A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Three

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)

* * *

So in this new “wild west” of publishing everything was changing at a rapid rate. And into this new world with the little knowledge I had I thought the smart thing to do was to take advantage of one of these companies, (companies that converted manuscripts into EBooks) and have them publish my novels. Still, at this point I had hope that somewhere during this process that I’d land or find an agent, and begin the process that led to traditional publishing.

Traditional publishing seemed to be the best way to get known, and maybe in the end produce enough income that I might be able to live off the proceeds. As time went on and as I learned more about this route, I found there was much I didn’t like. In a sense, after all that effort, hard work, time invested, and all that isolation as one worked on that particular manuscript or project, in the end you sold your rights to all of this hard personal work to a company that probably wouldn’t invest much time and effort on the project. And if there wasn’t an immediate return bury it, leaving the writer out in the cold with no recourse.

I didn’t like those odds, and add to it the fact that if I wanted those rights back, I’d had to purchase them. So while having your novel published by one of the big houses seemed to be the way to success, it wasn’t necessarily so. It was then I learned that in this modern world of publishing, much of the work, after the fact, would still fall to you the writer. They, (publishers) now require that the writer have a platform. The writer now had to be on social media, have a website, and in most cases have an active blog. The writer now would be responsible for all the correspondence with fans of his or her works, and in many ways be responsible for getting the word out.

As I thought about this, I began to wonder why I would need a publisher since they were requiring all of this from me. I mean if I was doing this as an independent then I’d be doing very much the same thing. Sure, I understand that with the budgets that publishers have, besides their reach, there is a better chance of becoming known through them. Yet, at the same time that chance overall would be really small.

Going independent meant that I’d be the one in control of everything. Of course this meant that I’d be in control of everything, including the costs involved, the decisions for content, release dates, distribution, announcements, and so many other small details that it might become overwhelming. Especially since I really knew nothing about this industry.

So back to Writers Digest and a webinar on self-publishing I went. After this I did some research and decided that the company I would go with to create my EBooks, followed by the fact they had a great distribution network, was Book Baby. With them you paid for the production costs, and they would then distribute your EBook throughout their network, collect the royalties, handle the accounting, and once your royalties hit a certain threshold transfer the funds into you account.

For me this seemed to be a good solution or compromise. It appeared they had the experience, distribution network, and a system that would allow one to track their books. So my first four novels were originally converted and published by them. Still, as time moved on their prices continued to climb, and with the last one I sent them to convert the costs had risen to well over $400. This was rapidly heading in the direction of unaffordable. And while they did distribute, I really wasn’t seeing much results. Again, POD (Print on Demand) was still in the future, and the small independent print shops where one might get a manuscript printed was well beyond most indie authors as far as costs. This still left the issue of distribution. and how one would get their printed books out to the retailers.

So for me it was time to do some additional research and continue to learn and understand the industry I found myself in. And, of course, this industry was now very fluid and big changes were in the wind and happening almost overnight.

Next week I continue my journey to becoming and indie writer, and publisher. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

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A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Two

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)

* * *

As I’ve stated in an earlier post, I thought that once a manuscript was written then it’s done. I guess that was one of the first hard lessons learned. Without editing there is no story. And in a sense even though I hadn’t thought about editing, when I had written book two in the Discovery trilogy, I had no choice but to return to the first one and make corrections. In other words edit the darn thing.

So now what? How was I to get these manuscripts in front of publishers and editors? Well I had returned to subscribing to Writers Digest, and ended up purchasing one of their books that gave lists of agents, and such. So I picked out a few that I thought would work with the genre I wrote, submitted queries, and waited. Every one came back as rejections. And what made it worse was the fact the rejections were form letter rejections, which meant no interest at all.

During this time I became a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA). Every year they host conferences, and also have a contest tied in with their conferences allowing authors to submit manuscripts, (for a price of course) to be judged. Then at the conference the winner would be announced. Then this winner would have the opportunity to talk to publishers and agents who would be specifically interested in their manuscript.

This was a no brainer. I had to submit to this contest and hope I was good enough to at least reach the finals. Of course the winner wouldn’t be announced until the end of the conference. So I attended the writer’s conference, and I have to admit that it was worth the price of admission. The only issue for me was the price of admission only allowed me to do this once.

The classes I attended added to the knowledge that I lacked, and as far as my manuscript, it didn’t go anywhere. Still, by this time I had written another novel and had brought a query with me, hoping to get the opportunity to give it to either an agent, or publisher. I was fortunate enough to find one who accepted the query. Still, I never heard back. So in the end another failed query and opportunity.

I guess, in many ways what you see here is pretty standard for any unknown. It has been stated that one could paper their walls with rejection letters before finally landing a deal somewhere. Still I continued to learn. And eventually, after taking one of many webinars I learned a little about self-publishing, and the beginnings of the revolution in electronic books. Whether you have a love or hate relationship, it is Amazon that drove this, forcing the other publishers to come along for the ride, kicking and screaming, and fighting this trend.

POD (Print on Demand) hadn’t arrived as of yet. So a few internet companies began to offer services for converting manuscripts into the EBook formats – Epub, and Mobi. Some would do the work for free taking a percentage of the sales as their share for the work performed. Others would require payment up front, and then any sales belonged to you.

In the beginning of all of this one was responsible for the cover designs, and obviously the content, and formatting of that content. It was later that many of these specialty houses began offering services that would  do this work for you, again for a price. Still, if we were to look at some of my early covers that I created verses the ones presently on my novels then it becomes painfully obvious where the talent is.

Next week I move onto my first foray into this new world of self-publishing. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part One

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)

* * *

Yes, I’m an Indie publisher, and as such I’m responsible for all of it. And what I mean is, from the writing, to the editing, to contracting for covers, and submitting all materials to a print house, to the final product you find at your favorite book outlet, literally everything. This is a journey that has taken years to accomplish. There were a lot of mistakes made along the way, and a really steep learning curve. Still at this time my novels are available in paperback, and EBook. I haven’t attacked the audio market as of yet, but sometime in the future it may be a direction that I will take. (Also remember that everybody’s path is different, and this is mine.)

And now that I’m looking at reaching an end to most of what I’ve done, I thought it was time to look back and trace the pathways to now. So with this first post in the new series I will go back to the beginnings which began eleven years ago. 2006 was the year I retired, and then moved from where we were living to the great northwest, and all the work that happens when you not only move into to a new home, but add to that a new state, meaning the changing of all your vehicle licenses, driver’s license, and address changes and such. Add to it not knowing anything about anything meant more learning.

So this early time was simply spent on becoming familiar with the area, and the changes that one faces. Still, after this what was I planning to do? I knew, from statistics, that if one didn’t occupy oneself with something productive that life expectancy after retirement would be short. And I wanted time to spend with my wife, who is still working at this time, once she retired, and finally after all the years together to actually have it be just the two of us. That will finally happen in the second half of 2019.

So I thought maybe I should try to write. While I’ve written a short story or two, and when we’d do Halloween haunted walks, create stories to heighten the suspense, I had never tried to write a complete novel. At the time in the past where I’d attempt to write, life got in the way, so it was something that had to be placed on the backburner until such time where I might be able to devote more time to the craft. Decades went by, and between family and job it reached a point where I had to give up recreational reading totally. So for the last years of my career, it was work, home life, no real vacations, and a wildfire close to the end of my career that once again changed our direction, and lives forever.

I’ve never claimed to be anything but a country hick. I lived most of my life on family property that was forty-one acres in size. A two mile dirt road to get there, we are on wells for water, and then in the seventies we finally got electricity and a telephone. Yet, when we made this move from there to where we are living presently it was in a city. The original plan was to only be here a short time while we recovered, sell, and return to the country. Then came the housing crash, and so here we are still living in the city, and that same house twelve years later.

Back when I had begun this journey, decades in the past, the publishing industry was completely different. There were no agents, and in reality there were no classes, internet, webinars and such, to teach one how to create a query, and one dealt with publishers and editors directly. It meant when I decided to pursue a writing career as a second occupation that what we see today was completely unknown to me. Meaning that I went into this as I remembered, not knowing the reality of today and the massive changes that had taken place. Let alone the ones that I didn’t see coming in the future, which is now the past. Even though what is happening today is still changing and growing.

In a sense what we see has led to a revolution in the publishing world. Now anybody who has thoughts of publishing can do it. So this has led to the massive amounts of published material out there making it even more difficult for a writer to become known. And is usually the case there’s lots of this new material that’s really not worth reading. In many ways this is like the old west, it is the frontier, a revolution, and a freedom for any to get one’s book out and into the hands of readers.

So late in 2006 I began my first novel. Still I knew that it was important to set a goal. I mean, was this novel going to be my only attempt, or did I have aspirations to go further? At first I didn’t know, but eventually set a goal of eight novels. Was it realistic? There was no way to know, and if it wasn’t I could always adjust it later. So off into the darkness of the unknown future I went. And the obstacles that was ahead of me were all unknown – which was probably a good thing. I really thought, in my mind that it would be simple. Write the novel, submit it, and see it published.

For any who have tried, they know that this isn’t reality, and this road is a long and hard one. Yes there are always a few who seem to hit everything just right and go to the best seller’s list. But for most of us we end in obscurity and what we’ve produced ends up on our personal shelves to collect dust. Still even to have accomplished this is far greater then ninety nine percent of the ones who have attempted to write only to fail.

Next week I’ll be continuing this final series of posts. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on January 6, 2018 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Christmas Day Wish

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

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

 

Thanksgiving 2017

Consider this a bonus since it’s Thursday, late in November. Most likely most of us here in the USA are gathering with family and friends, and for others heading out for a long weekend away from that daily grind. It is a time to give thanks for what we have, and to appreciate our families and personal relationships.

We normally feel the warmth of the home where we are celebrating, and the smells that will be filling the rooms bring smiles of past times. Maybe the time when you personally sat at the “kids” table and looked longingly at the “adult” table and wondered when you’d be able to sit there yourself.

I’ve been writing this blog for seven years and in that time only wrote one short story for Thanksgiving. So I decided this year to link back to it. So if you have a spare moment and want to escape into a fictional world, seeing this time of year through another’s eyes then follow this link back and enjoy! https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/returning-home/

To you and yours may it be a great day, and God Bless!

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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Discovery

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).

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If you caught last week’s post you know that I’m presenting the novels I’ve written in the order I’ve written them. And this one is book two in the Discovery Trilogy. Restating what I said last week, and since this is the second, I had just come back to writing. And until I wrote The Ones Before, I had never tackled a full length novel. Looking back it had been years, and I mean years since I had tried my hand at writing, and I found that almost the whole industry had changed.

There was much that I got wrong, and as in anything worth pursuing, I continue to learn and improve. And while this novel is over one hundred sixty five thousand words, (approximately 500 pages) making it long for what publishers want, it continues to tell the story of a future world thousands of years after an apocalyptic event. And what this novel did and it’s the only time I’ve faced this, is to force me to go back to book one, The Ones Before, and rewrite portions of it – again. This had to happen to make the two novels consistent and work together since it obviously deals with the same story.

To be truthful, this second novel was a much better written first draft than the first one. Still I’ve had to do heavy editing and revisions to it also. Originally the story was to be a single novel, but, as in my other trilogy, it became two, and then eventually three. And where book one was originally to end, this happened instead in book two – Not that book one doesn’t reach closure because it does.

All three novels take place in a post apocalyptic world where only the “when” is different. Books one and two take place thousands of years after the event while book three is approximately two hundred years or three generations since the destruction. In many ways book three shows the beginnings of trends and traditions that are part of the societies and the world of the first two books. And book three presents the remnant of the ones who became known as The Ones Before.

Once again this story is a result of a recurring dream, one that left me with images that I wanted to bring to life. And this story, these novels began it all for me. Because once these first two were complete, (not necessarily ready for primetime) I found I had a desire to continue. As I stated last week, I set a goal, at the time of writing these novels, of writing eight. Was it realistic? I didn’t know, but knew, after checking those milestones, I could always adjust that figure if it became necessary. So I pushed off into the unknown.

This journey began at the end of 2006, and I consider 2007 to be the actual time of writing that first novel. And here we are ten years later. So the obvious question is did I make that goal, or did I have to adjust it? And the truth here is yes, (yes what?) I had to adjust it. I had to adjust it higher and changed the goal to ten, which I’ll make and surpass also. And as I stated last week, I found that it takes me a year to produce a novel. This includes the writing, editing, revisions, and rewrites. Yet even then they aren’t necessarily ready for publication as there’s many additional steps that must be taken before any of them will see the light of day and are available.

So book one, within the storyline, ends with success. Yet the ones we are following have a second destination, a second site, and have plans to head there once they wrap up the project where they presently are located – which happens to be the desert. Now I stated that with this series if one wanted they could follow every character and the lands where they live, travel, and work, as I used real lands. No none of the cities, towns, and such exist in the story, but every piece of land is there.

In this novel we continue to follow the six protagonists and their lives. They are a brother and sister, a scout, a cartographer, the Head Keeper of the past, and his wife. And there is a point in the story where all of them finally come together and meet for the first time. Until then they remain separate. Well generally, as obviously the brother and sister are together as well as the Head Keeper of the Past and his wife. And the scout and the cartographer are friends. Still it is an accidental discovery that makes the wheels begin to turn that will bring all of them together and in the end lead to these important discoveries, and the influences these discoveries will make on their known world.

And with Discovery the story actually wraps up. So at the completion of this one they, the novels, went to the shelves where they have remained these past ten years. Again, at the time of writing I didn’t think anything about editing, or the whole process necessary to make the novels and stories work. I thought, wrongly, when one writes nothing else needs to be done.  In fact I felt so strongly and positively about this one that I submitted it to a contest. Of course it failed miserably – no editing and such, no story.

Still, in the end, I love my characters, their lives, and the world where they live. And we really do get up close and personal with these characters, and everything about them. And speaking of their world I think that most of us would find it difficult to live in that world. We love our modern conveniences, our medical advancements, transportation, and such. In this world none of that exists. The world would be closer to the early to middle 1800’s, than the world of the 21st century. Populations are small, as we continue to recover from the event that almost wiped the human race off the planet. And nothing, absolutely nothing from our time seems to have survived. We have started over.

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

 

 

Sixty Years On

Now available in July, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel. Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. Release date was yesterday, July 14, 2017. Blurb and information can be found on my website (found at the bottom of this page).

The Harsh Lands 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: 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: 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 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. Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

I picked this title from the title of a song by Elton John that he sang back in the seventies. I have to admit that I always liked it. Still in many ways what it reflects is a view of when one reaches those older years. And in my case I definitely qualify. If any of you out there haven’t heard the song here’s the link to one of the versions from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEcafVVUxqk

In a sense what one takes away from this song will be as a result of who and where you are personally. For me it has to do with the title referring to sixty years plus, which is where I am, since I’ll turn sixty eight this year. Others may think about the fact that it seems that every generation have their wars to fight, others who want to see guns disappear will see a possible future where they don’t exist. And still others might focus on the religious aspect, and because of this none of us would agree what this song is about – and that’s what keeps life interesting.

What I am writing here will be through my eyes as I’ve viewed events, and marked time. And if we truly think about it for all of us it is this way. What is being witnessed throughout our lives will always be colored by who we are, what our experiences have been, our heredity, the influences that are around us, and where we are in our own timeline. Nothing we see is what it truly is. It cannot be any other way since we view all things from our inner selves, and our personal senses.

For example, in my case I’m partially colorblind. That means that certain colors do not exist for me and when you remove those colors what I see instead is the color that would be created if that missing color didn’t exist. To explain what I mean, here is what would happen. If you remove red from purple the color you would end up with is blue. And we can say the same thing with brown. Since red is the most common colorblind color then if we remove red from brown we get green. So this would mean that to any of us with that particular color blindness trait those other colors wouldn’t exist, i.e. brown and purple.

By the way, back when you were a kid, and for me that’s a long time ago, did you ever try to mix all the colors with your crayons or colored pencils to get white? Logically you’d think it would work since sunlight is white and we were shown and told that it is created from all the colors.  And by using a prism they prove it. Yet when we mix those colors on a sheet of paper we end up with black – one of those mysteries of life I guess.

Memory or memories can be tricky things. It has been shown that what we remember isn’t necessarily what really happened. Time and distance has changed those memories into something different, yet we believe what we see in our minds is correct. There have been a number of experiments done over the years that prove that memories can be implanted and have no basis in reality. So when I look back on my memories I find that with some there are warm nostalgic feelings that can lead me to smile, while others I’d sooner forget. Are they accurate, I believe so, but there’s no way for me to prove them to be so. If we think about this too hard it can leave us on shaky ground with nothing firm to stand upon. It comes down to do we trust or not trust our personal memories. Personally I’d rather trust them until they are proven to be wrong.

So what’s your earliest memory? Mine, and I’d guess I had to be around three at the time, has to do with a family outing to an observatory, standing on the steps leading up to the entrance. That’s it, nothing about going inside, or about the trip to and from, or any other aspect. There must have been something about that one location that created this permanent memory.

Other memories? Well, there’s the one where we went out to look at property when I was six. We turned a corner and everything to the west fell away and suddenly it was like I could see forever. As a boy scout taking that ninety mile hike we did as a troop, graduating from high school, (fifty years ago) the night I left home on the way to a war zone as a soldier, wild fires, where eventually one did destroy our homes, marrying the woman I love, who brought two daughters into my life and our family, being there for the birth of our sons, and now after all these years going to their weddings. As you can see most of these memories are ordinary and as such could belong to anyone. Yet, each and every one makes me who I am, as the ones you have make you who you are.

Local and beyond memories? The Kennedy assassination when I was in high school, the space race and landing on the moon, an airliner crash that almost hit an elementary school, and further back and personal, a military fighter crashing on the property and almost hitting our home, 9-11-2001, and the resulting wars that we still face today, terrorism and the many tragic losses from these extremists, and I guess I can throw in the mine rescue. In this mix I can add the resignation of a president and vice-president, and the first time we had a president who came to office unelected. And all of these form the backdrop of my and our lives influencing how we see and view our world.

The common factor in all of this is time. And for all of us time is the limiting factor. We are only given so much of it before we die. And it’s surprising how fast that time approaches. It seems like yesterday when I graduated from school and while I was in school it seemed like it was forever. Now fifty years later I’m returning from that reunion celebrating a half century since graduating. Yeah this means I’ve been out of school much longer than I was in, and that time between has more than flown – leaving me to wonder what happened

It is here at this time in one’s life that they realize that much of their lives are over, and whatever dreams and goals one had are no longer obtainable. It is sobering when one realizes that all the chances are pretty much used up, and are part of your past. Still I can say that once I retired that it allowed me one more chance at one of those life goals, and here it is right before you. I always had a desire to write, and in truth I never knew if I could be successful or not. I guess, in the end, I can say yes. When I seriously began to write, (after retiring) I set goals, whether I’d ever reach them I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t know if I could write a book or novel and finish it. Yet, in the end, I did reach those goals, surpassed them, reset those goals and will reach and possibly surpass those new ones.

Still, time is piling up, burying me under that weight, telling me that soon those creative juices will probably dry up. So next year as I work on two new novels,  they may be my last. Still I’m happy with the results of my writing. In the end I’ll have written twelve novels, plus one of short stories that I’ve presented over the years on this blog. And when I do look back on my life I see many twists and turns, dead ends, failures, and a few successes now and then. Still overall I have my health – more or less – and a loving family. I believe in God and would love to see a peaceful world. Still, I’m realistic enough to know that this will probably never happen. It still doesn’t mean that I hope to be wrong. We are still a world of tribes and have that tribe mentality. And until that changes nothing ever will.

In conclusion, all I can say is to keep reaching. Keep yourself active mentally and physically. Set those goals, and reach for them. If you don’t make them, at least you tried, and in a sense that’s the bottom line isn’t it. It has been said many many times, it’s the journey, the road you travel. Even though that road will have many unexpected turns, dead ends, and branches that will completely change your life and direction, you only fail when you give up. And unlike the games we play we cannot go back and start a level again. In life we get one chance, and it matters not whether you have the experience to make an educated decision, we must decide and then live by where that decision sends us.Whether my novels become more than a hobby only time will tell. Still I’m happy to have traveled down those many roads, and I love following my fictitious characters through their lives, and must admit that I’ve enjoyed their life stories and journeys as they unfolded. And if I want to admit to it I think I would like to meet many of them personally. Of course this is impossible since they’ve never lived except in my mind and on the pages of those books – still, they are real to me. Remember –

Don’t be afraid to reach high and to seek the impossible. Who knows, you may be the one who makes the impossible possible. God Bless! Have a great week, and learn from all the mistakes we all have a tendency to make. It is only then that we grow. (http://www.fdbrant.com)

 

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 9

Coming in July – two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel. Both will be available as paperback and in the EBook format.

The Harsh Lands 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: 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: 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 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. 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).

* * *

Before getting to this week’s post I’d like to mention that here in the USA we will be celebrating Memorial Day this Monday after my Saturday post. A time of remembrance for all those who have sacrificed all to protect their family, strangers they’ve never met, and the nation where they were citizens. Being a veteran myself I understand why. Still any of us who have served in the foreign fields and wars always hope to come home to the ones we love and respect, but it isn’t something that is guaranteed. And many who expected to come home to those happy reunions, come home to be laid to rest never seeing their children, or family again – leaving an emptiness, and a sadness that will never go away.  Within this national celebration are the many personal stories, and tragedies that we never hear or will feel. So let’s honor our war dead and thank God for what we have.

* * *

Last week we left the teams involved in doing a detailed search of the Alpha, and we specifically followed Stone and Sorrel as they worked their way through the gloom that is the cave where they first entered into the facility in the past. From what Stone can determine the vast cavern has the appearance of being worked sometime in the deep past. This leads to the conclusion that there has to be lighting here, but as of yet they haven’t found any switches. Of course in the gloom visibility is minimal. Eventually they discover what he considers to be either a steam vent or a lava tube, and again it has the appearance of being worked. As they work their way down this feature Sorrel accidently brushes a light panel turning night into to day and temporarily blinding them. Ahead they spy a doorway which is closed. And as they prepare to enter we close out last week’s post.

And as we have been doing in the last couple of weeks, this week we follow another couple of teams while getting up, close and personal, as they work their assignments. As is usually the case when people work together small talk between the members keeps things as normal as it can be. All are trying to answer the many questions, and to really learn the whys and wherefores of this facility. And with this onto part 9:

“You know Seirra, I can’t get used to this feeling that I’m falling every time we adjust our views from wherever these things are located. It almost makes me ill with; I guess you could call it motion sickness. And I swear whatever this is, that it is falling out of the sky – yet . . . We’ve done this a lot and they’re still there. So logically I know that they remain wherever they are. And this still makes me wonder what happened in the cities so that they forgot about this. I mean we all have seen the records here and now know the truth. But it has been so skewed in the cities and the way it is taught in the learning centers, that none of the truth is known.” Saar complained.

Smiling at him for his minor complaints, she really couldn’t blame him for his thoughts. And she had to agree that when they used these small sticks to adjust their view, it really did feel like she was falling. But what a tool, what a view, and it really showed her the beauty that this world had, albeit somewhere above this world. She’d been dazzled by the shear variety that she’d been shown. And also the shear size of their world – well not their world even though they had lived here for a few generations – really was a surprise. It was not surprising then that they had yet to find out where the alliance was headquartered. She felt that they could probably be here for days upon days and do nothing but search and barely touch all that was being revealed to them. “Well Saar, I know what you mean. It does take some getting used to that’s for sure. Hey, it surely is a great view. This world is just gorgeous, I never realized that at all, and so large. I haven’t even begun to recognize everything we’ve spotted so far. There has to be a better way of doing this. Not that I’m complaining, but we cannot even be sure at this point where we are looking. And I am worried about our people who still are living in whatever cities that haven’t been located by the primitives, and of course for the ones who have been captured, and probably been made slaves or worse.”

“Yeah, I know, but there’s really little we can do. After all, considering what this alliance has accomplished so far, well whoever is in charge has successfully gathered many of the tribes and so far has been able to hold them together, has accomplished. We, who now know, what’s going on, well, you can count on the fingers of your two hands of those who know, and we are supposed to defeat that? I think the odds here are a little one sided, don’t you think?”

Looking down at the floor and then at him Seirra said. “Yeah, I know all of that. But what can we do? I mean, somewhere here we have to find an answer. We don’t know what happened to our own people. I am meaning the ones from our own home world, and it they were annihilated, wiped out, then, as far as we know, we are all that’s left. So somehow we’ve got to find a way to break this alliance, and finding it is the first step. So I guess instead of talking about it we should be a little more diligent and at least locate the area they are working from. Then we can decide what to do from there. I wonder if any of the other teams have found anything as of yet?” She glanced once again at the screen that was in front of her and noticed the small letters and numbers that were displayed at the bottom of the screen. “Saar?”

“Yes Seirra, what is it?” He asked quietly as he studied the images on his screen. He had to admit that she had been right. This world was much larger and varied than he ever imagined. When this search had started he thought it would be a simple thing. Since they could see from the sky it should be a snap to just see the gathered tribes. But he had been proven wrong. And all of them had been going over and over the images produced so far with no apparent success.

“Has anyone figured out what these letters and numbers mean yet?” She asked.

“Not that I have heard of. In fact someone guessed that it might just be a way to tell you, you were looking at a different image from wherever they are coming from – in space I guess. Why? Is there something about them that seems important? Or are they in your way, because if they are, I’ve been shown a way that you can remove them, or make them larger or smaller.”

Shaking her head she said. “No, no that’s not it. They are not causing me any issue at all. It’s just that there has to be a reason that our ancestors put them here, and I feel it’s not something to do with which view we are seeing. Look, if I shift the view to a different portion of this world from the area I am looking, then numbers change. So it has to be something more than just a way to identify the view we are seeing.”

“Ah, I see what you mean. But what it means I really have no idea. Maybe it’s something you can bring up tonight when we get together. It could be that one of the others has some idea, and right now I think I’m going to get us something to eat. Be right back, we can eat here while we continue our search.” He then pushed back his chair got up and headed out the door. On his way out he asked. “Is there anything special you would like me to bring back?”

Without turning around and continuing her search she said absently. “No, no not really . . . surprise me.”

* * *

Sabryn and Star, because of their children, worked the facility around the areas of family living and schooling, while Staven and Seve concentrated on the areas that dealt with maintenance, and operation. Not that there would be a true chance of finding the area where the pack animals were kept, but there could easily be a reference to, or an alternate way, that could be located somewhere within the facility. Part of the reason for the search in these areas was to be able to say that they would have searched everything and covered every corner once they finished. And if in the end they came up empty, then there was a good chance that this idea of an alternate entrance was incorrect. “Whew! I think you just loaded your pants little one.” Star stated. “I guess we need to take a break here and change your pants.” Fortunately at the time they were close to what they had determined was the daycare area, and immediately headed that way. While there, Sabryn decided she would check her daughter’s diaper also. It probably would be a good time to feed them and put both down for a nap anyway. One of them would remain with the children and the other would move over to the terminals in the schoolroom and at least continue to search the files. “So Star, is everything going okay with you and Staven?”

“Yeah, no complaints. He helps where he can, but is a bit clumsy around the baby. But he’ll get better. Like all things it just takes practice – After all these things do not come with instructions. So it’s an on-the-job training type of thing. And as you know if you get it wrong, the boss here will let you know in no uncertain terms.”

Laughing she had to agree. If her child did not like what was going on she would let them know her displeasure immediately. “It’s funny how that works. You would think that because we are the parents that we would be the ones in charge. And that’s so far from the truth. Okay that’s done. I guess I’ll feed her now and then put her down, stay long enough to see her asleep, and then go do the searching – actually if both of them go to sleep, then we could prop this door open and both of us could work. How does that sound?”

“Like a good idea to me. But we’ll see if he will go down. At times it just seems like all he wants to do is go.” Starr responded, “But it doesn’t allow me to do much when he’s like that.”

* * *

It appears that Saar and Seirra have the security duty, and while there are searching the images created by the cameras that seem to be above this world, Seirra notices that there appears to be a series of numbers and letters associated with the images and asks if Saar knows what they are and what they mean. He doesn’t, and states he can remove them from the screen if they are distracting. Meanwhile Starr and Sabryn are looking into the archives specifically the ones for the educational section. It makes it easier to take care of their children. And as is usually the case when women get together their children and mates do come up in the conversation. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

A Celebration of Life

At the beginning of February we joined family and friends in the celebration of life for one who has passed away. It is during such celebrations that one learns, from the many who knew them, who and what this person represented to each individually, and how many lives she touched. (And one thing that became clear is that she really loved people.) For us as we go through our lives this is something we really don’t think much about. Here I mean the influences we may have left on individuals be it positive or negative. And here in such a setting we begin to see just who the one who passed away was and the many she did touch. If we think about it we play many roles during our lives. First off it is as a child having to deal with our parents and siblings – let alone that bully down the street. Then from that time on these roles grow to cover the many different aspects that is us. And many times at such ceremonies we learn about a different side or aspect of the one who has moved on that we were never aware of, and can be surprised by what is revealed. It is important to remember that for most of us those influences we leave behind are generally unknown to us, and sometimes these influences are seen from afar leaving us with no idea that we’ve left this legacy behind.

I believe that a little background is necessary, especially from one who came into this family from the outside. In other words I married into this family, as my wife married into mine. Still with her family, whenever family gatherings were held it would be at her brother’s home. And his wife Pam would be gracious, always smiling as the hoards would descend upon her home and chaos would reign supreme. So it became a tradition, and they had a pool, so the children loved to go there since they could swim to their heart’s content. Pam would interact with all of us, with that infectious smile of hers, and she always seemed to have a good word for any and all who would invade her home – in a good way of course. So we would always have fond memories of our time spent there.

What is it that makes a person this way? In many ways to find the answer is beyond me. If we had more like this woman, then there would be less strife, less commotion, less ill feelings, probably less demands, and maybe in the end a better world because of it. She, like the untold millions, will never be remembered beyond her family and friends, leaves a legacy that will be hard to follow or to live up to. No she’s not an angel or is she a perfect individual. Still what she had would give any of us a lofty goal to attain.

While this isn’t true of all men, most of us want to protect our women, and strive to do so. If we honestly think about it, because of the demands of the modern world, this protection is more of an illusion than fact. Because it requires both individuals in a relationship to work, it means a good portion of any day we are separated from our mates and then they are beyond that protection we want to provide. Still as the years pass by us, much too fast to be honest, we reach a point in our lives that we know that one of us will pass on before the other.

And if anything, the statistics show that it is the fact that women generally outlive men. So we, as men, try to make sure that if we are the first to pass on we leave our spouses in such a way that they won’t have to depend on others to make it through the day-to-day routine, and much of what is required will be taken care of and provided. And because her husband Dan, my brother-in-law, had almost died from the very same cancer years earlier, he felt – no, he knew he’d pass before she did. Only to learn, after doing everything necessary to make her time alone after he passed on, easy, it was not to be. It was discovered that she had a GBM, and it was already stage four. And two months later it took her life.

What can one say? What can one do? When all you have planned for, with the reality that you face knowing that it is you who will leave first only to learn you are completely wrong. Now it is he who is sitting in that lonely home after more than half a century of being together. How does one reconcile such a loss? At least for Dan, he has a loving family, and a rather large group of friends, who will continue to check in on him and assist him in his needs. And at times his home will be filled with the joy and laughter of his grandchildren – a blessing in itself. Yet on the other side of all of this will be the times when he will be alone, which are the toughest of all.

You see, when he learned of his cancer, none of his sons were married and if things held true he would not live to see any of his future grandchildren. And then within ten months all three were married, and as is the norm each added to the extended family, and he was able to enjoy those grandchildren. He was given the gift of seeing the future of his family, and the daughters-in-laws who joined his loving family. Since the cancer he has usually means that within two months he would succumb to the disease, in truth it is a miracle he’s still with us. In fact during the time of discovering the GBM he “flat-lined”. Yet here he is over six years later. Yes, all of us know that in the end it will take him for it is the nature of a GBM. It can only be suppressed and will return to finish what it started. There is no cure.

This leads one to think about the home they were living in as a loving couple and a family for all those wonderful years together. Any of us can relate to the fact that when we enter into someone’s home we can immediately sense the influences of the ones living there. Some homes invite you in making you immediately comfortable, and others leave you with the impression that the sooner one can leave the better. Theirs definitely is the former.

In the past I wrote a post dealing with a home, and how it goes through stages until sometime in its future it is replaced with something else. I looked at this from the point of view that when someone lives in that home it becomes a personal representation of them. And when you come to visit their history is there for you to see. And you know the warmth, the friendliness, and the love that is there. And I can say it is definitely here in their home. Still, sometime in the near future it will become empty as his time comes to an end as all of ours will someday.

Then, as family descends upon that home, with so many good and happy memories, slowly, as it is emptied of those keepsakes from the past, it will transform from a home to just a house, becoming vacant with nothing to remind any of all that has happened within its walls. Nothing to talk to any of the love, and joy that was there. No history of the past. At this point it becomes a blank slate waiting for a new family, and new memories to created. We all know it as the circle of life.

So what can really be said here other than the fact that we will see this happening right here in their loving home. When we are in the present, and we all live in the present, even with our ability to remember our past and attempt to see our future, this is something that is furthest from our minds. We love the time together as a loving couple, as a family and with friends. And at those special times we let the future become what it may. And then suddenly that future is the reality we are facing, and you see your loved one pass on ahead of you. And in most cases it is much too soon. Yet, in the end, all of us are only given so much time here. And the lesson we should take away from all of this is the fact that the most precious commodity we have, and we seem to do a great job of wasting it, is time. From what little I knew of her, Pam, like the rest of us, probably did waste a lot of time, but in the end before her time ended, she saw her children grow into responsible loving adults, and she absolutely loved her extended family and the growing family filling her home with the laughter of her grandchildren. And from her interaction, with that infectious smile, she held every one of these young lives in her loving arms. What will those same grandchildren’s memories of her be, well only they can say. Still from the images left for the future generations I’m sure it will be fond loving memories of their grandmother.

In this we cannot forget the adding of three women to the family, which had to be a nice addition for Pam since she had been surrounded by four males making her the minority. So to finally balance it out had to be wonderful for her. To have other women who became family must have filled her heart with joy. And for her the transition seemed effortless. Still, from what I can determine even towards the end you could see the love she had for her family.

And in the end we, in our time, will follow a similar path leaving memories of us with our family and friends. I guess the obvious question here is this: What will those memories of any of us be when it is our time? It is said that we die twice. The first time is our physical passing, and the second is when all who knew and loved us have joined us. At that point there is no one to remember or to know who we were. May it be for Pam, and Dan – when his time comes – that this second one will be a long time in the future. They truly deserve these loving memories. God Bless!

Published in: on March 25, 2017 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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