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

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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

Thoughts on My Two Trilogies

Before beginning the actual post, here in the USA Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day. To be honest none of us would be here or be who we are if it weren’t for our mothers. Raising children or the next generation is probably the toughest job on this world. So here’s to all of the mothers, and mothers-to-be out there. Have a great mom’s day and I personally salute you for your love, work, devotion, and dedication.

* * *

On Tuesday May 15, 2018 I’m releasing A Taste of History Past, Or – That’s Another Fine Myth You’ve Gotten Me Into, Book three of the Survival Trilogy. This is a second edition with revisions and updates This completes this trilogy with this release. With second editions of the first two novels in 2017, and the release of the novel The Harsh Lands which is the trilogy in a single novel, and A Taste of History Past, this week I’ll be moving on to my next book which will be one of short stories titled Words in the Wind.  (Links to the website where additional information is available is below.)

* * *

I’ve written, as I stated above, two trilogies. Of course when I began the first novel the plan, at the time, was for the story to be presented in a single novel. This makes me think about Anne McCaffrey and one of her short stories that then became four novels later, (Freedom’s Landing is the first book). Sometimes a story stays with you and demands more.

My two trilogies are: The Survival and Discovery. The Survival trilogy consisting of, Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past. The Discovery trilogy consisting of, The Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. The trilogies are listed in order of publication. Yet I wrote the first two books of the Discovery trilogy before I wrote the Survival trilogy.

As I stated, the original plan, in both series, was to write a single novel and here I want to explain how I track my writing as I create the first draft. First off, if you’re new to this blog, when I write I don’t outline. I have the complete story in my head and I see it as images that I then translate into words on the page. My goal is around 100,000 words but normally end up with around 15,000 more. This translates, for my novels, into the range of the high 300’s to mid 600’s, (one novel pushed close to 170,000 words) for a page count.

As I write I keep this goal in mind and actually worry that I won’t reach it until I reach 50,000 plus words. At that point I know how much story I have left. Then comes the next worry: Will I complete this within the limitations I’ve set? And as I push 80,000 words I generally know. I realized in the novels, Time of Isolation, and The Ones Before that when I reached my word count limit I still had a lot of story to tell. Too much to wrap it up in a single novel.

This meant that there’d be a second novel. Still with what I saw, in my mind, I really didn’t think I had enough left to create a second novel. So this left me in a quandary as to what to do. Yet, the desire to continue the story stayed with me and I then wrote, Desperate to Survive, (Survival) and Discovery, (Discovery). In a sense I probably had no reason to worry since both novels turned out to be longer than the first ones. And to be truthful in both trilogies the second novel wraps up the main story. As you can see from the titles of the second novels it is where the name for the trilogies came from.

I realized that the two fictitious universes I’d created left room to write about different time periods within those worlds. So with The Survival Trilogy I went forward in time creating a whole new set of characters and where in this world and time period the action takes place would then reflect the past world from the first two novels. In the Discovery trilogy I went back in time where that story would reflect and show the beginnings of what became known as fact in the first two novels.

In both trilogies I realized that if I had a desire to continue that there would be many other novels that could come from these worlds. Most likely both will stand as they are. The genres for them are: Survival trilogy – Science Fiction Adventure, and Discovery trilogy – Post Apocalyptic. By going to my website, (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction/) you can see the covers, and read the blurbs about these stories and see if they may be of interest and something you’d love to read.

There you will find the ISBNs. And they are available from most retailers and can be ordered online through their sites.

God Bless and have a great weekend and Mother’s day! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com)

Looks Like This is the End

Before we begin this post and for those into trivia, this title was part of a children’s TV series that debuted in the year of 1964, (and to age me, I was in high school). If you can come up with the answer – great. It ran for 3 years before going into syndication and running until 1973. And the complete statement is, “Looks like this is the end . . . of another episode of Underdog!”

As each life begins, it also must have an ending. None of us are gifted with any more years than we end up with. When we are in our youth such thoughts rarely cross our minds since that future is much too far away to contemplate. Yet, it arrives much too fast. And as we are into the day-to-day living, while it (time) may appear to drag, in truth when compared to your time here overall, it doesn’t. Before we realize it that end is not that far away, and most of one’s life is behind them. Suddenly plans, dreams, and such, have reached their totality, and there is not enough time left to reach and grab them. Suddenly you realize that the sun is setting on you and in a short time your end will be here.

This is true of the seasons, of life, of business, and even this universe and this planet. And it is definitely true of this blog, Words in the Wind. I started writing this in my early 60’s as a companion to my novels. A way for readers to get to know me, to get to know my works. It has been an eclectic work covering many different subjects. And while I attempted to stay away from politics, since there are plenty of blogs out there on that subject, there were times I could not. Eventually and in the near future, the short stories that I’ve posted here will be released as a compilation novel titled appropriately, “Words in the Wind”.

Whether, in the long run, this blog has been successful, I guess only time past this present post will tell. It is said that nothing dies on the internet, and what is written and posted here will be here until the internet no longer exists. It has also been stated that time is the great equalizer. If what is written, created, or added is timeless, then it will outlive the creator of that work. And because of where I am in life, it really won’t matter to me, since I will have passed from this world. To family who is still here maybe, but even that is an unknown.

To my many followers I have to say Thank You. Without you, there would be no reason to continue through these many years, these many posts. And, in the end, I can only hope that somewhere among these many posts is a gem or two that left you with a bit of wisdom, something to take home, something that allowed you to see something in a different light, maybe helped solve a problem, or some lessons on writing that helped. And the short stories that were posted, hopefully they entertained, and maybe made you think or brought smiles, because you could see yourself in some of those situations.

And to those new followers who have just found me, I will say that in truth this may not be the complete end to this. I’ve been working this blog over eight years with very little time off. My plan was to continue this until I finished all of my writing, and the self publishing that I’ve still to complete. There’s a great chance that I will be posting here in the future. So for me this is a hiatus, a break, a time to refresh the mind. Still there are close to four hundred posts here. And I have them broken down by either the months when they were posted or by subject. So this is a place to return to catch some of those past posts.

When I began my writing career, again in my late 50’s, I had an original goal of writing eight books. When I began that journey I didn’t know if that was a realistic goal or not, but I can say now that I did reach and surpass it, so it was, and is a realistic goal. If there are any aspiring writers out there all I can say is to try. After all you won’t know if you don’t. Life never goes as planned, so all of us must remain flexible, willing to change in a moment of time. Go with it, adjust, and enjoy life since it passes one by much too quick. And even though we tend to ignore it time is the most precious commodity we have. Once it’s gone it’s lost forever and we can never get it back.

Go with God, be blessed by His Grace, and again a big Thank You, as this is a temporary end, and I’ll be saying good bye for now, and good luck – F. D. Brant. (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on March 17, 2018 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Closing Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

In a sense I suspect many may be disappointed by the way this series of posts ended. Many probably were expecting much more detail, and maybe a better sense of direction. Still with writers being anywhere on their paths to success it means that being specific or drilling down to that exact item, or specific advice would be impossible. Each of us is on a unique journey, a path only we can take. Others can view it and take away what may be important, but in the end it will only be a small part of the overall process or picture.

For me finding Joel Friedlander, (joelfriedlander.com) was that final piece that made it happen for me, (And no I’m not being paid to say this. In fact this person is unaware of this post). And we all must realize that his solutions are not the only ones available to us. There are many great sites out there with great teachers and educators who are willing to tutor or mentor. And there are also the opposite. So it behooves us to research before investing. With the anonymity of the web it is easy to lose one’s money with no recourse.

There are sites like, authorscommunity.net where they are set up to help and assist authors in their journeys. And we can always look to Writers Digest, and The Writer magazine, since it is their business to bring important information, training, suggestions, and trends to the writer. Or a site such as authors.me where they attempt to bring writers, publishers, agents, and editors together.Sites that didn’t exist in the recent past.  And as far as sites I could continue to list them, but then again, there’d be no room for anything but websites.

I could have also gone through the mechanics of what and how I do my writing, (but this isn’t what this or these posts are about). Still, if you think about it, this is my personal way of attacking the whole project from beginning to end, and it works for me. And while parts may work for others, we are each individuals who will tackle the problems before us in our own personal way. There is no one right or wrong way to do any of this. I can remember my mother saying that my dad would always try to make her do something the way he did. She always responded back with, “I don’t do it that way”.

We must remember that as individuals we will always see the problem from our personal perspective. And with this we will also solve whatever that problem is with what has worked for us. So while we may want to help others with the way we do something it may not work for them. That is probably why giving one the tools and understanding to use those tools is as far as we need to go. From there all of us must learn to fly on our own.

We may look back fondly on that particular mentor that made the light shine in the darkness, and understanding suddenly dawn. Yet if we honestly think about that experience we will see that they allowed us the room to make mistakes, to then come back and ask questions. And yes, while they were the teacher in truth they probably were more of a guide keeping us within the boundaries we needed to be. Using their experience to keep us from falling too hard and becoming discouraged.

So consider this as a series of posts on my personal journey and an overview of the road I traveled. It cannot be your road. Take away from it what is important to you. In the end only you can move yourself along your personal journey. Will it be easy? No. Rarely is such the case. So expect it to be hard, and if some parts are easy then this type of disappointment is positive. For me when such happens I generally wait until the other shoe drops because there always seems to be something waiting in the wings I hadn’t anticipated.

Oh yes, some of you may have been wondering if those novels I’ve self-published were just short little things that might be considered novellas. No not really, since my shortest is close to three hundred pages, the longest which combines a trilogy into a single book is eleven hundred and fifty plus pages, and the longest stand alone novel is over six hundred and fifty pages in length. I’ve released two trilogies with the other three as stand alone novels. Remember:

Set those goals, and keep your mind and eyes on what those goals are. As in life, there are always distractions, always other things to pull you away from your path, your personal journey. And never, never give up. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Six

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

All the websites that worked manuscripts into EBooks continued to change and update what they did, including the one I’m with, Book Baby. They added features, ran blogs, provided ways to use links that would allow an author or someone interested in the novel to see his, her, or the authors’ novels from their (the companies) webpages where the novels could be purchased, and also provided education and such. It was during this time that the first of what is now a common trend began. POD (Print on Demand) began to be offered by these same companies that originally came into existence for the EBook revolution.

And speaking of EBooks, they have grown rapidly in popularity, and if one thinks about it, it makes total sense. On one of these electronic devices of choice one can take an unbelievable number of novels and only carry that small device. It simplifies things for traveling and vacations where one expects to take time out and enjoy a book or two. Still there are many diehard “print only” people out there. So to be in the EBook market alone meant that there were a great number of readers that would be missing out on these books and the stories within.

Yet, like anything that is new, (POD) the costs were prohibitive, and while it made sense to join this revolution, the costs, for most, were much too high. And for me I was one of those that couldn’t join because of that very fact. And with the normal growing pains, there were still issues, and part of those issues lay in the fact that the quality wasn’t consistent or very good. To compare a POD with a commercially printed book showed just how lacking overall they were at the beginning.

Still, it was obvious to any who was following this trend that in the future the quality of these POD’s would rival any from the publishing houses. Now, for the indie author, what would be the requirements to be able to use this new service? A lot to be honest. And part of the surprise is that fact that you must do all the pre-work before submitting your novel. Also, because of the very small runs, the cost per book produced would be more. Meaning that the cost of doing business on the retail side forced the price of the books to be unbelievably high, (which is still quite true).

Again, to take advantage of all avenues it was important to think about this. At this time with the four EBooks, I had five more manuscripts collecting electronic dust. And they were doing me no good sitting on my hard drive. I had to find a way to get them out into the world.

Next week the journey continues. Have a great week and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Christmas Day Wish

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

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

 

An Ancient Fire

Available soon, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy. More to come!

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

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

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

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

* * *

Today November 11th here in the USA is Veterans Day. A time of remembrance for those who have served and the ones who are presently serving in the defense of this country. Remember to thank a vet for the very freedoms you enjoy. Without their sacrifice none of this would be possible.  Now on to today’s post:

 

With the previous project done I then looked to what I’d write for novel number six. I found that I still had the passion to continue, (and was still short of my original goal) and before I got out of the habit of writing I decided that it would be smart to continue. I still had the two series I’d written earlier in the back of my mind. I felt that it would be important to make them trilogies instead of just the two novels. Yet both series had wrapped up their main stories by the end of book two, meaning that the stories could be left there.

I know of a number of authors that continue a series well beyond a trilogy. One that comes immediately to mind is Marion Zimmer Bradley and her Darkover series. In this series she didn’t necessarily cover the same time period in this planet’s history. So while there was a continuity to her stories they were not necessarily of the same location, actors or characters, or had the same plotline. Meaning that simply stated she stayed within the universe of Darkover, and that was all.

Another author and a further example of this happening is Ann McCaffrey, and her Pern or Dragon series. Originally before the series became really popular the books were linear, but as time went on many became stand alones within the universe she’d created. So this led me to the idea that the third novel in both of these possible future trilogies would take place in another time period, with new characters, completely different settings, and conflicts to overcome, but would remain within the universe created by those first two novels.

So this led to the third novel for the Discovery trilogy. When I looked at all that took place in the first two novels the protagonists were searching for answers to the myth of an ancient people simply known as The Ones Before. In those novels there had been no discoveries, no artifacts, and nothing written in their history to show that these elusive people ever existed. That meant if they had lived, then whatever had taken place at that time had to be pure chaos for nothing to have survived. And to be honest the survivors from that time of pre-history would have picked over the carcass of the lost and destroyed civilization until there would be nothing left – talk about your ultimate recycling.

And if I tell the truth here, I actually began a novel (which will probably never be completed) that would begin just before the apocalyptic event that set us on the pathway to the first two novels of the Discovery trilogy. And while I did get pretty far into the novel I needed to do some “on the ground” research, and unfortunately neither time nor money was available and it never came to fruition. So I abandoned that one, which I had tentatively titled, The Beginning, or is it the End? Who knows, maybe someday I’ll return to the story.

Anyway, with that failed project now on the shelves it left me to decide how I wanted to proceed. And as I thought about it a new storyline began to develop. In this present time and with a lot of people becoming what is known as preppers I thought that using some of what this is about as part of the story. Still I didn’t want the story to be in this present time period. So I placed my protagonists three generations or approximately two hundred years after the apocalyptic event.

And as I continued, I did what I did with the first two novels. Where this fictitious story takes place, the lands exist. For those of you who are interested, most of what happens in this novel takes place in an area in central Oregon, USA. The area is bounded by the Ochoco and Malhuer National Forests, the town of Dayville, the John Day fossil beds, and highway 26. Here are located fossil beds, and a semi-arid desert like land. There are a few small communities scattered throughout the area, lots and lots of canyons, valleys, mountains, rolling hills, sparse vegetation, and a river that actually does run through the area, making it an excellent area to tell this story. And in this story I briefly touch on Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

And while the exact location of the slave auctions are never mentioned, other than being to the east, and existing on the great plains, they do play a minor role overall. Basically it’s simply east of the Rockies, and southeast of where most of the action takes place.

The story opens in that semi-arid area where a family has found refuge, and is isolated, which means safety. (And they have a past prepper to thank.) Or so they thought as their world is about to change, and it will not be for the good. Presently I’m working on the back cover blurb so I can’t post it here as of yet. And this novel isn’t available at this time. Still I’m presently on schedule for a December 2017 release for the complete trilogy.

God Bless, and have a great week! (http://www.fdbrant.com/) After the first of the year 2018 the URL will change as I’m updating my present webpage that will have increased security and possibly, sometime in the future, a cart.

The Woman in the Snow

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

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

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

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

* * *

If you’ve been following these series of posts you know that I’m presenting the novels I’ve written in the order that I’ve written them. And this one is number five on that list. At this time it is a stand alone novel, although later I will talk about the sequel which I’m presently writing, along with another novel that’s also a work in progress. This second novel will be considered a stand alone also, even though it deals with some of the same people from the first novel. I’ve tentatively titled this one as, The Return of the Woman in the Snow, an introspective journey.

So far, with the first four presented, all parts of two trilogies, they came about as a result of recurring dreams that set the storyline for me. So it can naturally be assumed that this  novel came about the same way. And this time the answer would be no, not at all. At the present this is my only Christian novel I’ve written, and truthfully it has sold more than any of my other novels.

Oh just a bit of information here; if one is interested in purchasing these novels pick up the second editions of; Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and The Woman in the Snow. I’ve spoke of how many times I had to go through these novels, other than The Woman in the Snow, to make them viable stories. Well, with the new editions you can now add two more complete edits and revisions to each.

For this novel I originally worked complete edits – beginning to end – eight times before finally putting the novel out into the world to be available. And no, as I’ve stated about the others, this one didn’t come about because of a dream. For this one it was a piece of music. I was listening one day to what is called new age music, which I generally use as background when I write. Anyway when I heard this piece of music the whole story was before me – all of it. So I then wrote it.

A little bit of trivia here, the title of the musical piece became the title for the book. I felt it was only right since it was the trigger for the novel. Of course, even though I had the story, I didn’t have any of the characters as of yet. Most of the time as I write the need for characters presents themselves as the story advances. And when this happens a new character arrives and fills in the blanks. What I mean here is that they arrive, fill out a job application, and if they qualify they are then in the novel.

Well, not really, but it’s kind of like that. For example in this novel, since it is a survival novel, (Interestingly, it seems many of my novels deal with survival) that meant that there would be the need for a search and rescue team, followed by the members for that team. And as in any story it had to take place somewhere, which meant the creation of the area where the incident takes place. Of course we needed our main protagonist, and that led to Cathy, followed by her personality, background, and the reason she was even on those backcountry roads. Below is the actual back page from that novel, which will give you some insight into this novel:

Cathy looked out upon the scene that surrounded her – nothing but forest. That last weak winter storm had left little behind to even state there had been a storm. In her mind it signaled an end to winter. It’s time to be on the road. She missed her fiancé desperately, and with impatience began that familiar route to his home. College finals were winding down and she was eager to be with Keith.

She’d been warned that there could be other storms, but the forecast spoke of a few cold and clear days. And she wasn’t going to miss the opportunity that was presented. Now she only had to travel those backroads through a heavily forested area. She’d traveled those roads so often she could do it in her sleep. Yet . . .

Of course the area and weather are the antagonists in this story, as well as some of the creatures that dwell in such areas. And to add to her problems she has no survival skills. All of these factors increase the tension and the odds of her dying. And as I do in my stories you follow all the characters to the conclusion. You seeing what she can’t see, as well as what the others do not know about Cathy or where she is located. Consider the novel as Contemporary Christian Fiction.

Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

 

Published in: on October 28, 2017 at 7:14 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Desperate to Survive

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

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

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

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

* * *

As happened with the Discovery trilogy, book one didn’t complete the story, requiring a second novel to wrap it up, and making this one the fourth novel I tackled. The problem I faced with this one lay in the fact that I felt that there wouldn’t be enough material left to create that second novel and bring everything to a final conclusion. Yet at the same time, there was too much material remaining to put into the first novel, Time of Isolation, and end it there. So what to do . . . what to do?

If you missed last week’s post then here’s a bit of information for you: The novels in this trilogy originated from a recurring dream, as did the novels in the Discovery trilogy. In both series I wrote the first two novels, then went on to other projects before returning and writing the third. And, as stated, both series are open for additional novels later.

So as I wrapped up Time of Isolation, I immediately began the process of writing Desperate to Survive. Again a little fact here; for me as I write I keep the facts locked in my head, (no outlining). And for me I can usually see the beginning, and most of the time the end, and with this the title will come along for the ride. At this point with all three of these factors I pretty much have the story locked and am ready to proceed. In all cases I see any and all of this as images in my mind leaving me to have to translate those images into words on the page.

Anyway, so here I was at the beginning of this new novel knowing that the distance between the beginning and the remaining portion of the story, which had too little substance or material, and the end was great. In a sense the beginning was easy. With the end of the previous novel the scout team was involved in solving a series of mysteries. And with only one of the major ones solved, it was easy to pick up the story at this very point and begin by following the other part of the team as they worked out the solutions to their own mystery.

Still if you picked up the novel you’d find that the story doesn’t start with the scout team at all. Instead it begins with a prologue where we are finally introduced to the major players from the primitives. For the first time we are introduced to the leader of the alliance and we begin to see how these primitives think and act.

If we are to look to history we’ll find that clashes between advanced and primitive societies have happened for as long as history has been written. And while one would naturally think that the ones with the advanced weaponry and such would have an advantage, and many times yes they do, there are a number of incidents where those advancements meant nothing and in the end the primitives won over that technology.

Up to this point in the story the primitives were more of a backdrop, something that was there, with them being the antagonists, but other than that we really know very little about them. So as I thought about this, and history, the continuing story began to fall into place. The answer had been there all the time. It was time to get up close and personal with those primitives. It was time to learn of their culture, and the whys for the destruction they were bringing down upon these hidden advanced people who had done no harm. In fact up to the time of discovery these people were unknown to the primitives.

It also led to thoughts about captives, and how and what would their roles be. Here, once again, looking to history,  the conquering armies, and the resulting destruction, refugees, and captives, resulting in assimilation into those conquering societies, brought more into this story.

And then, like the other novels, up to this time, the whole of the story was there before me. Plus, if one had read this first novel there were questions unanswered that were then addressed in the second novel, bringing answers and closure to those questions. An example, (spoiler alert) is; what happened to the three that remained in the winter quarters – that cave that existed on those volcanic peaks.

So, in this second novel from the Survival trilogy we begin to see both sides of this undeclared war or conflict. We suffer with those captives. And whether we like them, hate them, or see their side of this conflict, we begin to understand the primitives and their existing societies. What they are doing isn’t necessarily right, yet at the same time when we view things from our own point, which is based upon our own societies, and life experiences, are we correct in our assumptions and conclusions?

So, in a sense, this story, this second novel deals with a clash of cultures, leading to suspicion, mistrust, and war. And this isn’t something seen from afar. No, it’s up close and personal. You feel the destruction. You live the lives of the captives as they become part of the herds, and are now slaves. And you learn how it all began, how the hidden cities were discovered, and the beginnings of what took place in the first novel.

And you continue to follow the scout unit as they  learn about their own past, and what may be concluded from what they’ve learned. And now, because they’ve contacted the remaining cities, they’ve been tasked with ending this war. Still how can ten individuals end this war with a primitive army possibly numbering in the thousands? And this is the dilemma they face. And if they fail, then there’s a great chance that all of them will be no more.

And I do believe in the end that my word count was higher than the first novel. Where at the beginning I saw none of this and was at a loss as to how I was to get another complete novel from what I felt was left of the story that still had to be told. Leading to a longer deeper novel finally bringing closure to the story. And before getting into the blurb or back page for this novel I’d like to state that if you are interested in reading this novel get the 2nd edition as I’ve completely reworked the novel. And now what’s stated on the back cover:

With the Time of Isolation behind them . . . the remnant of the Scout Team has been tasked with the ending of the undeclared war between the Cities and the Primitives.

At the time of discovering the Alpha and learning of the true past, they are at loss as to what the ten survivors from their City can do. Ten against what appears to be thousands of primitive warriors bent on just one thing. And that one this is the destruction of all the hidden Cities deep inside the desolation.

Still from the view of K’jor, the leader of the primitives, he sees the Cities as lairs of magicians and sorcerers, an abomination to their way of life. After all, it must be so since none can live in the desolation. It is a land of spirits, a place where the dead dwell, a land overseen by their gods.

And thusly the conflict is set as the Cities learn of their true past, and the fact they may be the last of their kind. And as the conflict and undeclared war rise to new heights both sides are desperate to survive.

And just a statement here about novels in general. Judging a book will always be subjective. I’ve seen this with these two books. I’ve had one rated over the other, only to have it reversed when others had read and then commented on the novels. So hate them or love them, it will always be different for all of us when we read. And the interesting thing, if a novel turns into a favorite and we re-read it at a future time, then what we get out of it that next read will be different. And the reason is simple. It’s because we’ve changed.

Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com?)

 

Published in: on October 21, 2017 at 7:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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