Friday, April 01, 2016

A is for Alfilda: Blogging the #AtoZchallenge

Meet My Imaginary Friends: Alfilda Braun

I really love the #AtoZ Challenge because it is a chance for me to write shorter, but more frequent, blog posts. As a writer, I often hear "where do you get your ideas for characters? So this month I'm going to introduce readers to some of my imaginary friends.

Alfilda Braun is a tall, intelligent woman with an interesting obsession. She grew up in the Black Forest of Germany where she heard people talk about Hexe-Women, women who practiced herbology, natural healing, and also some magic. My knowledge of this subject originally came from stories my Gram Werner told and, as I worked on a story for my The Buckskin Cap in the Trunk collection, Alfilda came to life. She is an interesting woman and a perfect love interest for Mulligan, my high-spirited pig farmer. Here is an introduction to Alfilda from the story Hexe-Woman:

"I grew up in Germany," Alfilda said as she watched Mulligan prepare their lunch. "My parents emigrated to Pennsylvania when I was sixteen but I go back to my home town often. In my heart I’ll always be a country girl.”
“But you live in Philadelphia now?” Mulligan glanced at her as he turned the bacon.
“Outside of Philadelphia in Berks County. I teach at a college there and am doing research on women herbalists and healers in rural areas. Where I grew up, not far from the Black Forest, there were many stories about the women known as Hexes or Hexe-women. They were both feared and needed.” She lowered her eyes and wove her fingers together. “There’s a rather disturbing story in my family that one of my ancestors was a Hexe-woman. I suppose that’s what got me interested in the subject. I’m documenting all the stories I hear of witchcraft in backwoods towns.”
“Witchcraft? I always thought witches were more in New England. Didn’t they hang them or burn them or something?” He carefully lifted the strips of bacon out of the pan and lay them on paper towels to drain.
“They did, but wherever there are country people there are rumors of witchcraft. Actually, Pennsylvania was unique because the governor here, William Penn, was a Quaker. He was a pacifist and refused to allow those accused of witchcraft to be tortured and killed. Unfortunately, my own country was one of the last to ban such persecutions."


  1. As someone who writes very complex, well researched back stories for their characters I am always interested in getting to know the stories behind other peoples characters. :) Fantastic theme.

    @magickislife from
    My Creatively Random Life

  2. Thank you! I love many of my characters and feel that they have a life beyond what we just see in the stories!

  3. I wish I had the gift of imagination!

  4. I wish I had your imagination!

  5. Thank you very much, Anna. Some days it's more trouble than not!!!

  6. Our town "Root Witch" died a few years back, Miss Bivens, a lot of people feared this Woman... With her gone that would move us up to next closest thing to replacing her... but, we are thought of as "evil" and the "rumor-mill" of this rural town (Marshville) makes me out to be somewhat of a "Monster" (actually, often referred to as the town "Boogeyman") A lot due in part to having been charged with attempted "Body-Snatching" more than 20 years after the event... we did our own "investigating" and the most likely suspect was hung from a tree back then.. and the sorry excuse for a human (with his "badge") put his own version of my statement and twisted it into this "Mess" ( years ago he lost his Badge for drunken driving and the reason that he was driving poorly was that he was trying to make a line of cocaine on his metal clipboard, which was in his passenger seat... he had a deep hatred of me for many years ... but due to his Badge, he was believed in Everything that he had claimed against me...
    ... well all of that was a bit more Hell, than we needed (or deserved...) Even the radio DJ's "John-boy and Billy" poked fun at me on National radio...
    So we are terminal (heart and breathing issues) and since we are now "disabled" the "crooked authorities" of this backwards county must now prove "just Cause" to Harass me these days.. So they leave me alone for now... Local cops will not drop by... and the Sheriff dept. makes sure to always send at least 3 or more cars...
    (.... after-all, Union County ,Lived here in Hazzard County, home of Jerry Rushing, the show's "Country Corruption" was based on this area)
    Sorry for the Ramble... you do not need to post this one ... just a bit of "background" on us, And these "bad things" are behind us these days and we can even laugh a bit at having been put through "Crap" over these Lies... The Head Detective Could not even look me in the face, all he had to say was that he was Sorry that I was "rail-roaded" like I was..
    ... see, even in a small town, Things are not always "boring"

  7. The other comment was just to give a bit of "background" (We will be glad to answer any questions that you may have. A great day to you and yours, and some great Characters thus far!

  8. Sorry again about the "rambling" but just get so "upset" over these many "injustices" in this area, Be glad that you do not live in this "Corrupt Small town" mess. Well, we have endured these many years and do not have many years left.

  9. Thank you very much--a most interesting story. I tend to think these things happen in many places but the fact is, they happen. That no one can deny.

  10. Dear Lady, thank you for reminding us of a "factor" we were not using well, The "Character" development in the projects that we are currently working on. We have done very little "creative" writing over the last half of my life. Making an insane "survivor" to be a Character in a Spore Adventure, and the development of the Character of him will greatly improve the story-line of the Game. Thank you and we are off to work on this a bit more and try Not to "think" about "troubles" A form of "Escapism", we guess. Have a pleasant Spring day... and Hello, from Marshville.
    (and sorry about the bit of a "rant" thank you for having "Listened" and the nice comment in your response.

  11. That is only one "mess", dear Lady. There are Many more that we could tell. We look forward to reading over your past posts. And, you have an enjoyable blog with great , and informative posts. Well done!

  12. These are stories that need to be told. Good for you for telling them!!!

  13. Such a beautiful character and a richly woven tale!
    Many Blessings,

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

  14. Thank you. Yes, she is a very beautiful spirit!


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