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100-Word Flash: Going in Circles

January 17, 2018 • erthwitch
Going in Circles, a 100-word Flash by Erthwitch

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

 

Going in Circles

The third time in passing, there was no doubt. I recognized that tree.

A slab of scaly bark, one end snapped clean, curled away from the trunk. On our second pass I’d taken the missing piece.

I fished it out of my pocket for Misa.

“This is no use. We’re getting nowhere,” I said, showing her the bark.

She wrung her hands.

“Let’s drag a branch.”

“Why? Isn’t this proof enough that we’re going in circles? Let me help.” Her ineptitude would more easily get us killed than the discovery of my means. “I’ll be discrete. Promise.”

Defeated, she nodded.


This flash fiction story was written for the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. You should know that my response to photo prompts rarely follows straight line trajectories. What I thought of when I saw the carnival ride had more to do with going in circles than the image as pictured.

If you’d like to join the fun of writing for this meme, use the link above to go to Rochelle’s page to find out more. Click through on the InLinkz mascot to read more stories like this, but probably much better! I’m out of practice with this very short form.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

First Hunt is Free on Amazon Jan 2 through Jan 5

January 2, 2018 • erthwitch


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Enlightenment – #VSS365 Twitter Fiction Story

December 23, 2017 • erthwitch

Enlightenment Under a Blanket of Snow

Enlightenment Under a Blanket of Snow

“Show up and be ,” the shaman said.

“But how do I do that when I’m not really here?” I asked.

Silence settled around me like a blanket of snow. His unbreaking stare commanded me to the here and now.

Understanding arrived, and with it, enlightenment.


You can find out more about what twitter fiction is by reading my other post about it. Sometimes I make a series of twitter fiction posts and put them all together for a story. “Rousing the Volcano” is one of those and I have it posted here if you’d like to check it out. If you join in at Twitter, my handle there is @erthwitch.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Ice Snakes

October 16, 2017 • erthwitch

Ice snakes

Amy ordered ice cleats the other day.

We laughed about that.

She never goes outside. Not even in winter because there might be snakes.

Ice snakes come out in winter. They hide under the snow and you can’t see them at all until all you see are the little glassy red eyes.

By then it’s too late. It’ll have already bit you and if you don’t get the antidote within ten minutes, all the blood in your body will freeze right there in the veins.

But Amy forgot about all that when she ordered the cleats. She’ll remember soon enough.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

The Curse of the Creative Mind

October 12, 2017 • erthwitch

Yesterday was a super-productive day for me, but boy it was hectic.

I had things to make and words to write.

Both wanted to be done at the same time.

Oh, if only I could make a clone of myself to do my creative bidding while I worked on other projects. But that could become dangerous if left unchecked, I suppose.

Anyway, I added another 879 words to chapter twelve of 2nd Hit. Sent chapter eleven out to the alpha/beta readers and received back some great responses.

Once I’d finished with my words I moved on to making some Acorn Folk. I have to make a lot more of these. They came out precious. But while I worked on gathering leaves, nuts, and twigs, I had urgent inspiration strike to add more words to the story I’d worked on earlier.

So I ran back inside with my bucket of botanicals and threw it down so I could hurry up and write the ideas before they evaporated into the ethers.

Ideas do that, you know. If I don’t do something with them to immortalize them when I get them, they’ll dissipate. Not a trace left to find again later anywhere. Drives me nuts. And therein lies the curse. I can’t possibly follow up on all the ideas I have. But I really really want to. Then there are household and business things that simply must be done, whether I want to do them or not, and that takes up time.

The curse isn’t so much that I have too many ideas, but rather that there isn’t enough time in one lifetime to follow through on them all. Not even enough time to do it for half. It’s only when I’m frazzled by wanting to do to much for the amount of time available that it truly bothers me.

Most of the time I consider this well of creativity to be a lifesource.

I’ll never, ever get bored.

Here’s pics of the Acorn Folk. These don’t have individual names. They’re fragile and I’m working on how to package them today. I’ll be putting some over at Tina’s Place on the Square in Kingston, and will bring some to market with me this weekend. Come out to see them if you get a chance 🙂

Acorn Lady Reading, not suffering from any sort of creative curse. Acorn Lady Reading OOAK by Madison Woods

Acorn Lady Reading, not suffering from any sort of creative curse.

Acorn Folk taking it easy on the kitchen table this morning.

Acorn Folk taking it easy on the kitchen table this morning.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

What Am I Doing? Not Writing. But I Am Sculpting.

October 3, 2017 • erthwitch

It’s not fair to say I’m not writing, but I didn’t today. Yesterday (or was it the day before?) I finished chapter 11 in 2nd Hit.

By the way, I want to come up with a better name for each of the titles, including the series name. “Bounty Hunter” doesn’t say much about the genre or the story. “First Hunt” needs some refining, too, and “2nd Hit” leaves out a huge chunk of what the story is about. And the covers definitely need work.

Anyway, this is what I’ve been working on lately when I’m not writing. Pixies for Wild Ozark. The first one is named Helga and she’s really rough looking. The second one is coming along better. Her name is still pending and I’m taking suggestions. I’m thinking “Annabelle”.

If you want to know more about the pixies, I have a post over at the Wild Ozark blog about them. This is really fun and creative work and I’ll probably keep building the collection. All the grandkids want a set of their own, so I have at least three more sets to make just for them. Each set takes a few days to create, though I hope to get more efficient with it as I figure out how to do them better.

Pixie #2 in progress

This is one of the things I do when I’m not writing. Pixie #2 in progress. Leave name suggestions in the comments!

Helga, Pixie #1, looking a little rough around the edges.

Helga, Pixie #1, looking a little rough around the edges.

All of this art isn’t necessarily wasted time nor procrastination. As I create these little things I’m coming up with a whole world for them. It’s world-building in 3-d. These pixies might, or very likely will be, characters in upcoming stories. I already have one story involving Ozark pixies, and ideas are gestating now for more.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Idea for a Scene from a Handful of Rose Hips

September 28, 2017 • erthwitch

I rarely get inspiration for full stories all in one fell swoop. Most of the time I just get an idea for a scene. Sometimes it’s a scene for which there is no story yet.

How gathering rose hips led to an idea for a scene of a story.

How gathering rose hips led to an idea for a scene of a story.

Yesterday as I gathered rose hips from the short bushes on one of the logging roads at Wild Ozark, a thought occurred to me.

And that’s how it always begins. Just a thought.

This event’s thought had to do with mis-identification. What if someone gathered a berry that *wasn’t* a rose hip.

Which led to a different thought.

What if someone purposefully added the wrong berries?

And of course that went somewhere too.

Could the protagonist of this story successfully use the wrong berries along with the rose hips to disable her captors?

And so then that led to a little research. How would the poison of this berry affect a person? How many would it take?

The *wrong berry* I had in mind was Doll’s Eyes, or White Baneberry. In appearance they’re glaringly different from each other. A rose hip is bright red. The baneberry is bright white. Obvious.

But there’s a red variety of this particular berry. It doesn’t grow here naturally, but a friend just sent a photo of one she’d seen in Wyoming. So there’s a way it could just happen to be present, if someone had sent the character in this scene some berries previously from a trip out west. Of course my character would be a plant person, always keen for seeds of interesting plants.

So, I guess you can see now how a sprig of an idea can spring into a whole scene.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Back to writing

September 12, 2017 • erthwitch

After another too long interruption, I’m back to attempting a daily wordcount. Today so far I’ve added 263 words to chapter 10 of 2nd Hit. I did those this morning and now that I’ve got supper simmering I think I’ll go add a few more. I have lots of excuses for not writing regularly, but mostly it’s that I’m trying to do too many things and I haven’t scheduled my writing time in to the mix of things.

Nothing at all got done on anything at all for the past two weeks though, because I was sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If you’ve ever had it, you’ll know why nothing got done. If you’ve never had it, take my word for it, this is something you can do without ever experiencing. There might be something in the living through it that will make its way into my writing eventually, though.

I haven’t done any more “priestess” art lately, but I did get some nature art done. “Ginseng in October” was the latest. It’s over at the Wild Ozark blog if you want to see it. I have done some miniatures for my fairy gardens, mostly mushrooms. And I have some ideas I want to work on with the clay sculpting for the grandkids birthday gifts with a little playset of mushrooms and fairies.

Getting back to writing.

Getting back to writing.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Still writing

August 6, 2017 • erthwitch

This is just a brief post to let you know that I’m still working on the next book in my Bounty Hunter series. I don’t have many readers of this blog… well, actually, I’m not sure if I have ANY readers, lol.

Anyway, I finished chapter 8 and sent it out to beta readers the other night. Working on chapter 9 now. We’re about 10K words into 2nd Hit, and the target is 45K. So a long ways to go yet.

I’d like to write more often and more regularly. I’ll work on that. There’s just so much else going on in my Wild Ozark world that it’s hard to make the extra time. But isn’t that the case with any writer’s life? If I worked an outside day job, the issues would be the same. So I’ll try harder.

Books don’t write themselves, so I’m off to punch the keys on the other keyboard now 🙂


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.

Rural Fantasy Art

June 30, 2017 • erthwitch

Usually I draw pictures of plants and other nature things. I’ve never tried my hand at drawing images from my imagination, but I wanted to do a “Rural Fantasy” series. So I needed to get over the need for realism and let more creativity flow to do it.

Once the images began to take form in the material plane, I began to see more. Drawing is so similar to writing. Both involve bringing the imagination out to a form that can be witnessed by others. Both require letting go of internal editors or critics, the voices of whom would rather nothing ever see the light of day, it seems.

With a finished drawing on my hands, I had to decide how to sign it. All of my nonfiction writing is done under the name “Madison Woods”. My fiction is under “Ima Erthwitch”. But at the time of the first drawing’s completion, I didn’t have a fiction pen name and so it is signed as you see it below. Rather than assume another fictional artist’s name, I’ve decided to just keep all of my artwork under the same name, whether it is fantastical or realistic.

My Rural Fantasy Art

The first one is titled “Tree Priestess” and I finished her last year after carrying a vision of her around in my head for I don’t know how long. She appears in some of my prints and notecards now.

"Tree Priestess", Rural fantasy art by Madison Woods

Tree Priestess

The current drawing is called “Water Priestess“. You can follow along with my progress over at the Water Priestess page. I’ll update it as I can with pictures of the next steps until it’s done. When it’s finished, I’ll post a pic of it here, too.


Hi! Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you'll browse around a bit and find something you like. My genre is hard to define, but it's closest to urban fantasy. Except set in the rural world, for the most part. It's a blend of soft science fiction, fantasy, and in my current work, near-future post-collapse.
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