Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

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Category: family (page 1 of 3)

“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.

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.

Late Night Writing Prompt…”The Man in the Moon”

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Image credit trasroid

I wrote a story about the moon. About all the ways it watched the living and the dead. It told the tale of an ever-changing world, morphing night after night in its transformation from darkness to full light. The things it must have seen from a perch so high in the sky, even beyond the sky, to a place between earth and the heavens. An ether where the souls of the dead look through the mist for once last glance back.

I wrote a story about the moon. About its pale reflections in the still summer waters or its silent watch through the barren winter trees. While hidden in the sunlight it catches all glimpses of life, even those who think they are too insignificant to be seen. There was not a place it had not seen, not a deed gone unnoticed in its lazy sojourn across the sky.

I wrote a story about the moon. About how it was here before you and I and forever after. Living a lifetime as it grows from sliver to silver over and over again. It’s story about how the moon binds us, from the earth, to your last glance from the ether, and beyond.

Northwest Author Fair/Lincoln City, OR

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You can’t beat the Oregon coast. (Don’t worry, those are kites, not UFO’s. Or are they…?)

Last weekend was fantastic! My little family and I travelled to Lincoln City, Oregon to participate in the NW Author’s Fair at Bob’s Beach Books. Since it also happened to be approximately 100 million degrees inland, we left early and turned the weekend into a mini-vacation. Turns out, quite a few other people had the same idea!

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This is what a crowded beach looks like in Oregon.

I really enjoyed the event on Saturday, the best part was having my husband and daughter joining me at the table. I love meeting other indie authors and bouncing ideas off each other to see what worked/what didn’t. I find it very inspiring to be around artists who are at least trying to get their work out there and I have to say indie authors are the best group yet. We all admit “Hey, I’m not selling much, but I’m working on my dream” and that’s what it’s all about.

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Is there a frustrated three year old hiding behind Myth? Yes. Yes, there is.

 

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Don’t worry, she got her four hours at the aquarium.

That was my last book festival/author event of the summer and suddenly, summer is almost over. I’m back to work on my next book The Reanimation of Robert (ETA late fall!) and planning/strategizing website changes for both this site and erinritch.com. Have I mentioned that 2016 has been freaking awesome?

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Good bye, misty coast. Till next time!

Summer pics and Snapchat

This summer has been amazing so far…with great things still planned for the future. I’ve been trying to capture it with random pictures. We are going to the coast in 2 weeks. Please prepare for ten thousand pictures to follow.

 

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And, of course, there’s been Snapchat. Lots of Snapchat.

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What does “No Wyverns” mean, anyway?

The last few days have been very productive – we’ve made some great updates to ErinRitch.com, including links to all the short fiction on this blog, info on upcoming events, etc. There are still more changes to come, I hope you go check it out! (FYI, “We” is actually my husband Nick. If not for him, I probably would not have a website. Okay, I wouldn’t at all.)

We’ve also added another page to this site – an “About” page.  I’ve been asked the question below a lot lately:

“So…your business name. What does it mean, anyway?”

Whether it’s at the bank, in a business meeting, or just a meetup with friends – I’m explaining it. And I can completely understand why, people are generally curious about the origin of names, anyway. But what people are really asking me is usually What the heck is a Wyvern?

Wyvern Definition

Does this help?

A long time ago (on January 20th, 2015) my very first post on this blog was titled “Nothing against Wyverns”. (Oh, baby blogger Erin!) I remember writing this blog post more than any other, because my husband reminded me Not everyone knows what a Wyvern is, you better write a post about it or something. 

NoWyverns.com was born due to ThereAreNoWyvernsInThisStory.com is just a tad wordy for a website name. (Ya think?) So what started as an inside joke between my husband and I has grown into almost 100 blog posts and a publishing company. Pretty. Freaking. Cool.

I wouldn’t change No Wyverns for anything. Besides, it’s a great conversation-starter about my writing and upcoming projects, even if I do have to spell out W-Y-V-E-R-N-S a few times. But really it’s because I so clearly remember that night on January 20th, 2015 where I took my first step in turning my writing into a career. And that step turned into a job change, more time with my family, books that were no longer “just on the horizon” but real, tangible things.

So when I’m asked What’s the significance of a Wyvern? Now you know the answer.

Nowyverns small

 

 

“Why?” – 20 questions from a three year old (in one morning)

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Image credit Virtual EyeSee

  1. What is Mr. Sunshine saying? (He says “Hello!”)
  2. What is Mr. Sunshine saying now? (Um, “How are you today?”)
  3. Why is Mr. Sunshine asking me that? (Uh, I don’t know. I thought…well, never mind.)
  4. What does “never mind” mean? (It means, uh, don’t worry about it.)
  5. But why would I worry about it?
  6. Where are my shoes? (By the door.)
  7. Which door? (The one right there. The front door.)
  8. Why are they by that door? (That’s where you left them when we came home.)
  9. Why? (Um, because that’s where you decided to leave them.)
  10. But why did I do that? (It was easier?)
  11. Why was it easier? (I don’t know, maybe because we had just come in the door and you dropped them there?)
  12. But why don’t you know???
  13. (Don’t touch that, it’s dirty.) Why is it dirty?
  14. (It has germs on it.) And what would do you if I touched it?
  15. (I would be upset because you didn’t listen and your hand would be dirty.) And what would you say?
  16. (…I would say, “I told you not to touch that.”) And then what would you do?
  17. (Then we would have to clean your hand.) Why?
  18. What does “why” mean? (Because you want more information.)
  19. Why do I ask “why?” (Because you are learning.)
  20. Why do I need to learn? (So you no longer have to ask WHY.)

 

Home.

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A “Rest Time” Story – Overheard on the Baby Monitor

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This is a transcript of my three year old daughter Olive’s “rest time” that we attempt every afternoon. Arthur is my 7 year old Irish Terrier, who must have thought I went temporarily deaf.

3:58 pm

Olive:

I get to sleep….I get to sleep.

It’s daytime…it’s daytime. Say, Hello! and I open the door to say, Hi!

 (Door opens, then shuts again)

Hmm lallaaa laaa lalalala dum dee da da

(Door opens, short pause, then shuts again)

Hmmmamaa maammmaaa hmmmm laa laa laa

Hi-ho the dairy-o, the farmer and the dell….looopy loopy doo doo da

(Door opens, short pause, then shuts loud. Arthur comes to warn me that Olive is opening her door.)

Lullaby…go to sleep… *LOUD, DRAMATIC SIGH* hmmm hmmm hmm hmm

Time to go to the bank. I need cake! Hee hee hee hee hee

Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. (sung to the tune of “I’m A Little Teapot” )

(Door opens, shuts very quickly. Twice. Arthur comes to warn me again.)

*Lots of sounds of rustling around and random humming.*

(Door opens. Arthur must have greeted her at the door because I hear small whispers, then door shuts. Arthur comes into office, yawns, and walks off.)

Right now…we can get some more…Oh, Arthur, at the door…(sung to the tune “This Old Man”)

Mommy mommy mommmy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy

(I now go in to tell her she has some rest time left and I will get her when it’s over. Her response: “But I don’t wanna rest anymore!!”)

*Lots of clapping and humming, then long silence.*

Oh ah oh ah oh ah wahooo *whistle whistle* Clean up. Did you know you made the mess? You know why? Because. Then, we need to get a clean…a pair of…what you want to do? What. Do. You. Want. To. Do. I have to get a new pair of socks. Did you know why? The end. So….I’m wearing a crown. Yeah. You know why? It’s so beautiful outside! The sun is up…and…well it’s beautiful. I’m still gonna wear my crown and all. Jumping in the mud. Oooh ooh oh boy. It’s very much cold. Very much it’s cold. I’m gonna put my hands in my pocket.

Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mama mama mama mama mummy mummy mummy mummy (Not getting a response, so she stops.)

She tripped in the rock n roll. Then she went back. Hey, don’t go forward and back!

Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy

(Arthur comes to get me, jumping on me over and over to get my attention.)

Mommy mommy MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY

4:28 pm

Two more minutes. Wait. Two. More. Minutes.

Mema momma mamma mommy mamama mummy

4:30 pm

And “rest time” is over.

Things I Love…Gardening & Country Life

Carrots!

Don’t worry, I washed them again. And yes, that is a lone potato.

 

In most of my author bios, I say I am a “worker on my family’s fledgling farm” in the Pacific Northwest. You know, it’s just one of those lines you add to a bio so a stranger can pull together some sort of impression of who-I-am. Sometimes I wonder if that sentence conjures up an incorrect picture in someone’s mind. Maybe they imagine me waking up at the break of dawn, milking the cows and feeding the chickens. (Add a huge mug of coffee into that picture…now it’s getting a teensy bit more plausible.)

In truth, I love “working” on love our little farm/ranch in the mountains. Yes, you have to work harder for those garden vegetables. But as I stood, scrubbing the dirt off these carrots, I reflected at how I so quickly rinse a carrot I would get from the grocery store. These carrots I helped plant, water and pull from the earth…I should be scrubbing those darn grocery store carrots, not these.

Sorry, back to the food –  see Blackberry Cobbler below.

Our family picked these Blackberries from the many, many, many, many, many (did I mention, many?) bushes that grow around our house. They are fickle little stinkers, those Blackberry bushes. First, in the spring, they call you to them with their sweet little white flowers.

Come closer….we won’t hurt you, human…*insert huge, killer thorn hidden in the darkness*

Then, when the heat picks up, those flowers turn into beautiful, luscious berries. That’s when the real siren song kicks in. They become towers of fruit, all ripe at the same time, beckoning to you. You begin to dream of Blackberry jam or drizzle or….cobbler.

If I can just reach…right there…that’s a great berry, I wonder why no one ever…. *insert huge, killer thorn hidden in the darkness*

If you’re from the Pacific NW, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hungry?

Hungry?

 

Oh, you should be...

Oh, you should be…

BRB…gonna go to the kitchen. Oh, no reason.