Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

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Author: Erin Ritch (page 1 of 13)

Short Story Collection Volume I – published!

Yay! After much compiling, formatting, and proofing…my first collection of short stories is finally published!

Ta da!

I am so excited to have these stories out. I am a lover of short fiction, my first story ever published online was a piece of flash fiction. As the description says, they are “tales of fantasy, science fiction, and the obscure.” Some of the work has appeared previously on this blog over the years, while other stories are new and unpublished.

For the cover design, I wanted to incorporate the new-and-improved No Wyverns Publishing logo. The background text is a loop of the titles of the twenty-two stories contained in this book. I plan to publish more anthologies of short fiction in the future that will use this same layout…eventually becoming a box set! (Oh, the plans…the plans…)

 

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite stories included, “The Last Machinist.”

I have searched countless years, scouring the globe for an object that probably doesn’t even exist.

Jen-Li stared at the wrinkled page of her sister’s last journal entry. It trembled in the whipping wind that invaded the abandoned living quarters, howling as it broke through the cracked windows. The room was so cold. Bitter and lonely, as though resentful for being left in such a state. A thin layer of dust covered the overturned furniture and broken dishes like downy, providing just enough protection against the raging elements outside.  Removing her gloves, Jen-Li traced the sentence with her finger, leaving a muddled smear of letters in its wake. She wiped it again for the last time so that it would belong to her alone. So that this idea that her sister pondered became nothing but a blur, just like the stain of runny ink on her fingertips that would eventually wash away.

“What does it say?” Terra asked from the doorway. Her small frame was swallowed by her heavy coat, transforming her into a bulky, short stump of a ten-year-old. Her blue eyes shone fiercely from the depths of her fur-lined hood. She could read her mother’s body language too well.

Whisking the withered journal in her arms, Jen-Li closed it with a loud clap. A cloud of dust sauntered up to her face, burning her freckled nose as she hacked on the taste. The sound seemed to startle the frozen room as another wave of dust trickled from the ceiling and into her damp auburn hair.

“I wanted you to stay in the mech,” she said, peering out the frosted window glass as she replaced her gloves. Her mech was still there, motionless and protected beneath the ancient fir tree on the edge of the abandoned drive. She looked up at the splitting beams of her sister’s last known dwelling place. “This place is falling apart.”

“Did Aunt Nina find it?” Terra pressed. Her voice sounded on the precipice of panic.

“I don’t know,” Jen-Li replied sharply before she caught herself, realizing that her own voice sounded strained. That was not her job, not her duty as Terra’s mother, to sound afraid. That was not who she was. That was not the tone of this journey that had taken them from the warmth of home to this wasteland. Jen-Li recovered and joined her daughter in the entryway.  “But we will find out.”

 

Intrigued? I hope so! The e-book is priced at only .99 and the print version at $4.99 – both available at Amazon!

“The Unfinished” at The Manifest-Station

Today, I was honored to have my essay “The Unfinished” featured on Jen Pastiloff’s wonderful website, The Manifest-Station. This was a very personal piece for me, detailing my journey from a miscarriage I suffered several years ago and how it played a part in my return to writing.

I wrote this essay for several reasons.

One – Writing is cathartic for me. It’s how I process life and death, literally. I knew writing about my loss was the key for me to find that elusive closure, but I wasn’t ready to tackle it until the recent birth of my daughter.

Two – I aspire to be a truthful and brave writer. And sometimes (well, many times) that’s going to be mean placing myself out of my comfort zone. Look, there’s some pretty darn personal stuff in this essay. But be brave and truthful, right?

Three – Maybe my story will help someone else. Shortly after my miscarriage, I joined an online grief support group. I was floored. My weird little horrible miscarriage had happened to other people too! I wasn’t a freak. I wasn’t an anomaly. And to know someone else out there had survived and healed, well, that made all the difference.

Indie Author Day 2017

Happy Indie Author Day!

All images via @bookfairies_oregon

 

This year, I was lucky enough to get involved with the wonderful organization Book Fairies for Indie Author Day. If you’re unfamiliar with these little sprinklers of literary magic, there are Book Fairies around the world who hide books for others to enjoy and share again. They were such a pleasure and so gracious from Day One and what a wonderful way to support indie authors!

Copies of MythMemories Wait Alone, and Quinn Family Adventures were hidden at the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. I want to try to find them myself, I LOVE TREASURE HUNTS! So good luck, book hunters, and let me know if you find a copy!

Happy July!

July means…it’s almost time for the NW Book Festival! I loved this event last year, it’s in a GREAT location in downtown Portland. Check out the website for a map and more information!

 

Out with the old/In with the new

Hello, I’m here!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far, that’s for sure. I had my second daughter in March (hello, Esper!) and only just recently reclaimed my late-night writing/editing/business time after the kids go to sleep. (That’s right, my baby is sleeping through the night. Huzzah!) So things are in motion…it may be slow motion, but it’s onward and upward from here.

There are several projects in the works that will be released this summer. AND, have you noticed the amazing logo at the top of this post? No Wyverns Publishing has a brand new logo and website design and I LOVE it. Now I can finally go swag-purchasing-crazy. (No Wyverns shirts, anyone?)

In other news….the e-book for Myth will be on sale for .99 from June 23-30….so grab it while you can! I’m super excited about this sale, this is my first paid promotion that I have invested in. Several e-book deal sites will be including Myth in their daily deals email blast, which enables me to reach many, many more potential readers. Fingers crossed, I’ll post results after the promotion ends, which hopefully will be filled with many smiley faces and exclamation points.

Lastly, I’ve only planned one event (so far!) for 2017, and that’s the NW Book Festival in Portland, OR on July 29th. I attended this event last year and had great success, not only selling books but meeting other authors, as well. I’ll be at booth 45, over in the shady area by the Starbucks (hmmm, how convenient!) It’ll be hot. Guaranteed.

That’s all for now, check back for more frequent posts – I promise!

 

New Horizons

 

It’s near the end of the first month of 2017…wow. January has been a busy month of birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, ice skating lessons and pretty much everything else in between. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in about six weeks? *insert ten thousand other things that need to be done before baby #2 comes*

I have a lovely list of goals for 2017 outlined on the front page of my obsessively detailed 2017 planner (which I live by.) I’m calling them my New Horizons because I’m excited about the direction it will take me and my writing. I’m hoping to expand No Wyverns Publishing, release three new fiction titles this year, and explore the world of non-fiction writing. Another goal on my list? Aim for 100 rejections this year. That’s right. The more rejections = the more I’m submitting my work out there.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in six weeks? Don’t worry, that event is on my planner, too.

“The Reanimation of Robert” – open for Beta readers!

Teaser of the book cover! Artwork by Char Houweling of Houweling Design

 

I am so excited to announce that my Paranormal fiction “The Reanimation of Robert” is moving into the next phase of development…and I need Beta readers, like you!

If you’re new to the term, a “Beta reader” is willing to read an early draft of a novel and provide their feedback. That means you’ll have to overlook some possible spelling/grammar errors and help the author (me!) identify any parts of the story that just don’t make sense. This is an important and exciting part of the editing process – and I need your help!

Here’s a short synopsis of the story:

Robert should not be alive. Missing from his wife’s side on the night of her murder, he has no memory or explanation for his absence other than a strange twist of fate. Haunted by the dead who continue to cross his path, Robert realizes they are seeking his help and that he has abilities he never knew imaginable. When a messenger of Death is sent to investigate his newfound power, a young barista is Robert’s only ally in the race to save the souls of the lost, including his family, before they become trapped in darkness forever.

To entice you further, I’ve included a teaser of the book cover above ~ the amazing Char Houweling of Houweling Design is designing the cover! She also created the artwork for “Myth” and I couldn’t be happier to be partnering with her again.

If you’re interested in becoming a Beta reader, please email me at Erin@NoWyverns.com before December 26th  and let me know your e-reader preference. I’ll send you the file and a few short questions to be answered at the end of the story. I’ll ask to hear back from you before January 20th, 2017 (please). All Beta readers get a free copy of the finished e-book and my forever gratitude.

Thank you!

 

 

The Man in the Polaroid Picture

Image by kristina

 

He loved days like this. Where it was just him and the rain and his subtle disposition. He took a careful sip of his steaming coffee and smiled just before the amber liquid touched his lips. He had become good at this. For too long he hid behind a newspaper or a suitably worn paperback book, stealing glances only at opportune times. But not anymore. Now he could sit on that open bistro patio scattered with autumn brush, finally unnoticed without the aid of cover or distraction. Unnoticed, until now.

She would not have been the type to catch his eye and he would blame himself for it forever after. He had allowed his confidence to muddle his senses, careless in the easy anonymity provided by the busy crowd. He even let his mind wander, distracted by a memory awakened by a scent in the air. It was in that moment that she approached him, placing the package so quickly in his hand that he looked twice to confirm it was there. The woman disappeared in the breeze with a flash of her long black trench coat.  He never would be able to describe her completely, other than a pair of soft brown eyes that looked back to confirm one last time that he was he.

Something told him to wait until home to investigate the small package held firmly in his coat pocket, quickly moistening from his sweaty palm. Holding it beneath the window light, he traced the careful folding of the brown parchment paper, with creases so precise they must have been measured. The package was a neat square no larger than his fist, with the words To John written in scrolling penmanship across the front. The paper felt worn between his fingertips and upon inspection, this wrapping had been reused many times before. He unfolded the paper to reveal a photo. It was a Polaroid, developing in front of him as he held it to the dwindling afternoon sunlight. It was him, sitting at the table on the open bistro patio, oblivious in a whirlwind of autumn leaves. He was struck by the look on his face. A revealing break in his facade, captured for his own eyes to see.

He didn’t have many things to pack, he lived that way for a reason. Or he had, anyway. Tucking the Polaroid in his jacket pocket, he left the simple brown wrapping atop the neat bed. It would be used for the next John Doe, whoever that may be.  But he wished him one thing. To allow himself those breaks in consciousness, those reminders of himself, no matter who may be watching. He looked back one last time before shutting the door. It will always be worth it.

Little Free Library!

You can now get a copy of Myth or Quinn Family: The Mayan Ruins from the Little Free Library at the All America City Square in downtown Cottage Grove! It’s such a great program, you can find out more about the Little Free Libraries available in South Lane County here!

 

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Bluefield High School, WV

I recently had the pleasure of emailing with the 10th grade English teacher at Bluefield High School in West Virginia. He is working at expanding their classroom library and I was very excited to send “Myth” to the other end of the United States! I hope the students there like the story! 🙂

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Photos courtesy James Agee