August Updates

Last night, I attended the August Virtual Two Hour Transport, and what a lovely evening it was. See the latest Blog on my website for a complete recap—including Guest Reader Nisi Shawl, as well as lots of fantastic stories across a broad swath of speculative fiction. I was happy to see Dan Rabarts—a Kiwi author I met at CoNZealand last month—not only in attendance, but willing to share a story snippet with us.

The previous Blog posting, also on my website, from only two days earlier includes lots of information on where I’m at, and where I’m likely to head, with my writing. I wrote A LOT during August. Hmm. That seems to be a pattern with me, I just realized—I wrote the first draft of “How to Tame a Vampire” during month of August. I’d like to get that one polished up and published, but the stories from this year have all been about this year—pandemic and protests, etc.—and I think I need to do something with my new vampire while his story line is still relevant. I’ve already noticed Coronavirus stories beginning to be released, and I need to catch that wave.

Wear a mask. Stay safe. We’ll get through this together.

Copyright ©2014‐2020 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

CoNZealand 2020

Last week, I attended the first virtual WorldCon, CoNZealand 2020–which could be subtitled “Zooming from Zoom to Zoom.” I had such a good time, and learned a lot of new concepts and ideas that I’m still assimilating. I covered Day 2 (which was the first day I actually attended any events, due to technical difficulties the first day) in a blog on my site, and also made an entry for Days 3 & 4. I was sad to see it end, but exhausted at the same time. Check out my site for the blogs, and visit me on Twitter @ramonaridgewell for photos and contact handles for many of the nice folks I met at panels, Kaffeeklatsches and readings. I really had a wonderful time.

Copyright ©2014‐2020 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

July Update

It’s been a while since I lasted updated about my writing. My website has a couple of new blogs—one about last week’s Two Hour Transport, and news about a new novella!; and one about my first full day at CoNZealand (this year’s WorldCon). While I have so many other things on my plate, some events are well worth the time to attend. I met some really nice people and gained some knowledge. What more can you hope for? Well, in person would be nice, but they’re doing a good job dealing with going virtual for the first time. I’ll be posting more soon (hopefully, tomorrow, but certainly over the weekend) about today’s CoNZealand. I am really excited about some of the events.

Copyright ©2014‐2020 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Little Bright Things

I have been making a concerted effort to offer more hope in my writing during what are already pretty depressing times. I started my latest story, “Coronavirus Tales—Mylar Ribbon,” with that intent. A week earlier, I had said the following to a friend who was struggling, “We need to look for the the little bright things, like the shiny gifts crows give us.” It gave me the idea for the story.

When I began writing, it felt forced, and I didn’t make much progress. It turned into another starving‐vampire‐during‐the‐pandemic story. While I like my new vampire—a lot—I wasn’t certain where to take this story.

Then, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. As events unfolded, I forgot all about writing. After the past weekend, I felt the need to write some fiction. As I returned to this story, my vampire led me directly into the nighttime protests in downtown Seattle. Where else would he go? If it would have been possible, I would have been there.

Find the story, “Coronavirus Tales—Mylar Ribbon,” on my website, in the Stories section (below the Blogs). As always, I appreciate any comments or feedback you might provide. Please do so on my social media.

Copyright ©2014‐2020 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

More Coronavirus Tales

I’ve been remiss in posting about my new stories on my website, of which there are three. You can find all of them in the Stories section (just below the Blogs). The stress of our current state of affairs is wearing on me. I’ve also been focused more on getting my new business site up and running instead of writing, which is both good and bad. I’ll try to keep you all post on that as things progress.

The new stories include “Contingency Plan,” which I posted on May 3. It’s speculative fiction, about a young person eight years hence. I consider it dystopian near‐future. Like most of my stories, it offers just a little hope.

The flash fiction “If There’s Bunnies” popped out one morning a few weeks ago when my next‐door neighbor texted me to say, “Look out in the parking strip—there’s bunnies!” to which I replied, “If there’s bunnies, the coyotes won’t be far behind.” A lot of my recent fiction has been in the first person, present tense, as is this one. The voice is of a ten‐year‐old, dealing with quarantine and a sick parent. It was posted May 10th.

On May 19th, I posted “Fed Up.” This feels like a follow up story to “The Test”—like I’m channeling the same vampire. It’s interesting writing in the first person. I haven’t yet figured out how to let the reader know much about the protagonist. In this case, I feel it’s a male voice, of indeterminate—but adult—age. Let me know how you perceive this. I like this character, a lot, and hope he shares more stories with me.

Even though I kinda promised a story a week, it’s been tough keeping up that pace. I have dived into Wolf Dream stories—to either fill in back stories, flesh out future stories (so I know what to include in the “current” stories), and work on a prologue for “Tishta,” which is still in revision. I’m reluctant to share those here, since I don’t yet know what their futures hold or if their truth will change. I did begin a new story based on the prompt, “we need to look for the the little bright things, like the shiny gifts crows give us,” using the same voice as “The Test” and “Fed Up.” It’s been hard to find the flow. I’d like to write a more hopeful story. My vampire is still hungry, that is certain, I’m just not sure where this story will lead. And, with the world crashing down around us, it’s difficult to focus.

Stay safe.

Copyright ©2014-20 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Another Story & Other News

I’m super excited to share another story from Corona Virus Tales, “The Test.” It finally was rejected, so now I can post it. 🙂 You can find it on my website under Stories, “Corona Virus Tales—The Test,” where it joins “Corona Virus Tales—Frozen Pig’s Blood.” I’d love it if you give them both a quick read–they’re both flash. Please leave your impressions in the comments.

This week, the second Virtual Two Hour Transport took place. I posted about it in the Blogs section of my website. We’re getting the hang of it. The readings went well—both from The Order of The Open-Mic, and from our invited guests. We tried break out rooms for a bit socializing, which was a lot of fun and much better than trying to socialize online in a large group. If you’re interested, check us out at the next event on May 27. We embrace new readers, so feel free to add your name to the list (sign-ups at 6:30PM PDT). The open-mic readings begin promptly at 7:00PM PDT, and the guest readers at around 8:00PM PDT.

Copyright ©2014-20 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Quarantine Updates

Being confined to home, away from friends and family, has been hard on all of us. I am really missing being with my people. Video meetings are helping to sustain me. I just finished playing online games with my family. I think we are spending more time together now than we have in a long time, outside of holiday gatherings—and, we have already missed one of those. A combined Easter and my youngest nephew’s seventeenth birthday was the impetus for everyone figuring out how to get hooked into a video gathering. We all had a facsimile of a cake (mine was a cookie) and a candle (mine was a votive). We sang “Happy Birthday,” and hung out for another hour, just talking. It was the first time I had seen my mother since Christmas.

I began my sheltering-in-place on February 29, the day of the first US death from COVID-19, not ten miles from my home. The following weeks were chaotic and stressful and lonely. By late March, folks were figuring out how to get together, and I was invited to several online parties and happy hours. The best gathering of all was the first ever virtual Two Hour Transport—my monthly SciFi/Fantasy reading group. We experimented with how to best run the meeting so the reader could read without extraneous noise, but so the audience could applaud and give kudos when the reader was finished. It was a lovely evening, even if we couldn’t touch one another or share a meal. It nourished my soul, just when I needed it, and reinforced that these are my people.

A lot of my writer friends have commented on how difficult it has been to write during this stressful time. I have had a different experience—I found I had to write. I don’t normally write flash fiction—although, the only other short works I’ve written have been in this format—and certainly not in the first person, present tense. During my period of isolation, stories started popping out. It might have actually begun with my brain replacing the words of “The End Of The World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” by REM.

Oh, great. It starts with a headache,
Lethargy and great fatigue,
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Don’t cough! Don’t sneeze! Stay at home! You’re diseased!
World serves it’s own needs. DON’T SERVE YOUR OWN NEEDS!

There are a lot of words in that song! I was obsessed with writing new ones for a while, but pulled myself out of it after making it through the first verse. I moved on to a story about a vampire in search of a victim in a shut down Seattle. The second story was also a vampire tale. I like both of these stories. I read the first one at Two Hour Transport, and received encouragement to submit it—which I did. I’m still waiting for the rejection (or it being accepted, but I assume rejection). After those first two, things got darker—both in the real world, and in the stories I wrote. The next one was a Freddy Krueger-like nightmare, then a few about real-world folks dealing with the virus, including one seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old. I wrote a poem—another oddity for me. Then, a story about a young adult, eight years in the future. I call the genre Near-future Dystopia. Comments from people I read it suggested I need to offer more hope. It just doesn’t feel that way.

I quit writing, for now. I have been spending more and more time coding, which is good for me, both mentally, and for my new business. It feels like a better use of my time right now, and gives me hope for the future. I also made some updates to my personal website, including publishing the second of the corona virus vampire tales I wrote last month, “Frozen Pig’s Blood.” If you get a chance, read it and let me know what you think. All my latest blog posts are there, as well. It’s easier to keep up with me on that site than here. Too many platforms to maintain…

Copyright ©2014-20 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Tishta the Crystal Orb: I’m Back

It has been over a year since I focused on social media with respect to “Tishta the Crystal Orb,” and I apologize to all of you. Working at a 9 to 5 outside my home made it impossible to spend time on social media—without sacrificing time spent on the books. I recapped the year—and my progress—on my website blog. You can read “I’m Back,” and older blog entries, on my author website.

Thanks for your support as I figure out how to write, while also making enough money to live.

Copyright ©2014-19 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.

Tishta the Crystal Orb: Progress

Progress comes in many flavors. My first reading engagement last week was a big step forward with “Tishta the Crystal Orb.” It came hot on the heels of launching my author website the previous week, followed by procuring a paying gig the very next day. The new job is taking up the majority of my time now, but I stole a few moments to assemble a little sound studio. I plan to record an audiobook of Tishta as my final edit. Check out the page for my newest update (and, heck, join my mailing list to keep up to date). I’ll post links here when the page has updates.

Copyright ©2014-18 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.