On Writing and Witches
Wandering Witches are a project based on ideas we have developed for years that have a unique tone and style.
Ever since I was in elementary school, there were two things I deeply was interested in doing: coding and creative writing. Due to the lucrativeness of it as a career, it made sense to focus on it as a way to pay the bills. But that passion for creative writing died never died.
Growing up, fantasy stories were always the escape from the realities of gender dysphoria and having ridiculously high expectations placed upon me by my father. Final Fantasy in particular was a favorite, though I was also the sort of nerd who read and re-read Tolkien before the Jackson films were ever announced. Of course, I was also deeply into Harry Potter — a Ravenclaw. While I never wanted to limit myself to telling one sort of story, I always in particular dreamed of telling tales of magic and mystery in these sorts of settings.
In college, in the late 00s, I minored in Creative Writing at Emory, which is regarded as one of the best creative writing programs in the country. Professors there, knowing I would have to focus on tech to pay the bills, made me promise to never give up on my dream of writing novels and screenplays — that I genuinely had the talent to be an accomplished writer if I kept honing my craft. Ultimately, I even wound up leaving school a year early to focus on tech work, burdened with how much my gender dysphoria was destroying my mental health.
Years later, when it became increasingly apparent that J.K. Rowling hated trans people, I found myself wondering: what would happen in a world where witchcraft and wizardry existed and yet some would-be students were denied entry. From there, the idea evolved into witches who are denied what they need to thrive who spontaneously develop the ability to utilize their dreams to search for what is missing. These witches aren’t necessarily trans, as I knew this idea of searching for something missing was universal far beyond my own experience.
These witches do not wakefully wander. Their experiences are dreams that bleed over into planes of reality in strange ways, enabling them to search strange planes of existence to find things in our world that they cannot find in their waking lives. As someone who has had lifelong problems of anxiety-induced insomnia, the idea of the time when I should be sleeping instead being occupied with seemingly fruitless fights in my mind was particularly relatable.
For as long as Fumeiji and I have dated, we have dreamed of being able to build deep and fantasy-oriented creative projects together — with her visual art skill complementing my storytelling skills. Though many know us for cute cartoon creatures — which as Pokémon fans raising cute animals ourselves, certainly is a something that interests us as creators as well — what always interested us most was stories that involved heavy world-building with an emphasis on fantasy.
We have spent years refining ideas between each other and collecting little details and interesting threads that can be woven through them over time. One of these projects was our little wandering coven of witches, dispersed and disconnected in our physical reality, for whom we dreamt of doing things like developing novels, comics, even perhaps indie games out of the concept.
For much of my life, I have felt like the misunderstood outsider who people find petty reasons to hate. Undoubtedly, this has made me more passionately defensive in these sorts of situations. But is that not what so much of witchy themes are about? Being the person put on trial or even burned at the stake simply for being different in a way others could not comprehend.
Given how much I am desperate to begin exploring these fantasy-oriented lore-rich worlds that Fumeiji and I wanted to create together, we will be moving forward with the Wandering Witches despite the fact some accuse this of us not finding our own “creative voice.” While we have only teased small parts of this project, this is something we always had big ambitions for before NFTs ever crossed our radar.
The most authentic expression of smol farm is one in which we both are able to make cute content inspired by our farm and explore the deeper worlds we’ve taken years to weave, to perfect, to ensure we do right. Because cute animals are easy, but world-building is a challenge for even the best of writers, and we want to do it well.
I just wonder when you’ll finally hear about Cooperton.