Summer Coming Down

The weather has taken on a nice Autumn chill, marking Summer’s impending finish. In memorium, a photo flashback of Summer 2017.

 

With a Little Help from My Friends

Spring is here. Bursts of activity and creation, from outdoor events to the bright shiny new work of authors, publishers, and all those types that bloom in the sunshine, full of new work and bright words.

Writers and their affiliates (from presses to magazines to podcasts) get hell on the Internet for self-promotion – and a lot of the time, GAWD, rightly so – but sometimes friends are friends, and the PSA/The More You Know message of this post is that when no one is looking, and for no other reason than being good people, this group of miscreants and snake oil salesmen will unblinkingly throw sponsorship money to a 9 yr old in Southern Ohio for an event at his elementary school. And one will blink, and think how lucky, to have “networks” that are more than that word, associates and peers that are friends.

Selflessness is supposed to be its own reward, but here’s my kid kicking some ass at the Ninja Dash obstacle course/fun run. He was sponsored by Booked. Podcast (Livius Nedin and Robb Olson, Thunderdome Press (Mike Gonzalez), GAMUT Magazine (Richard Thomas), his friend Elijah Kasper (from PLT days), Kay & Allen Hayes, and Heather & Jeremy Barker. They expected nothing from him, but he wore a sponsor shirt with all their names.

Thanks to your generosity, my son gets to smash a pie in the face of his favorite teacher on the next-to-last day of school

And yes, since you asked, that green glitter shirt-lettering was all destroyed when I washed it, and the inside of my washing machine looks like a disco.

Happy summer!! And thank you for being a part of my life!!

Menacing Hedge Spring Issue

Simultaneous arrival of warm weather and Menacing Hedge’s Spring Edition!

This issue marks the first batch of short fiction selected just by my hand, so I do hope everyone enjoys these six stories. I wade through hundreds of submissions to come up with a handful of perfect diamonds, and it will never cease to amaze me that I get to do this: assemble a banquet of stories written by authors far more adept at both wordsmithing and navigating the imagination.

Spring also marks the first issue with Susan Yount as official Menacing Hedge Artist! Her work is so darkly beautiful.

So have it! Poetry and fiction, sunshine and blood.

Happy Spring!

“Don’t Tell Mom” by Susan Yount

Click:

Menacing Hedge Spring 2017

International Women’s Day

The women, real and fictional, past and present, that have and continue to influence me in the very best ways…

Five Days Left to Enter “Fairytale Day” Goodreads Bundle Giveaway

February 26 is International Fairytale Day, so what better day for Craig and I to give you a pile of books and stories by a plethora of authors that cover the spectrum from horror to crime to magic realism to noir to mystery to comedy to love story, and everything else you can think of?

Click the link below to enter: the pile of books includes not only the only 3 hard copies of Serious Moonlight thus far in existence, but also The Sound of Loneliness signed by the author Craig Wallwork, Quintessence of Dust signed by the author Craig Wallwork, Radium Girls signed by the author Amanda Gowin, Gutted: Beautiful Horror signed by (one of) the author(s) Amanda Gowin, as well as the Booked. Anthology!

And, Serious Moonlight, our short story duet, will include brand new bonus flash stories from both of us in these print copies.

Escape. Make a bed of these books and roll around in other worlds, while on break from making this world a better one.

Fairytale Day “Serious Moonlight” Goodreads Giveaway Bundle (click)

Edmund Dulac

Edmund Dulac

 

(All proceeds from Serious Moonlight go to International Medical Corps)

…and a Happy New Year

Here we go!

Good luck and piles of hope and willpower and strength to fight in this brave new world.

For now I give you David Bowie, and new stories from my Partner in Crime and I, under a title dedicated to the man himself. Any and all meager proceeds go to International Medical Corps.

Promises in the New Year, to myself and all of you:

1. Write more, and harder.

2. Stay loud, without succumbing to bitterness or pessimism.

3. Keep my son aware of the kindness in him, no matter how the fashion of kindness may change.

4. Point out Nice Times to myself as they happen, as advised by KV’s uncle.

5. Absorb lots of Vitamin D.

6. Read, read, read.

7. Listen, listen, listen.

May your heart be full and kind and strong. See you at the Women’s March!

-Amanda

 

 

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Click here to order Serious Moonlight

A Few Things to Look Forward to in 2017

1. Serious Moonlight

2. Sherlock

3. Twin Peaks

4. The Women’s March on Washington

5. AWP

6. My son turning 9

7. A Cure for Wellness

8. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

9. The beach

10. All the stories yet to be written

 

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Strawberry Moon

Happy first day of summer! Happy full moon!

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All of the things. ‘Gutted: Beautiful Horror‘ hit #1 in Hot New Releases and #2 in Horror Anthologies on its first day of pre-sale.  Tomorrow night I guest on a Noir on the Air episode of ‘Dames in the Dark‘ at 9pm. We’ve got the stories selected for the Summer edition of  Menacing Hedge, and go boldly into reading for Fall.  Pantheon Magazine’s ‘Hestia’ issue My son has one more week of baseball. My nephew is nearly here. There’s only one more episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’

‘Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?’ at the Portsmouth Little Theatre wrapped up in a sea of love, tears and Fireball. My husband got a motorcycle. We just got back from vacation, where I met Chewbacca – who is just as sweet in person as he is in the movies! Also, not to jinx her because the day is not done (and on this, the longest day of the year, I may be tempting fate), my favorite little red hen Lauren (Bacall) has successfully navigated back and forth to the neighbors’ hen house without an automobile collision.

Howl at the moon, my lovelies. Throw away your shoes. Jump in deep, dark water. Summer is upon us!

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I Assure You I’m Still Here

Things got busy.

Things ARE busy.

Life is good.

More articulate post later, it’s early in the day and plates are spinning (as Jaime -er, Craig Wallwork- would say). Here is a pictorial illustration of some of What I’ve Been Up To.

 

LIFE!!

Menacing Hedge (Fiction Editor Furiosa)

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Noir at the Bar, St. Louis in April with Jon Ashley , Scott Phillips, Jed Ayres, Greg Barth, Tim L. Williams & Joe Schwartz (look at me, bein’ the Only Girl – REPRESENT!)

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“Gutted: Beautiful Horror” from Crytal Lake Publishing drops June 24th!!

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‘Daddy’s Dyin, Who’s Got the Will?’ opens at The Portsmouth Little Theatre on Friday May 20th. Go to www.pltlive.com for tickets!

2016 Scares the Shit Out of Me

 

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Seriously.

It’s only the 2nd day of the year, nice easy Saturday night full of peppermint candy, Lana Del Rey and sleeping dogs.

Last night was Sherlock’s ‘The Abominable Bride’ (which was better than all of S3 put together, and I loved S3), and this afternoon was ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with my almost-8-yr-old son in his Darth Vader sweatshirt and my cool-as-hell hubby (and it was GREAT! I was afraid to hope, after the prequels). So. I’m high on Moriarty and Chewbacca.

The year ahead lies sprawled in an almost impossible glowing light. These Lite Brite blips of things to come, and they seem too good to be true:

  • the first edition of Menacing Hedge I’ve worked on as full-fledged co-fiction editor with my incestuous sibling Craig Wallwork, out pretty much anytime – and conspiring with the beautiful crew there
  • more and more unbelievable announcements about the Gutted:Beautiful Horror anthology – just a lil ole book coming out this year with me in it….AND Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Paul Tremblay, Damien Angelica Walters, Richard Thomas…that’s not even all!! It’s just too hard to type out all the names, and they’re not even DONE with the ToC!
  • AWP LA, which I guess is some sort of “conference” or something, but whatever – I’ll be spending April Fool’s Day in California with the crew that welcomed me into the bosom of ‘Warmed and Bound’ nearly five years ago, only that crew times ten…ocean and bowling and books with some of the best people I’ve ever met or am about to
  • Tentative plans for a vast and ambitious family vacation that, worst case scenario, would take place next summer instead of this one
  • Tentative plans to finish a semi-vast and very-ambitious linked short story collection surrounding the concept of Frankenstein’s Monster and the freedom from the burden of chronological memory…that, worst case scenario, will be completed next summer instead of this one (it would take some massive laziness to drag out an entire extra year)
  • Jewelry – Jewelry!! Work!! They call it work, I call it a kitchen and laboratory full of adoptive family, gems, and magic lasers and elf-sized tools. They let me hang out there, and talk about movies and gold and life, and pay me for it…
  • my son and I have started the Harry Potter series, a mere two hours ago, and he’s into it
  • Richard Thomas has extracted a promise for a story from me for Gamut, which seems like something I should have to fight to get into
  • Craig Clevenger wants to podcast with me for a couple guest episodes of Booked.
  • My sister is going to give me another niece or nephew – another minion for my son!

Can I just stop there, and take a breath?

My fear is justified, yes?

Because this is my life, and I want to deserve it. I want to deserve the people and the love and the pictures in my brain and the roof over my head and the happiness,

and I don’t want to take a breath, or cough, for fear I’ll wake….

So, before I do, in this world now I want to say: I love you all. I appreciate you all. You’re heavy and light and wispy and warm in your love and support and confidence and laughter and conspiratorial smiles. My family, my friends, my work family, my writing , my reading compadres, my Sherlock-fiends, my fellow mothers of beautiful strong babes, my ladies in the shadows that whisper to me that I’m good enough.

Thank you. By the Stars and the Moonlight and the magic of breathing, I wish you all as beautiful a 2016 as you’ve made possible for me, just by being a part of my life.

-Amanda

 

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(Magical Shiny Shoes to dance through the year)

Goodbye, 2015!!

Practicing the Dark Arts (or dominoes, whatever):

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Wishes for us all, of Hope and Mermaids:

…and Inspiration:

Don’t forget to share your hats. With Death Stars.

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Happy New Year to you all!! I love you.

 

Saturday Nights in December

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All That Is Dark and Beautiful

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imageimageimageimageAutumn goes fast!! Sometimes it’s too full to keep track in words and posts, so here’s a quick cram session of all the things wonderful and a bit unbelievable that happened along with crunching leaves, bonfires, trick-or-treat, PTO Vice Presidency (shut up), soccer season, Apple Festival, a NINE YEAR Wedding Anniversary, a new legit job at A.L. Terry Jewelers, Back to the Future Pt 2 celebrations, reading amazing stories at Menacing Hedge…. you get the idea, things are booming!! In the midst of all that, there’s also this:

MORE!! At Booked.

Halloween means the annual Spookedtacular, and this year was a two hour NyQuil and beer fest of The Final Girls, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, urban legends, serial killers, and sincere love and vitriol splattered in all directions between Robb Olson, Livius Nedin, Jesse Lawrence and myself. Is a Christmas special coming, with the four of us? You bet! AND! At the beginning of 2016 while Robb and Liv take a Disney Cruise (or whatever it is they do when they can’t record) Craig Clevenger and I will be holding down the Booked. fort and co-hosting an episode ourselves. It should be hot. But more on that later! Click HERE to be taken to the Spookedtacular 2015,

Pantheon Magazine Winter Edition

A little sad, sweet piece of mine has been accepted at the lovely Pantheon Magazine. “Orphans” will appear in the “Hestia” edition. It’s a beautiful publication and I’m honored I’ll be found in its pages!

UPDATES for ‘Gutted: Beautiful Horror’ Table of Contents

If you don’t know what the anthology is about, click HERE to find out a little more about the depths of darkness and beauty coming from Crystal Lake publishing in 2016. It was incredible enough when I learned Neil Gaiman was on the roster, along with authors John F.D. Taff, Brian Kirk, and (one of my own) Richard Thomas – who needs a shout-out and huge thanks for tossing my name their way – THEN editors extraordinaire Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward announced on Halloween that along with all of us, Clive Barker will be including a story. It’s a bit surreal at this point, and I can’t wait to hear who’s announced next!  My story, “Cellar’s Dog,” is gangly and bizarre and pretty in its own way, and I’ll be forever grateful the editors could see what I saw when that black dog walked into those headlight beams.

So there you have it. The leaves are barely gone and already the Autumn is so full of goodness, I’m not sure where to go from here! Up? Or maybe I’ll just swim awhile. Float. Hug my lovelies and enjoy the laughter and the warmth. I think this is the top.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Amanda

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Awful Big Talk for Such a Little Thing…

From an email to a friend, and honestly how I feel about This Thing We Do…

“But what if no one ever recognizes your efforts? That’s a distinct possibility. It doesn’t make the things you do of less value, or the work you’ve done in vain. Fame and appreciation are just matters of timing and luck with sometimes-talent added, based on whatever the pop culture climate is into at the moment. Picasso was appreciated in his lifetime and Van Gogh was not. But that doesn’t make Van Gogh’s work less amazing. And there are thousands of Picassos and Van Goghs that we’ve never heard of, and just because their paintings only hang in someone’s house or the canvases are stacked in a closet somewhere, that doesn’t mean the work wasn’t worth making, or breaking themselves into pieces for. Because it’s still worth it, because we can’t help it. That’s all there is to us, making things. You’ll itch under your skin if you don’t write stories, and you’ll just take up cooking or buy a bedazzler and put sequins on things. And in a few years you’ll catch yourself with a notebook of half-scribbled stories. Because it’s just what you are. You make things. You have to shrug and accept it. Even if you give up the marketing side, and submitting side, and just do it because it’s what you do. That second part – the whore part – is really unimportant in the actual scheme of making things.

So there’s your lesson for the day. You don’t ever have to submit shit if you don’t want to, ever again. Buy a fireproof trunk and seal all your work, finished and printed and also on various types of hard drives, in the trunk. Let someone else sort it out later. Focus on making it. Or take a break and make things when you damned well feel like it. Compulsion can also be euphoria.”

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A Seriously Big Day

So.

I’ve had a lot of good news recently.

Let’s jump right in!

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In 2016, Crystal Lake Publishing is releasing an anthology called “Gutted: Beautiful Horror” that editors D. Alexander Ward and Doug Murano describe as “A series of stories that explores the tension between beauty and horror, wonder and terror, sorrow and transcendence. It’s a book of scars, regret and loneliness. But through it all, it’s a book where hope can still exist and beauty can still thrive.” They’ve only made a few Table of Contents announcements – four names thus far, to be exact, and they go as follows:

Neil Gaiman (you read that right)

Brian Kirk

John F. D. Taff

ME! YES, ME!!

The story they accepted is my much-labored-over, genre-crossing, over-long and painfully dear to me “Cellar’s Dog.” It clocks in at over 6k words and involves Appalachia, hounds, drugs, myth and the tiny glimmer of hope for redemption. I couldn’t be prouder that it’s this story out of everything I’ve written that will be included alongside these incredible people. And I can’t WAIT to find out who else will be in the book.

And! AND!

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Artwork by Brian Despain

The beautiful people over at Menacing Hedge are bringing me on as a Fiction Editor to sift and slush with Craig Wallwork, which is kind of like being asked to come over to best friend’s house to play as your JOB. I love Kelly Boyker and I love Craig, and it’s incredible to be helping choose the short fiction for a journal I submitted to with crossed fingers!

I’ll begin reading now-to-soon-ish, so send us your best!! The Fall Issue will be up soon with more specifics…

So.

I guess I’ll go to sleep, and see if this is still true in the morning.

Seriously, Autumn 2015, I frickin’ LOVE you….

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