A Writer’s Thoughts

This post will be both mine and quotes, as I am posting thoughts from one of my favorite authors, who is no longer with us. His most popular genre was Western, although he wrote across most that exist. For me, I find that I have a passion to put the images that I see in my mind to words, and to see my actors move through these fictional worlds I’ve created. These fictitious people become very real, and I can see myself becoming emotional over some tragedy or hurt that they endure. As one writer stated in a speech she gave at a conference that I attended, she said, “I hear and listen to those voices in my head.” And isn’t that true of all of us who write? And as your story progresses, one wants to watch your characters grow, change, and overcome whatever they may face, and at the end of the story, ultimately succeed.

The author I am speaking of is Louis L’Amour, and at the end of the book titled “Bowdrie”, a series of short stories about a fictional Texas Ranger, he writes about a new release in 1983 titled, “The Lonesome Gods”, one of his best. He states and I quote: “Writing a new book is always exciting for me, but the novel that has been most personally satisfying is the one I’ve just completed, The Lonesome Gods.” He then goes on to describe how he worked on this for many years then he states, “Writing is a profession one never completely masters. There’s always something to learn. You’re never there, and you’re never good enough; you can always say things a little bit better, and you can always find ways to do things better, It’s very difficult; sometimes you stand in the desert or the mountains, or some place like that, and you look across the country and you say, “How would I put this into words?” It seems like an almost impossible task to try and capture what’s out there and to try to make other people see what you see. And that is really the whole thing about writing.

“I was over in China when I was eighteen or nineteen, and there was an old man in Shanghai I used to drop in on who carved ivory and jade. He spoke a very few words of English, and I only spoke a very few words in Chinese, but we had long conversations and enjoyed one another very much. I used to like to watch him work. Sitting beside him on a pedestal he had a piece of jade, a good-size chunk, almost as big as my head. He had it sitting there, and every once in a while he would turn it  so it would catch the sunlight in a different way.

“One day I asked him what he was doing, and he said “I’m trying to see what it is – there’s something there I haven’t captured yet, and when I do, I’ll start carving.” That’s sometimes what you have to do with a story. That’s the way I had to do it with “The Lonesome Gods”. I had to look at it, I had to think about it, I had to put it aside and come back to it later to try and find out exactly what was there. As that old Chinese gentleman studied the jade he saw something in it, and so he carved away all that was unnecessary to show you what he’s seeing and feeling.”

And while this is not the total writing or statements that I quoted from, what he says is the essence of a writer. I have found that many times that a particular scene in one of my stories requires hours upon hours, if not days of thought so that it reflects an important aspect of the story. Maybe it is the climax of the story, or something that helps with the immersion – something that makes that fictional world real, or maybe it’s a backdrop that helps define the culture that I’ve created. And how many stories have you started that’s been put aside because the time wasn’t right? I have a number that fall into this category. In one, it has to do with location, and is book three in the Discovery series. On this same series I had thought about the story for at least  twenty years before taking a stab at writing it. At first I thought, like “Time of Isolation”, that it would be a single book, but it grew into at least a trilogy with the potential to be so many more. And no I’ve not published this series as of yet, because there is serious editing and rewriting ahead of me. But I have to admit that I love my characters in that world and would love to share them. Yet at the same time I know that this fictional world and/or characters are not quite ready for prime time.

Again, as any who have been following this blog knows, I wasn’t able to start to seriously write until I was in my late fifties and sixties. So in a sense I’m making up for lost time. I have completed five manuscripts with two self published, and the third to be self published by the end of 2012. Stories and characters are still flowing through my mind and I see myself writing well into the future. My original goal for my writing career was to complete eight manuscripts, and with five complete, one partially written and at least two more in the near future it would appear that this is a very attainable goal. So any and all who have a passion to write, do not despair because situations or this time in your life don’t allow it. This passion can be fulfilled at anytime in your lifetime. And if, in the end, it is only a legacy for your family, so be it, just think what a legacy that this is. A legacy that your grandchildren, or great-grandchildren can look back in awe and say, “One of my ancestors wrote this, wow!”

Published in: on July 28, 2012 at 8:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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What Now?

As I wrap up the first draft of the manuscript, “Desperate to Survive”, I must at least let it sit for a month before I start my editing. This is to allow me time away from the story and to let me see it fresh. At this point it will be time to get serious, and through a marathon of edits I will go through it 3 times, at that point I will determine if there is a need for more. Then if 3 work, the 4th will involve my wife who will go through it page by page to catch what I have missed, what doesn’t make sense or work for her, and anything else that I may have overlooked. There may come a day where I can afford an editor, but at this stage I am responsible for the content, all the editing, and what is eventually published.

So with this short down time, is it time to take a break from writing? No, I have already 2 possible ideas for the next novel or novels, and both would be standalone. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t expand into a series, making the one standalone book, “The Woman in the Snow”, I self-published, unique. One of these ideas has the title, “An Accidental Discovery”, and possibly the 2nd, “A Taste of History Past”. While the 1st is a new story, the 2nd will be part of the Survival Universe, although set around 1500 years in the future of the events that transpired in the first two books. It will be a look back to that time as the protagonist will attempt to unravel the past through ancient writings, myths, legends, and discoveries – attempting to look back on the whys of what their culture ultimately became.

In many ways if one reads my stories, they will soon realize that one of my passions is archaeology. And there are touches of this passion in all of my series at this time. The problem that any generation faces is their past. After all the winners and society are attempting to change their past all of the time. So, is what’s being presented accurate, or had it been revised to reflect the times and the government? Is a history being taught in such a way that makes the ones learning avoid it, so that the truths can continue to lie undiscovered and hidden, or is what’s being presented believed to be the accepted facts, and then mistakenly taught as such? So in many of my stories my protagonists discover things that counter what they have been taught, and then are left with having to come to terms with the contradictions, find their own solutions to what they have discovered, or interpreted,  leaving them to deal with their own conscience, what they should reveal, and the resistance these facts will generate.

What we end up seeing is that key component of story, conflict. Conflict in the protagonist as he or she finds and tries to understand what they are seeing. Conflict in being sure that they are not influencing the outcome of their discoveries because of their present cultural influence, or personal views and feelings. Conflict on the reaction from the world that they live in, be it positive or negative. And all of this doesn’t include what he or she could face in just trying to hunt down the long-lost clues and locations, and the dangers inherent to such searches. As in the Survival Series, sometimes the protagonists aren’t trying to discover anything. All their goal is, is survival. But somewhere along this road they discover their true past, and now have to deal with the changes that this truth has revealed, besides having to overcome the very reasons that they had accidentally made this discovery. After all we are what our past has made us, and what we do with it will determine our future. That is why societies, governments, and individuals want to manipulate the past. By changing a word or two, redirecting the emphasis, or by suppressing other portions, it is easy to make the past be exactly what they want it to be. And by doing this they manipulate, and control, leaving themselves in power, to direct  how things  should be from where they stand, again whether that view or stand is correct or not.

So if any begin to read my stories, one will know that there usually will be some type of archaeology involved, whether minor, or as a major component of the story. And if your interests lie in Science Fiction, and discoveries of the protagonists’ pasts, and the outcomes or outfalls from these discoveries,  then my stories will be of interest.

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 9:19 am  Comments (4)  
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Here We Go Again

With the latest violence at the midnight showing of a movie, we’ve had another mass shooting incident. So the anti-gun element will be out in full force claiming that if all guns were outlawed then this wouldn’t have happened. And when one really looks at it the answer to this emotional response is, bull. People have been killing people long before guns and will continue to do so long after guns are no longer around. After all a gun is no more than a tool. It could have been a nail gun, or so many other devices that exist in modern society that could have created this very outcome. With this mentality should we outlaw fertilizers, explosives, and automobiles because they have been used to kill?

If one really thinks this out rationally, it becomes obvious that it is gun control and the various restrictions and regulations that has been put in place by government that produced this result. If all were able to carry weapons, then there would have been much less death and trauma, and a good possibility that this incident wouldn’t even have happened, because of the threat of instant and immediate retaliation, instead of the time it would take law enforcement to respond. If guns are controlled and outlawed, then only the government, military, and the criminals would have them. If one looks at the history of places where gun control exists it becomes obvious that in those countries that millions of the citizens were murdered by their own government. Because the government knew that their own citizens were helpless, and had no way to protect themselves. One of the reasons for the 2nd amendment is for the citizens of this country to protect themselves from a government that believes that it has the right to do anything, including ignoring the constitution of this country, and taking its policies to the citizenship.

And tell me, what defense would you have if all of your guns were confiscated? Would this curtail the criminals from entering your home, and then do what they want? Would this keep this country from becoming a police state, allowing any to enter without due process and do as they please? Would this prevent the military from overthrowing this government and setting up a dictatorship? I think the obvious answer to this is no. With weapons available to all who can legally obtain them, this becomes a deterrent to all of the above. It is the reason that this country is still as it is.

After all criminals disobey the laws and do as they desired, so gun control would be something they would want. Then they would have no fear as they entered your home knowing that they had the firepower to take care of anything they would face. Crime and especially violent crime would increase. If one looked back at WWII, it becomes obvious that one of the reasons that there never was much of an attempt to invade this country lay in the fact that the world knew that any American could own a weapon, and many did. Increasing the likelihood that they would have to face a local militia as well as the military forces. And if any of the present military or government of this country has similar thoughts, the idea that the civilian population is also armed immediately squelches such thoughts. Of course the Government wants gun control, it is in their best interest, after all how else can the control completely?

So any time this cry, “Gun Control”, is shouted, remember that if it happens then you will be at the mercy of all, and we would be no more than communist China, or the old USSR, where disappearances of citizens were common, and the killing of millions was the standard practice. Remember that every time you shout, “There should be a law!”, you are giving up more of your freedoms. And when all of them are finally gone, will you step back and ask yourself, “What happened?”.

Lastly here’s a link that explains it quite well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvTO-y-B2YM&feature=related

Desperate to Survive, an Excerpt

At this time I am wrapping up the first draft of book 2 of the Survival Series, “Desperate to Survive”. Book 1, Time of Isolation, was released on June 20 2012, with a planned release of book 2 towards the end of this year. I still have a minimum of 3 edits and rewrites ahead of me, my thoughts at this time, is that “Desperate to Survive” is on schedule.

. . . Stone, picking up on the thread continued. “We all know that the primitives are much better at this than we are. I know, before all of this happened, we thought we were as good as they. But, I have to admit that we were proven wrong, and it was just through luck and good leadership that we survived at all.”

Both Saige and Shellian looked at each other, and then at the other four members who were with them and Saige said, “Yes, Shayne was a great leader, I cannot say that either Shell’ or myself have been equal to his high standards.”

“What?” Sorrel exclaimed, “What do you mean by that? I for one would not be here and alive if it wasn’t for the leadership the two of you have provided. Yes, I know that I lost my child, and it still tears me up inside, and brings almost instant tears to my eyes every time I think of my unborn daughter who will never have a chance at life. And before you two protest, remember it was Shayne who told the two of you to take over the leadership just before he died. And I for one trust his judgment, and especially one he made on his deathbed. And as far as I am concerned . . .”, pausing for a moment and sweeping her arms around to include the rest that was there before continuing, “. . . his choice was proper and right. Do you not remember all the fighting and skirmishes that we dealt with, and the only passage that led into these mountains that had been blocked by that large patrol of primitives? Who by the way, had been placed there to prevent our passage into these Sacred Mountains? And yet here we are, now knowing our true history, alive, healthy, and trying to come up with some type of solution to break this alliance that the primitives have forged. All because of the leadership from the two of you. Yes, looking back I am sure that I could find some ways to do something you did better, but isn’t the final result all that is important anyway?”

“But Sorrel . . .” Shellian responded gently, “. . . at the end just before we found this place, we had lost our leadership to the conspiracy, and from that your very life had almost become forfeit, and not counting the loss of your unborn child, we lost five, count them, five members before it was finally over, taking our, oh around a hundred members down to just the ten we have now. Of course I’m not including the two new lives that have joined us now. So as far as we are concerned, that’s my brother and myself, we failed, and failed miserably. We should have seen it coming, and prevented it from happening. Then instead of just the ten we have now, at least it would have been five more, and maybe like the other two women here, you would be with your daughter now. Instead of having to lament over your loss.”

“Now hold on one minute Shellian.” Staven said, “I was one of the ones who was in the middle of that conspiracy. And other than the ones we sent away, it was our fault not yours. With everything you had to do just to keep us alive it is no surprise that you didn’t see it coming. And had the rest of us been honest we should have recognized that both Schylar and Storme were eager to take over the leadership, but really had no skills to do it. So if any fault or blame needs to be placed it should be on us. And when we realized the very big mistake that we made, and was able to leave, we held out little to no hope that firstly we would find you, and secondly that you would accept us. After all if you had rejected us, like you first did, then we would have gotten what we deserved, what any traitor would deserve, but you and Stone came back for us, and now we have a child that like Sorrel’s could be dead right now, along with us. And since bringing us into the facility we have been thankful every day that the two of you are leading us.” Then waving them off when he saw them about to protest, he continued, “Look we had a rare opportunity to have been led by one of the best in Shayne, and then one of the worst in Schylar . . .

As the time for publication draws nearer, I will post additional excerpts, and post the actual release date. Again, I thank all of you that follow this blog – F D Brant

Published in: on July 14, 2012 at 8:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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One Step Closer to the Abyss

Before one reads this post, I must state that this is a personal opinion, and will be considered political in nature. My goal is to avoid politics as much as possible, but there are times when I must state how I feel, and this is one of them.

With the patience of the socialists, who have been trying to overthrow this country for generations, it may be that they have finally succeeded. With the upholding of Obamacare by the Supreme Court, it appears that they have the USA well in hand. If one thinks about it, this is a law that was passed by a congress who did not read the bill, and signed by a president who did not read the bill, and when you consider that the bill is 2700 pages long, and all of it written in legalese, then it becomes apparent, that most likely with the short time of deliberation and other cases that they were involved with, the Supreme Court did not read it either. All of these individuals swore to uphold the constitution, and to protect America and her people. Yet when something like this happens it is quite obvious that they care more for themselves than for the people they swore to protect.

On this very socialist health law, yes it is true that lawyers on both sides argued the case, and in the end four of the justices wanted to overturn it in its entirety, while the four liberal judges wanted to pass it in its entirety, leaving one who finally sided with the liberals, it truly is more a distribution of wealth (a common catch phrase of the socialist), than a health plan, albeit a very expensive health plan. Here’s the issue that speaks volumes about this law. First off as stated earlier it is a 2700 page monster. Now I am a writer of fiction averaging somewhere in the range of 300 to 500 pages. And I find that as I edit the drafts that there are many errors, and I usually do at least three edits, but have gone as high as eight. Every time that I edit, I would find something that I had missed the previous time through. So now you are going to tell me that this 2700 page document is as close to perfect as it can be, and that there are no errors, omissions, or that there is only one minor part of this that conflicts with the constitution of this country? Hardly possible, yet this is exactly what the Supreme Court stated. It said that, not in their words but basically the truth, this is as close to perfect, with no errors, and completely upholds the constitution in its majority. Again, did they read it, let alone tear it apart? I think you have your answer.

This president is a “by the book” socialist, who is trying to emulate Europe, which by the way, is failing in so many of the countries that are under socialist control. Spain, and Greece, are prime examples of the failures of Socialism, with France and even England not so very far behind. Remember that Socialism works as long as they have other people’s money to spend. Once it is gone, then it fails, and fails miserably. Again, what is one of the important aspects that made the USA so strong and in the end a powerful nation, was its avoiding of the “isms”. Allowing people to experiment, to try new things, to create a business, to hire people, to grow, all without government interference. This has led this country to its position in the world today, but in these four short years, as the socialists continue to work their way into every fiber of american lives, those freedoms, those abilities to innovate, all those things that gave this country its strength have disappeared, and every person in this country is now burdened with an overwhelming debt created by these socialist that will take generations to eliminate, and included in this mess is the highly restrictive laws that they’ve passed. This has been a government that has been illegal from the beginning, thumbing their noses at the very laws that they are supposed to be under and protect, including the fact that by law congress is required to pass and live by a budget every year, yet since Obama, and the Democratic control there, in these 4 years, has not been one. Allowing this out of control borrowing, spending, and the handing out of political favors. It has been the most corrupt administration I have had the dubious honor to witness.This administration far outweighs the Watergate scandal that caused the failure of another administration. And where is the media in all of this –  owned or in the pocket of these same socialists if one really cares to look.

Through this administration we have seen a number of unprecedented reductions of financial ratings – something that has never happened in this country’s history. We have seen the growing of government exponentially to the point where it is the largest employer in this country, and where does that money come from to support this increase? We are heading for a time where someone with a high school education will determine whether you even deserve medical treatment, even though a doctor, with his or her knowledge, states that it is something that it is necessary. We have now created a system that will plunge one of the greatest health systems to third world levels. The title on the book by George Orwell was wrong. Instead on 1984 it should have been 2008. Where are those TV’s that must be on all the time, so that every citizen can be monitored. Not here yet? Look closely, as they’re not that far off.

One last thought on this subject: Many in this country believe that this president is an illegal president. If indeed this is true, and it can be proven in a court of law, then any and all bills that he signed into law would be null and void because his signature would be invalid, thusly invalidating these laws. Then the ones responsible for presenting him as a candidate would be subject to prosecution for breaking the laws and the constitution by knowingly presenting him as such. And finally we must remember that this is a major election year, so many deals will have been made behind closed doors to make this year appear to be positive and things are getting better. So one must remember to ignore anything that is happening in this election year and concentrate on what their record shows and what they’ve done in the past (remember the song, “Smiling Faces”) .

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