Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

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Tag: writing (page 1 of 3)

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 Some of the work has appeared previously on this blog over the years, while other stories are new and unpublished.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!

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.

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.

It’s release day for Myth!!

Myth ebook cover Flat

Finally, it’s here!

It feels like forever ago we released Myth for pre-order only…and now release day is finally here! Both the e-book and the print version are live to purchase today. I hope you all love it and please, share with your friends!

Get your copy of Myth here!

“Myth” release date announcement…and e-book pre-orders open!

Myth ebook cover Flat

Cover illustration by the talented Char Houweling

I can’t believe this day is finally here but…my Young Adult Fantasy book “Myth” has a release date of 7.25.16!

Get your e-book pre-orders here!

If you know me and my writing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about this book at least a hundred times. What started as notebooks full of handwritten pages has turned into a novel. It’s traveled with me from Oregon to Vancouver B.C. (where those handwritten notebooks were almost stolen – thank you, nice Canadian thieves, for leaving them in my parent’s car), then to California (where I packed them with my valuables when we were almost evacuated from fires), then back to Oregon, tucked safe atop my bedroom dresser.

Where it sat. And sat. And the paperclips of notes between the pages grew rusty with age. It sat some more until one day I needed this story again. And those characters were still there, dutifully waiting in the place I had left them.

That was August of 2014. So I picked up where I left off, writing “Myth” while working full time. I’d write on my lunch breaks. I’d write after my toddler went to bed or on my days off. I don’t know how many ideas I’d repeat to myself over and over during my commute between home and work – don’t forget it, don’t forget it until you get home and jot it down. It went painfully slow but at least it went.

I was able to scramble one edit through the finished manuscript before taking it to a writer’s conference in August of 2015. I pitched it to several agents and editors, all who displayed interest. But then “Myth” had to sit and wait again. So it sat and sat, waiting for the response from those “interested” agents that eventually arrived, if at all.

Now it’s 2016 and this story is tired of sitting and waiting. When I started No Wyverns Publishing, I knew I’d have total creative control over “Myth.” And while that’s stellar, it’s also a lot of work. You need to get as much feedback as you can. You need to hire and seek out help from professionals. You need to edit and revise and edit again (then again. Oh, and again). It also helps to be married to a brilliant book format expert and all around problem-solving-genius.

But guess what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It takes a lot of patience to write a book. Unfortunately, I’ve had to say ‘no’ to some things and drag myself to the computer when I just wanted to go to bed instead of editing until 1 am. But through it all, I couldn’t put this story down and never tired of it and I hope readers feel the same way.

It’s going to be an exciting and busy summer and I have twenty emails to write about this announcement. But right now I’m going to sit back and reflect on how far this book has come. It’s survived theft and fire and age and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

So that’s the story of how “Myth” came about…but what’s the book about, you ask?

Shogun Saban dreams of becoming a woodsman like his grandfather; to fly between the trees and listen to their stories. But his father wants to keep him rooted on the ground and far away from his childhood friend, a girl of the sea named Madigan who can control the elements.

Beyond their little corner of the world, an evil has sprouted and is quietly spreading; corrupting its victims and marking them with eyes full of shadows. When it reaches their sleepy hometown of Shrunken Hollow, Shogun and Madigan search for the origin of the darkness – but the answer lies in an old myth about a place that only exists in dreams.

With the aid of the forest and the sea, Shogun and Madigan must unravel the myth before the darkness takes over their world – and themselves.

 Thanks to everyone that helped me with this book, got excited with me about this book, put up with my pickiness, waited while I “just need to finish this last paragraph,” or just offered a “that’s awesome!” We did it!

Springtime

Springtime

The sound of flip flops in the water. The rush of wind as it passes me by. The call of the night, brisk and cool through the open window, whispering my name. Random thoughts that strung together make perfect sense. Sweat that exhilarates, like steam bursting from an engine run wild. A tiny heartbeat fluttering against my fingertip.  A happy laugh that echoes and echoes until there are no more mountains to spring from. Sweet rain that washes the mind clean. Thunder that rattles the wind chimes. A smile before sleep. And an indigo sky tucked behind the treeline, quiet silhouettes that watch over the night.

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.

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Things I Love….Canva.com

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Social media is a big part of being a writer now-a-days – especially if you’re an indie publisher.

By incorporating images or graphics into your posts, it creates a “visual stop” for readers casually scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feeds. And every time someone stops to read your post, it could lead to a visit to your website, where you have a chance to introduce them to your writing.

I typically utilize my own photos or images that I find online which are allowed under Creative Commons. I always have some sort of image connected to each blog post, at this point it just feels weird not to. But due to my extreme lack of knowledge in design, I haven’t been able to include any graphics with my posts…until now.

A fellow writer introduced me to a design website called Canva. It. Is. Awesome. Right from the beginning, the site starts you off with a basic template in the correct dimensions for your desired social media account – ie, certain dimensions are better for Twitter vs. Facebook posts, etc. (Ever seen those images on Twitter that are cut off weird? Oh yeah, a few of them have been from me.)

Canva is very user friendly – they have free templates you can build off or some paid templates available for one dollar. Additionally, there is a plethora of free images, icons, lines, and most of all…text designs. I spent hours experimenting with different text designs while creating several graphics for my currently running Kindle Countdown deal on “Memories Wait Alone.” And I didn’t have to spend that long…I was just having a blast doing it. Here’s what I came up with:

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Keep in mind the only media I supplied was the image of the book cover of “Memories Wait Alone.”

All other images, text blocks, bursts, and the grid of an E-reader were provided free by Canva. I scheduled these graphics to post three times a day on Twitter during this promotion and have had great success with “retweets” and new followers on my account.

I decided to also update my cover pages on both my Twitter account (graphic above) and my Facebook “Author’s Page” – took me less than 20 minutes each as I worked completely off one of the free templates built specifically for cover pages. Finished graphics can be downloaded as a JPEG or immediately posted to social media. Easy. Easy. Easy. I love it.

I will definitely continue to use Canva, I really recommend it for any artists out there trying to create eye-catching graphics for their social media. And did I mention, free? Have fun!