Meet Bria Addison

August 14, 2017

Meet Bria Addison

Today we get to meet Bria Addison, the eldest child of Dr. Drake and Dr. Alayna Addison.  Bria was born over a mile below sea level in the mining colony of Brantley Station.  Her father is the chief medical officer on Brantley Station.  Her mother is the chief Botanist.  Bria shares her mother’s passion for the flora and fauna of the station and is one of Dr. Alayna’s apprentices.

Bria has a younger brother named Benjamin.  Ben likes helping with plants and is in charge of one of the chicken flocks.  Bria’s youngest siblings are twins.  Kaya and Kevin act like their older siblings’ shadows!  Kaya usually follows Bria around and helps with the plants and animals.  Kevin usually follows Ben around; unless Ben is following Ethan.

Bria likes Ethan, who has always been nice to her.  She sometimes calls him her “big brother” though he isn’t.  Ethan treats her like a sister.  Often Ben and Bria seek out Ethan and help him clean something because he smiles a lot and knows a lot about the deep.  Bria loves to join Ethan at the Observation Deck to watch the Delivery Transport Shuttle arrive and depart every cycle.  She enjoys skating along the corridors afterward too.  Bria likes the way Ethan grins.

Bria is normally shy and reclusive.  She says little to those she doesn’t consider family.  Although she knows everyone on the Station, she avoids most places and tries to stay in the BioLabs.  Bria can be bold and is ferociously protective of her baby sister and brother.  She loves her underwater life!

You can read more about Bria and her family in the Brantley Station Saga books.  She is a baby in Pirate Child and Little Thief, but plays a much larger role in later books, starting with The Protector.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Yard Work Day

June 30, 2017

Yard Work Day

Today was a yard work day.

I love yard work day because I love to mow grass.  With our push mower, it’s a walking workout where you can sing your lungs out and no one can hear you.  Today I was interviewing Ethan while I mowed instead of singing.

The girls love yard work day because after we spend hours yanking stumps and sticks and dead wood out of the ground (this yard was Florida brushland 8 months ago, so it was loaded with hidden spikes where bush stumps stick out of the ground), we can burn them in our fire pit (8 concrete blocks set in the dirt off the backyard in the middle of the dirt pit – I like to pretend that’s the summer kitchen; it might be, someday).

The dogs love yard work day.  Primrose likes it because she gets to be outside with us.  Sheba gets the whole house to herself – and we’ll come in to find her stretched out on top of the couch with a nest made out of her blanket.

But the critters who make the absolute best of yard work day are the chickens.  They follow the mower like rats following the Pied Piper, each hoping to snatch more dislodged bugs and fresh, juicy greens than every other chicken.  They race to whoever is raking and scratch the hay all over finding bugs. (10 adult chickens can smooth a leaf pile flat in less than a minute!)  They spy a child toting the full hay bucket toward their henhouse – Crow Cackle Cackle! – they call all other foraging chickens as they race back to the henhouse to inspect and rearrange their new hay immediately.  Soft grass cuttings make hay.  Thicker, brush-type cuttings make the hen yard mulch.  We fill this “hen yard mulch” about 6 to 10 inches deep and the chickens continually scratch and add nitrogen to it for a few weeks.  We use this finished, fertilizer-infiltrated, shredded indigestible plant material to mulch our bulb beds and for our future garden.

The bonus of yard work day is that everyone feels like we’ve accomplished much, we all clean up, eat dinner, and sleep.  The children all go to sleep as soon as they are out of the bath.  Even Mom is tired, but after the last outside chore (herding the reluctant chicken flock back into the hen yard for the night), I breathe in the sweet smell of cut grass, fresh earth, and wood smoke.  And we finish our yard work day with sticky, gooey roasted marshmallows over the dying fire’s embers.

Working outside always relaxes me.  I totally love how when God made us and put us in the perfect environment; perfection was a garden!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

World Builder

June 3, 2017

World Builder

I love creating alternate fantasy worlds.  I like to make them believable but fascinating.  Here’s a little step into how I build them:

In Web of Deception, the world of the Four Kingdoms is vibrant with culture and history.  I research elements I want, design histories that incorporate geography, climatic or geographic racial differences, climactic events, and culture clashes including the resulting epidemics, interracial blending, or wars that would have been.  To me, when I read Swavarian, I see the history of the people that made them who they are.

Sometimes I love the world so much that I create alternate stories within it.  For instance: the sharply contrasting cultures within the post-apocalyptic Earth world in the Realm of Earth series began with Grenadan stories focusing on the clashes between the militaristic tribe of Grenada with its central hub cities and primitive outskirt cities and the neighboring pacifist tribe of Camela in Source of Strength, Bold Worlds, and The Truth.  This precariously perched world with one central militaristic tribe whose Guards enforce law and order in most of the ten tribes shows up again in the Brantley Station Saga with the wealthier, more technological Qualizidians dealing with the political requirement of allowing Guards in their underwater mining colony.

All Greek?  No.  All part of the Realm of Earth!

That’s the way I explore other cultures in our real world.  I like to step into the shoes of different classes of people during whatever time and wiggle my toes around in them.  I like to picture their daily lives, struggles, imagine what their dreams would have been, and understand their culture without today’s lenses clouding my judgment.  It works for various cultures today too.  How does one understand another culture easily?

Imagine you are a mother in it.  What are your worries?  You love your children (love is universal); your hope is for them to have the best.  That I’ve found to be the easiest shoe for me to step into.  But you have to be able to drop your preconceived notions about what “best” is.  Here, in America, we have almost unlimited hopes and dreams.  An early Greek family living in a smaller polis would be hoping the rains didn’t wash away their crops and dreaming for a winter free of sickness.  They spent most of their day gathering food for the same day; as with most agrarian systems, they lived life connected to the seasons and their crops and animals.  Even if we are fortunate enough to have a garden today, we can find readily available food almost anywhere for a price; we live connected to our jobs which provide us money that translates into food, shelter, and clean water.  “Best” for them was survival.  Their “Best” is what we take for granted.

When I build my worlds, I’m pulling bits from a myriad of cultures I’ve studied and attempt to morph them together in a believable way.  Then I walk around in the shoes of the people I’ve created and pull their hopes, dreams, and feelings from what I would feel should their history be mine.  Hopefully, this process creates some realistic characters and believable worlds for your enjoyment!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time,

~Nancy Tart

Please Write More!

May 21, 2017

Please Write More About Ethan! (Brantley Station Saga)

      One of the issues with writing and being a perfectionist is this: I never view anything as complete!  I have hundreds of half-finished manuscripts in various sizes littering my “stories” folder.  Because I proof myself better in print than on a computer, I also literally litter the house with story proofs.  Sometimes the girls pick them up and read them.

“MOM!” I hear Rebeccah shriek.  I’m working on business finances and I know the little ones are asleep.  (PLEASE don’t wake the baby!) But I just answer “what?” and keep working.

There she stands, that eager, excited look with her pixie-look haircut (long in the back, feathered up front, but in a ponytail it looks like she’s got short hair) and big, pleading brown eyes imploring my soul.  She’s clutching my proof clipboard and begs, “Mom, you have to write more about Ethan!”

I sigh.  I’m busy.  I’m working on business.  Writing is just a hobby.  All the excuses I can think up die as she begins chatting away about the story and wants to know the “Pirate Baby Story” in detail.

I love to see her lit up over a book like that!  I LOVE books.  I LOVE reading.  I considered Nancy Drew and Tyce Sanders to be intimate friends!  Christina had that love of books.  She was always lost in books. (Like the house could burn down around her and she’d never know it.)  It is an integral part of self-learning to discover a love of reading.  I wanted to keep this flame burning for Rebeccah.

So, I agreed to work on Brantley Station Saga. (aka Ethan) But my child knows me well.  She wasn’t interested in me working on it later.  She came back after every phone call that interrupted my financial work.  She wanted to watch me write about Ethan.

Because of Rebeccah’s desire to know the backstory in more depth, Ethan’s story starts with Pirate Child and Little Thief instead of at The Protector where I had started it.  Jamie (per Rebeccah, I just had to write more about him too) played a bigger role than I had originally planned and we introduced Mary – a character Rebeccah and Christina created!

I’m so grateful for my children being my biggest encouragers!  Many things I’ve written are just there because they wanted them on paper instead of told from my head.

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~ Nancy Tart