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

Advertisements

Thanksgiving an Annual Celebration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in: on November 22, 2018 at 6:28 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Last Quarter, and Discussing Short Stories Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Store Front

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

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

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

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

Coming in September

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

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

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

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

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

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

GDPR

Due to the new GDPR (privacy), you are receiving emails from my blog by your request. You submitted your email address giving me permission to send you links about any new posts. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Words in the Wind (F. D. Brant)

Published in: on May 31, 2018 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

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)

A Taste of History Past

I will continue to post here now and then. I just won’t be here weekly. While the title of this post suggests a novel I also want to write about what I might consider suspicious circumstances. So whether there’s any basis to these suspicions I really have no way of knowing unless I begin to see my content show up on other sites with the owners of those sites claiming that the content is their own.

And what I’m referring to is the fact that with the announcement of regular posts to this blog ending, for a short period of time, suddenly and out of nowhere I’ve have a lot new followers show up, all from the same location on the web. It makes one think that either this blog was discovered late, or because these individuals feel that the blog may be abandoned then they can come in and take what they want and then claim it as their own.

After all, if the writer isn’t around then he or she will be none-the-wiser if the material happens to show up elsewhere. If this isn’t the case and you new followers are legitimate then thank you. Still I must point out that all the material posted here is copyrighted material and as such is protected.

* * *

On May 15, 2018 I’ll be releasing the second edition of the novel, A Taste of History Past, Or: That’s Another Fine Myth You’ve Gotten Me Into – book 3 of the Survival Trilogy. Over 360 pages in length and in the Science Fiction Adventure genre. I originally released this as an EBook many years in the past, but now will be releasing it with updates and revisions as both a paperback and as an EBook, which includes both popular formats – Kindle, and EPub. Below is the blurb for this novel:

The time of the clans and tribes is now ancient history. It is a time of growth, of villages, and farms with much of the lands tamed. There are centers for learning, and teams attempting to unravel the past. Yet much of what has taken place in those ancient times is considered myth. Especially the period of time, dealing with that first alliance, where K’jor brought together the warring clans and tribes to destroy a hidden enemy living deep in the desolation.

Their cycles of the seasons, 1503 presently, as they track time, came from one of those mythological meetings between this first alliance and their gods. With what is known presently this encounter is impossible so it must be something their ancestors created, adding to the myth theory. Yet with this event being so deep in the past even the valley where this supposedly took place has been lost to history.

Into this present world a young baker and his mate begin to question the present version of their past. This comes about because of a gift. It is a written record of this world handed down through the generations of his family, and it counters much of what is believed to be fact.

They decide to search the lands, the places and locations spoken of in this massive record, and then compare it to the official version. This leads to conflict with the leaders of the learned who suspect that the young couple have a document and want it for themselves. And thusly begins this adventure where one side wants what is known to remain as the official truth, and the other only seeking answers to the questions that lay before them.

Have a great weekend, and God Bless! (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  
Tags: , , , , ,

ISBN

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)

* * *

I have to admit that while I knew of ISBNs, I really knew nothing about them. I know that you can publish a book without one, but then what can be used to find it if a search using the title turns up nothing, or a thousand similar titles? On the subject of ISBNs the Wikipedia states:

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, and 10 digits long if assigned before 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

The initial ISBN configuration of recognition was generated in 1967 based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the SBN code can be converted to a ten digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero).

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.[2]

Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines; and the International Standard Music Number (ISMN) covers for musical scores.

For the US, Bowker is responsible for the sale of ISBNs, and again from the same Wikipedia article:

ISBN issuance is country-specific, in that ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency that is responsible for that country or territory regardless of the publication language. The ranges of ISBNs assigned to any particular country are based on the publishing profile of the country concerned, and so the ranges will vary depending on the number of books and the number, type, and size of publishers that are active. Some ISBN registration agencies are based in national libraries or within ministries of culture and thus may receive direct funding from government to support their services. In other cases, the ISBN registration service is provided by organisations such as bibliographic data providers that are not government funded. In Canada, ISBNs are issued at no cost with the stated purpose of encouraging Canadian culture.[15] In the United Kingdom, United States, and some other countries, where the service is provided by non-government-funded organisations, the issuing of ISBNs requires payment of a fee.

Australia: ISBNs are issued by the commercial library services agency Thorpe-Bowker,[16] and prices range from $42 for a single ISBN (plus a $55 registration fee for new publishers) to $2,890 for a block of 1,000 ISBNs. Access is immediate when requested via their website.[17]

Brazil: National Library of Brazil, a government agency, is responsible for issuing ISBNs, and there is a cost of R$16 [18]

Canada: Library and Archives Canada, a government agency, is responsible for issuing ISBNs, and there is no cost. Works in French are issued an ISBN by the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

Colombia: Cámara Colombiana del Libro, a NGO, is responsible for issuing ISBNs. Cost of issuing an ISBN is about USD 20.

Hong Kong: The Books Registration Office (BRO), under the Hong Kong Public Libraries, issues ISBNs in Hong Kong. There is no fee.[19]

India: The Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN (Book Promotion and Copyright Division), under Department of Higher Education, a constituent of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, is responsible for registration of Indian publishers, authors, universities, institutions, and government departments that are responsible for publishing books.[20] There is no fee associated in getting ISBN in India.[21]

Italy: The privately held company EDISER srl, owned by Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers Association) is responsible for issuing ISBNs.[22] The original national prefix 978-88 is reserved for publishing companies, starting at €49 for a ten-codes block[23] while a new prefix 979-12 is dedicated to self-publishing authors, at a fixed price of €25 for a single code.

Maldives: The National Bureau of Classification (NBC) is responsible for ISBN registrations for publishers who are publishing in the Maldives.[citation needed]

Malta: The National Book Council (Maltese: Il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb) issues ISBN registrations in Malta.[24][25][26]

Morocco: The National Library of Morocco is responsible for ISBN registrations for publishing in Morocco and Moroccan-occupied portion of Western Sahara.

New Zealand: The National Library of New Zealand is responsible for ISBN registrations for publishers who are publishing in New Zealand.[27]

Pakistan: The National Library of Pakistan is responsible for ISBN registrations for Pakistani publishers, authors, universities, institutions, and government departments that are responsible for publishing books.

Philippines: The National Library of the Philippines is responsible for ISBN registrations for Philippine publishers, authors, universities, institutions, and government departments that are responsible for publishing books. As of 2017[update], a fee of 120.00 per title was charged for the issuance of an ISBN.[28]

South Africa: The National Library of South Africa is responsible for ISBN issuance for South African publishing institutions and authors.

United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland: The privately held company Nielsen Book Services Ltd, part of Nielsen Holdings N.V., is responsible for issuing ISBNs in blocks of 10, 100 or 1000. Prices start from £120 (plus VAT) for the smallest block on a standard turnaround of ten days.[29]

United States: In the United States, the privately held company R.R. Bowker issues ISBNs.[5] There is a charge that varies depending upon the number of ISBNs purchased, with prices starting at $125 for a single number. Access is immediate when requested via their website.[30]

Publishers and authors in other countries obtain ISBNs from their respective national ISBN registration agency. A directory of ISBN agencies is available on the International ISBN Agency website.

All of this that is stated above was unknown to me. So I went ahead and allowed Book Baby to provide the ISBNs for my first four novels not knowing that by doing so left control of those novels to the company that provided the identifiers. It meant that they became the publishers of such novels. The next lesson I learned, once I understood this, is the fact that ISBNs are not cheap. In fact they are quite expensive. Still I learned that Bowker, (USA) periodically has sales on the ISBNs, so to make it as cheap as I could for each number I purchased a block of one hundred reducing the cost to $45 for each one.

As it stated in the article, each version of your novel needs a unique number, (hardback, paperback,epub, mobi, PDF) so you can use at least five numbers for each publication. For the ones I’ve published it’s been three – paperback and two versions of the EBook format. So it’s easy to burn through your numbers rather quick, and can end up being quite expensive. So if you become a member of their website don’t jump in immediately, as they have sales all the time giving you a chance to save, (Here I’m speaking of Bowker in the US since this is who I have experience with.). In the end this means that total control over your work is in your hands.

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

Published in: on March 10, 2018 at 6:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,
%d bloggers like this: