the exact same spot I wrote that post, you can bet coffee was one of those things.

Well, two things for sure.

First off, I was nearly three months into writing a novel, which most of you know as The Foundation Chronicles, Book One:  A For Advanced, a legendary scree that some of you have actually seen in its entirety.  It started out as something I was going to write for NaNoWriMo 2013.  Believe it or not, at the time I started that book, I thought, at best, it might run one hundred and fifty thousand words.  You, in the back–stop snickering.  I really did believe that.  But about the time I was writing that post back in January, 2014, there was something digging around in the back of my head that said, “Uh, huh, Cassidy, you ain’t gonna finish this novel that soon.  Better bet on that happen sometime in the summer . . .”

Um, yeah:  about that.

Nope, it wasn’t going to be in the Summer of 14, either.  I’d finally finish that novel in March of 2015, four hundred and seventy-four days after I’d started writing.  That’s almost five hundred days, and that’s a good chunk of anyone’s life.

Strangely enough, if you haven’t guessed from the title of today’s post, five hundred days have passed since that day in January, and this is my 1,500th post.  Which is a lot of stuff to write and things to say, let me tell you.  If I go by my average of five hundred words a day–which is what I always aim to do–that means since I began this blog around four years ago, I’ve posted seven hundred and fifty thousand words.  750,000:  three-quarter of a million words.  That’s like the first two novels of the A Song of Ice and Fire series with half of the third thrown in for luck, and I’m still going.

(For the record, here are the word counts on those novels.  A Game of Thrones: 298,000; A Clash of Kings: 326,000; A Storm of Swords: 424,000.  Add it up and it’s 1,048,000 words, so just like I said in the last paragraph.  Nice to know A For Advanced is about the same size as A Storm of Swords.)

That novel is sitting around waiting for something to happen–trust me, I’m getting nudges from people about what I should do–and in the meantime I’m working on the next one, B For Bewitching, and after the almost six hundred words I wrote last night, I’m fifty-three thousand words into that and about to have something heavy go down . . .

 

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

She pointed at the two students whose hands were still raised. “Annie; Kerry—” She motioned them forward with a few flicks of her fingers. “Get up here–now.”

Both students approached the the Head Sorceress appearing somewhat uneasy about what was happening next. Helena smiled in their direction, and both returned the smile. She leaned in close as whispers so only they could hear. “Don’t worry; you’ll like this—” She straightened and pointed to opposite ends of the room. “Annie, I want you over here: Kerry, you over there.”

She waited until Kerry and Annie were about four meters apart before she addressed them. “Okay, here’s what I want.” She turned to the girl on her right. “Annie, I want you to used shadow ribbons to restrain Kerry so that he’s unable to use his hands. I don’t care how you tie him up—I simply want it done. You got that?”

Annie nodded as a smile crept on to the right side of her mouth. “Yes, Professor.”

Helena flipped her right finger at something near the door and the lighting dimmed slightly where they were standing. “You’ve got something to work with now. Oh, and . . .” She gave Annie a knowing look. “Don’t sever anything; I don’t want to have to take Kerry to the hospital to get things reattached.”

It was all Annie could do to smirking as she knew too well the incident to which the Head Sorceress was referring. “I’ll be good, Professor.”

“I’m sure you will.” Helena turned to Kerry. “Just stand there and let your better half do her thing, okay?”

He nodded once. “No problem, Professor.”

She stepped back and moved out of the way. “Go ahead, Annie.”

Annie didn’t bother acknowledging Helena but instead walked over to one of the lightly shadowed areas. What there was before her wasn’t much darker than what was in the Link Bridge in Kansas City, but she managed shadow ribbons there fine—and here she didn’t have to deal a broken arm and a head wound while working under a time constraint . . .

She raised her hands and reached out as if she were about to take hold of the shaded area. Annie didn’t need to set out the ribbons with her hands, but for what Helena wanted her to do she needed precision: the idea was to restrain, and she was certain that Kerry wouldn’t enjoy having his hands separated from his wrists. She spread her left thumb and index finger apart and imperceptibly touched a section of shadow before pressing her right thumb and index finger against them. Certain she’d locked one end of the ribbon, she slowly drew her right hand away from her left.

She felt energy flowing through her arm, visualized the how the ribbon was suppose to appear. Annie took one step back in order to see her work better: now that she had begun crafting her magic it wasn’t necessary to remain in contact with the shadows. She measured out about a half a meter before deciding that sixty-five centimeters would serve her needs better—

Annie took another two steps back as she pulled the single, gray ribbon away from its segment of darkness. She raised her hand over her head and extended her index finger towards the ceiling: the ribbon followed. She parked it about a meter to her left and about two meters over the floor: when she was certain it wasn’t going anywhere she crafted another ribbon and placed it next to the first.

Now that she had her ribbons, it was time to go to work on Kerry.

 

Yeah, get to work on that boy, Annie!  You’ll have to wait to see where this leads, but most of you probably have a good idea.

The above was written with the following three songs running on heavy rotation, partially because I like them, partially because they will show up in the story somewhere.  Especially the first one:  every time I hear Reap the Wild Wind, I want to write the scene where it’ll appear.

 

 

Something else has gone on during the last five hundred days as well, and it’s of a far more personal nature . . .

See, that picture above:  in a lot of ways she didn’t exist when I posted my blog entry for 30 January, 2014.  Oh, sure:  there was a Cassidy, but she was really out in the public eye where everyone could see her.  I knew what I was by that time, but I wasn’t ready to get out of the closet.  It took a trip to Indiana and a return to The Burg for me to realize I needed to stop hiding and get my ass out there.

Last year, on my birthday, I wrote about what I needed to do in the coming year, and set about doing that.  It’s been both a good and bad five hundred days.  I’ve written a little about my experience.  I’ve written about one of the darkest points in my life, and I’ve written about the people who have helped me through those moments, including one person in particular.

But the biggest thing that’s happened to me occurred 2 February, 2015, which is when I finally started working as, well, me.  That was really the final moment of coming out, and it’s been just over four months, a third of a year, that I’ve lived as the real Cassidy.  Not only am I out fully, but next month I reach another milestone:  one year on hormone replacement therapy.  The hits just keep on coming.

I guess the real question now is, “What of the next five hundred days?”  I looked it up and that date is Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, and the question I’m asking these days is will I still be around in the Blogsphere?  Two thousand posts is a lot of talk-talk, and there are a lot of times when I feel like I’ve run out of things to day, that I’d probably do well to burn out before I fade away.  Then I remember:  I have novels to write and, more importantly, publish.  I will start up on doing weekly television reviews on another blog.  And if the questions I had sent my way due to this Caitlyn person getting put on a magazine cover is any indication of things to come, I can help educate where possible, because it’s obvious as hell I have a somewhat unique outlook on life.

I have stories to tell:  not just on the written page, but . . . well, let me fall back to another quote to nail that point down:

 

“It’s funny, I thought, if you could hear me, I could hang on, somehow. Silly me. Silly old Doctor. When you wake up, you’ll have a mum and dad, and you won’t even remember me. Well, you’ll remember me a little. I’ll be a story in your head. But that’s OK: we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang.

 

We are all stories, and it’s up to us to make them good one.  And a writer I write for myself first, and all others second.  Which means if I’m gonna make it a good story, I’d had better like it–otherwise, why bother?

With that said, I’ll pull a Robert Kirkman here and see how I feel when I get to post two thousand.  If I have more to say, I will.  If not–well, I’ll see then, won’t I.

For now, though, I can keep going.  Particularly if I have coffee–

And damn good coffee at that.

And damn good coffee at that.

Walking Into the Shadows

Things are pretty much back to normal at the apartment these days.  The swelling is down considerably, though I still look a little puffy at the sides of the mouth.  That’ll go away by this weekend–just in time for me to do it all again.  It didn’t keep me from writing, but the nap and the need to run out and get a few things didn’t help.  Hey, that’s life:  it’s a pain in the ass some times.

However, I didn’t exactly burn up the keyboards last night.  Distraction was a major problem, and it always seems to come up when I’m working out the details of a scene.  The set-up is painful, but once I get the set-up, um, set-up, things tend to go quickly after that.  But getting there?  I’ve managed a little over a thousand words in two days, and the close to seven hundred I did last night was with my kicking my own ass to get into gear, ’cause I wasn’t feeling the love to do something creative.

Also, I, Robot was on, and I never miss a chance to beat down a bad movie.

The one thing I like about writing at this point is I’m back in the school, and there doesn’t need to be much time spent setting up the scenery.  If you’ve stuck with me these last two years, you know the school.  And so do I, since the last two novels I’ve written have both been about the School of Salem–my July 2013 Camp NaNo novel set up A For Advanced by showing what happened during The Scouring, so you get to see younger version of . . . well, just about everyone.  For the record, Erywin and Jessica had been teaching a while, Maddie and her husband David has been there a couple of years as had Mathias, and Ramona had just started that school year as the Self Defense/Weapons instructor.  Isis, Wednesday, and Deanna were students, and Coraline makes a cameo as she takes over in the hospital.  Oh, and you get to see, at the very end, Helena walk in and pretty much turn on the ice machine.

Here, in the novel year of 2012, things are so different, and yet, they’re still the same.  At least I remember it all.

Let’s get into the scene and, right off the bat, we meet the new kid:

 

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

The first unofficial day of school for returning students was starting out strange for the new B Levels from Cernunnos Coven. It didn’t begin that way, however: before getting out of the tower Annie and Kerry were introduced to the other new C Level, Jairo Ybarra, a Venezuelan of Mestizo ethnicity from the city of Turmero. He was tall, a good six centimeters more than Penny, and lanky, with jet black hair and deep brown eyes, and nervously friendly. Kerry thought the kid was almost embarrassed to greet them; he spoke to them, Annie in particular, using limited eye contact and a great deal of hesitancy when speaking. Annie told Kerry on the way to the Great Hall that Jario’s nervousness around them had her wondering if there were stories being passed around by the upper levelmates throughout the previous school year, and if so, what was said?

 

The new kid is from here, down in the left-bottom.  Hi, new kid!

The new kid is from here, down in the left-bottom. Hi, new kid!

Now we know everyone living on the second floor of the coven, and it’s still not a lot, but it’s better than having an entire floor to one’s self.  The interesting thing is that in the next novel Annie and Kerry will be the ones giving the glad hand to the new B Levels, and by that time they’ll be the old hands of the school.  Another interesting thing:  were people from B Levels up talking about Annie and Kerry?  It’s . . . possible.  After all, they were a pretty noticeable couple, and they did participate in the defense of the school, and they were rewarded for that effort.  Also . . . will anyone ever ask about how it came to be that Annie went home one weekend for a “family emergency” and Kerry went to New York for “testing”, and when they returned to the school they both needed to spend the night in the hospital?  Hummm . . . probably not.  Mostly because they’ll remember that Helena and Erywin were away that weekend as well–both for “business reasons”–and they came back about the same time . . .

Naw.  Who wants to open that can of worms?

Speaking of Helena . . .

 

The walk to the Witch House seemed to go faster than both children anticipated; Annie felt it was their being back in familiar territory once more—and being there together—put them in the right frame of mind. Kerry felt that it helped they were on their own, the same team who’d left Salem together at the start of summer, a year older and ready to get tested in ways never seen before.

Annie always loved that Kerry thought of them as partners, a couple who worked together. She liked the idea of “couples” more than “partners”, but she was wise enough to realize that successful couples were also great partners—and if they were both going to be fantastic sorceresses—the Dark Witch to each other—and possible Guardians, they needed to work together seamlessly as a team.

They arrived at the seemingly-set-in-perpetual-gloom Witch House and entered. Annie tested the door to Helena’s ground floor office and found it locked. She nodded towards the stairs. “She’s in the office below.” Annie had suspected they would find her there, because if the Head Sorceress was calling them out to the Witch House at eight, then she wanted to discuss something important.

And anything being discussed in the Witch House that was important would happen in Helena’s office in the lower level.

The door to the office was open. Annie stopped in the open doorway and smiled as Kerry stood close behind. “You wanted to see us?”

Helena Lovecraft, the Head Sorceress of Salem, the Mistress of All Things Dark, and the semi-official liaison to the Guardians, motioned for the students to enter. “You two, come on in.” She stood away from her desk as Erywin, who was also there, came over to join here. “Right on time, as expected.”

 

Annie loves her Dark Witch, her partner in crime and love.  And that’s possible Guardians with a “s”:  she’s believing that they’ll work as a team, and go to the Big G as a team.  Time will tell.

Back in the office . . .

 

Erywin moved towards Kerry, her arms spread wide. “Come here, young man.” He didn’t hesitate to let the instructor hug him, and he hugged her back as hard as he could. “The rest of the summer turn out well?”

Kerry nodded as he stepped back. “Yeah.” He turned to Annie, smiling. “Especially the last week.”

“I’m certain of that.” Erywin turned to Annie, who was smiling back at her. “Hug? Or should we just shake hands?”

“I think—” She embrace Erywin. “—a hug is in order. Thank you for the lunch date.”

“You’re so welcome.” Erywin released the girl. “Anything for our favorite students.”

Helena stood looking somewhat forlorn. “And what about me?” She frowned at Annie. “No hugs from my favorite student?”

 

Wait–what is all this hugging?  Erywin and Kerry I can see–it would appear that they get along and understand each other well, and in time, this relationship will grow.  But now Annie’s getting hugs and . . . complements from the Mistress of All Things Dark?  How many times before does anyone thing Helena has called someone “her favorite student”?  Show of hands?

 

Annie hesitated for a couple of seconds because she’d never heard such an admission from Helena. The woman has spent most of last year being cold and hard nearly every waking moment—and yet, Annie saw the facade drop a few times, like the time Helena showed her how to create and control shadow ribbons. At that moment she hadn’t been a teacher: she’d been a friend.

She stepped up and wrapped her arms around Helena. “You get a hug.”

“I was starting to wonder—” She turned her attention to Kerry when she was finished with Annie, and presented him with a warm embrace. As soon as she was finished with their greetings, she pointed to the chairs facing her desk. “You guys wanna take a seat?” Annie took the middle chair of three in the room; Kerry sat to her right and Erywin to her left.

Helena retreated to her chair behind her desk. “You’re here because last night I received a Guardian directive from San Francisco that was counter-signed by Amsterdam and Paris.” She was aware there wasn’t a need to elaborate: by now everyone in the room knew the locations of the Guardians North American and World Wide headquarters, as well as the overall headquarters of The Foundation. “Tanith will arrive at school this afternoon.”

 

And there’s the real deal that will come tonight:  Tanith, she of the Kansas City Field Operation, is coming to school, and when you’re getting directives shot at you from three top headquarters in The Foundation, you have to sit up and take notice.  This is also a bit more evidence that the kids are sort of in the loop now, because it’s a secret meeting in the lower levels of the Witch House, and that’s some serious stuff.

Last night I did trip over the thirty thousand word mark–

Actually it was more like stumbling with grace.

Actually it was more like stumbling with grace.

And after we get this “The A Levels are Coming” business out of the way, we can . . . um, well, really, we won’t get to class for a bit.  But there is something coming up with a certain Seer we haven’t seen in a while . . .

Bemused in the Wilderness

Last night was Witches Wednesday, which means I had a witch dream.  Yep, I did.  It was me and mostly other women and girls, stuck in a house with loads of strangeness, a trap door with lasers in it, an attached restaurant that was taken over because some guy won a bet by wearing a dress to a store, and me trying to put a heat sink back into a broken Nokia mobile.  Yeah, there were some interesting things happening.

The one thing I remember, however, is that the majority of the story happened way the hell out in the middle of nowhere.  It was like there was a huge shopping mall in the middle of North Dakota or Wyoming with nothing else around but a road and empty land.  A lot of my dreams are like that:  I rarely have dream locations that take place inside urban areas, but rather in the woods or the country–or in this case just way the hell out in the bumble sticks.

Just like Indiana, only no one is as well dressed.

Now, there probably is a reason for that.  It likely has to do with how the mind works, which is to say like bad animation:  you get a few details in the foreground, but as far as filling in huge amounts of background information, you get nada.  You may wake up and think you had a whole city in your mind–like The Matrix downloaded into your head when you weren’t looking–but that’s your mind playing with you.  You think you saw all that detail, but you didn’t.

This was how my monster house dream was.  The outside was there, and I saw trees, but the inside seemed bare.  There were stretches of the house that seemed to have little or nothing; there was one room that was all in tones of brown and shadow; and then there was the hallway upstairs that would scare me to walk down it, because there were areas of darkness here and there, and at the far end I knew something waited . . .

For me.

Yes, I do have that monster house dream down in my idea file.  I wouldn’t miss that.  I even worked out where it’s at, some of the character history, and a little bit of what happened.  It’s another of those ideas I want to write, but I don’t know if I ever will.  The funny thing is, I keep going back to that story now and then.  I’ll sit at work and start putting ideas together.  I even went out on Google Maps and re-figured out where the house should be located.

You see, I don’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about my current story right now, because I’ve done all the thinking on it:  all that is left is the writing, which I am now doing.  Yes, I do give some parts some thought, but there’s no need to spend a lot of time getting The Foundation Chronicles down pat:  it is.  It’s good to go, and it is going.

Which leaves the question:  which location will I visit when I’m finished with business in Salem?

Sixty in Thirty

Sometime last night, between eight-thirty and nine PM–about the time The Colony of Slippermen was playing from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway–I slipped past sixty thousand words.  I was a bit surprised I made it that far, but seeing as how I’ve been sitting in front of the computer pretty much non-stop since Wednesday, I was bound to get enough words in the computer to do that thing I do.

Really, though, I was out of the house for most of the afternoon, and getting back down in front of the system after a few hours of running about did wonders to recharge the creative batteries.  I’d finished up my conversation in The Witch House with my tween characters and, as she called herself, “Dark Mistress of All”–totally not ripping off Stormageddon, trust me–where she told the kids about some poison they would eventually learn how to make that will simulate the effects of radiation sickness, making my Queen of Sorcery a hell of a lot more bad-ass than any Defense of the Dark Arts instructor, they headed into the school tunnels, met a couple of other teachers, got lunch, and are now . . .

Well, they’re tired.  One of them is, at least.  Dude does not do any walking around, and he’d gonna have to get used to it.  But that was expected.  Take a city kid and tell them to start walking a kilometer or more to get to school, they’ll get worn out.  Happens all the time.

So, by my count, yesterday was the thirtieth day of writing–started October 30th, wrote until November 29th, took one day off–and the plan was to not only go over fifty thousand words, not only hit a goal of fifty-four thousand for NaNo, but to finish November with sixty thousand words.  The plan was met all along the way, and though I was only a few dozen words over my final goal, it’s there and done.  I did it.

Today is Travel Day.  I’ll do breakfast here soon, then I’ll finish getting the car loaded and hit the road, maybe about eight AM or so, for the long drive back to The Burg.  I have no hurry to get back, so if I make it about nine PM local, it’s all good, I can get in, unpack, set up my system, and maybe before I roll back off to bed, add a hundred or so words into the story.  Really, I can do it this time, I know it.

I also know that after I finish this current scene I’ll probably cut the next scene.  I would love to do it, but I’ve moved it once, and the more I think about it, the less I think it’s needed.  I keep running it about in my mind, and it’s a good scene, but it doesn’t add anything.  I can use it somewhere else, I know that for sure.  I’ll see.  This is one of those, “Should I do this?” moments that I can decide upon.

Though if I do this scene, I know it’ll show how one characters loves getting their way . . .

 

Strange Chats in The Witch House

The end of November is in sight, and so is sixty thousand words.  I’m only twelve hundred words away, and it’s likely good and well I’ll make that tonight.  Maybe.  If not I’ll be within a few hundred words and I’ll consider it an good accomplishment.

Later today I repack my meager items and tomorrow I make the long return trek to The Burg.  I figure to get back into town around ten or eleven, which means I may have time to rip off a couple of hundred words before falling asleep.  Or not.  I don’t know.  Just like when I drove out here and I didn’t feel like doing anything, it’s even money I’ll feel the same once I’m back there.  Play it all by ear and hope for the best.

But I have moved out of Memory’s End and into The Witch House.  My kids have met the “Dark Mistress of All,” because there will come a time when she might just become the mother of Stormageddon, so set that up now for the insanity later on down the road.  And they’re seeing how “formulas” are brewed up in the 21st Century.  You can forget that cauldron crap, baby:  in my school they go all Walter White and respect the chemistry.  Particularly when they’re cooking up antidotes to poisons designed to make it look like you’re dying from exposure to ionizing radiation.

Shhhh.  I haven’t told my characters yet.  That’s coming today.

I keep writing in little blurts:  a few hundred words here, a couple hundred there.  I catch myself saying things that I shouldn’t and I change it before moving on.  I look things up just to make sure.  It’s a lot of slow, deliberate writing here, not barrel ahead and get it edited later type of writing.  I don’t know if it’s a phase I’m entering for my writing, but it’s what I’m doing now.  I’ve changed a lot in the last two years, and this is the latest in the long line of writers who are me.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is lack of sales.  Maybe 2014 will be the time to turn that around.  We’ll see.

The next goal after this is to hit ninety thousand by the end of the year.  I should hit that without any issues, other than actually writing it all.  But a thousand or so a night will get me there, and with a little padding now and then, I might just hit a hundred thousand.  By the end of the year I’ll have a much better idea how much more I need to write to finish it up.  Any more I don’t believe I’ll finish by the middle of January–the end if probably a better estimate.

But there is a likely hood I might not finish until February.  Or even the beginning of March.

Le sigh.  And to think I have other stories waiting for these kids as well.  I really do love to punish myself, don’t I?