On the Turning Back: Get the Party Started

It’s Monday, the last of September, and things are progressing as well as one may assume.  My Sunday was restful, as in I had a long afternoon nap, watched The Big Short, and edited video for my upcoming freshie practice blog post, which may pop out tomorrow so I can write a bit more in this current scene.

Speaking of the current scene, before the party starts it’s time to leave the two soul mates along–well, kind of alone–so they can exchange a few words–

 

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

 

Annie faced Kerry and took her hands feeling how cool they were in hers. I’ve never felt this from her before—but then, she wasn’t a her until today. “Nervous?”
Kerry looked downward as her chuckle gave away her feelings. “A bit.”

“If this doesn’t work this first time, that doesn’t mean it won’t work later.” While Coraline mapped out the plan of how they would attempt the voluntary transitions every few hours, she could almost feel Kerry’s apprehension about the task. She’s worried; she’s concerned that she’s never going to change back and she’ll have to accept this new life.

“There’s no reason why it can’t work now, and if it doesn’t?” Annie smiled as she shrugged. “I’ll be with you the entire time so you don’t get lonely.”

When Kerry looked up a slight mist covered her eyes. “You don’t have to do that.”

“What sort of person would I be if I left my soul mate alone in a time like this.” She squeezed Kerry’s hands as she pressed her forehead to her, realizing that this was the first time she was the one who had to lean downward a little. “I’m not going anywhere, my love.”

Kerry seemed to breath a sigh of relief. “At least I know this part of my life hasn’t changed.”

“Nor will it ever.”

“Good.” She stood back, still holding on to Annie’s hands. “Well, I should do this. If I can transition back now, it means we can get on with our Sunday.”

“More or less.” Coraline pointed towards the small raised dais. “If you’re ready, we can begin.”

“Sounds good.” She gave Annie’s hands a squeeze. “Wish me luck.”

Annie shook her head. “Just do what comes naturally.”

“Whatever that might be.” Kerry stood next to the dais as Annie took her place with the others. “I guess I’m ready.”

 

So Kerry does have that fear, that maybe he/she’s gonna be the one for whom this Gift thing doesn’t work and she’s gonna have to get used to all the stuff us girls are used to doing.  She’s not looking forward to this not working, let’s just say that.

Now that she’s ready…

 

Coraline nodded. “Then lets begin.” She stared off into the emptiness of the room as she spoke. “Sabrina, bring the recording media on line, please.”

The AI’s disembodied voice spoke a moment later. “Recording media is on line.”

“Thank you. Begin recording.”

“Recorders are on.”

Coraline activated a holographic terminal before her and began speaking. “Today is 27 October, 2013; the time is 10:39. I am Doctor Coraline Gallagher and I am here to document the use of the Bigender Gift, which has become active in a student at the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning. The student in question is Kerrigan Malibey, a thirteen year old C Level from Cernunnos Coven. Today at 2:28 Kerrigan experienced full activation of the gift which resulted in an involuntary transition from cis-male to cis-female, her current physical state. What she is going to attempt in a moment is to voluntarily transition back to cis-male, demonstrating that she has full control of the Gift.

“Witnessing this event are Jessica Kishna, Deanna Arrakis, and Erywin Sladen, all instructors, coven leaders, and counselors at SIGEL. Also witnessing this demonstration is Anelie Kirilova, a fourteen year old C Level also from Cernunnos Coven who has a special relationship with Ms. Malibey.” Coraline winked at Annie before going on. “All are vetted by myself, the headmistress of the school, and the Chief of Security of Salem, and I am assured they will keep the details of this demonstration secret.

“The demonstration we are about to witness is simple: the subject—whom I will refer to as Kerry from this point onward—will attempt to use her Bigender Gift to revert back to cis-male. This attempt will be performed under controlled conditions with full monitoring in place so every moment of this event is captured.” Coraline looked around the room. “If no one else has anything to say—” Knowing the others in the room would remain silent, she turned to her subject. “Kerry, please step up on to the dais.”

 

Technically Kerry isn’t cis-female, for she wasn’t born with that assigned gender, but at the same time she’s not cis-male, nor can she yet be considered transmale because Kerry hasn’t really indicated she’s identifying as a boy.  Since Kerry seems comfortable hearing “she” and “her” as pronouns, the Brain Trust and Annie will keep considering her cis-female until Kerry decides otherwise.

That’s the thing about gender: you can pretty much sense what you are early on and you stick with that, and trying to be something you’re not tends to make people overreact so they can try and fit into a particular role.  At least that’s how it was with me: every time I tried to be more of a “guy”, I usually ended up sucking at it hard, so I overcompensated by trying harder.

But Kerry isn’t trying to act like a “boy”, nor is she trying to act like a “girl”.  At the moment she’s sort of stuck knowing she has a body that would classify her as female, but a few hours before she was for sure a boy.

Or maybe… given Kerry’s already done this gender swap things–she did it in B Level Advanced Transformation–she’s sort of the mind that her gender is fluid and she’ll adopt whatever pronouns are tossed her way.  After all, Kerry knew before this day in the novel that changing genders was something the then he could do, it was something Kerry subconsciously dealt with.  Which is why when everyone is calling Kerry “she”, um, she’s not freaking out.

It’s not going to be something Kerry’s gonna discuss in this scene, but you can bet someone is gonna talk about it–

But only after a few other things are mentioned.

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On the Turning Back: Let’s Get Comfortable

Well, isn’t this a welcome sight!  In that I’m actually posting an excerpt from the novel today.  Part of that reason is that I just finished up nearly five hundred words, so I have enough in the book bank to post for the next few days before heading into the next scene.  And since I’ll likely post other stuff this week as well–I have video footage from last Tuesday’s freshie practice I need to edit–there’s a pretty good chance it’ll take me most of this week to get out the first scene of Chapter Eighteen.

From where I’m sitting it looks kinda pretty.

 

I said I was gonna try and write yesterday, but… I lied.  I had way too much going on with getting a merch table set up for our afternoon event, then heading thirty miles down to York to watch our sister team, the York City Derby Dames, come from behind and win the bout–though one of their players, Awe Shux, suffered a pretty bad concussion and was wearing sunglasses at the after party because the light we hurting her head.  We were told she’s off skates for the week and maybe longer.

Speaking of the after party I was in sort of a good mood…

See, Jackie, having a drink by myself.

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That drink in my hand is the only one I had, a gin and tonic that was cheap and easy to come by.  Given that I had thirty miles to drive to get back to Harrisburg, I didn’t want to get too boozed up before hitting I-83.  Oh, and Jackie is one of my freshie teammates.  She was at a friend’s birthday party, where she assured some of us she was gonna get hammered.

But enough about me–how about my kids?

Now we get into the testing phase of Kerry’s Day of Girl Power, because since the Gift changed her to how she is now, she’s supposed to be able to change herself back at some point–at least that’s what everyone is telling her.  I mean, it worked the other six times, it should work this time, too, right?  This means breakfast is over and it’s time to see if Kerry can get some control over her life…

 

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

 

It took a bit longer than just after breakfast to set up the first transition test. Isis needed to come in with one of her people to set up the raised dais that Kerry would used not only for the test, but for the three dimensional modeling that would come later. And once the dais was in place, Isis needed Kerry to stand upon it so she could set up the Spy Eyes and adjust them so they could perform the modeling requested by The Foundation.

Due to these delays it was nearly ten-thirty before Coraline was able to proceed with the first transition test. She had Kerry go behind a three-sided privacy screen and change out of her night clothes and into a hospital gown she’d wear for both the test and medical scan/pelvic examination. When she came out with Annie at her side Mathilde had left with Isis, leaving Deanne, Jessica, and Erywin behind with Coraline to witness the test.

Kerry looked uncomfortable in the gown, which seemed to hang on her smaller frame. She frowned as she approached Coraline. “This thing is like a sack on me.”

“It has to be bigger so it’ll fit if the transition test is successful and you turn back into a boy.” She gave Kerry a slight grin. “You wouldn’t want to burst out of that if that happened, would you?”

The frown turned into a grimace. “Nope.”

“Then it has to be a little large—okay?” As soon as Kerry finished nodding Coraline turned to the transformation instructor. “Jess, you wanted to speak with her?”

“Certainly.” The Mistress of Transformation knelt next to Kerry, bringing herself down to the girl’s eye level. “You remember what we discussed as far as this voluntary transition is concerned?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “It’s just like doing any other transformation magic: visualize the effect and expend willpower to make it work.” She looked up as she sighed. “And don’t try to expend energy.”

“Correct. Just like when we worked on your Mimic Gift last year.” Jessica turn to face the other women. “Anything you’d like to add before I turn this over to the good doctor?”
Erywin glanced over to her right at Deanna. “I don’t have anything to add.”

Deanna shook her head. “Neither do I.”

Jessica stood and placed her hand on Kerry’s back. “Then I’ll turn you over to Coraline.”

 

Everything’s pretty simple at this point.  Kerry’s dressed for the test and people are there to make her feel comfortable and able to get through this transition test.  It makes sense that Jessica would offer a few words of wisdom before handing Kerry back to Coraline–and one other:

 

“Thank you.” She waved Annie and Kerry forward. “Both you, come here.” While Coraline wanted to address Kerry, she knew having Annie by her side offered her comfort and at the moment that was exactly what Kerry needed. “Okay, this is how we’re going to proceed. Kerry, I’ll have you step up on the dais while the rest of us remain over in front of you, so you can see us. I will direct you to transition, but I don’t want you to do anything until I give you the go-ahead. You can do all the visualizing you want, but I don’t want you to take any action on the activation of your Gift until I say so. Got it?”

“I got it.” Kerry offered a weak smile. “I mean, it’s pretty simple, yeah?”

Coraline smiled back. “It sure is.” She looked at Annie. “I’m sure you have a couple of things to say, so I’ll let you say them.” She joined the other women standing five meters away.

 

After all the advice coming her way, Coraline is smart enough to know the best thing to do is allow Annie to have the last word, because if anyone is gonna calm Kerry down and get her in the right frame of mind, it’s her.

So what does she say?

It’s a good bet you’ll find out tomorrow…

The Mojo Go Go

Yesterday afternoon, after arriving home from work and a quick dinner of Taco Bell, I hoped to get in a nap before going to derby practice.  That didn’t happen due to a fly who decided it was far better if it landed on my face every thirty seconds, making getting to sleep an impossibility.

So when I got up I headed over to the computer and did something I hadn’t done in a week.

I wrote.

I picked up where I’d left off last Wednesday before getting ready to hit the road for the weekend and continued onward with what’s happening up on the third floor of the Salem hospital.  It was a bit of a rough going, however, as I couldn’t remember if I’d left off with Coraline or Annie speaking, necessitating having to rewrite the first paragraph I wrote because I’d gotten something wrong.

But it was a good session and I left the scene where I know I can pick it right up without a problem, because what’s happening next is easy to figure out.  I would have continued further with the scene, but it was necessary to change and load up my gear and head out to my 9 PM practice, where I spent the next two hours skating my butt off.

(In case you may wonder what sort of shenanigans I get up to at practice, our cardio was skating 50 laps, which works out to about 1 3/4 miles.  With all the other skating we did, by the time practice was over we’d skated about two and a half miles.  I think it’s safe to say we do about two miles of skating every practice.)

It’s likely I’m heading off to practice tonight as well, so before heading out the door at 7:15 I’ll get a few hundred more words in so I can keep this train moving forward.  That means getting into the next scene–

And I realized that one of the reasons I’ve been falling off on writing is that the next scene is gonna have some things in it that are… let’s just say it may not be good for my kids.  And I always get this way when I have to do something bad to them.  Not that they’re real or anything, but–you know what I mean.  It hurts because I know it’s going to hurt them.

I’m like a bad parent in a way.

Then again, if they didn’t do these things, I wouldn’t feel bad writing about them…

Where In the World Is Cassidy?

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that this last week has been light on writing.  Well, you’re not imagining things: it has been that way.  And why is that?

Simplest answer: I haven’t been writing.

In the last week I’ve hardly opened Scrivener and I haven’t once put any words into the novel.  It’s not just the novel: I’m behind on my TV recapping, and I need to write two this weekend and another two next Tuesday and Wednesday because I’m that far behind.

Now, there are reasons for this and they are easy to explain.  One, my trip to Oklahoma City ate up three days when I would normally have written about fifteen hundred words at minimum.  Is this a bad thing?  No.  As I mentioned I picked up training on how to use tools that will allow me to help plan out operations in the future.  Operations that are designed to help us and not, you know, screw people over just because they don’t have money–which today means you don’t have a voice.

Two, derby practice.  I know what you’re thinking: that shouldn’t take up that much time.  Except it does.  When I come home from work I usually need a half hour to an hour nap to recover from the night before, and I usually start getting ready for practice anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before it begins.  Except when I’m going to York, and then I’m usually getting ready about 90 minutes before practice starts due to the 30 minute drive there.  Last week I was at the rink four nights in a row.  This week I may do the same.  Saturday I have an event I’m to actually help run for a few hours, then I’m heading down to York to watch our sister team play.

There is a lot of commitment that goes into training and Monday we were told that us freshies (the Fresh Meat who have yet certified) are going to get pushed so we can certify and be bout ready by next season, which starts March, 2018.  Ergo, I’m putting in as much rink time as possible, and this means the time I could spend writing is being taken up with other things.

And three: I think writer’s block has finally set in.  It’s not so much I don’t know what to write, but with everything else going on I’m finding it difficult to push myself and crank out five hundred to a thousand words.  The energy I once had just isn’t there right now, and trying to force it will lead to–

What will it lead to?

I’m not certain I know myself.  I was starting to feel writer’s burnout a few months ago and perhaps this is the outcome of that burnout: I’m turning my energy towards other things while I recharge.  For all I know I’ll rip off five hundred words tonight once I’m up from my nap tonight, or… maybe not.

As with everything I’ll let nature run its course and see where I’m taken.

That’s worked pretty well for me so far–

As For the Rest of the Travel–

I am home.

I finally flew into Harrisburg about midnight last night and made it home about twenty-five minutes later.  I finally made it to bed about about 1 AM so I could get up about four-and-a-half hours later.

Needless to say I’m kinda wrecked.

So what was up this weekend?  Most of you know I was doing something for Planned Parenthood, yeah?  I think this picture sort of gave that away:

What I'm up to this weekend. #IStandWithPP

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Here’s the complete lowdown:  I was in Oklahoma City, OK, attending a PP Organizing Summit, where people like me learned about the tools needed to put together a successful campaign needed to affect change, as well as learning how to use those tools to make your actions work.  While we could post pictures of ourselves at the summit, we were not allowed to tell anyone where we where or give out our location by tagging a picture.

This was the reason I could identify my position up to Atlanta, where we boarded our connecting flight to OKC, but once on the ground in the Sooner State we had to pretend we didn’t know where we were, even though we did.

Needless to say it was a lot of workshops and role playing and breakout groups working on getting our protesting know-how down pat.  Oh, and we had a rally just down the street on early Saturday–while a wind whipped up that made me think of a certain song from a certain musical about a certain state–and we were on the local news.  Below is a clip from the broadcast and at top center you might recognize a certain blond from the state of Pennsylvania…

 

So I was in a room way up at the top of a hotel:

A view from near my room.

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And we had elevators that looked out over the atrium:

Let's take a ride–

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And I had a roommate, a lovely woman from a nearby state:

My PP roomie. So long, Jordan. Hope to see you soon. @mojojojojohnson

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And we flew out of Oklahoma yesterday:

Drizle, Drazle, Drozle, Drone, time for this one to come home.

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And while in the Atlanta airport all the women with whom I was traveling and I stopped in Chicken + Beer in Terminal D, a place owned by Ludacris, and had a fantastic meal.  Also, the woman on my left, Sara, turned 21 that very day and we celebrated by having a drink with her.

Time for a drink in ATL. #ATL #StillNoZombies

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There you are:  I was out being a good little feminist, enjoying the company of other women and men who helped us learn how to make the world a better place.  And I know I’ll have people telling me I’m wrong, probably while mansplaning how I’m oh, so wrong (fun fact: do you know where mansplaniners get their fact?  From a Well, Actually…), but I don’t care.

I’m guessing this is just the start of another part of my life.

I don’t believe I’m guessing wrong…

While I’m Away…

Some of you may have noticed that it didn’t post anything originally yesterday. There’s a reason for that colon this last week I’ve been busy as hell in the weekend is about to get busier.

In about 90 minutes I’m going to head out on the road and be gone for a weekend. What am I doing? Fighting the good fight, as always. Actually, I’m going to be attending a workshop seminar for a certain group that some of you know I’ve done work with in the past. And since I won’t be taking my computer, my access to the internet will be limited.  I will try to post a couple of things, but mostly they’ll be reblogs. Although… believe it or not, I’m actually creating this post on my phone using voice recognition, so who knows whether or not I’ll be able to give you updates from the field.

And come Monday I should be able to start posting excerpts again. You may find this hard to believe, but I haven’t been able to do a lot of writing, either. I hope to get back into that next week.

So have fun, kids. And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.