At first glance it might be hard to imagine how my fiction could be influenced by nature. There are three things that make it so. Maybe there’s more than three, but these are the ones that stand out for me.
Setting, Plants and Predators
Specifically, it’s the places where the stories take place, the relationships that humans have with plants (or plants with humans) and the relationships predators have with prey (and vice-versa). These themes factor heavily into the plots of what I write, even if the details have been drawn more from my dreams (and possibly nightmares) than from day-to-day reality.
In my short story, No Qualms, there is influence from location, plants and the predator/prey relationship. Ledeir collects bloodroot to serve as her protection in facing an otherworldly threat called a shadeling. This story is set at the Sinking Stream Trail at Hobb’s State Park near War Eagle in northwest Arkansas but it quickly goes from the real-world to an alternate one.
I’m 622 words into a new novel called Bounty Hunter.
For a spring board I’m using a short story I’d already written and several 100-word flash fiction stories that used the characters and settings from that short story’s larger story. If you’re curious, here’s one of the flash stories. Treya is the main character in the new novel. She’s a bounty hunter for an agency called ARSA (Arrests, Retribution and Silencing Agency). In this world setting criminals incarnate into lower life forms when they’re killed, so the bounty hunter has to track them down to whatever level the agency determines is adequate before the job is considered “done”. In the short story I linked to, Eli is the target Treya is hunting and Tva is a non-human entity. Eli is setting up an encounter between Tva and Treya as a trap to eliminate Treya from the chase.
Here’s my progress page for this novel if you want to keep track of how far along it is and read excerpts that I’ll post from time to time. The first paragraph of the opening scene is posted there now.
and by end of day…
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.