A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Three

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

So in this new “wild west” of publishing everything was changing at a rapid rate. And into this new world with the little knowledge I had I thought the smart thing to do was to take advantage of one of these companies, (companies that converted manuscripts into EBooks) and have them publish my novels. Still, at this point I had hope that somewhere during this process that I’d land or find an agent, and begin the process that led to traditional publishing.

Traditional publishing seemed to be the best way to get known, and maybe in the end produce enough income that I might be able to live off the proceeds. As time went on and as I learned more about this route, I found there was much I didn’t like. In a sense, after all that effort, hard work, time invested, and all that isolation as one worked on that particular manuscript or project, in the end you sold your rights to all of this hard personal work to a company that probably wouldn’t invest much time and effort on the project. And if there wasn’t an immediate return bury it, leaving the writer out in the cold with no recourse.

I didn’t like those odds, and add to it the fact that if I wanted those rights back, I’d had to purchase them. So while having your novel published by one of the big houses seemed to be the way to success, it wasn’t necessarily so. It was then I learned that in this modern world of publishing, much of the work, after the fact, would still fall to you the writer. They, (publishers) now require that the writer have a platform. The writer now had to be on social media, have a website, and in most cases have an active blog. The writer now would be responsible for all the correspondence with fans of his or her works, and in many ways be responsible for getting the word out.

As I thought about this, I began to wonder why I would need a publisher since they were requiring all of this from me. I mean if I was doing this as an independent then I’d be doing very much the same thing. Sure, I understand that with the budgets that publishers have, besides their reach, there is a better chance of becoming known through them. Yet, at the same time that chance overall would be really small.

Going independent meant that I’d be the one in control of everything. Of course this meant that I’d be in control of everything, including the costs involved, the decisions for content, release dates, distribution, announcements, and so many other small details that it might become overwhelming. Especially since I really knew nothing about this industry.

So back to Writers Digest and a webinar on self-publishing I went. After this I did some research and decided that the company I would go with to create my EBooks, followed by the fact they had a great distribution network, was Book Baby. With them you paid for the production costs, and they would then distribute your EBook throughout their network, collect the royalties, handle the accounting, and once your royalties hit a certain threshold transfer the funds into you account.

For me this seemed to be a good solution or compromise. It appeared they had the experience, distribution network, and a system that would allow one to track their books. So my first four novels were originally converted and published by them. Still, as time moved on their prices continued to climb, and with the last one I sent them to convert the costs had risen to well over $400. This was rapidly heading in the direction of unaffordable. And while they did distribute, I really wasn’t seeing much results. Again, POD (Print on Demand) was still in the future, and the small independent print shops where one might get a manuscript printed was well beyond most indie authors as far as costs. This still left the issue of distribution. and how one would get their printed books out to the retailers.

So for me it was time to do some additional research and continue to learn and understand the industry I found myself in. And, of course, this industry was now very fluid and big changes were in the wind and happening almost overnight.

Next week I continue my journey to becoming and indie writer, and publisher. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Advertisements

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Two

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

As I’ve stated in an earlier post, I thought that once a manuscript was written then it’s done. I guess that was one of the first hard lessons learned. Without editing there is no story. And in a sense even though I hadn’t thought about editing, when I had written book two in the Discovery trilogy, I had no choice but to return to the first one and make corrections. In other words edit the darn thing.

So now what? How was I to get these manuscripts in front of publishers and editors? Well I had returned to subscribing to Writers Digest, and ended up purchasing one of their books that gave lists of agents, and such. So I picked out a few that I thought would work with the genre I wrote, submitted queries, and waited. Every one came back as rejections. And what made it worse was the fact the rejections were form letter rejections, which meant no interest at all.

During this time I became a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA). Every year they host conferences, and also have a contest tied in with their conferences allowing authors to submit manuscripts, (for a price of course) to be judged. Then at the conference the winner would be announced. Then this winner would have the opportunity to talk to publishers and agents who would be specifically interested in their manuscript.

This was a no brainer. I had to submit to this contest and hope I was good enough to at least reach the finals. Of course the winner wouldn’t be announced until the end of the conference. So I attended the writer’s conference, and I have to admit that it was worth the price of admission. The only issue for me was the price of admission only allowed me to do this once.

The classes I attended added to the knowledge that I lacked, and as far as my manuscript, it didn’t go anywhere. Still, by this time I had written another novel and had brought a query with me, hoping to get the opportunity to give it to either an agent, or publisher. I was fortunate enough to find one who accepted the query. Still, I never heard back. So in the end another failed query and opportunity.

I guess, in many ways what you see here is pretty standard for any unknown. It has been stated that one could paper their walls with rejection letters before finally landing a deal somewhere. Still I continued to learn. And eventually, after taking one of many webinars I learned a little about self-publishing, and the beginnings of the revolution in electronic books. Whether you have a love or hate relationship, it is Amazon that drove this, forcing the other publishers to come along for the ride, kicking and screaming, and fighting this trend.

POD (Print on Demand) hadn’t arrived as of yet. So a few internet companies began to offer services for converting manuscripts into the EBook formats – Epub, and Mobi. Some would do the work for free taking a percentage of the sales as their share for the work performed. Others would require payment up front, and then any sales belonged to you.

In the beginning of all of this one was responsible for the cover designs, and obviously the content, and formatting of that content. It was later that many of these specialty houses began offering services that would  do this work for you, again for a price. Still, if we were to look at some of my early covers that I created verses the ones presently on my novels then it becomes painfully obvious where the talent is.

Next week I move onto my first foray into this new world of self-publishing. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part One

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

Yes, I’m an Indie publisher, and as such I’m responsible for all of it. And what I mean is, from the writing, to the editing, to contracting for covers, and submitting all materials to a print house, to the final product you find at your favorite book outlet, literally everything. This is a journey that has taken years to accomplish. There were a lot of mistakes made along the way, and a really steep learning curve. Still at this time my novels are available in paperback, and EBook. I haven’t attacked the audio market as of yet, but sometime in the future it may be a direction that I will take. (Also remember that everybody’s path is different, and this is mine.)

And now that I’m looking at reaching an end to most of what I’ve done, I thought it was time to look back and trace the pathways to now. So with this first post in the new series I will go back to the beginnings which began eleven years ago. 2006 was the year I retired, and then moved from where we were living to the great northwest, and all the work that happens when you not only move into to a new home, but add to that a new state, meaning the changing of all your vehicle licenses, driver’s license, and address changes and such. Add to it not knowing anything about anything meant more learning.

So this early time was simply spent on becoming familiar with the area, and the changes that one faces. Still, after this what was I planning to do? I knew, from statistics, that if one didn’t occupy oneself with something productive that life expectancy after retirement would be short. And I wanted time to spend with my wife, who is still working at this time, once she retired, and finally after all the years together to actually have it be just the two of us. That will finally happen in the second half of 2019.

So I thought maybe I should try to write. While I’ve written a short story or two, and when we’d do Halloween haunted walks, create stories to heighten the suspense, I had never tried to write a complete novel. At the time in the past where I’d attempt to write, life got in the way, so it was something that had to be placed on the backburner until such time where I might be able to devote more time to the craft. Decades went by, and between family and job it reached a point where I had to give up recreational reading totally. So for the last years of my career, it was work, home life, no real vacations, and a wildfire close to the end of my career that once again changed our direction, and lives forever.

I’ve never claimed to be anything but a country hick. I lived most of my life on family property that was forty-one acres in size. A two mile dirt road to get there, we are on wells for water, and then in the seventies we finally got electricity and a telephone. Yet, when we made this move from there to where we are living presently it was in a city. The original plan was to only be here a short time while we recovered, sell, and return to the country. Then came the housing crash, and so here we are still living in the city, and that same house twelve years later.

Back when I had begun this journey, decades in the past, the publishing industry was completely different. There were no agents, and in reality there were no classes, internet, webinars and such, to teach one how to create a query, and one dealt with publishers and editors directly. It meant when I decided to pursue a writing career as a second occupation that what we see today was completely unknown to me. Meaning that I went into this as I remembered, not knowing the reality of today and the massive changes that had taken place. Let alone the ones that I didn’t see coming in the future, which is now the past. Even though what is happening today is still changing and growing.

In a sense what we see has led to a revolution in the publishing world. Now anybody who has thoughts of publishing can do it. So this has led to the massive amounts of published material out there making it even more difficult for a writer to become known. And is usually the case there’s lots of this new material that’s really not worth reading. In many ways this is like the old west, it is the frontier, a revolution, and a freedom for any to get one’s book out and into the hands of readers.

So late in 2006 I began my first novel. Still I knew that it was important to set a goal. I mean, was this novel going to be my only attempt, or did I have aspirations to go further? At first I didn’t know, but eventually set a goal of eight novels. Was it realistic? There was no way to know, and if it wasn’t I could always adjust it later. So off into the darkness of the unknown future I went. And the obstacles that was ahead of me were all unknown – which was probably a good thing. I really thought, in my mind that it would be simple. Write the novel, submit it, and see it published.

For any who have tried, they know that this isn’t reality, and this road is a long and hard one. Yes there are always a few who seem to hit everything just right and go to the best seller’s list. But for most of us we end in obscurity and what we’ve produced ends up on our personal shelves to collect dust. Still even to have accomplished this is far greater then ninety nine percent of the ones who have attempted to write only to fail.

Next week I’ll be continuing this final series of posts. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on January 6, 2018 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Words in the Wind

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

And with this ping back you will be reading the Christmas short story from 2016. I have to admit that at times I draw a blank as far as a specific subject and how I’m going to approach one of these short stories, so I asked my wife for some suggestions. I try to write the first drafts at least a couple of months ahead of when I plan to post. That way if the original story doesn’t work I have time to write another. And so, The Ornament, is based on her suggestions. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/the-ornament/

Words in the Wind is number twelve. And by looking at the title one should be able to see that it’s the same as this blog. So this novel will be one of short stories I’ve written over the years, and then presented here on this blog. It appears to be roughly fifteen short stories Some were written to be submitted to writing contests, even though in the end most never made it, (costs involved), and others specifically to be presented here on this blog. Then there were some that I wrote because the idea was there leading to the story.

If things go to plan, then there will be an introduction to each of the short stories similar to the introduction to this series of posts, and for which this post is the final in this series. As it stands at this moment I have no plans to go beyond book twelve. Yet, the one thing I’ve learned over the years is that this isn’t written in stone and it’s clear as mud as far as my future as a writer. I’ve found that I really do enjoy creating these stories, and the fictitious characters that live in these imaginary worlds. (In fact as I write this I’ve had new images of a possible story begging me to write it before I lose it.)

I’ve found that I become as emotionally involved with them, (the characters) as if they were real breathing, living people. And I guess in a way they are. I see them in my mind’s eye as they live their lives. Still in the end their world only exists between the pages of that novel. They have their challenges to overcome, as any of us, and live their lives inside a complicated world, just as we do in ours. The only real problem is their lives are static. Once the story is complete nothing changes.

I guess, in a sense we can say the same thing about us. Once our lives are complete, for us nothing changes beyond that point. The difference lying in the fact that in our world time continues to move on well beyond our short time here. In those novels, once they are complete, everything stops, and ends . . . at least until a new reader picks up the novel and begins the adventure all over again.

I haven’t decided how I’ll be breaking down the way the stories will be presented. What I mean here is; will it be chronological, (meaning when I wrote it), by subject, or possibly by the season the story was written for. At this moment I’m leaning towards sections dealing with the seasons, although not all qualify, so in the end it may end up being a hybrid.

With this post we wrap up 2017, and move onto 2018 where I’ll be starting a new and final series for this blog. It will deal with my personal road to self-publishing and being an independent or indie author. Have a great week and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on December 30, 2017 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

A Christmas Day Wish

God Bless all! It is the time of family, of remembrances, of watching the magic in the eyes of children as they anticipate Christmas morning. It is the traditional time to celebrate the birth of Christ and all that this event represents. It is the reason for the gift giving, for all the traditions that have developed over time, from Christmas trees, to St Nick. And the gift giving is also a representation of the Gift God gave to us that first Christmas.

May this time of year be one of love, joy, and peace. And may the new year, which is only a week away, be one of promise. Again, God Bless! And I’ll close this with a link to a Christmas song from the Piano Guys. F. D. Brant (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

 

The Child

Every year since I began this blog I’ve written a short story for Christmas and this year is no different. I’m foregoing the list of my novels that usually precedes the “post for the week”. If you’ve read my past Christmas stories you know that I usually try to approach them from an alternate direction dealing with the human condition, showing that there are many who don’t have what we have, and as such this time of year isn’t necessarily one of joy and happiness.

This year I decided to give the story a definite science fiction twist, so it will, at first, appear to be something that doesn’t apply. Still, stay with it and as you read the story it will become clear. As in most short stories,  one must build a living breathing world and do it concisely, and yet give it depth so that the fictional world feels real. If we saw this in a book it would be roughly fourteen pages long.

Please enjoy, The Child, and have a great Christmas season – F. D. Brant (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/):

She is my sister, the youngest of the family. She’s known as En to us, but to the community, the place where we live, she’s known as the child. I guess a little background here would let you know what this is all about. First off the one telling this story is obviously me. And my name is Fe. I’ve been told that it means iron, and because of the fact that only half of my siblings survived I was given that name in hope that it meant I would survive. I’m one of three surviving children of my parents and being the oldest put more responsibility on me. But to be honest it wasn’t a position by birth, as I was the second born.

My oldest brother only lived days before succumbing to what I’ve never known. I just know that whatever it was, in the end it took two others. Had we all lived then I would have been part of a family of eight – my sires or parents, me, three brothers and two sisters. Instead there was just my younger brother, and then the youngest being En. And because of the tragedy of family we’ve always been close.

I remember the day my sister came into the world and we, my brother and I heard the cry of a newborn coming from the room where mom had just birthed her. And shortly we were invited in to meet her. It was there for the first time that we learned some of the differences between females and males. Of course there’s much more to this, but at our age such was of no importance. Both my brother, and me thought that there had to be something wrong with this baby as she lay naked on mom’s chest. She was missing something between her legs and it was such a surprise. I mean I remember when my brother came into the world and he had what I had. So I thought that this was how every baby was.

Mom called both of us over – dad was there next to her and smiling – and we were shy about it. With the tragedies that had happened we really didn’t want to mention this obvious defect. But I guess moms can read their children because it seemed like she knew what we were thinking and smiled as she said, “Meet your new sister. We have named her En.” There was a pause and I could see she was trying hard not to laugh. Then she said, “This is the way girls are. It is one of the differences between you and her.” Mom did laugh lightly, although we saw that it hurt. “Later . . . much later you will see other changes that make girls different, but for now this will be the only one.”

Well, I had to admit, at that moment, it was a big difference. But after a short time it was something we didn’t even notice. Only that as she got older, began to walk, and get into our personal stuff, we had the normal arguments, small fights, and complaints that all children have. Still, there was something different about her. She was always smaller, well no surprise here since she is the youngest. But even here it seemed as if she would remain small. Then there were her eyes – always large, deep, and bottomless, as if she might see forever. She had a beautiful face that at times looked like mom, and other times reflected some of dad.

It was as she approached her fourth year that the reason for this other difference arrived. She had been given the gift. Yet for many who had received this in the past it had been anything but a gift. In fact it was more of a curse. It was when this gift manifested itself and was learned by the rest that she became to be known to our small village as the child.

Oh, I believe that it’s important that I break here and tell you a bit about our village – if one can call it such. Small is just about all one can say. And we are surrounded by desert. From what we’ve heard this world is almost completely desert. But for me personally I have no way of knowing or confirming this as I’ve lived here in this village, with the isolation, for my entire life. If we didn’t have visitors, now and then, coming from other areas that are protected from this great desert, then it would be easy to assume that we were the only survivors.

Don’t ask me why I use that word – survivor, because I don’t know. I can only say is that the word seems to fit. Maybe a remnant of a greater time in the past, honestly I don’t know. All I know is that this line of reasoning seemed right. Did I have any facts to back this up, or was there anything written in our history to support such a thought, no. It was just a feeling that I had. And I guarantee that there will be no way for me to travel beyond our lands. I do not have the time, the resources, or the need to leave and explore the vast desert.

Where we live is in a series of canyons – not large, but for whatever the reason they prevent the desert from encroaching here. To reach our lands, and the precious waters, required one to enter through a narrow passage that led downward into a series of narrow trails which were always shadowed because of the walls that rose to the sky. I suspect it was because of these features that kept the desert out.

Winds always howled down those narrow passageways. And sand would often pile near the entrances to the trails, but for whatever the reason would become less and less as one hiked through. Eventually they would open into the canyons where we lived. There was a small lake fed by a small stream that came from the living rock. And for as long as we had been here it had never failed. We prayed that it would always be that way. And when on those canyon trails leading to our village it was always cooler. In fact because of the small lake even with the full sun during the zenith it remained cooler than the surrounding desert.

It is here where we have our small herd, and where we grow our crops. And yes we even have a few trees, most bearing fruit of one kind or another. So we’ve never lacked for sustenance. While we’ve never had a lot, overall what we had met our needs. And in one of the side canyons we had a few mines. It was what we pulled from the ground that we traded with others. Still the traders only arrived once a year, and when it’s more often, which is rare, they would only show maybe twice more.

Why is this important to know? It is because the gift arrived after the departure of the traders, meaning that it would be at least another year before word got out that the gift had manifested itself once again. And to be truthful it was much longer than that before it became known. I’d like to say that this was something exclusive to our village but that wouldn’t be true. And once it arrived then many would travel to the village to seek out the one. But one of the issues lay in the fact that when the gift arrived it presented a different power to each that had received it. So in many cases once others had come to see the one they left disappointed because what had manifested would be of no use.

I suspect that in my sister’s case it would be the same. Still, at the same time what she had was really strong . . . So strong indeed that if she touched you during one of her visions, then you’d see the same vision. And you would find yourself standing beside her inside of those images. You knew it was her, but here she appeared to be different. As I’ve said I felt she would be small, and when she had attained her full measure she came only to my shoulders, and I am of average height. Yet, in those visions she is tall, taller than any.

I remember the first time I became aware of her ability. Like I said she was almost four when it first happened, and to her she thought that what she did was something everybody did. And being her older brother I thought that all of it was just her imagination. Then one day she happily pointed out towards the lake and said, “Do you see them? They’re beautiful!” (Beautiful was a word she was proud of, and always had carefully pronounced it.)

I looked and saw a few birds in the trees that were close to the lake and replied, “Yes, the birds are pretty.”

She looked at me as if I was crazy. She put her hands on her hips in an almost perfect imitation of mother when she wasn’t happy, which made me laugh. Then somewhat irritated she said, “I think they are horses.”

“Horses?” I know of horses, but the only time we’ve ever seen any was when the traders came. And I know that she had probably seen them at that time, but we had none and could afford none. I looked really hard and only saw the birds in the trees. It was then she pointed, followed by grabbing my arm.

I stood frozen because the moment she grabbed my arm the whole scene in front of me changed. We were standing on a large plain that seemed to go on forever. Catching my breath I saw, in the distance, large herds of wild horses wheeling and dancing, running and forming patterns as the colors shifted and changed. There seemed so many that it was impossible to know the size in numbers. Then she let go and the world returned to what I knew. I found I’d been holding my breath and had to let it out and begin to breathe again. I asked, “How’d you do that?” I was incredulous.

She shrugged and asked, “Do what?”

I guess to her it was a normal thing. I thought a moment, still shaken from what I had seen, and made a decision. Our sires needed to know about this. So I tentatively took her hand expecting the images to return but they were gone. I saw disappointment on her face saying to me that for her they were gone also. And so hand in hand we went back to our shelter. It was nearing the zenith meal anyway and both of them would be there.

When we entered En, seeing mom, screamed a scream of happiness and ran to her wrapping her arms around her legs, looking up into mom’s eyes saying, “I love you mommy!”

Smiling and looking down at her one and only daughter mom laughed and said, “And I love you too.” She looked up at me and said, “You’re back early. It will be a few before the food will be on our table. So take your sister outside and wash.”

I nodded and pried her off mom’s legs and we went to the trough outside and cleaned up and headed back inside. At this point I didn’t know how to tell them, so I waited while the five of us ate. Then I simply blurted out, “I think En has the gift.”

There had been some conversation going on between my sires, and suddenly it got quiet. My, well our father, looked at me and asked, “What did you say?”

I repeated what I said, and then explained what had happened, followed by the fact that her vision had only lasted a short time. They both looked at me and then at En, and then back at me. He asked, “Are you sure? Are you sure it wasn’t your imagination, or some game the two of you were playing?”

“No sir. To be honest I thought she was imagining something, but when I saw what she saw I knew better.”

He turned to En and asked, “What did you see down by the lake today?”

She really hadn’t been paying that much attention to what was being said as she was enjoying the food and was concentrating completely on the meal. She lifted one shoulder in a partial shrug and said, “Horses . . . lots of horses, and they were running and playing.”

“And where did you see them?” He asked quietly.

As if they were there all the time she replied saying, “Oh on the other side of the water. I couldn’t get to them because of that but they were having lots of fun and I really wanted to have fun with them.” At that point she went back to eating. We all knew that after the meal she’d be heading for a nap.

He turned back to me with questions in his eyes. “Okay son, did you see the horses?”

“Like I said dad, all I saw was the lake, the trees and the birds, nothing more. Then she grabbed my arm and all of it vanished and I saw great herds of wild horses.”

 

For the next few years we, as a family, tried to keep it quiet. Still we all had a chance to experience her visions, and I guess you can say that they did enrich our lives. Still, what she had been given wouldn’t help any so we felt that keeping it a family secret was the best. Then one day while she had been out with her friends she came home shaken and quiet. At that very moment we knew she had experienced one of her visions and from the look on her face, and the pallor of her skin, and the fact she had tear tracks on her face told us all we needed to know.

Mom, with concern showing in every part of her being asked, “En, are you all right?”

At that moment En broke out in a fresh bout of tears and ran to mom and clung to her. This was the first of many visions that followed that shook her, and to be honest, us. Up until that first one all of her visions had been pleasant, pleasing to our minds. None of us understood, at the time, what was happening or what these visions were. And we were sure that no one would be interested in the gift that only presented images that had no real purpose or use for the world as it was.

We were all together one evening when that first different one repeated. We saw the fear in her eyes as she stared sightlessly out into nothing. To see the rest of us gathered around and held onto her. What we saw shook us to our very core. When we had come together as a family we found ourselves standing on a mountain and we saw each of us next to each other. There was a strong wind blowing and while the air was warm, the breeze was cool. We sensed more than saw that something ominous was about to take place.

I stared out into the distance and saw what had to be what we knew as a city. Cities didn’t exist now, only in the past. We were too few, and the places where any might live and survive were even less. Suddenly the skies lit up with a blinding bright light right over that city, followed by a cloud of some kind climbing high into the sky. From this point of origin a large cloud layer rolled out in every direction hiding what was under it. And when we could see everything it had touched was gone.

Looking at the family and En I saw shocked disbelief. And then I, as I suspect they, realized that even here we wouldn’t be able to escape that cloud of death. Panic began to rise in all of us and we desperately looked for any way to escape, but there was none. Then as this cloud began to climb the mountain approaching us at a speed greater than any horse, or anything we ever saw moving, despair and dread filled us and as one we turned to run, and then we were back in our shelter.

We looked at each other surprised that we were back, and still alive. And then we all looked at En and saw that she was shaken and crying. These images were too much for one so young. How did one deal with such? How did one stay innocent? How could one not be destroyed from such images? We reached out and held her close. It was the only thing we could do.

It was later that I began to wonder what this image was all about, what did it represent? We hadn’t been there long enough to see what had actually happened to that city that was in the distance, and whether the visions she had meant anything at all. And the fact that she had no control over them, no way to suppress them meant that others like this one would arrive unbidden leaving her shaken, as well as any who happened to be in physical contact at that moment. And it was one of these incidents that finally revealed to the village that En had the gift. No it wasn’t one of the scary ones, thankfully.

It was a few years later during one of the celebrations that included dance, song, and fellowship. During one of the dances where the entire village would dance as one, with each holding on to each other’s hands, she had one of her visions. Suddenly, other than the ones playing the instruments everything went quiet. En who was in the middle with the other children, which included me of course, and all the grown ones on either side started having one of her visions, and fortunately it was one of the early ones she had many years in the past. It was of the vast herds of horses dancing and wheeling on the vast plains. And as quickly as it was there, it was gone, leaving the village breathless.

Fortunately nobody, other than the family knew who was responsible or what such a thing represented. For now it allowed, for a short time, En to remain anonymous since the whole village experienced the vision. It became the talk of the village for a long time. Eventually, as in most things, time and other incidents put it out of the memories of most. Still such cannot remain a secret forever. And in truth, this vision seen by all had leaked out beyond, and the rumors began saying that the whole village had been given a taste of the gift and that there would be a great chance that someone there would be the receiver.

Well, we knew that had already happened – we the family. We all wanted to protect En, but there wasn’t any way we could protect her from those visions. Visions that had to tear her apart inside as all that death and destruction came to her. Eventually, by the way she’d act and react, the ones around us began to suspect, and eventually know. We, the family knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret forever. Still, in a small part of our souls we hoped to.

One day we were called to the meeting area where the leaders came together. We were confronted with what had been observed, and asked to give answers to the questions. No it wasn’t put forth with suspicion or with fear. We were asked honest questions for which we knew we’d have to give honest answers. The one point we had to make, simply stated, was that the gift En was given would help no one. We guessed that what we saw when we were with her in those visions were images from the past. And as such would do no one in the present any good. And yes what she had was strong – strong enough that others, when in contact with En, would experience the same vision.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread beyond our village, and even though it had been stated that one here in this village had the gift this manifestation would benefit no one. Still it didn’t prevent many from making the trek from wherever they were to see and experience the gift firsthand. And it meant that somehow that our village would have to figure out how to support these additional ones putting a further strain on what we had.

Eventually the fervor died down. Since she, at this time, had no control over when these visions of hers would arrive, many would leave disappointed, and at times angry to have not experienced firsthand one of these visions. And this led to both doubt that she had the gift from some, and excitement from others because they had experienced and lived one of those visions. Eventually the archivists wanted to see, figuring that what she experienced might have truly been the past of this world. They wanted to write down what they saw.

In the end even they finally left. The problem, they learned, was there was no continuity, no way to tell what they saw through her visions was the past, and there was no timeline with those visions. So they had no way to know when or what happened. It was during this time that the visions became stronger, and when inside them one could use all one’s senses. Now they – these visions – were as real as looking out in the morning watching the sun rise above the horizon. Real as feeling the chill of the morning, and then the warmth as the heat drove that chill away.

Now you tasted the air, felt the humidity, sensed the subtle changes that happened when you hiked through an area. It was the smell of the greenery, the sounds of birds flying, the feel of the wind, and the moving of the grass in the grasslands as those winds created waves. And unlike before where you could only look where she was looking, one now could turn in any direction and see the whole world, and at times it would bring tears. Why tears you ask? Because what we’d see showed this world in all the beauty and variety that no longer existed. It made one want to spend all their time inside of these visions.

Yet, during all of this time, the visions covered large areas, great vistas, mountains, cities in the distance, and such – nothing up close and intimate. That would change later. Still, we appreciated what we saw. Unfortunately for her these stronger visions would wipe her out and she’d easily sleep two days before recovering. It was a worrisome thing. One so small had only so much energy to expend, and for whatever the reason, the visions seemed to require a lot.

Eventually the ones coming to see the gift trickled down to a few, only showing up with the traders, making it easier on everybody. And slowly as she grew up she began to gain control over the visions. No, she couldn’t manifest them on command, but she was able to shrink the areas down, make the scenes more intimate. And eventually we began to understand one of our yearly celebrations.

Here in this vast desert there are but two seasons and two major celebrations. And they, the celebrations, rotate around the growing and harvesting of our crops. The first celebration has to do with the plantings and the hope for a successful wet season – such as it is – to allow our crops to grow, and the last is after the harvest where we’d gather and give thanks for the bounty. Yet, here with this celebration another seemed to be a part of it, but had no direct connection to the harvest. It was the celebration of the birth of a male child.

Now to be honest, we always feel great with the birth and survival of a child, as death seems to follow as often as life. Yet, for whatever the reason this had more significance than this. And with reverence we, the whole village, and as I understand it, the whole world, would honor this child. And maybe, in the end, this is why En had those visions, even though it took years for her to learn how to control them.

And we really never understood why or when this portion of the celebration had become part of us, but it had always been there, and important. We felt that what this part represented is the future, since a child coming into this world held its own promises for such. If one traveled, which I mentioned I didn’t, then one would most likely see this celebration in exactly the same way everywhere, and at the same time of the year.

We, the village, were sitting around the communal fire, quietly celebrating this portion of the annual harvest celebration when I noticed En smiling, having that distant stare saying she was having one of her visions. She reached out and touched the ones on either side of her, and they realized what was happening. Shortly we were all arm in arm and enjoying what she was seeing.

So different from those of the past, as this was up close and personal, an intimate view of this same celebration, but at the same time different. In fact it was two visions with a small break between. It explained everything to us – everything.

First we saw what might have been a desert, but in a way not really. Then we slowly got closer to what had to be a village. What and who we saw, well let’s say it was different. We saw what might have been a star shining bright overhead, and in a place reserved for the animals a young woman about to give birth. And with that birth the air filled with beings that seemed to hang in the sky proclaiming the birth of this child – the very one we celebrated. To say we were in awe is an understatement.

This scene faded, and before we broke contact the second began and it was obvious that some time had passed as we were inside a room, which had to be part of someone’s home or shelter. It was night, and when we looked outside it appeared to be lit up with some type of artificial light. Something we didn’t have now, but we’d seen something similar in other visions of hers.

In that room was a tree, but of a type we were unfamiliar, and that tree was decorated and lit with lights of many colors. The room was warm and inviting, and there was music in the background. We heard the words, “For unto us a child is born”, and we realized it had to be that child we’d seen in the previous vision. It was then as we listened in awe, that the words spoke of a Savior, and at that moment we realized that this is exactly what we celebrated now. Even after all the time from then to now, this was still with us.

Then that vision too faded away and we were back. Looking around I saw that everybody was quiet, introspective. Now we knew, now we understood. We had a rare opportunity to understand, to see, and to tie it all together. That child had come into the world to save us, to show us the light that lit the darkness. It was God providing a way to bring us back to Him.

The Return of the Woman in the Snow

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

For this week’s ping back I’m presenting the Christmas story I wrote for 2015 titled, Time Shared Time Lost. Again like the majority of my Christmas short stories this is an alternate view of the season. This is a story seen through the eyes of a child: (https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/time-shared-time-lost/)

The Return of the Woman in the Snow, an introspective journey, is a Work in Progress (WIP). I’m approximately 21,000 words into the first draft. And if you’ve been following this series of posts then this would be novel number eleven – one past my present goal. Since it is a sequel to the novel The Woman in the Snow, one would think that it would become part of at least a two book series. But I felt that both can remain as stand alone novels. Yes, it would fill in some of the blanks if one read The Woman in the Snow first, but it isn’t necessary. Consider the genre Contemporary Christian Fiction.

Interestingly this story came about because of the contractor who designs my covers. Since I’m a long way from being rich, and probably much closer to being poor, I usually use the basic presentation from her, which means she usually presents one cover for which we then make changes as necessary. So when I was preparing to release the second edition of The Woman in the Snow, she, for the first time, presented two covers.

Both, as usual, were excellent. I had a number of people look at the two covers, and eventually decided on the one that is presently used for the novel, The Woman in the Snow. Yet, that second cover intrigued me. I saw lots of possibilities in it, and asked the contractor to archive the cover. This then led me to seriously consider writing this sequel. In my mind’s eye I saw much of the story and decided to go ahead and start working on it.

For any of us who has been around awhile we know that time is fleeting and moves along much too fast. Suddenly we find that decades have gone by and are really surprised that all this time has passed us by. Still once we look into that mirror that doesn’t lie, it shows us the truth of what life has brought to us with every line, and wrinkle, and all those aches and pains that won’t ever go away. We find that those abuses of youth have come back to haunt us in these later years. Many times we watch as things we’ve always done are taken away one by one.

It was with these thoughts that I decided that the protagonist from that first novel would be facing this very thing. Time has moved on and it’s now thirty five years after the incident. Her children are grown, and have families of their own, leaving just the two of them – husband and wife. She has always wanted to go back and visit that place where her life was on the line, and she discovered and found her faith. And finally an opportunity to do just that has opened up. She’s not going to miss this rare opportunity and so she returns to those beginnings.

And this is what this novel is about. Her retracing that time. And as time has affected her, it will also show changes to the area where she came close to dying. The only constant in life is change, and that applies to everything. I hope to have this written by the end of 2018. Still the novel that precedes this is also a WIP, and I started that one ahead of this one. Yet, to be honest, I’m further along with this one, so in the end it might become number ten instead of eleven. Either way I will complete and self publish this in the future.

God Bless, and have a great week! (This is a new website: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on December 16, 2017 at 6:58 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

And the Rains Came

 

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction:)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0):

 

For this week’s link back to a past Christmas story we have to go back to 2014. The short story is Titled, And it Came to Pass. In a way it’s one of my personal favorites, and yes like the past ones linked so far it is an alternate view of the season. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/and-it-came-to-pass/

This novel titled, And the Rains Came, is a work in progress (WIP). In truth I have a long way to go as I’m only roughly 4000 plus words into this one, and with my average length being 115,000 words I’m at the very beginning. It is number ten, (and my present goal). The genre is Science Fiction Adventure. I’m really not sure where this idea came from. It kind of just showed up. Wherever it did the concept and title intrigued me.

What do I mean here? Well, let’s think about it for a moment. This title, to most of us, can have a double meaning. And what I mean is that it can be taken literally, or it can be taken figuratively. Literally meaning it’s raining, and figuratively meaning the world has come crashing down and things have gone from bad to worse. And that is what the protagonist is attempting to discover and understand. He’s spent all of his energy and effort trying to solve this mystery that has plagued him his total life.

The main character of this story has become obsessed with these discovered ruins. Still he cannot claim to be the first. Only one of the many over time that has attempted to solve this mystery. And simply put what’s before him is a set of ruins sitting in the middle of what only can be described as a desert. Yet, even this desert is a mystery as it shouldn’t exist. In fact it should be almost tropical.

And in those ruins a simple one line statement was discovered, which with the present conditions make no sense. And that statement: And the Rains Came. Looking around it’s obvious that there’s been no rain here, yet what does anybody know as to how it was when this was a thriving community. Leaving him with so many questions and no answers.

In fact the area is so barren that he must haul everything in so he can continue his research. So it limits his time at the site. At least there are caves close by where he can set up his camp and keep him out of the heat, and most of the dust. Still his increase of knowledge is at best small. He knows no more now, then when he first began his research here too many years in the past. How can there be so little when it’s obvious the community here was huge?

This obsession has left him alone as his family has abandoned him sometime in the past. And he isn’t a young man at all. And in the end he could fail as all the others who have that tried to solve this mystery from the past. Leaving the mystery to be solved by later generations. And this is the story in a nutshell.

I hope to have this finished in 2018, as well as the one I’ll present next week. Have a great week and God Bless! (I have a new website: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers

 

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0:

 

One of the things I’ve been doing for the last few years is to link back, or as it’s called ping back to my past Christmas stories, and I’m continuing this tradition each week until the end of the year. This story, Storms, was posted in 2013, and then with the feedback from readers I then wrote a followup to deal with the unseen portion. So here I’ll be providing two links – the first for part one, and the second, (obviously) for part two. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/storms/ and https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/storms-the-rest-of-the-story/ With this it’s onto today’s post:

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers is number nine. It is a stand alone novel in the Science Fiction Adventure genre. In most of my novels I initially see my protagonist standing somewhere overlooking what becomes the beginning of the story. And from there the storyline develops. And this one is no different. No this didn’t come from a dream, a piece of music or any such prompt. In fact this was a subject that I had bouncing around in my mind.

To be honest, this was the toughest one I’ve written. What I mean here is the fact that while I read lots of Science Fiction, as far as writing goes, for me this novel isn’t necessarily what I write and so I struggled with the story, quit a number of times, and came back to it before actually finishing it as a first draft. I really wondered if the story was even salvageable. So with some trepidation I went back through the whole thing and to my surprise I found a really great story. (This shows the importance of writing even when the writing doesn’t appear to be working.)

If you think about it reminiscing about the past as we get older is quite common. Of course how we remember something isn’t necessarily how it actually happened. Still from when the event happened to how we see it and how we remember has been shown, through studies, to be inaccurate. Yet, to us personally, it’s exactly as we see it in our mind’s eye. Why is this important, because this is a narrative about looking back. Yet in this case the one telling the story has perfect memory, and you learn how this comes about in the novel.

When you think about it, usually this style of storytelling is in the first person. So I took some liberties and wrote it in the third person. And as this story unfolds you, as the one looking over the shoulder of the two involved, begin to understand why it is told this way. Because of what took place you learn that the narrator can see everything that’s happened to him and his world later after much of what takes place in the story has transpired. And no I’m not going to explain that here as it would give it away.

Originally the title for this novel was A World Apart.  It was pointed out to me that this title wouldn’t allow it to show well in the search engines, and so I began to think about what would be a great replacement title and came up with the one I ended up using. I decided on this one because it actually describes and deals with much of what happens in the story and with the main protagonist of the novel. He is a young farmer that finds himself in an untenable situation and tries to make it work. (And later I realized that in this novel is a possible recurring character that could launch a series of novels if I so choose to do so.)

And as the story unfolds you sit with the protagonist and his great grandson, who cannot believe that one such as this old one could have lived such a life. And as the story is told, for us as well as the great grandson, we learn of a great adventure leaving the great grandson, and hopefully us, impatient  for the next installment, or this case the next chapter.

Oh just a personal thought here; while I’ll never attain the age of the main character in this story I’m no longer young. And to be honest it is a surprise that I’m pushing 70. I really do wonder where those years have gone. It is a surprise when I see our children married, and beginning families of their own. So I guess in some ways I can identify with TimOtee.

One of the key words I use for this novel is alien contact, and in truth it fits. Still probably not in the way one expects. In TimOtee’s world they are approximately in the Iron Age as compared to the ones who come to his world. Preindustrial that’s for sure. And his world is invaded by us, making us the aliens. The story rotates around a number of groups, as each try to accomplish their goals. Below is the back page:

The Shimmering Barrier: Dazed and confused, TimOtee stood motionless watching that shimmering barrier of death. He was alone – separated from his family and friends. Nothing could have prepared him for this, and it’s left him unready, fearful, and desperate. What he faces is beyond incredible, completely unimaginable, or anything he might have seen in his wildest and darkest nightmares.

The Strangers: Just before this shimmering barrier arrived he saw, from a great distance, strangers approaching his home.

The Danger: And if one approached, this shimmering barrier fills the air with sounds that warn everybody to stay away or die. What can be happening on the other side, and is his family still alive?

The Farmland: The rich land that surrounds him is vacant as all have fled in the face of this present danger.

Home: Seemingly gone forever. Until he lost his home, he couldn’t imagine how such a loss would affect him personally. Finding home again becomes all-consuming for TimOtee. He learns that without family or his home, he is and has nothing.

TimOtee: This ­­­­­­­­fantastic adventure from the past that he relates to his great grandson – TimOtee knows that what he speaks is true. Yet his namesake cannot believe this old one in front of him could have ever lived such a dangerous life. It seems impossible!

And with this story out and available novel number nine got me closer to that new goal I set for myself, which is ten. If things continue as they have in the past then in 2018 I should make and surpass that goal. At the present it appears that I’ll end up with twelve novels. Whether I continue past that at this time I don’t know. Still I have many ideas and such, but shortly my wife will retiring, and we hope to be able to take some time away. In truth, all of this is in the future, and the future is known to no one, (And it happens to be what I write about.) other than the fact that none of us will get out of this world alive. I had someone state that when we are born we are born terminal. We are only given so much time here, making time the most precious commodity we have.

Have a great week and God Bless! (I have a new website: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

 

Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown

Available as of December 5th, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy. They will be released on Tuesday December 5th. Available as paperbacks and EBooks. The story is post-apocalyptic by many generations who are looking back and attempting to solve a myth that will not die.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0):

 

As a reminder, as I link back to my previous Christmas stories, I thought it important to write about alternative stories. Ideas that take us away from all the “feel good” stories, not that there’s anything wrong with feel good stories. I thought about the fact that for many such a time isn’t necessarily a great time even though we’d like it to be. These stories aren’t necessarily negative, but simply provide a different view. And with these thoughts I wrote for 2012, A Darkness Incomplete. https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/a-darkness-incomplete/

Ah yes, here is number eight, (And the novel that reached my original goal). And as the stories continued to come to me I found that my average word count was running somewhere between 115,000 to 125,000 words. And if I was to try the traditional route to a published work then for a debut novel the word count would have to be less. In fact publishers request that these “first” novels  be from 80,000, and no greater than 100,000 words.

So as I wrote this novel I consciously worked to keep the word count down and within that range. Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, when first written, ended up around 84,000 words. And for me it was a tough write as I ended cutting a lot of material that would make the story richer, and in my mind better. So I put it out there, and one publisher seemed interested, but in the end rejected the story. There were no other bites or requests.

This meant I needed to go back and rework the story, which I did. In truth if you dig back into the archives here in this blog you will find the novel presented – both as it was originally written, and then later with the changes and revisions. It allowed any to see the process of writing and revision. Still once a publisher has rejected your manuscript you cannot go back and resubmit the story. You get only one chance with that publisher.

This story came about from images in my mind, and from some past reads that pointed me in the direction I needed to go. I write three types of stories, and here I’m referring to the structure. They are chapter, which most are, timeline, which have no chapters, and episodic, which this novel is. While most stories deal with time, the timeline generally is there for all to see and is more in the background. Kind of like any day we go through. We get up in the morning go through our routines, and then find ourselves, at the end of the day, back in bed. There’s a definite beginning and end, and this applies well to chapter books.

In my timeline books it is time itself that is the factor. It is critical to the action, and since there are many players in the story, where they are at a particular moment keeps things organized in one’s mind. Making it easier to follow what’s happening to whom and where it is taking place. So instead of chapter headings there’s simply a line stating day and time of day and who it applies to. The Woman in the Snow is an example of this.

In my episodic novels, which Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown is, each episode can stand on its own. In a sense it’s a short story that is part of the overall story. If you think about it you might compare this to a mini series on TV where each episode is given, which is complete onto itself, but one must see all of them to get the full story, and have it wrap up.

So, with the revisions, I ended up writing another episode, rewrote other portions, and changed the end bringing closure to this story. And because of the way the story stayed with me I’d actually started a sequel to this story. Again like the other I mentioned that is incomplete, this one may end up that way also. I’m still involved with two others that I’m presently writing. This novel is post-apocalyptic, again “the event” has happened far into the past. Far enough that the ones living in the present are unaware of what happened, or consider it myth.

It is a primitive world of walled villages, raider clans, trading centers, and transportation by animal and foot. The story begins with us following a young man who is about to enter the world of adults, and as such wants to fulfill one final desire before having to put such trivial thoughts away forever. Their village is in the foothills on the edge of a great desert, and behind their village is the peaks that always have snow on top. He wants to conquer those peaks and gets permission to do so. And it is during this time of climbing the mountains that his world changes forever. And here is the back cover:

A World of Walled Villages: It is a time where heavily fortified protection is needed because there are fierce roving raider clans who strike with deadly swiftness. It is from this world that Jay, a young male about to enter adulthood, decides to pursue his lifelong dream.

The Mountain Peaks: Tall, foreboding and challenging. These exist behind his village as part of its protection and isolation. It is these same towering and majestic peaks that Jay desires to conquer – unaware that his world and his life will soon be forever changed.

The Desert: Enormous, barren, deadly – this is the other element of the village’s isolation and protection. Few dare to venture here.

Apocalyptic Event: Happened deep enough in their past that many people believe its myth – a story invented by their ancestors. Yet the resulting destruction is still visible in both the ancient craters, and the sparse populations.

And with this; everything is set that will lead to life changing events for the people, the world, and Jay in this post-apocalyptic tale of life and death.

And there you have it, a world that has ordinary people who face extraordinary circumstances or situations that force them to grow, to change, and to overcome the challenges that is thrown their way. Their choices are simple – survive, or die. And it will be up to them as to which will be the outcome.

God Bless and have a great week!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: