The Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She shrugged and asked, “Do what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And the Rains Came

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless and have a great week!

 

 

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.

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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Time of Isolation

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, ASIN: B071XWF1WY) 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, ASIN: B071CMNHMQ) 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, ASIN: B071R4SBBL) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

What can I say? I know that I’ve, as of three weeks ago, presented this novel in its entirety on this blog. Still it is the third novel I wrote, and as such must go on this list. After writing the first two novels in the Discovery series I decided I needed to move on and in a different direction. And like the first two novels this came about because of a recurring dream. Again the question would be; is there any resemblance to the novel if we were to compare the novel to the dream? And I’d have to say only slightly.

But before I go into the differences I’d like to talk about some of the processes I go through when I write. No I’m not talking about the mechanics and such. First off, as far as my writing I’m a pantser, or I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline, in fact I don’t like outlining. I keep everything in my head, and usually when I begin a new novel I have the title followed by images in my mind that point me in the direction I’m to go.

Most of the time I have both the beginning and the end, or at least what I suspect will be the end, in my mind. Still, until the words are on the page it really doesn’t matter what I may be thinking. If the words aren’t there on that page then there’s no story – nothing. In the end it’s the discipline to write every day that’s important. Still what is the method used? To start with I always have images in my mind. These images must be translated into those words on the page, and because they do move through my mind rather quickly I need to type. Writing freehand would be much too slow, and I suspect I’d lose a lot of what I see, leaving the story lacking in important details.

And I do have a daily goal for number of words I should write. This is followed by the next twenty four hours where I’m thinking about how the story will progress the next day. I look at each of these days as if it is me who is starting my day. I may have something planned, but the future of this day is unknown until I live it. And that’s exactly how I see my characters as I begin that day’s writing. And I do see my characters in that story everyday. And like a voyeur I watch their lives unfold. And as they unfold, obviously in my mind, I write their story. Here I must add that as the novel progresses I begin to develop a background, a history with the characters and this makes going forward easier.

What I mean here is the fact that when we are around someone for awhile, we begin to know them, their moods, the way they see life, and can begin to anticipate how they will react when a situation takes place. It is the same with these fictional characters. For me they become so real that I do get emotionally involved with them. And then I have to step back and smile reminding myself that they are not real, and only exist on those pages. Still it is important that they do appear to be real, to be living breathing individuals, otherwise they are two dimensional with no substance, and no life, leading to a story that will die.

During this process I always have that final word count goal in my mind of one hundred thousand. And as my story unfolds I always worry that I won’t make it. That I will run through the full story long before I reach that goal. And that fear remains with me until I hit that fifty thousand word mark. At that point I know what’s in those pages that’s been written, and how much story remains to be told.

Then comes the next worry – will it be too long? And that worry usually strikes somewhere around eighty five thousand words. And in a sense that’s what happened with the Discovery trilogy,(at least for the first novel), and this novel from the Survival trilogy. Suddenly I was at that goal, and the story wasn’t complete. So do I push on and wrap this one up at a point where the story naturally ends or continue the story in a second novel? In both I moved the story along to a second novel. And being this is the first novel in what I thought would be a stand alone, I now just faced this same issue as I did from the last two – The Ones Before, and Discovery. Yet here, while I had more story to tell I really didn’t feel like I had enough to create another novel. But I’ll be getting into that with the next post when I talk about the second in this series. Now back to the novel:

In the dream I saw two members of an advanced society discussing the fact that it appeared that the primitives had discovered them and was now making war upon them. In the great distance one saw the hordes like a plague moving in their direction. The vision shifted and I saw what only could be described as a medieval castle with a arched bridge made of stone leading into this place. It was here that the leader of the primitives resided.

In the areas where people would be jailed, down below or what we’d consider the dungeons were women from the advanced society that had been captured by the primitives from the towns and cities they’d both attacked and then destroyed. From this I shifted POV (Point of View) again and saw a sister and brother who were part of a scouting unit that kept the information flowing about what the primitives were doing.

The sister operated a piece of equipment that allowed surveillance and monitoring, working in the background. While the brother actually made contact with the primitives in the role of a merchant. When he would go into the strongholds posing as a traveling merchant, high in the sky, flying overhead was a mechanical device that looked to be a bird. It allowed both visual and verbal communications between the two. His goal was to rescue these women and bring them safely back.

There was more, but this was the basis for the story that became Time of Isolation. And here I need to mention that there was a second recurring dream that became part of the story and came across almost unchanged. Still if you’ve followed the novel as I presented it here in this blog, and then read this you really wouldn’t see many similarities. Yet if one looked closer they would be there. We have the advanced society hiding and living in the desert, and we have the scout unit, with a sister and brother, (spoiler alert) who eventually become the leaders. The primitives are there, and they are destroying these hidden cities. We have initially the equipment that I saw the sister using in that dream. And so there are some of the elements that came over into the actual novel. And here is the blurb or back cover for this novel:

Silence! Silence and static is all that they hear as Sampson and his shift attempt to contact Terra, another City gone silent – gone dark. What’s truly happening, Sampson thought. After all, they’re an advanced society hidden deep inside the desolation for protection – a voluntary Time of Isolation.

It has been this way for at least a millennia or more. At the time when the Cities were established it was to escape a Great War. This same Great War that pushed the ones outside of the desolation to become the primitives they all know and fear.

And now without warning something’s changed. Something ominous is on the horizon, and no one knows the questions to ask let alone find the answers. Is the cause the primitives, or is it something else? With the distances between the Cities too far to travel none can make direct contact – so what should they do? And who should they turn to solve this deadly riddle that is now before them?

In a sense these novels can be considered apocalyptic in nature, but instead I placed them as science fiction adventure. I did this because even as the destruction is happening, we follow the remnant of the scout team as they attempt to escape, moving them further away from their advanced world and more into the world and lifestyle of the primitives. And in the end finding life changing discoveries for them and the cities. And finally, if one is interested in this novel I suggest the 2nd edition that I released earlier this year.

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

Published in: on October 14, 2017 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Ones Before

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).

* * *

In the weeks ahead I’ll be presenting each of the novels I’ve written. This is the first. I plan on going into a bit of background on each, what my thoughts were at the time, and the direction the novel was originally to take and where it actually ended. And during this process I’ll present them in the order written. And with the first I’ll be providing an introduction to this overall series of posts.

One would think that for example, trilogies are written as a set, one after another until complete. And I suspect for many writers it is this way. Still, with the two trilogies I’ve written neither were. In both cases the first two were written followed by other novels before returning to complete the series. Again, both of these trilogies are open for additional novels. Whether that happens is an unknown.

In truth, after retiring and then beginning this career as a writer I’m finding that after fifty plus years of working that I’m burning out. Yes, in comparison to the hours I spent working my original career, this is a leisurely journey. Still like any job, it requires time, and while I don’t punch a clock any more, I still must be disciplined, spend each day concentrating on the writing, editing, and things like this blog.

This probably requires more discipline, concentration, and dedication than anything I’ve done. And while it would be nice to see some financial gain for the time, effort, and finances spent, and it hasn’t been cheap, there’s a good chance in the end that there will be no such reward. Leaving my reward to be the actual completion of a number of novels, all that I self-published. I know that many have started such a journey never to finish.

I can say I’ve learned a lot, and know that as far as this industry I’ve barely begun. So much has changed since the time when I first tried my hand at writing. In fact the whole industry is different, and now so much of what must be done has to be done by the writer. It’s no longer write the novel, submit it, and if one is fortunate enough to have it chosen by one of the publishing houses, then from there they’d take over and do everything necessary to get it out to the world. And if you’re a writer you know of what I speak.

And when you consider that there are over a million new publications each year then for an unknown to become known is close to impossible. Statistics say that nine out of ten writers fail. And to be honest this might be even higher. So when I began this journey in earnest these facts were something I was unaware of. Maybe it’s a good thing since it meant that I wouldn’t be discouraged right out of the gate.

Still some of the ignorance remained with me through those first couple of years where I learned how long it takes to bring forth a new work. For me, from beginning to end, and here I’m not referring to actually publishing, it takes about a year to do all the serious work. That means writing the novel followed by serious editing. While it is less than ideal I must do my own editing. For this I have no choice. Financially, hiring an editor, is beyond my means.

Editing, by far, is the most difficult and important part of the process. For me I have a method, as I’m sure most writers do. And for me I go through a novel – first page to last – a minimum of three times. Still with the ones I’m presently editing I can say I’ve been completely through them at least twelve times. Why the difference? It’s simple really. These early novels have required the most revisions, rewrites, and edits. And this is why they have yet to be published. While over time my writing has improved to a point where it requires less rewriting and editing, which I have to admit is really nice, it still must be done. And this novel, as I’ve stated, is the first I ever wrote.

Book length is also important. In the genre I mostly write the word count expected is around one hundred thousand. Yet when I wrote these first two I was unaware of such things as word count. I thought page count was the thing. So both are long, with this one being over one hundred thirty four thousand words, and the second at over one hundred and sixty five thousand. With three hundred to three hundred and fifty words to a page it gives you an idea to the length. And what I’ve learned is that each page you add costs additional money. And by being a small publisher, using Ingram as my producer, and distributor, and by being a publisher of short runs it is expensive, (Now known as POD, or Print on Demand). And because of this the paperbacks produced for sale in the retail market aren’t cheap. If you look up the price of any of my novels you’d naturally think, they must be really good or the publisher thinks they will sell well or the writer has such an ego that he believes that they deserve such a price. As I’ve stated I’m that publisher and writer, and in the end I really only earn, in most markets, less than a dollar per paperback book sold – thusly this is the reality and cost of doing business. And with this it’s time to head into the novel:

The Ones Before came about because of my interest in the past, and in the field of archaeology. In a sense the movie Planet of the Apes where the protagonist discovers, at the end of the movie, that he is on earth sometime far into the future has stayed with me. I still see the images of the Statue of Liberty as a ruin clearly identifying the fact that his world is gone forever.

Another influence for this series, for it is a trilogy, came from a favorite author. His stories always take place in real places. Not necessarily towns, cities, and such, but the lands. So I determined that I’d do the same with this one. So the wild lands, the places spoken of in this novel are real. And if one wanted to retrace the route of the people in this story one can. Although I have to say that those lands in the novel are lacking the cities and towns that exist now. So if one did follow the paths then they would have to imagine the lands without these cities and such.

And with all that I’ve written, in the ten to eleven years of writing, this series is the only one that follows the lands as they exist. Still, as I began this novel, I thought “first person” is the way to write it. After getting to the point where chapter four might have been, (there are eighteen chapters in this novel) I realized that this wasn’t going to work. So I started over and changed the perspective to “third person”. Oh just a small fact here; when I write novels they are all presented as “third person”, yet generally with my short stories I write in the “first person” POV

I say chapter four, but when I wrote this one I had no chapter breaks, nothing at all. So this became another issue as I had to go back and figure out where the chapter breaks should be. And these issues were only the beginnings of problems with this first novel. Issues such as a broken timeline. And others became obvious as I wrote, then came back later (much later) to clean it up. All my novels I now write have those chapter breaks in them as I go along. I can sense, as I write, where the natural break falls.

Did I say, clean it up? Well, that only happened later once I had added chapter breaks and such. I mean when I wrote my first novels the idea of editing didn’t enter my mind at all. I thought – write it, and be done with it. Well, that was another hard lesson. It has been stated that anybody can write, but only writers can edit. So the truth is one doesn’t have a story or a complete novel until the revisions, rewriting and editing is done.

Story – where’d the story come from? This, like the other trilogy I wrote, came from a fragment of a dream. This one, again like the other was a recurring dream. And it intrigued me enough to want to write a story. So when I began this I thought that I must have some type of goal to reach beyond this one novel. So I thought to set my goal rather high. I told myself that I’d write eight novels. Was that a real reachable goal? At the time I made it I really didn’t know.

In this story my original idea was to have one main character who is married and deals with the past. In fact I identified his position as “Head Keeper of the Past”. The other four characters that play an important part in the story were originally to be there as minor characters, ones who would pass on what they had so that the main character would then go forth and solve the mystery that’s before him. But, those other characters demanded more time, and a deeper role in the story, (really?). So instead of one main character I ended up with six. Each and every one critical to the telling of this story.

In fact, other than the prologue where the Head Keeper of the Past is writing, we don’t see him until much later in the novel. Instead we begin with a team that’s mapping major trails. From there we move on to the sister and brother who are trying to survive on family property that has been in their family for generations. And then it is from there we are finally introduced to the Head Keeper of the Past.

In a sense these novels are about discovering one’s past. In the story, The Ones Before are myth. Yet it is a myth that refuses to die, even though nothing has ever been discovered showing they were ever real, had existed, or had lived. Still many past Head Keepers of the Past have tried to solve this mystery only to fail. And this is the overriding theme. The story can be considered post apocalyptic in nature, but only generally. As the event is thousands of years in the past – at least for the first two novels.

Another aspect here in the beginning of my writing lay in the fact that I thought to eliminate conflict. After all, we have enough in our lives, why would I want to include it in a novel? Was I successful? No, not at all. It was later that I learned that conflict is what drives the story. And I learned there are many levels to conflict. From those decisions we make to go one way or the other, to outright war and destruction.

Is this novel available? No not yet. Soon, as I’m having covers designed for the complete trilogy in November of 2017, and hope to have them available by the Christmas season of this year. I have to admit that I love my characters and their interactions with each other and the world they live. And in this novel you truly do learn of their world, their society, and where they are technologically. And I find personally, seeing, reading, and finding a complete living world makes the reading so much more pleasurable.

So I hope that this look inside the process, and the introduction to my path as a writer piques your interest enough that you will want to at least read the back cover of the novel. It, as well as the other two, will be available as both a paperback and in the EBook format. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 10

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).

* * *

Last week the team at the alpha had two jobs. Most of the team headed out to the caldron to search for a possible exit. The remainder worked the security office with the job of testing the communications system and see if it’s really possible to complete the connection so they can transmit. To their surprise once the button was pushed it automatically connected and thusly began the conversation with the pivot city. This week, as we close out both this chapter and the book, we pick up that conversation and the actions that are taking place in both locations:

Saar, looking around at the rest shrugged. He had to admit that he thought it wasn’t going to be that hard to get things moving once they made contact. But it was turning out to be much more complicated. Turning around he asked to no one in particular. “I wonder what that is all about? After all it’s not like we are all jokesters here, and just love to put something over on any who are gullible. So what’s the problem here? Is there something I did or said to make this guy suspicious?” He could see that everyone in the room had no answers for him, so all of them just waited until this Keenan made contact with them again. Yet, at the same time, there was an excitement building. Now they knew for sure that other cities had not received the same fate that theirs had, and there were still ones of their own species around. Saar, thinking, I need Saige and Shellian here, but there is no way. As far as I know they are half way across that large meadow by now and we will have no contact with them until they return tomorrow. They have planned on camping if necessary so that they could do a thorough job of exploring, and possibly finding the exit that they are sure has to be there. So I guess, since I’ve been in charge in the past it is all on me. “What do you think he needs to know?” Saar asked the group. Again shrugging, as he turned back to the console, when he heard the crackling as someone on the other end was picking up a headset.

“Are still there?” The female voice on the other end asked. This is Kacey; I’m the one who monitors the less used channels. Keenan said that he would be with you in a moment. And since I do monitor these channels I heard the conversation between you and Keenan. Is it true that you are from one of the cities that went dark?”

Smiling, as Saar could hear the barely concealed excitement in her voice, said. “Yes, it is quite true. But I am sad to say at the same time that we are very few.”

“Oh, here he is, and to let you know everything that is happening on this channel is automatically recorded.”

“Thank you, that’s good to know.” Saar replied. He waited as the mic went dead once again, and then heard a different one being moved. He turned around placed his hand over his mic since it was voice activated, and said. “I may need help with whatever questions this person has, so listen well.”

“Okay, Saar is it? Right. Saar, you say that you were originally from the city of Sequoyah. If this is so, who was your present head of the council at the time your city went dark?”

At least that was an easy question. But if he really admitted it, most likely, he would not have known, since they had more or less isolated themselves from the city to be able to work and live closer to the way the primitives did. And he had to admit that was probably why any of them were still alive. When the crisis had arisen it had been the leader who had contacted Shayne and then everyone in the compound knew. “His name was Sione. And I say was because I do not know of his true status, but from what we observed, there is little chance for any to have survived.”

“Survived?” Keenan asked. “What do you mean survived?”

“Look, we can go into all of this later, have I not answered correctly? And if you have any additional questions please ask. Time is short and what needs to happen needs to happen yesterday, especially if you don’t want to lose another city. And it’s really that simple.”

“Okay, you did, and I did have others but I’ll accept what you have told me, but just one more thing, where did you and your over-bosses work?”

Laughing a bitter laugh Saar said. “We were the last of the scouting units. We had learned that all the other cities had dropped the units. We feel that if that hadn’t happened then what has transpired may never have occurred. Look, I was told that our conversation is being recorded, and if that is so, you need to transmit a copy of what I am about to tell you not only to your council, but to every city that still survives. Our very existence depends on it, and it is that serious, do you understand?”

Still with suspicion in his voice Keenan said. “Oh come on, you’re telling me this and expect me to just jump and do? Get real here.”

Saar then interrupted Keenan and said. “Look we can argue this all day, and still not solve anything. When this was first brought to Shayne he was given the color yellow.”

Then interrupting Saar, Keenan asked, “Shayne? Who is this Shayne that you are talking about?”

“He was our leader, but was killed during our escape. But that is old history now, and I am giving you a color that is rarely given as I feel it is that critical. And that color is Black.” Now there was only silence on the other end for the longest of times. Then he heard a deep sigh.

“Okay Saar. You do know that using that color has, as far as I know, been used only once in our entire history. Are you sure you want to invoke black?”

Then in a quiet voice Saar said. “Yes.” Then he let a few seconds of silence go by before continuing. “If there was something higher than black I would use it. This is that serious.”

“Okay then, as you know we are recording this.”

“I was told, but now I have a question for you. Can this be put to your council live? And if so, how long before they can be gathered?”

“I don’t have that kind of authority!” Keenan responded.

“Then run the color black against whoever you need and let’s move on this.”

“Okay, I’ll see what I can get done. In the meantime work with Kacey, and let her know the details so that there will be a small part that can be presented while the council is getting together.”

                                * * *

The information passed through the cities like a wild fire. Now the cities that remained were on full alert, knowing what had happened to their sister cities. But no one had any answers as of yet, as to what they could do to stop the primitives. Saar was thankful that their time of isolation was over, that they had found that many of the cities had survived. But there still was a long and twisted road ahead of them as they came to grip with this alliance. But with knowledge, many times a solution could be found. And with point Alpha rediscovered, their true history would be known throughout the cities. And Saar for one would be glad to let Saige, Shellian and the rest of the crew know that contact had been made and plans were progressing. Still he knew that this was only the beginning, and there was much work ahead of all of them. Including the search for their home world, and whatever it was that had left them isolated here, on this distant world.

 

To be continued in the novel Desperate to Survive.

* * *

And with this I’ve presented the complete novel, Time of Isolation. What has been learned here is the fact that there were two levels of isolation they are dealing with. The first they knew, when they escaped their burning city, followed by a running fight with the primitives, ending with them in the Sacred Mountains, spending a winter there, and then through an accident discovering the abandoned facility known as Point Alpha. And with no known way to communicate it left them isolated from the rest of the cities. As they brought the facility back to life they discovered their true past, and found that they – all of them – were involved in a much larger Time of Isolation as they had been abandoned here on this planet. Yet the danger persists, and at this point in the story the primitives seem bent on destroying all of the cities hidden deep in the desolation. And while book two – Desperate to Survive will not be presented here I’ll briefly talk about it.

In Time of Isolation the story deals more with the cities, and specifically with the scout unit. The primitives are only seen as the antagonists. In the second book we get up close and personal with the primitives, their society, and the reasons for the alliance. It also deals with the captives from the fallen cities. Of course the scout unit still plays a major role in what happens. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Published in: on September 23, 2017 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 9

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).

* * *

A lot is happening. Whether, in the end, it leads to solving the many problems before the scout team is unknown. Still with the knowledge gained they are moving forward hoping to both discover how their ancestors used the herds, find an exit from the meadows where the herds are located, and learn how to contact the cities hidden deep in the desolation. We then shift perspectives and follow Keenan as he deals with less than ideal circumstances. And while his back is to his crew one of the members approaches and begins to request his attention. We pick up the action after some conversation between the two:

She nodded her head and he could see that she almost said it again but paused. “Okay, I just received a communications from a channel that has never been active.”

“You mean active while you’ve worked here, right?”

Shaking her head she said. No, no as far as I can see, and I’ve checked the logs as far back as I could, it has never been used. And this channel has our highest priority color attached to it. And the signal is weak and scratchy, but I think I can actually hear someone trying to communicate with us.”

“Are you sure?” Then shaking his head he said. “Of course you are, sorry about that, but it is a surprise that’s all. What does the monitor tell you?”

“That’s the really weird part; it’s saying that it is originating from point Alpha.”

He looked perplexed for a moment and then glanced over at his monitoring panel and saw that one light was flashing, and like at her station this light had never flashed in his twenty-five years of working here. “What the heck is going on?” He thought a moment before continuing. “Okay Kacey transfer it to my station and I’ll take it from here, and please set up for record, we want an accurate recording of this, and if it turns out to be some type of hoax, then we’ll have it all down. And please monitor it with me so that if something comes to mind that you want to either ask or add you can.” He glanced up at the clock and it said 1433.

                                * * *

“Look, when we pushed this button that is marked with the highest priority color, then this happened.” The other two stared at the center panel than now was lit up. A message appeared on the monitor that sat above this panel and stated, “Ready to Transmit”. “Who’d of thought it would be that easy?” Saar asked. He looked around at the rest and he could see the surprise in their eyes also. “Okay now what?”

“Now what, what?” Sabryn asked.

“Well, as far as I know, we were just supposed to figure this out, and then report back to Saige and Shellian on our research, not actually make a connection.” Saar responded.

“I guess it’s too late for that now.” Seirra replied. “It looks like it has sent out a carrier wave, and set itself up, and connected to Keahilani.”

“Which means”, Seve said, “that some type of confirmation would have happened there, so they would know that someone would be trying to contact them.” They could now feel the excitement building inside of them, as well as nervousness, as they realized what was happening. After all this time of isolation they were finally going to be able to talk to a city.

Saar, looking around at the rest asked, “What should we say?” He could feel the tension in the room as the other three shrugged. “Take me to your leader, doesn’t work here,” he said, trying to ease the atmosphere. And it had its effect by a series of small nervous chuckles that the statement evoked. They all jumped when a scratchy but understandable voice came out of the panel.

“Who is on this priority channel?” The voice asked before continuing. “If this is some kind of joke or prank we are not laughing here. And if it is, then there are serious consequences for operating on this channel.” The voice said with strong authority.

They looked at each other for a moment and then Seve said. “You’d better respond, or I guess the better question is, have you figured out how to respond?”

“Ah, this is Saar.”

“Saar? Who the heck is Saar, and since you are connecting through point Alpha why is your name beginning with an “S”?” Keenan asked.

“Point Alpha? Look, whoever you are, since you haven’t identified yourself, if you happen to really look, you will know that on any of the circuits or maps for that matter, there is never a mention of this place, point Alpha as you called it.” And it was true, this location had never been on any map and the list of cities never had one that began with “A”. And because it had never been there, there never had been a question as to why. Now their little band knew why, but nobody in the rest of the world did.

“True.” The voice agreed. “But for some reason it is on my panel, although I’ve never seen it activate or become active in any way. And I am Keenan, the leader of this shift.” Again he couldn’t keep the suspicion out of his voice.

“Keenan is it? Okay then, there is a reason for that, and if what happened to our city had not have happened, then all of this would not have happened, or had become known. Anyway, I am a doctor, and as you have guessed, we are not from here or there. Our city was Sequoyah.” That brought silence for a moment, as if the speaker on the other end was trying to assimilate what he had just been told.

Then in a softer tone Keenan said, “Sequoyah is one of the cities that went dark.” Then with the realization of what had been just relayed to him he continued. “You aren’t trying to pull some type of prank here are you? Because if you are, then I personally will be sure to see you pay for it.”

Saar looked around at the rest of them that were in the security office and just shook his head. He then took a deep breath before speaking again. “No, Keenan. In a way I wish it were so and our city still existed. But it is gone as are the others, which have gone dark. And on that subject just how many have gone dark now?”

“Have you been out of the loop or something? Everybody knows that we’ve had eight cities go dark. How is it that you don’t know that?”

“I guess you can say that we have been in isolation for somewhere close to or more than a full annual. And let me say that we know why it is happening, and that every city that still exists needs to know this information, and all of you need to figure how to fix it now.”

“Okay, right now all you are doing is talking in circles. You’ve given me no proof of who you are, and how you got on this channel, or even what this channel is for. I don’t think I’ve even heard anything about it at all, and I don’t remember any mention about it in the archives.”

“Okay, okay then, what is it that you need from us to prove that we are legitimate and not someone who is trying to pull off some big publicity stunt?”

“Good question, give me a moment and I’ll get back to you. I’ve got to find some info on your supposed city, and then I’ll ask the questions, you then can give me the answers, and confirm that what you are telling me is true. Be right back.” The mic then went dead.

* * *

At this point in the story we are concentrating on the communication center, and the Alpha. For the ones in the security office their role is to simply test and determine how and if the system works. They then are to report to the two leaders when the team, who is out searching the caldron, returns. They learn that the system isn’t set up that way and when they push a button to test out what they’ve learned, the system automatically connects. For the communication center on the other end this has never happened. The circuit has always existed, but has never been activated. Next week we not only wrap of chapter twelve, but close out Time of Isolation – book one it the Survival Trilogy. God Bless and have a great week. (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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