Myths and Rumors

Welcome to Christmas 2018. If are reading this on Christmas day then you’ve already opened your presents, and the chaotic day has slowed to a comfortable pace. And maybe you thought it was time to go see what is out there on the web, and maybe a story or two to bring a smile to your face. Later in the day a Christmas dinner but for now that’s the future. Now is your time, a few minutes to yourself to enjoy family, the day, and a bit of nostalgia as you remember past Christmases.

As I’ve done, since this blog has existed, I’ve posted, on Christmas day, a short story which is about this time of year. And this year is no different. I actually begin to write these stories at least three months in advance of Christmas day. After all, it takes time, and work of course, to get the story created, and then just right to present. As the title to this post suggests, this is the name of this year’s story. As I stated with Sunday’s post I will give nothing away other than what little I stated in that same post. That way it is fresh and unknown with no expectations. So for your reading pleasure and for Christmas 2018, is Myths and Rumors:

I cannot say what started me on this, well for lack of a better word, quest, (But if I want to be entirely honest that isn’t necessarily true). I’m one who studies and teaches history. Not one who goes on useless and worthless searches. And I really considered this to be one of those. Still, as I sat here by my campfire, under the canopy of the night sky with the stars shining down, and by looking back to where this began I believe that it went something like this: I guess it might have been that night at the local watering hole and being under the influence of that fermented drink that they serve there, I believe again that it was then it most likely happened.

My friends and I were in a deep discussion about many of the myths and rumors of what the past held. One of the main myths stated that there had been an event somewhere before written history that spoke of a disaster of some kind that was to have been on an apocalyptic scale. Personally I’ve never seen any evidence of such. Still such things have a tendency to come up when that fermented drink is being consumed. It leads to passionate discussions, arguments, and, in my case, commitments.

Oh there were other such rumors or myths talking about large cities, the ability to fly, and to cover great distances on land in some type of conveyance that kept one comfortable. Then there was the one dealing with what our distant – very distant – ancestors celebrated every season around the time of the winter solstice. It represented a time of giving and had a name. Well to be honest most myths and rumors do have names attached. Otherwise nobody would know what you’re talking about. Well this myth’s name is Christmas, whatever “a Christmas” is.

My friends would say, “Johnathon Cane you know that there’s always a kernel of truth in those things. You’ve said so yourself, not only here, but when you teach.”

Well, this isn’t something I can deny since it is the truth. But back onto the subject at hand and that myth about this Christmas. It is said that this celebration was so big that there even was a town named Christmas. Well, actually these myths and rumors said that there was more than one. Every time I’d hear those comments I’d end up laughing. “Really?” I’d ask. “Next thing you’ll tell me is you have some wonderful lowlands for sale for a really good price.”

Somewhere along the line a challenge was put forth. I guess it must have been even though I didn’t necessarily remember. The next day I found myself dealing with one huge headache that hurt worse every time I moved. As far as what we had discussed and talked about the previous night, well, once again, it was well beyond my memory. It wasn’t until those same friends, (and I use that term loosely), over the next many days, asked when I would begin my trek to prove that this town of Christmas didn’t even qualify as myth.

I would reply, simply stating that whatever we discussed over the table at our favorite watering hole was to be left there . . . Even though these same myths and rumors had placed one of those towns north and east of us. I stated, “After all, we wouldn’t – couldn’t to be honest – solve the world’s problems, or really know what happened deep in the past before anything was written.” And, to be honest, any conclusions we came to were influenced by what we were drinking anyway.

So, why was I out here then? Why was I out in this wilderness, where only the wild beasts roamed, searching for a myth that most likely was just that and completely unprovable. Well, if I knew the answer I probably wouldn’t be here. Our time’s tracked with sundials and moon cycles, and I had left at the end of winter figuring to return a no later than the end of fall before winter began to turn things white and it being much too cold to be outside.

Judging from the conditions I was now heading into the beginning of summer which meant that over one third of my time on this search was gone and other than getting a nice tan and seeing a lot of country I had nothing to show for it. Heck, I hadn’t even found any sign that anyone had ever lived out here, let alone had traveled in this wilderness. It seemed that even trails were few and far between. In fact in some of the areas the forest grew so thick that one had to find ways around.

If nothing else the experience I continued to gain showed how diverse and beautiful this land was. Someday it might be filled with people, but that someday was many generations down the road of time. And as I sat by my warming and cooking fire before night truly settled in, these thoughts would continue to haunt me . . . Everything that I just talked about and showed you. And I’d continue to consider myself a fool for agreeing to this.

That is until one night after heading inland towards the east and following a somewhat shaky trail which ran through mountains that appeared to be of solid rock. Well, not quite solid since those alpine trees grew there. Still I could see that these mountains were young by their very jagged and rugged nature. There was a river close by that soothed one with the quiet sounds it produced. Since I would normally set up camp just as dusk was approaching, which I had, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

In a sense it had been an introspective day as I looked inward. Of course since I was in the wilderness I had to remain alert to the dangers inherent to such places. I’d more or less been close to this river for some time and it helped provide the food I needed to survive. And before it became dark I had cooked my meal of fish over the open fire. I must admit that it would have been nice to have someone here with me, but alas I was alone.

In retrospect I realize that it was probably stupid but there was little I could do about it. To have someone to assist and to cover one’s back would be the obvious reason. But there are others such as companionship during the trek, as well around the campfires. And then there probably would be the most important. If I actually did find something out here then they would be able to confirm it. And yes, I did find something.

Night had settled in when suddenly ahead and in the distance the sky lit up. With the mountains around me and the trees of course, it was impossible to determine where the light originated. It appeared to be actually somewhere in the forest coming up from the ground. I thought, impossible. This must be my imagination . . . Probably the moon rising or something like that. Yet I realized that we were at the time of the new moon, which meant no moon.

Trying to judge the distance I knew there would be no way for me to make an attempt to move forward in the dark and locate the source of this light. It would have to wait until the light of day. As I stared at this distant light it seemed to draw me, beckoning for me to come and see. It was like the Siren’s call. As I watched that light I realized it was much brighter than even our village put out. It sent chills through me. What possibly existed that might do this? I had no idea and no answers

And the night and surrounding forest remained quiet and peaceful . . .

I found that I slept well and was up before the sunrise. I searched, with my eyes, in the direction that I saw that fantastic light but it had disappeared. So after eating a hearty breakfast I packed and continued down the trail to whatever destiny awaited me.

It approached midday when I finally turned a corner on this almost nonexistent trail when things suddenly changed. No there was no gradual subtle shift from where I was to what I saw before me. It was instant. The trail initially widened and the surface of that same trail shifted from dirt to a hard broken grey-black surface, and then widened significantly. In fact we probably could have placed two carts side-by-side and still had room. It caused me to pause.

“So Johnathon”, I said to no one since as far as I knew I was the only one here, “what’s this all about?” I stood there wondering what this surface was made of but had no answers. One thing for sure it made the hiking so much easier. With the sun directly overhead there was little shadow to reveal much of what lay ahead, so with this easier path I picked up the pace. Soon I’d need to find a place to camp for the night.

Suddenly, and in the distance, I saw what had to be ruins of what I or we of our time would call a village. And this widened path or trail went right down and between those ruins. It left me wondering why and what such a place would be doing here literally in the middle of this virgin forest. Yet from the size it obviously had been thriving when people were here. It only deepened the mystery. I had taken off my pack to rest my shoulders so I picked it up from the ground and put it back on and quietly continued on into this strange and lost place.

It appeared that many of these, well for lack of a better word, shelters had been more than ground level. As if the ones who lived here had learned how to build upwards adding other spaces on top of the ones that were built upon the ground. It was a unique concept. I know that there were suggestions from my time that said such were possible and that it would simply require that the first level be built heavier to support the weight of the second level. But as far as I knew no one had tried.

Yet here before me was proof that it had been tried somewhere deep in the past and was successful and a common practice. So maybe there was truth to many of those myths and we were simply relearning and rediscovering ideas and practices that we had once known and was common knowledge. These thoughts caused me to pause and really look around. Unfortunately this lost village wasn’t close to anything, anybody, or any of the locations where there were a lot of people.

Not being an artist, and not having much to either draw or write upon I’d had to do the best I could with what I had. Unless . . . unless what? Unless somewhere in these ruins I’d be able to find something to use, some scraps of something that’d allow me to do a better job of recording all that was around me. I had the time so there was no need to hurry this. This meant I might do a thorough job of searching these ruins and maybe find out what happened here. Still this dead village couldn’t have been the source of that light I saw in the night. So should I go further to see if I might find that source, or would it behoove me to simply stop here and do a bit of research?

Again that stopped me. In a sense it had been that bright light in the night that had brought me here. And here might be the greater treasure as far as knowledge. That bright light was more a draw bringing forth a strong curiosity and in the end might actually be that Siren’s call drawing one onward never to find the source. Like chasing those images of water in the desert that always retreat.

So I decided to stay here. After all, if I wanted to continue on and search for that source I would most likely have some additional time to do that. So looking at these shelters from the deep past I headed towards one of the closest that was on my left. There happened to be a bench on the outside and so I sat there, carefully since I didn’t know if it would support me or not. And once I was satisfied with its strength I, once again, removed my pack and set it next to me, relaxing and just enjoying the peace, the quiet, the slight breezes that cooled the after zenith air.

The sun felt wonderful. In fact I suspect that I ended up napping as I awoke suddenly and realized half the after zenith had passed and the sun was well on its way to going behind those mountains that I had just passed through. It was time to find somewhere to spend the night. And that meant that I wouldn’t really begin my exploration of this hidden gem until the morrow. One thing for sure, I wouldn’t lack for wood for my campfire.

At first I thought that I’d stay right here in the middle of these ruins, but thought better of it. Who knew what might actually live in these long abandoned and collapsed shelters. So I retraced my steps back outside of this place lost to time and memory. Just outside there seemed to be an open area with nothing around. Simply the natural grasses with the trees off in the distance, leaving it to appear to be a safe place to camp – at least I thought so at the beginning.

So with practiced ease I set up my camp, and since I had a little more time before dusk settled in, I loaded up with wood so I might have a fire all night if I so desired. Looking off in the distance I saw something I could use to sit on, fetched it and faced it in the direction of this unknown village from the deep past.

Being a scholar it piqued my interest and curiosity wanting to know the history of this place, why it was here, and were there other such places close by. Of course there was no way to know, and to be honest I really didn’t have the time. I felt that once I was done exploring this one that I’d head back home letting my friends know that there were places where people had once lived. But I believed that this one I had found was just that, a place where people had lived, and nothing more.

After eating my evening meal, I smiled, as thoughts of what I’d say, briefly entered my mind. I mean, in the end, even if nothing was truly answered I’d gained experience and seen a lot of beautiful country. That alone made this trek worthwhile. I just wish I could have talked another into coming with me. So looking towards where the trees began, with my back to the ruins, as the light faded, and with the end of dusk these same trees disappeared into the darkness, I looked up at the fantastic display of stars in the sky. I have to admit that I never tired of the night sky.

I felt something, heard what sounded like a whoosh, and was struck by a strong wind that briefly swept over the meadow where I was camped. I watched as my fire leaned sharply towards those trees hidden in the darkness and flared higher before settling back down. What’s that, I thought. Turning back towards the source of the wind chills ran up and down my spine and I thought I’d gone crazy. “This is impossible,” I said out loud. I stood there staring. It was as if I grew roots and was unable to move.

These ruins that I had been in earlier this day were no longer ruins. It now was a live and thriving village or town, (as I learned later) lighting up the surrounding night in bright unnatural light. Looking to my right towards that trail I had followed to get here, well, it was no longer a trail. In fact it had become wide and covered in some substance that made it smooth instead of the broken surface that I’d hiked earlier this day. On that trail were strange wheeled . . . well, I don’t know what one would call them. I’d never seen the like.

I stared at these moving things, which had lights of their own that allowed them to see ahead. And the speed at which they moved was shocking. Even the fastest of steeds couldn’t move this fast. And as they approached the town they slowed. This directed my eyes to the village itself and I saw that there were many of these same things, again for lack of a better word, not moving, and seemed to be corralled in areas that were marked with white lines. I wondered if these things were alive, and those lines kept them there.

Then I saw one of the moving things pull into such an open marked area, stop, the lights and noise it was making ended and suddenly people got out of this thing, smiling laughing and conversing. I was seeing many of the myths coming true right before my eyes. It was then I began to hear music drifting with the night breeze, and as my eyes followed the light created by one of those, I guess I would call them mechanical moving things, I saw the sign at the entrance to this place, and it said: WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS TOWN.

I looked up into the sky and saw that same light I had on the previous night and was in awe of the power to produce such brightness. In fact it turned night into day. I found that suddenly I was being drawn towards this town, this place out of time. I wondered, if I did enter, would I be able to leave. I mean I’m from my time, and I saw this place in my time and only dust moved along and through those silent ruins. Not this vibrant and living place. If I entered would I be pulled into their world never to return to mine?

Yet the colors in the light produced, well I’ve never seen the like. I found that unconsciously, like that moth to flame, I had started moving in the direction to the entrance of this, this unbelievable place. As got closer I noticed that the people were dressed strangely. I don’t know how to describe it only that even they wore bright colors that matched the colors of those shining lights. I noticed that many of those same lights seemed to randomly blink off and then light again like the twinkling of the very stars above. How was this accomplished? What magic allowed such brilliance?

I found that I had actually approached to the very edge of this town and then like a shy child stood in the shadows drinking in all the sights, the music, and the very crush of humanity. I have never seen, until this very moment, so many people. Even if we had brought together the many surrounding villages close to where I live, for whatever the reason might be, it still wouldn’t be enough. These observations left me standing there in shock and awe.

It was then that the night breeze brought to me the smells of food cooking, and other such delights. This left me even more confused as I tried to understand how any of this was possible. I know that earlier this day I looked upon this dead “Christmas Town” with questions in my mind asking who had lived here, and why this was so far from anywhere. Yet, if I wasn’t dreaming, this place seemed to have none of the problems that I had associated it with earlier this day – no, none at all.

It was then that I noticed a booth that sat beside the trail those mechanical things moved on. And it was lit just as brightly as each of the shelters. It reminded me of the booths we used during our gathers where we would buy and sell, barter, and contract for services we couldn’t provide for ourselves. It was then that I realized that the one that was in that booth was looking at me. It was kind of a shock. I mean, up until that moment, I really didn’t know if what I was seeing was touchable, or that the ones who seemed to be in that world would see and be able to become part of my world.

With a smile and hand signals he beckoned me to come out of the shadows and come join him there at this particular booth. To say I was uneasy would be an understatement. I still worried about the fact – for which I had no proof either way – that I’d be able to enter this place and then return to my camp later. So with reluctance I slowly approached the booth and came out into the light. If this one was bothered by how I was dressed or where I’d come from there was no sign. In fact he continued to smile simply waiting.

As I did, come into the light that is, I stared at these shelters. They were beautiful, with the white fronts, large glass – yeah real glass – windows. And the amount of wood used to contrast that white made them the more enticing. Still that worry nagged me. This might be a trap. And if it is then I had already fallen under its spell, and was slowly being drawn in.

As I approached the booth I heard the one behind speak. He had a strange accent and some of the words were unfamiliar, yet I understood him perfectly. It was as if we were communicating on a different level, leaving the verbal as a simple support to be sure each understood the other. He said, “Howdy stranger, I’m Terry, and we’ve been expecting you.”

Now if such a statement did anything it did the obvious, sending chills up and down my spine and making the hairs stand up on my arms. “You’ve been expecting me?” I asked.

Here he smiled once again and said, “Yes . . . and no.” Then he shrugged. “What I mean is that we knew that a stranger in clothing different from the times would arrive. You see it was written a long time ago that such would be the case. I suspect there’s even a name – your name – attached. But, to be honest, it has been awhile since I’ve read it, and there’s been much that has happened since I last read it. Still all who live here know of it.” He canted his head to the side with that slight smile that showed curiosity before continuing.

“Now I know that you might consider this a trap of some sort. If what we have written is accurate then you are from our future, and we deep in your past . . . Meaning that if either I, or you move to the other’s position then we might never be able to return to our own time, remaining forever out of time, living in a place that we would probably never understand. Yet the truth is even stranger than that. Believe it or not this only happens – this shift in time – once a year. I know that a few days before the town arrives, wherever and whenever in time it will, that a bright light will light up the night sky – sort of a beacon to bring the chosen one here.

“Now I don’t know if you measure time the way we do but I’m sure that you do measure time. It might be by the seasons, or the cycles of the moon, or in many other ways.” Terry pointed over to the sign that stated, Christmas Town. “You see even this only exists for the last part of the year and as we approach the day of Christmas, then and only then does this shift in time happen. Call it magic, call it whatever you want or like, yet it happens. Whatever led to this is unknown, (there are thoughts on this), but whatever it is it does happen and we seem to arrive for a short period of time, somewhere in time, revealing our town to whoever happens to be here. And this time, stranger, it is you.

“It is always one person, and what is written always has one change. That change being the name of the person this is revealed to.” Here he laughed. “I guess it’s another reason not to remember the name that is written since it seems to magically change. Anyway Christmas has much myth attached to it. You will have a chance to experience much of what it is about during your night here. Still, and here I must warn you, once you find yourself back in your camp, nothing of this place will be with you . . . well, maybe something, but what will remain will be something only you will see and know.”

He now leaned on the counter that was part of the booth and asked, “So stranger, are you ready to come in and experience what your distant ancestors enjoyed? The joy, the celebration, the peace, the food – yes how can I forget about the food – and the gift giving that is all part of the celebration.”

What can I say? I mean what could I say; he had answered all my questions even though I hadn’t asked them. I felt a need to cross that line, to see what this town had to show me. So I answered, “Sure.” I had to admit that those twinkling bright lights were drawing me in and I wanted, honestly wanted, to see all of what was here before me. And I hoped that this Terry hadn’t lied and that when I awoke the following day that I’d be in my camp.

Terry smiled once again and signaled for a girl, who had to be somewhere between ten and twelve, and at the same time he handed me something that was on a chain. “She is Samantha, and she will be your guide throughout your time here. For you see this time is actually more for the children than adults, and this you will wear around your neck so all can see and know who you are. It allows everything you do here tonight to be at no cost to you.” Once again he laughed. “After all, you do not have what we use to purchase stuff anyway.” He then signaled for the two of us to get together, bowed, and pointed in the direction of the town saying with meaning, “Merry Christmas.”

Samantha smiled and said, “Welcome Mr. Cane.”

I know that he had stated that they knew who would arrive but I had thought this to be impossible. Yet without hesitation she had stated it. I looked at her with questions in my eyes and she looked down somewhat shyly before looking back into my eyes. I think that she knew what I was thinking and questioning. But did I dare ask since I had already been told? She reached up and took my hand and asked, “Shall we go? Our time here is limited and before you know it this will be only a memory with nothing to prove otherwise.”

She sounded old for her age. I wouldn’t have expected such a statement from one so young. And maybe that was exactly why she had been chosen. Anyway I nodded and she led me into this town. How can I describe what I saw and experienced? We went into most of the – as she called them buildings and stores – shelters that were here. I found that they were decorated just as brightly inside as out. And by being with this young girl and the medallion I wore around my neck I was able to sample much of the foods, and was given many small trinkets.

Each time we’d return to the street, and this was what she called it, not the trail as I would have known it, I’d stare at those wonderful strings of colorful twinkling lights that seemed to be around anything that that was above the ground – even the trees. And it seemed that the trees got special attention with brightly colored balls made of glass reflecting the very light that made it appear that the very stars from the night sky and been plucked and placed here for our pleasure.

The music, what can I say, it was surrounding us and she said that this was special music for this time of the year – again this was their way of measuring time. I was shown that book and there written within was a description of this night moving out of the flow of time and when I read my name written there, it literally took my breath away. How is such possible? I mean I had never been here, so how is it possible? No! Inside I thought, it cannot be, so I must be dreaming.

I learned that this came about because of a dying child sometime in their past and when this day arrived and the child has passed on to wherever we go after death something magical happened and this day became a day out of time moving for those hours during this special day to whenever it was deemed this Christmas Town would go. Who knows, it may have been the child’s dying wish. It was to be a gift for all time, and for the ones visiting it from the outside in their time nothing would be out of the ordinary. They’d arrive enjoy their visit here and return to their homes none the wiser to this other event, this unbelievable visit involving me, which was happening at the same time.

I saw excitement growing within this child and finally as the hours drew near to midnight she grabbed my hand and with some impatience pulled me back out to the street. Looking down at her I saw a big happy smile. She looked up and said, “It is time for the arrival of Santa Claus. Many consider him a myth but we know better.”

“So who is this Santa Claus?”

She smiled again at such ignorance. “He brings gifts and small treasures and leaves them under the decorated trees in the homes for the children. This is why this time of year is considered special for us.” Here she laughed, “After all, for a little longer I still am a child and it is a very special time for us as well as everyone.”

So we stood on what she called a sidewalk and waited as most of the people who were here. And speaking of people again I have never seen so many in one place or so many waiting for something that had this crowd almost breathless. Not knowing all I could do was wait. Then in the distance I saw a strange sight. Down that street came what could only be called a sled, something she called a sleigh, being pulled by what she named as reindeer – eight to be exact. In that sleigh was a man who had a white beard and was dressed in red. As the sleigh came closer it was obvious he wasn’t a small person.

Everyone cheered as he came abreast of them and there seemed to be smaller individuals with him that were tossing, out to the crowd, what appeared to be sweets of some kind. As this thing pulled even to the two of us the sleigh stopped and this Santa Claus looked directly at me. At that moment silence dominated this town. He smiled at me saying, “Welcome Johnathon Cane!” I was too shocked to respond, and after a nervous moment I bowed to him and he smiled and returned the gesture.

At that moment a cheer went out and the sleigh moved on down the street and in the distance turned a corner and was out of sight. At this moment Samantha grabbed my hand and began pulling me in the direction that this Santa Claus had gone. “Come on, we must go to where he will stop. While his time here will be short, since it is Christmas Eve, he will still stop long enough to give many here gifts.”

So with some reluctance I let her lead me. Shortly we were in an area that had to be the middle of this town. There was a huge tree in the center decorated just as extravagantly as the smaller ones I saw throughout this town. And I saw most of the people standing in a large circle which opened up when we approached. There was a breathless silence, one that spoke of anticipation . . . Of what I didn’t know.

Suddenly I realized that all eyes were on the two of us including this Santa Claus. He was sitting in a large chair and with that smile of his he motioned for me to come forward. I looked down at Samantha and together we approached him. There seemed to be such a peacefulness attached to him. He cocked his head sideways for a moment as if in thought. Then he said, “Johnathon Cane, you’ve been given a gift. Not one that can be placed in your pocket, or placed for display in your shelter, but one of the mind. You are a teacher and one who studies the past.

“So here before you is a taste of that very past. When you wake tomorrow you will still be near the ruins of this place, and you will wonder if you simply dreamed this.” He laughed, “Well, who am I to say it isn’t a dream? After all isn’t a dream simply another reality? When we are in a dream does it not seem real? And only upon waking do we know the difference.

“From what you’ve learned, studied, and yes even taught nothing would have shown you this. It is just for you.” He then had Samantha and me of course stand on either side of him and suddenly I was blinded by flashes of light. At that moment Samantha led me away leaving me unsettled by what this one had passed on and said to me. I knew I’d have to think long and hard about this night.

As we left I saw others lining up to see Santa Claus. And with most of the crowds here to see him the rest of Christmas Town seemed somewhat subdued and quiet. It was then I heard a bell ringing and I subconsciously counted the tones until I reached eleven and as the twelfth struck I was no longer in the town but back in my camp with the sun beginning to rise.

I thought, wow what a dream. I now looked toward those ruins with different eyes, and later that day when I explored them I was able to locate every place I had visited in that dream – if indeed it was a dream. It was then on the last day before I began my trek home that I found, in an inside pocket, a scrap of stiff paper. When I pulled it out wondering where this had come from I stopped. “No, no, this is impossible. What I saw and experienced had to be a dream!” Yet in my hand was proof that maybe it wasn’t and had been real. What was on that stiff paper was a small image with me, the man in red, and Samantha staring out. Both of them were waving and smiling with me standing there trying to understand.

I sat down in shock, thinking that this can’t be real. I turned it over and there on the back were these simple words:

Merry Christmas – Santa

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Two Days to Christmas

Yes, it’s two days to Christmas and if at nine days the young ones were excited, now it’s probably close to impossible for them to “settle down”. It is the anticipation, and the mystery, and of course that personal greed we all have, but not in a bad way. It is because we know that what is under that tree is meant for us and is given to us as a gift wth no strings attached.

Yes Christmas morning is almost in reach with the excitement and magic. Yet the children must get past Christmas eve, a time when many families visit other family members, or attend a candle light service in anticipation of what this day truly represents. Of course what I speak of here is the way Christmas is celebrated here in the US. And with this post I will link to a YouTube video that does a wonderful job of showing us exactly what Christmas is really all about.

And, of course, I do have that brand new Christmas short story to unwrap on Christmas day. This year it is simply a fun little story which will leave the protagonist wondering what is real. And this will be all I will say, which is more than I have in the past. To find out you will have to come back Tuesday or Christmas morning.

And now onto the YouTube video, and as with many it does have an ad leading into the video. So suffer through as the video is well worth watching:

https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com

Published in: on December 23, 2018 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Nine Days to Christmas

Here, in the US, it means that all the young children are getting really excited. “Wow, only nine days to Christmas!” It’s so exciting to wake up on Christmas morning and sneak out at the crack of dawn where it’s barely light enough to see. And yet there before their very eyes are those many brightly colored gifts just begging to become theirs.

Yes, there’s magic in the air, and it is a time for children who add their own magic to the day making it both special and memorable. And with those thoughts I’m providing a repost that looks back to another Christmas short story that I posted here in the past. And in many ways the story applies to what I’ve just stated.

I found that after many years of writing these short stories that I ran out of ideas, and so I asked my wife if she had any suggestions. And she did. So with her idea I ran with it and wrote, again like last week, another favorite for me. If you did take the time to follow the link last week and read, And it Came to Pass, you know that it’s not necessarily a happy story. When I first began to write these Christmas short stories I thought about it and knew that while most do have wonderful Christmases others do not. So most of these short stories look at this other side.

This one titled, The Ornament, isn’t one of those. It is a story from the perspective of an ornament and what it learns through the time it is with a family. And I think that it’s a great short story. Again, this one is Christian based, so will reflect that aspect. Instead of linking it back I decided to repost.  And as a reminder, I will be posting a brand new Christmas short story on Christmas day. This new one is just a fun story for which I will give nothing away. You’ll have to come back and catch it after all the excitement had died down, and the day has become quiet and relaxed. A time to take a small journey to another place, and another time.

And this story I’m presenting here plus seventeen others are available in the book, Words in the Wind. And here for your reading pleasure is, The Ornament:

She came running up to the display where I sat. And I could see the sparkle in her eyes, and a soul full of merriment and excitement for the time of year. She can’t be more than five, I thought, and probably a bit younger. In the distance I saw the one who had to be her father coming to collect her. It became obvious to me that somehow in the hustle and bustle that she had escaped his watchful eye. In the distance I saw the one who must have been her mother as she stayed with the shopping cart. In that cart sat an infant, plus one more that had to between this one standing before me and that baby in age.

If I could smile, I probably would have. But, I was of glass, made to look like a shining silver star with a slight gold tint. Like the one that could have been similar to the one announcing the arrival of another child over two thousand years ago. With the bright lights I shown brightly, reflecting that light from the many facets that is a part of me . . . Just the thing to catch a child’s eyes, but much too delicate for them to handle. I heard him, the one who had to be her father, say, “Come on honey, mama’s waiting for the two of us and we still have much to do. Plus, you know, if we have time, we need to go over and see your grandmother today.”

She answered excitedly, “But daddy . . . look! Isn’t it pretty?”

He took a quick look that said to me that he really hadn’t, and nodded to her. “Yes, yes it is. Now please come back. There are a lot of strangers in the store, and it would be easy for you to get lost.” With that he grabbed her hand and pulled her gently in the direction where the rest of the family awaited.

I watched as she resisted, reluctant to leave, but it was also obvious that she really wouldn’t disobey and with her head down, said quietly, “Yes daddy.” She quickly looked up at him and back at the display where I was and she said with hope, “Can we get one of the stars? Please?”

I could tell from his reaction that this wasn’t the first thing she had asked for in the shopping center, and it was also obvious that with the crowds that his nerves were on edge. He simply said, “Look, as I said, we have a lot more to do here today. And if we still have time, and you’re not tired, we can come back, okay?”

She stopped for a moment, and then looked back to me with a big smile and said, “We will be back, and then I can take you home with me and put you on our Christmas tree.”

I thought that it would be something which wouldn’t happen. With so many bright and shiny things to draw the attention of one so young, she would forget and it would simply be a brief memory for me . . . but I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, with as many who had looked and with the crowds there was a great possibility that some other person or child would pick me and I’d become part of their personal family and history. Yet, as the day moved on, and many of my brothers were chosen, I remained. Why, who knows, I surely didn’t. Still it must have been providence, or whatever word you like, for me to remain.

With the time of year all the stores remained open late, but even so eventually they would close down for the day. After all, the ones who worked here had families of their own, and they deserved to return to them at the day’s end. It was close to closing, and the crowds in the stores had thinned when suddenly in the distance I saw them. To be surprised was an understatement. I could see the weariness in the parents. I mean think about it. Running all day through the many stores with young children who would become overly tired and cranky as it is called, besides all the crowds. Well, I’d give it to them. I really felt they’d have gone home a long time ago, probably stopping off and picking up something to eat so nothing had to be prepared once they got home. And I honestly suspect the children – all three of them – would be fast asleep from that ride home.

With a big smile on her face she pulled a reluctant father back over to the display where I remained. I could see by his reaction that he was surprised that I was still here, and I suspect that he had promised his daughter that if I was still available that yes, they would buy it for her. So with care he lifted her up and she carefully picked me up and gently carried me back to their shopping cart where I became part of the many items. I guess I was to be a part of this family and only this family and thusly why I hadn’t been picked earlier in this day. As we wheeled out into the parking lot I felt the fresh cold air as all the numerous bags of treasure were placed into the trunk of their car. But, she wanted to hold me and so her father carefully dug me out and had her sit in the car, followed by being safely strapped in before he handed me to her.

I looked up and saw the excitement in her eyes, but she yawned so I suspected she’d be asleep soon. Still before we really got on the road to where they lived they pulled into a drive-thru and ordered their dinner. She carefully placed me on the seat between her and the baby. She quietly admonished the baby to “not touch”, and happily grabbed the burger, fries, and drink, and began to eat them telling me all about her day. And as we headed down the road I saw that she was trying hard to stay awake. But the food, the excitement of the day, plus the quiet droning of the car was winning and as hard as she tried, she lost the battle and soon was sound asleep as were her siblings. I saw the mother look back and smile a loving smile and say something to her husband, where he whispered something back. And by the lateness of the hour I felt they would be heading home instead of going over “to grandmother”.

I really couldn’t see out from where I sat but I did see that the side windows were frosted telling me it wasn’t warm and soon I heard a change as we pulled off the interstate and onto the side roads. I heard the windshield wipers rhythmically slapping the car as they cycled trying to keep the windshield clean and clear. Eventually the car slowed more and then pulled into a driveway where it stopped. They left the car running with the heater on and one of the parents left and I guess unlocked their door to the home where they lived. Then one by one they took the children inside. Yet before they could take the little girl she awakened slightly reached down and picked me up hugging me to her breast and then her father carried her inside with the mother shutting down, locking up the car and following behind.

They took her to her room, got her into her night clothes – you know those pajamas with the footsies – had her take care of the bathroom routine and tucked her in her bed. Looking up she reached out hand hugged her father saying, “I love you daddy.” For which he smiled a tired smile saying, “And I love you too sweetheart.” At this point he handed me to her since it was obvious she wasn’t going to let me go. At this point she snuggled down deeper under her covers, sighed a contented sigh, and was almost instantly asleep. I watched from where I was as he smiled a loving smile, making sure she was tucked in, and quietly left the room, turning out the light and closing the door. Still there was a nightlight so the room wasn’t dark. I knew they – the parents – still had to unload the car, plus all the other responsibilities they had to do before they would retire. I thought about this sleeping child where I remained. Yes to be young and innocent, to not understand what the world really is, to think what little I see and understand to be the world, and feel safe, such a wonderful thing.

I knew as he put her daughter down for the night that she, her mother would be doing the same thing for the middle child and I suspect that together they’d get the baby to bed before heading out and finishing the night. Yet, for me it simply is a guess since here I am in this bedroom with the one who’d chosen me.

* * *

It was the next day and for a while I remained in her bedroom. It seemed she had much to do and at this time it didn’t involve me. I guess it is the standard stuff, but you must remember I hadn’t been around such before. I learned she had to go to the bathroom, take a quick bath after getting out of her pajamas, and from the laughter and splashing I could tell she, and later I learned her younger brother had a good time playing in the water. From where I was I heard screams of laughter as the sounds got closer to her bedroom and she ran into her room with her mom close on her heals. She jumped on the bed naked as a jay bird, as the saying goes, throwing the towel she had with her on the floor. I saw her mother shaking her head, even though she had a smile on her face. “Okay, little one, it’s time for you to get dressed and then we need to go downstairs and have breakfast.” It was quiet for a moment as the mother appeared to be listening and whatever she heard caused her to shake her head.

At this point she turned around and went to the door and yelled down the hallway. “I have this one, you take care of your son, and then we can all head downstairs and get some food.” Whatever the answer brought laughter to her lips. She turned around and her daughter was still on the bed daring her to make her get dressed, but in a fun way as there was a sparkle and challenge in those eyes. I could see that this was a familiar game the two played and with much tickling of the daughter and laughter from both of them the mother finally got the girl dressed, had her sit on the bed as she brushed her damp hair, and again it was obvious this young one didn’t really like having her hair brushed.

Soon they disappeared downstairs and for the longest time I knew nothing and heard nothing. Then she ran back into her room came over to where I was and carefully picked me up and said, “It’s time. I get to put you on our Christmas tree!” When we left her room I could hear, in the distance, what sounded like music – Christmas songs and such. And as we reached the stairs where I could look down I found a room transformed from what I remembered from the previous night. There was garland interwoven in the railing of the stairs, and a big green tree in the middle of what they call the living room. And it was obvious that much time and care had been given to decorating this Christmas tree with lights, bobbles, globes and so much more. But at this moment there wasn’t anything placed on the top, the place of honor.

It was at that moment I realized that this was to be my place. To be the one on top of the tree and to look down on all that existed here. If I were a living thing I probably would have glowed and been filled with pride for such an honored place. I watched as she handed me to her father who then unpacked me carefully from the packing that protected me from being broken. I saw the impatience on her face as he took his time. Looking up I could almost see a hidden smile saying to me that he was deliberately being slow, and watching her and her impatience. Finally when he could tell that she had almost reached her end he handed me over. She reverently took me in her two small hands and her father lifted her up and with care she placed me in this place of honor. She studied me for a few moments, made a slight adjustment and then told her daddy she was done. He carefully set her down and tickled her a little bit getting the expected giggle.

He looked down and asked. “So what do you think?”

“Oh I think the star is won-der-ful, and just right!”

I could tell that the big word was something she said with some difficulty, but I could also see that she was proud that she could say it. I watched from my high perch and he looked up and appeared to be studying me and where I was, paused, looked down, and it was obvious to me that she was waiting for his approval. At this point he crouched down so he could be eye to eye with her. He simply said, “Yes, I agree.” At this point they turned on the lights and the Christmas tree shown in its own splendor.

* * *

The days flew by and I saw, as the days passed, the children, at the least the two older ones, were becoming more and more excited. As to the whys I really didn’t understand then. Still there was a routine to what happened in the house, and I fell into this feeling comfortable with the love I felt here. Then one night they left – all of them – and this was different. Yet it had become obvious that something important was about to happen. I heard something about going over to the children’s grandparents as it was a tradition they did every Christmas Eve.

Now I knew that I had been created for this time of the season, but really didn’t understand the significance of what it represented. In fact it took a few seasons for me to put it all together, and then it all made sense. It represented a time of giving. And while it appeared to be a magical time for the children, it really was much more serious than it appeared. It was a couple of conversations the parents had that finally put it all in perspective. This time of the year represented the ultimate gift – God bringing man back to Him through the gift of His Son. This led to the understanding of the gifts magically appearing under that tree. That same tree where I sat on top, but I get ahead of myself since this is the first year or season I became a part of their tradition.

The house was quiet and seemed empty while all of them were gone. And while the lights that lit the tree were normally on at this time, they weren’t at this moment, and a soft glow from the hallway light was all that could be seen. It was hours later when I heard the car park in the driveway and the key open the lock. This was followed by the daughter being carried in by her father sort of half asleep. She looked over at the tree and me, and I could make out a huge smile and it was obvious she was anticipating something. Again what this was all about I hadn’t a clue. Her father carried her up the stairs and I suspected to her room, then returned and with a practiced routine returned with the son and the mother carrying the baby.

The next hour or so seemed to be involved in getting the three to bed and tucked in for the night. Then they came downstairs and went into the kitchen where they turned on the light, made some coffee, and sat quietly and talked. It seemed, to me, that all was right with the world at this moment. I heard the chairs scrape the floor as they were pushed back and I watched the parents head upstairs. I thought they would go to bed also, but I was oh so wrong. I heard them whisper something and then, as if by magic many wonderfully wrapped gifts appeared under the tree. I noticed, for the first time that a plate had been left out and there appeared to be some cookies on it with some kind of note propped up. And like the gifts appearing, the cookies magically disappeared, and a new note replaced the one that had been left. Then it was quiet, quiet until just before dawn.

I thought I heard a creaking of the floor, and I saw her quietly come down the stairs wide-eyed and full of wonder. She carefully looked at all that was there – all the brightly wrapped gifts and presents. She tentatively picked up a couple. If it had been lighter in that room I probably would have seen that huge smile, and probably a lot of impatience. I suspected that she had to wait until everybody was up, and right at this moment she knew she was the only one. So she went over and sat in one of the big chairs and tried to wait. Again, it was obvious she was too excited to be able to sit still. So she headed into the kitchen, and kind of walked around trying to make that old clock go faster, but nothing seemed to work.

I could see that she thought, a couple of times, that she heard someone moving upstairs, but each time it turned out to be nothing. Eventually, and it was still before dawn, she saw her brother at the top of the stairs rubbing his eyes and looking like he had just awakened. She looked up at him and whispered he needed to be quiet, and come down and see what Santa had left them. So, with care taking one step at a time he came down, and I saw that incredulous look that he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Now taking on the role of her mom she told him he could look but that’s all, until momma and daddy came down to join them. Now I had two impatient kids waiting and it was obvious it seemed to be killing them.

Eventually I heard the coffee machine begin its daily ritual of making coffee. This only heightened the anticipation for the children as they knew their parents would put in an appearance shortly and then they could find out what awaited them behind all the beautiful wrapping paper. Yet, I learned this day they had a family tradition where fresh cinnamon rolls would be baked, and with coffee for the parents and milk for the children they would gobble the food down before the father would become the official gift giver as he would look to each package, read the name on it and hand it to the new owner. And they had to wait until all of those wonderful gifts were piled in front of them. Then they’d each open one and show all what they got, and continue until all of them were open.

I saw, from the squeals of excitement, and the joy that these items they received were loved things, and soon with Christmas music playing in the background, each child began playing with their new treasures, and quietly, since there had been gifts exchanged between the parents, it was time to clean up all the torn and beautiful wrapping paper, plus all the boxes these gifts came in. And as the morning progressed I began to see yawns on the young ones, and with urging from mom and dad, they took their gifts to their bedrooms and soon it was quiet. I saw the mother and father look at each other and smile. For a while it would be quiet and they could relax before working to put together that final Christmas meal that they all would share later that evening.

And then, it was over. As a new year dawned everything got packed away including me. So until it became that time of year once again, I would know nothing of what happened with the family. Again that is the way it should be since I am to shine during that special time of year. Still this isn’t the end of the story. I guess we could say so but that leaves so much out, and so much that is important. Still I have to admit that very first Christmas that I participated and remembered will always be special to me. But I digress and it’s time to continue . . .

Now I feel that it’s important that I cover that first Christmas season in much detail, but to continue to do so really would make no sense. Yet I remained an important part of the family for years to come. I watched the change in the little girl as she grew. And each year she became less and less of a child, until she became what her parents called a pre-teen. I began to notice a change and while she still placed me in the position of honor on the top of the tree, it seemed to be more of a chore instead of a privilege. Still all things change, and believe it or not even me. I now had a few scratches, nicks, and such even with the careful handling. Still I felt the love in this house and the care they gave to everyone and everything.

Then one year a few after this one she was gone, and only her brothers were home. I found that the mother and father now placed me on top of the tree, and the two boys helped with the rest of the tree. Yet, once again, I felt the changes that were in the air. I didn’t know what to attribute these changes to, but realized it had to be because the young ones were no longer young. And then all the children were gone and it was only the two. And while I felt the love, it seemed the magic was gone.

It was during this time that the children would show up for an evening – not all, all of the time – before returning to wherever they lived. I realized that the ones who lived here, well, their hair had turned gray, and they seemed to move a bit slower. It surprised me that so much time had passed. Then in the middle of one of those years, where I normally remained packed safely away, new changes happened. Suddenly I, with everything in this house, was packed away and this house with so many happy memories became empty. The mom and dad moved away from this home and into something much smaller. I guess it made sense because they really had no need of all that space.

It felt strange that first Christmas in this new place. I knew nothing about or of it. It was then I realized that when the children came to visit, that they had children of their own, and of course soul mates – all beginning a new tradition for each new family. And it was then I found that I was removed from the tree top and given to the daughter, the one who originally spied and wanted me so long in the past. So I left this home and went to a new place. I saw as I was carefully packed into the car that she rode while her husband drove. I heard the sounds of a baby, and knew I would be seeing another family grow.

* * *

And yes I did. I watched as the magic returned and her four children grew, and like when she left I saw her family leave. And on a sad note I also knew that her parents had passed making her the matriarch of her family, as well as her younger brother who became the patriarch. And, for whatever the reason, it seemed that none of her children were interested in me – those two girls, and two boys. Yet, as I had seen it happen to her parents, I saw the gray beginning, and suddenly she was alone as she lost her soul mate. It had been just before Christmas, and while I ended up on her small tree, I knew it was a sad time for her.

* * *

And yes, life goes on, and I got to see it renewed as her children found loved ones and had children of their own. It meant that most likely that I would see an end to my beginning, to see the one who had chosen me so long ago join her parents, and her husband, but that is life. Yet, before I witnessed any of this, one of her granddaughters fell in love with me, and I could see, while the one who had chosen me so long ago was reluctant, she passed me on to her granddaughter. Where I became special and once again held the place of honor . . .

Yes, I wondered what happened to my brothers who had become part of other families, but this is something I will never know. Still, I consider myself blessed with all I’ve seen in those snapshots each and every Christmas. I learned of love, and what it meant, and what it does. I learned the importance of family and the ties that keep them together. So as an ornament what more can I ask, other than to continue being a part of something so great. And I guess this is my story. So God Bless to you and yours, and Merry Christmas!

https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com

Sixteen Days to Christmas

As we approach Christmas day, and the day when I will present my annual short Christmas story, I thought I’d link back to one each week. This week I’ll link to one of my personal favorites, And it Came To Pass. This one and the one I’ll link to next week are Christian based stories. And to be honest Christmas itself is a Christian holiday. Still each country has their own way of celebrating the season and as such the traditions and the way of celebrating this time of year will be different. So these short stories are based on the way it is celebrated here in the US.

Of course all the Christmas short stories up through 2017 are available in the short story novel, Words in the Wind. Available in paperback and the Ebook format. Enjoy! and may this time of year be memorable:

https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/and-it-came-to-pass/

https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/

 

Published in: on December 9, 2018 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thanksgiving an Annual Celebration

One of the lessons I learned when I was in the army and ended up in a foreign country that the holidays and celebrations were not the same. This might be obvious, but for one who is nineteen, at the time it is something one  wouldn’t think about. I know that Thanksgiving is one such celebration. I know that it is celebrated here in the US, and as well in Canada. Even though the two countries do not celebrate at the same time.

For us the tradition goes back to before this country became the nation of today. How much of what originally happened still remains fact or became myth is an unknown. Still it is a time to give thanks for what has happened in the year preceding the holiday, which is observed on the fourth Thursday of November. Being after the time of harvesting of the crops and to be thankful for the bountiful harvest. Many times one of the decorations is the horn of plenty.

Still it is a time of family, and a time of friends. Obviously it is also a celebration of food. Where the table is overloaded with choices, and the deserts fantastic. It isn’t unusual to be in a food coma once the meal is finished. With winter just around the corner, the warmth of companionship, home, and with friends and family around us makes it something special.

For us who have grown up around this celebration we have memories of being at the kids’ table and looking over longingly at the adult table wondering if we would ever get the chance to graduate to that table. And when it did finally happen we would look back at the ones still at this other table and know that they would be envious of our promotion. Still we would find that it truly was fun being at that other table, but wouldn’t dare admit it to anyone but ourselves.

Of course what we didn’t or don’t realize, when we are children, is the fact that there’s that separation, those at least two tables because there’s no room at the adult table to add us. Most homes aren’t built with the space for all to sit all around a long table, and it’s normally much too cold to go outside. Besides, if we want to be honest, being around a table with our cousins is fun. Unless their families are close it’s one of the few times during the year that we get to interact with them. And these encounters do have a tendency to strengthen family ties.

Of course there are other traditions that come out of these gatherings. For example there’s college football on the TV most of the day for the sports fans. And for others movies or just getting together to be brought up to date on what’s been happening. For others they forgo the whole tradition and head out for the recreation the outdoors can provide. Such things as skiing, or heading to the desert and riding the sand dunes, or whatever happens to be their passion. By adding Friday to their time off they have a four day weekend.

However one celebrates it is these holidays and traditions that tie us together as a people, nation, and country. It is the time of year that we look forward to, (at least here in the US). And for each of us out here in the world we have our own traditions and holidays that make us, well, us. So for all of you out there who is reading this post, may your time and traditions be one of joy and nostalgia as they tie us to our past, to our future, and to our families. Because, in the end, family is the most important of all.

Next month, on Christmas Day, I’ll be posting my annual Christmas short story. God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on November 22, 2018 at 6:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Last Quarter, and Discussing Short Stories Too

Well, here we are entering the last quarter of 2018. It really seems like a short time ago 2017 ended and we had just entered 2018. Yet, here we are. For me days, weeks, months, and yes even years move along much too fast. I believe this may be the result of living for sixty nine years. When we are young, and here I’m referring to when we are five or six – about the time when we can remember some of our past – time seems to drag, and the years seem to be really long.

I believe that’s because of the ratio of the number of days to the number of years we’ve been around. Comparing that to now it seems that my days heading into the past go on forever. Even though that’s not true. Those days are as finite as I am. Those days (25,185, at the time I write this) do say that I’ve lived most of my time given to me. Fortunately I do come from a long lived family so my chances are good that I should live into my nineties. In fact my mother is ninety-three and still sharp as a tack as they say.

Still we are winding down this year and soon it will be placed in the books as all the years before this one. And being that it is this time of year it means that I’ve begun to work on this year’s Christmas short story. I’ve found in the last couple of years that coming up with one hasn’t been easy. In fact until recently I didn’t have a clue as to what I’d write about. Fortunately something did come along and I’m well into the first draft. And no, I haven’t finished the story as of yet., but will soon. Truthfully I have to, as it will need to be revised and edited a number of times before it will actually become more than words on the page and be ready for prime time. And yes it will be different from the others I presented over time here on this blog, and in the book of short stories, Words in the Wind.

For any who are still with me, you now know that I’ve dropped my posts down to once a month instead of weekly. Still a number of you are recent followers and there is a lot of material in the archives. This blog came into existence in 2011, and while that seems like yesterday  to me, it’s quite a few years ago. And as both this blog and I age the frequency of posts will reflect that fact. This year I had thought of possibly writing another Halloween short story, but unless some inspiration strikes me, most likely it will not happen. Here in the USA it the time, at the end of October, for Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving on the third Thursday in the month of November, and we end the year with Christmas. Then suddenly one week later we begin another year.

For me it’s hard to believe that we are down to the last three months of the year with fall here and winter coming on strong. And in the area where I live that means lots of gray, cold days and nights with lots of rain. Cabin fever would be something easy to catch when it’s just too miserable to go outside. In fact, as I write this, it’s raining now. Still it’s a time for writing, and I still have two novels to complete. I’m happy where I am as I surpassed my original goal of eight novels, and then reached my next goal of ten with the recent release of “Words in the Wind, a book of short stories”.

We are entering the time of year where family becomes more important, as well as our friends. Nostalgia is also strong as our own memories flow back to our own past and of growing up. Enjoy the romanticism of these memories for we all have a tendency to remember the good times, and leave those bad times behind knowing that, many times, we do learn from them. God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

 

Available Today!

I’ve released a new book, as of today, titled of all things, Words in the Wind. It’s available as a paperback, or in the popular EBook formats. I’ve titled it this way since all the short stories included in this novel came from this blog. So if you’ve loved and enjoyed the stories that I’ve presented over the years then they are now available in one place.

Eighteen short stories ranging from the contemporary to science fiction. And it includes all the holiday – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas – short stories. Personally I think the stories are great. Of course since I’m the writer it should be that way. I’m including an image of the cover, so no excuses if you really are interested.

God Bless, and have a great week – https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com

 

Published in: on September 11, 2018 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Just Some Random Thoughts About Music

I guess in a way I can claim to be a writer since I’ll be releasing my tenth novel in September. And on that subject I have a tentative release date of September eleventh of this year. Still I know many wonder where the inspiration comes from, and I guess for each of us the answer would be different. And while this particular post isn’t necessarily about any particular subject I really do have a direction I’m heading.

Music has always been popular since whenever it was invented. Even the most primitive tribes perform music. So it must be a part of what makes us human. For any of us what we enjoy and what we remember from the past again will be different. Yet all of us have one aspect that shows the power of music. Still I’d say there are other things that can trigger this as well, but I believe that music would qualify as producing the strongest associations. Yes a certain smell, or a particular day with the way the air feels, or even seeing a particular scene can do much the same.

And I suspect that remembering this as a writer would be a great way of presenting a way to look back to a character’s past since it is so powerful here in the real world. I watched the movie, with my wife, I Can Only Imagine, and found that later I was playing the song in my head when it pushed me into a different direction when another song from my past which was similar replaced it. And I have to admit that I’ve always loved this other song. The Song Remembers When, came out in the late nineties and shows, through the lyrics, this power that music has.

You can find the song on You Tube and the singer Tricia Yearwood who released and sang it. I believe that it does an excellent job of describing what an old familiar song can do when we hear it in the present. Suddenly we pause as the melody and lyrics take us back to that moment in time and in that instant we leave the present and almost relive that memory again.

At times it can be so powerful that we are literally there seeing it all again. And as the song ends and as we return to the present what we, many times, find is that it has left a profound effect upon us. And yes there are other things, as I stated above, that we come across in our lives that can do much the same thing. Personally I find that the power of music brings forth the most vivid imagery and the reliving of my past.

Still what can we say? It has been proven that our memories aren’t necessarily accurate. So is what we see in our mind’s eye, the feel, the sense, smell, imagery, or taste, is truly what happened, or has our minds rewritten that past so that what we remember is a more romantic or maybe safer version of the actual events? Who really knows? For there is no way for any of us to return to our past and be observers, to record what is there and to see what actually happened. So it then becomes the responsibility of our memories to answer those questions. And we already know that those answers won’t necessarily be correct.

So, next time one of those favorite songs from the past takes you on ride, time traveling to your own history, smile and appreciate what you feel and see, because we do have the rare ability to look back. And in my personal opinion that is special.

God Bless F. D. Brant (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on August 11, 2018 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Store Front

Recently I’ve been able to add a store to my website, https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/store/. For now it is limited to the US, and Canada. In the near future it will begin to expand to other countries. And as each one comes online I will inform the world through this blog as well as on the website.

Presently I have my novels listed as paperbacks. I, again, have plans in the near future of adding EBooks, specifically EPub to the mix. That way both hardcopy and electronic copy will be available. And while on the subject of novels, Words in the Wind is still on schedule for a September release. This is a novel of short stories. Again as time gets closer I’ll post the actual release date so you can know when it is actually available.

And yes, once the novel is available it will show up in my website store.

Published in: on July 14, 2018 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Coming in September

As time moves on for all of us I’m happy to announce that I’m on schedule for releasing a novel of short stories in the month of September. I believe the total count will be seventeen. As the time approaches I’ll post the release date so any who are interested will know when to look for the novel.

Whether you’re a longtime follower of this blog, rather new, or have just found this site, I want to let you know that the title of said novel will be, “Words in the Wind“. Funny thing since it’s the name of this blog. And the simple explanation for this is because what will be in that novel is the short stories I’ve presented here over the many years this blog has been in existence.

And while I do not, as of yet, have the cover for this novel it will be similar to the icon I use – namely a picture of a windmill. To me this represents this blog, the title of this site and the upcoming book, and writing in general. The book will be available as paperback, and in the two popular formats for EBooks – namely Epub, and Mobi. It should be available from your favorite retailer.

For each of the short stories I will provide an introduction that I’ve titled, Author’s Notes. The idea is to give some insight into the story, and possibly where I was and what I was thinking at the time I wrote the short story. The stories run the gambit from contemporary to science fiction, and includes a section where you’ll find all of my Christmas short stories by year of publication. In other-words from the earliest to the latest.  In this section I’ll also be including a couple of Thanksgiving short stories, and a couple that deal with a Halloween theme.

Overall it should be a fun read and novel that is perfect for those times when you don’t have a lot of time but still want to read something. And because of the varying lengths it means that it should fill any such time period no matter what you have available – God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on June 23, 2018 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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