Forgotten Ones Anthology, Bigfoots & Bugbears

Somewhere in the dissolving folds and mists of space-time, between obsessing over getting my 20 poxwalkers done in less than three years and finishing an Etsy bugbear before the current painting challenge closes on May 3rd, I received my author’s copy of Forgotten Ones, published by Eeire River Publishing out of Ontario, Canada, and it is currently available on Amazon.

Forgotten Ones is a collection of two hundred drabbles featuring “creatures of lore, and ancient rituals,” and happily (for me) four of these tiny tales came from my pen.*

Brass Cat and Carrot Foot would both give Forgotten Ones a thumbs up, if they had thumbs!

I see a number Lovecraft-inspired titles as well as Norse, Greek, Mayan, Biblical references and more as I hold the book in my right hand and scan through the table of contents while I one-finger type this with my left.  (Not bad if I say so myself and I do!)

I’ve written quite a few of these drabbles over the past year or so.  I’ve noticed that with a little practice one develops a knack for hitting pretty close to one hundred words on the first couple of tries.  Sometimes a drabble will lead me into writing a longer story and other times I’m content, like Poe and many others, to leave at least one character screaming out their remaining existence in a wet tomb, whether that be a literal one or a sarcophagus of the imagination and so on.**  

My Forgotten Ones drabbles feature such innovations as a change of viewpoint in an iconic scene from The Odyssey and another was inspired by my general reading about Hellenistic mystery religions/schools.  Then there is the magician in north Africa in danger of being (deservedly though I’m sure he’d disagree!) burned alive … but wait, look, the sky it, it … Eieee! … and my personal favorite of the four, “Robin Never Finished Her Bigfoot Video.”***

I think turning from bigfeet to bugbears makes for a nice segue, don’t you?  I’ve been continuing to make progress on my Etsy Work-in-Progress bugbear that I want to get done before my Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge wraps up on May 3rd.  I completed the base coat colors for all three mace-and-shield bugbears a few days ago and decided to finish at least one to go along with poxwalker #18.

April 20, 2020: Put some base colors on my trio of mace-wielding bugbears

The first time I heard the word “bugbear” was when as a child I heard someone say that something was his bugbear and I thought he meant it was his pet and wondered what a bear that was a bug or bug that was a bear looked like.  Although it was lost as far as I know in the aforementioned mists of space-time, I drew a bugbear in grade school art class not long after.  I remember it looked like a bear and I gave it the head of an ant because at that time (and I still do!) I liked ants quite a lot.

I later on discovered bugbears figured in folklore and then later on, when I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, they figured there too as a type of large “goblinoid” that was violent – no real surprise there – and stealthy – considering their bulk a bit more surprising – and not too smart but possessed of a low cunning.****

WIP Bugbear One on April 24, 2020.

To the best of my knowledge bugbears first appeared in D&D with the publication of the Greyhawk supplement, where there is a (to me) silly picture of a furry, ogre-like creature with a tomato, pumpkin or some other such vegetable for a head.

Bugbears really came into their own to my thinking in AD&D some time later and I used them as antagonists quite a bit back then.  I also went through an Anne of Green Gables phase after reading the book.  Naturally this culminated, at its height, with my playing a bugbear ranger-type character, Anneglak, who ran around helping people, even though they initially misunderstood her what with being an eight foot tall bugbear.  Anneglak later considered herself the protector of the Green Forest, and I patterned the way she talked and such after the eponymous Anne Shirley.

Let’s hope the bigfoots don’t start getting organized!

Gosh, it is hard to believe now that I was ever so young.  Then again, it turned out that character, as silly as it all seems now, was beloved by the DM and other players.  Years later, I was talking to one of my fellow players from back then and she asked if I “still had Anneglak’s character sheet.”  I was impressed that she still remembered the character’s name!

Happy memories but back to now.  My current painting plan is to finish up my first bugbear before the end of April.  Maybe even poxwalker #19 too, but don’t hold me to it.  After that I’ll probably continue with my recent painting innovation of actually finishing up projects before moving on to something else and paint the other two for May.

This is the picture that inspired Anneglak.

* A drabble is a 100 word story.  Also see flash fiction for more information on this topic.  For “pen” read “keyboard.”

** Like Poe, Lovecraft, and many others I have a soft spot for burying people alive in my writing.  I’m reminded of that practice, apparently common not so long ago, of having a little bell on one’s grave plot with a connecting string into the coffin so if you end up waking up after the funeral and all of your nearest and dearest have gotten about their business of fighting over your will, you can at least hope someone can hear you.  This is especially important given that cell phones often lose their signal when you are buried in a coffin six feet under the earth.

***  I’ve always had a soft spot for bigfeet ever since I saw one on The Six Million Dollar Man.  Even more so now that my current home is among the redwoods on the California coast where (according to the local bigfoot museum) Sasquatch is alive and well.


27 thoughts on “Forgotten Ones Anthology, Bigfoots & Bugbears

  1. Pingback: Bugbear with Mace & Shield Finished | Ann's Immaterium

    • Thank you. Yes, it is always fun holding a physical copy of a book that includes my work. I have to say that even though sometimes online publications result in more people seeing your work, there is a certain thrill at holding a book however small one’s contribution is to it.

      Bugbears have certainly taken a lot of different forms in various games and in folklore and mythology. The AD&D representation such as that picture at the bottom with the guy getting smacked with the mace, is how I imagine them in games for myself. The sky (or the imagination) seems to be the limit in folklore where it is a “bogeyman.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’m having fun painting them. Almost have the first one done. I thought he was done last night, but when I looked at him this morning there are a couple of small things I still need to do that I plan on taking care of tonight.

      Although personally I don’t imagine bugbears as being muscular like that, I think of them as having arms that are super strong but ropey not pumped up, the muscles were very fun to paint and good practice since I don’t have much experience with painting such things beyond a simple base, shade, dry brush like I did years ago with my orks.

      I do like that the figures do look brutal and mean though. I’ll have to use them for an end encounter the first time I trundle them out for a game. 🙂

      The book is available now and I believe too that if you have that Kindle Unlimited thing, it is free to read on that platform. If you click on the Forgotten Ones link in the first paragraph it’ll take you to the Amazon page.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brutal and Mean… what’s the other one called, lol!
        I’m sure they’ll make an impact, they look great!

        Haven’t got Kindle unlimited, I’m very much a ‘book’ person, but I’ll be sure to check it out, in fact, I just popped it onto my wish list for when I finish reading my current backlog!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sounds great, I hope you enjoy it. It is available on Amazon and I made sure there is a link to the book page in this post. A year or so ago I never thought I’d enjoy reading a book of drabbles but I do find I enjoy reading them before bed. The problem I’ve had trying to read longer short stories and novels as bedtime reading is I often get sucked into the story and end up reading, huddled up under the covers with my night time shading thing on my e-reader or with a tiny night light clipped onto my book, until 3 am or something.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your publishing Ann, always good to have all your hard work in print. Nice work so far on your Bugbears, the first model I remember of these creatures was the old Grenadier minatures one, where it was spindly, gangly almost with a smiling face and huge ears, these look a lot more interesting

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. Yes, getting my little stories and scenes published is something I never get tired of, that’s for sure. 🙂 I remember those old Grenadier miniatures; heck, I think I might have had some but I never did paint them. I do like these ones better than the Grenadier ones as well, though I have to admit I never really thought of bugbears as being muscular, though I am finding the muscles fun to paint so far.


  3. Congratulations! The whole drabble/flash fiction thing was a new find, sounds really interesting. Love the bugbears too, I think they’re (along with hobgoblins) going through a bit of a renaissance with the new popularity of D&D etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! i have to admit that about a year ago I was skeptical about the whole drabble/flash fiction thing as both a reader and writer. I’ve come around and now I find that I like reading collections of micro-fiction and it also seems a good vehicle for daily or weekly productions for e-zines and websites.

      I think you might be right about bugbears (and definitely hobgoblins!) being popular again. D&D has sure been through a lot of phases from being something that hardly anyone had heard of, the popularity with television and on the big screen, various controversies, and now the current space it occupies sort of in the semi-mainstream. Funny to think that I’ve been there for it all. I had no idea that playing Chainmail with my dad and then seeing that little white box with the wizard, standing in a door way with a wand, blasting a bunch of little, murderous-looking bald guys would lead to a life-long (so far) hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant news Ann, congratulations – let us all know when this goes on general release, yeah? Excellent Bugbears too – number one has some serious deltoid development going on. Does he look anything like how you imagined Anneglak to be?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Forgotten Ones is available now, as a physical book or an e-book, whatever your preferred poison happens to be. 🙂 I edited the post and put a link to the Amazon page in the first paragraph of this post.

      Yes, I like the sculpts on those bugbears though I do have to say that I imagine bugbears as not being muscular like that. Fun painting them though; I’m learning that muscles hold a lot of interest for painting once I dared to try.

      As for Anneglak I imagined she looked like that bugbear smacking the guy in the head with a mace (see the last picture at the bottom of this post.) I had a lot of fun adventures playing her. Then there was the time she almost died and we all had to have a conversation about whether or not bugbears could be said to have “souls” or whatever allowing them to be raised from the dead. We decided that they didn’t in general, but Anneglak was a special case and could be so raised. Fortunately for her, although she had many close calls, she never did die in her career, which spanned for about four years of nearly weekly play, from a young adventurer to a high level ranger.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. I’m thinking I’d like to write some somewhat longer stuff. I have been doing a lot of drabbles and stuff in the 500 words or less range, which is easy for me to do even when I’m busy, but I think I’d like to go back and take a look at that novel I was trying to write without an outline and then got stuck and abandoned it. This time perhaps I can construct an outline and take it somewhere.

      You know, it is funny that you called them “mean-looking” because that was what I was thinking too. They certainly don’t seem like they’d represent mooks. The first time I use them in a game I’ll probably have them be some sort of big deal encounter thing or end fight for an adventure. Then if they fight bugbears again they’ll be mooks. Who knows, maybe they’ll run into friendly bugbears too? That sort of thing certainly isn’t unheard of, you know! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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